Ironic. This is a high-risk job for bites, and I've come close a couple of times. But this time it had nothing to do with my work. I was just walking by the dog. I was actually heading for another dog (a BC puppy), and didn't even notice this one. I heard a growl, and looked down in time to see her lunge. If I hadn't jumped back in time, I'd be in the hospital right now. She tore my pants and gave me a bad scrape above the knee.
Her owner said, "She's never done that before!" I went into the office to report it and ask what I should do. Then I went out to talk to the owners... and they were gone.
So all I know is that it was a female red and white aussie. I refused the rabies treatment. Not gonna go there.
I wonder if "she's never done that before" because she's never had the opportunity. Most likely this was the poor thing's first trip into a chaotic, busy environment, and her owners were clueless about how she was reacting to it.
I didn't think I had to hurry to catch them, because they were sitting outside the vet's office - a couple with 2 dogs. I assumed they were waiting to see the vet. So when I came out of the office and they were gone, I went to the vet tech and told her to watch out for the red aussie. She said, "What red aussie?"
People. Sigh.
Amazing what a trauma like this does to a person. I felt the bite, but went into immediate denial that I got bitten. It hurt, but the dog missed me - must have. Just a pinch. I was unable to talk to the owners right then - just simply shut down and went into essentials mode... must tell the manager. It wasn't until I was in his office that I looked down at my leg, and was shocked to see my pants torn and a real boo-boo there. :}
By the time my head cleared enough to realize I needed the owners to provide proof of a rabies vaccination (I at first refused to go for medical help), they were gone.
I feel betrayed. How could a dog do this to ME? I love dogs more than my own life. I know this is a nonsensical way to feel, and it amuses me in a way that I feel it. But it's there. And it scares me to know that there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. I wasn't that close to the dog. I wasn't paying any attention to her. I could understand if it was a dog I was working with, if I could point to a mistake I had made that led to it, something I could learn from. But this was straight out of left field. I can't get my head around it.
When Madigan bit me, it was a scratch. It bled a lot because it was on my face, but her intention wasn't to take my nose off. And she could have, because I didn't even have enough of a clue to jump back. This dog was really trying to take me down.
I'm sure some of you other trainers and people who worked in vet clinics have been bitten. Did you get all weirded out, too? Or am I just... weird? :}

PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.
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I feel betrayed. How could a dog do this to ME?It'll happen to me someday, Leah, and I'll feel exactly the same way. "Didn't you recognize me, dog?"

As to weird. All dogPeople are weird. You have to pass a weirdness test to belong.
I remember our first trainer, on a home visit, showing me a scar on her hand. The worst bite she's ever received, she said. It was from a chihuahua, who had been shoved at her by the owner. (Shove. "Oh, spanky's very friendly!) The dog bit, and hung on for quite a bit. Her second-worst bite was from a cocker spaniel. She sticks with the big dogs now - Rotties, mostly.
You'll get over it, but you won't ever forget.
-Shannon
She tore my
pants and gave me a bad scrape above the knee.

Sorry you were bitten, but least it was just a scrape. I've had dogs sink in, with four puncture wounds and a mouth shaped bruise for my trouble. Having a Bullmastiff grab you by the thigh ain't fun.
I feel betrayed. How could a dog do this to ME? I love dogs more than myown life. I know this is a nonsensical way to feel, and it amuses me in a waythat I feel it.

Yeah, when the Bullmastiff got me, that's how I felt too. Didn't help that the owner was a total a-hole and screamed her head off at me. (I was standing with my dog, never saw the Bullmastiff walk up beside me, so it's not as if my dog or I had provoked it in any way, other than by virtue of breathing.) Oh, but she had to tell me that "Basenjis are nasty". Uh.. my dog didn't bite anyone, lady.
I got quite a few bites when I worked at the vet's and the groomer's but I didn't feel at all weirded out by those. The cat/dog didn't like what I was doing, and let me know. Happens.
You'll feel better soon.

-Andrea Stone
Saorsa Basenjis
http://home1.gte.net/res0s12z/
The Trolls Nest - greenmen, goblins & gargoyle wall art www.trollsnest.com
This is a high-risk job for bites, and I've come close a couple of times.

I guess I'm lucky in that I have never been bitten, badly anyway. I've had some nips, puppyteeth scrapes and over eager treat grabber pinches (those HURT) but never seriously bitten. The worst one was a white GSD who was pretty shy and nasty. As I was standing near her with my back to her, I felt a thud on the back of my calf and saw her slink back. I just kept on talking, then confronted the owner after class. But that was nothing compared to a real bite!
My triainer friend had a GSD jump up as she was walking by and he nailed her in the lip. Put a huge hole in her bottom lip, you could see her teeth through it. Hit a squirter too, so blood was squirting with her heart beat Emotion: smile She excused herself and went into the bathroom and put some tissue in then continued the class. She said she was pretty much in shock.

Another PS trainer friend was bitten badly by a 6 month old Cocker Spaniel. Put a nice hole in her wrist and the owner never said a word...

Shake yourself off and carry on Emotion: smile Thats why you get paid the big bucks!

Dogstar716
Come see Gunnars Life: http://hometown.aol.com/dogstar716/index.html
Leah, first off, I'm sorry you got bitten.
But I've got to say that one thing you said really caught my notice- here it is:
I was actually heading for another dog (a BC puppy), and didn't even notice this one. I heard a growl, and looked down in time to see her lunge.

I'm willing to bet that an experienced observer - somebody standing back and watching this incident- could clearly have read the dog's intent before it lunged. Perhaps if YOU had paid some attention to this particular dog- instead of focussing on the BC puppy & not paying any attention to the dog who was close to you - you might have had some warning that she was going to bite.
Her owner said, "She's never done that before!" I went into the officeto report it and ask what I should do. Then I went out to talk to theowners... and they were gone.

Rule of thumb: always get owner information before you walk away, if you possibly can. I learned that one the hard way- a dog belonging to another dogwalker's employee attacked Brenin (tore his ear, minor fang holes in his leg) in the presence of both Jon and his assistant. I wanted to get away from them, and told Jon I'd call him later and let him know if Bren needed vet care. I called him that night, and left a message saying that yes, Bren had a minor injury, and would he please give me his employee's phone # so I could call and get the dog's shot info, and talk to her about the vet bill.
He never called me back. A few days later, I ran into him out at the park, and asked for the information again. He told me that she'd not only quit, but had moved, and he didn't have her phone #. A week later, I saw him walking her dog, although she wasn't with him.
IOW, he flat out lied. I didn't pursue it, because the bill was only $60- exam, cleaning, and antibiotics.
I should have known better, given that this was also the guy who used to walk a dog that bit PEOPLE, and would pretend he hadn't seen her do it.
Most likely this was the poor thing's first trip into a chaotic, busy environment, and her owners were clueless about how she was reactingto > it.

Given that it was an Aussie ***, it's more likely that she's territorial and dominant, and you invaded her space. T'other most likely possiblity is that she's fear-aggressive, and you invaded her space. Were you, by any chance, walking fast enough that your arms were swinging?
Amazing what a trauma like this does to a person. I felt the bite, butwent into immediate denial that I got bitten.

If you only have scrapes, you didn't quite get bitten, actually. Trust me, fang holes are a LOT worse- I've still got a scar from the one and only bite I've ever had, which went almost completely through my hand.
It hurt, but the dog missed me - must have. Just a pinch.

Hrm. That sounds like the dog may have done exactly what she meant to do, namely grip you. Not at all uncommon with a problematical Aussie.
And it scares me to know that there was nothing I
could have done to prevent it. I wasn't that close to the dog. I wasn't paying any attention to her.

Er, well- again, if you'd been paying attention, maybe you COULD have prevented triggering her.
I'm sure some of you other trainers and people who worked in vet clinicshave been bitten. Did you get all weirded out, too?

Well, I'm not exactly a trainer, but... I've only been seriously bitten once. It didn't weird me out at all- in fact, it didn't even bother me, aside from the fact that it hurt. Then again, I got bitten because I took a deliberate and calculated risk- IOW, I knew I was putting myself in harm's way.
I got bitten, I pulled my hand back thinking "", I went right back to breaking up the fight.
I've had a few minor pinches & so forth, which have also never bothered me.

And I have also experienced being the target of very serious aggression; IOW, being in the presence of dogs whom I know, without a shadow of a doubt, would not have hesitated to go for my throat if I triggered them. While it was hair-raising in the moment, it didn't bother me long-term.
Or am I just... weird? :}

No comment. :D Seriously, though I'm probably the weird one.

Sarah
Brenin, CGC, AD, O-EAC-V, O-EJC-V, EGC
Gwydion, Handy Cat
Morag Thistledown, Novice Triple Superior, S-OAC, S-OJC, O-OGC, EJC Robyn Meezer, Inspector of Human Activity
Rocsi Cadarn, S-NJC, NAC, NGTG, OGTG
we can be seen at: and
Leah, first off, I'm sorry you got bitten.
But I've got to say that one thing you said really caught my notice- here it is:
I was actually heading for another dog (a BC puppy), and didn't even notice this one. I heard a growl, and looked down in time to see her lunge.

I'm willing to bet that an experienced observer - somebody standing back and watching this incident- could have read the dog's intent before it lunged. Perhaps if YOU had paid some attention to this particular dog- instead of focussing on the BC puppy & not paying any attention to the dog who was close to you - you might have had some warning that she was going to bite.
Of course, you had no real reason to expect it.
Her owner said, "She's never done that before!" I went into the officeto report it and ask what I should do. Then I went out to talk to theowners... and they were gone.

Rule of thumb: always get owner information before you walk away, if you possibly can. I learned that one the hard way- a dog belonging to another dogwalker's employee attacked Brenin (tore his ear, minor fang holes in his leg) in the presence of both Jon and his assistant. I wanted to get away from them, and told Jon I'd call him later and let him know if Bren needed vet care. I called him that night, and left a message saying that yes, Bren had a minor injury, and would he please give me his employee's phone # so I could call and get the dog's shot info, and talk to her about the vet bill.
He never called me back. A few days later, I ran into him out at the park, and asked for the information again. He told me that she'd not only quit, but had moved, and he didn't have her phone #. A week later, I saw him walking her dog, although she wasn't with him.
IOW, he flat out lied. I didn't pursue it, because the bill was only $60- exam, cleaning, and antibiotics.
I should have known better, given that this was also the guy who used to walk a dog that bit PEOPLE, and would pretend he hadn't seen her do it.
Most likely this was the poor thing's first trip into a chaotic, busy environment, and her owners were clueless about how she was reactingto > it.

Given that it was an Aussie ***, it's more likely that she's territorial and dominant, and you invaded her space. T'other most likely possiblity is that she's fear-aggressive, and you invaded her space. Were you, by any chance, walking fast enough that your arms were swinging?
Amazing what a trauma like this does to a person. I felt the bite, butwent into immediate denial that I got bitten.

If you only have scrapes, you didn't quite get bitten, actually. Trust me, fang holes are a LOT worse- I've still got a scar from the one and only bite I've ever had, which went almost completely through my hand. It's never any fun, though.
It hurt, but the dog missed me - must have. Just a pinch.

Hrm. That sounds like the dog may have done exactly what she meant to do, namely grip you. Not at all uncommon with a problematical Aussie.
And it scares me to know that there was nothing I
could have done to prevent it. I wasn't that close to the dog. I wasn't paying any attention to her.

Er, well- again, if you'd been paying attention to all the dogs around you, maybe you COULD have prevented triggering her. But again, you weren't expecting it.
I'm sure some of you other trainers and people who worked in vet clinicshave been bitten. Did you get all weirded out, too?

Well, I'm not exactly a trainer, but... I've only been seriously bitten once. It didn't weird me out at all- in fact, it didn't even bother me, aside from the fact that it hurt. Then again, I got bitten because I took a deliberate and calculated risk- IOW, I knew I was putting myself in harm's way.
I got bitten, I pulled my hand back thinking "Well, that didn't work", I went right back to breaking up the fight.
I've had a few minor pinches & so forth, & I've been snapped at a few times, which have also never bothered me.
I've also experienced being the target of very serious aggression; IOW, being in the presence of dogs whom I know, without a shadow of a doubt, would not have hesitated to go for my throat if I triggered them. While it was hair-raising in the moment, it didn't bother me long-term. For a day or so, yeah, thinking about what could have happened.
Or am I just... weird? :}

No comment. :D Seriously, though I'm probably the weird one.

Sarah
Brenin, CGC, AD, O-EAC-V, O-EJC-V, EGC
Gwydion, Handy Cat
Morag Thistledown, Novice Triple Superior, S-OAC, S-OJC, O-OGC, EJC Robyn Meezer, Inspector of Human Activity
Rocsi Cadarn, S-NJC, NAC, NGTG, OGTG
we can be seen at: and
I'm sure some of you other trainers and people who worked in vet clinics have been bitten. Did you get all weirded out, too? Or am I just... weird? :}

It's something you need to get used to, Leah, because getting bitten is part of being a dog trainer/vet/vet tech, etc.
And the more dogs you train or work with, the more times you'll get bitten and that goes double for rescue/rehab work.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply via e-mail
I'm willing to bet that an experienced observer - somebody standing back and watching this incident- could clearly have read ... the dog who was close to you - you might have had some warning that she was going to bite.

I think just about any trainer, even a very experienced one, can usually look back and find something (postmortem) that he or she should have seen or noticed or known about a particular dog, but didn't, and for a thousand different reasons.
Yes, Leah will get better at reading animals the longer she remains a dog trainer, but she's never going to be perfect. I've yet to meet the successful, long-term trainer, especially the kind that will take on any and all dogs, who hasn't been bitten many times.

But they're almost never serious bites, and they go with the job.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply via e-mail
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