I'm a dog expert – here's how to tell if an animal is dangerous and what you need to do to stay safe | The Sun

A DOG expert has revealed how to tell if an animal is dangerous – and what you need to do to stay safe.

Rob Bays, a canine behaviourist, says despite there being a list of banned dogs in the UK, there's still many traits to be weary of across all breeds.

Four dog types are banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, including pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

Any dogs identified as one of these breeds is destroyed.

But Rob says this is an outdated approach – as new research has provided more insight into triggers developed during their upbringing and how they are treated.

He said: "The law came into play a long time ago and since we've seen 3,000 exempt dogs on the list.

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"Whilst the breed has been previously believed to be the indicator, it doesn't actually come into it.

"Fundamentally, it's about responsible pet ownership and educating yourself on the characteristics of your pet. The dog's environment has a huge impact."

Rob says although it can be challenging to gauge if a dog is going to act dangerously, there are signs that can indicate trouble may be looming.

He said: "All dogs communicate with us via their body language. Small signals and expressions display how they're feeling and whether they're comfortable or uncomfortable.

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"Growling is a really good indicator that a dog may need space and you should potentially remove them from the situation."

Rob believes it comes down to people understanding their pets and working with animals to give them a positive upbringing.

He believes education is key to help people raise animals that will not harm others.

The treatment of dogs can be affected by how well the dog owner and the pet align.

Rob said: "When you're looking at which breed to get, consider your lifestyle and do your research. You want to make sure your dog will fit in with your life."

He says it's possible to train an animal that has aggressive tendencies to behave safely.

The Battersea dog training manager said: "There's a capacity to put training in place for dogs that have displayed aggressive behaviour.

"For example, muzzles have a negative connotation but they are a great safety tool."

DOG ATTACKS 'INCREASE'

His comments come after a string of dog attacks in the UK.

Reports from the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association show there has been a 54 per cent increase in dog attacks from 2020 to 2021.

Just days ago, a mum and two young kids were savaged in a brutal dog attack.

Derbyshire Police were called to reports of a domestic incident in Nottingham Road, Ilkeston, at around 6pm on Friday evening.

A woman in her 20s was found to have been assaulted and bitten by a dog while two boys under the age of 16 who were also bitten by the dogs – thought to be Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Last month, a mum was mauled to death in a horror dog attack as her partner desperately tried to save her.

The 43-year-old woman, named locally as Joanne Robinson, was savaged at a home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

 A three-year-old was mauled to death by an out-of-control dog in May.

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The month before, a two-year-old boy died following an attack by a dog in Worcester, and an eight-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being bitten on the face in Cannock.

The Office for National Statistics figures show that in the decade up to 1991, 15 people were killed by dogs – but in the past ten years that has more than doubled to 32.

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