People seem to think that working with as many dogs as I do that I must get bitten alot, but the reality is that I don't (which is a good thing, because I HATE being bitten). In fact, in the close to 20 years I've been living with multiple dogs I've been bitten 3 times....well...including yesterday............4 times.
Probably most of you are assuming by now that Bingo was the biter, but the fact is that while I hold her responsible for the incident, it was not her teeth that munched me - it was young Dew.
Let me back up a bit and tell the whole story. Yesterday morning I hooked 16 dogs up and had a wonderful 5 mile run. The team consisted of main string dogs, with the exception of the amazing Utin, who is performing well beyond my expectations of a yearling.
I started out of the yard with Xena and Jinx in lead. I really believe that Jinxy is going to be the next superstar leader out of this yard but right now she is just helping me with some of the young and upcoming leaders, like Xena. Xena did great for about 2 miles and then her experience started coming through. I worked with her for about another mile before deciding she just wasn't ready to really work on leading yet. I swapped her out with Bingo and we finished the run without incident.
When I took Dew's harness off and started to walk her past the other dogs on the way to her stakeout, Bingo took a cheap shot at her tail as it went by. It wasn't anything serious, just a cheap nip to try and be a bully, but rightfully Dew took exception to it and whipped around to defend herself. My arm managed to get in front of her teeth.
The bite isn't bad at all - she barely broke skin, but there is a fair amount of bruising, a bit of broken skin and it definitely stings.
Dew didn't get in trouble at all, but I did have a few words with Bingo. I really hate it when they take cheap shots at each other. A couple dogs later I was putting away Sprite when Bingo struck again. Unfortunately for Bingo, I can turn Sprite loose without a problem, so I immediately let go of Sprite and had a few more words with Bingo. She looked very contrite and politely minded her own business as I put away the remaining dogs.
All was forgiven by the time I started to put the leaders away and I was telling Bingo what a good job she was doing as I took off Jinx's harness. As I stepped away from the gangline with Jinx, there was a quick tug and I spun around to see if Bingo was foolish enough to take ANOTHER cheap shot. There stood Bingo - she was perfectly still with her big brown eyes just oozing innocence. I would have bought the picture, if not for the huge chunk of Jinx fur hanging out of her mouth. The illusion was blown, but all I could manage was a few stern words for discipline as Bingo tried to spit out the fur and maintain her innocence at the same time, I was just giggling too hard!
Obviously, this is something we are going to have to work on some more. I'll try to keep my arms out of the way and my laughter in check!