Share This

Old School Rebellion Dogs: Dog Bites Dog


a blogumn by Shante Paradigm

tilo060309I’ve finally found time to write and submit an article to FaN! I’m proud to say that Mr. Tilopa has come quite a long way in the 10 months that we’ve been a little family. I’ve logged in many hours of working with a trainer, teaching Tilo how to behave through positive reinforcement methods such as clicker training/shaping and re-conditioning negative associations.

He’s totally able to play well in the park without terrorizing the park workers (however, now that it’s summer, he has begun jumping into the garbage cans in the park to find “snacks.”), and he is totally in love with his new dogwalkers at Paw Paw Pets. I’ve even been getting compliments from other dog owners who have watched him go from a scared, skittish pup, who often used his mouth to communicate his fear, to a playful, fairly calm teen dog. He is still quite hyper and puppy-ish, but also tremendously pliant, playful and full of love. His only real place of total meltdown is at the vet and that’s another post for another day.

This week, we had a bit of a scare. As we were leaving the park on a bright, glorious Monday morning, Tilo was bitten by another dog.

Now, these times are no fun, but they are also instructive. I already had him on the leash (he had eaten so much food in the park post-sunny weekend, I thought I as going to have to get his stomach pumped), so he was relatively calm. he had been playing with two dogs while he was on leash, when a third dog approached. This dog was a large, male, pure white dog–the exact type Tilo hates! So I was cautious and made sure to keep Tilo out of biting range, as I pulled Tilo away, the dog lunged for him and bit him in the eye. Blood was everywhere, but the worst part is that once a dog fight starts, it’s a siren for all of the other dogs to get involved. Soon dogs were biting each other, owners were yelling for their dogs and collars and dog-bodies were being grabbed. phew!

Tilo is fine. I put some Bach Flower Remedy lotion on his eye and it was healed within two days. I dread seeing this dog again because Tilo has a very long memory. The owner of the dog and I spoke and we tried to re-introduce them. We were able to get them within two feet of one another and they remained calm. Any closer was a problem. The wonderful thing about dogs, or Tilo in this case, was five minutes later he was completely happy. He wasn’t hurt badly, so he wasn’t tense or scared or aggressive. he was just walking up the street, tongue hanging out, toenails clicking on the pavement, looking really cute.

We still have work to do: he is wary of men on the street, he lunges at bigger, male dogs (especially white ones) and he truly is borderline-Cujo at the vet. Yet, he is so full of life and love and sweetness, I am truly impressed with how far he’s come through all of the pain of growing up.