The Joy of Being Bitten

Yes, it’s true.  Being bitten by a dog can be fun.  I know, this sounds wrong, ridiculous, crazy.  But when you do a lot of private lessons covering everything from puppies peeing on floors to senior citizens getting pulled around by their new Vislas (what were they thinking!  “I’ve had Vislas my whole life, I’m not stopping now.”  Umm – but you’re 78, with a cane, in New York City), then yes – it’s fun to spice up the lessons with a little dog bite every now and then.

I don’t mean bites that cause real injury.  Those suck.  Good trainers avoid those.  You read the dog and the situation and you simply don’t let those happen.  But the kind of bites that sting just enough to shoot up your adrenaline – those add flavor to a private lesson, like hot sauce on a burrito.

I was reminded of this yesterday, as I was about to open the door of a beloved client’s apartment.  I hadn’t seen their dog since she was a pup and apparently she had blossomed into quite a territorial adolescent.

“You’ll see why we called you as soon as you open the door,” my lovely gentleman of a client said.

“This should be interesting,” I thought, and swung the door open.

“ARR-ARRR-ARRRK!” out of nowhere there was a Mini-Aussie terrorizing me at the threshold.

She came at me full frontal, barking and pinching my coat with her (dare I say cute) little mouth.  She worked me from the sides too, jumping up to my hands and giving the fingers a nip, then back down to my legs for a little grab and shake on my pants.

I later discovered those nips were just the appetizer.  The little dog calmed and sniffed me curiously once I sat down to hear the owners’ take on everything.  But I still had to test what she would do if I got up to move around.  So I calmly packed up my stuff as if I were leaving.  No response from the little aussie.  Then I turned and left the room.  The dog did not budge.  I went out of sight behind a wall, rattled the front door knob.  Heard nothing from the dog.  Then I turned around and came back into the room.  Wham!  That little dog bolted off the couch like a shot, circled around behind me and NAILED me on the back of my legs 2 or 3 times before her owner scooped her up and brought her straight to the crate for a cool down.

“Okay, now we know everything we need to work on,” I said.

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2 Responses to “The Joy of Being Bitten”

  1. Critical Socialization is so….Critical (with a quote of the day from Ray) « The Real Deal on Dogs Says:

    […] The Real Deal on Dogs One Dog Trainer's Mind Turned Inside Out « The Joy of Being Bitten […]

  2. The Joy of Being Bitten #2 « The Real Deal on Dogs Says:

    […] the meantime, see what happens to some pups who grow up feisty.  Read The Joy of Being Bitten # 1 – it’s a whole different kind of […]

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