What is the definition of “bite threshold” as it applies to dogs?FamilyPet
Bite thresholds are points beyond which dogs are likely to bite.
Biting and other forms of aggressive behavior most commonly arise from fear, pain and insecurities. When dogs are faced with an upsetting, threatening or frightening situation, they usually either flee or use ritualized forms to give “warnings,” such as barking, lunging, snarling, and growling to avoid the fight.
Biting is the last line of defense for most dogs, and it can be pushed over the bite threshold when multiple fear triggers are presented simultaneously. Because every dog is a unique individual, bite thresholds vary from dog to dog. The lower the threshold, the less it takes to get a set of these behaviors to activate. Dogs with a high threshold are generally considered better for children who often pull tails and unknowingly engage in other play that the dogs either find painful or just plain irritating.
However, you need to know that the more triggers given simultaneously to the dog, the greater the risk of her snapping and going over the edge.
There are some simple things you can do to keep your dog’s biting threshold low:
• Understand your dog, identify her fear triggers and pay attention to her body language and warning signals.
• Avoid putting her in scary upsetting situations and avoid pushing her beyond her bite threshold at all costs.
• If your dog is showing signs of fear, listen to what she’s saying and get her out of the scary situation as quickly as you can.
• Avoid games that encourage aggressive behavior. Some dogs growl when you play tug of war, or when you try to take a toy or some food away from them and a lot of owners think that’s funny. Here’s what happens, though: When dogs play, they usually pretend they are hunting, fighting or copulating and that can quickly, without obvious warnings, turn on the dog’s “survival instinct,” or the dog may just become overly excited and forget they are only playing. Avoid any of this entirely and skip those games.
• Teach her some basic obedience commands: The five basic ones are “sit,” “sit/stay,” “down,” “heel” and “come.” They require intense concentration and will help to keep her calm.