01 Apr Smaagodt
If you’ve been to my website www.roverachiever.com and read my blog, you will probably notice a handsome chocolate that makes an appearance in several photos/videos – that would be Smaagodt. Smaagodt spent a year walking with Rover Achiever before he moved out of my service area and I referred the owners to another walker. I walked him on two walks M-F since he was a puppy and he took two of my training classes, one could say that I helped raise this dog and new him really really well. So it came as a pretty big shock to me when I heard that Smaagodt had an incident with his new walker where he bit another dog in the group – an injury that required 18 staples.
This is how the scenario was described to me. The walkers arrived at the park and were letting two groups out of their van -i”m assuming 12 dogs. Smaagodt was last. Apparently regardless of his behavior, Smaagodt is always last to get out of the car 🙁 That’s the order they stick to for consistency and since he was pushy they believed they were teaching him patience. Smaagodt bit dog #11.
We all agree that this is completely out of character for him. He’s been well socialized and has had thousands of positive encounters with dogs. He wasn’t perfect – he could be pushy and intense when he was out with us and was often a hard player. Sometimes he would bark at another dog edging him on. But would he ever hurt another dog? No! So I’ve been trying to process this over the last couple of days. Asking myself, what would make a highly socialized dog, with clear bite inhibition, injure another dog?
This incident also begs the question, now that biting is in his repertoire, would he bite again? His new walkers have made it clear that they don’t want to walk him anymore. His owners are extremely concerned- they also have a baby and it does bring up questions for them about his safety. So is Smaagodt safe? Is this just an isolated incident?
I hope so.
First of we know all dogs are capable of biting if aggravated/frustrated enough and no dog is every 100% safe. That’s why it’s so imp’t for a dog walker to see stress signals
Apparently Smaagodt was barking a lot that day in the car. I’m no stranger to the stress of transporting lots of dogs in the car. It can be chaotic at times and I only take 6. If there’s a bully in the car or someone has diarrhea and is in a panic to get out – the stress level rises fast.
I can only speculate what happened but I believe having seen Smaagodt’s level of tolerance over the year something must have happened to make this dog reach his breaking point.
My next step is to go see Smaagodt and take him to the park. I want to see if he’s the same dog or has he been traumatized in any way. Hopefully, that can give me more insight into what happened to Smaagodt.