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Hi all, I’m new to the scene here. I live in England and with my 15 month old female Vizsla rescue dog (Ivy). She is my second Vizsla but she is an only dog as my other very sadly passed away a while ago. I got her at 6 months. Training and background: I rehomed Ivy from her previous owners at 6 months old. Her first 6 months of life is almost a complete mystery, the owners could give very little information regarding where she was purchased from- the breeder info they gave me didn’t add up timeline wise to the litters they’ve had. The owners friend gave her up to them at about 5 months old. Before that I don’t know what really happened with her. All I know for sure is that she was living in a shed with no human or animal interaction for at least a month if not longer before I got her. She was very underweight and had ZERO training. When I say that I mean.. she didn’t even know what her name was. Anyways, I have almost trained every bad habit out of her (she still jumps up at people.. I’m trying my best with that one) but the reason for me posting is actually something which has changed in her since I’ve had her. At 6 months she was really fearful of dogs when on lead (and other things) but she never showed any aggression and she actually really enjoyed meeting new dogs. Once she developed confidence she made many dog friends on and off lead and loved playing with dogs at the park or in the forests/beaches. My issue now is that Ivy has been attacked 2 times by small dogs and now she does not trust them at all when they play with her. She fully trust big dogs and will play with ANY happy boisterous dog. I think small dogs don’t like her because she hasn’t learned how to properly play nicely/gently with small dogs and so they snap and go for her in fear. Based on knowing that I don’t let her play with small dogs off lead now because she’s just too much dog for them. My issue is now when any dog is barking in her face and chasing her aggressively or not, she now doesn’t trust them and gets her hackles up and starts to act tall and aggressive. Like she’s telling them to back off and stop. When the dog doesn’t stop barking in her face or continues to snap at her she will hold them down with her paw and show her teeth. From my hundreds of hours of research and YouTube and physical dog training experience myself all the signs points to Ivy just being a very dominant dog but.. she doesn’t show confidence. To me it’s not as simple as she’s dominant and telling a dog to back off when they’re in her face or being dog rude.. my thoughts is that she is actually still socially unconfident and doesn’t know what to do so she’s turning to just being the biggest physically she can be to scare them away. Ivy is still coming off her first season, vet says she has about another month before her ‘milk’ hormones stop and she stops the ‘pregnant’ stage of hormones. If you fully understand heat cycles you’ll know what I mean. Now my question is, has anyone else’s dog started showing any of these signs? I would just like to know because she is still in the fear stage (up to about 18months for most dogs) so I’m hoping I have some time to do some work on this before it just is her personality but I’m really curious to see what other Vizsla owners have come across regarding this new aggression. It’s only started in the last month or so.
 

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I would not list her as dominant, or aggressive.
Dogs only have so many ways, to tell other dogs to back off. It does not sound like she is breaking skin, or drawing blood when this happens. It’s also not uncommon for dogs to pen the other one, if the dog does not head the growl.
Truthfully I would look for dogs, that she enjoys playing with/ being around. Her being able to do things with those type of dogs, may boost her confidence.
FYI even well rounded, good temperament dogs will tell off other dogs. If the other dog is being a pest. Miksa (@Gabica dog) told off Heifer (my young dog) the other day. Heifer fully deserved it, as she was antagonizing him. Just dogs being dogs, until Heifer learns she can’t force another dog to play her wrestling games.
 
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