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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone.

This is my first post. I'm Brazilian, so I'm sorry if I make some (or many) mistakes writing here.
I've had a V puppy since February, Agatha, she is 6 months old now and she has always been kind of "crazy"...I mean, she diggs a lot, she barks, she cries really loud when we don not do what she wants, she bites and destroys stuff around the house and many other things...it's so difficult to handle her that we dicided to keep her out of the house. She has a bigg and warm dog house now, we have a large backyard full of grass (now full of holes too) and we also have 3 other dogs (Cairn Terriers). The four dogs are aloud to run and play most part of the day and they do it a lot to spend energy.
I have 3 Cairn Terriers, so I have always read a lot about training and obedience. My dogs have always respected the house rules and me as their natural leader. I also have had an excellente dog trainner, but not anymore. Anyway, I never thought I would have to deal with agressiveness with my Vizsla.
She has always been jealus and stubborn. Some days ago I noticed Agatha started to be a little anxious and trying to bite me when I tryed to pick her up when she was doing something wrog (like digging, jumping on me, and many other things), two days ago she growled aggressively at another female who was visiting us at home...today she bite (attacked) my younger Cairn Terrier, Brigitte: I was giving Agatha some attention and caressing her when Brigitte came near without interfering, but Agatha growled aggressively at her and grabbed Brigitte by the neck, it was a terrible scene...I could never imagine that kind of attack coming from any of my dogs...I'm still very shocked.
I can't have that kind of behaivior at home, I like to have my dogs getting along, being able to run and play, free, obedient and happy as I have always had. Also I spend part of the day out and can't separate them, unless Agatha stays locked in a very tiny room I have in the garage...I don't think this would be good.
Thanks very much for reading this, I hope I can find some advice.
 

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I think it's time for a trainer to work with you at home. It's important not to give up on the dog, you'd be amazed what a good training program could do for her. Remember that the most common cause of aggression in dogs is fear (e.g., of the strange female who came over). In some cases, what you're seeing isn't fear exactly, but defensiveness (guarding you because she's "afraid" the other dog will take away your attention). Vizslas are very anxious dogs. Rosie fairly regularly barks or even growls at strangers, not because she's mean, but because she's scared of them.

The behavior has to be corrected, but it doesn't have to be corrected with force. It may be that what she needs is some work on getting desensitized to some of the situations that cause her to become defensive or anxious. I say this because I've done reading that suggests that aggression in dogs often gets worse in the longer term when corrected with dominance maneuvers (such as you see on the Dog Whisperer) or punishment. My advice with any dog showing problematic aggression (mild or severe) is to look for a trainer who uses "positive training" methods. If you tell me where you are in Brazil, I might even be able to pull up a name for you. I might also suggest a book called "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson (she helps you understand the causes of dog bites and aggression, and how to prevent and correct it).

P.S. You mentioned not being able to separate the dogs. Do they have crates or is it possible to use crates in the location where you keep your dogs?
 

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Here is a link to some veterinarians in Brazil that specialize in animal behavior. They may be able to direct you to a trainer in your area who can work with you on the specific problem behaviors you have at home.

Credentials First Name Last Name Phone Address
DVM LUELYN JOCKYMAN 55 19 325892 Rua Cardeal Arcoverde 307 Campinas - SP AL 13104-072 Brazil
DVM ALIDA GERGER 551193004830 Rua Grecia, 438 Sao Paulo No State 01450-010 Brazil
l
Here is a link to an article on "canine rivalry" that you may find useful.

http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/canine-rivalry.pdf

Finally, here is a link to a behavior helpline that you can contact:

http://ddfl.convio.net/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=1200&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sara, thanks very much.
I have separated them, I used a fance and the cairns are using half of the yard while Agata is alone in the other half...my problems are getting bigger, because Agata yells so loudly that the neighbors are complaining about her, she is only happy when she is all over the yard while the cairns are locked inside the house. After I wrote the first message here, I tried to put all the dogs together again (not the stranger female, but the Cairns) and she litterally attacked them twice, apparently for no reason, she is the youngest but the strongest and I'm really concerned about it, the way she grabbed Brigitte by the neck and wouldn't release her, she could easely have killed her. I was really hard to get Brigitte out of Agata's mouth.
I am in touch with our trainer, she will be here next week...but I'm suspecting Agata has any kind of temperament deviation, I don't know, her attacks are really crazy and full os agressiveness...I and my husband are really sad about it.
Our treiner uses positive training methods and she will be here on Tuesday in order to give us some advice and start a new training programe.
Thanks for the names of veterinarians, one of them is in my city and I talked to her one year ago, but unfortunately it dindn't work. Then I found Angelica, she is part of a nice programe in Brazil called CÃO CIDADÃO, wich means CITIZEN DOG. The brazilian website is www.caocidadao.com.br.
I'm reading the other links you sent me, thanks again!
I will keep in touch and tell you how all of this goes on.
 

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Good, Bianca. Do not give up! Some of the other behaviors you describe (like the destructiveness) that led you to put her in the dog house are typical for a young vizsla. Keep in mind that this breed is very closely bonded with humans and does not tolerate separation well. It is possible that what you are seeing may in part reflect the stress of adjusting to staying out of the house (separated from the humans). How long has she been kept in the dog house? Was she indoors with you before? All points to discuss with your trainer. Make sure the trainer knows that a vizsla is very different in this respect than a terrier. Ours could barely handle brief periods in her crate at first.
 
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