Are Dogs Actually Vicious? The Truth Behind Dog Attacks

Are Dogs Actually Vicious? The Truth Behind Dog Attacks

November 30, 2017 No Comment

All dogs, no matter how cute or cuddly they look today, are descended from an ancient, prehistoric wolf that we believe was discovered in Asia and Europe. You may not see it in most dogs today, but the instincts of those wolves still exist in all dogs, so it is important to remember to treat these animals with respect.

Are Dogs Actually Vicious?

Over generations, dogs have been relied on to protect humans and livestock. Some dogs are used for sport, like hunting, or dog fighting, which is outlawed in many countries. Pit bulls and Rottweilers have a reputation as vicious dogs. However, a little Chihuahua can be just as vicious. So, why are these breeds considered vicious?

Oddly, size does matter when dogs are labeled vicious. In the case of dogs with massive jaws like the Rottweiler, their gentler, playful side is offset by their vise-like grip of their jaws. Yet, the smaller Chihuahua is not known to back down from a conflict when threatened.

The Truth Behind Dog Attacks

Unfortunately, there are nearly 4.5 million dog bite incidents each year, and 20 percent of those require medical attention. This is a huge deal. So what makes a dog lash out? Most domesticated dogs are not likely to attack unless they feel pain or are continuously abused. Feral canines that have been abandoned and left to their own survival instincts are more likely to attack. They see humans as a threat, causing them to attack when confronted.

The truth behind dog attacks is that there are several factors that incite these attacks. These include:

  • Extreme fear
  • Unwarranted or neglectful captivity
  • Prior physical abuse
  • Deprivation of proper care and nourishment

Canine Psychology

The amazing thing about most canine breeds is their inherent intelligence. This comes down from prehistoric ancestry. Often, humans are aware their domesticated dog has an almost human intelligence. This may be due to another factor: their closeness and adaptation to humans.

Once a dog is domesticated, they have the ability to retain training in memory. This is also why dogs attack for what seems to be no reason. They may be recalling abuse from the past.

Psychologically, dogs are not very different than humans when it comes to protecting themselves. Biting is a weapon of self-protection. Humans have a multitude of weapons for self-protection. Dogs have only their teeth, strong jaws and a stronger grip.


If you own a dog and you want to avoid dealing with an attack, it is important that you take good care of your dog. Make sure they are getting the proper food and exercise they need. Like people, dogs become irritated when they are cooped up for long periods of time. A loved dog is a happy dog, and happy dogs don’t bite people.

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