Viszla we're dogsitting very hyper in the evening - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Viszla we're dogsitting very hyper in the evening

Hi everybody,

My girlfriend and I have agreed to look after a 17 month old female Viszla for some friends that are away on holiday for 3 weeks.
Last sunday she arrived at our apartment (60m2) and was the sweetest dog from the beginning, pretty relaxed and immediately looking for playtime and pets.

We walked her on the leash for about an hour, and later in the evening I went for a 45 minute bike ride with some fast running. After we got home that evening she started chewing her bed and wouldn't stop. We tried to calm her down, which took about an hour. We went to bed and she howled for a bit but went to sleep quickly and had no issues.

The next day I'm working from home to help her get settled in a new environment. Another 45min walk in the evening, a 1 hour bike run in the afternoon with a 20 minute walk in-between. The entire day she was pretty calm, we played a bit but she would calm down when I was done playing with her. In the evening, I also walked her for 30 mins and then went on another 20 min bike ride to get her energy down a bit for the evening. However, after I got home, she became extremely hyperactive again, chewing and humping the bed any chance she gets. We removed the bed and tried to get her to calm down, but she'd howl and paw us constantly.

At some point we decided to go for another bike run to see if she'd calm down if she got her energy out, though I was hesitant cause I thought it might reward her for the bad behavior. We do another 45 mins bike run and when she comes home she's still hyper as ever. We removed the bed again, but still she wouldn't calm down. At some point we decided we'd decided to go to the bedroom (around 10) to see if she'd calm down. She calmed down after some whining and went to sleep nicely

I'm worried whether this behavior will get worse. At her own house she can roam the backyard sometimes during the day, and run off leash as well. Even though she can run off leash, she only gets about 1 hour of activity daily at her own house. I'll be able to walk/run with her in the morning, afternoon, and evening. In the weekends we might try to go to the forest and have a really long walk, though we're not confident letting her off-leash just yet.

Could this be related to anxiety of her new place, or do you think she just cannot get her energy levels down? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 08:47 AM
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Not uncommon for Vizslas to become wound up, right before they crash.
For some it's their last hoorah, trying to not go to sleep. And yes being in a new place, some will protest going to sleep at night.
Try giving her a long lasting chew in the crate, when she gets this way. See if she can self settle that way.
FYI all of my young Vizslas always had to zoom around the house, after we would get home from a run. The good thing is it didn't last longer than 15-20 minutes.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response Her owners brought a crate with them, but whenever we put her in it she freaks out, jumping in the crate and her tail wagging like crazy (not sure if that's from excitement?). The crate is a bit on the small side as well

Do you think putting her in a separate room instead where she can chill would help, or should we give her some time to get adjusted to the crate without freaking out?

This afternoon she was super relaxed when I came home from lunch to walk her, so hopefully some progress is made
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 11:49 AM
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This sounds more like a separation issue. You're not her people, and V's recognize and typically react badly to that. Has she been prepared for the separation, or was she just dropped off? What's her familiarity with you and your space?

First, I'll assume she is not tethered to you during the run and bike time and she can stop and start at will. This is essential to avoid stress injuries.

What you want is to duplicate as much as possible her environment and her activity and her lifestyle as much as possible to ease the transition and avoid the upset. So, the food and feeding times should be the same., her exercise (including the type and place and amount) should be the same, her sleeping arrangements (Place and time) should be the same, etc..or as close to possible.

Find out the answers to these questions and implement them as closely as possible, this should at least minimize if not eliminate the behaviors she's exhibiting in response to her awareness that everything has changed and everyone is gone.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 09:17 PM
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I agree this is likely anxiety from being away from her owners and is manifesting in the evening because that's probably when she gets the most time with them. The exercise is probably helping, but it's not quite scratching the right itch.

Is she normally allowed on furniture, but not at your place? Will she snuggle up next to you at all? Assuming she doesn't have any resource guarding issues around food, I would try giving her some kind bone or a food-filled kong and would sit on the floor next to her, petting her while she chews on it. I might also try teaching her a new trick with treats to keep her focused and engaged.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Appreciate the advice! Yesterday she's been great after some longer exercises, and going for a walk after the running to calm her down a bit.

We also bought her a kong toy (that she seems to love) and now let her on the couch last night and she's been super calm and relaxed.
Also let the door to our bedroom open last night when we went to sleep and she didn't bother us at all

As for the running, she is leashed when she runs next to my bike because i'm not sure she'll listen when we take her off leash. During leashed walks she won't stop pulling when she sees another dog or bird.
But definitely trying to get teach her to come back, don't pull on a leash, etc.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 08:30 AM
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This sounds like great progress and the owners just as that vizsla are lucky to find such a diligent sitter.

Some take longer to settle, some shorter time, depending on temperament and how much they are used to be away from their family.

Physical exercise is helpful, but i always emphasize the need for the mental one, not to mention the velcro nature of this breed, meaning their excess need of human touch.

If you and your girlfriend can play some `come` games with her (each of you giving some treats and keep calling to you, rewarding and cheering when she comes), hide a toy in a different room and make her find it, make her sit stay, down stay etc and reward, her brain will get engaged too and will get more tired. Just some ideas:-). Sometimes they just want to snuggle with you or sit on top of you to feel good.

Once again, really well done taking care of this velcro girl, and if any more ideas needed, this forum is here to help.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 10:32 AM
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I don't want to put too fine a point on this, but you might be overdoing the exercise, especially given her age. Yes, they like and need that, but it's not the likely source of her behaviors and you run the risk of injuring her. If you cannot run in a safe contained space so she can be off lead, then come up with an alternate, tethering her to you really risks injury.. Exhaustion only masks the underlying anxiety she feels at the separation, you need to do more here anyways.

Really, try to find out what her general routine is and duplicate that as closely as possible.
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