Biting issues?

Discussion in 'Dogo Argentino' started by Hendrix's Mom, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Hendrix's Mom

    Hendrix's Mom New Member

    Hey guys! Hope you all are well.

    I've been having issues with Hendrix and his bitting. But it's more intense and has been happening when we go out for a walk. He walks fairly well then he'll stop and start to bite at the back of my shoe. So, I will stop and make him sit then redirect then he will jump up and grab my sweater sleeves and proceed to tug and growl at it and he's drawn blood a few times and it's embarrassing since people saw it and some laughed, assuming because it looked like he was playing tug of war but I certainly didn't find it funny.

    Now, this doesn't happen every time. When we talked towards downtown, he was great, people petted him, he socialized with other dogs. Now, when we were coming back is when he began to grab my sleeves and tug at it but the growling was pretty loud and he only released when I showed him a treat so I could change his attention.

    I don't walk him downtown on a daily. He did this two weeks ago when I was going to take him to our county park. But when I take him on walks around the neighborhood, he doesn't do it at all.

    It's confusing and I could use some help!.

    Also, he grabs the leash and shakes it so we had to go on a shorter leash.
  2. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    doesn't sound to me you need to do anything your not doing ........ keep distracting him , he'll get the idea you don't like it simply because you don't like it ..... i'm assuming this is a pretty young pup ? I would say don't give a treat to let your sleeve go , he may well figure he needs to grab your sleeve to get that treat ..... i'd just stop and talk to him , grab his muzzle , pry him off , and go about your walk ....... he sounds like every pup I've ever had , they grow out of it .......... grabbing the leash will pass also as long as you don't encourage it , if you make it fun he'll continue , don't fight him for it , i'd get a longer leash when he grabs it I wouldn't pull on it , i'd walk ahead and he'd have to catch up , or i'd stop until he got bored with the leash and then we'd continue ...... again pretty much what every pup does , distraction is imo the most important thing in getting pups to not misbehave , that and eliminating the opportunities ........
  3. Jarena

    Jarena Member

    I don’t have as much experience as the others. But my girl did the same thing with the biting of us and our clothes and the leash. We just did what Marke said and what you have been doing, distract. She grew out of it. We tried hot sauce on the leash (trainers suggestion) but she liked it lol. So we just kept up with teaching her “drop it” and “leave it”. She liked to grab the leash before we left the house so all fun stopped when she grabbed it. We didn’t leave until she sat nicley and let go of the leash.

    My boyfriend and I each have a few “Lettie war scars” from our little shark. It was so frustrating, we would take turns. I don’t know if anyone is helping you with the pup but that was another thing that helped.... when one of us would get too frustrated with her we would kinda trade off. She could sense our frustration and almost feed off of it lol. She would shut off her ears and turn on her mouth/teeth. She did better with the new and refreshed teacher. I found myself telling everyone “I know she doesn’t look like it, but she’s just a puppy”! Just take a deep breath and keep doing what you’re doing :)
  4. Cwright2003

    Cwright2003 New Member

    My dogo grabs leashes too. She's 19 months so she's still young too though not a tiny puppy. She always chews on the leash when she is very excited, like right before a walk, or right before going into doggy daycare, and I'm not moving. I think it's her way of letting out some steam. She does not chew on the leash when we are actually moving.

    I think what may be potentially happening is that your puppy is a bit overwhelmed (too much sensory stimulation, which isn't necessarily bad) after the county park, and he's releasing tension by grabbing and yanking on your clothes. My dogo does the equivalent after coming home from an outing by jumping all over and rough housing with my Akita. At my daughter's preschool we just recently talked about how many of the kids behave themselves during school and then go home and have a meltdown because they are overtired from the experiences during the school day.

    I think it may be good to take a tug toy with you so that when Hendrix reaches that point where he needs to release some steam, you can play a game of tug with the toy instead of your sleeve.

    My dogo is never allowed to put teeth on humans, clothing or skin. But we have other dogs in the house and when she gets excited she jumps all over them and tugs on their collars (which is why they don't wear collars at home) so they definitely will seek some kind of outlet when they get worked up. Just redirect with something appropriate to keep your skin and clothes safe.
    Jarena likes this.
  5. CeeCee

    CeeCee Active Member

    If you haven't already tried this, try experimenting with making some changes to your routine and see if they have any impact on his behavior. For example, try going for a shorter walk downtown or a walk in a quieter area. If you walk downtown, alternate with the main drag and side streets so walk two or three blocks on the side streets (presumably less stimulating) and one on the main drag. Gradually, work to two side blocks and one main street block, one side street and one main street, then two main street, and one side street, etc.

    Try meeting and interacting with fewer people or dogs that you come across. If you can get the people to help you (which is darn near impossible) do not allow him to meet the people until he is calm and focused on you.

    You may also want to experiment with having him check in with you randomly through out your outings i.e., sit, watch me, and take a minute to settle. Or during your walk, find a place to pull off to the side, have him down, and y'all just spend some time watching the world go by. I would be prepared to stay there and at a distance where he can settle i.e., rolls on to his hip.

    You are trying to find the duration or stimulation level that keeps him behaving appropriately. You are also giving him breaks so he can process all that he is experiencing and settle himself so it doesn't all start to cascade to jumping, tugging and biting.

    If you use treats, I would not give him the treat until he is calm and focused on you. You do not want to accidentally reward excitement.

    Also, have you tried just disagreeing with the behavior - just a simple firm verbal correction i.e., "eh eh" and then calm praise when he stops?

    Just some things to experiment with. :)
    Jarena likes this.
  6. Hendrix's Mom

    Hendrix's Mom New Member

    Sorry for the slow response, I changed browsers and for some reason can only use my chrome to log in.

    @marke - I have tried to pry his muzzle off but he gets rowdier. Do you have a length option?. I wanted to get a 20-foot leash but I think that might be too long?. He is young, he is four months old and will be five months on the twenty-fourth.

    @Jarena - My mom and I trade off when he does it in public. I'll be like " here mom you take him." then I will walk ahead or next to him and when he tries again I move out the way and then he stops for a little bit. Hendrix always wants people to pet him so when we are walking past someone, I will let him to "leave it". Some people seemed threatened by him and I find myself saying "Relax, he's not gonna hurt you."

    @Cwright2003 - When we first brought him home, he was fine and didn't really grab clothes and hands until other family members decided to play with his mouth and encourage his bitting. Even after I said not to do it, but we've been using tug ropes and teething toys. I've never thought about taking a tug with me! I'll need to do that next time. Prior to the walk downtown, we walked through this small park and there were blackbirds everywhere and his little nose was going crazy and his tail went up as he smelled around. I think maybe that contributed to it cause he seemed like he wanted to chase them and Hendrix does the same thing! When we get inside, he goes bonkers, lol.

    @CeeCee- I will need to do this too!. When he meets people, they immediately pet him without asking (biggest pet peeve) and he will jump on them and I will say "Off" and they will say " no it's fine" but for me, it won't be fine when he's bigger and jumping on people and hurts someone. I guess they just see a cute puppy and thinks its okay. He had a playdate with a puppy a few days ago, and he did great and we agreed to set up more play dates.

    I did want to mention on our way to downtown, there was a large pit-bull type dog on a leash with its owner and we walked past and Hendrix just looked over and kept walking and then next thing I know, the dog is right behind Hendrix just towering over him and started smelling him and Hendrix sniffed him but he didn't react negatively and the guy came running down and leashed his dog. My mom said it seemed like the dog broke off the leash. The first time wasn't the first time a dog decided to come on their own and meet Hendrix, this little female chihuahua came up right behind him once and I didn't even hear it. He licked her and then kept walking. ( couple weeks ago for the chihuahua incident)

    Also on our way back, Hendrix experienced the sound of a horse and buggy, and he didn't like that too much.
  7. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    i have several light 20 foot leashes , myself i find it easier to teach a pup to walk with me when they don't realize they're on a leash ....... my opinion is the younger the better , would probably be more difficult with an adult dog unless they were already accustomed to it ........ imo asking for too much control over a young pup doesn't encourage self confidence , i think strict walks are for older dogs ........... with a 20 foot light weight leash you can teach them without them even knowing it .........
  8. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Can you correlate the biting behavior to being over-stimulated, over-excited, frustrated, anxious or even afraid?

    That he doesn't do the bad stuff when on your daily walks around the 'hood, where he's comfortable, and the locations are known is what makes me wonder... does he only act up after his senses get "saturated" with new stuff? Is this his way of saying "I'm Done!"?

    I agree with a lot of what was suggested above - I tend to follow the puppy's lead when they're young. Keep walks casual, fun, and still safe, leave lots of time for exploring at the puppy's direction, encourage him to check things out (like benches, poles, flags) ... and taking a tug toy along I think is a great idea, too.
  9. Hendrix's Mom

    Hendrix's Mom New Member

    Over the weekend, I was puppy sitting Hendrix's new friend, Bentley; a pitbull puppy whos about 2-3 months old. I saw a more relaxed and happy Hendrix. They were running around my room playing then I decided to take them both for a walk, as Bentley's owner and I have walked them together before and he didn't try to bite the leash or my sleeves. I had my sister walk Bentley out first and then I walked Hendrix and Hendrix wanted to be by Bentley's side every step, if Bentley was too far behind, Hendrix would stop, sit and wait for him to catch up. We walked them around my neighboorhood twice it was a breeze, zero issues and when we let them back inside off the leash, and instead of bolting and running around in the living room, he calmly entered and guided Bentley to the back door.

    I did notice the sleeve biting seemed to happen any time we went downtown. I used a longer leash when I walked Hendrix out with Bentley but I took the tug toy encase and he ignored it.
    I thought it was interesting to observe.
  10. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    his buddy distracted him ....... dogs like dogs , even ones that don't like dogs , just need to figure out they do .......... dogs are great trainers of dogs ........

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