What Is a Dogfish?

The dogfish, or spiny dogfish, is a species of shark typified by its long, slender body, flattened head and large eyes. Distinctive spines lie on its dorsal fins. The average size of the dogfish is between 28 and 39 inches.

Dogfish prey on schooling pelagic fishes, such as the herring, mackerel and capelin. The dogfish is a pest to fishermen due to its habit of biting through fish nets to reach commercially valuable fish. Predators of the dogfish include larger sharks, killer whales and seals. The dogfish is not dangerous to humans although its spines cause injury if not properly handled.