There is a saying that a dog cannot
bite the 'hands' that feed him. It's logical to conclude that a dog
will not bite the person that feeds him but not necessarily the owner
of the dog. It's one thing to own a dog and another thing to be close
to the dog. Many Nigerians own dogs that they hardly come close to.
Acquiring dogs for security is very common here than having them as
pets. Some owners see these dogs as their protectors and they leave
non-family members to bathe, feed, walk, and play with their dogs.
Especially their security men.
Understanding these problems has really
helped me in my veterinary practice because when these dogs are
brought for treatment I immediately ask for the handler to get every
detail, most times the owner will put a call to his or her security
man for answers. Sometimes it's the cook or domestic help that
answers my questions. Many owners have their reasons for this
behavior toward their dogs but to the dogs, he doesn't take you as their
Many dogs will tolerate their owners
because they see them from time to time with their handler but will
never give them the same attention as they give their handler. Don't
get me wrong, there are dogs that were close to their owners as
puppies before they become adult dogs so they still have great
respect for their owners.
As change is constant, these handlers
might have one reason or the other to leave the house or the
environment leaving the owner to care for the dogs, this is where
problems begin to arise. The dog might refuse to go into his cage
when the owner wants without knowing the time the handler usually sends them into the cage. Some owners might want to force them by
trying to use a stick to beat them into submission. Some dogs will
resist and might become very violent to their owner at this point.
The dog will forgive you if you're able
to understand the established routine which was made by their
previous handler. I have seen many cases like this and most times the
owner will have to give the dog away to buy a new puppy and start
afresh. This time around these owners learn the hard lesson and do
Some dogs were acquired as adults
without prior knowledge of the real behavior of the dog and how to
socialize the dog. In my experience, many adult dogs were acquired
because of a previous robbery attack where the owner needed a quick fix
to the security situation by acquiring a fully grown dog to guard the
house against intruders. Some of these dogs are acquired without a full
description of the dog's routine and behavior. Then reports of an attack
on their owners start to ensue.
Most of these dogs will not just see
the new owners and jump into the attack. Usually, something happens that
made the dog react in violence towards the owner. Some people are
good at taming violent dogs and mostly not by beating them to force
them into submission, but by showing love towards them, and naturally,
they will reciprocate. Sometimes these dogs might attack the person
but the person still return love to the dog by giving him some
treats, food, and water. Sometimes, just taking the dog on a walk can
be a game changer.
One other thing that can make a dog go violent on the owner is when the owner tries to force them to do
what a stranger wants especially when it involves a vet doctor trying
to attend to the dog. Some dogs hate needles or injections and
would get aggressive to anyone be it the owner or not to prevent the
needles from reaching their skin.
It's important to have close contact
with your dog and have sufficient knowledge of the behavior of your
dog in other to prevent these kinds of violence, especially towards
you the owner. It will also guide the vet to take the necessary