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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Biting when walking lead o

Our Penny is almost six months old and we are having problems when we take her walking off-lead. I'm wondering if this is normal Vizsla behavior. What she does is she runs ahead of us and then sits down staring straight at us as we approach her, then when we are about 6 feet away from her, she comes running and bites our shoes, clothes, sometimes hands. it's terrible and it scares my daughter so much! I need advice please. I don't have any trainers in my area that I can ask for help.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 03:12 PM
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

We don't walk Riley offleash because we live in a very busy area, but he tries that at home sometimes. He stalks us and then pounces. I swear one of his favorite games is rushing up the stairs well ahead of us, turning around at the top and stalking back down the stairs and rushing us. We just keep correcting. I'd like to know a better way to stop that too!
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 03:27 PM
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

Have you tried bringing a toy with you to direct the biting? It sounds like she is just bored and wants something to mouth and carry around. Our girl loves just chewing on and chasing sticks. I think if you had something for her to grab when she came back to you it would eliminate the problem. Riley has recently started *gently* grabbing our sleeves on walks. As soon as I pick up a stick, she forgets my sleeves! ;D

Check out Riley & Cooper's blog: http://ltlor.blogspot.com/

Riley - Born September 5th, 2011
Cooper - Born March 10th, 2012

"The dog represents all that is best in man." ~ Etienne Charlet
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

These are the things that I've tried to stop the behavior: I take her head and pinned her down to the ground, but I can't keep her still and she gets more aggressive, biting harder. I also tried carrying sticks and throwing them when I see that she's stalking us, but as soon as she fetches them she comes back to bite us. I also spanked her on the bottom with the leash and that makes her crazy too and she tries to snatch the leash from me. She attacks my daughter if she's not right next to me, so I always hold her hand now. If we're holding hands, she just picks one of us and goes after anything she can bite. She does not do this the whole time we walk, she does it half way through the walk and then on the way back one more time. It's so frustrating. I can't imagine what we'll do when she gets stronger.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 03:39 PM
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariposa
I take her head and pinned her down to the ground, but I can't keep her still and she gets more aggressive, biting harder. I also spanked her on the bottom with the leash and that makes her crazy too and she tries to snatch the leash from me. She attacks my daughter if she's not right next to me, so I always hold her hand now.
Pinning her to the ground and smacking her with the leash is just going to make the problem worse.

Do you have problems with walking on-leash as well? Do you bring treats with you to reward good behavior? We taught Riley that when we call her to us if she sits nicely in front of us she gets a treat.

Also, do you have any other dog owners that can meet up with you for a play date? It really sounds like she is just bored to me.

Check out Riley & Cooper's blog: http://ltlor.blogspot.com/

Riley - Born September 5th, 2011
Cooper - Born March 10th, 2012

"The dog represents all that is best in man." ~ Etienne Charlet
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 04:18 PM
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

;D That's all typical Vizsla play behavior. Increase the amount of interaction with other dogs and significantly increase the level of exercise. The behavior is not acceptable towards humans but the dog doesn't know that. They will outgrow this and for now she/they should be kept on the leash until the behavior is more acceptable.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 04:27 PM
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariposa
These are the things that I've tried to stop the behavior: I take her head and pinned her down to the ground, but I can't keep her still and she gets more aggressive, biting harder. I also tried carrying sticks and throwing them when I see that she's stalking us, but as soon as she fetches them she comes back to bite us. I also spanked her on the bottom with the leash and that makes her crazy too and she tries to snatch the leash from me. She attacks my daughter if she's not right next to me, so I always hold her hand now. If we're holding hands, she just picks one of us and goes after anything she can bite. She does not do this the whole time we walk, she does it half way through the walk and then on the way back one more time. It's so frustrating. I can't imagine what we'll do when she gets stronger.
I just read the above post. I honestly think you need to learn allot about training dogs. Spanking and holding her down is NOT going to help you or the dog. That type of interaction with the dog will just lead to aggression. Please spend some time reading the behavior posts on this site and books on dog training to include leave it and heel training. Above all - YOUR DOG IS NOT GETTING ENOUGH EXCERSICE! A Vizsla pup needs 1-2 hours of exercise EVERY day.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 04:45 PM
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

[size=14pt][/size]V's were bred 2 hunt-their strong point is their closeness 2 their owner-your V is showing the best of the breed-stops and marks where U are-then leads on-never try 2 break this instinct-1000yrs of breeding and it's why U get one-pinning a V 2 the ground and all they think is UR playing with him-a soft voice and rewards(4 V's its love)and U have the pup U want-start working on WHOA-get that right & no matter where the V is U can approach n put back on lead
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 05:20 PM
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

Hi Mariposa-

First - take a deep breath. Your frustration will feed the problem.

I'm not an expert, but Savannah used to do this to me when we were walking on-leash (as opposed to off). I cycled through a few alternatives - one would work during one walk, another on a different day. She eventually outgrew the behavior.

You might try alternating walking off-lead and on-lead during a walk so Penny has some game time and some work time. If your schedule allows, you might also take shorter walks more often. If Penny is getting over-stimulated, the shorter walks should interrupt the problem before it escalates. Regardless, as you know, she needs the walking time every day.

I used a toy - usually a small ball that could fit in my pocket - sometimes like Threefsh recommended. The stick you are using is working once, but try to find a toy that she will fetch multiple times. Throw the ball when she sits and looks back at you. You're trying to time the toy as a distraction before she comes back at you. The timing will take some practice on your part. Zukes makes some small treats that worked sometimes as a distraction, too. Again, as Threefsh recommended, command a sit, then treat. Always treat and toy only for success - never as a reward for bad behavior.

Believe it or not, what worked most consistently (but not all the time) for me, was sitting or squatting down, talking to her softly and either letting her sit in my lap or sit pressed tightly to my side for a few minutes. When she was calm, we would continue the walk. Think about how you calmed your kids when they were really young and overly excited. I don't know how appropriate this technique would be for your daughter, but you might try it to see if it works for you. My neighbor, who has a golden retriever, said she used to have to stop walks and reconnect with her dog during adolescence, too.

One last thought, it sounds like all the negative corrections are being perceived as part of the game. If so, those corrections are going to reinforce the problem.

Good luck!
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Biting when walking lead o

Thank you so much for the kind advice. I wanted to expand a little bit on our exercise routine: Penny goes walking on-lead for 30 minutes every morning from 6:30 till 7am, then she walks for another 30 minutes at lunch time, followed by play time inside the house and then we leave her outside in the yard for the rest of the afternoon (we live in South and winter here are not bad, most day the max is in the mid 50's, plus she has a very nice dog house, etc). When I come home is when I take her walking again on the longer off lead walk for about 45 minutes, followed by more play time inside the house. I've read that when they're this young you don't want to exercise them too much to prevent damage to their joints.
I have tried many of the usual recommendations given in this forum for mouthing/biting, such as yelping when she bites, the sweet talking and looking into her eyes, spraying with water, believe me I tried! This does not work with this dog in this situation. She does not do this when she's on the leash. But she loves to run and explore so much and we have such a great place to take her that I don't want to give up so easily and just put her on the leash when I could try other techniques.

Today I tried taking a toy and doing the fetch thing when she came running to attack us, and it worked to some extent, but when she brought the toy back she began attacking again. We fetched a lot today! Finally I put her on the leash again and she calmed down. I think I'll just have to put her on the leash when she gets bad and see if she gets the message.

Other than this, Penny is turning to be a great dog and we've enjoyed her a lot. We lost several pounds from all the walking too , which is a great health benefit to us! She's very loving at night when she settles down, usually around 8pm. She's starting to be nicer during the day inside the house.
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