Confessions: I’m in an abusive relationship with my dog

11 Mar

Lest you think The Dog Snobs are perfect, we will occasionally be confessing sad truths about our own dogs.  In today’s first installment, we tackle the touchy subject of dog abuse…as in, how our own dogs abuse us.


In the four years that I’ve had Mr. T, not one, but two physicians have asked me in all seriousness during an exam if there is anything I needed to tell them about the bruises and cuts on my legs and arms.   At first I was confused by their questioning, but upon seeing their concerned expressions, I quickly realized they thought I was either self-harming myself or being abused.  When I laughed and told the first doctor that I just have a large exuberant dog who likes to be on top of me at all times, she smiled and said she that she had a Great Dane and totally understood.  The second doctor however, was not convinced.   He assured me that if I needed to talk, he was there for me.  Clearly this man was a) either not a dog owner or b) owned civilized dogs.

If anyone has ever owned a bully breed, you know exactly what I mean when I say these goofy, big-headed beasts love with exuberance.   Mr. T approaches everything in life with gusto, and loving me is no different.  Between flying leaps (with running starts, of course) onto my lap when I am on the couch, trying to sleep on top of me, crawling into my lap at every possible moment, and generally just being a bull in a china shop, it’s no wonder that my body bears constant reminders of his affection.  In addition to countless bruises and scrapes, Mr. T has concussed me at least once (that’s been confirmed), given me a bloody nose several times, and knocked me silly on multiple other occasions.  When you have a 75 pound dog who thinks he is a lap dog and throws his GIGANTIC head around in unbridled glee, bad things are bound to happen.   But honestly, I  don’t think I would change it.  His enthusiastic affection is part of his charm, and after four years of living with Mr. T, I’ve accepted that sometimes love is pain.

“Even when trying to sleep, I can’t avoid his gigantic head!”


Dog ownership isn’t always cupcakes and rainbows. When you own a dog that acts before he thinks… bleeding is just part of the job description. Before I came into my life, not once had I ever been made to bleed by one of my dogs. L isn’t mouthy at all and my cattle dog mix before her would never lay teeth on a human (dogs were a whole other story, of course.) When I brought I home at a year old, I sort of knew what I was getting in to. I had seen his grandmother and mother run in agility and I had seen both of them jump up to bite his breeder’s hands at the end of their runs. Since I’ve had I, he has broken my thumb, left several puncture wounds and I can’t even begin to count the bruises. He isn’t aggressive, of course. His bites are never ill intentioned, really they can’t even be called bites. He just dances around with his mouth wide open, swinging his teeth and usually catching flesh. It isn’t just the mouth you have to watch though, he also enjoys using me as a springboard. You really can’t fault his enthusiasm, but I do wish there was a little less damage done by it. His enthusiasm isn’t just limited to play though, he honestly can’t go anywhere at a walk. He dashes about, paying no attention to what he is doing. He has knocked me down our front steps, not once but twice. He’s that dog everyone hates, bouncing off knees like a pinball . Of course, training him out of it is an option and I have settled him down quite a bit. He no  longer takes flying leaps at my face, for instance. Really though, the flying around with his mouth open is just part of his personality. I just ask that he does it with at least three feet between us.

Now replace that ball with my arm and you understand my day to day life.

Fang (Unacceptably delayed but still awesome): I have bitey dogs. You can call it what you like–mouthy, nippy, whatever, but they view the world through their usually open mouths and they interact with everything teeth first. Both M and Z‘s favorite activites are extremely physical and involve a lot of flying incisors. Luckily,  I’ve avoided major damage beyond some pinches in the midst of play and a long puncture wound from a “Don’t eat that!” hand reach into a mouth. My dogs however aren’t prone to being as careful with my own friends, who incidentally have to be careful playing tug in their placement or they get what could only be described as a ‘purple nurple’.

Blissed-out on boobs. Surprising, but true.

Do any of you want to confess as well?  Be sure to leave a comment!

15 Responses to “Confessions: I’m in an abusive relationship with my dog”

  1. Carla B March 11, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    My Sophie’s skull must be made of concrete! One day she reared up on me, and I took her head to my chin, I saw stars!! I dropped to the ground in tears, and I thought for sure she’d knocked my 2 front teeth out!! Luckily she just bruised the heck out of the bottom of my chin! That’s just one of the many injuries I’ve suffered! Sophie and Valentina actually tag teamed to trip me with their leashes one day which resulted in a fall that landed me in the ER with a broken wrist! I love them so much!

  2. Terri Woodhull Bohl March 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    So….I’m not the only person to own a mutt missile. AND almost knocked cold by a big, ol’ blockhead.

  3. Ledfoots Pet Bakery March 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Our Daisy is just like her mother. Daisy mom was growling at us when we were at the shelter. We were there to see the puppies so we never got close to mom. Had we did we would have found out she was a biter. She is now broken of this habit. Just can’t take anything from her without replacing it.

  4. Tana March 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    While playing ball, Beastley and I both went after the ball at the same time. His tooth met my fingernail ripping it completely off. I screamed and he froze. He so thought he was in big trouble. I ran into the house to try and stop the bleeding and he followed close behind. He never left my side that night.

  5. thedogsnobs March 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Wow! While we’re sorry about your various injuries, I can’t say we aren’t a little glad that we aren’t the only ones who occasionally take beatings from our dogs. Maybe there should be some sort of protective gear for loving exuberant dogs…

  6. Dee Goings March 12, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    I have a dog very dear to my heart that I trained for a local rescue. He is dog aggressive and rather nervous of humans. After our second or third session he climbed in my lap and decided to suck on my lower lip. When that got him no petting, he got a little rougher until I had to yelp and jump up. He was known for getting excited and leaping off my chest, back, and legs with all four feet like I was a springboard. The best was the muzzle punches. HE meant no harm, but he had typical canine accuracy right to the bridge of my nose every time. Bloody noses aside, he is a great dog and I love him even though he was a wrecking ball on paws.

  7. Kim Fielding April 14, 2013 at 2:40 am #

    I once ended up in the urgent care center when I was 7 months pregnant. I was out in the backyard with my 10-month-old Saint Bernard, R. R came at me at a full, happy run. I chickened out and zigged just as she zagged. She clipped me, I twisted my foot and fell, and then I couldn’t get up again. R was concerned, very helpfully sitting on me to keep me warm in an emergency (never mind that it was 90F out). I yelled for about 5 minutes before husband inside heard and came to help. Because pregnancy keeps tendons loose, the foot didn’t heal until after the kid was born.

    • Pat May 4, 2013 at 7:21 am #

      Well it was very sweet of your Saint to sit on you to keep you warm!
      My parents acquired their first dog, a very lively Irish Setter, about 7 months before I was born; I do not know how my mother managed housebreaking and obedience school with the world’s wildest Irish Setter while pregnant, but she did. He was a devoted big brother, though…

  8. gabivannini May 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    I know this is kind of an insanely late comment but I just recently discovered this blog and have been delving through all the archives, laughing knowingly at everything. My (25 pound!!) Icelandic Sheepdog has broken my hand and given me a concussion, not to mention her preferred method of giving “kisses” is bopping my nose with an open mouth. My Great Pyrenees mix is the mouthy type and loves to wrestle with me and my husband (luckily he doesn’t do this with anyone else..) but my arms are covered in bruises from him.

  9. catherineduke May 22, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Oh man this comment is MONTHS late but I just discovered this blog today and had to add one here. I was pet-sitting a friend’s VERY exuberant mastiff puppy (11 months old or so) when she saw a squirrel on one of our walks and took off like a shot into the street.

    I, like a right idiot, had the lead wrapped around my hand, and was dragged behind her…lovely road rash on arms and chest. That wasn’t the worst part…she t-boned a minivan! Yes, the puppy ran smack into a car that was driving down the street. Puppy was fine (we had a check-in at the emergency vet clinic before I would address my own injuries in any way), but her thick skull bent the sliding door of the minivan so badly that it would not open, and the two kids had to climb out the front of the car.

    Poor puppy had to stick to playtime in her own yard until her much-larger-than-I-am owner returned from his vacation. Yeowch.

    • TheDogSnobs May 22, 2013 at 6:06 am #

      Meh, no such thing as a late comment. We’re just glad to have you on board, new minion!

  10. mathitalladdsup August 1, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Our APBT likes to get on one side of the couch, stomp all over your genital area, then go through you to get to the other side of the couch, where she lays down. She also likes to stand over us, back legs on one side and front legs on the other. Also, she likes to launch off abdomens and, once again, genitals. Her favorite thing is to bring her only surviving ball and chew it over the man’s balls until he throws it. It makes him very uncomfortable.

  11. Denise August 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Ha, it’s actually more of a rarity for me to NOT have a few bruises from my boy’s playing and affection giving. He came to us at 2 years old very mouthy and rough. We got the mouthiness under control but allow it when we wrestle, much gentler than he was when he first joined us but still enough to bruise at times. We’ve both taken accidental headbutts to the face, resulting in a bloody nose and a few bloody lips.

    He likes to run at you full speed and dodge around you at the last second… except one time he decided to just turn sideways and attempt to bowl me over, almost succeeded as I was expecting the usual last second swerve and no contact.

    I’ve gotten my finger chomped shoving my hand into his mouth when he found some sharp pointy bones on the ground. He seemed surprised at my injury and has not repeated the chomping in the numerous grabs into his mouth for the dangerous objects he finds on walks and tries to eat.

    I frequently have bruises on my thighs from him deciding to stand on my legs, 50 lbs of dog on four small pressure points can leave a mark. Doesn’t really hurt so I’ll be sitting on the toilet the next day wondering what happened to my legs… why am I all bruised. haha

    Loving this snuggly brindle mutt can result in some cuts and bruises but he’s worth it.

  12. Paul October 18, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    Better late than never. Two bullies, Sophie used to pull so hard I used to go flying regularly. My hands and knees were always bloody or bruised sometimes both, nevermind the jackets that got ripped when I was dragged. She’s gotten older and a tiny bit slower, maybe I just got stronger? Oh and that thing where they fling their front legs at you like wild horses. Those are some big nails, even clipped down, scratches and bruises. Wearing shorts around them is not recommended.

  13. Rosemary August 31, 2016 at 2:00 am #

    I was once visiting friends at a German Shepherd National Specialty. Someone called out “does anyone have a Band-Aid”? My hand shot up. “I do. I live with Australian Cattle Dogs.”

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