Anatomy of a Dog Attack — How a Dog Sees an “Unprovoked” Attack

Ryan O'Meara, Editor of Britain's fabulous K9 Magazine, has written a powerful piece that helps us all understand those supposedly "unprovoked" dog attacks. Thanks to...



Ryan O’Meara, Editor of Britain’s fabulous K9 Magazine, has written a powerful piece that helps us all understand those supposedly “unprovoked” dog attacks. Thanks to Ryan for this article with you whcih was originally published on

Anatomy of a Dog Attack

Out of the blue, it attacked for no reason”

When a dog attack is reported we will often hear the same old phrases bandied about.

It came out of the blue”

It was totally unprovoked”

We didnt see it coming”

It was totally out of character”

Ring any bells? Well lets try and understand how and why a dog might attack someone.

Dogs rarely, if ever, attack for no reason. Us humans often misinterpret a dog attacking out of the blue” and without warning” because we simply missed the signs.

Lets be clear about one thing. A dog who is prepared to bite someone has his reasons. Can we, as humans, justify those reasons using the social values of people? Probably not. But of course, dogs do not live their lives according to human social values.

Here is the story of John, Henry and Max.

John has no wife or children. For the last five years hes lived with his best friend in the world a playful Labrador called Max.

John is exited today. Henry, an old friend from school who he hasnt seen for many years is visiting.

John decides today would be a good day to get his garden tidied, make a good impression on his old school chum.

As John gets busy in amongst the weeds in the front garden, he spies his old mate making his way up the street.

Henrys been looking forward to catching up with John for weeks and, as hes never been to his home before, finds himself feeling somewhat jubilant to realise hes managed to find the street on which John lives without too much trouble and can now relish the prospect of seeing his friend again as well as finally getting to meet the only true love of Johns life, the much talked about Max.

Its a hot and sunny day and Henry is wearing his sunglasses. Further up the street he spots John working in his front garden.

Johns already noticed Henry making his way towards him and yells out, Hi Henry. Fancy a beer?”

Henry shouts back, Sounds just the job. Can you believe this heat?.”

As per usual, Max has been helping John with his gardening exploits by digging holes of his own all over the lawn. John doesnt mind. He only wanted the garden so he could have somewhere safe to play fetch with Max on sunny days like today. Hes never been one for trying to keep it immaculate when Maxs favourite hobby is trying to tunnel his way to China.

Max has stopped his gardening though. Hes become preoccupied by the exchange between John and Henry and hes taken a trip the front gate to see whats going on.

I wonder who this bloke is?” ponders Max.

Why would he and John be shouting at other?” he thinks to himself.

Id better be on full alert.” he concludes. Johns just shouted at this chap so he obviously wants me to keep an eye out.”

Max fixes himself in position at the front gate and hoists his tail high into the air, hes keen to let the oncoming stranger know hes about.

John doesnt notice.

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