13 week old and biting uncontrollably - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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13 week old and biting uncontrollably

Hello guys!

My Husband and I are first time V and puppy owners, and we obviously have so much to learn. We have done a ton of research before and now. But with this I am now at a loss.

Our adorable and smart 13 week old has been doing all the normal Vizsla things like sharkies, zoomies, picky eater, able to learn just about any command I throw at her, etc.

But just starting last week, her "sharkies" have become terrible. She will not stop for nothing. I could have a high value treat in my hand, and she does not care about anything else besides my hands, legs, clothes, anything on me. The other issue is that she has not been doing this with my husband only me. She does get the normal sharkies with him, but not this obsession with biting like she does with me.

We have been doing bite inhibition since day one with really no luck. It only eggs her on more. If I turn around and ignore her or walk away she begins biting my bum. If I put her in time out (not in her crate) she seems to get more roweled up and once taken out (because she was sitting nicely for a little bit) she attacks at full force.

The only thing that we have not tried yet is spraying water.

I am worried at this point that this will never end, and she has a sense of dominance over me. Is this something that will just stop one day, and it never really mattered what we did or did not do through this time, or is this something that could continue into adulthood.

Like I said I understand that sharkies are something all V's go through, but what she is doing now, is not what I considered sharkies, and more like an attempt to establish dominance.

Please share your experience, and how you overcame this not so fun stage of their beautiful lives.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 12:05 AM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

Your sharkies sound worse than Savannah's, but I'll give you my take on it for what it's worth.

Nothing helped with Savannah except growing up. I wouldn't spray water because she would be near spraying water at work. Same for shaking a can of pennies. She needed to be able to tolerate loud, unexpected noises. So we were left with turning around (like you - just another target point), ignoring (she didn't care), trying the knee in the chest (don't do that one - it makes it worse), crying (also made it worse), yelling (also made it worse). You get the idea.

To get through this stage I recommend a few things for you. Try giving her frozen veggies to see if her teeth hurt. It won't stop the biting, but it will give you a bit of a breather. Some folks will recommend frozen washcloths - Savannah swallowed the pieces, so I only gave those supervised. Wear old clothes for 2 weeks. You don't need your favorite shirt/slacks/shoes being destroyed while you are already on edge. Keep a pair of leather gloves handy. When you can get to the point that you (and your things) are protected enough that you can calmly turn to her and say "that's quite enough" and give her a veggie or stick something else in her mouth, you'll have a fighting chance for the next two weeks. After 2 weeks you should be able to identify what triggers the really bad biting and stop it before it happens. For example, Savannah would go nuts when she had to poo or when she was overtired or when she was frustrated about anything. I learned to anticipate.

Two odd consequences of this approach. She learned that anytime she untied my shoes I would stop. Four years later, she will still untie my shoes when she wants me to stop. Also, the first snowfall of winter is magical for her. The entire world turns into a treat in just a matter of hours. It usually takes a day or so before she remembers that just because something is covered in ice doesn't make it a good snack.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 05:41 AM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

All good advice from jld640!!

katy13, you say you're worried that at this point this will never end, and so I'd like to assure you that it will. It will. Your pup's behavior has nothing to do with dominance, and everything to do with just being a baby dog. This too shall pass!

"Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love
can make him wag his tail." -- Kinky Friedman
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 10:38 AM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

Quote:
Originally Posted by katy13
But just starting last week, her "sharkies" have become terrible. She will not stop for nothing. I could have a high value treat in my hand, and she does not care about anything else besides my hands, legs, clothes, anything on me. The other issue is that she has not been doing this with my husband only me. She does get the normal sharkies with him, but not this obsession with biting like she does with me.

We have been doing bite inhibition since day one with really no luck. It only eggs her on more. If I turn around and ignore her or walk away she begins biting my bum. If I put her in time out (not in her crate) she seems to get more roweled up and once taken out (because she was sitting nicely for a little bit) she attacks at full force.

The only thing that we have not tried yet is spraying water.

I am worried at this point that this will never end, and she has a sense of dominance over me. Is this something that will just stop one day, and it never really mattered what we did or did not do through this time, or is this something that could continue into adulthood.

Like I said I understand that sharkies are something all V's go through, but what she is doing now, is not what I considered sharkies, and more like an attempt to establish dominance.

Please share your experience, and how you overcame this not so fun stage of their beautiful lives.
What you call an "obsession with biting" is exactly how I would characterize a shark attack. It sounds like maybe what you thought was sharkies in the beginning was really just normal puppy nipping. That crazed biting is what I consider sharkies (and it's normal!). Do try the water bottle, it worked like a charm with our guy (when yelping, etc. only hyped him up). Make sure it's set on stream, not spray.

I promise you she will grow out of it! It took longer than normal with our pup (I think he didn't stop completely until about 8 months - but it was much less frequent and painful by then). I think most are over it by 4-5 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jld640
Nothing helped with Savannah except growing up. Wear old clothes for 2 weeks.

After 2 weeks you should be able to identify what triggers the really bad biting and stop it before it happens. For example, Savannah would go nuts when she had to poo or when she was overtired or when she was frustrated about anything. I learned to anticipate.
Great advice. Dexter's triggers were usually being overtired or overstimulated (he was likely to shark after meeting another dog, going near the community mailboxes where other dogs marked, etc.) and also when he had to poo! That might be another reason she sharks with you and not your husband - you might be unconsciously triggering her whereas he's not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mswhipple
All good advice from jld640!!

Your pup's behavior has nothing to do with dominance, and everything to do with just being a baby dog. This too shall pass!
Ditto! Just hang in there!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 05:06 PM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

My little Kimber is the same age and she gets really bad if she is hungry or tried. She'll run. Circles around the house and if you try to catch her she'll bite or run the other way. What I'll usually when I catch her is wrap her in a blanket and hug her. She squirms and cries but only for a minute and then she's calm and will lay down.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 02:51 PM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

I'm so glad I found this forum. We have a 16 week old V. Her name is Journee. I was looking for ways to control her biting, and mouthing. I noticed that when she is frustrated or over stimulated is when it is the worst. We just try to put something in her mouth when she's attacking us.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 02:58 PM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

... and welcome to the forums, rockkinrobbins!! Do you have any photos of Journee to post?

"Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love
can make him wag his tail." -- Kinky Friedman
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 03:52 PM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

Morris spent at least a month destroying my clothes, it was always a certain point in our walk where he would flip out (like only a V puppy can) and I would get mauled by my ginger sharky! Like you say, nothing worked, until we stopped going to that particular place. A few weeks later and he could go there again, he just had to grow out of it. We use water spray when he occasionally did it in the house and that fixed it right up. Hang on in there!

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” ― Woodrow Wilson
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 03:28 AM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

Hi Katy13,
Our 1 year old, Nudge was also a crazy ginger shark for the first few months. We undertook all of the usual advice but another thing that worked for us was letting Nudge have lots of supervised play time with an older, bigger dog. We chose a friends trusty Collie - we know she has a lovely temperament and she essentially taught him how hard is too hard...of course the things we were doing at home helped but her schooling definitely put this crazy pup in his place!
Good luck!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 11:08 PM
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Re: 13 week old and biting uncontrollably

Hi!
My Juliet is now 15 months old and was a terrible biter for the first 5 months of her life.
I mean to the point that I would be near tears wondering why my dog was so horrible. I realized that she would give me a look prior to having one of these "biting frenzies" ---- btw she would nearly charge myself and other people in the house and begin jumping and biting and holding into sleeves and whatnot--- I soon began carrying a toy and quickly saying "get your toy" and it seemed to snap her brain out of "attack mode".

She mostly did this in the evenings as well when she was really tired (like a human toddler she insisted on staying up even to the point that she is a complete monster). On days when she just didn't seem to get it, I would walk out of the room, count to 30-45 and enter and ignore her for a few minutes. If she went to bite me again, I would leave the room again. Although she had moments of being a terror she was very attached to me and seeing me "leave" seemed to get the point across.

Try to be consistent, and use redirection. Juliet rarely gets to a point where she is mouthy now, but some days seems to be very irritable when she is really tired. She makes these ridiculous moaning noises and bites the air while trashing around.

These dogs have character (to say the least).


GOOD LUCK!
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