- One of the world's largest studies of dogs on walks reveals how factors affect behavior.
- The presence or not of a leash, the sex of the owner, and the sex of the dog all predict how aggressive a dog will be.
Dogs being walked by men are four times more likely to threaten and bite other dogs and dogs on a leash are more likely to act aggressively than dogs off the leash.
These are just a couple of revelations about dog walking behavior from an extensive new study that examined how a dog's age, sex and size, as well as the owner's sex and use of a leash, affect how canines act on their walks.
The study, accepted for publication in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, surprisingly found that the sex of the owner had the biggest effect on whether or not the dog would threaten or bite another dog.
"We propose that the occurrence of threat and biting in dogs on a walk may have some connection with aggressive tendencies and/or impulsivity in people," Petr Rezac and his team wrote, adding that "dogs are able to perceive subtle messages of threat emitted by another dog. Simultaneously, dogs are unusually skilled at reading human social and communicative behavior."