“Tragedies are exceptions. They make news, but they are indeed exceptions. And they can be avoided with a few tricks “
Mauled by two dogs, two Almstaffs, in the courtyard of a house a few hundred meters from their home. It was the tragic end of Carla Gorzanelli, 89 years old from Sassuolo, in the province of Modena. The latest episode of many: there are about 70 thousand cases of aggression every year, according to a 2017 Codacons report. Issues such as the alleged aggressiveness of some types of dogs and the need for insurance for their owners return to the fore.
“The scientific data we have so far say that there is no correspondence between the number of aggressions and some specific breeds”, explains LaPresse the behaviorist veterinarian Daniele Merlano. “It is obvious that large dogs such as molossoids can cause more serious injuries – he adds -, but it is a superficial speech”. For Merlano, in fact, the causes for a dog’s aggression can be the most varied, “starting from the most frequent one, fear or lack of socialization”.
In recent years there have been many cases. Last, in order of time, that of Simona Cavallaro, twenty years old attacked and killed by a dozen large dogs in Satriano, in the province of Catanzaro, where she was on a trip with friends. A few days earlier, on August 24, it was Lorenza Pioletti, 64 from Pieve Vergonte, in the province of Verbania-Cusio-Ossola, who died torn to pieces by a staffordshire bull terrier she owned, who had also attacked her brother in the past. Often, it is children who lose their lives.
In Tricase on 12 April 2020, an 8-month-old baby died torn to pieces by a Corso. On August 16, 2016, an 18-month-old child lost his life, attacked by one of the two Argentine dogo owned by his father, in a villa in Mascalucia, province of Catania. Even earlier, in June 2013, a 17-month-old baby was killed by German shepherds owned by his uncle in Siena.
For Merlano, the point also lies in the scarce ability, at times, to choose a dog suited to one’s abilities: «I have seen cases of hunting dogs that need to run 2-3 hours a day to be given away to very old people. There are those who take an Argentine dogo as their first dog, when animals of that type need a more expert guide. In short, we need to understand the possibilities and times to dedicate to the animal, avoiding leaving it alone in the garden or at home all the time ».
Also because the risk is that unsocialized dogs can create serious risks, despite themselves. And the question of dog insurance by the owners inevitably comes up again, also as protection from potential tragic events. For Merlano, «beyond the specific case of Sassuolo, which may have who knows how many facets to deal with, I would say that it is advisable to have insurance. However, we must not think only on this issue, most large dogs are perfectly socialized and without any problems. I don’t know to what extent making sure can be useful in solving the problem of general dog management ».
The advice is therefore to try to follow some socialization courses: “There are a lot of them organized by instructors and educators, just a few tools are enough to develop an excellent relationship with your dog”, concludes the veterinarian. “Tragedies are exceptions. They make news, but they are indeed exceptions. And they can be avoided with a few tricks ».
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