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Considering Canine Aggression from a Scientific Perspective

By Susan Nilson

Dr. Lisa Radosta, keynote speaker at Pet Professional Guild’s Canine Aggression and Bite Prevention Seminar in Portland, Oregon, April 2019 © Pet Professional Guild

“The skull shape is going to determine the bite level. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into the amount of damage done by a bite and very little of it has to do with the dog’s ability to control himself. A dog jaw is a third order lever. This means the force is in the middle between the load and the fulcrum. This is physics 101. Dogs do not all have the same bite mechanics or bite potential…My issue with bite levels is that predictions are made, treatment is guided, and predictions, including death, are based on something that has no scientific value, that doesn’t even come close to being predictive,” Radosta said. “Labels can create order from chaos but can also lead us very far astray and alter treatment plans, causing us to make predictions that are not true and compromising patient care. ‘Bite levels’ are damage levels and are multifactorial with no predictive value, because the dog has no control over anything I said after ‘third order lever.’” Read article

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