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  1. #1

    11 month old puppy play biting

    Hello all!

    I have an 11 month old pit bull mix who I am trying to train to go running with me. The only issue is that when she gets REALLY excited, she tries to bite me. She did this a lot more often when she was younger- her trainer called it an impulse control issue and has $#@!ured me that the biting is play biting and not aggression. However, she is 11 months now and obviously her bites hurt! She does not do this to anyone other than me.

    In terms of the history of the problem, when she was younger, she would sometimes get really excited out of no where during our walks, tuck her butt under and dart back and forth very quickly and then jump up and bite me repeatedly. Ever since I first got her, I have taken her for three 45 minute walks a day because she has a ton of energy. A few days per week I substitute the dog park, where she can run and play with a few dogs that we know well.

    My trainer suggested a gentle leader to help me get control of her when she does try to bite me, which has helped a ton. I have seen a drastic reduction in her play biting behavior on walks, but I still have had no luck with running. I have been working on general impulse control training like sitting for longer periods of time before rewarding. Anyone ever have similar issues with their dogs or have any suggestions? Thank you!!

  2. #2
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    U might not like the answers u r going to get but please be open minded.

    My advice? Stop the dog park NOW!!!!

    The biting must be squashed. When he tries biting, pull away, say stop or no really loud and mean it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    In response to the running:

    The running back and forth is normal for his breed, our dog will get the "zoomies" from time to time, especially when he needs more activity. He will run the entire length of the yard stop at the fence, turn around and run the other direction...and repeat.

    He gets alot of excercise, 3 to 4 mile runs on the bike and he still has energy to burn.

  4. Amy gets overstimulated sometimes - usually when someone else pets her and she'll start biting the leash and trying to play tug with it. She just needs an outlet for that energy. So one thing I've started doing is either carrying one of her rope toys or grabbing a stick for her to bite when she's in those moods - it's working really well. She just needs SOMETHING to chew on!

  5. People are gonna have different opinions on raising dogs. One thing most agree on, is no dog parks!! That's just too dangerous. Even if another dog starts with yours, yours will defend itself, & people can get major injuries breaking up a dog fight, let alone the injuries to the dogs. I agree that she probably has too much energy & maybe gets excited about the running. Maybe try playing fetch, or with a flirtpole, just a few min.s before the run, just to get rid of some of the extra energy??

  6. #6
    Hi Kamdon! Thanks for the response. I have been putting a LOT of thought into your suggestion about the dog park. :) I live in a very pit bull friendly area and most of the other dog owners in our area know us well. With that being said, I want Macchiato to continue being an ambassador for her breed by creating opportunities for success! Here is my internal debate about the issue:

    For
    1. Her absolute favorite thing in the world seems to be other dogs. When I first got her, I couldn't walk more than a few feet without her sitting down because she saw another dog approaching that she wanted to meet. (there are a TON of dogs in my neighborhood). It took a lot of training to get her to actually walk on our walks and even after 8 months together, she still does this sometimes. Words cannot even express how much she LOVES playing with/meeting other dogs. I know this could change though. She is submissive upon meeting new dogs- she lays down, shows her tummy/does a belly crawl, does not make eye contact and shows appeasement behaviors such as licking the other dogs mouth.
    2. I live in a condo. I have no back yard or any fenced in area for her to run and play in. Before I started taking her to the park, we used to go for three 45 min/hour long walks every day. This did not tire her out nearly as much as substituting in one dog park romp a day.
    3. We go to the same park, at the same time of the day and play with the same group of dogs. I closely monitor her during play and if she seems like she might be playing too roughly for the other dog, I grab her and give her a time out to calm down. If this does not work, we leave. If there are too many dogs at the park, we leave. If she is being a brat, we leave.

    Against
    1. I know that DA can develop suddenly, even in the best mannered well trained dogs
    2. I know I cannot control who comes to the park- every now and then we see a new dog there who is not a part of our usual group.
    3. I would hate for anything terrible to happen :(

    I would say the only real reason that I am having this internal debate is because she just seems to have so much fun playing with other dogs and seems somewhat depressed when she does not get regular, daily play time. Is this normal?! Will she grow out of it? We have play dates now and then with my friend who has a hound mix, which is Macchiato's favorite. :) They live in another state though- so it makes setting up dates somewhat difficult. Any advice/feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

    ---------- Post added at 03:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:11 PM ----------

    Hi #1 stunner,

    I googled "pitbull zoomies" and found some cute videos! You are totally right- thanks for the terminology.

    ---------- Post added at 03:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:13 PM ----------

    Hi McRose,

    When I read your post, I immediately remembered that our trainer also mentioned the possibility that these biting episodes were due to overstimulation! It seems like she gets a good amount of exercise because she is sleepy and calm when we are at home between walks...but sometimes when we have visitors, she gets the zooms and becomes mouthy. I have had some success with stuffing toy in her mouth when she is like this at home- but I have not tried bringing toys on our walks yet! Great idea :)

    I have been somewhat successful with the approach

    ---------- Post added at 03:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:20 PM ----------

    Hi bully's momma,

    I had never heard of a flirt pole before your post! I read some through some of the other posts on the site about how to make them, but I am still wondering how do you use them to play with your dog without it becoming teasing? Macchiato gets mouthy when she is teased, and will start jumping up and snatching things. We have been working on drop it, leave it and wait......but mostly I just try to avoid getting her riled up because she inevitably will bite me. I would love to be able to really play with her though without her play biting....I have tried saying OUCH, ignoring, etc.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SassieLion View Post
    Hi Kamdon! Thanks for the response. I have been putting a LOT of thought into your suggestion about the dog park. :) I live in a very pit bull friendly area and most of the other dog owners in our area know us well. With that being said, I want Macchiato to continue being an ambassador for her breed by creating opportunities for success! Here is my internal debate about the issue:

    For
    1. Her absolute favorite thing in the world seems to be other dogs. When I first got her, I couldn't walk more than a few feet without her sitting down because she saw another dog approaching that she wanted to meet. (there are a TON of dogs in my neighborhood). It took a lot of training to get her to actually walk on our walks and even after 8 months together, she still does this sometimes. Words cannot even express how much she LOVES playing with/meeting other dogs. I know this could change though. She is submissive upon meeting new dogs- she lays down, shows her tummy/does a belly crawl, does not make eye contact and shows appeasement behaviors such as licking the other dogs mouth.
    2. I live in a condo. I have no back yard or any fenced in area for her to run and play in. Before I started taking her to the park, we used to go for three 45 min/hour long walks every day. This did not tire her out nearly as much as substituting in one dog park romp a day.
    3. We go to the same park, at the same time of the day and play with the same group of dogs. I closely monitor her during play and if she seems like she might be playing too roughly for the other dog, I grab her and give her a time out to calm down. If this does not work, we leave. If there are too many dogs at the park, we leave. If she is being a brat, we leave.

    Against
    1. I know that DA can develop suddenly, even in the best mannered well trained dogs
    2. I know I cannot control who comes to the park- every now and then we see a new dog there who is not a part of our usual group.
    3. I would hate for anything terrible to happen :(

    I would say the only real reason that I am having this internal debate is because she just seems to have so much fun playing with other dogs and seems somewhat depressed when she does not get regular, daily play time. Is this normal?! Will she grow out of it? We have play dates now and then with my friend who has a hound mix, which is Macchiato's favorite. :) They live in another state though- so it makes setting up dates somewhat difficult. Any advice/feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
    I understand your out look on your pup being a positive ambassador for the breed. We all want that. But the RISK far out weighs the benefits of dog parks. Here are just a few examples.....

    1. Disease- there are NO telling who and who doesn't vaccinate their dog. Parvo can kill a pup in a matter of DAYS. Worms are very contagious, as are fleas. Fleas lead to Lime disease. Just those few examples can run a good owner in the THOUSANDS of dollars to fix.

    2. If there is a dog fight, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR DOG IS GOING TO BE AT FAULT!!!! Some mini bitch of a dog can start a fight, and your dog can finish it, but it will be YOUR dogs fight. Your dog can be ceased and PTS over a silly as thing as going to a dog park.

    3. Irresponsible owners. This covers a majority of the problems with dog parks. Most people don't know what socialization actually is. They don't teach their pets MANNERS. They don't vaccinate. They don't CARE most of the time.


    If you haven't already, I would recommend you check out the Dog Park Thread that we have going on here. It has some VERY useful info in there and a lot of stories that solidifies some of the reasons why it's not a good idea.



    Can a pup or dog be socialized without going to the dog park? Hell yeah. First and foremost a dog or pup should be taught manners. How to properly introduce 2 or more dogs is very important. Learning a dogs body language while it is around other dogs or reading another dog will lead to a better trained dog then most people have. Socialization, doesn't mean, wrestle, chase or playing together. It means, knowing how to act and behave around OTHER dogs. When people see me walking my dogs, I ALWAYS get a compliment on how well behaved they are around other dogs. I've taught them from a very young age how to act around other dogs. How NOT to jump on them and possible cause a problem.

    So HOW DO YOU SOCIALIZE without going to the dog park, you may ask? Some people will recommend puppy cl$#@!. I recommend the old fashion, GET THE HELL OUT AND MEET PEOPLE method. Take your pup to the Home Depot or Lowes or the pet store a couple times a week or even every day if you must. Teach him/her to focus on you. Treats are key here. Make every outing a positive event. When other dogs approach you, put the pup in a sit position. If he gets up and tries to approach the other dog, tell him No, and sit. Do not let him meet the other dog until he is calm. This takes a while, but it does come together at some point. NEVER let a dog meet NOSE to NOSE.

    This breed is a NINJA when it comes to body language. It can seem calm and relaxed when meeting other dogs, and just totally surprise you with a BACK OFF or ATTACK reaction.

    It sounds like she is very much still in the PUPPY faze of life. Teaching her these things now will be SOOOOOOOO beneficial when she/he does grow up and POSSIBLY not like other animals. DA should not scare you off though. It's NOTHING that can't be MANAGED. It can no be trained out of them, but MANAGED very well. It takes a lot of dedication and training. You can NEVER let your guard down and it can happen at ANY second. For example, I have a 5 month old that is dog selective. He only likes SOME dogs. Yes, at 5 months old, there are dogs he doesn't like and has tried to SNAP on. ( I don't like that word) I was prepared, so nothing happened.

    It sounds like you have your HEART in the right place. So you will realize how important my info is.

    The spring pole deal is a teasing sport. It's goal is to tire the pup out. If you do this and the pup tries to bite at you, you say NO, and thats the end of play time. Soon enough the pup will realize that "If I bite her, we don't play anymore."

    Start now on loose lead walking. There are hundreds of threads here on how to teach it. This is beneficial in SOOOOO MANY ways.


    Your best friend isn't DEPRESSED if he doesn't get to play with others. He only needs one person in his life that makes him happy. And that is YOU. and your family of course. But a Apbt or bully breed doesn't need friends. He only needs you. If he appears to want more play time, then give it to him. A tired puppy is a GOOD puppy.


    Well thats enough from me for now. Good luck and DAMNIT POST MORE PICTURES

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamdon View Post
    I understand your out look on your pup being a positive ambassador for the breed. We all want that. But the RISK far out weighs the benefits of dog parks. Here are just a few examples.....

    1. Disease- there are NO telling who and who doesn't vaccinate their dog. Parvo can kill a pup in a matter of DAYS. Worms are very contagious, as are fleas. Fleas lead to Lime disease. Just those few examples can run a good owner in the THOUSANDS of dollars to fix.

    2. If there is a dog fight, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR DOG IS GOING TO BE AT FAULT!!!! Some mini bitch of a dog can start a fight, and your dog can finish it, but it will be YOUR dogs fight. Your dog can be ceased and PTS over a silly as thing as going to a dog park.

    3. Irresponsible owners. This covers a majority of the problems with dog parks. Most people don't know what socialization actually is. They don't teach their pets MANNERS. They don't vaccinate. They don't CARE most of the time.


    If you haven't already, I would recommend you check out the Dog Park Thread that we have going on here. It has some VERY useful info in there and a lot of stories that solidifies some of the reasons why it's not a good idea.



    Can a pup or dog be socialized without going to the dog park? Hell yeah. First and foremost a dog or pup should be taught manners. How to properly introduce 2 or more dogs is very important. Learning a dogs body language while it is around other dogs or reading another dog will lead to a better trained dog then most people have. Socialization, doesn't mean, wrestle, chase or playing together. It means, knowing how to act and behave around OTHER dogs. When people see me walking my dogs, I ALWAYS get a compliment on how well behaved they are around other dogs. I've taught them from a very young age how to act around other dogs. How NOT to jump on them and possible cause a problem.

    So HOW DO YOU SOCIALIZE without going to the dog park, you may ask? Some people will recommend puppy cl$#@!. I recommend the old fashion, GET THE HELL OUT AND MEET PEOPLE method. Take your pup to the Home Depot or Lowes or the pet store a couple times a week or even every day if you must. Teach him/her to focus on you. Treats are key here. Make every outing a positive event. When other dogs approach you, put the pup in a sit position. If he gets up and tries to approach the other dog, tell him No, and sit. Do not let him meet the other dog until he is calm. This takes a while, but it does come together at some point. NEVER let a dog meet NOSE to NOSE.

    This breed is a NINJA when it comes to body language. It can seem calm and relaxed when meeting other dogs, and just totally surprise you with a BACK OFF or ATTACK reaction.

    It sounds like she is very much still in the PUPPY faze of life. Teaching her these things now will be SOOOOOOOO beneficial when she/he does grow up and POSSIBLY not like other animals. DA should not scare you off though. It's NOTHING that can't be MANAGED. It can no be trained out of them, but MANAGED very well. It takes a lot of dedication and training. You can NEVER let your guard down and it can happen at ANY second. For example, I have a 5 month old that is dog selective. He only likes SOME dogs. Yes, at 5 months old, there are dogs he doesn't like and has tried to SNAP on. ( I don't like that word) I was prepared, so nothing happened.

    It sounds like you have your HEART in the right place. So you will realize how important my info is.

    The spring pole deal is a teasing sport. It's goal is to tire the pup out. If you do this and the pup tries to bite at you, you say NO, and thats the end of play time. Soon enough the pup will realize that "If I bite her, we don't play anymore."

    Start now on loose lead walking. There are hundreds of threads here on how to teach it. This is beneficial in SOOOOO MANY ways.


    Your best friend isn't DEPRESSED if he doesn't get to play with others. He only needs one person in his life that makes him happy. And that is YOU. and your family of course. But a Apbt or bully breed doesn't need friends. He only needs you. If he appears to want more play time, then give it to him. A tired puppy is a GOOD puppy.


    Well thats enough from me for now. Good luck and DAMNIT POST MORE PICTURES
    Hi Kamden,

    I loved your post! What you are saying about the park makes sense- I have seen plenty of dogs with bad manners and owners who do not really understand their dog's body languages or signals, owners who let their little dogs bully the other dogs in the park and think it's "cute," and owners who sit around on their cell phone while their dog is off doing who knows what. We originally went to a park that was full of these people, so we stopped going there after only a few visits. I am currently trying to figure out a way to arrange more "play dates" for her.

    When I first got Macchiato (she was about two and a half months old) we went through puppy cl$#@! and learned basic stuff like loose leash walking, sit, leave it, drop it, etc. We recently completed a tricks cl$#@!, which she loved. :) We also had a few private sessions with her instructor for some fear based issues (she used to be afraid of garage doors and sidewalk grates) and Im hoping to enroll her in KGC this fall. She does well when she is physically and mentally tired so I try to teach her new tricks or work on her old ones at least once a week since our cl$#@! ended. BUT with that being said (and after reading your post), I am thinking that perhaps she is not greeting other dogs appropriately. Usually, it goes like this:

    1. Macchiato spots another dog from far away
    2. Macchiato plants her butt firmly on the ground and refuses to move
    3. Macchiato lays down until the dog comes within meeting range OR if I lure her with a treat into moving, she will do a belly crawl/prowl until she is closer to the other dog and then lays down.
    4. Macchiato lets the other dog sniff her, shows her belly, and acts submissive
    5. Macchiato gets up, sniffs the other dog and gets SUPER EXCITED.
    6. Macchiato attempts to play with other dog or tries to lick their mouth, jumping all over the either the dog or the owner until I manage to pull her away.

    Sometimes when she knows the dog she will just walk up and sniff their face or try to play with them- which it sounds like is not appropriate. Any suggestions on how I can teach her the appropriate way to greet, ie. not face to face and not getting too excited after the initial meet?

    In terms of playing, I have tried over and over to do what you suggested- saying NO loudly or OUCH when she bites me and then immediately end play...but she does not seem to be getting the message. I am sure it's something I am doing wrong because otherwise the behavior would stop, no?

    You twisted my arm, here are some more photos of my sweet puppy :)

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  9. #9

    More photos!

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  10. #10
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    Sorry, these ones are a little out of order :) The first one is obviously when I first got her, she was about 2 and a half months old. The one with two dogs is Macchiato and her best buddy Tucker.
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  11. Hi there! I am new to this forum and was searching for an answer to "play biting on walk" when this thread popped up!

    My 6 month old puppy does almost the exact same thing. Usually on a walk she does great the entire time, but when we cross the street she gets so over-excited and springs onto my leg out of nowhere. She attaches herself to whatever she can get her mouth on - my leg, jacket, arm, and it hurts. I have to finish crossing the street with her attached and then she calms down when we get to the corner. I though that it might just be me projecting some nervousness, but she recently did this to my husband when he took her out. She has done this on busy streets as well as on streets with no cars.

    We are in training and the trainer said that it's over excitement. I will have to bring this up to him again as it seems to be happening on almost all of our walks. In the meantime I wanted to see if you ever resolved this issue with your pup on the walk, and if you were eventually able to take her on runs? When mine is old enough, and if we can get to a nice calm walk first, I'd like to take her on runs.

    Also, my puppy does the exact same thing as you described yours does when meeting a new dog. Any tips on teaching the appropriate way to say hello? I'm sure we will learn this in training eventually but I'd like to start asap.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you!

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