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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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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. :)
 

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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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macrowe1 said:
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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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
 

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Hi Macrowe1- I tried to find your fist post to see what folks recommended, but couldn't find it. If you haven't already, you might try searching old posts for references to animal behaviorists. It seems like there is one in particular that kept getting recommended for extreme issues.

I can't even imagine trying to sort out this kind of situation while being afraid of the dog's reaction either to you, your German Shepherd, or other people. I hope you find a way through that works for your entire family.
 

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Thanks guys for your responses!
Threefsh: I honestly don't know how much exercise he gets, because I do not live with him and am at college 90% of the time. When I am there, though, he isn't crated but isn't being ran down either. He plays around the house, but when I'm there I know that my boyfriend doesn't take him for walks or runs, or just throw the ball for him (I honestly don't think he needs this dog, but he has his heart set on keeping him). Once all of this started, I bought 2 books on Vizslas and both stressed that they need an absolute minimum of 1-2 hours of hard running a day, like the run run run Vizslas love to do. I used to be the one who took him everywhere and ran him (we went running, hiking, played ball and hide and seek) everyday, until he began to get aggressive with me and my dog.

Redbirddog: I agree, I've told my boyfriend my opinion that this is the reason that the dog has become unstable and aggressive, because he has all this natural energy and drive and no outlet for it. Everytime I tell him tis, which is 2-3 times a week because that's about how many times the dog gets seriously aggressive with me, my dog, or someone else, my boyfriend will say the same thing that ok I'll do that. Nothing happens. I've explained to him that this breed isn't an easy breed to own because even though they love to lay around with you, they seriously need an outlet for that energy, just like any working and sporting dog. I'm wanting to rehome him, either with an organization who has the knowledge and resources to better handle the situation or to an experienced Vizsla owner who I would feel comfortable with, but my boyfriend wants to keep him. Putting him down upsets me, because I am a vet tech and I've seen dogs in similar situations put down and it breaks my heart, because it's just a matter of misplacement. I've seen the dog be great, like the best dog you could ask for, but then something with trigger that switch to go off and he gets aggressive and it worries me. I think he realy needs someone who has the time and patience that has the room to really let the dog thrive and just be a Vizsla.

Ozkar: You're not being harsh, I understand that the breed, just like some of the other sporting and working breeds that I've dealt with, seriously NEEDS an outlet for the energy. It's not an option, it's a requirement. Like I previously stated, I used to be the one to do it, especially when I was home from college, but when he became aggressive I just didn't feel comfortable doing it anymore. I took him to the dog daycare at my work, took him running, hiking, played ball, let him run, chase, and dig, but within the past 6 months the aggression has gotten worse and he's been banned from dog daycare because he was getting aggressive with the other dogs and even the handlers (even though he never bit a handler). As for location, we are in Calera, AL. I've tried sitting down with my boyfriend and explaining all of this to him, and maybe he thinks I'm just full of **** and that I'm making this stuff up or something, and that's one reason I posted hoping that everyone else's posts would help him realize that this is what needs to be done. I'm going to let him read all of these posts and decide on what he wants to do, and stress what is best for the dog. If he wants to keep him, than I'm going to give him until the end of the month to truely prove it, or I'm going to contact some rescue groups or whoever would be interested in a challenge. I want what is best for the dog, if that means finding him a good loving home across the country then so be it I'll find a way to get him there.

redrover: thank you so much for posting the link. I agree that the thought of putting him down upsets me, because otherwise he's healthy, beautiful, and young. I don't live with my boyfriend, otherwise I'd grit my teeth, muzzle the dog, and run him until I get some of that energy out and feel comfortable enough to remove the muzzle and run him off leash too.

I think that my boyfriend made the mistake that many people make and got the dog because he was a cute puppy. I don't think that he truely thought out the time and energy that he really needs to be that great dog. When I got my GSD pup, I thought it out how I was going to raise it and train it, and I devote all of my free time to her because that is what a dog requires. I think the main isssue is what you guys have stressed, being the exercise issue. I'm going to let my boyfriend read all of these posts and hopefully he'll realize that this playing and running isn't an option but a requirement. If he doesn't, then I'll be contacting a rescue group or try to find an experienced Vizsla owner who would be willing to give him a loving home. Thanks once again guys
 

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That's a tough situation! I hope your boyfriend listens to you this time--if he truly loves his dog, he needs to do what's best for him. Whether that's set his shoulders, exercise his dog more, and keep up on his training, or rehome his dog to a family that can provide what he needs.

I noticed the link I posted above wasn't working--I sort of fixed it by adding the same link at the bottom of the original post. That one works. Based on your location, I think the closest Vizsla club is based out of Atlanta, GA. There's another in the Florida panhandle, as well. Good luck!
 

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This is sad to read. :( Posting on this site and asking for help is missleading. He is in the wrong environment. Both of you need to help the dog. Place him in a stable home where he will be properly cared for, and loved. It is not his fault, he got stuck in this situation. I find it strange that you are posting about this and he isn't even your dog. You are stating you are going to put him down? Your responsibility is to help the dog's owner do what right not "put him down". Please be grown up and responsible enough to get him (the dog) a new home.
 

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Macrowe1: Has the dog ever shown any symptoms of aggression towards your boyfriend, even very mild ones? Or is it only you, strangers, etc?

A few more questions:

- If he's frustrated with lack of exercise, why isn't he letting your boyfriend know/feel it? Vizslas are usually pretty easy to read in this regard.

- How can lack of exercise result in aggression towards a person who doesn't live in the same apartment? What's the motive or connection between lack of exercise and aggression towards you specifically?

- If you're the one that provided the exercise, why is he being aggressive towards you, instead of loving you for giving him what he needs so badly?

To be perfectly honest, it sounds to me like a case of a sensitive dog being intimidated and dominated by someone who "ran" it, attempted to do the alpha-roll, etc; and a dog who quite possibly is under-socialized. Hence, his aggression...or maybe his dislike of the way you treat him, fear, etc.
 
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