Italian woman mauled to death by five pet Czechoslovakian wolfdogs
The five Czechoslovakian wolfhounds that killed their owner in a town near Turin - Telegraph
An Italian woman was beaten to death by her five Czechoslovakian wolfhounds, sparking a debate about the danger of the increasingly popular crossbreed dog.
Mariangela Zaffino, a 74-year-old pensioner, was attacked by her five dogs in her apartment in the town of Grugliasco near Turin.
It was found by her daughter, who said the dogs, a cross between wild wolves and German Shepherds that display many wolf-like characteristics, had shown no signs of dangerousness in the past.
However, the neighbors have questioned the wisdom of Mrs. Zaffino and her daughter to keep five large dogs in a small apartment.
The police are trying to find out what could have caused the dogs Ares, Aylen, Artù, Aragorn and Apache to attack their owner.
A fully grown Czechoslovakian Wolfhound - Alamy
Massimo Penz, a local police commander, said the dogs had been legally registered with authorities. "We have never had complaints about the behavior of the dogs," he said.
The animals were looked after as the authorities decide what to do with them.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfhound, slimmer than a wolf but displaying many of its physical characteristics, is a legal breed that has become popular in Italy in recent years.
The breed was established in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s when an Alsatian was crossed with a Carpathian wolf to produce an aggressive breed that could be used as guard dogs along the Iron Curtain.
It was recognized as a separate breed in 1982. Wolfhounds are highly intelligent, difficult to train, and require a lot of exercise. They are not recommended for families with children.
The Czechoslovak wolfhound has become popular in Italy - Alamy
The animals are known for their strength and endurance. Men can weigh more than 50 pounds while women weigh up to 45 pounds.
Fabrizio Rondalino, a former owner of a Czechoslovakian wolfhound, said that while the breed is highly intelligent and energetic, “it is not allowed to get out. It's a man-made invention, one of the worst races ever created. "
The dogs were loyal to their trainers but could quickly tune in and attack others. The breed requires extremely rigorous training and requires an "enormous" amount of living space, said Mr Rondalino, who looked after a wolfhound for 18 months but had to pass it on to a friend who was a professional trainer.
"The breed has a highly developed predatory instinct," he wrote in the Corriere della Sera newspaper. The best option would be to sterilize any existing Czechoslovakian wolfhound and make the breed extinct, he said.
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