Human-directed dog aggression; a systematic review

Newman, Jenny
Human-directed dog aggression; a systematic review. Master of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Human-directed dog aggression is a worldwide issue with major public health and animal welfare implications. Consequences for the target of aggression range from fear and minor injury, to life threatening injury and death, and for the dog impaired freedoms, restricted interactions and ultimately euthanasia. The systematic review undertaken here aimed to identify and assimilate all robust evidence regarding factors that affect the risk of human-directed dog aggression. Such information is vital for the development of sound preventive strategies. Multiple electronic literature databases were interrogated in order to identify all evidence for risk factors of human-directed dog aggression. The search strategy was designed to minimise the risk of publication and language biases, specificity was sacrificed for sensitivity. The threshold for acceptance of evidence was predetermined at a moderate level; any study that provided evidence with a low risk of confounding and bias and a moderate probability that any relationship identified was causal would reach the final review. Appraisal examined methodological quality, study design, selection process, measurement of outcome and exposures, and type and quality of analysis. All stages of appraisal were undertaken blind to the study findings. On assimilating the evidence identified, no robust evidence for any risk factors of human-directed dog aggression was identified. Eight studies provided a moderate level of somewhat conflicting evidence. Amongst those studies appraised as failing to reach the moderate level of acceptable evidence, the majority were excluded as a result of multiple limitations. It is vital that future research is undertaken to a high methodological standard in order that it provides robust evidence for the effect of any risk factor identified.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2012-06 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: dog aggression bite behaviour systematic review epidemiology risk factor
Subjects: ?? R1 ??
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences > School of Veterinary Science
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2013 10:34
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:37
DOI: 10.17638/00007753
  • Christley, Robert M