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Recently, my almost 1 year old vizsla has been getting very aggressive towards me (female) when my husband Is away for work during the week. Specifically, when I go to put him in his kennel at night. He has bitten me more than once. I understand I need to assert my dominance over him but when he gets aggressive I have to protect myself. 98% of the time he is a very well behaved, sweet sweet boy, but when he gets aggressive I am terrified. I know enough to know that dogs can sense fear and I try my best to be dominant and strong. Any advice on this issue? Anyone else ever experience this with male vizslas and female owners?
 

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aitkenan
That is a very, very, serious problem, and definitely not to be rationalized in any manner whatsoever.
I have had 3 males previously and two females, and I currently have a 5-1/2 month old male.
All of the males, including the 5 1/2 month old have "tested me" to determine who is actually in charge. The females did not. With the males the real test came at 14-18 months old. They can never, ever, ever, be allowed to actually "bite". That is a cardinal sin!! They have all threatened, and sometimes "snapped" at me in bluffm but an actual bite. Absolutely not.
The first thing you should do is schedule a Vet visit to determine if there is an underlying cause, ie pain in a joint, or the spine. Once that is ruled out, it's "game on".
Every one of the males "found the wall". This was a no BS, quick as a snake ,correction that I set them up for. It was very physical.
This is not something that you do, if you have never been walked through the process. Enlist the aid, or pay a trainer, to get you through it. Do it now.

Mike
 

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I would start with a very thorough vet visit. Any possible blood test and any other ones needed to follow. If you are absolutely sure it is not physical, try and locate a behaviorist.

I have 2 boys, 4 years and 22 months old. The last time any of them was biting me was during their teething shark phases. The maximum amount of ‘testing’ my authority has been leash pulling or not coming immediately when called. If i ever had to experience what u are describing i would follow the regimen above and see whether there is an undelying issue with the dog withelp of professionals.
I don’t ever hit my dogs or apply any form or harsh physical corrections. I do believe on trust based relationship, caveat being the dog is physically and mentally healthy.
 

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Hopefully he is testing his boundaries, and it's not a ongoing problem. I too would have the vet do a thorough check, including blood work. You didn't say if he was breaking the skin ( puncture marks, drawing blood) or mouthing you.
Have you reached out to the breeder?
I would be asking if they have seen this in any of their dogs. If they did, how was it resolved. And if any littermates are having the same problem.
Helping with rescue, we have had some Vizslas come in with hardwire issues. They are viciously lashing out, not just a bite. One had to be put to sleep, as we could not figure out his triggers. He was unsafe to foster, and could never be adopted. We have a second one that has been working with a trainer, and behaviorist for the last two months. The jury is still out, on if he can be saved. He is the most friendly outgoing dog, until he is not.
They have figured out a couple of his triggers, and are working on them. He does very well, and then has set backs. Every time I ask about him, I brace myself for the answer. I was the one that made the decision to pull him, after a meet and greet at the shelter. He spent two days with me, before going to the trainers. As no vet would board him, due to kennel aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your response! Maverick has has multiple blood work tests done and nothing has ever come of them. The two times that he has bitten me, he has broken skin and bruised my arm and hand. I definitely sense that he is testing me. I can tell when his mood shifts from “playful retaliation” to aggression and having been bit, I probably don’t act as a should to ‘show him who’s boss’. We have sent him and still go with him weekly to standard training classes (sit, place, come...etc) and he excels at those in every area.

I make it important to give him plenty of physical and mental stimulus throughout the day. He is very good with other dogs and people. He has never been aggressive towards other animals or people. I have noticed that this occurs moat often after days of him being in his kennel for many hours while at work. It’s almost like he gets anxiety having to go back in for the night.

Again, this is a very rare occurrence but when it happens, it happens. I will definitely be looking around Austin for some behavioral trainers. My dog is a part of my life and I certainly don’t take this lightly but I am determined to try everything to figure this out.
 
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