Kids Mistaken For Prey

By July 12, 2012July 12th, 2021News and Press

A dog expert has told Sky News Online that hounds may attack children because they mistake them for injured animals. Stan Rawlinson explained how screaming, whimpering or crying youths could set off the canine predatory instinct. He said: “Their predatory instinct may have then taken over, the sounds stimulating the part of the brain that deals with hunting and chase. “They were hunters at some time.”

Updated: 14:13, Tuesday January 02, 2007

A dog expert has told Sky News Online that hounds may attack children because they mistake them for injured animals.

Stan Rawlinson explained how screaming, whimpering or crying youths could set off the canine predatory instinct.

He said: “Their predatory instinct may have then taken over, the sounds stimulating the part of the brain that deals with hunting and chase.

“They were hunters at some time.”

The dog behaviourist said it was crucial that powerful canines were well-trained and “socialised” early with children and adults.

He blamed many attacks on owners who buy dogs to be a “masculinity extension” and fail to have them properly trained.

Mr Rawlinson said: “They want their dogs to be aggressive because they are sometimes aggressive themselves.

“And dogs mimic their owners. If you put a dog in with a little old lady with a Zimmer frame the dogs will start creeping around itself in two years.

“Put the same dog in a family with three children, and it will be climbing the walls in no time.”

He also slammed owners who leave their animals on their own for long periods in the day because they start guarding things, including their own body space.

Mr Rawlinson warned body language was crucial when confronted by an aggressive dog.

The trainer advised:

:: Do not make eye contact. Turn you head away slightly from the dog.
:: Lick lips and yawn.
:: Do not run or scream – “it will stimulate the dog’s predatory instinct”.
:: Make yourself as small as possible.

For more dog handling tips, visit Mr Rawlinson’s website: www.doglistener.co.uk.

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