June's stupid life, My pets

Bitey Dog

Talu

Lula wear pink ribbon. I nice.

Okay, so, my dog bit me yesterday.

I wasn't gonna tell you, because I knew someone out there would say, "PIT BULL! SHE'S ONE-THIRD PIT BULL! EVILLLLLL PIT BULLLLLS!"

Just like that. That's just how you'd say it.

And she's one-third American Staffordshire terrier, which technically isn't Pit, but whatever. Girlfriend bit me. She didn't CLAMP DOWN, though.

Here's what happened. There are two dogs who live on the other side of our fence, and she loves to run up and down the fence line with them. She gets really agitated about it, though, and was bowing and wagging and bark bark bark bark barking, which was obnoxious.

The trainer said to snap her collar quickly and say, "Quiet." But I was supposed to do that with a LEASH attached to the collar. I didn't HAVE a leash, though, because we were in the backyard. So I reached over while she was barking and grabbed her collar, and she turned around, growled, and put her teeth on my wrist.

And I mean really, she placed her teeth there. It didn't remotely hurt. But I was stunned. I was so stunned I turned around and went inside, which was dumb, because now she has no idea that biting me is wrong.

I spoke with two friends who have always had dogs, and they reminded me that our trainer told me Tallulah has no CLUE she isn't the pack leader, that I'm not just a Cocker spaniel who she can put in her place when she needs to.

Really, if I were a dog I'd totally be a Cocker spaniel, wouldn't I? Wavy hair, pleasantly chubby, bad with kids.

So my friends and I decided I really need to establish dominance, which means Tallulah cannot get on the couch anymore, and she can't sleep with us. When I got home from shopping yesterday I made that dog get off the couch. And she.was.baffled.

She kept trying to go over and crawl on Marvin's lap, but I would not have it. I made her a little nest of blankets on the floor and she was all, "Seriously? Have you met me? Pack Leader Lu? WTF?"

Then at bedtime, oh. We shut the door and she slumped outside the door over and over, going, "MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!" in the saddest voice you ever heard.

And do you know what Marvin did? Are you READY to hear what Marvin did? He GOT UP and slept with her in the guest bed. He SLEPT WITH THE DOG WHO BIT ME in the guest bed.

Maybe I should ban Marvin from the couch.

I was going to write "Advice, please" but that seems unnecessary. Like you aren't already stampeding for the comment box.

55 thoughts on “Bitey Dog”

  1. Well, you lost your opportunity to “scold” her for the almost bite. Sounds like she was out of her doggie mind with the “fence-fighting” and then the split second she realized your hand was actually a “human” hand, she immediately stopped. Next time you know not to leave it and you have correct it.
    My dog is also a fence fighter with the neighbor dogs but luckily she is totally a wuss with humans. When she gets especially obnoxious, we try to reign her in, but you can’t easily grab her collar because she darts around to avoid you (all the while barking at the other dog). She has me chasing her (like it’s a game) which drives me INSANE so sometimes I have to get the Really Angry Voice out with the Stern Face and the Pointy Angry Finger and then she listens and goes back into the house. I only use that voice when she is being especially willful, so she doesn’t get used to that as “normal” (I don’t want it to lose it’s efficacy).

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  2. Yup. You need to roll Marvin. Establish your dominance by rolling him on his back and then pinning him down for a moment. Give him an evil stare, too!
    I believe Cesar says you can establish dominance by “claiming” space. You block the couch with you body. You don’t have to look at the dog (in fact, I think you are not supposed to). The dog, at least when Cesar does it, sort of shrugs and goes across the room and sits down all calm and submissive. You can provide affection once the dog is being calm/submissive.
    If you are a Cocker Spaniel, I always imagined I was a sort of over-weight Yellow Lab. Like Lula if she were gaining weight to play Bridget Jones.
    You ARE the Pack Leader!

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  3. Dog trainer? really?
    Wow.
    Whatever happened to a well-aimed bop to the nose and a good, old-fashioned “NO!”?
    And, then, if it happened again?
    Poor Lu.

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  4. Oh Fudge! I finally get my comment posted and there is a big ole type in the middle of the website I was trying to post.
    Let’s try again, shall we? www dot superdog dot com
    Sorry about that.

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  5. June, get a new dog trainer. That little girl has got things twisted. Someone told me that dogs see us and say to themselves “Oh, these humans take care of us, and feed us, and provide everything I need, THEY must be God”.
    Cats on the other hand, say “Oh, these humans take care of us, and feed us, and provide everything I need, *I* must be God!”
    Lulah is exhibiting some cat-like behavior, methinks!
    You might remember that I have a dog that was dropped off at my home who is the male equivalent of Tallulah. Ernest T. Bass had his own personal trainer whom we met while at a seminar of the Dog Whisperer. She uses a Dog Psychology Method through www dog superdog dot com. You might check and see if they have any trainers in your area. I do recommend their training, not at all scary or overly forceful.
    And I have to say Shame, Shame, Shame on Marvin (with capital S on purpose). Get that man clued in with the new program. Good luck. You can email me if you want, I am happy to do what I can to help. With Tallulah, not with Marvin. I have my own Marvin over here to deal with. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Ok, I have tried twice to comment on Lula and Marvin’s bad behavior. But it won’t take my comments. This is just a test post to see if it goes.

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  7. No, no, NO. All wrong.
    You are NOT a cocker spaniel, because I bet you almost NEVER pee on the floor when Marvin comes home, out of sheer excitement. You’re some sort of elegant, long-eared dog – ooo, an Afghan Hound!
    What, were we talking about something else?

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  8. A Bark Collar is a safe, effective and humane way to train your dog not to bark too much. Clinical studies conducted by the College of Veterinary medicine of Cornell University have proven that Spray Bark Collars are TWICE as effective as shock collars! Sonic dog barking collars are virtually ineffective compared to spray.

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  9. You quit your job, AND Talu bites You? One hell of a week!
    I have no advice. I do think I would be more upset at Marvin than at Talu.
    My immediate thought was maybe it was a good thing you two didn’t have kids. You would be withholding food from them while Marvin would be delivering secret picnic lunches in their closets. His heart is in the right place though.
    I agree with what Paula H&B wrote: “I don’t watch The Dog Whisperer but it would seem to me that the entity that walks on TWO feet, can, oh I don’t know, READ and DRIVE, AND doesn’t lick his/her own ass (I assume and HOPE) is CLEARLY the alpha being.”
    I would add that I would consider the one who has direct control over whether I eat or starve as the alpha being.
    I’m not a fan of dogs or kids sleeping in the bed with parents on a regular basis.
    And HULK: Your ex idiot father in law would have a white Russian all over himself if he ever looked at some of the names of towns in Pennsylvania. Quite amusing, if you have the mind of a 13 year old pubeing boy.

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  10. Oddly enough, Zali bit me on the boob yesterday. I was lying on the floor watching TV. Simone and Zali were romping across my person play fighting. I was the fort. Anyhoo, Zali goes to nip his sister and owweee!
    Point is. He was playing. He didn’t mean it. I let it go.
    I am dominant. Zali sleeps on the bed, as does Simone. Try the food suggestions. Teach her some new tricks for food. Being dominant is important, but it will never work if bad dog Marv doesn’t get some corrective training. It will only make things worse.
    Lu was playing. Let it go. If she were being aggressive, you would have been writing it from the hospital. She’s a good dog. Don’t mess her up now because you got scared for a second, June!
    And at least she didn’t chomp on one of your tatas. Because owch.

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  11. Oddly enough, Zali bit me on the boob yesterday. I was lying on the floor watching TV. Simone and Zali were romping across my person play fighting. I was the fort. Anyhoo, Zali goes to nip his sister and owweee!
    Point is. He was playing. He didn’t mean it. I let it go.
    I am dominant. Zali sleeps on the bed, as does Simone. Try the food suggestions. Teach her some new tricks for food. Being dominant is important, but it will never work if bad dog Marv doesn’t get some corrective training. It will only make things worse.
    Lu was playing. Let it go. If she were being aggressive, you would have been writing it from the hospital. She’s a good dog. Don’t mess her up now because you got scared for a second, June!
    And at least she didn’t chomp on one of your tatas. Because owch.

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  12. Oddly enough, Zali bit me on the boob yesterday. I was lying on the floor watching TV. Simone and Zali were romping across my person play fighting. I was the fort. Anyhoo, Zali goes to nip his sister and owweee!
    Point is. He was playing. He didn’t mean it. I let it go.
    I am dominant. Zali sleeps on the bed, as does Simone. Try the food suggestions. Teach her some new tricks for food. Being dominant is important, but it will never work if bad dog Marv doesn’t get some corrective training. It will only make things worse.
    Lu was playing. Let it go. If she were being aggressive, you would have been writing it from the hospital. She’s a good dog. Don’t mess her up now because you got scared for a second, June!
    And at least she didn’t chomp on one of your tatas. Because owch.

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  13. I don’t watch The Dog Whisperer but it would seem to me that the entity that walks on TWO feet, can, oh I don’t know, READ and DRIVE, AND doesn’t lick his/her own ass (I assume and HOPE) is CLEARLY the alpha being.

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  14. I don’t watch The Dog Whisperer but it would seem to me that the entity that walks on TWO feet, can, oh I don’t know, READ and DRIVE, AND doesn’t lick his/her own ass (I assume and HOPE) is CLEARLY the alpha being.

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  15. I don’t watch The Dog Whisperer but it would seem to me that the entity that walks on TWO feet, can, oh I don’t know, READ and DRIVE, AND doesn’t lick his/her own ass (I assume and HOPE) is CLEARLY the alpha being.

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  16. DB in MD, I LIKE you ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh, I hope you aren’t at all shaken by the incident. We adopted my husband’s family’s dogs after my MIL died. After I trained the food-obsessed rat terrier to sit and wait until he had permission to eat, and promptly swatted the weiner dog for snapping at me which she never did again, my husband goes along with my methods. Especially since the dogs seem to prefer me to him, even though they grew up with him. I think it’s because I’m consistent; they always know what is expected of them and what the results will be. I tend to lecture the dogs after misbehavior- they don’t understand the words but completely get the tone. Again, i just hope you feel comfortable with your Lula.

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  17. Wait, so I’m NOT supposed to let my dog put her teeth on me? That’s her favorite game! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I only wish I were kidding… I completely let my pup chew on my hands. It makes my fiance crazy because I’m letting her be the pack leader. Oops!

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  18. My hubby and I adopted a dog three weeks ago and I have to say that establishing dominance is hard! Our dog is pretty good, but she’s big and strong and aggressive towards other dogs as well as cats, so walking her? Not so fun. We’re speaking with a trainer/behaviorist about her aggression (it’s actually fear, apparently). She also gets a bit mouthy with us when we play with her and the trainer suggested getting a spray called Bitter Apple, which tastes really gross, and spraying our hands when she gets mouthy. Not sure if that will work for you though if it’s so rare that she bites. One thing that sometimes works is making a really load ‘OWWWWW!’ even if it doesn’t hurt at all.
    And you and Marvin really have to be a united front on the training. I’m sure you already knew that though.
    We like also the book “Good Owners, Great Dogs” by Brian Kilcommons. Good luck!

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  19. Up until this past April,I had a 1/2 pit bull mix who slept in my bed with me for 14 years. She sat on my lap, on the couch, etc…I guess I wasn’t a pack leader either, but I would like to think that when I had to put her to sleep that she had the best life she could have and even if she didn’t see me as the pack leader, I am okay with that.
    Maybe I’m too much of an animal lover. I just think that dogs should get to sleep in beds…

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  20. No advice here. Got two dogs in my bed, and not even a man to put in the guest room… And yes, I get Cocker Spaniel. (I’m Irish Setter!)

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  21. I agree with Gladys. As an owner of two boxers who think they rule the earth… you will need to, the next time Lula has an episode, be physically demonstrative. I have bitten the dog back when he/she tries to be “bitey”. The last thing that they think is that (oh hey the big guy who feeds and walks and picks up their poop) will ever take them down. Just a thought, and it works…then we get to have really ridiculous kissy time…..awww I gotta kiss your tummy.

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  22. DB in MD I totally dig you! The air horn is masterful.
    June, book club selection for November should be The Latchkey Dog by Jodi Andersen. It was hands down the most entertaining dog book I’ve read (although Patricia McConnell’s stuff is good too). Not to be going alpha dog on you, but my MJDI is to read that book.

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  23. I agree with those who say Lula doesn’t know how to connect the two scenarios.
    It’s like if your human BFF just stopped answering your phone calls with no reason that you know of. That’s what’s relating to her right now.
    What you can do is mock-mouthing. It’s going to sound disgusting but occasionally take your wrist/hand/ankle and put it in her mouth. She’s going to squirm but then reinforce ‘NO BITE’ firmly. She’ll get the concept. Try to play a little rough with her on the floor so she’s encouraged to mouth you. It’s not ‘fair’ but it will get her attention and allow you to enforce ‘your’ rules.
    Otherwise, right now, she’s just plotting what pair of shoes she’s going to rip up out of revenge. lol

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  24. Gladys is right. Take Marvin to the floor and clench down on his ear until he fully understands you are the alpha female.

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  25. First of all yes you are a Cocker Spaniel. Whose a good Juney Wooney? Whose a sweet girl? Who wants a doggie-do? Juney wanna cookie? (read that in a really high pitch sweet sappy voice)
    Next – You must make Marvin submissive. You must take him down to the floor. Hold him there until he goes completely submissive. When he is able to submit then he can be let back up but the minute he starts getting out of control again take him down. Make a mouth with your hand and clamp it around his neck and force him to the ground.
    Now that is what marriage is all about.. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  26. I have a suggestion. I have a next-door neighbor who has 4 little yappy dogs and she allows them to bark non-stop at my dogs when they are outside. I have 2 large dogs and they are not allowed to bark for no reason, but once in a while the constant yapping will get my Mastiff/Akita mix worked into a frenzy and while he doesn’t bark back, he would like nothing more than to launch himself over the fence and have himself a poodle snack. Since my neighbor thinks it’s funny to hear her little dogs barking at my large dogs, I now keep an air horn (like the ones used at sporting events) by my back door. When the barking gets out of hand, I open the back door and give a blast or two on the air horn and it distracts both the yappy dogs and my dogs. Plus, I get the added benefit of scaring the pants off my neighbor.

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  27. You’ve got to get Marvin on the same page with you!
    I won’t pretend to be a qualified dog trainer, but I volunteered for years at a shelter and learned some things here and there. One thing they taught us was that when a dog is behaving badly, the first thing you want is to get them to stop and that works best by distracting them. One easy way to do it that *usually* works is to call them in a really happy high pitched voice – at the shelter they had us to do this “bup bup bup” in sort of a high pitched happy sing songy voice. The dog hears it and is generally attracted to it (because usually good things are associated with those kinds of sounds) and then when they come to you give them a tiny treat right away (because she came and should be rewarded for that) and then you can do more controlly things like make her sit, etc. Another easy way to do it is if Talula likes squeaky toys, is sqeak it – just enough to get her attention. You can even buy the squeakers at pet stores, and then you can just carry that around with you (easier than carrying around an actual toy – they’re only like an inch big, seriously worth it).
    And the other thing they taught us was that when a dog is all excited, pulling at their leash and yelling just adds to their excitement – I bet Talula just bit you because to her, pulling at her leash and yelling is “barking and playing around, this is really fun”. I’m sure you’ve seeing dogs playing together where they “bite” but it’s obviously not hard and they’re tails are all waggy. It’s not a pit bull thing at all – it’s how dogs play, and Talula was most likely just trying to play with you.
    Good on you for caring! So many people just let it continue and then things really escalate.
    Oh, and for real good advice anything by Patricia McConnell is great. She’s an animal behaviorist PhD with a radio program Calling All Pets. She has like a zillion books, and she’s an amazing personality. If you can find her radio program online or something it’s a really fun listen.

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  28. I don’t think it matters that the dog won’t connect sleeping in your bed or getting on the couch to her having tried to bite you. What is important is that you will be establishing dominance and that is what will prevent her from biting again. You don’t want her to be a robot, but you do want to have control over her.

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  29. I am a wimpy type non-leadery sort of person who had cats my whole life and dogs for only 8 years, now. It sounds like you are practicing a version of what’s called “nothing in life is free (NILIF)” and it’s a really good way to assert your status as pack leader without going overboard on the whole “dominance” thing which is so popular these days (and is somewhat misguided, in my opinion). By the time my first dog, Zoe, was a year old, I discovered through our trainer that Zoe was firmly in charge in the household, and that wasn’t really going so well. I went to the trainer for help and also received some really good help through a newsgroup (which has now morphed into a facebook group called rpdb_refugees, which you might want to look into). Anyway, I did the NILIF method and after a while I didn’t have to take such a hard line anymore. Sometimes Zoe still gets a little bossy — she is the dominant one in our little pack of 3 dogs — and I will revert to the harder line for a while. I think you and Lu will be fine and I agree with the other people who said she showed good bite inhibition.

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  30. Good luck with this…if you both are not consistant Lu will get worse, not better. Marvin is doing her no favors by coddling her, he’s just confusing her and contradicting you. Looks like several others here have great advice. If she bites you again (even not breaking skin) she needs to be corrected right away, I’m sure you know that…you were just stunned the first time. I hope there isn’t a next time but if there is, be prepared.

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  31. I don’t think that not being allowed on the couch or bed is a punishment at all! It’s a new regime that she’ll get used to and will be hunky dory with pretty quickly but it’ll change dynamics for the better. Even if she was in a dog-moment, better inhibition won’t be a bad thing (a la duffylou’s dog). She’ll be more inhibited if she’s a bit more respectful.

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  32. Yeah unfortunately, if not corrected right away, Lu has no idea why you are changing things now. Staying off the furniture doesn’t make any sense to her. She needed to be corrected right then and there. Marvin on the other hand has a memory longer than a gnat and I would pile on some whoop-ass for siding with the dog.

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  33. Does Marvin understand that ultimately Lula will be a happier and SAFER dog if you establish that you are the boss and she must obey? This way you can keep her from 1) biting other dogs 2) biting other people 3) running into the road 4) running away etc.

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  34. It’s not a big deal – she was displacing her aggression (for lack of a better word) toward the other dog, she didn’t even know it was you yanking on her. She showed good bite inhibition in that she didn’t clamp down on you. But establishing a little more dominance is not a bad idea. Make her sit or something before you feed her, and I think she could sleep in the bedroom in her own bed, just not on your bed.

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  35. Sorry, but if the “punishment” is not directly and immediately related to the “crime,” Tallulah has no idea what’s going on and is probably not associating this with the concept of pack leader.

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  36. i have a rott/pitt mix. licks me from head to toe. we had to put up an 8′ privacy gate across the driveway because he was so possessive of his property. before the fence went up, we had a regular, chain link fence gait. one day he was worked up and almost over the fence barking at a passing dog. i grabbed his collar to pull him down. he spun his head around with teeth barred then locked eyes with me and licked me instead.
    i truly believe lula was in a dog moment and not meaning to hurt her person.
    dogs have the memory of about a minute and a half. she will have no connection between your incident and banishment from the couch.
    marvin on the other hand, should be banished from the couch as he has a longer memory span.

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  37. Marvin went to the guest bed with Lu???????????? I’d utterly wrend my husband limb from limb if he did that. He’s totally undermining all of your work with Lu. Grrrrr. Marvin make me mad. Reeeeeaaaal mad.
    He has to get on board with establishing the pack leader role.
    Marvin? Are you out there? If you don’t back up our Junie, there will be a bunch of angry Faithful Readers coming to NC to hunt you down!

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  38. Oh. Hell. No.
    Marvin should have no access to any of your girl parts for a very long time.
    Although I should talk, we are beyond the Dog Whisperer here, we are straight up going to “It’s Me or the Dog”

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  39. Oh Marvin Marvin Marvin. You should ban him from the guest bed, so at least Lula will think oh no, the boss lady is mad at you too man-friend and that’s why you’re nesting on the floor with me. I think you’re doing a good job. Other things are not giving her food scraps and make her do a few simple tricks before she’s allowed to eat her food rather than letting her have it as soon as it’s down. I have a german shepherd X that weighs more than me so I have to be Miss Bossypants all the time, which kind of sucks, but worth it in the end. I think it’s hard for us cat people to discipline dogs since the way to keep a cat happy is give it everything it desires and we have no problem knowing the cats are the boss of us ๐Ÿ˜€

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  40. Good job on establishing dominance. Lu was way out of line. So was Marvin. If he doesn’t get on board maybe we’ll see you on an episode of Dog Whisperer.

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