Going crazy middle of walks - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Going crazy middle of walks

Harlow is a male and is 4 and a half months. Lately when we go on walks when we let him off leash he starts to get so excited that he starts to jump up and bite and growl, he is wagging his tail but he has left multiple pieces of clothing with holes and bruises on us, I don’t know what to do when he is doing it to make him stop, we try to yelp or say no very sternly but it just makes him more crazy and aggressive to the point we can’t even walk because he is constantly biting us, any advice? Or is this something that is common and he will grow out of it?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 06:31 AM
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Yep it's common and he will grow out of it. My pup, Greta, was awful! Six months old was the turning point.
Things that helped - the best is to walk with another dog but it needs to be a dog that's good with pups or is a pup. I also found that new walks absorbed her attention better than doing the same walks. I tried ignoring her which didn't really help. I shouted at her which made her more excited. My friend used to bring a spray bottle with us if Greta went for her ankles. It worked. But time will resolve this you'll be pleased to hear.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 06:55 AM
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give a command for the behavior you want,
NO in a 10 word vocabulary can be a nebulous concept to grasp.

i’d recommend a sit / stay / lie down, whatever harlow is most automatic with.
make him chill and hold it, if he does, then you can go on with your walk,
if not, then leash and reset...

sooner you can issue your redirection command the better,
the more amped they get, the worse their hearing goes...
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 08:29 AM
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While it feels aggressive, it's not.
It's over-stimulated puppy play. He's just getting so excited, and happy on his walks. He can't contain himself, then starts rough play with you.
Some pups, I just stand on their lead. Giving them enough room to stand ,and move a little, but not leap up. Just stand there calmly ignoring them, waiting on them to calm down. Once that happens I removed my foot from the lead, and start walking. With others, I leaned over and give them my meanest loudest growl. You should see a change in their mood. Like when I older dog corrects a young one. When this happens you look away from them. Don't engage or talk to them for the next minute. Then go on about your business like nothing ever happened.
If you talk to, or praise them right after the growl. You accomplish nothing, as it has sink in that it's not acceptable play. Think of it as if someone yelled No at you, then told you how proud they were of you for doing something. Mixed signals confuses them, just as it would us.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 01:30 PM
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Let me add to Deb's excellent post by saying that even though this isn't aggressive, at 4.5 months it also shouldn't be a frequent occurrence. When it is, it often signals that he's not getting enough off lead time, he's just bound up with all the unspent energy that when off lead, he uncoils like a tightly wound spring. Get him out on the trail!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for the replies and advice, we will take them all on board and see how we go!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kirra View Post
Thank you all so much for the replies and advice, we will take them all on board and see how we go!

I’m a new Vizsla owner and I’ve found this forum really helpful so I thought I would also share what I’ve found. I have a 5m old male V called Eric and he used to do the same as what you’ve described. I’ve lost countless jumpers and jeans to holes from biting, suffered bite marks and bruises and he goes so crazy I feel like he is going to pull the lead out of my hand.

But I contacted a dog behaviourist as it’s something we needed to nip in the bud ASAP as my in-laws also walk Eric so we can’t have him doing that to them. The advice and guidance I received was: It isn’t aggression to you even though it may feel like it. And it normally comes from being over stimulated but not in a good way - the puppy is letting you know that it’s all got a bit much and they need you to take control (either due to excitement or fear).

So we were told to keep a look out for the signs he is about to do it and redirect him by asking him to sit before he leaps to bite. If he is running at us (off lead) so unlikely to respond to sit then turn when he goes to jump at you and when all four paws are on the ground ask him to sit. Having him focus on a command or action starts to calm and focus their mind and take it down a level from the over stimulation. If he has already gone past the point then we also stand on the lead - we completely ignore until he calms. Even shouting or growling can sometimes be seen as attention (Eric didn’t respond to us growling) and can sometimes make things worse as they don’t view you as resolving the situation and instead it heightens their state further.

Ours happens most frequently when on busy roads as the traffic and sounds start to build up and it all becomes a bit much. So in addition to the distraction technique in the moment we also have had to go back to quiet streets for most of his walk and only have him on the busy one for a few minutes, giving him calm praise for being calm himself then we take him down a different street before he acts up. Each time we successfully do this before his state gets too heightened he learns we are in control, it is a safe place and nothing happened and we extend the time. Identifying the trigger has helped so much because we can normally head it off before his state gets so heightened that he can’t listen or respond. I’ve heard that for others it’s open spaces as they feel vulnerable and most commonly happens when you’ve been walking for some time so they’re either tired or have been slowly getting more and more heightened as the walk goes on until it all becomes a bit much. We’re now back to 15 mins on the busy roads before we redirect down a quiet road and that’s been quite quick progress. So I would recommend trying to work out the patterns in terms of location and timings on the walk or activities you’re incorporating on the walk and try to scale it back a little to identify his triggers. Redirect if you can see he is about to do it (we can tell from Eric’s eyes haha) and if you miss it, stand on the lead, completely ignore and once calm walk out of the situation to somewhere calmer and quieter (if busy is a trigger) or somewhere more enclosed it open spaces for example. Or cut back the use of a ball on the walk etc

Hope that helps xx
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