Piper is adorable. Piper is so very smart and is so easy to train. She’s an absolute love! Unless, you aren’t already in her inner circle. Let me tell you a story about when Piper and I were first getting to know each other.
Piper came into my life quite by accident. I had seen a flyer for a cattle dog puppy who needed a home. I felt obligated to meet her and when I did, she jumped up on my chest, snapped at my face, and vaulted off of me. I know what you’re thinking.
Love at first sight.
You’d be correct! I was in love. Maybe it was her intensity, or her sweet face, or the fact that where she was currently living resembled a mud pit and she was crated all day long to avoid conflict with the other dogs in this “rescue.” After a handful of meet and greets with Manzo which were more like parallel walking, sniffing each other’s pee, and avoiding one another, I brought her home. Something else you should know about Piper is that she had zero socialization from the time she was shipped to her prior owners at 8 weeks of age, to the time I brought her home at 9 months. If you’re completely horrified by this, then we’re on the same page. It’s an absolute injustice to not socialize a dog, but particularly a dog whose breed is prone to being antisocial and even aggressive. It’s okay though. Remember what I said earlier about her good looks? She’s absolutely stunning! (Sorry Manzo! You’re cute too.)
So she came home with me and we began bonding, training, and overcoming the illnesses that she came with. We went to one of her vet appointments after a few months of having her. Thus far, she had been a dream (and remains so!) I remember this like it was yesterday. The vet sat down on the ground to say hello to Piper. Getting down low makes you seem less threatening. She was loose, wiggly, and licking his face. Are you stressed yet? Because I should have been. In a split second Piper went from what looked like a happy sweet dog to Cujo. She lunged right at the vets face and bit him. We were so incredibly lucky. Piper only covered the poor man in spit. I was horrified. I was a dog trainer then and even I didn’t see a warning sign. No one did.
This was 7 years ago. I couldn’t begin to explain the enormity of my love for my dogs. It was an easy decision for me to make. We muzzle trained her. Dog bites are scary. Not just for the dog and owner, but for the victim and your community. A dog who bites only receives a few chances. I will never put Piper in a scenario where she could make a decision like that again, and it’s because I love her. Dogs bite, trust me, it happens all the time! One simple, affordable tool can literally save your dog’s life.
Muzzles have the possibility to be such amazing tools for the right dogs. No dog should be forced to wear one, but with time, every dog can learn that a muzzle is an opportunity for fun, for treats, for training, and for safety. Piper has learned this and as a result she can now meet people and other dogs! Her horizons have been broadened because of it. She leads a more enriching life because of it. She stays alive because of it.
Has your dog ever bit? Or tried to bite? Or maybe you’re worried that they will? First I want to say you’re not alone and here at Red Pointy Dog Training we PROMISE not to judge you or to think less of you or your dog. We’re in this journey together and we want to help you help your dog make better choices. Second, I invite you to condition your dog to love wearing a muzzle. There are so many options now that are affordable and comfortable for your dog. You can even custom order pretty ones too! Here are some links to a few we like.