Off the coast of Western Australia, with sharks swimming beside the shore, two dogs taking a routine swim with a pack of finned foes have become a new YouTube sensation.
Russell Hood, an Australian photographer and fisherman, was filming the dogs for a feature on his blog, Fishing Western Australia. To his surprise, despite the dogs being surrounded, outnumbered, and outsized by the predators, one of the dogs unleashed some paws-to-the-wall fury, biting one of the sharks. With some slight wrestling and chewing on cartilage, the entire school of sharks was sent away.
"He’s giving him a bite!" Hood reacts ecstatically on the video, which has now been seen by over 2 million YouTube viewers. "The dog is biting the shark … I’ve seen it all."
But before anyone who sees a fin rising in shallow waters during a beach visit undoes the leash of their dog and says "sick him!", it should be noted that the kind of sharks in the water with the dogs are unknown.
LifesLittleMysteries.com interviewed Niwako Ogata, a dog behavior researcher from Cummings Veterinarian Medicine School at Tufts University, to explain the video.
"It is difficult to say from this video if this dog had a particular interest in attacking sharks. The dog might have been equally likely to go after any big fish or other object floating in the ocean," said Ogata. "Some dogs would react to any moving objects around them. We see similar behavior from a dog on a car ride."
This is occurring with Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" a little more than a week away. Sharks still are some of the most brutal species the planet earth has experienced. But if there’s anything to gain from the video, the protective nature of dogs is a very powerful trait. Dogs have proven through history, and now YouTube, to be an effective line of defense.