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Hello All,

I’m reaching out again in regards to my 7 month old male vizsla who is having major behavior issues with biting me (breaking skin and leaving wounds). I’ve spoke and met with some trainers near me and haven’t been satisfied with the feedback and suggestions I’ve received thus far, though I know they are the professionals and my vision may just be clouded due to my love for my vizsla. These trainers don’t seem to have seen the behavior he is displaying before, and have suggested things such as making him wear a muzzle when he gets like this and/or medicating him. I’m reaching out in hopes that someone may have a connection in Ohio or anywhere close that I could get in touch with. I am willing to do whatever is best for my boy at this point, and can totally accept the fact that I should have handled this sooner. I just didn’t think it would get this out of control. Thank you all so much.
 

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Have you tried reaching out to your area Vizsla club. Hopefully someone closer to you, has first hand knowledge of a good trainer.
Sometimes even your local Vizsla breeders, will know of someone.
 
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@VizslaMom11
i don`t know any trainers in Ohio, just wanted to give a shout out to you to not make your adolescent pup wear a muzzle and/or getting medicated. Hopefully you can get some help.
Alternatively you can try and post videos, to get some help, even from this forum.
Often we don`t see the mistakes we are making when around our dogs and a video and external pair of experienced eyes (preferably experienced with this breed) can be helpful. Just a thought.
 

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Hello All,

I’m reaching out again in regards to my 7 month old male vizsla who is having major behavior issues with biting me (breaking skin and leaving wounds). I’ve spoke and met with some trainers near me and haven’t been satisfied with the feedback and suggestions I’ve received thus far, though I know they are the professionals and my vision may just be clouded due to my love for my vizsla. These trainers don’t seem to have seen the behavior he is displaying before, and have suggested things such as making him wear a muzzle when he gets like this and/or medicating him. I’m reaching out in hopes that someone may have a connection in Ohio or anywhere close that I could get in touch with. I am willing to do whatever is best for my boy at this point, and can totally accept the fact that I should have handled this sooner. I just didn’t think it would get this out of control. Thank you all so much.
Hi VizslaMom11,

It is really hard to do an assessment without seeing the dog in person. But have a few questions and hopefully we (collective community) can at least recommend some things and hopefully direct you to a behaviorist.

1. When your V bites, is he in an aggressive mode (growling, huge round eyes) or is biting like nipping but dog is not aggressive and showing teeth? Even just simple nipping can break skin especially for a V his age.
2. What training did you have with your V?
3. What command does he know? Trying to see if your V can follow simple command and perhaps stop this biting and redirect his attitude.
4. Have you reached out to your breeder and ask for assistance?
 

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Hi VizslaMom11,

It is really hard to do an assessment without seeing the dog in person. But have a few questions and hopefully we (collective community) can at least recommend some things and hopefully direct you to a behaviorist.

1. When your V bites, is he in an aggressive mode (growling, huge round eyes) or is biting like nipping but dog is not aggressive and showing teeth? Even just simple nipping can break skin especially for a V his age.
2. What training did you have with your V?
3. What command does he know? Trying to see if your V can follow simple command and perhaps stop this biting and redirect his attitude.
4. Have you reached out to your breeder and ask for assistance?
Hi @riley455
1. It is not the same as the puppy nipping he used to do when he was younger. I’m not sure if it’s really aggressive mode either. His eyes, however, are dilated during these times and he is hopping/lunging to the highest point on my body and landing on my arms because they’re easiest for him and biting them with a hard jaw. Most of the time (Almost always) he is doing it he is not showing his teeth or growling during this. It’s like he is getting super high aroused (specifically at night during play) and doesn’t know how to control/settle himself so he takes it out on me. However, I’m not experienced with the breed and I am not a behaviorist.

2. I did a lot of basic obedience training with him. We really worked on his recall since the day I got him but when he hit about 6 months it was like I had taught him nothing and we are back to square one with that. He is currently enrolled in an intermediate obedience group class, and I’m hoping this will help a little.

3. He knows sit, down, stay, come (wouldn’t say this is a rock solid command right now obviously), relax, shake, high five, roll over, and some more basic commands. However, when he gets in this aroused state of mind he will absolutely not listen to me. Its like his only goal is to wrap his mouth around my arm and bite. I want to try to get some videos of this to share.

4. I have reached out and have been told this sound purely like a dominance issue and to start using the e collar on him. I didn’t like this advice because that doesn’t sound like it’s correcting the underlying issue at all, however I know that I may be wrong.
 

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Hi @riley455
1. It is not the same as the puppy nipping he used to do when he was younger. I’m not sure if it’s really aggressive mode either. His eyes, however, are dilated during these times and he is hopping/lunging to the highest point on my body and landing on my arms because they’re easiest for him and biting them with a hard jaw. Most of the time (Almost always) he is doing it he is not showing his teeth or growling during this. It’s like he is getting super high aroused (specifically at night during play) and doesn’t know how to control/settle himself so he takes it out on me. However, I’m not experienced with the breed and I am not a behaviorist.

2. I did a lot of basic obedience training with him. We really worked on his recall since the day I got him but when he hit about 6 months it was like I had taught him nothing and we are back to square one with that. He is currently enrolled in an intermediate obedience group class, and I’m hoping this will help a little.

3. He knows sit, down, stay, come (wouldn’t say this is a rock solid command right now obviously), relax, shake, high five, roll over, and some more basic commands. However, when he gets in this aroused state of mind he will absolutely not listen to me. Its like his only goal is to wrap his mouth around my arm and bite. I want to try to get some videos of this to share.

4. I have reached out and have been told this sound purely like a dominance issue and to start using the e collar on him. I didn’t like this advice because that doesn’t sound like it’s correcting the underlying issue at all, however I know that I may be wrong.
Hello VizslaMom11,

Thank you for the response. This is helpful

A few more questions before I address the items above.

Has your V ever exhibited aggressiveness towards you or any of your family unprovoked? To other dogs? Can you move or nudge your V when he is asleep or even just lounging? I’m trying to see if there is any underlying issues, but then again, please note it is very hard to do any assessment without seeing first hand.

As to your responses:

  • Nipping/biting/lunging – I would say and based on your description that your V is exhibiting typical behavior and not necessarily temperament (again my observation is just based on your description and without seeing first hand and subject to additional questions).The objective is to snap him out of this behavior. I would try the following: Put a lead (preferably a slip lead) before he goes into this mode. I think by now you have a clue when he will go into this mode. Make sure the lead is all the way up his neck and behind his ears. Do quick tags on the lead and with a firm voice (you can use any word you’re comfortable or even just “ah ah”) say enough or cut it out. Reward with a high value treat as soon as he backs off. High value should be treat that he goes crazy and respond to. Also, make sure you have made eye contact before rewarding. Praise and continue rewarding or paying. I would just see if he will respond to this.
  • That is good that you and your V have basic obedience training. The foundation is there so now the positive reinforcements and consistency in training have to be implemented again. Practice and repetition is never ending (my mantra!).
  • Also, this may be a good time to explore and introduce other types of activities to make training more fun for you and your V. Reach out to your local V club. There are several activities that you can do with your dog.
  • If item 1 I mentioned above does not work perhaps do a hard correction on the lead and see if he will snap out of this behavior.
  • Agree with you. I’m surprised that the breeder did not offer to see the dog before suggesting the E collar.
Again I would just caution you that without seeing first hand your V, all the things I mentioned above may not even be applicable. I suggest reach out to your local V club who has members with tons of experience in the breed and can direct you to a trainer. PM me with your location and I can perhaps find the local V club and connect you. I can also try and perhaps connect you with breeders/exhibitors/friends local to you that can help.

Have patience and faith!
 

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@riley455
Thank you so much for your replys on this post.
 

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I'm in Ohio, I've heard good things about a behaviorist named Elissa who works with dogs with all sorts of issues. I have no affiliation, just heard through word of mouth about her at the dog training club I go to. I'll include her website if you'd like to look into her more.
Elissa O'Sullivan, Animal Behaviorist
 
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