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I recently gave my 14 week puppy a bone, and I then went to take it away, and he growled very agressivly and then snapped at me, then was very aggressive towards me when i went to grab his collar he lash out and caugh my thumb and drew blood.

This all seem to have come from possessiveness over the bone. Obviously I don't want the behaviour in the dog, any advice as to how I can stop this from happening again as it was quite disturbing and i would never wan this to happen to anyone else.

just so you know I took the bone away and shut him outside for 5 mins.

thanks
 

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You're probably not going to like my answer, but here goes.

He is too young to go over the top with discipline. Which leads me to recommend either not giving him any more bones until he is older and the behavior can be more forcefully corrected if necessary, or conditioning him at this age by holding the bone in your hand and letting him gnaw on it without releasing the bone. Let him have the bone for a few seconds and then take it away but let him gnaw on it, or lick it in your hand immediately. Don't let him pull the bone out of your hand, just let him work it while you hold it. Eventually you will increase the time he is allowed to have it completely, before he has to give it back. Always, always, end this lesson with him getting to have his bone. No matter how it long it takes, but on your terms.
You're trying to assure him that you are not after his bone and that he can have it, and will get it, but only on your terms. You are going to have to set him up to fail so that you can correct him.
This could be an isolated incident, but biting, real biting and not nipping, needs to be corrected immediately. It could be that if you left him alone with it for a 1/2 hour or so it wouldn't be such a big deal to him and you could take it easily with no fuss. But he's already sort of put you on a course where conditioning and discipline will be required.

It sucks, I know. My first Vizsla tried to bite my hand one nite over a prime rib bone, after threatening my wife over the same bone. In about 5 seconds he was off the ground and cycled off the stove, refrigerator and cabinets by his collar and thrown into his kennel. He was about 14 months old at the time, much older than your guy. I worked him exactly as I detailed, and I'll tell you it was a little unnerving. He was agitated and threatening for quite awhile during those exercises. Once I had to go into his kennel after him. :eek: That was "unfun"!

Work with him now at this early age and get him past it. The longer he's able to demonstrate this behavior, the harder it will be to correct.
 

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Hi,

Have to say that from an early age I gave and took away treats including bones from Peanut so she knew that I was in control of things. Now she does try to get away from me when she has treats or has stolen something but she not bite or growl at me taking things from her.

Personally I would have him sat infront of you and give the treat, let him hold it and then take it away again. Show him you are in charge and to get things he has to respect the in charge bit. Any growling and correct him immediately and firmly with a VERY loud growl of your own or something as simple as a poke in the ribs. This is how his mum would have done it when he was a young pup.

I still have an odd growl if she has crept up onto the sofa when I am out of the room but she is firmly corrected and thats it, no real agression ever just her trying to assert her dominance.

Nip it in the bud, and good luck,

Graham
 

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I totally agree with Gunnr, 14 weeks is pretty young to be pinning a puppy and it will be quite a scary experience for him. Cesar Millan does this with adult aggressive dogs, not 14 week old pups that don't know the rules. Our pup did the same at about 10-12 weeks and we got the following advice from a professional dog trainer, and it worked well.
It is better to let him learn that giving up the bone is a good experience, so have a good treat at hand, even letting see it the first few times, so he learns he gets rewarded and pleases you for releasing the bone. Then let him have the bone again and repeat the removal with a reward and then the bone again.
He'll soon learn that giving things back is nothing to be scared of and that he eventually gets the bone again after a time, but under your control.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice. I think nice and slow is the way to go. I will start with the swapping a treat for a bone/toy then returning the bone/toy.

I don't think he's aggressive, it's more that he thinks the way he responded is the right way, I just need to convince him otherwise.
 

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I am going to politely diasagree. Clyde who is now 8 months did the same thing, only he bit my kids. I immediately went into mommy protection mode and threw him down. I feel they are old enough to bite they are old enough to get thrown down! This has been a struggle off and on. He often needs to be reminded that he is at the bottom of the pack! I As much as I love the bloggers on this forum I am going to have to politely disagree. 14 weeeks is not to young to put them down if they are biting you. Be very strict!
 

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hi doglover yep I agree once they cross that line of hurting the kids then the red mist descends! they must learn and they are very intelligent so no excuses.... I wouldn't let the kids get away with this behavior! GOOD LUCK :mad:
 

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Doglover

14 weeks is definitely old enough to begin learning firmer lessons. I was referring to "Over the top", I will hurt you lessons. At no age should a dog be permitted to actually bite. "Puppy nipping" is understandable, but even that needs to be gotten under control at a very early age.
The lessons I was referring to are to break the behavior before a person has to do what I did. Unfortunately for me ,and Boone, he never displayed any aggressive tendencies like that before 14 months old, he may have been a few months older actually, so It came out of the blue the night he did it. I will tell you that the hand of god came down that nite. I loved that dog and when he had to be put down some years later I was a wreck for a few days, but on that nite .........
Dogs that truly bite and are aggressive can be very dangerous, and a significant financial liability. Unfortunately it is also the behavior that causes too many dogs to be put down, or abandoned. Biting is the one behavior that I get very physical with a dog about. I'm not talking about beatings or abuse, but there's going to be an understanding reached quickly. Jumping up is the second worse habit.
I know it sounds preachy, but we should never let our dogs put their mouths on us unless it is strictly on our terms. The more control we have over our dogs, the longer safer and happier lives they will lead.

I'm fairly certain that we are all on the same page of the playbook. It's just our use of terms that may be defined differently to each of us. At 6'2" 200lbs I can get very physical with a dog. So when I use the term "Over the Top" It means all 200lbs comes unglued. For someone else it may be something less.
 

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I agree with Gunnr. You need to be firm but fair. But don't forget that until they are about 6-8 months old there is going to be quite a bit of puppy madness going on. Both dog and owner (if your 1st dog) have a lot of new boundaries to learn.

We have 3 kids and we had quite a few ripped shirts from the dog playing with them. However I only had too come down hard on her twice for biting (threw her straight into her kennel). Once when playing with me she bit me and once when she nipped at my son's face (however he was blowing in her ear). Now at 20 months old she is a fantastic and well diciplined dog (& affectionate). Much better that most of my friends dogs, but I have put in alot more time training her.

Never ever had an issue with food agression. I have always made her sit and wait before feeding her. I used to hand feed her so she would not snap for food. Also I used to rumble my fingers in the food bowl while she was eating from time to time (still do). However 99% of the time when she is eating I leave her alone. I normally feed the dog dinner 30mins before the family sits down and she normally sleeps on her mat beside the table.
 

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I'll be the devil's advocate position. Resource guarding is a normal behavior and dogs have to be taught not to do it. However, the cesar milan method is not the only one. It is possible to teach dogs to tolerate triggers for resource guarding using primarily positive (reward-based) training. Get the book "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson and read it. Please see the following links from the american veterinary society of animal behavior and humane society of the united states, both of which have taken a stand against the use of dominance based corrections for dog aggression, on the grounds that research shows such corrections can make the aggression worse, rather than better. I know a lot of breeders still recommend dominance-based corrections, but I think people need to see these links before they decide whether to use such methods with their animals.

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/dominance%20statement.pdf

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/aggression.html
 

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I agree with Sarahaf although my reasoning for using positive reinforcement methods was a bit more basic. I have a dog that will be (is) stronger than me (5ft 2 woman rather than 6 ft 200 lb man :)) and I don't see the point in trying to show him otherwise. I need to convince him that he wants to work for me as there is no way I can physically force him to. The trainer I went to said it is like the difference between a leader and a boss. A good leader is a good boss but just because someone is the boss doesn't make them a good leader. And I know who I prefer to work for!

I know dominance methods can work with a lot of dogs but with some there is potential for it to backfire. What if rather than learning that humans are in charge they just learn that humans are scary and should be frightened away? Isn't it better to teach them that if they do what we want good things will come their way?

But each to their own and what suits one dog / human won't suit another. The thing I like about this forum is that everyone has different ideas and no-one seems to get too upset about it.
 

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I believe that I misrepresented my point of view. Typing is not my forte, and sometimes thoughts and ideas get lost in the typing. I only type about 6 words a minutes, so it's pretty easy for my brain to overload my fingers. :eek:

A dominance only approach will not work. If an animal, dog, horse, cat, whatever, is working out of fear, you have a ticking timebomb on your hands. Behavioral issues are going to arise.
I do not make a conciese effort to adopt the dominance approach. My approach is a quick, firm correction, followed by a positive based lesson/training session. Always ending with lots of pets, sometimes cookies, or playtime. All lessons end up on a fun note. I believe that if my dogs are clear as to what is, and is not, acceptable behavior, they are more clear as to the their expectations for behavior.
Vizsla's, in my experience, do not respond well to the dominance based philosophies of training. They need to feel that they are an interactive partner in the relationship. I'm not looking for an obediance machine, that's an easy goal to achieve. I need a gun dog that will work with me and for me.

This doesn't mean that some lessons will not be firmer than others, and this is where folks are inserting the term dominance, which is not a term I use. A dog needs to obey a command and some are more important than others. You have to be fair though, and ask yourself, have I presented a picture that is clear in the dogs mind, or am I making him/her figure it out on his own, which is an undesirable place for the dog and the handler.
A an example,t he come, whoa and stay commands have to be rock solid in a gun dog for both success afield,and the dogs safety. They can't obey these commands out of fear, or only out of the lure of a treat. These commands have to be followed because they believe there is no other recourse than to obey, nor do they want to disobey them. they have to be instilled into their basic behaviors without question.
I follow them,and they follow me. It's a relationship. When afield, they lead and I follow, but their safety is my hands.

Vizsla's are very communicative dogs, and dogs use their mouths to communicate. I understand this and expect them to grab, and nip and play fight until they get a little maturity. They just do it. I don't consider it bad behavior, or resource guarding, another term I disagree with, I just consider it part and parcel of growing up.
A stern admonishment of "no bite", a gentle shake of the muzzle, and then go back to playing and they eventually learn how to play better. They are very athletic dogs that play hard and get pretty excited, so I feel it is up to me to control their excitement level when I get down on the floor and wrestle around with them. If I get them wound up and they use their teeth, well some of that is on me until they get some age behind them. I actually will purposely get them a little wound up, just so I can instill this behavior in a controlled enviorment, and still end up with play time and treats.

Now with regards to actual biting and not nipping or resource guarding, or mock fighting, but actual threatening with intent to bite, that is different altogether. If I get to this point, and I only have once with one dog. It means I missed something along the way. I missed the opportunity to instill the correct behavior. Unfortunately though it had to be immediately and decisively corrected. It may seem that I only went over the top, but I also had blood work done and a vet exam performed to ensure that there was nothing medically causing the behavior.
Every firm session ended on a positive note, he was allowed to have either the bone or a treat, but he knew that actual, real biting was only going to result in a bad experience.
I want a 2 year old to be able to safely take anything out of a dogs mouth without a dog even entertaining the thought of a threat, or bite.

It takes both a soft and firm approach. Neither is the cure all for every issue.
 

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Hi Gunnr,

Thanks for your comments. I definintely wasn't responding specifically to you, other people mentioned pinning (what is sometimes called an "alpha roll"), and I've seen it advised on other threads before. It is that maneuver that's been said to be based on pack theory or dominance theory, although some people seem to think that it works when it does not because the dog learns you are pack leader, but because it is a punishment. Some use of punishment isn't evil--just as long as you know what it can accomplish and what its potential pitfalls are (which the average dog owner may not). At any rate, worry not about your typing skills (I type fast so I can post too often...), it wasn't just you--and I'm just on a kick about this issue because I've been doing a fair amount of reading about it. When I get interested in something, I get a little obsessed with it. I don't at all claim to be an expert (we're muddling through), but just want to direct people to resources that might be worth reading. If there is any chance a dog will have the undesirable reaction to being "pinned" or other confrontational methods, I just want to pass on the warning to at least research the issues before making a choice to use them in training. As you point out, a lot is at stake when dealing with dog aggression and its prevention through training.

Sarah

P.S. You rock when it comes to knowledge of this breed!
 

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I think we all would agree that no one wants to hurt their V in the name of discipline.My personal remarks about the red mist descends when they hurt the children's would apply to anyone or anything, It then is clear she's the dog not another child. Although we have been very lucky we've only had to hold her nose a handful of times and say no biting or raise our voice when she's doing something she shouldn't be and shes stops.
Great posts sarahaf -gunnr your both very knowledgeable
 

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Sarah

No worries. I didn't think that any singular comment was directed at me in particular. Your responses helped to establish balance when I re-read the thread.
It's all to easy to focus on a single issue, which can lead to responses that can be somewhat myopic. It's good to have someone that can step back and interject an objective opinion. That's what healthy discussion is all about. Kind of a "not being able to see the forest through the trees" sort of thing.

The more information a person has at their disposal, the greater their chance of succes in dealing with issues and behaviors that crop up with dogs. There are many tips, tricks. philosophies, programs, etc. The more a person is aware of the more things there are to try.
I've sampled from a myriad of training philosophies to arrive at what I currently use as my "outline", which seemingly works for me, but may not work for someone else.

It's kind of funny though because sometimes a person will meet my dogs and ask them to "sit", at which point my dogs look at them as if they are speaking martian because I don't teach my dogs to sit, nor want them trained too. They always seem to comment that I need to get my dogs into a training class. I don't use a choke collar either, which seems to be a discussion point and for some reason seems to indicate that I have no control of my dogs without one.
It's just a matter of what different folks need, or want their dogs to do. Each situation is different.
 

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Re: myopia. Yeah, I probably have that--when I re-read the thread it was pretty balanced, and I had tunnel vision on the one issue. But I always like to put my two cents in anyway:) (again, where the typing fast is a liability). It's all good, though, glad to have an exchange of ideas.
 

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madaboutvizslas said:
Yep. Totally agree with Gunnr.

At 6 words a minute that must have been a late night!
Shhhh....... I did it at work. That reactor could wait :eek:
 
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