Concerned about new snapping and snarling - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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  • 1 Post By Gabica
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Concerned about new snapping and snarling

Hi guys I've not been on here for some months now as things were going pretty well with Greta and life took over ...

In the last week Greta has snapped, growled and nipped 3 times. Twice with me, which I understood her being defensive. Firstly when she was told off for chewing the furniture, she hide under a table and she snapped and nipped me when I put my hand under to get her out. The second time with me was after she had rolled in a foul smelling compost heap and was giving her a warm outdoor wash down. Half way though the wash she ran and hide under a chair snarling and snapping when I went to get her. I avoided conflict by clicking her lead, which is her command to have her lead put on and it instantly snapped her out of it.

Third time was last night, not with me but my partner. He had taken her and his dog out for their wee before bed, she got on a chair in the front room instead of getting in her crate. He put his hand gently on her to guide her off the chair and she snapped, growled and tried to nip him. My partner hit her, which is what he thinks I should do. I don't want to hit her. Any advice to resolve this behaviour would be very welcome right now. Many thanks.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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This post should have gone into behaviour problems, sorry about that.

Also I should add that Greta is nearly 11 months old.

I've not had a dog that's nipped, snarled or tried to bite before so it's a worry. She is the opposite to my previous V in so many ways and I've learnt and adapted and made good progress but I am very concerned about this. All my training has been positive reinforcement and I'd like to resolve this the same way.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:40 AM
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How old is Greta?

First, never hit your Vizsla. If your partner uses corporal punishment, it could account for her not wanting to be with him or go outside to potty under his command. And never address her fear reaction (hiding under a chair, refusing to go outside, etc) by touching her or attempting to grab her. She interprets that as sheer aggression on your part, and especially in a state of high anxiety, will become self protective and "nip" (which is a signal, if she wanted to do real damage, she could). So, in a way, you are bringing on her aggressive behavior yourself.

Try not to get into control struggles with her, if she disobeys (and runs for cover under a chair), leave her alone and review the incident in your mind and come up with alternate ways of addressing her misbehavior that do not also arouse high anxiety. So, if she starts chewing on the furniture, clap your hands a few times to get her attention, say "HEY!, NO!", and redirect with an approved toy. So, you distract her and then redirect her.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 09:32 PM
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I could not agree more with gingerling.

Try to remember, Greta is approximately like a 3 year old human right now in terms of her maturity. Probably also starting a fear period as well. Our job is to teach them that the whole world is wonderful and nothing to be afraid of. Also remember while they are vizslas, they are individual dogs, so they will need different motivators. The one thing which is common in them: they do want to please you.
My Miksa is the same age and sometimes he does not want to go to his crate as he wants to continue playing or snuggling. So he gets a treat and a toy for going into the crate as those are motivators working for him. Find the motivator of Greta and apply them in every situation until she will just want to work for you just using a command.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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I'm feeling far more positive about the concerns I have regarding the snarling, growling and nipping. A night of worry after the incidant with my partner left my fearing I had a problem dog. My partner hit her in a spontaneous reaction. It's the first time and the last that this will happen.

I had been wondering if Greta was entering a fear period as she's had about 4 warm water outdoor baths now without any problems and plenty of tellings off without conflict so her reactions were confusing for both of us. I had noticed that she'd not been her normal brave self recently and today she was scared of the horses; the horses she has chased, to my horror, just a few months ago! Another story...

All Vizslas are different. My first V was well suited as a first dog when I was in my mid 20s. Attached to me by invisible elastic, very keen to please and super sensitive. The deer/game keeper at work who knows dogs well, he has 7, said I'd been spoilt with old Amber!

Greta is full on and strong willed but very affectionate, more affectionate than Amber was at the same age.

Here are some examples of training successes with Greta, and hopefully encouragement for others with a full on pup and I guess a funny read ......

The biting/chewing. I think it was over four months before she stopped the biting game. Plenty of injuries, blood drawn and holes in clothes. She still chews now every day for most of the day!
First V had only chewed her toys and bite inhibition took 2 weeks! And certainly no blood!!

Leave it/take it. Greta had to be taught this as fast as possible. She tried to eat everything, her poop, other dogs poop, any dead bird/animal she could find all plants and sticks she came across, it was relentless and is now nearly under control. I've lost count of how many times she's been sick!

Humping, peoples legs used to be her favourite, again relentless, she now knows this is a no no! Her bedding and mattress are allowed. People say humping is a stressed or dominance thing but without a doubt it's a play/excited thing for Greta. Started at 9 weeks.

Counter surfing again was relentless but now with the 'off' command is nearly under control. I did use the spray bottle also.

Anyway I could go on.....luckily for me Greta will do anything for food, especially little bits of fresh carrot!

Last edited by Greta; 05-15-2019 at 09:06 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Success! I've just had to give Greta another bath, she'd rolled in the compost heap liquid again. Behind her ears and all down her side, she thought it was lovely!
So treats throughout the procedure and lots of praise. Total success she even wagged her tail. All good, phew!
She's drying in the sun now.
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