Dog Trainer or Victim

Unusual day today.  To give you some context for what happened, check out this short (8 sec) video clip from yesterday:

I'm working on Raika's "drive with control".  The training scenario is....get dog riled up, wait for her shut up (can be a very long wait), then send for dumbbell.  Because Raika particularly enjoys pounding into me on the return, I allowed some of that to release her frustration.  Note that I was wearing nylon pants; normally I would wear jeans when doing this kind of work.   When I got dressed yesterday, I wasn't thinking about the kind of training I would be doing.  And therein lies the root of the problem.

Fast forward 24 hours.  Today I had my "women's wellness" exam with a nurse practitioner.

All started out perfectly normal.  I got a nice, cheerful nurse practitioner who takes her job seriously - and one of her primary jobs is to distract me with cheerful talk while she does Things Down There.  She started by asking what I do for a living.

I train dogs.

Ah! An excellent opening.  What exactly do I train them for?


Wow; that's wonderful!  That led to a nice little dialogue about how much she appreciates a well trained dog.  And being allergic to dogs, she particularly likes dogs that don't jump up, because she's sufficiently allergic that she'll have to change her clothes.  Since our total visit time will be about ten minutes at the most, I feel no need to enlighten her as to exactly what kind of obedience training I actually do.

And then she goes silent.  Very silent. After a few seconds, she asks me about the scratches and bruises on my thighs.  The bruises on my stomach.

Ah, awkward moment.  I have led her to believe that I, too, value a well trained dog that does not jump on people.  I didn't' actually say that, but I also did not correct her assumptions.

"Well.....those are from my dog."

There are different kinds of silence.  The one that ensued was the "I don't believe you" kind.

She approached if from a different direction.

"Gosh, I'm really concerned about this.  You have some pretty significant injuries here....I'm worried for you."

Shit shit shit.

Before they go to my house and arrest my husband, I start talking.  Sometimes I talk too much, and sometimes not enough.  In this case, I didn't really know what to do, but I sure as hell didn't want her calling in the Domestic Violence Crisis Committee.

I explained exactly what I had been doing which caused the scratches and bruises.

"I want my dog to have a faster return while she is holding an object, so I get her as excited as I can, send her to get an object, and then have her run at me full speed.  She then leaps into my stomach or wraps her legs around my legs.  That is what causes the bruises - her toes.  The scratches were caused by her dew claws digging in to my legs so she could hold on better.  There are multiple bruises and scratches because we did this multiple times"

I'll admit that even as the words were coming out, I knew they didn't sound too good.  Obedience trainer, my ass.

They let me go home.  I wonder what it says on my chart.  I wonder if I'm going to get a follow up phone call.  To be honest, I think it's pretty likely.


Helen Gruenhut

I cannot help this. This had me laughing out loud.
The general public has not got a clue about dog traiining; at least, not the kind that you do.
If you get a follow up, you just need to send the video. Of course, then you will risk their sending animal control.


Haha. I used to have to explain the bruises on my legs to my Ob-Gyn caused by my crazy Spritz but now he is used to it and doesn’t even mention it anymore. I still, however, have a scar on the right boob from the end of a particularly great agility run:-)

Geoff Stern

This is really funny… Thanks for the laugh. I wonder if certain breeds are worse than others. Seems all of the Belgian owners I know have at one time or another been bumped, lumped, jumped, dumped, and kerplunked by their dogs. I have had more crashes into the family jewels from my dogs than I might have had playing rugby at San Quentin.


Bwa ha ha! I have a Berner who is encouraged to play wildly and is always leaving me bruised! I have been questioned by my doctors several times and I just laugh!


LOL oh my this post just made my morning! I have had similar questions, after a flyball tournament or practice Sophie leaves me black and blue. I had a concerned co worker once ask me if I needed someone to talk with about any problems I may have with a significant other as she stared at the bruise on my arm. I eventually taped a practice to show her what goes on.

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