Why Dogs Cause Moose To Attack Humans

When hiking out in nature, most people would tell you their greatest fear is a tiger or a bear. 

While these creatures are indeed scary and tend to be quite aggressive or at least defensive, you’re statistically more likely to have a deadly encounter with a moose. 

Moose aren’t more aggressive than bears or tigers, but they’re much more common, and equally powerful if they choose to attack. 

In today’s post, we’re going to cover why you’re more likely to die from moose than bears, and also why most moose attacks are caused by the presence of dogs. 

To watch the video version of this post complete with fascinating moose footage & some moose encounters, click HERE now. 

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Moose Attacks 

We previously wrote a deep post on moose attacks and what to do, but the quick summary is that moose are significantly more common than bears, and can sometimes be defensive or aggressive. 

Most of the time moose will not be in a bad mood, and will simply leave or otherwise be peaceful. 

However, during mating season or if young are nearby, moose will be more aggressive and more likely to perceive threats. 

Unlike deer, moose are NOT afraid of humans. While they don’t WANT a confrontation, they won’t back down from one at all. 

Dogs vs. Moose

In most deadly attacks caused by moose, the presence of dogs are there as well. 

In fact, without a dog you are not too likely to have a dangerous encounter with a moose. 

However, many people exploring nature will be doing so with a dog, or you will be in the presence of other humans that are bringing a pet dog. 

Moose hate wolves, and they perceive dogs as wolves. Wolves are a threat to moose, and especially their young, so that’ll become extremely angry and aggressive at the presence of wolves. 

Dogs are typically friendly and curious creatures, and normally will run up to the moose, bark, and then run back to the humans, which causes the moose to charge not just the dog but also the humans! 

The barking from the dog is perceived by moose as an attack call, so it will then immediately view you, the dog, and any other humans or animals as aggressive creatures that are trying to hunt the moose and/or their young and mates. 

If you’re in an area that is known to have moose, it’s important to keep your dog on a tight leash and not let it stray too far out. 

In the event that a moose is spotted, the dog should be restrained immediately, and you should leave the area as soon as possible and as quickly as possible. 

Again, moose are unlikely to randomly attack humans; nearly every attack involves the presence of a dog, but with the presence of a dog moose will become extremely aggressive and may endanger you and your pet! 

Unlike bears, you can run away quickly from a moose and it won’t trigger an attack. 

When spotting a moose with your pet dog, leave immediately, and if you spot a moose and there’s a random dog nearby (ie. another person’s), then it’s suggested you leave the area immediately and alert the others to the danger while fleeing. 


Moose are generally friendlier and more peaceful than bears, however the threat of a moose attack is actually greater because you are much more likely to encounter one. 

Moose do not fear humans, but do not normally instigate attacks. However, the presence of dogs will turn the moose extremely aggressive, as it can’t perceive the difference between wolves and dogs. 

In this case the natural dog behavior often triggers the moose to attack not just the dog but the human. In the majority of moose attacks, there is the presence of at least one dog. 

It’s highly advised to be aware of the presence of moose/dogs, and prevent such an encounter from occurring. If an encounter happens, leave as soon as possible. 

Wildlife x Team

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-Wildlife x Team International 

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