Shelter Policies in the Management of Canine Aggression

Like many countries Bulgaria has faced serious problems concerning the stray dog population dynamics. Today, municipal authorities widely apply the catch-castrate-release method which allows for free roaming dogs to be caught, vaccinated, castrated, tagged and subsequently released. Some of these dogs are reported to having exhibited aggressive behaviour and performed attacks on people and conspecific animals, which along with the increased number of incidents of domestic dog bites, requires further investigation into the displays and management of canine aggression. The current research has focused on the analysis of good international practices, the study of national legislation and a case study of two municipal shelters in Stara Zagora and Kazanlak respectively and their policies in coping with aggressive behaviour. Overall, results indicate that despite certain underlying common trends, there are also basic differences regarding the measures undertaken by shelter staff. Problems such as shortage of personnel and the lack of qualified animal behaviour experts and a standardized behaviour evaluation test impede progress work and make canine aggression management a hard task to achieve.

Shelter Policies in the Management of Canine Aggression

A. Arnaudova, I. Varlyakov