Aggression/Dominance - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Aggression/Dominance

I posted on here a while back about my boyfriend's Vizsla being aggressive and dominant. I thank those of you who posted on it, and I've tried all things I can think of and what you guys and trainers have recommended, and nothing as changed.

He's a 2 &1/2 year old neutered male. This aggression started when he was a little over 6 months of age. It is never towards my boyfriend, and for the longest was just against me. However, this has escalated to being aggressive to children, some friends, and even my dog. I'm to the point that I am about to put him down, and I absolutely hate that thought, but I'm out of options.

It started out as a sort of aggressive/dominant reaction to training. He is extremely stubborn, and any sort of commands he would ignore. If I would put him into a sit position he would freak out and bite me. If my boyfriend did it, it was fine. I thought it may be because I'm a female and he viewed himself as over me in the pack, even though we both came into the equation at the same time. We enrolled him with a trainer, who used positive reinforcement and would use a choke collar for sharp quick no's. He responded great to it, of course around the trainer, but at the house it was the same thing. If you did a correction, he'd jump up and bite. Of leash is impossible. We neutered him in hopes of calming the aggression and lowering the testosterone. Nothing. I had him at a friend's house and one of her kids was playing with him and he growled and snarled. My boyfriend's little brother went to push his face away from his and the dog growled and snarled. I fear that this will soon turn into bites, and I do not want him biting anyone else. Two days ago, he jumped my 1 year old German Shepherd and bit her in the face over nothing. Then today, he bit my hand and drew blood, and my German Shepherd jumped him immediately, so I had to break up the fight.

I've tried positive reinforcement, choke chain corrections, muzzles, shock collars, and everything else I can think of. I'm to the point I don't want to re-home him in fear he'll bite someone, but I hate the thought of having to put him down. Please help. Any advice is welcome.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 10:01 PM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

How much exercise does he get? Riley is always much better behaved when she is tired. Does he have hunting potential? Perhaps he would do better as a hunting companion for someone in a rural area.

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 #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 10:19 PM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

I would give him to an experienced Vizsla owner who is willing to accept the challenge.

I cannot comment accurately, as I have not viewed the behaviour and interactions. However, reading your posts, it sounds as though you're inexperienced and have allowed the dog to gain dominance and now you have issues. I still think the dog could be turned around. Try and find someone willing to take him on rather than having him PTS.

The fact the trainer got results tells me something. He has respect from the dog, you and your partner don't. I know this sounds harsh to you, it's not meant to be, it's just what I see reading the words and in between them too.

Check out all the adventures of Ozkar, Astro and Zsa Zsa at http://aussievizsladiaries.blogspot.com.au/
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

I know the exercise thing is an issue, because my boyfriend does nothing with him. Like, nothing. He doesn't train him, throw a ball, let him just run, nothing. I did for the longest. I took him wherever I could, let him chase the tennis ball until he couldn't anymore. But I haven't lately because he has gotten so aggressive with me.

I would give him to anyone who was experienced enough to have him. I am in no way inexperienced. He is not my first dog, nor my first hyperactive breed. I've had hunting breeds, herding breeds, those who are considered "aggressive" breeds, but I have never had that gut fear that my dog is going to bite anyone. I know that my boyfriend loves the dog, so I'm hoping to change the behavior before I have to get rid of him. But he's causing so much stress and tension in both of our lives, I hate it
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 11:09 PM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

Quote:
I know the exercise thing is an issue, because my boyfriend does nothing with him. Like, nothing. He doesn't train him, throw a ball, let him just run, nothing. I did for the longest. I took him wherever I could, let him chase the tennis ball until he couldn't anymore. But I haven't lately because he has gotten so aggressive with me.
Woah... so how much exercise does he get? Is he in a crate all day? How long is he left alone? It makes sense that he's biting if he has a ton of pent-up energy. Our Riley needs an hour MINIMUM every day... her ideal amount is about 1.5 hours off leash (running). If we do an on-leash walk it's 2hrs a day total.

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 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 11:15 PM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

Quote:
because my boyfriend does nothing with him. Like, nothing. He doesn't train him, throw a ball, let him just run, nothing.
You have answered your own question. Your prior dog experience with "working or sporting" dogs should have given you the "red flag" warning long ago.

What would it take to "rehome" this red bird dog? Can you get in touch with the local Vizsla Rescue group? Usually you can get ahold of these good people through the local Vizsla Club.

You two should talk this over quickly and make the choice. Putting it down would deny someone the pleasure of this young Vizsla that might thrive with the proper environment.


http://redbirddog.blogspot.com

"I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life." - R. Reagan
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 11:37 PM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

Quote:
Originally Posted by macrowe1
I know the exercise thing is an issue, because my boyfriend does nothing with him. Like, nothing. He doesn't train him, throw a ball, let him just run, nothing. I did for the longest. I took him wherever I could, let him chase the tennis ball until he couldn't anymore. But I haven't lately because he has gotten so aggressive with me.

I would give him to anyone who was experienced enough to have him. I am in no way inexperienced. He is not my first dog, nor my first hyperactive breed. I've had hunting breeds, herding breeds, those who are considered "aggressive" breeds, but I have never had that gut fear that my dog is going to bite anyone. I know that my boyfriend loves the dog, so I'm hoping to change the behavior before I have to get rid of him. But he's causing so much stress and tension in both of our lives, I hate it
Perhaps it's not the dog's behaviour which needs to change? I don't mean to be harsh once again, but, seriously, if you truly are an experienced dog owner, then you would have known what the issue was, surely? A Vizsla not being exercised is a sure recipe for disaster. Please do not put him to sleep, if the trainer can get a handle on him, then any good Vizsla owner/breeder should be able to also. Do a search for your local HVC and see what response you get from them. Where are you located??

God, if he was here in Oz, i'd come pick him up in a heartbeat.

Check out all the adventures of Ozkar, Astro and Zsa Zsa at http://aussievizsladiaries.blogspot.com.au/
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:53 AM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

Ditto on the exercise. Your dog definitely needs more of it. With all that pent up energy, he's becoming bored and anxious, and it's manifesting in aggressive behaviors.

If you and your boyfriend cannot or will not provide the exercise your dog needs, it would be best for all involved if you found a way to rehome him. I can understand that if he's become aggressive with you that you would be afraid to handle him, but I don't think the situation is so far gone that the dog needs to be put to sleep. As redbirddog mentioned, your best bet is to contact your local Vizsla club. They'll have many contacts regarding a rescue organization, or they may have their own foster system in place. Explain the situation--it probably won't be the first time they've seen a dog that has these issues, and they will likely be better equipped to really evaluate your dog's behavior. Don't be afraid that they won't want to deal with him--they would rather see a V with some behavioral issues come to them for fostering/rehoming/training, than see an otherwise healthy dog euthanized.

Here is a link to the Vizsla Club of America's listing of regional Vizsla clubs in the US, if you happen to be stateside. Whatever your decision, do keep us updated. Folks here are always happy to offer advice or whatever assistance we can over the forum. I do encourage you and your boyfriend to come to a decision quickly, for both yourselves and your dog. Best of luck.

Edit: I just noticed the link doesn't want to work as posted. Here it is a different way: vcaweb.org/clubs/index.shtml
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 03:14 AM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance

Thanks for posting that link up RR. That's the first step in helping this poor puppy dog.

It's a very difficult decision to make. Even when a dog is misbehaving for whatever reason, the love you have for them often blinds you to making a good decision for the dog.

This is how I came to have my 10 month old boy Astro. He was rehomed to me when he was 6 1/2 months old. His first family had two young children and while the father had originally decided to get Astro, as sometimes happens, it was left to the wife to look after his needs. She found it too much to look after two young kids and keep Astro Stimulated and exercised. He had become destructive and out of control. All because he was not given the time for physical and mental energy expenditure, nor any real training.

Now when I first got him, he was disobedient, but only as he had not been given training or structure. He would bite, not hard, but he would bite, he would also jump up on everyone, surf benches, chew wooden blinds, rip up cushions, scratch the door frames and generally was a bit out of control. About the only thing he was really good with, was on lead walking. As a matter of fact, he was better than my GSP who I had for a few more months. But, for the most part he was a little challenging. Very barky, a little fear aggression with other dogs and not so comfortable with strangers at first.

It took about two days of exercise and training for him to change into the most relaxed and chilled out Vizsla puppy I have ever seen. My point being, all it took was some time and effort from me put into him and it reaped all and more rewards than I could ever have hoped for. So if possible, an exploration of the HVC's and possible rehoming might be just what the dog needs to return his temperament to a somewhat normal Vizsla.

Check out all the adventures of Ozkar, Astro and Zsa Zsa at http://aussievizsladiaries.blogspot.com.au/
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 08:46 AM
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Re: Aggression/Dominance


A Vizsla's Crime


"When my family first bought me to live within their home. They cuddled and they pampered me and groomed with brush and comb.


They played with me and laughed with me and showered me with toys. I sure do love my family, and all the tiny girls and boys.


The children loved to feed me; and give me special treats. They even let me sleep with them - all cosy in their sheets


I used to go for lovely walks, often several times a day. They even fought to hold my lead, I'm so very proud to say!


These are the things I'll not forget - a cherished memory. for now I'm in a shelter, bereft of family.


They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe. But I didn't know the difference between the old one and the new
The kids and I would grab a rag, and for hours we played tug. So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed that bedroom rug.


They said that I had lost control and would have to live outside. I didn't really understand this, though I really really tried!


The walks they stopped one by one; they said they had no time. I wish that I could change things; I wish I knew my crime.


My life became so lonely shackled to a metal chain. I barked and barked continually I thought I'd go insane.


So they took me to the shelter but were embarrassed to say why. So they said I'd caused an allergy, then said their last goodbye.


If only I'd had training, as a tiny little pup. I wouldn't have been so hard to live with, when I was all grown up.


"You only have one day left", I heard the kennel man say. Does that mean I have a second chance? "Do I go back home today"?"


-Author Unknown

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com

"I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life." - R. Reagan
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