When Your Dog Beats You Up

Has your pet ever made you feel like a complete fool? Have they ever embarrassed you in public? My dogs have done this to me on more than one occasion.

Penny definitely got me last week. As I laced up my shoes to go for a run, I look over and see these pathetic faces. They have perfected the look of feeling completely despondent, I felt guilty and decided to multi-task and take them along for my morning exercise.

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This was an error in judgment.

Since there is no way I can handle them both at the same time, I usually walk Penny first, then Suzie immediately after.

I really cannot start off running with Suzie, she talks off like a horse released to race and will pull me along at her insane speed. Sometimes, if she is tired out and I am feeling extra energetic, we can meet in the middle.

Any runs I have done with a dog have mostly been with Penny. Penny & I seem to run about the same speed, although she tires out after about 3 miles and lags behind.

On this day, when I let their sad faces get the better of me, I decided to start out with running with Penny, then I would walk briskly with Suzie.

Bulldogs are known for their fierce loyalty, overwhelming (almost smothering) love and protectiveness.

They are not known for their intelligence.

I have been working with Suzie for almost three years and Penny for two years, on appropriate walking behavior, and they still do not get it.

Penny goes absolutely berserk when she sees the leash. I am not sure what she has against it, but she immediately starts to bite it and will.not.let.go. She thinks it is the perfect time to play tug of war.

She started this the first time I ever put a leash on her. Those first few walks were filled with constant re-direction and discipline for biting the leash.

Penny leash

Now, this only lasts for about the first five minutes, then she calms downs, walks beside me, and it is the picture of all I ever wanted when I thought of walking my dog.

However, those first five minutes have grown more intense. Penny is much bigger and stronger, so it looks like we are in a five-minute fight. She jumps to get the leash, and usually pushes me in the process. She has stepped on my foot causing me to stumble, slammed against me, giving me bruises or scratched me up while jumping.

I usually tighten up the leash so much that she can barely see it and re-direct her to keep walking. Once she gets into a groove, she forgets about the leash and enjoys her walk.

Last week, I did not give her enough time to calm down. I wanted to get my run over with before it got too hot and I wanted to get back to walk Suzie, before the sun was blazing down. I started running with Penny too soon before she got all her crazies out.

We were running in the street, she jumped to get the leash and completely tripped me. I slammed down on both knees on the gravel, and she ran off, fighting with the leash.

I quickly got myself up and saw she was in the middle of what looked liked an epileptic episode, fighting with the leash. I thought this was a good time for me to take her home, she thought it was a good time to play tug of war. With my knees gushing blood, and my pride completely gone, I tried to wrestle the leash from her. We got some concerned stares from passers by.

Luckily, we were only 1 block away from home. I started walking and she followed close by, still fighting with the leash.

She ended up biting it completely in half before we got home. I went inside to wash my wounds. Penny felt like she had a successful morning and Suzie became even more pathetic, wondering why she didn’t get a walk.

I will save you from injury pictures (one of my pet peeves is when people unknowingly foist injury pictures on you. Sometimes, I am enjoying my morning tea, browsing Instagram, and BOOM, blood!). I have two deep cuts on both of my knees, and road rash on my right leg. My right hand also got a bit cut up, as I must have tried to break my fall.

I immediately iced both knees, in hopes that they would not swell. This seemed to help and I just have had to deal with disgusting knees that I cannot put pressure on. I have been frustrated with not being able to do any of the yoga poses that require direct pressure on your knees, and I visually shake my fist at Penny during yoga, when one of those poses are cues (not very Zen like).

When it comes down to it, I know it was my fault. I started off running too fast when I should have known better.

Obviously, my dogs still need training and work, so I need to make their walk times completely about them, and not about what I want. They need my full attention, and maybe, just maybe, they will learn more appropriate behavior.

Any suggestions on her to get her to STOP thinking the leash is her sworn enemy? Have you ever been beat up by your pet?

PS-Here is a cute picture of Suzie from her 3rd birthday, celebrated last week:

Suzie 3

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11 thoughts on “When Your Dog Beats You Up

  1. I only run with the dogs when we’re somewhere they can be off leash because otherwise someone (most likely me) is going to get hurt! Have you tried putting hot sauce or something else distasteful (to the dog) on the leash where she bites? Could act as a deterrent. Or, try a Gentle Lead (that’s a brand name). It looks a little like a muzzle although it isn’t and she wouldn’t be able to bite with it on. It would also help with the crazy pulling behaviour (which is why I use it on one of my dogs). But you’re right…walking the dog needs to be only about the dog (hard to do, I know, as I often try to combine dog walks with other errands I need to do).

  2. Ditto to the Gentle Leader. My Boxer/Ridgeback would terrorize anyone who walked him. He bit through several cloth leashes and pulled people down when he was on a chain leash. I had to pick up my 75 lb dog and carry him home on one particularly bad walk. The Gentle Leader stopped all of that. If you control the head, you control the dog. That’s the theory. We also made him sit as we put the Gentle Leader on. He was antsy, but he learned that if he got up, we would take the leash away and wait until he sat down again. Some people think it’s a muzzle and avoid you on walks, but whatever. Your dogs are beautiful btw. I love seeing pictures of them. 🙂

  3. OMG I have the worst time with my new puppy. He refuses to walk the first half of the journey and then pulls on the way home. He has pulled me face forward on trails, and has also zig zagged in front of me, trying to kill me or injure himself. Or both, not really sure. I have a gentle leader too BTW

  4. OMG!!! Your puppies are SO cute, but sound exactly like the kind of embarrassment mine put me through. Luckily mine are small and can’t physically injure me too much, but they have this strange habit (and in fact I got caught in this today!) of sneaking out of the yard somehow and going off to discover the neighborhood. I may have yelled at the guy who cuts my grass today and asked if he had left the gate opened. I think it might just be neighborhood children. It’s crazy how our animals can best us that way, sometimes!

    Also, your point about Instagram and people posting injury photos? I’m totally with you on that! It’s one of my top 3 Instagram pet peeves. That, and do not treat Instagram like a photo album and post 5 things in a row of the SAME thing. Injury pics are the worst though. Hope you’re recovering alright!

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