We hear a lot about people AFRAID a dog is going to bite but when should a dog be ALLOWED to bite? SamtheDogTrainer.com has an informative and informed article on this subject.
Sam goes through numerous situations where dogs should bite. From self-defense to hunting and beyond, Sam describes the appropriateness of each event. But perhaps the best part of the article is at the end.
I also don’t believe that we should expect every dog to like everybody. That is unnatural, and I don’t think that the public should expect that every dog should be petted, interacted with, liked, and/or handled by any person that comes up to interact with your dog without your express permission. I also don’t think that dogs or owners should be judged by “what if” scenarios when a dog hasn’t actually caused anyone any physical harm. Some folks are phobic, and afraid of dogs. Some folks are dog haters or are just plain nuts or trouble makers, and just because they don’t like a dog or don’t know how to read a dog or interact with a dog, etc, they shouldn’t be given the unfettered right to deem your dog as being dangerous to society or themselves. Not everyone in this world is rational, and I don’t want anyone to risk having their dog taken away or cited as being dangerous, just because some nut thinks they are a dog expert and knows what is best for society.
Personally, I think its ludicrous to expect every dog to be a Lassie or interested in being kid-handled by somebody’s out-of-control child. There are great kids out here (like the HaintGirl, Lily) and then there are children who don’t have a clue around animals. I guess no one has ever impressed on them the truth that in the not too distant past THEY could have been considered prey and breakfast. Especially if they were running around and making prey animal noises like squeals and screams. Quiet children lived to be quiet adults.
But how many times have you had your dog on a lead walking through the park/down the street/at an event and some child runs out of nowhere at your dog? Now we know the child is probably just trying to play but how would you feel if some creature about your size or bigger came running up to you screaming? I know my reaction and I don’t think it would be to stand there nicely and wait to have my ear pulled. This does not mean its okay for the dog to bite the screaming meemie of a child but if Sol or Beatrice want to back away from it, I can’t blame them!
Now I’m not saying its okay for dogs to bite in general. Just like its not okay for a human to walk up and slap strangers standing on the street. Bad dog and bad human! But if someone comes into my yard or in my house without my permission, I EXPECT my dogs to stop them however they have to do it. That’s their job and their identities.
Thanks Sam for a useful and challenging article!