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10 month old lurcher jumping up and biting during walks

(10 Posts)
GreyDoggo Thu 11-Feb-21 21:34:30

I really hope that someone can help.
My lovely dog is very nearly 10 months old. He is a lurcher who is mostly greyhound and we have had him since he was 10 weeks old. He is high energy and LOVES being outside and going for a walk.
The problem is that in the last month or so, he has started to jump up and bite our hands for no reason I can see while we are outside. Occasionally he will bite shoes too. It does happen very spectacularly when crossing the road so may be fear related but it can happen anywhere and only when he is on the lead. He doesn't draw blood but my hands are black and blue and my sleeves ripped. My DSs are over 18 and we have started walking in pairs as it can be so so stressful when it happens. We have tried stopping and reassuring him but he will calm down and then it happens all over again. No one volunteers to walk him anymore! He is otherwise so lovely and so gentle with other people.
We are really hoping it is a temporary adolescent thing but any insights would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Scoobydoobydoo Fri 12-Feb-21 10:20:41

Hi OP,
We have a 7 year old borrowed dog who does the same.
In our case I think he is reactive to traffic but I have also observed this a few other times out of the blue.
He hasn't bitten us yet but will jump up and down, bite the lead and bark constantly. I used to give him treats when I expect he is about to react but I haven't been consistent with it because he started to just constantly ask for treats when being walked.
I know consistency is the key here so I should ideally pick an approach and stick with it but we only have him few days a week so training doesn't seem worthwhile unless everyone sticks to it.
Have you tried quieter roads with no crossing?
or walking early on in the mornings?

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Feb-21 13:58:48

I would suggest contacting a qualified behaviourist tbh.

It could be just fairly normal (but unwanted) teenage puppy playful behaviour when he’s over excited.

But it also could be him redirecting because he’s reactive.

But no-one is going to be able to really help you work out which it is or help you work with it online, you want a professional that can do it in person.

GreyDoggo Fri 12-Feb-21 14:14:10

Thanks for your replies.
I just wanted to get a sense of how common this behaviour is and now I know it isn't very common at all!
Yes, we will contact a behaviourist -thanks.

OP’s posts: |
sunflowersandbuttercups Fri 12-Feb-21 14:15:14

As you can't narrow down a specific cause, I would recommend getting help from a qualified behaviourist.

It could be anything - reactivity, fear, over-stimulation, excitement or just a bad habit, but you need to figure it out in case it's something that has the potential to get worse as he grows.

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Feb-21 14:20:07

“I just wanted to get a sense of how common this behaviour is and now I know it isn't very common at all!”

Oh it totally can be... just, if you don’t know the cause, it’d be a bit irresponsible to go, yeah it’s probably this and you want to do x y and z... because it involves biting - you’ll want some proper advice is all smile

freakdechic Fri 12-Feb-21 14:26:21

When during the walk is it happening? Beginning, middle, end or all the way through? How long are his walks?

Egginton29 Sun 14-Feb-21 09:34:13

We have exactly the same thing with our 8 month old collie/greyhound lurcher. It can be at any time in the walk and can be very hard to control. He’ll jump and lunge at our hands and arms and either bite or just hang onto them, like a police dog.

Our behaviourist thinks it’s probably fear or anxiety related. He’s a lockdown puppy and although we did lots of socialisation when he was young, I don’t think we did enough of talking to other people outside of our house with him in tow so his absolute worst trigger is if we meet someone on a walk and have a conversation with them. He’ll be fine when they’re giving him attention but the minute that stops, he starts the biting and growling. It’s very embarrassing. I’ve had to resort to either distraction by throwing treats if I can do that quickly enough, or saying a stern ‘STOP’ to shock him out of it. Otherwise it’s like he’s in a trance and can’t stop himself.

It’s still hit and miss though and can ruin a walk.

GreyDoggo Sun 14-Feb-21 11:45:38

Hi @Egginton29 - I feel for you - it can be so frustrating. We think the trigger for our dog is crossing the road. If you just walk across without stopping, he is fine but even a short wait on the curb starts him off and after that he will do it again and again for no discernable reason. You're right about it being embarrassing - on one occasion a lovely man tried to help me because he could see I was really upset. I am trying to be super calm and not reacting. Sometimes I will just stand still (hands out of reach) and wait for him to get over it.

I have contacted a behaviourist and he has asked us to film it next time. I really hope he grows out of it. It makes no sense because he absolutely loves going out in the car.

OP’s posts: |
Blubell281 Sun 14-Feb-21 13:13:59

I haven't got any advice but just wanted to share that our pup went through some very challenging behaviour around that age. If DS was wearing wellies he'd suddenly run at them snapping and barking. The behaviour stopped as suddenly as it had started.

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