When Dogs Attack
The holidays are here! The barbeque’s on! Someone’s going to be bitten – guaranteed.
The ‘Saturday Afternoon Barbeque’ is a known cause of dog bite injuries.
While it’s wonderful entertaining family and friends you need to be very cautious about the effect of your social gatherings on your dog.
Most dogs remain relatively calm, loving the extra attention given by visitors.
Other dogs, however, can get so overwhelmed and feel so threatened by your visitors, that the unthinkable happens and someone is injured.
And if that’s a child, then that’s bad news for all.
For a lot of families, this is indeed the sad truth of the holiday barbeque.
To truely understand what makes a lovable Fido suddenly snap, think of it from a dog’s perspective:
- Visitors are like wolves invading a territory. Your dog could be quite anxious about the visiting pack of people and anxiety-based aggression from an over-aroused state is common enough for you to be on guard.
- Pain-based aggression is also more likely to occur when there are children around, as children climb on, or act inappropriately, around dogs, especially older ones, causing pain and subsequent aggression.
- For a dog, that steak sitting temptingly on the barbeque could be the freshly killed carcass from the hunt of the ancestral wolf pack. The smell wafting down from the hot plate is irresistible and primeval instincts of survival come to the fore! Get that steak. This, in a dog world, means fighting off all other contenders for the carcass. Aggression stimulated by the need to protect food is called ‘resource guarding’ and it’s dangerous.