My dog Jake and I went hiking up a mountain a few years ago and had a great time. It was a lot of fun watching him climb up the side of a rock wall like Spider-man or chasing small critters in the woods. I’ve never seen him so excited. It was awesome to watch.
When we got home, he passed out on his bed for hours. Even the next day he couldn’t be bothered to get up and eat his breakfast. He eventually did and then went back to bed. But as I saw him approach his food bowl, I noticed his walk looked different. Immediately, I thought maybe he got hurt during the hike so I went to examine him after he ate. I took his legs one by one and gave them a quick glance looking for signs of discomfort, but there wasn’t any. I was relieved that it wasn’t anything broken at least, but there was still something up and I had to find it.
I took one of his paws to examine it and that’s when Jake lunged at me and bit my hand, snarled at me and even growled a little. The pads of his paws were raw and had become super sensitive to the touch. The second I touched it, his instincts took over and snapped at me. Someone else might have misinterpreted that action as the dog has lost his mind and has become aggressive. Some people might even go as far as to have the animal destroyed. All because of ignorance. Jake was just letting me know that I hurt him. By the way, his bite hurt, but he didn’t even break the skin. It was a warning. He was just letting me know in the only way he knows how to “knock it off.” He’s a dog and he doesn’t understand that I’m just trying to help him.
This video that I’m posting here relates to this experience because if I hadn’t taught my dog bite inhibition, that bite could have meant a trip to the hospital. Luckily, I have spent a lot of time with Jake teaching him that his bites can hurt me. Dogs don’t want to hurt you, but if they’re not trained properly they can seriously, but inadvertently, hurt their owners.
Training a dog from a puppy is a great idea. Use it in play to teach your dog bite inhibition. If you have an older dog, it’s never too late to teach him. Regardless of what people say, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. It just takes patience and determination. Your dog wants to please you. Trust me, they learn.