Vol. 3 No. 3 (2017)

Aggression types performed by dogs registered in an Italian sanitary district: preliminary results

Published 2017-12-21


  • dog,
  • aggression


Aim of this research was to classify the distinct types of canine aggression registered by the public veterinary service in a sanitary district of Liguria, Italy (ASL 5 Spezzino). The data sheets of biter dogs, recorded in the registers of ASL 5, also containing a space to report the accurate description of the aggression that permitted its classification by a veterinary behaviorist were used. The information was obtained examining 1,389 records, referring to the period from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016. The aggressive episodes coded were: irritation (n=137), redirect (n=107), territorial (n=81), protective (n=76), play (n=64), fear (n=48), predatory (n=35), food (n=26), possessive (n=18) and maternal (n=1).

Canine aggression is one of the most felt problems by the public opinion and it can constitute a serious danger to the safety of people. In the past, attention was paid to the analysis of the dog bites from different points of view, trying to correlate them to the period, the breed and sex of the animal, but little attention was paid to the identification of the type of aggression. In conclusions these first data, although preliminary, could be useful to better prevent the most frequent forms of aggression among those reported to the health authority.