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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have a 7 month male V (my first V) and am at my wits end. I was able to handle the shark attacks and tried just about everything to stop them (yelping, treats, replacing with toys, turning my back, leaving the room, etc.) and nothing seemed to fix the issue, unfortunately. These shark attacks seemed to occur mainly in the evening (possibly his way of zoomies) and seemed to either be due to him being over-tired or over-stimulated, so I could tolerate that craziness. Well, now that he is older and larger (~52 lbs), these attacks have gotten much worse and occur randomly throughout the day, as well as at night. He will lunge and bite me constantly, sometimes even snarling at me if I use a firm tone with him. He is also trying to hump me during these episodes. It is mainly myself that he does it to (to this extreme) but will also do it to other family members. I spend all of my time with him and he is what i believe to be well exercised/played with every day. I am trying to work on more off leash exercise with him (not just off leash in an enclosed area) but his recall is currently horrendous, not sure if it is just due to the teenager phase.

If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated. I am meeting with a trainer today and would prefer to use positive reinforcement techniques only, as I know this is a sensitive breed, but am open to suggestions. I should also mention that he is not neutered, as I am trying to wait until at least the 18 month mark. Thank you all.
 

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On the nueter we waited almost 2 years. It did make a HUGE difference in his humping. Which is not all sex drive but also a dominance thing.

On the biting /attacks. He is still young Do your best to hang in for a couple more months ( not easy I know)

With our male we started to notice an improvement at 6 months , but really took till 12 months to see the potential of him being a great dog.

Exercise. A tired Vizsla is a Good Vizsla. . We started running ours at about 8 months old. A couple miles off leash. He quickly built up to 6-8-10.miles. And was ready for more. The running really helped a lot.

Hang in there. It WILL get better!
 

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While it feels like a attack, it's just him having inappropriate fun, for his age and size.
How much training have you done with him, and how experienced are you with handling sporting breeds.

A lot of times, it's not that the owner is not trying to train their pup. They just lack the experience, to do it correctly.
If there are group classes offered anywhere around you, try to enroll in them. Having a trainers input, while you are training helps tremendously.
A lot of times it's just small things, and timing. I've lost count of how many times I've had a trainer watch me work a dog, and give input to fix a problem.
 

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He's still young and trying to figure everything out. If it helps, Finn, my 11 month old male was the same way. He still is to a degree but not nearly as bad. They are dogs after all.
Is he biting, or is he grabbing with his teeth? He should have most of his adult teeth now, so he can do serious damage if it is a true bite. If he is grabbing, and pulling, he's trying to engage you in "play". If it helps again, we're just getting out of this phase with Finn. He still likes to grab, but he's learning that this displeases us, and is toning it down.

If his recall is "horrendous", put him back on the check cord ASAP! It's not a step backwards, or an admission of failure. It's a necessary component of training. They all require "tune ups" from time to time. This is not a "teenager phase". It is expected that his recall won't be 100%, first time, every time, at his age, but he should be responding to you.
Take away Covid 19 and many 6-10 month old pups would be working through their AKC junior hunter's tests. He's no different than they are. Have the same expectations.

Positive only training, may lead to some holes. I know that folks don't like to hear that, but it is what it is. You are correct that they are a sensitive breed, but that does not mean that firm corrections, and a firm hand, are not necessary from time to time. This does not mean getting physical, or beating on them, it simply means that you have to be on them before the behavior starts. When V's correct other V's, I promise you that there is nothing "positive" about it. ;)

Get with the trainer and be open to suggestions. Some may work, some may not, but you will have more "tools in your toolbox" for the future.

Neutered, non-neutered. Male, or Female, they will all exhibit these behaviors. It's not a "boy thing".
 

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Sounds like a typical boy. Show him the crate or a quick spray bottle on the bum with some water. Harmless and corrective. You can also try to bark back and become Alpha on his ass, my dogs know who the boss is when I do that or whistle loudly. A high pitch whistle or corrective vibration collar (shock-less). It's a game of try every option and think outside of the box sometimes. V's are attention seeking missles, makes sure you run the show and eventually it may fizzle into a nudge or a whine instead of nipping or humping. Regardless sounds like it should pass with age and teaching that behaviour is unacceptable, especially in the house.
 

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Hi All,

I have a 7 month male V (my first V) and am at my wits end. I was able to handle the shark attacks and tried just about everything to stop them (yelping, treats, replacing with toys, turning my back, leaving the room, etc.) and nothing seemed to fix the issue, unfortunately. These shark attacks seemed to occur mainly in the evening (possibly his way of zoomies) and seemed to either be due to him being over-tired or over-stimulated, so I could tolerate that craziness. Well, now that he is older and larger (~52 lbs), these attacks have gotten much worse and occur randomly throughout the day, as well as at night. He will lunge and bite me constantly, sometimes even snarling at me if I use a firm tone with him. He is also trying to hump me during these episodes. It is mainly myself that he does it to (to this extreme) but will also do it to other family members. I spend all of my time with him and he is what i believe to be well exercised/played with every day. I am trying to work on more off leash exercise with him (not just off leash in an enclosed area) but his recall is currently horrendous, not sure if it is just due to the teenager phase.

If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated. I am meeting with a trainer today and would prefer to use positive reinforcement techniques only, as I know this is a sensitive breed, but am open to suggestions. I should also mention that he is not neutered, as I am trying to wait until at least the 18 month mark. Thank you all.
M8 give the dog what it needs. It’s not a fur baby, dogs need direction. People giving too much affection and unwilling to give direction. You really should have corrected this sooner, because now the dog is flabbergasted that’d you’d dare even raise your voice to it. Keep it on a leash indoors, crate at night. There’s no way you’re gonna treat this away, unless you truly know what your doing. Regardless, timing of either corrections or reinforcement is the most important thing. Consider playing tug and doing some bitework. Teach the out and the leave it. Work on having rules and structure in the house, affection on your terms (only when you call him over, not when he goes up to you). I’m assuming this pup has been allowed to do whatever it wants up until now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
While it feels like a attack, it's just him having inappropriate fun, for his age and size.
How much training have you done with him, and how experienced are you with handling sporting breeds.

A lot of times, it's not that the owner is not trying to train their pup. They just lack the experience, to do it correctly.
If there are group classes offered anywhere around you, try to enroll in them. Having a trainers input, while you are training helps tremendously.
A lot of times it's just small things, and timing. I've lost count of how many times I've had a trainer watch me work a dog, and give input to fix a problem.

Hi @texasred, thanks for the reply. I have done obedience training with him and am continuing to do so. Seeking out some more classes and private sessions to work on these specific behaviors, as I know that I need the guidance. I know most of this behavior is mainly on myself. This is my first V, second sporting breed. I also have a male Weimaraner who I did not have these issues with. He picked up on my corrections when displaying this type of behavior right away, luckily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He's still young and trying to figure everything out. If it helps, Finn, my 11 month old male was the same way. He still is to a degree but not nearly as bad. They are dogs after all.
Is he biting, or is he grabbing with his teeth? He should have most of his adult teeth now, so he can do serious damage if it is a true bite. If he is grabbing, and pulling, he's trying to engage you in "play". If it helps again, we're just getting out of this phase with Finn. He still likes to grab, but he's learning that this displeases us, and is toning it down.

If his recall is "horrendous", put him back on the check cord ASAP! It's not a step backwards, or an admission of failure. It's a necessary component of training. They all require "tune ups" from time to time. This is not a "teenager phase". It is expected that his recall won't be 100%, first time, every time, at his age, but he should be responding to you.
Take away Covid 19 and many 6-10 month old pups would be working through their AKC junior hunter's tests. He's no different than they are. Have the same expectations.

Positive only training, may lead to some holes. I know that folks don't like to hear that, but it is what it is. You are correct that they are a sensitive breed, but that does not mean that firm corrections, and a firm hand, are not necessary from time to time. This does not mean getting physical, or beating on them, it simply means that you have to be on them before the behavior starts. When V's correct other V's, I promise you that there is nothing "positive" about it. ;)

Get with the trainer and be open to suggestions. Some may work, some may not, but you will have more "tools in your toolbox" for the future.

Neutered, non-neutered. Male, or Female, they will all exhibit these behaviors. It's not a "boy thing".
Hello @gunnr,

thanks for your feedback! Most of the time I guess it is just grabbing, but the actual biting has been happening often over the last two weeks. My arms go to show that. I feel that any reaction he gets out of me, he thinks it is me playing. Although my voice and body language should display quite the opposite. As for his recall, I do have him back on the check cord. He was doing very well off leash up until this past month, now I don’t trust him off of it. So we are back to working with the long line. Thank you for all of your advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like a typical boy. Show him the crate or a quick spray bottle on the bum with some water. Harmless and corrective. You can also try to bark back and become Alpha on his ass, my dogs know who the boss is when I do that or whistle loudly. A high pitch whistle or corrective vibration collar (shock-less). It's a game of try every option and think outside of the box sometimes. V's are attention seeking missles, makes sure you run the show and eventually it may fizzle into a nudge or a whine instead of nipping or humping. Regardless sounds like it should pass with age and teaching that behaviour is unacceptable, especially in the house.
Thank you @andrewlasew84 ,

I have thought about trying the spray bottle, but he doesn’t like water in general so I’m not sure if that will make him more fearful. Regardless, I’m sure it will deter him from the biting. I am trying to think out of the box and test out Different things for this, so if I find something that works I will be sure to update! Thank you again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
M8 give the dog what it needs. It’s not a fur baby, dogs need direction. People giving too much affection and unwilling to give direction. You really should have corrected this sooner, because now the dog is flabbergasted that’d you’d dare even raise your voice to it. Keep it on a leash indoors, crate at night. There’s no way you’re gonna treat this away, unless you truly know what your doing. Regardless, timing of either corrections or reinforcement is the most important thing. Consider playing tug and doing some bitework. Teach the out and the leave it. Work on having rules and structure in the house, affection on your terms (only when you call him over, not when he goes up to you). I’m assuming this pup has been allowed to do whatever it wants up until now.
Hi @Sunshinesol ,

I posted on this thread looking for advice and suggestions for the present situation, not to hear things that I should have done, as I’m well aware I should have/could have done things differently. As I did adequate research on the breed, it’s evident every dog is different, every owner is different, and of course this is a learning experience for me and i am trying to improve my training as well as my dogs behavior. I am accountable for the majority of this behavior. I don’t think i would agree about him being able to do whatever he wants up until now, but to each their own. I do not currently leash him indoors, however he does nap in his crate and sleeps in his crate at night with no issue and has been doing so since day 1. We play a lot of tug and fetch, but could you let me know what you mean by doing some bitework? I will also have to work on giving affection on my terms only, as that is definitely a good point.
 

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"I have thought about trying the spray bottle, but he doesn’t like water in general so I’m not sure if that will make him more fearful. Regardless, I’m sure it will deter him from the biting. I am trying to think out of the box and test out Different things for this, so if I find something that works I will be sure to update! Thank you again."

The water bottle could be a tool you could use. Each dog is different though, and some don't mind the spray bottle at all. I had one that thought it was great fun, but he also liked the hose, and would run off with it running in his mouth if I was washing cars.
Finn has absolutely zero fear of water, but if we use the spray bottle on one of our cats, he goes and hides in his kennel. Dogs can be weird sometimes. Maybe it's time to introduce him to water work. Start working on his obedience in the water, as well as land. Maybe the mental engagement will kick him out of his current phase.
It's good that you put him back on the check cord. Everything is about "extending the leash" and mentally convincing them that you can, at any range, enforce a command.
I don't know how you feel about eCollars, but don't discount them as an effective tool at your disposal. You can really extend the leash with one. It's not a cure all, but worked in concert with the checkcord and the leash, it can be a very effectve bridge to behavior modification.Finn has been on an eCollar since March.
You have a really good attitude and are going about problem solving logically. I think you'll come out ahead in a few weeks time.
 
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Hi VizslaMom11,

I am a first time V owner and have a now 14 week old male pup. When he was 10 and 11 weeks old I landed up in the forum and had to ask for advice on really crazy play biting. He was quite rambunctious and was tugging at my jeans when outside , inside biting my calves...to date ...I'm wearing jeans even inside the house in summer! just because I wanted it to be less painful! those puppy teeth!!!. Anyway, I got really good advice here, also looked up another training site...and have been working on him.

He has improved a LOT...keeping fingers crossed. What has worked for me so far is that
1. He gets ample crate/quiet time, I have gathered that puppies do need a lot of rest...and I have generally been preempting the crazy behavior and before he gets over stimulated I get him in the crate with the treat. He readily goes in now...because of the treat...(just a very light dab of peanut butter on a cold chew toy) I don't have to shove him .
in. This solved probably 40-50 % of the issue. He literally used to be in the create 1.5 to 2 hours and then out 1 hour...and back in the crate.

2. I used the squirt bottle combined with a firm NO. I did it for about a week...and this drastically reduced the rough biting and crazy tugging at jeans at the end of a walk...I sometimes carried the spray bottle with me on walks...I used to think positive only training...but my thinking has somewhat shifted. I feel like they do need firm corrections. no hitting or anything painful...but something that tells them you don't like what they are doing..quick leash pops, .the squirt bottle... worked for me so far and left me thinking I should have done that earlier. I felt like that was the only time I was really able to communicate what my NO meant.

3. I also try to leave a small leash on him at home...makes it a bit easier if I have to physically pull him off anything...

I'm not an expert ...but living through owning a young Vizsla pup as well and offering what worked for me so far.
 

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Also make sure your pup is looking you in the eye when you scold him/her. Dogs like to look away when they are being scolded as if you aren't actually talking to them. Eye contact is huge. If you can do that, they will pick up on your facial cues too and be much more in tune with what you want them to do.
 

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Hey VizslaMom11!
My husband and I know EXACTLY what your going through. We have a 7 month old male as well! I recently had to ask for advice on this forum because we were having so many issues with him biting us. I am not sure if yours does this, but the main difference we were having with ours (than a lot of others on this forum) is he was breaking skin almost every time he bite, or leaving huge bruises so we were extremely beat up! Most peoples V's don't break skin. We got SO much good advice from the people on this forum and really took to heart what a few of them said. One person even got us connected with a trainer in our area who then recommended a behavorist for us. We saw the behavorist for about 3 weeks and saw a pretty good improvement, but since he was getting to be pretty old she recommended doing a 6 week board and train with him, where she keeps him for 6 weeks, and he is currently there now. It was an EXTREMELY hard decision to make, to leave our baby with someone else for 6 weeks but we believe it was well worth it. We have got to visit him a few times so far and can see a HUGE improvement. We always knew there was a good dog in there we just weren't experienced enough to get it out all the time. Like you said, we know almost all of the issues was on us either not knowing what we were doing or doing something wrong and we take full responsibility for it. But if it wasn't for this forum I'm not sure where we would be right now because like you said, we were at our wits end as well!
If you want to look at our post I believe its called "6 month old vizsla problems..need advice please!"
Like I said we got in touch with a behaviorist, and yes it is extremely expensive, but worth it! We tried everything ourselves and until we started seeing her, we never really knew what we were doing wrong. A behaviorist is a great option because each individual dog responds to your actions differently. And until a professional sees your exact dog, it can be tough to know whats causing the issues. There is hope, because like I said we see it in our baby! It is a huge commitment with time, training, money and patience but we love our puppy to death and they are well worth it! Good luck! Keep us posted!
 

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"Also make sure your pup is looking you in the eye when you scold him/her. Dogs like to look away when they are being scolded as if you aren't actually talking to them. Eye contact is huge. If you can do that, they will pick up on your facial cues too and be much more in tune with what you want them to do."


By looking away, the pup would be showing avoidance of a confrontation. It's not that he's ignoring you. He is showing, that he's not challenging you.
 

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Just wanted to let you know that we’re in the same boat- our 12 week old V is extremely difficult compared to the 2 Dobermans, Weimaraner and Chihuahua my husband and I have trained. Reading your post makes me worried that the next year is going to be ****.
 
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