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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Our sweet little puppy is 5 months old. He is STILL bitting us like crazy. In the morning, he will wake up and give kisses as we get him out of his crate but then biting starts in. We tell him "no bites" as he eats breakfast, goes out, and we get our kids off to school but it's a constant barrage of mouthing and bites. No growling but like he is going crazy with energy and has nothing else to do but bite us.

Once we get the kids to school, we head out on a check line and walk for an hour. He leads. We go about a mile, sometimes a mile and a half. Almost all on grass and through small fields. He stops, chews, eats bugs, runs and I just follow him. Or we go to the dog park and do an hour walking around off leash. When we get home he is GREAT! Let's us pet him, plays with his toys, chews on bones, and doesn't constantly try to bite me. Runs errands with me and pretty much sleeps in between in his crate or on his dog bed. Sometimes we do another small walk on a short leash and practice our training class commands in the afternoons and he continues his awesomeness.

However, come evening he is a MANIAC! Biting at us all, lunging, and just crazy. No growling. Just wanting to bite at us if we are playing with him or if we are not like he wants attention. It's hard because all the kids are home and they need my attention (homework, hunger, and heading back out to practices). He acts just like the morning. Is it possible he is just recharged and needs another long outing? His evening walk is usually much shorter and quicker (maybe 20-30 minutes), and then we play training games and hide and seek. The evenings though are just so hard and everyone is over getting bit. Especially me. We all tell him "no bite" and try to distract or ignore him when he does it. But sometimes he is relentless with is attempts to bit us and it just gets so frustrating. If it's bad we will just put him in his crate. Sometimes he sleeps. And sometimes he whines. I wonder if he is just mean. But then I see how sweet he can be during the day and I just wonder what I am missing and what I can do for him.

I would happily take him out on a longer walk in the evenings, similar to our morning outings, but I struggle because he is 5 months and so young. I have read SO MANY THREADS on here and am just confused about him being overtired versus undertired. Does it sound like our guy is just recharging come evening and needs more exercise? Or is this just puppy teething? Or something else? I would LOVE for my husband and my kids to see the puppy the way I do during the day. Any advice?

We are crate training him. He is AMAZING at night. Goes into his crate at 9 or 10 and sleeps all night. Takes a couple of naps in his crate during the day. Has become stellar at potty training. And rocks his training class. He really is terrific about 90% of the time. I am just over the biting and just not sure what he needs to help him through it.
 

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There are many ways to address the biting as there are any undesirable behavior, and surely you'll get them here..I always say pick the one that fits your personality and style. Here's Mine.

When he bites, let out a loud "OWWWW!"..you can add the "no bites" or not, it's the "OWWWW!" that he'll get b/c it's closest to his "Language", the yelp. Turn away at that point, rinse and repeat as often as necessary. His response should be to stop with or without some other demonstration of awareness and perhaps remorse. Titrate the volume(and drama) to achieve this result.

But, your real issue here is energy, which leads to over excitement. They really do need intense, daily, off lead exercise...an on lead walk is really useless, no matter how long it is...and the sooner you establish a pattern..wake up, do the kid thing, take him hiking...the sooner he'll figure out the routine and probably sleep in the am to store his energy for the exertion. Until then, keep him in the crate and redirect with a toy or rawhide.
 

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He's not mean, he just loves to play by mouthing you. Fun for him, but not so much for everyone else.
OWWW has worked for some of my Vs. Others, it just made more excited.
Making my hand uncomfortable in their mouth, worked for some. Or atleast if it was the hands they were going after.
Making sure all their needs were met. Then just crating them, so they had a chance to become more relaxed. Works for the time they are overstimulated, or have the tired biteys.
You can also try to get out some treats, and work on redirecting them. A sit, down, or place. Anything that gets the mind off nipping, and on to something else.
Others that just don't want to give up the nipping game. They get sprayed with water. I just keep a cheap spray bottle close by. Some people don't like to correct pups, and try to do all positive training methods. I love positive training methods, but I do believe in corrections.
 
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Puppy age comes with these curve balls and sometimes it needs several tweaks until they become bullet proof in one skill.
Based on how you describe him he is very smart and just wants attention, expressing it on a way which is uncomfortable for us humans.

I would also try more mind games for him. Like nose work at home. Take some empty boxes, arrange them in a disorder, hide a treat one by one. once he finds it, reward with another one. crate after finding it, get him out in 5 minutes, repeat, making it more and more difficult for him to find. remember, these guys were bread for hunting, using their nose is a huge reward for them and keeps them occupied. U can do the same with toys.
Or teach him some tricks, like picking up his toy and putting it into a box. Again, his mouth and mind will be busy helping you instead of biting.


My type of correction is attention withdrawal: if they after several times signaling clearly my dislike about a behavior they keep on with it, the answer is attention withdrawal. Puppy age gets into his crate and i don`t look at him even though being around for at least 15 minutes. 2.5 years old has to go onto his place on the couch and i don`t look at him for 10 minutes, or until they settle. Then i go and talk to them on a very flat and low volume voice and watch body language. 99.9% of the time they calm down and behave afterwards, as they are so much driven by mom`s attention. As they mature this type of correction is required less and less frequently, as they really want to please you, just need to be thought how.
 

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Crazy puppy.

I am new to the Vizsla as well and was shocked th first time mine "shark attacked" me. Scolding only made it worse. After much reading and trying distracting her, positive reinforcement and lots of love. I ran in to a trainer and she told me to get tougher, not mean but to hold her mouth close with thumb and first finger while saying no bite. It took a couple of days and I'm not saying we are over it but I get a lot more kisses than I do bites. There are those times when she just gets overly excited and needs a time out which for us it a outside puppies yard or the crate. 10 or 15 minutes is all it takes. Good luck to you. Btw mine is just over three months old.
 

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The only way I could get Mav to stop biting was to tell him no and immediately place him in his kennel and completely ignore for 10 minutes and then let him out. I did this every single time he started biting and after about 4 days he stopped and never started again. Before that I tried everything conceivable, the dog virtually had no feelings, emotional or physical. The breeder had said he was the most dominant of the litter.... now I know what that meant. Just remember that smart dogs train you if you don’t train them. The first few months were rough, but now I can’t believe how good of a dog he is.
 

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Kthimmes, hang in there because you're almost past the worst of it. Mine started showing significant improvement at 6 months. I also know exactly what you mean by "overtired versus undertired." I, too, was very confused by the conflicting advice on the amount of exercise a puppy needs. I most often read that "a tired dog is a happy dog," but that did not seem to be the case with my puppy. He was like a kid who would "fight" it. I knew he had to be tired, but he just kept going and getting more erratic and bitey. I then began to notice that his pupils would be huge during those times in the evening! Ultimately, that was how I knew when he had reached his limit. When his pupils dilate, he's done, even if he doesn't act like it. If you have exercised your pup, he has been up for 2-3 hours, and his pupils are dilated, he's overtired and overstimulated. Mine is almost 10 months old now, but I still keep him on a schedule. I exercise him and put him to bed at the same time each evening, and this regimen also makes it easier to determine his actions.

As for his continuing to be bitey, similar to Mav2015, I would give mine a time out because simply ignoring him didn't work; it made it worse. The best advice that worked for me was to say, "Time out" and hold up my palm. Then I would put either put my pup (or myself) in the laundry room or bathroom for about 30 seconds with the door closed. Sometimes he would have a hold of my pant leg or shirt, and I would have to pry his sharp little teeth off as I am closing the door. Anyway, I kept doing that every time he got too nippy (sometimes several times within a 10-minute period). The play always stopped, and he couldn't continue to bite. That seemed to work best for us. I will still have to say, "Time out," every now and then, but he stops immediately when I do, and neither of us has to go into seclusion. :)

Finally, bully sticks work great, too. At 5 months, bully sticks will help relieve his teething issues and buy you some quiet time of about 30-60 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
THANK YOU ALL!! For the comments, insights, and encouragement.

We have spent the last two weeks working hard on curbing the unwanted behavior. I keep meaning to sit down and thank you and update, and suddenly two weeks have passed. I apologize for that because each response truly was motivation to keep going.

The kids and I have both been working hard on a "no bite" command in our sternest (yet not angry) voices as he starts to nip at us all. I think it is helping that we are ALL on the same page with the wording and response. When that doesn't work we all now just pick up a spray bottle or glass and tell him "no bites". I had to spray him a few times with a water bottle in the beginning, but now us with anything in our hands gets his attention and him out of the crazy dog mode. It at least gets us all to calm down quickly and reset and then i redirect into training or a game of hide & seek. This seems to take that built up energy and focus it.

We way UPed our trips to the offleash park after hearing that we may just be needing to get out more, but not on a leash walk. We try to go every day now. This helps a ton too! He found his turbo mode and just takes off once we get inside! It's impressive for a little man and seems to make all the difference to watch him just burn off whatever is in him. We go almost every day now in the mornings and it makes a world of difference for when we do walks later in the day on leash. His confidence is soaring too at the dog park as he meets dogs, and he seems to have a blast following them around and in and out of the creek. And getting all muddy.

He still has crazy mode, but as I read back through this post I feel like we have made some forward progress with the crazy biting. And recognizing that he needs a lot more exercise.

Really appreciate the advice all! And the information. I LOVE this little man, but since he's our first Vizsla I am in awe of his energy needs already even after obsessively reading this board for so long before we adopted him. Your wisdom and experience is so awesome!
 
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