Fear period around 2 years old?? - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question Fear period around 2 years old??

Hello everyone and Happy New Year from the 3 and soon to be 4 of us.

I have seen this question posed on various facebook groups with conflicting answers, so I thought I would ask it here to see what the common thoughts are: do Vizslas go through a fear period around 2 years old? Why am I asking about this? Because Breeze seems to have developed some fears over the last few weeks and she will be 2 years old in March. Primarily, she now seems to be afraid of strangers and of the car. She used to be a true social butterfly, needing to say Hi to every person she would meet, whereas now, she barks at everyone, whether she is on or off lead, and seems to be afraid of everyone. She will bark at strangers, but even at people that she met and gave kisses, like 30 mins before. Super weird.
The car isn't as bad, but she used to go in, lie down and sleep, whereas now she is super unsettled and pants.
We have also noted that her guarding has increased as well. She now barks at everything outside: cars, people, snowflakes, etc... And I am thinking that the 2 might be related. She is supposed to be out of her fear periods, but nothing has happened or changed to explain those behaviours, but the timing seems to coincide with the "legendary" 2 years old fear period.

Actually, the one thing that had changed, and this is going to be a little controversial, is that Breeze got spayed about a month ago.

Any thoughts would be more than welcome. I have asked the same question to our trainer and to the breeder we are getting our new puppy from, but I m trying to get as many perspective as possible as we want our super social happy dog back.
Cheers,
B.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 07:57 PM
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The thought with experienced breeders of vizslas, GSP`s and weims i know that these short hair vizsla types tend to have something called a `terrible 2` for a fear period between around 18 to 36 months. there are some newer researches about it as well, but it is not a well documented /researched area too. Nevertheless we have gone thru that with Bende too and worked him thru, with the signs decreasing month by month, he will be 3 years old in february and the weird fears (i.e. not wanting to go up to the second floor of the house suddenly! and even slowing radically down at dock diving) disappeared luckily.
The hunting trainer who has helped us a lot with his training even gave us for 2018 summer the homework to just have fun and no pressure. We attended several fun type trainings, have done dock diving without any result expectation, birds etc.
Interestingly enough with lots of patience and love, structure and fun type trainings he still qualified for the dock diving nationals , and learned a lot of new skills. He is not neutered though and there is a lot of researched recently about how those hormones are important for a dog to remain confident. I would still try and do the fun therapy with Breeze. Nosework is famous for building confidence, so is lure coursing. Hope my long answer is helpful.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gabica View Post
The thought with experienced breeders of vizslas, GSP`s and weims i know that these short hair vizsla types tend to have something called a `terrible 2` for a fear period between around 18 to 36 months. there are some newer researches about it as well, but it is not a well documented /researched area too. Nevertheless we have gone thru that with Bende too and worked him thru, with the signs decreasing month by month, he will be 3 years old in february and the weird fears (i.e. not wanting to go up to the second floor of the house suddenly! and even slowing radically down at dock diving) disappeared luckily.
The hunting trainer who has helped us a lot with his training even gave us for 2018 summer the homework to just have fun and no pressure. We attended several fun type trainings, have done dock diving without any result expectation, birds etc.
Interestingly enough with lots of patience and love, structure and fun type trainings he still qualified for the dock diving nationals , and learned a lot of new skills. He is not neutered though and there is a lot of researched recently about how those hormones are important for a dog to remain confident. I would still try and do the fun therapy with Breeze. Nosework is famous for building confidence, so is lure coursing. Hope my long answer is helpful.
Hi Gabica,

what you describe sounds like what Breeze is going through. We have a couple of training classes scheduled for her in the upcoming weeks, so hopefully, working on new stuff and learning new things will help her get over her fears.

Thanks a lot,
Bertrand
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 07:18 PM
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very good and remember to remain very patient, it is not her fault, just mother nature. btw for the barking we learned at when of our trainings (luckily the trainer was familiar with the terrible 2 phase) to turn the dog towards you and start rewarding in a rapid manner with treats, praising them for paying attention to you instead of the barking object. it is not rewarding for barking but rather teaching that you have a much better option to offer than the bark. it has worked for for us.
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