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Video: Research Into The Hostility Of Animals (including Dogs) To Humans
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
From the entire field of animal behavior research, we will choose a topic that is of particular importance for every dog owner, and even more so for specialists (trainers, veterinarians, kennel workers) - the manifestation of aggressiveness in a dog towards humans (when and why a pet is hostile to a person).
But first, let us consider and analyze the cases when animals (especially wild ones) take flight at the sight of a person. Knowing this feature of their behavior, you can better understand the reasons for the hostility of animals (including dogs) to humans.
In nature, any wild animal is alerted when a person appears, preparing to run away the next second. A person approaches - the beast turns to flight: the instinct of self-preservation is triggered, a reflex response to the approach of a person arises - the desire to escape.
The animal "starts to run away" only when a person violates the safety zone, approaches him at a strictly defined distance, which we will call the distance that prompts the animal to flee (scaring distance). Its length is known for many species of animals (accurate to the meter!). For example, if a person approaching a herd of peacefully grazing zebras approaches a distance of 30 m, the zebras will flee - this means that the scare distance for zebras is 30 m. However, this distance can vary depending on various internal and external reasons. and circumstances, including from the experience of previous animal-human contacts.
So, for animals in the reserve, it is noticeably shorter than for animals living in places where hunting for them is allowed. The reason for the change in the length of the scaring distance can be the ability of the animal to adapt to such a "parameter" as the "firing range of a hunting rifle", with which they "go" to an animal of this species. For example, for individual representatives of wild fauna in places where they are hunted with arrows and darts, this distance is much shorter than for animals living in places where hunting is carried out with firearms. In addition, every hiker could notice that, for example, wild ducks distinguish the approach of a hunter with a gun from a harmless (unarmed) traveler.
Animals, to which man for generations did not give a reason to regard himself as an enemy, sometimes do not feel fear of him at all and do not seek to hide when he approaches. They will allow themselves to be killed without even trying to escape or put up any resistance. An example is the situation in the Galapagos Islands, where wild animals do not flee when they encounter local residents.
Having noticed a person, the animal, as a rule, does not run far, it only runs back to a safe distance … If the pursuit of the animal continues, and the distance between him and the person is constantly decreasing, then the animal's retreat is replaced by a readiness to attack the pursuer. Such readiness is explained only by the desire to take protective measures, "force" a person to stay at a certain distance and thus, has the character of only necessary self-defense. The self-defense reaction is manifested only if the pursuer approaches a shorter distance, leaving the animal no hope of escape. We would call this distance the self-defense distance. It should be noted that the length of this distance is practically the same for different representatives of the animal world. The manifestation of the self-defense reaction can be observed in the behavior of people. So, in a game or street fight between the boys, one of them "runs away" from the other. However, at the last moment, when it seems that the “enemy” has already completely overtaken him, the fleeing person suddenly turns around and, in order not to get stabbed in the back, goes on the attack and delivers a preemptive blow.
A similar reaction is observed in those cases when the animal receives a serious injury that does not allow it to continue running, or an insurmountable obstacle arises in front of the fleeing animal, and it finds itself driven into a kind of dead end.
There are also circumstances of a psychological nature (for example, an animal is in a herd where there are newborns or, while running away, it carries along young animals that are not so fast, physically not very hardy and will not be able to run further). It is in such situations that the animal is forced to attack a person.
Aggressive attack is a response to critical circumstances (critical reaction)
Most accidents with humans in the wild are due to their violation of the critical distance, which prompts animals to respond appropriately to critical, threatening circumstances.
This also applies to those cases when the beast for some reason cannot continue to flee. At the same time, a person, not taking into account this circumstance, continues to consciously or unconsciously approach the animal. For example, when a person does not notice a sleeping animal. The animal usually misses the moment when a person violates the distance that prompts to escape, and wakes up only when the person has already violated the distance of self-defense. This usually happens with a bear. This animal in nature has practically no enemies, therefore it sleeps very soundly and wakes up only when a person disturbed its den.
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