Statistics on Dog Attacks

Our latest report about dog attacks on guide dogs was released on 10 June 2013 and shows some alarming statistics. You can help us campaign to keep guide dogs safe from attacks by taking our online action.  

  • A total of 240 dog attacks on guide dogs were reported between March 2011 and February 2013, that is an average of ten attacks a month. This is an increase since Guide Dogs’ last report in 2012, which showed an average of eight attacks a month.
  • Five of the dogs attacked in the period March 2011 – February 2013 have been permanently withdrawn from service, costing Guide Dogs an estimated £171,657. This cost to our charity, which receives no government funding for the guide dogs service, reduces our ability to provide services for blind and partially sighted people.
  • Guide Dogs’ researchers also found evidence that the bond between a person with sight loss and a guide dog is even stronger than an owner and a pet dog, so an attack can be even more detrimental than on a pet dog, and they can both lose vital confidence and trust - in some cases, never wanting to go out again.
  • Almost a quarter of the victims attacked in 2011-13 had been attacked before and, of these, 26% had been attacked before by the same aggressor dog – this indicates it is the same irresponsible owners who are causing problems and need to be deterred by robust legislation to make it a prosecutable offence.
  • Alarmingly, aggressor dogs were not with their owner on 22% of occasions and were with their owner but off the lead on a further 42% of occasions. Allowing dogs to roam alone and out of control demonstrates that the owners don’t have a proper understanding of their responsibilities as a dog owner.

"A change in the law can’t come quickly enough for our guide dog owners, who too often have to bear the devastating consequences of these attacks. When a guide dog is attacked, someone with sight loss can completely lose their means of getting out and about independently. The impact on their life is huge and we are calling on the Government to do everything in its power to promote responsible dog ownership, deter these attacks, and ensure this deeply worrying trend does not continue."

-Guide Dogs' Chief Executive Richard Leaman


Guide dog Orlando sits down

"I wanted the other dog to attack me instead of Orlando"

- Guide Dog Owner, London

Want to help Guide Dogs' campaigning work? Join our e-campaigner mailing list and be kept up to date with all the latest campaigns news and actions every few months.