Hungarian Vizsla Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Our V has started a new (frightening) behaviour - he jumps at the person walking with the lead and bites them when they do not do what he wants (walk in the direction he wants to go). He bites hard, with growling and has started to draw blood. This behaviour is brought on suddenly (it has been occurring for about 6 months and getting progressively worse). He walks well on the leash and without notice or provocation, he will start to use his front feet to "crawl" up the leash and immediately go for the hands holding the leash. If that does not work, he will jump on the person and try to bite their hands or anything he can get a hold of. Often showing teeth and growling. He only does this when on the short lead. There is never any dogs or other people around - he usually stops when someone approaches (because he is distracted). Once the person moves on, he is back at it. It can take 2-3 minutes to settled him down - usually talking quietly and trying to get him to sit (very difficult to do when he is biting hard). Once he is sitting and had a minute or two to settle he is perfectly fine to continue on the walk. At one point a police office stopped while driving by to ask if we were ok (he was worried about the dog attacking us). We explained that it is just something he does and the officer continued on his way. We have tried stepping on the leash, holding him, distracting him, keep walking, etc. but nothing works - it is like a switch goes off in his head and he goes crazy. He is getting more aggressive (biting harder) as time goes by. We are at our wits end on how to address this problem. We were using a pinch collar and switched to an easy walk harness (thinking the pinch collar triggers his behaviour) - that did not change anything. Otherwise he is fine in the house, outside, etc. We read that this might be a behavioural issue and we would need to see a trainer specializing in behavioural issues. We are very concern about this behaviour. Will we need to put him down? Comments?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,319 Posts
Yes, you absolutely need to see a behavioral trainer, and a full checkup with bloodwork done.

What's the rest of his days like, and what other training has he had.

Some dogs can react a little over-the-top with prong collars, but I haven't seen them do it with a Martingale collar. Do you at least wear the leather gloves on your walks?

No one can tell you whether your dog will need to be put down at a later time. With the correct help, there's a good chance he will lead a long life with your family. Without help he could continue to get worse.
Have you spoken with your breeder about the problem?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gabica and John N

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes, you absolutely need to see a behavioral trainer, and a full checkup with bloodwork done.

What's the rest of his days like, and what other training has he had.

Some dogs can react a little over-the-top with prong collars, but I haven't seen them do it with a Martingale collar. Do you at least wear the leather gloves on your walks?

No one can tell you whether your dog will need to be put down at a later time. With the correct help, there's a good chance he will lead a long life with your family. Without help he could continue to get worse.
Have you spoken with your breeder about the problem?
I have reached out to the Breeder but no response. Our male recently got neutered so we are waiting for his hormones to level a bit. Gloves are a good idea): LOL. People don't understand how you could love a dog when he behaves like this but we do. He is such a great dog otherwise. We are in talks with a trainer who is familiar with the breed. We give him lots of opportunities for exercise (5+ miles in the morning off leash on local trails, and 1-5 miles in the evening on leash with a daily dog park thrown in for his play time). We also spend time engaging his brain inside, such as hiding treats and toys for him to find, training tricks (i.e. play dead, walk along a plank for agility training, etc), gaining control on his impulses (i.e. longer sits, downs, leave room while he waits). From what I read in the forum, his behaviour is not too far out of the norm. More training with a trainer familiar with the breed will most likely help. We repeat over and over "Persistent, consistent, insistent" when training him. When he is focused during his training his is very smart with laser focus. Thank you for your comments. It is super appreciated. We haven't given up yet:).
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,319 Posts
How would he handle it, if you did quick tugs on the leash, and just kept walking when this started? Not saying a word to him, and kept the forward motion going. The quick pull, and release pressure on the leash should only be a attention getter to him, and not hard enough to hurt him in any way. Dogs just throwing a little hissy fit should straighten up. But it could make an aggressive dog escalate to another level. It's why I feel it's always best to work with a professional, if your I'm sure of the cause.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gabica

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
How would he handle it, if you did quick tugs on the leash, and just kept walking when this started? Not saying a word to him, and kept the forward motion going. The quick pull, and release pressure on the leash should only be a attention getter to him, and not hard enough to hurt him in any way. Dogs just throwing a little hissy fit should straighten up. But it could make an aggressive dog escalate to another level. It's why I feel it's always best to work with a professional, if your I'm sure of the cause.
We have done that many times - just tug and keep walking....2 blocks later, he is twisting, hissing, snarling, biting...well you get the idea. It has been 3 days since we switched to the harness. He seems to react less than the pinch collar so this is awesome. We walked this morning and tonight and he walked beautifully (he also spent time at the dog park today). Earlier in the day, there was some resistance but he seems to be settling in. My husband has been holding the lead. However, when I get close and stroke his head and talk to him, it seems to set him off (sigh). I have tried taking the lead and not bring any attention to him when we switched roles - it seems to work so far. Still leery and it may be too early to call it success, but small positive changes are most welcome. We are giving him lots of praise during the walks (no treats) and ensuring that the walks are enjoyable for him (not too much free rein but enough stops to sniff the flowers and meet other dogs on the walk) hoping that this will ease his tensions and reinforce good behaviour. We are focusing on what could set him off (like me being around or holding the leash) and reduce these instances. Not ideal but it is a start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,342 Posts
That's got to be heart wrenching.
I do not believe that you will need to put him down from what I have read. Outright aggression in a dog is very scary, and it is always there, which is not what you're imparting in your post. Make no mistake about it,there is "biting at you", and then there is "biting". Your boy has the ability to do tremendous damage in seconds, and thus far you have not indicated that he is at this point.
Aggressive behaviors, and behaviors as you're describing, are almost always rooted in anxiety on the dog's part, better expressed as stress.
There are triggers that set them off making them fearful, anxious, or sometimes even downright afraid. Then they get like this, and the fight or flight, behaviors kick in.
That he does calm down after a few minutes is a very positive, reassuring, sign. Something is setting him off, and I can almost guarantee you that it is not you! It's being environmentally induced. It's almost like a panic attack in people.
I know that everyone wants to have the "buddy dog", but sometimes you just don't get that dog and have to make accommodations for the individual behaviors, try and find the triggers and either avoid them, or limit the time the dog is being stressed.
You have the right instinct as to how to mitigate his behavior, now it's just a matter of getting some help to identify the cause(s). That you're not trying to overpower him, or dominate him, is also very good instinct on your part. Vizlsas are very capable of fighting back. They generally don't do that, but that ability is always there.
You might try putting him in the car and taking him to completely different places. Maybe get him on a long check cord.
Don't believe that you are alone, or have done something wrong, or negligent, as owners. Finn, my dog, also gets "stressed" in "public situations", and some very bad behaviors come out. I'm hoping he gets past it with age, but he may not, and will never be, the kind of dog you throw in the truck and take everywhere.
Get the help. Get to the root of the issue and enjoy a long life with your boy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That's got to be heart wrenching.
I do not believe that you will need to put him down from what I have read. Outright aggression in a dog is very scary, and it is always there, which is not what you're imparting in your post. Make no mistake about it,there is "biting at you", and then there is "biting". Your boy has the ability to do tremendous damage in seconds, and thus far you have not indicated that he is at this point.
Aggressive behaviors, and behaviors as you're describing, are almost always rooted in anxiety on the dog's part, better expressed as stress.
There are triggers that set them off making them fearful, anxious, or sometimes even downright afraid. Then they get like this, and the fight or flight, behaviors kick in.
That he does calm down after a few minutes is a very positive, reassuring, sign. Something is setting him off, and I can almost guarantee you that it is not you! It's being environmentally induced. It's almost like a panic attack in people.
I know that everyone wants to have the "buddy dog", but sometimes you just don't get that dog and have to make accommodations for the individual behaviors, try and find the triggers and either avoid them, or limit the time the dog is being stressed.
You have the right instinct as to how to mitigate his behavior, now it's just a matter of getting some help to identify the cause(s). That you're not trying to overpower him, or dominate him, is also very good instinct on your part. Vizlsas are very capable of fighting back. They generally don't do that, but that ability is always there.
You might try putting him in the car and taking him to completely different places. Maybe get him on a long check cord.
Don't believe that you are alone, or have done something wrong, or negligent, as owners. Finn, my dog, also gets "stressed" in "public situations", and some very bad behaviors come out. I'm hoping he gets past it with age, but he may not, and will never be, the kind of dog you throw in the truck and take everywhere.
Get the help. Get to the root of the issue and enjoy a long life with your boy.
Thank you for your encouraging words. It means a lot. Uther is otherwise a super fella. He is fun to train (I am running out of tricks to train him with because he learns them so quickly - sometimes wish for a "dumber" dog - LOL) and when he runs out of steam, wants nothing other than to crawl into someone's lap and crash before bedtime. We will continue to figure out what his triggers are and avoid them whenever possible. Thank you again. Stay safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Please stop “meeting other dogs on walks” I think he is reacting this way because he feels you are “harshing his social vibe.” He seems used to NOT being “with you” (mentally) and has grown quite frustrated that he can’t leave your side to go do whatever. I would go back to basics, making sure he understands his job is to stay in position and make occasional eye contact with you until given a release command. More structure in the walk never hurt anyone. Best of luck. Probably best to avoid the dog park as well. I can see on leash greetings and dog park visits further increasing this behavior.
 

·
Registered
Beckham, Hungarian Vizsla
Joined
·
3 Posts
How would he handle it, if you did quick tugs on the leash, and just kept walking when this started? Not saying a word to him, and kept the forward motion going. The quick pull, and release pressure on the leash should only be a attention getter to him, and not hard enough to hurt him in any way. Dogs just throwing a little hissy fit should straighten up. But it could make an aggressive dog escalate to another level. It's why I feel it's always best to work with a professional, if your I'm sure of the cause.
Our V has started a new (frightening) behaviour - he jumps at the person walking with the lead and bites them when they do not do what he wants (walk in the direction he wants to go). He bites hard, with growling and has started to draw blood. This behaviour is brought on suddenly (it has been occurring for about 6 months and getting progressively worse). He walks well on the leash and without notice or provocation, he will start to use his front feet to "crawl" up the leash and immediately go for the hands holding the leash. If that does not work, he will jump on the person and try to bite their hands or anything he can get a hold of. Often showing teeth and growling. He only does this when on the short lead. There is never any dogs or other people around - he usually stops when someone approaches (because he is distracted). Once the person moves on, he is back at it. It can take 2-3 minutes to settled him down - usually talking quietly and trying to get him to sit (very difficult to do when he is biting hard). Once he is sitting and had a minute or two to settle he is perfectly fine to continue on the walk. At one point a police office stopped while driving by to ask if we were ok (he was worried about the dog attacking us). We explained that it is just something he does and the officer continued on his way. We have tried stepping on the leash, holding him, distracting him, keep walking, etc. but nothing works - it is like a switch goes off in his head and he goes crazy. He is getting more aggressive (biting harder) as time goes by. We are at our wits end on how to address this problem. We were using a pinch collar and switched to an easy walk harness (thinking the pinch collar triggers his behaviour) - that did not change anything. Otherwise he is fine in the house, outside, etc. We read that this might be a behavioural issue and we would need to see a trainer specializing in behavioural issues. We are very concern about this behaviour. Will we need to put him down? Comments?
We trained our Vizsla on a "Gentle Leader" branded collar. It made a world of difference You have more control. A thin band around the nose and over the head. Our trainer recommended it years ago. Our Vizsla walks great but has other behavioral issues. Be careful putting it on the first time.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top