This Animal Will Bite

We love an outing, preferably somewhere with a tea shop, because that’s the sort of rock and roll team we are, and on a recent outing, we met this spectacular looking fish.

This isn’t just any fish; this fish comes with a warning. There’s no ‘might’ when it comes to this fish, who we’ll call Freddie; Freddie WILL bite.

I wonder why Freddie WILL bite?

Dog Bite Fish Bite

Could it be a reaction to something that will provoke the bite? Could it be because Freddie has found himself in a stressful situation and he might feel he has to defend himself or his (somewhat tiny) territory?

Could it be because Freddie is scared or startled?

Could it be that Freddie isn’t feeling well, wants to be left alone or is feeling dizzy from the tiny circles he’s swimming around in?

Could it be because the approach is unwanted?

Could it be because, in that moment, it’s the only option Freddie has?

Whose fault would it be if Freddie did bite? After all, we’ve been warned, haven’t we?

Watching the other humans around us take note of the warning and refrain from sticking their hands in Freddie’s tank, I wondered what would happen if I attached a similar warning to my canine buddy. If the assumption was that he WILL bite, would people around him be more cautious, respect his space, give him options and ensure that he doesn’t feel the need to defend himself? Would he be labelled ‘aggressive’ or would it be the responsibility of the humans around him to behave appropriately and respond to him in a way that keeps everyone safe?

I pondered this over a cuppa with my friend, Mr Bear, who dealt with the noise of the shop and the café much better than I did. Maybe I should wear a warning too.

About Canine Perspective CIC

We’re a social enterprise inspiring positive change through the power of the human-canine bond. Our profits fund Canine Hope, our signature programme dedicated to working with survivors of rape and sexual violence, with rescue dogs as our canine co-tutors. It is the reason Canine Perspective CIC exists! Canine Hope is delivered in partnership with charities and social enterprises working with survivors.

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