Why Did My Dog Bite The Maintenance Man? – Phoenix Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
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Why do dogs bite maintenance men, plumbers, gardeners, pool service technicians, electricians, inspectors, appraisers, realtors, postal workers, roofers, house keepers, etc.?
Dogs are territorial. That means they are programmed to defend where they live from intruders. This is a totally natural behavior that must be managed by the dog’s owners.
It is important to understand what a dog really is. A dog is a domesticated canine, generally related to a wolf. Wolves are also territorial. That means they stake out an area where they live, and then repel other wolves that don’t live in that territory, and they repel predators that would kill their young or eat their food sources. Lions are also territorial. They stake out a territory, and they keep out strange lions, and they will kill competitors including hyenas, African wild dogs, cheetahs, and leopards. Strange male lions will come in, try to run off the dominant male, kill the cubs, and take over the pride. So, the dominant male will fight off intruding males. Intruding females will also be killed off, because the territory is where the pride eats and breeds, and they don’t want a competitor coming in to eat their food or to take over where they live. Other predator species will actively hunt cubs, so they are driven away by the lions, especially if they get too close to kills or their families. Many species of birds, insects, reptiles, fish are also territorial, driving away competitors of their own species from the nesting and feeding areas, and even attacking other species that get too close. Dogs are really no different. They guard their home and people for the same reasons.
So, if you hire someone to enter the property, those people are looked at as intruders, and some dogs, especially the guarding breeds, will act aggressively to repel them. And in some cases, that will include the risk of a serious bite.
Hired workers need to exercise caution when entering a place with dogs. I see way too many instances of them foolishly and recklessly entering properties without first greeting the homeowner and finding out the best way to enter the property. Just because they have been invited by the owners doesn’t mean they have been invited by the dogs. It may even be legally OK that they enter the property, but in reality, they are provoking the attack. It’s just that the law says the owner is at fault, even though they often do bear some or all of the fault for their stupid actions.
Owners need to train their dogs to be reliable to commands. Territorial guarding breeds need to be trained to a higher level of control. The property also needs to be secured against unannounced visitors, and those that would enter the property as part of their daily business. You have to install safeguards, warn workers, and keep the dogs away in order to protect these workers.
Many dogs are put to death unjustly, just for being a dog. A dog can’t help being a dog. If owners put their dogs in situations that the dog can’t handle, then it is really the owner that should be punished, not the dog. If I could change the laws, I’d do it. But, I can’t . So, dog owners need to make sure that others are safe from their dogs innate drive to protect where they live and the people that reside there.