AP607 Special Issues in Companion Animal Policy: Dangerous Dogs

Course Description

Although dogs have long enjoyed the status of man's best friend, there are instances in which dogs show aggressive behavior towards humans. This course examines the issue of dog bites, how they occur, when they occur, what initiates this behavior, the consequences of dog aggression, and what humans can do about this unwanted behavior. Victim behavior as well as policy and community prevention responses are reviewed. 3 credits

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the range of canine behaviors that fall under the category of ‘"Dangerous Dogs"’ and factors that contribute to canine aggression.
  • Critique tethering laws, insurance regulations specific to certain breeds, dog fighting laws, breed bans, and other policies aimed at dangerous dogs.
  • Formulate policies and programs to prevent canine aggression.

Course Topics

(Subject to Change)

  • Overview of Animal Aggression
  • Overview of Canine Aggression
  • Dog Behavior: Types of Canine Aggression
  • Influence of Genetics, Environment and Humane Behavior on Canine Aggression
  • Bully Breeds and Dog Fighting
  • Fatal Dog Attacks
  • Shelter and Community Prevention Policies on Aggressive Dogs

Course Materials

(Subject to Change)

  • Delise, Karen. The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths, and Politics of Canine Aggression. Anubis Press, 2007.
  • Harris, David. The Bully Breeds. Kennel Club Books, 2008.