It's true, I expect a lot from my dogs. I expect them to travel with me without complaint or concern for where we are going or what we are doing. I expect them to tell me when they need to go out, but to know that I often won't be able to take them out immediately (like when I'm on the interstate). I expect them to be off schedule, as I often am, and except eating dinner late, going to bed late and often in strange places. In fact, about the only thing a dog with me can count on is that I'll always be there with them and for them. That's always worked in the past with the three dogs that have chosen to spend their lives with me. So, imagine my surprise when my most recent dog started biting me for no reason at all.
The attacks came at odd times. When I asked him to do something he didn't want to do, during playtime, before he went out, after he went out and during his time out. The worst times were during these last three. He would often fly at me at high speeds, slamming his body into me while showing his teeth and snapping. It didn't look much like playing, even if someone had taught him to do it. After less than a week, I had bruises up and down both arms, on my shoulders, calves, ankles, torso and rear...pretty much everywhere. He never broke the skin, but the pain was as bad as having someone pinch me hard with a pair of pliers all over my body.
My friends all told me that I had adopted a "biter" and that I should have him put down. I was less inclined to give up on him. I looked up the problem on the internet and decided that he was a dominate aggressive dog and took the steps suggested on the websites. After a few days of isolation from everyone but me, he got a little better. But the attacks during his trips to "do his business" continued.
He had had loose stools since I had adopted him. The Humane Society said they had done worming on him and that the stools came up negative, so I just assumed it was nerves. But, after three weeks with no improvement, I suspected that there was something else going on. It turned out that he had bacterial infections in the small intestines and was in quite a bit of pain.
It's now been a week and a half since we treated him. The stools are normal, and the biting has stopped....completely. I'm posting this, because I had started to doubt my belief that there are no bad dogs, only bad people. My faith has been restored. He was in pain, and he couldn't tell me, so he bit me to let me know something was wrong. It seems strange, but when you think about it...it's not. People do strange things when they are in pain too. I'm just glad I figured it out before someone decided that he was a "biter" and had him put down.
He's sleeping peacefully at my feet as I write this.