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Incidence and impact of dog attacks on guide dogs in the UK: an update

Moxon, Rachel; Whiteside, H.; England, Gary C.W.


Rachel Moxon

H. Whiteside

Gary C.W. England


Data on dog attacks on Guide Dogs’ stock were reviewed to investigate the characteristics of the attacks. An average of 11.2 attacks occurred each month. Nearly all of the attacks occurred in public areas, 68.4 per cent of victim dogs were qualified guide dogs and 55.5 per cent of victim dogs were working in harness when they were attacked. Guide Dogs’ stock were injured in 43.2 per cent of attacks and veterinary costs for attacks were estimated at £34,514.30. Over 40 per cent of qualified guide dogs’ working ability was affected and >20 per cent of qualified guide dogs required some time off from working after a dog attack. Twenty dogs were permanently withdrawn from the Guide Dogs’ programme as a result of dog attacks, 13 of which were qualified and working with guide dog owners at the time of the withdrawal; this resulted in a financial cost of >£600,000 to the charity. More importantly perhaps, temporary and permanent withdrawals have a significant impact upon the mobility and independence of guide dog owners and in many cases significantly impacted their emotional well-being.


Moxon, R., Whiteside, H., & England, G. C. (2016). Incidence and impact of dog attacks on guide dogs in the UK: an update. Veterinary Record, 178(15), Article 367.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Feb 28, 2016
Publication Date Apr 9, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 22, 2016
Journal Veterinary Record
Print ISSN 0042-4900
Electronic ISSN 2042-7670
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 178
Issue 15
Article Number 367
Keywords Guide dogs, Intraspecific aggression, Dog attack, Canine aggression
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information © 2016 British Veterinary Association


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