Canines Attack Caregiver

Not at all familiar with the town or either of the two dog breeds mentioned. Is anyone knowledgeable about canines to know what might cause a group to turn on someone who has before cared for them?

Initially I thought caring for a group this size—five canines—might be a bit much for a boy in the early teens, but, as indicated by the article, he had cared for them before.

Condolences to the family of the young man. Normally I wish for no euthanasia of animals unless they are extremely ill or injured, but, in this instance, the town made the right decision, IMO.

Scary stuff. I love dogs but they are animals in the end. No idea why some dogs snap. Most dogs though are beautiful / friendly creatures.

I think I had seen that, and the home in question had more than those dogs and was a border himself. Some breeds in packs can be aggressive depending on their circumstances, training, and confidence of the human; once a pack gets going and you lose your footing, it can spiral out of control.

I had read that the dogs were Belgian and Dutch shepherds. (I suspected they weren’t pits, because if they had been the headline would have read “pit bulls” where it reads “dogs.”)

There is an organization - I think it’s called the National Canine Research Council - that profiles dog attacks. There are several factors that go into why a dog bites and what triggers certain dogs to react aggressively. Dogs in a group may attack because the excitement of one stimulates excitement in the rest, and without a strong leader and a directed outlet for the energy, the dogs may direct that energy toward the human. Unfortunately, under-exercised dogs - particularly if they are a high energy breed - can lead to negative and destructive behavior. Belgian and Dutch shepherds are basically herding breeds but they are highly trainable and excellent utility dogs, often used for police and security work. They are very high energy.

There is also breed specific behavior that is hard to get rid of. Terrier’s are bred to flush vermin so they have a high prey drive and speed, herders will often instinctively nudge or nip to “herd” people (my GSD “herds” me toward the door when it’s time for a walk) hounds tend to be very vocal because they alert the pack and the hunters toward the prey.

Very sad situation. It would certainly be helpful to have an incident profile if that’s possible.