My Dog Bit Me!
I've been lurking on the boards for a while, but even after reading a lot of the forums, I wasn't sure where to post this. Last night my husband and I were yelling at each other. My dog became really agitated and bit my leg. Hard. My leg is really black and blue and sore. My dog has not bitten anyone before, but I'm really scared he may do it again next time I'm upset, or yelling, or crying. Anyone else experienced this? Any thoughts about what to do?
Re: My Dog Bit Me!
Don't get into screaming matches around your dog.
Dogs have an excitement threshold, and if you exceed that, bad things can happen. Sometimes their desire to protect can actually backfire. I'm going to assume that your dog loves you and your husband. He probably got very upset and confused as you two were screaming, and reacted. My cousin and I were once play-fighting, just making silly slaps to each others' arms. My youngest dog went berserk over it. I had to step between them. Don't get too upset over this. Your dog didn't bite you out of malice. However, the answer to your question is yes, your dog may bite you again if you and your husband are screaming at each other. If you're just upset, I can't see this occurring, but if you're regularly screaming at something or someone, your dog biting you is the least of your worries.
Re: My Dog Bit Me!
I agree with no screaming matches.
Ian Dunbar writes about a bite/fight ratio (normally for dog fights). His theory is that if a dog has a good bite inhibtion, he/she will always have good bite inhibition not matter how many times he/she bites.
Example. a dog who gives you and awful puncture or an awful tear would probably do the same thing the next time she/he bites.
A dog who bruises would probably do the same thing the next time she/he bites. So if you get bitten again it probably would be another ugly bruise.
On the other hand, stress hormones in dogs can build up just like in humans. So if you continually do things to upset your dog like yelling at each other, it's going to take it's toll on your dog and you will see all sorts of behavior problems that may or may not seem directly related to the present issue.
I don't know what you did as a result of the bite, but the worst thing to do is punish the dog. I usually see people grab their dogs by the jaws and yell in their face. This accomplishes nothing except to make your dog more defensive, more aggressive and more afraid of you.
next time I'm upset, or yelling, or crying
I'm very concerned that you PLAN to be upset, yelling, crying.
This might be something that you should really contemplate on. Do I need marriage counseling? Am I in a healthy relationship? Is there another way to to express my feelings to my significant other?
Very sorry, you probably found that offensive.
Anyway... the next time you feel like yelling at your husband, instead, giggle, laugh, talk baby talk then say exactly the same thing you had planned to say in a heated state (but don't be heated). il.e. Ha haa! You are the worst husband ever... ha ha ha!
Read more about the Jolly Routin in Behavior Problems in Dog by Bill Campbell
Oh and wear thick jeans. Not saying that to be a smarty pants. They will protect you if your dog bites you on the leg again.
Additionally whenever there is a dog bite, it might be smart to bring in a behaviorist. But be sure it is a skilled and competent professional. Not someone who just yanks your dog around.
Last edited by Puddin's Training Tips; 07-05-2011 at 03:16 PM.
Re: My Dog Bit Me!
Not the dog's fault. Major stress situation and he probably felt protective and upset. He obviously has some bite inhibition because even a small dog COULD bite worse than a bruise. So this was NOT aggression. This is more akin to a toddler who starts screaming and crying when mom and dad are screaming and fighting. The dog cannot speak to tell you to stop or be quiet or to quit making him scared and stressed. So he did it the only way he knew how. I would bet that he was showing calming signals before the bite and trying to get you to listen to him and you ignored his signals (due to your own stress/being upset).
Quit fighting around the dog and if you are very upset, remove yourself from his presence. Just like you wouldn't (or rather, shouldn't) get into a screaming match in front of a small child, don't do it around your dog.
Read up on dog body language so that you can tell when he is getting stressed (in any situation, including things like crowds, loud noises, fireworks etc; not just you fighting)
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