Pinched between teeth
A pink welt on white skin
OW! scares us both
So it turns out Whiskey can be a shithead. She cozies up when I’m eating like she expects to be baby-birded.
Her stubborn streak is …
… OK, I can’t blame her here. We were at the vet’s.
Don’t get me wrong—I love her to pieces. She makes me laugh every day and she treats Rico so well. But she can be bit of a shit.
Especially when she bites the shit out of all of us except Rico. (I guess I did ask for the best friend for him, not me.) It’s her play style. I hate it. I guess no one taught her differently growing up. And now I have a 50 pound pit bull terrier/boxer mix who bites people. For fun.
Making matters worse, Whiskey doesn’t seem to know how to accept affection. Contact means playtime. Good luck getting out of this unscathed.
Whiskey’s really good at pricking your skin between her front teeth. Even on my shin. How does she do that?
I know puppies play using their mouths. To teach them better play habits, trainers recommend saying “ouch” loud enough to startle them when they mouth you. Don’t pull away because they need to learn to stop, not be enticed into chasing you. Just ouch, whether it actually hurts or not.
But I’ve also heard that many adult dogs love squeaky toys because the sound mimics the death squeals of their prey. The sound amps them up like an Imagine Dragons song.
I wonder how Whiskey interprets my yelps.
Breaking both our habits
We’ve been at this for about a month now. By “this,” I mean my internal debate on as to how to handle her playful(ly painful) biting.
While my left brain busily analyzed how I should respond, my right brain spontaneously responded to every nip. Sometimes I yelped and jerked away (then chided myself for the wrong response). Other times, I just yelped (and feared I had just inspired her to attack me with gusto).
Then I suddenly realized I’d gone through a whole week without a new bruise. I can see now that my response usually cues her onto something wrong. And she’s almost totally stopped nipping. Almost.
Whiskey’s been here for only a short while and she already reminded me of some valuable lessons…
- I’m still putting too much energy into thinking instead of doing.
- The best responses spring up out of love, not fear.
Thank you for stopping by. – Christie
* After writing my first haiku about Rico just as a joke, I’ve developed a love for that style of poetry. I’ve even done a few coupled with photos honoring my dogs, which I’ll share later. Because I realize most of us, including me, don’t know much about haiku, I’ll explain what I’ve learned when I do share the finished pieces.