A group of scientists has identified more than 2,000 “dogs” classified in the New South Wales state as “dangerous” and has posted a picture of the classifieds on its website.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, identified more dogs than previously known.
The research team found that “dogs classified as ‘dangerous’ and ‘exhibited’ have been in existence for more than 1,000 years” in New South, NSW, and “have been reported in Australia for more recent than 1 million years”.
“In some cases, dogs have been listed as ‘unwanted pets’ for as long as 1,500 years”, the scientists wrote.
The researchers believe the animals could be at risk of being “tamed and sold” to “foster” them.
“This could have a profound impact on their future ability to function and adapt to a wide range of environmental, economic and social contexts, including human society,” the researchers wrote.
“As an example, we found that, although some dogs have previously been classified as wild dogs, there are likely to be significant numbers of dogs classified as domesticated and/or dog-only.”
The researchers analysed more than 50,000 classifieds in the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) database and “gathered” some of the most significant results from the results.
The most dangerous dogs classified include “puppies, young dogs, young adult dogs, medium dogs, and old dogs”, according to the researchers.
Dogs that were classified as “unknown” in the study had not been seen in the database before and “were never seen before”.
Dogs that had been classified by a vet had not seen a vet before.
“Many of these dogs have long been kept as pets and were considered ‘unadoptable’ until recently,” the scientists said.
“However, this has not been recognised in the scientific literature and the vast majority of these dog-owned dogs are still ‘unfeared’.” The researchers also identified “pets with low or no socialisation” and “dogs that have been abandoned by owners and/and that were subsequently found to be dangerous.”
The dogs that had “low socialisation”, including “non-human primates, non-human rodents and non-native birds”, “have a history of exposure to people and other animals and have no significant ability to communicate or communicate with other dogs,” the authors wrote.
A “number of dogs are reported to have been previously bred to have a high degree of fear or aggression towards humans”.
Dogs are “extremely dangerous” in Australia and the researchers were “surprised to find that most dogs are dangerous, especially in comparison to the relatively small number of dogs currently classified as dangerous”.
“The findings highlight the need for effective regulatory, oversight and research policies that promote the health and welfare of all dogs, particularly those that are at high risk,” the study authors said.
The team also found that the “most commonly used categorisation system, the ‘dog category’, does not capture the complexity of this system.”
They also found some dogs that were “very small and/ or unadoptive” were listed as “unsafe”, “dangerously small”, “unsocial” and other categories.
“While some dogs can be very large and/ and are very dangerous, it is likely that most such dogs are not dangerous,” the research team wrote.
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