Understanding Canine Behavior: Ensuring Safe Playtime with the Dunbar Bite Scale

dunbar bite scale

Safety is Our #1 Priority

  • As a responsible and caring dog daycare and boarding facility, we believe in the importance of promoting a safe and enjoyable environment for all our furry guests. Dogs, like humans, have their own unique personalities and temperaments. Understanding their behavior is crucial for maintaining a harmonious atmosphere where dogs can socialize and play without incidents.

  • One valuable tool that we utilize at Woof Haven is the Dunbar Bite Scale. Developed by renowned dog behaviorist and veterinarian Dr. Ian Dunbar, this scale helps us assess and categorize dog behavior based on bite severity. Understanding this scale allows us to ensure the well-being of both our canine guests and our team members. The scale is an industry wide standard for assessing dog behavior.

What is the Dunbar Bite Scale?

The Dunbar Bite Scale is a six-point classification system that categorizes dog bites according to their severity and potential to cause harm. It helps us understand the level of caution required when dealing with dogs displaying aggressive behavior. Here is an overview of the scale:

dunbar bite scale

Non-Dismissible Offenses:

  • Level 1: Air Snap

  • A warning bite without any contact. The dog may snap or lunge but intentionally avoids making physical contact.

  • Level 2: Minor Bite

  • A bite with minimal contact that does not break the skin or cause significant injury. The dog may cause slight discomfort but does not break the skin.

Dismissible Offenses

  • Level 3: Moderate Bite

  • A bite that punctures the skin and may cause bruises, scratches, or shallow wounds. 

  • Level 4: Major Bite

  • A bite that causes deep puncture wounds, severe bruising, and significant tissue damage.

  • Level 5: Multiple Bites

  • Multiple bites that may occur in rapid succession, indicating a more intense and prolonged aggressive episode.

  • Level 6: Fatality

  • A bite that results in the death of the victim.

How We Use the Dunbar Bite Scale:

  • At Woof Haven, our trained staff members are well-versed in canine behavior and body language. We carefully assess each dog's behavior and interactions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

  • Level 2: If this behavior is repeated the dog may be dismissed and not allowed back to our faicilty.

  • Level 3: Dog would immediately be dismissed and not allowed back to our facility, no exceptions as safety is our top priority. This is the industry wide standard for dismissing dogs from dog daycare/boarding facilities. While is it uncommon for agreesion to go boyend this level if a more serious level is presented dog is alos dismissed

dunbar bite scale

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Ensuring Safety and Positive Experiences:

Our priority is to create a positive and stimulating environment for dogs to socialize, play, and form meaningful connections with their peers. By using the Dunbar Bite Scale, we can identify potential triggers and situations that may lead to aggressive behavior, allowing us to take proactive measures to prevent incidents.

Promoting Responsible Pet Ownership:

We believe in educating pet owners about their dog's behavior and providing them with valuable insights to better understand and respond to their pet's needs. Responsible pet ownership, coupled with a knowledgeable team, ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone at our dog daycare and boarding facility.

Safe and Happy Playtime for All:

By incorporating the Dunbar Bite Scale into our practices, we aim to provide a secure and enriching environment where dogs can thrive. Our commitment to understanding canine behavior allows us to promote positive interactions, foster healthy relationships, and ensure a joyful experience for every four-legged guest. For more information on our best practices breaking up a dog fight click here. 

dunbar bit scale

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