5 Types Of Dog Bites And Prevention
29 May 2014
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A single case of a dog bite can absolutely transform the opinion of many novice dog owners. Moreover, many individuals instill unnecessary fear amongst themselves and their family if they have ever experienced or observed dog bites.
What we need to establish is that dogs use their mouth for most of the interactions amongst littermates. In addition, there are many different types of bites which mean different things that a dog is trying to convey. Let us explore some common types of dog bites and discuss how to deal with such incidents to avoid accidents:
1. Teething : Almost all puppies when they are in the teething phase love to chew on anything in their access even skin. They also bite furniture and other household items of the same texture. This is because when their new teeth are emerging, their gums widen out and gives them an uncomfortable feeling at times. The best way to deal with teething related bites is to provide enough stimulation in the form of chew toys and spraying the surfaces with a repellant like ‘Bitter Cherry’ spray which is available in any store.
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2. Play Biting : All puppies play with their littermates while they are together. And more often than not, they use their mouths while having too much fun. If we take examples from litter sessions, a puppy will squeal and stop playing when he feels too painful. Similarly if a dog is play-biting and we feel pain, we should let out a high pitched shriek expressing discomfort and stop play immediately till the pup calms down.
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3. Territorial : Many dogs develop habits of guarding some objects like their food, toys or person. And whether we invade their territory they have a potency of snapping at us. This is a dangerous habit that is of utmost concern with many dog owners. To curb such a territorial habit, it is advised to train the dogs around their feeding rituals and reinforce the structure of the pack which the dog belongs to. In other words, a hierarchy needs to be established and the dog should respect you enough to let you take away his food or toys at any time without a flinch.
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4. Fearful : There are some cases of dogs that are predisposed to be overly submissive and fearful of certain stimuli. These fearful cases are a very critical component of dog bites.There are three responses of fearful dogs namely, fight-flight-avoidance. The flight and avoidance responses are still less dangerous.
But if the dog does not seem to have an option, he will snap i.e. the ‘fight’ response. Usually when a dog shows signs of fear, it is highly advisable to avoid approaching them. Another important point to note, fearful dog bites are usually more painful than any other as the dog is essentially biting to save his life, if we look from the canine perspective.
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5. Aggressive : Although most of the above mentioned types are mistaken by people as ‘aggressive’, this type of dog bite is less prominent as opposed to the aforementioned. In definition, an aggressive dog bite is by a dog that has an inclination towards disliking other dogs, humans or any other creatures. This temperament is only developed by irresponsible dog owners like ones who promote aggression and ones who indulge in unlawful activities like dog fighting.
These dogs can also be rehabilitated with meticulous and consistent training. It is quite upsetting to encounter such dogs as they are the least balanced and the least happy type of dogs around.
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Lastly, it is very important to understand that none of these above dog-types should be considered ‘untrainable’ only because some of us are unable to make that extra effort to rehabilitate such beings. It takes considerable amount of patience and persistence and even such dogs can potentially live a happy balanced lifestyle. There are some other types of dog bites like a rabid dog or a whelping mother canine which have not been mentioned too much, but these types are relatively unavoidable and less frequent in occurrence.
Please share with us your dog bite stories to spread better awareness.