Dog Trainers,  Industry News

Dog attacks soar 46% in five years, investigation reveals

The number of dog attacks reported to police has soared by 46% in five years, a new investigation reveals.

The Sunday People analysed figures from 16 of the UK’s 45 police forces and found that over the past five years:

■ There was a 73% increase in attacks in the West Midlands.

■ The most recorded incidents were in Essex, at 4,425.

■ In 80% of incidents in Gwent, Wales, victims did not know the dog.

Pamela Dempsey, who runs Impackt Behaviour, a centre for canine training, told the Sunday People: “I am saddened by the figures but not remotely surprised. I’m surprised they’re not higher.

“I have seen an astronomical rise in dog attacks in my own dog behavioural clinics. I used to see dog bites maybe once a month – now it’s three or four times a week.

“I’d say this is just the tip of the iceberg and more attacks are yet to come.”

The Sunday People’s Freedom of Information request also discovered that in the past five years, there were 4,248 attacks in the West Midlands and 3,806 in Greater Manchester.

After West Midlands, the biggest percentage rises were in Gloucestershire (64%) and Wiltshire (60%).

Jane Robinson, Chair of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK, told The Sunday People: “Despite trainers offering classes via Zoom, many dogs went without the type of training that taught them vital skills.

“In lockdown, we also saw some breeders breeding dogs who hadn’t had proper health checks being sold at exorbitant prices. These dogs now have health issues which impact behaviour.

“There are no quick fixes for changing behaviour – social media posts on TikTok or Instagram may make it look slick but do your research and make sure the ‘trainer’ you’re following is fully accredited with a respected training body.”


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