What caused dogs to attack their owner?

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,927
Las Vegas, NV USA
#1
A woman was killed by pet dogs she raised from birth. The attack was gruesome and occurred while she was walking them in the woods. She raised them from birth and the dogs were observed to be affectionate with family members and friends. The dogs where still feeding on the body when police arrived and criminal involvement appears to be ruled out.

I think the fact that owner and left the dogs with the father whose care might be questionable had something to do with it. Could the dogs have felt abandoned and betrayed by their otherwise loving owner?


""Still, at least one question remains. Why did these dogs, who friends said had a strong bond with Stephens, turn on her?

I don’t think there’s any way we can definitively say what caused the attack,” Agnew told reporters.

Sgt. Mike Blackwood of the sheriff’s office has a theory.

Stephens had been living elsewhere and had left the dogs with her father. The dogs, which were previously indoor animals, were left in a kennel outside with little human contact, aside from a visit from Stephens about five times a week, Blackwood told reporters.

“Just trying to create a little background with what might have occurred with that when they became a little distant from their owner towards the end,” he said.

Stephens’s friend Barbara Norris was among those who weren’t convinced by authorities’ account of her death, saying the dogs, which Stephens had been raising since they were puppies, would never turn on her, ABC affiliate WRIC reported."

From the Washington Post, Dec 19, 2017
 
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Jake10

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
11,960
Canada
#2
Dogs will do things like that when they become mentally ill or are mistreated. Mistreated could mean a number of things, but without knowing what they went through we can only guess. There is something that we need to keep in mind about raising dogs, and that is you should never play a game with them that you cannot win. The reason being they can start to see you as a lower ranking member of the pack. That usually doesn't lead to such a vicious attack, but it can result in dogs trying to dominate humans.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,927
Las Vegas, NV USA
#3
Dogs will do things like that when they become mentally ill or are mistreated. Mistreated could mean a number of things, but without knowing what they went through we can only guess. There is something that we need to keep in mind about raising dogs, and that is you should never play a game with them that you cannot win. The reason being they can start to see you as a lower ranking member of the pack. That usually doesn't lead to such a vicious attack, but it can result in dogs trying to dominate humans.
I see that, but in this case it seems almost like an ambush. The owner was visiting the dogs regularly while they were kept by the father. Apparently the dogs left with owner as usual and attacked her when they got to the woods. One could almost imagine the two dogs plotting to "get her" this time. It seems like very strange behavior, even for Pit Bulls
 

Jake10

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
11,960
Canada
#5
I see that, but in this case it seems almost like an ambush. The owner was visiting the dogs regularly while they were kept by the father. Apparently the dogs left with owner as usual and attacked her when they got to the woods. One could almost imagine the two dogs plotting to "get her" this time. It seems like very strange behavior, even for Pit Bulls
When it comes to dogs, it doesn't matter if they're pit bulls or whatever breed. If people start kicking the dogs in the head or something, this is what can happen. Actually, even humans who suffer brain lesions can become violent criminals. I'm not saying that's what happened, but dogs don't normally attack the people who raise them.

When brain lesions occur within the brain network responsible for morality and value-based decision-making, they can predispose a person toward criminal behavior, according to new research.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171218154935.htm
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,927
Las Vegas, NV USA
#7
Because they are wild animals.

Better to get a cat
Pit Bulls are by definion bred. Only a fraction are bred to fight. They are domestic animals, not wild dogs or wolves. These particular dogs were raised from birth by the owner. There was no information about their bloodline and that might be something to consider.
 
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Jun 2012
7,121
Malaysia
#9
Cud it that they had been underfed for a while? And then that, combining with some other pent-up doggie frustrations, suddenly burst savagely out of control in a moment of confusion or anger?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,927
Las Vegas, NV USA
#10
Cud it that they had been underfed for a while? And then that, combining with some other pent-up doggie frustrations, suddenly burst savagely out of control in a moment of confusion or anger?
That may be at least part of it. The owner's father was lax in his care and the dogs may have been underfed. But the two dogs seemed to work together. They didn't attack at her father's house, but only later in a wooded area where she had walked them. The attack occurred there. Her body wasn't dragged there. The dogs apparently had no history of violence but they were probably mistreated by the father and decided to take it out on her. The two dogs seemed be working together when the police arrived. It's as if the two dogs agreed to a plan. Very strange.
 
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