Dog Expert In Iceland: When A Dog Bites, "The Owner Is The Problem" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Dog Expert In Iceland: When A Dog Bites, “The Owner Is The Problem”

Published April 4, 2018

Photos by
Continentaleurope/Wikimedia Commons

An Alaskan Malamute who bit a five-year-old child last Friday will be put down. A dog expert in Iceland tells reporters that in such cases, the dog owner is the real problem.

RÚV reports that the dog in question was tied up in a backyard in Kópavogur when it attacked the child. It is actually illegal in Iceland to tie a dog up without supervision, for example outside of a shop.

“Most dog bites happen when the dog is tied and has no means of fleeing a situation where it feels threatened,” dog behaviorist Björn Ólafsson told reporters. “Dogs are always dogs, whether they’re big or little. More and more people think their dogs are so wonderful, beautiful and good. Everyone thinks that their dog won’t bite, but that possibility is always there.”

Dogs are by nature predators, he says, and owners need to accept this.

“When a dog ends up biting someone, it is usually a problem with the owner, and it’s the owner who needs to be tamed first,” he said. “We can’t change a dog’s owner. The question comes up of moving the dog to a new home, but who wants a dog with a history of biting?”


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