Investigation into dog attacks and the causes behind them

Investigation into dog attacks and the causes behind them

Dog behaviourist Debbie Connolly, of SafePets UK, has launched a new investigation into dog attacks and the real causes behind them. Via an anonymous questionnaire, the owners of dogs who have bitten people and dog bite victims will be asked a series of questions designed to take a forensic style look at the whole scenario surrounding why these bite attacks happen.

Debbie Connolly feels strongly that there needs to be a full investigation into every serious case and that nothing is being learned, especially by the current Government.

Debbie said: “Every bite and fatality is a sad tragedy that never creates any forward learning or change. As nobody investigates the scenario before the attack happens, where the dog came from or the role played by breeders, sellers and poor rescues, nothing changes. You only have to look at the Government plan to introduce compulsory microchipping in 2016 to see that they haven’t understood the current problem.”

Debbie Connolly is the Training and Behaviour consultant for the Pet Education Trust whose goal is to educate the public in the responsible ownership of pets. They are in full support of this project. A spokesman commented: “A study investigating the time line preceding a dog attack and what other factors could have contributed to the incident is long overdue and we are delighted that Debbie, with her extensive professional experience, has volunteered to undertake this daunting task.”

Statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show a steady and persistent increase in hospital cases caused by dog bites rising from 4,611 hospital admissions between 2007 and 2008 to 6,302 hospital admissions between 2012 and 2013.

Many more people don’t actually require hospital treatment and the numbers from the Health and Social Care statistics don’t reflect the 17 deaths caused by dog bites since 2005.

Debbie Connolly feels the causes are sometimes obvious and aren’t being addressed and added: “Professionals in the dog world are concerned about the impact that bad breeding, puppy farming, irresponsible ownership and the standards of some appalling rescues have on the problems of increasing aggressive dog behaviour. My intention is to find out what is really happening in these dog bite attacks to try and improve the lives of humans and dogs and encourage the creation of meaningful and effective legislation.”

All information is treated confidentially (and submissions are anonymous), so anyone wishing to contribute can get a copy of the questionnaire by emailing or by visiting

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