I got bit by a dog…

It goes with the territory, being a dog groomer, but over the past 40 years, I’ve learned a lot about dog behavior, what scares dogs, & how to safely & humanely handle a dog….& this has nothing to do with that.  I wasn’t even paying any attention to the dog—which is why I got bitten.

What happened was….the dog , a ‘hound type’, had taken a ‘dislike’ to me…but since he had taken a dislike to several people, nobody gave it much though.  He had been boarding at the place I worked, and was in a dog daycare situation.  He was ok with other dogs, and with the ‘handler’ (I use the term loosely—the ‘supervisor’ of the playgroup—& I used that term loosely, too), and I thought his only issue with me was the fence around the playgroup.

I entered the yard to get another dog, not even realizing he was there, and as I was trying to  get to the dog I wanted, he jumped up on me and bit me, in the  shoulder area.  I turned around, told him to get off of me, & the ‘handler’ pulled him off of me.  Otherwise, he probably would have taken another chunk our of me.

It really didn’t hurt, but the blood was pretty impressive.

So, yes…for no reason at all, he  chose me and bit me.

He had been having ‘mental issues’ for some time.  He could never settle down  and relax in the kennel, and the owner actually had him on an anti-depressant.  I am not sure why.  Probably the veterinarian was  going to try any drug (rather than convince the owners to seek an animal behaviorist…or do a brain scan), but in any case, I was the ‘last straw’ for these owners. They euthanized this dog.

One of the managers at the kennel asked me how I felt about that, and I said, “Of course, it’s a sad thing when a healthy dog is euthanized, but I don’t think he was healthy, and it was the right decision.  He was a dangerous dog. They can’t all be pets.”

“I’m glad you said that,” she told me, “Because I went to a seminar on  assessing dogs, and the trainer who gave it said that if we don’t  euthanize bad dogs, if a family with a child adopts this dog,  and anyone gets bittenm they will never again go to a shelter, and may never have another pet dog.”

She then went on to tell me how  when the kennel first opened up, she had  gone into a kennel suite to clean &  was just ignoring the dog, who was put in a safe holding area. As she  exited the suite, the dog just started staring at her & suddenly lunged at her and bit her in the hip.  It happens.

The fallacy is that all dogs bred can be pet dogs. They can’t.  There are aberrant dogs, dogs with brain issued you can’t see from the outside, and they are dangerous.

The problem is—every ‘dog lover’ who has never trained a dog or worked with dogs, or read a book on dog  behavior, who wants to work in a dog business, or own a dog business, doesn’t believe this.  They believe all dogs are like Lassie, and if you just pet them and give them treats, you are safe.  You aren’t.

Another problem is that  now society believes that  the ‘dangerous’ breeds:  the Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers, Mastiffs of any sort & any bully breed—is automatically dangerous—& that isn’t true. I’ve been bitten by more cocker soaniels, Scottish Terriers, & Lhasa Apsos than any other type of dog.  Yet, the insurance companies of American are not moving to ban cute looking dogs.  This is totally messed up.

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