In an attempt to curb attacks on people by dangerous dogs, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has proposed the introduction of research into conducting personality tests for canines.
AVA spokesman, Jake Russell, told us "We have two issues. One is the 200 or so attacks on livestock each year by wild dogs. There is little we can do about this, but farmers are free to shoot such dogs on sight".
Mr Russell went on, "It is the dog attacks on people in our cities and suburbs which we can take action to reduce. The Dangerous Dogs Act does not really solve this problem, as it identifies only specific breeds as being dangerous. Many attacks are carried out by dogs which do not feature on the list of dangerous breeds. For example, I refer you to a recent case where a Perth man was savaged in an attack by a West Highland Terrier. The victim lost an arm and and suffered terrible injuries to his neck and face when the dog went for his jugular".
Initial trials with canine personality testing are believed to be based on the use of Rorschach's Ink Blot Test, when dogs are shown abstract images and their interpretation of these images is used to identify particular personality traits. A research assistant told us, "Progress is slow. Few of the subjects have shown any interest in the images and appear far more concerned with licking their genitals. The same goes for some of the other tests we are trialling. They mostly rely on self-report, but dogs don't report much besides when they are hungry, horny or need to take a shit".
The research continues.