Have you ever wondered why dogs are referred to as a man’s best friend? I mean not all dogs are friendly, right? Think about those rude little Chihuahuas, and the vicious looking Neapolitan Mastiffs and Pit bulls. My neighbor has a large German shepherd who keeps barking at everyone; I would never dare to be within four feet of that dog. I remember being chased by an angry stray dog many years ago, as I was walking home from school. It scared the death out of me and only left me alone when I threw a stone at it (Thank God!).
I have seen and heard several cases when domestic dogs attacked family members or innocent people visiting their house. Dog attacks and dog bites can be severe and cause lethal wounds to the victims. In order to understand the conscience of a dog, I read several behavioral research papers. I found out that just like human beings, different dogs have different personalities. Some breeds are just naturally aggressive, but they do not normally attack without reason. There are certain environmental factors that trigger the wild animal in them, and a drive to hunt takes over.
‘Barking Dogs Seldom Bite’ is a popular idiom implying that people who threaten rarely take action. The saying stands correct for dogs as well, although I do not believe that many have actually tested the theory. Who goes near a barking dog to check if it will bite? Anyway, dogs usually bark if they want you to go away; and when you leave, they win. The reason they want you to go is simply that they did not like you. Animals can sense an energy, vibe, or aura that you give off. Sometimes it does not match theirs and forces them to perceive you as an enemy.
Mental illnesses can occur in animals the way they do in humans. Sometimes people lose self-control and cause harm to living and nonliving things around them. Same happens with dogs, and that is the reason many problematic dogs are euthanized. If you are ever under the risk of getting attacked by a dog, the key is to remain calm and cease any movement. Joggers/runners are often attacked because of their fast movements that activate the prey instincts in a dog; dogs chase cars and bikes for the very same reasons. Staying still and quiet is mostly effective in calming the dog, which will then lose interest in you.
About five million dog bite cases occur in the U.S annually. Over 35 people die from dog attack injuries each year, and at least a million require special medical attention or surgery to recover. Dogs are still everyone’s favorite domestic animal and dog-human bond dates back to prehistoric times. Our ancestral nomads somehow established a pact with the hunting wolves, and that was the origin of friendship between dog and man. Wolves are among the most sociable animals on earth and domestic dogs have evolved from the same lineage. They are indeed intelligent animals capable to help us with many tasks.