Public Perceptions of Dangerous Dogs and Dog Risk

CLAIRE PARKINSON*, Lara Herring, David Gould

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportProject report

2015 Downloads (Pure)


This report presents a background literature survey and the results of research undertaken to gain insights into public perceptions of dangerous dogs and dog risk in the UK. The project used a public questionnaire distributed primarily via closed social media groups and analysed the responses from 1,535 UK participants. Most of the questionnaire respondents (88.6%) were current dog owners. Of these, around a quarter were first-time dog owners and one fifth of all respondents had experience of bull breeds. A clear majority (87.1%) of respondents said that dogs liked them and that they were ‘good with dogs’. Of particular interest to the team were questions of where the public get their information about dog behaviour and dog risk, what is understood as ‘dangerous’ dog behaviour, people’s understanding of canine body language, and situational awareness of bite risk. The aim of this research is to contribute to finding an alternative strategy to breed specific legislation which protects the public and dogs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages149
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Research Centres

  • Centre for Human Animal Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Public Perceptions of Dangerous Dogs and Dog Risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this