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Kill the dog.....

13 Jun, 2024

This blog is about dog bites, when and why they occur......First lets dispell some wives tales.....pit bulls DO NOT have a jaw that locks in place, nor do they have a bite force that is the strongest, A Boerboel(African mastiff) could probably head that list..... dogs don't "just snap", a dog that bites is an aggressive dog,......NO!!!!, the behavior is aggressive, not the dog. There is a dozen recognized catagories of aggression and in each catagory of aggression an underlying stessor is responsible for the dog's aggressive response. Dogs bite for a reason and YES any dog can bite. The problem is, what often presipitates a bite is often missed, or misunderstood by the humans involved. Every dog has a different bite threshold....meaning some dogs will have a high threshold, can handle a lot of stress (stimuli) before they bite, others have a low threshold, it takes a small amount of stress (stimuli) tp provoke a bite response. For example.....a dog, who is afraid of small children, men with beards, thunderstorms, and a dog who also has a rotten tooth (unbeknownst to it's owners) ......On a rainy day this dog's owners cousins visit, 3 kids all under 7 yrs, and the uncle, A man with a beard, and along with the rain, it has been thundering and lightning.....johnny, the 4 year old is jumping around and inadvertently knocks against the dog's face, the same side the rotten tooth is on, the dog lashes out and bites Johnny on the face.....the owner, oblivious to the dog's fears and rotten tooth, grabs the dog and thows it in the back yard, hollering at it "bad dog"....adding more stress to the poor dog.....which in turn will only increase that dogs chances of biting again.....the dog isn't at fault and in fact may not have even bitten had it not been for that rotten tooth. The other things that the dog feared,  the kids, men with beards, thunder storms, might have just caused him to shiver, drool, lick obsessively, or other behaviors, that are signs of stress. Had this dog been properly socialized in it's formative weeks (4-16 weeks) none of this fear behavior might exist.  Had it's "human" been  more observant and recognized the dog's signs of stress, the icident probably wouldn't have happened. Yet in incidents like these the unlucky dogs are said to be "bad" or "dangerous" dogs and very quickly euthanized, the lucky are given second chances, training and understanding knowing that bites are most often caused by human error. People need to learn that any dog can bite, and any large dog's bite is obviously going to be more injurious than a smaller dogs.....that doesn't mean we should deem all large dogs, "dangerous dogs" and work to eliminate large breeds.....it means we need to better understand what a dogs body language is telling us, what triggers your dog has, and to know when your dog is stressed, and why. All dogs deserve to live stress free and not die simply because their owner, or care giver, never took the time to interpret their dog's reaction to it's environment, and those humans it encounters. Dogs kept tied and alone, are often known to bite, being isolated and constantly restrained are two cruel actions that can activate aggression in any dog.....So instead of labeling a dog a "bad or a dangerous" dog, for acting like a dog, (Biting), yes biting is a normal dog behavior, instead, learn the behavior and what triggers it, and work to correct ( modify) it. And I say this even with dogs that have killed, since there can be mitigating circumstances......we have to start taking responsibility for the actions we cause and to stop projecting our errors onto our companion animals, by considering them always at fault when they bite, when more often than not, we are to blame!!