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 What's a FIGHT? What's a BITE? how bad is 'Bad'? ranking conflict

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leashedForLife
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PostSubject: What's a FIGHT? What's a BITE? how bad is 'Bad'? ranking conflict   Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:20 am

I have not seen a ranking-system for conflicts, so i just invented one - with kudoes to *ian dunbar for quantifying bites.
i am publishing it here for the 2nd time - lucky U Grin, eh?

lower-level conflicts -
Grade 1:

snarks are short-lived snaps with a snarl and light tooth-contact, or an air-snap with no teeth/growl, etc.
Grade 2:
spats are very-short fights with lots of barks, snarls, growls, many air-snaps or light mouthing,
but leave NO bruises under the haircoat, NO punctures or scratches from teeth or claws, etc -
noises and threats and swearing - LOTS of swearing. they generally last 5 to 20-secs at most, but seem longer.

after-effects:
it takes 24 to 48-hours for bruising, swelling and heat/inflammation to be detectable - if in doubt,
see a vet for a careful exam. small punctures can become big-problems, depending on where they are;
a puncture between toes, close to a joint, near an eye, etc, are potentially very serious [lose digit, bone infects,
eye-injury or abscess, corneal ulcer, etc].
dogs who practice snarks and move on to spat need help - to prevent a fight, and prevent bad-feeling.

Fights -
Grade 3:

low-intensity fights include growls AND maybe-punctures, but definitely scratches and bruises -
the combatant[s] 'mean it', and things will not improve spontaneously - blood was shed, or pain was inflicted.
spats + snarks are THREATS - fights leave HURTs. low-intensity fights escalate - 'get bigger + worse' -
if nothing is done to not only Prevent a fight, but Change the feelings that start the fights.


Grade 4 - moderate-intensity = multiple punctures, some torn skin; rips are bites with pulling.
Grade 5 - serious-intensity = add tears with bruising and small crush-areas to punctures;
Grade 6 - severe-intensity = pieces of skin or muscle missing, crush-injuries / necrotic tissue; one to 3 drains;
Grade 7 - mauling = multiple crush-injuries, multiple serious-trauma, 2 or more drains, skin-grafts;
Grade 8 - the only step left is 'kill' - one or the other, or both, die of injuries or blood-loss.

the worse the fights... the worse the prognosis for improvement.
generally, the quieter the fight, the *worse* the emotions and the damage are -
the dogs do not waste energy on swearing, they concentrate on injuring each other.
this is a very bad sign, with a very poor prognosis.


if U use this ranking-system or pass it on - please credit me.
thanks,
- terry
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Ann
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PostSubject: Re: What's a FIGHT? What's a BITE? how bad is 'Bad'? ranking conflict   Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:37 pm

I have seen Grade 6, with 2 female rotties. I had to keep them separated for nearly a year, and for another year only let them in the same space when both were leashed and moving, doing something, anything that prevented that head to head stare. Finally they learned to tolerate each other, but barely. Never had more than Grade 2 with any males. Baloo instigates these, and thoroughly enjoys having one of the other dogs chase him with teeth bared, snapping at his hips.
Very nice. You know dogs very well.
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PostSubject: Re: What's a FIGHT? What's a BITE? how bad is 'Bad'? ranking conflict   Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:37 pm

Very interesting post indeed Grin

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leashedForLife
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PostSubject: Re: What's a FIGHT? What's a BITE? how bad is 'Bad'? ranking conflict   Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:44 pm

Ann wrote:
I have seen Grade 6, with 2 female rotties. I had to keep them separated for nearly a year, and for another year only let them in the same space when both were leashed and moving, doing something, anything that prevented that head to head stare. Finally they learned to tolerate each other, but barely.

yipe! pale that'd scare the bejabbers out of U. given the level of intensity, it's amazing U were able to get them civil - Well done, U! cheers
Ann wrote:
Never had more than Grade 2 with any males. Baloo instigates these, and thoroughly enjoys having one of the other dogs chase him with teeth bared, snapping at his hips.

he likes to stir the pot, eh? Razz cheeky snot - he wouldn't be confident and liable to push boundaries, would he?... [like half the Rotts i know over 4-MO, ]
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PostSubject: to clarify: Context is imperative   Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:39 pm

BTW - to clarify -
as a result of questions on another list re the *dunbar bite scale* and on another forum re my *dog:dog conflict ranking scale*,
CONTEXT is also critical in the post-mortem of a dog-fight; a dog already highly-stressed is far more-likely to snap at a housemate or scrap at the dog-park, or strike an attitude during an introduction to an unknown dog.

just as in the *dunbar* bite-rating scale, the conflict-rating tells us only How Much Damage was done; not why, when, or in what setting;
was this dog provoked? or frightened? uneasy in a novel experience?

IMO aggression, like allergies, is a threshold phenomenon:
we can cope with A, B, C, and D... add even a little of E, and the dam breaks. allergy is an additive or multiplicative series of factors, culminating in catastrophic failure.

dogs i think are in a similar situation - the new house, new schedule, new climate - OK. new dog-park with all new dogs - TEN of them, all sniffing at once?
*** Too Much! *** BOOM...

the dog-fight is often a perfect-storm -
this plus that, and some of the other thing; it may never or rarely happen again; seeing it in full context, of whatever other stresses, anxieties, excitements, etcetera, is imperative to arrive at conclusions about how likely any encore might be, whose *fault* it was, why it happened THIS time and how to prevent a NEXT time, and other useful weighted predictions or critiques.

just as ONE example -
theres a series of 4 fights in the daycare play-area, with 6 different dogs involved; more than spats, but no serious injuries;
we sit down to parse the events, + find to our surprise that ALL FOUR happened in a 10 x 10 area out of an 60 x 40-ft space!

is that immaterial? i doubt it - something about that area is a factor.

* close to the main entrance?
excitement, arousal, jostling for position, worry about strangers...
* close to the kitchen?
food odors, potential for treats, proximity to any doorway, a hangover from behavior at home, owning the space nearest the door?
* close to a bathroom with a blind door,
that swings open unexpectedly into the playspace and can wedge a dog or dogs behind it?

without accounting for the setting, we cannot IMO make an informed statement about the dogs involved, the likelihood of recurrence, any future risk to persons or dogs...
the severity of a fight is partly a product of WHERE and WHEN, as well as WHO - and at least 2 dogs, possibly more, are involved in emotional tensions which lead to any physical
confrontations. if we can look carefully at all of those, we just * might * arrive at a possible WHY - or several WHYs - and then extrapolate for future risk, or plan to prevent recurrences, or...
rearrange the entrance of the daycare to get the dogs further than their current 6-ft from the airlock-door. ;--)

all my best,
- terry
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