About dog bites

This writer uses the Tetris game to explain why dogs bite.

The article: http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/how-are-dog-bites-like-tetris

Pertinent points:

All dogs, whether they are defined by owners or behavior professionals as “reactive,” “aggressive,” and yes, even “friendly” can and will bite. A service dog or therapy dog can and will bite. The goofiest dog you’ve ever seen can and will bite. The dog that allows young children to climb all over him and pull his ears or tail with seeming aplomb can and will bite. If you were bitten by a dog visit https://www.nehoralaw.com/practice-areas/dog-bite-accidents/. You may also consult Michigan dog bite lawyers for legal help.

Bites are usually caused by an accumulation of stressors. Each time a dog is exposed to a stressor, stress hormones are dumped into the brain. These stress hormones are like the puzzle pieces in Tetris. They build up over time. You have to actively reduce the stress (like a Tetris player clearing lines) through management, desensitization, counter conditioning, and general stress reduction techniques. If you are not taking steps to reduce the stress, it begins to accumulate. The dumping of stress hormones into the brain leaves the dog increasingly sensitized to stressors, which replicates the puzzle pieces dropping faster and faster until you eventually reach the threshold. Soon, the dog bites. The game is over.

Stressors vary in individual dogs. One dog may be stressed by loud noises, nail trimming, men with beards, wearing a shock collar, foul weather, and a bad diet. Another dog may not seemingly respond to these factors but is sensitive to visits to the vet’s office, small children, cats, people that smell like beer, dogs walking past the fenced in yard, and people approaching or entering the home. Every dog has stressors (commonly called “triggers”) and a big part of effective behavioral modification strategies is identifying these as accurately and thoroughly as possible, which allows behavior consultants and handlers to focus their efforts most efficiently. Stressors, like Tetris pieces, accumulate over time.

Bite thresholds also vary. Admittedly, you have to “push” some dogs a lot more than others to elicit a bite. Some very fearful, stressed, or aggressive dogs may require very little provocation before biting. Other dogs tolerate unbelievable amounts of stress before resorting to using their teeth to defend themselves.

Please read the entire article to understand more.

Finally…

It is often not a single trigger, but an accumulation of triggers in a designated time period without stress relief which cause the bite event. Dogs don’t “bite without warning,” they bite when all their warning signals go unheeded. Read the article at https://www.finduslawyers.org to be informed on how to maneuver a dog bite injury claim.

This is so true, and it may very well be true with cats as well.

Just this morning, I failed to heed the warning signs of Cow when I was “furminating” him. He seemed to be enjoying the session so much and had even rolled over on his back. I knew it was too good to be true and I thought he was asking for more. I was already careful in only furminating his back, not his belly as I know cats do not like belly rubs at all.

All of a sudden, in the seeming bliss of the furminating session, he grabbed my arm with his teeth and claws and bit me. He was asking me to stop, that’s how he communicates and he just happened to have a much lower threshold than other cats.

It was my fault, because I already know Cow has petting aggression and can only accept a very short period of petting. I pushed my luck and got bitten by my own cat of 9 years. I let out a scream as it was excruciatingly painful and I quickly washed it with soap and water and applied the pet spray on it.

When I went back to the room, Cow felt really sorry about it – you could see it on his face. In between, Indy had confronted Cow and both were in a stand-off.

So, it’s all about trying our best to understand that animals are not humans. They try to communicate with us, but if we fail to understand, then they just have to tell us in a different way – a way that we may understand better.

Animals know a lot more than we do, sometimes. They are very instinctive and can sense feelings.

So, why are there more incidence of dog-bites up north in the last week?  Either because previously it wasn’t an issue and was hence not reported OR because the dogs sense all this negativity towards them, so it has triggered an accumulation of stressors in them.

They are just protecting themselves with the only way they know how.

May we all gain more wisdom and empathy, and live in peace and harmony with each other.

The earth belongs to them too.


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