We are supposed to learn from our mistakes – but I think this is more often true in people than in dogs. Two incidents spring to mind:

Last night Choco (my Border Terrier) was slow to come in from the garden and I eventually found him obsessing over a small toad that he had found near the pond. He made the mistake of picking up the toad in his mouth – what he did not realise is that toads secrete a substance onto their skin that can be irritant to dogs’ mouths – so by the time I found Choco he was frothing from the mouth and rubbing his face on the ground. I was not concerned as I have seen this happen before and the frothing and irritation stops in a matter of minutes – only time will tell whether he has learnt his lesson.

Also last night, my colleague Hannah was called to a Labrador that had got into the linen basket a couple of days earlier and eaten a number of socks and a pair of tights, some of the socks and the tights had been vomited back up but not all the socks were accounted for and now the Labrador was becoming unwell. Hannah took X-rays and came to the conclusion that there was a sock still stuck inside. Under anaesthetic she removed a sock from the intestines. Again you would think the dog in question might realise that eating socks is not a good idea but in my experience dogs with a taste for swallowing family underwear will continue doing so whenever they get a chance – they really do not learn from their mistakes.