Update on Max the Dog Who Was Rescued From Icy Water

Max the Dogo Argentino

Yesterday we shared with you the story of the Scared and Freezing Dog Thrust into Spotlight Bites TV Anchor. We watched as the entire story unfolded yesterday and quite frankly all of the worst case scenarios were actually exactly what happened.

Video of Max the Dog’s TV Interview

When Max the Dogo Argentino took off after the Coyote and they both found themselves falling though thin ice into the icy water below he was off leash which in the area that he was playing goes against the leash law. His owner was fined and given a ticket. Then the same owner knowing the dog was not up to date on his vaccinations including the rabies vaccine was taken hours later to a television studio for an interview. Whether Max was upset, scared, or was just happy he bit the Anchor woman on the lip and she needed reconstructive surgery to fix it (it is unclear if they just called in a plastic surgeon to fix the wound or if there was major damage). From teh video Max seems to be a bit hot from all of the lights and possibly nervous thoguh happy to have a friend sitting next to him. It wasn’t until the reporter was all the way in Max’s face almost as if she was going to give him a kiss did the bite occur.

Because he bit the news reporter Animal Control was called in and it turns out Max was not up to date with his Rabies vaccine and so he is now sitting in Quarantine for 10 days so that authorities can watch for signs of disease. Dogo Argentinos are not aggressive by nature as when the breed was created in 1928 the aim was for a large muscular hunting breed that when socialized would get along with the other dogs in the pack. However they are a large dominant breed who will protect their owner from other people and dogs. Because of their dominance and appearance they do appear on many dangerous dog lists and are banned in several countries. I am bringing this up only because it is clear from Max’s situation that bad dogs are created by bad owners and people who do not think. It is so sad that ALL of the events leading up to and including Max’s 10 day quarantine could have been avoided if his owner bothered to pay attention to the rules and laws for dogs in his area. While Max’s owner does hold blame the studio holds blame as well for not checking to make sure that Max was healthy and up to date on his vaccinations. For someone whose dog is up to date with vaccinations this would not have been overly burdensome to have the vet fax a piece of paper over to the studio or for the studio to contact the vet to ensure the safety of all of the people who came into contact with the visiting dog. Hopefully Max will not show signs of disease and he will be treated well during his stay in quarantine so he can be released and his owner educated about the responsibilities of dog ownership.

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  1. Even knowing it was coming I cringed at the snap. Sad to say it was clearly the interviewer’s fault. She leaned in to kiss the dog.
    NEVER do this to any animal you do not know. Most are sensitive to anything coming from above. Max clearly saw it as a threat and only meant to snap – keep your distance.
    The whole situation is sad.

  2. We agree that this whole situation is very sad especially for Max. I can clearly see that he was just telling the lady reporter, you are in my space just a little to much.

  3. Lisa Weidknecht says

    Oh my goodness. That poor pooch!

  4. It was a clear warning. While his owner did not help the sitution by not having the dog up to date on his shots, the excessive petting and “praise” the dog was receiving for simply sitting there was very typical of what alpha dogs get from lower pack members. And if a lower pack member (or in this case a complete stranger) gets in too close–or too close to the dog’s person–you get the teeth, then the warning snap. If he’d wanted to do more damage, clerly he could have. He was warning her. After all that free and excessive affection, this is sadly not an uncommon response. I’ve seen it a lot, particularly in little dogs who are overly babied. It’s a sad situation all around for this dog right now. 🙁

  5. That is some crazy stuff!

  6. poor doggy 🙂

  7. Ok, so the dog was not up to date on shot – owners fault. None of this would ever had come about IF the woman doing the interview had any respect for the dog. Max was clearly showing signs of stress – he was communicating this – it is the pet owner’s responsibility to advocate for his dog. Max was turning his head – get out of my face. He was licking his lips nervously – leave me alone. I feel sorry for all but mostly for Max.

  8. I agree that this type situation can be avoided if pet owners were more responsible. Hopefully all turns out well for Max.

  9. this is a bad situation for both the parties, all due to the owner’s negligence.

  10. Sad! 🙁

  11. I have viewed a clip of the actual incident about a hundred times. I could not see any blood or damage to the face of the anchor. I could not see any blood on the dog’s teeth or mouth.

    If a dog wants to bite he’ll most likely bite and hold on to. This was more of a bump into her face than anything else as far as we can see as many times as we viewed it.

    If he was going to bite her; he’d easily take half her face off. This clearly did not happen. We believe that if that was an injury it was a result of the impact rather than of an actual bite.

    Truly, that’s what we see and we watched it I don’t know how many times.

  12. PS: here is the video we watched

  13. Max may be killed. There is a court date in April. Thank you for writing a responsible blog post about it. Dogo Argentinos are bred as large game hunters. They are very tough dogs. Because of the mastiff in them, they are also guard dogs. The owner, sadly, made many mistakes – letting his dog run off leash in the first place, not having records or being up to date with vaccines, and succumbing to the lure of the spotlight. He should have known, especially in his area (Denver is known for its terrible breed-specific legislation), that exposing the breed to the spotlight would not have been a good thing.

    But, the station is equally responsible, if not more so. They use people to increase viewership. They blatantly used this owner with no regard for either him or his dog. I saw the station manager’s interview the following day and though she admitted that they have a lot to learn about dog behavior, she did not go all the way in admitting the whole incident was their fault. If both the station and the anchor would do so in court, they might be influential in saving the dog.

    The anchor did so many things wrong. She got on the floor and sat lower than a dominant, male dog, indicating submission to the dog. She was a small woman and a Dogo can tell the difference between a woman’s energy and a man’s. Neither she, nor the station, seemed to have done anything to educate themselves about the breed and they had the owner bring the dog from his suburb where there is not a law against the breed into Denver-proper where there may be a law because the Dogo is primarily a bull breed. So, they almost virtually lured the dog into a trap.

    The anchor was petting (mauling) the dog’s face, with one hand on top of his head and one under. As I watched that, I was uncomfortable and I was not even the dog! Ugh. She was totally invading his space. Even Cesar Milan says he never approaches a dog – any dog. He lets the dog come to him.

    But, I think the breaking point for the dog was when the anchor put her hand on the owner’s knee. Did anyone else notice that? She touched the Dogo’s owner in a possessive way. Of course, that would trigger any protective instinct he had and Dogos are quite protective and jealous.

    And a previous poster is right – she did not notice any of the signs of discomfort the dog was displaying. He warned her over and over and she was completely oblivious to that. And, she made the ultimate mistake at the end – humanizing a dog. She actually said, “Happy Valentine’s Day” to the dog as she leaned in to kiss him!!! WTF??! In a dog show, no judge would ever get that close to a male dogo’s face. Even experienced judges and dog handlers ask the owner to show the dog’s teeth, etc.

    In the breed’s defense, they are totally people-oriented dogs, as all bull breeds are. They love people and happily lap up physical attention. But that woman was giving attention wrongly in a stressful situation and for her not to realize that was complete and utter stupidity on her part.

    I also did not see blood on the dog, so I wonder also about the “vicious bite” as it is being reported in the news. And let’s be real here: reconstructive surgery for a tv anchor can only mean that her lip is being made to look perfect for tv. The “bite” was clearly only a warning nip. A Dogo wanting to attack produces a growl that raises the hair on the back of one’s neck – it is similar to a lion and is called the “Dogo roar.” That dog was not in an aggressive state at all. He was just giving a back-off-from-me warning.

    So, if the station had researched anything about the breed, or if the anchor had any REAL experience with dogs, none of that would have happened. Obviously the dog was not dangerous because the fireman put his hand around the dog’s muzzle immediately after the “bite” with no problem whatsoever.

    I say all this as a Dogo owner who has had to learn much about dogs to have a Dogo as a pet. They are the greatest breed I have ever encountered. My dog has been loved by everyone who has met her. I cannot imagine ever owning another breed of dog. I hope to God that Max is not killed, and his owner gets a second chance to be more responsible and educated than he is now.

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