Sunday, May 29, 2011

unreported dog bites


My husband works for a power company. This is the giant tub of dog treats kept in the back of the office. Servicemen, meter readers, and linemen (anyone who may need to enter customers' yards with no notice) fill their pockets before heading out for the day. Those with experience say it helps a lot in avoiding dog bites, but not in eliminating them. I was told that the meter readers still get bitten "a lot".

But, my husband says, you have to understand that most of my co-workers have a rural upbringing. They have certain views on dogs and dog ownership. One of the meter readers would probably be disappointed if she entered someone's yard uninvited and their dog didn't try to bite her. That's what a dog's supposed to do in that situation.

15 comments:

The meanderings of a history hound said...

My husband is an arborist & always has treats since he is always in someones yard.

In 15 years we've been together, he hasn't been bitten, but a chow did break through a bow window to come get him.

He just hopped in his truck and called animal control and the property owner.

CyborgSuzy said...

I haven't had a chance to ask her yet, but I do wonder if by "a lot" of bites, she means every nip, snap, and pant leg grab. If she was having her blood drawn every day, I doubt she'd be as casual about it.

DubV said...

"One of the meter readers would probably be disappointed if she entered someone's yard uninvited and their dog didn't try to bite her. That's what a dog's supposed to do in that situation."

"Supposed" to do. hmm...I guess someone did not tell the vast majority of dogs that were not selectively bred for any behavior resembling this. We could go all the way back to the wolf. Wolves don't attack humans that enter their territories. The human fatality rate by wolf is nearly nonexistent. Even if they fight a rival wolf, it is rarely to the death. This is because it makes sense that they would not based upon evolution by natural selection.

CyborgSuzy said...

DubV, you astound me. Seven sentences in your comment and you manage to be wrong in probably a dozen ways.

The "vast majority" of dogs for the "vast majority" of their association with humans have been expected to be multipurpose animals, including guarding the home/farm/livestock. Those pointy white things inside a dog's mouth are for biting.

This is a small perspective from one person who grew up within a culture that still expects dogs to be guard dogs. So it makes perfect sense that she would expect a dog to be aggressive towards a stranger entering their property without their owner's presence or permission.

And your statement about rival wolves fighting to the death makes no sense in the context of anything here.

DubV said...

I am simply pointing out that most dogs do not bite people who invade their space. I stand by common observation of dogs and that most dogs are not guarding breeds.

If someone expects dogs to be guard dogs, then they should select a guarding type and/or attempt to enforce these behaviors via training.

It seems if that person's expectation were anywhere near the truth of what should be found, then a few treats would not be sufficient.

I don't see how the existence of teeth proves any point. Those teeth were there prior to dog domestication. I point out that wolves do not behave how you suggest to show that it was neither natural behavior for our domestic dog's ancestor to bite invading humans and in most breeds has not been instilled by breeding.

I brought up wolves NOT fighting to the death to point that they instinctively avoid confrontation and violence. This was a jab toward your gripping dogs who, unlike other breeds, have been selected to continue to attack and kill a submissive animal. That is only expected behavior in fighting breeds.

Retrieverman said...

DubV,

Thank you so much for your daily lesson in pseudoscience and superstition.

Without all these laws, the pibbles is just gonna eat us alive!

DubV said...

Retrieverman,

It's pretty easy, and cowardly, to assert what you did and not actually say anything that can be critiqued.

DubV said...

When I linked to a terrierman blog, retrieverman just wrote that he was a hack and not to pay attention to it. I'm seeing a general trend. I suppose you are either too busy, retrieverman, or attempting to cash in on some expert status you feel you have.


Do you disagree that fighting breeds are more likely to continue an attack on a submissive animal?

Do you deny that it makes little evolutionary sense for a social animal to kill their peers and so certain behavioral controls are in place?

Do you deny that humans want fighting breeds to go against this behavioral control in order to win in the ring?

Jess said...

Wolves kill each other all the time, usually in territorial disputes between packs. Wolves in wild packs rarely kill pack mates because that is a family situation. Instead of challenging their father or mother, a young animal would disperse. The social dynamics for fighting really aren't there in a natural wolf family.

Retrieverman said...

Boy,

You and Terrier-douche really know your animal behavior.

When is the book coming out?

Retrieverman said...

Here's a proposal:

Because some guns go off, we should just ban them.

Right now, blanket ban on firearms.

See how well that will work.

If you ban breeds of dog, you will get exactly what you have when you ban firearms. People will get knives, then you ban knives. Then the get boxcutters.

If you ban pit bulls and don't focus on the real problem, which is aggressive behavior from any dog, regardless of breed, you will get something quite similar.

Most pet lines of pit bull have had their aggressiveness toned down. I would posit that that vast majority of pit bulls bred today aren't any more dangerous than most boxers.

However, there are strains of the type/breed/whatever that can be dangerous. I don't deny that.

But if you try to wipe out the problem with a breed ban, the ones that are basically undocked, easier to train boxers will be punished. And the thugs will still have their fighting dogs,

And if you can't import pit bulls into a state, I bet the state legislature has never heard of a bully khutta or Presa Canario, which are almost universally bred for high reactivity. And are usually much larger than pit bulls.

But if you ban those, they can figure out some other third world maneater to import.

Just as the criminals in England figured out how to use boxcutters and pen-knives.

Retrieverman said...

Yes.

Terrierman is a hack.

Cesar Millan whoring should be your first clue.

Anyone who thinks Cesar Millan is a dog expert will also think that Donald Trump is a successful businessman. They both play those roles on "reality" TV.

Retrieverman said...

BTW, I don't deny that these dogs can have tendencies.

But I have a question: Why does no one want to ban akitas or shar pei?

Everything people say about pit bulls can be applied to akitas or shar pei.

And it is generally true. As a breed, they have about the same reactivity as a pit bull.

When I was a kid, the shar pei was called the Chinese fighting dog and the akita the Japanese fighting dog. And because they aren't Western dogs, they haven't been selected to be easily trained. Most pit bulls are fairly easy dogs to train.

And yet, I've never seen anyone demand breed bans or breed specific legislation for those.

You know why?

Because yuppies own those dogs.

But minorities tend to own pit bulls.

It's just like our laws on crack and powder cocaine. Minorities tend to use those, so we have much stricter laws.

CyborgSuzy said...

Thank you RM, anti-breed folks like to ignore the relation of BSL o racism.

And what's more, pit bull owners/advocates never deny the breeds' tendencies toward dog-dog reactivity. But it's a huge leap from, "pay extra attention to your pets behavior when visiting the dog park for the first time," to "possible reactivity to dogs is an unacceptable risk kill them all!"

Jess said...

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878%2807%2900264-X/abstract

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878%2807%2900236-5/abstract

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878%2807%2900202-X/abstract