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Hi there. I am a new Vizsla owner and have a 10 week old pup Ella. Ella goes into a mood where she does "shark attacks" and bites our clothing, hands, anything in sight. Walking away doesn't work, as she is attached to our pants. My husband has bite marks all over him. She mostly does the clothing thing with me.

We have tried saying "no bite"-- then having her sit, praise her and give her a treat; picking her up; giving her a toy; nothing seems to work for long.

Any ideas from anyone would be much appreciated.
 

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I think we've all been in that place Ella, personally I used a harsh "No!" with my two, it never worked all the time. The good news is that they do grow out of it eventually, usually by the time they've got their 2nd teeth.
 

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It is a phase, but when the pup gets into this state, it often means the pup is tired and needs a nap. Put the pup in its bed, and leave it alone.
As the pup ages, place a toy, or other appropriate chew item in the pups mouth when you don't want it to have access to your skin. They often relate to this well, and actually will go get their own mouth object when they greet you.
Our V dogs are very affectionate, and mouthing is one of the things they do out of love for you.
 

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Amos is now 14 months, but here was our method that I posted about in a previous thread that we used during that phase. For us, it became clear that the zoomies and shark attacks were actually a sign that Amos was tired. Just like little kids, the best way to fight sleep is to amp up! So here was our strategy I outlined in this post:

Amos too had the biting, zooming crazies, which in his case was always because he was overtired. He could not settle himself to save his life. They are just like toddlers. They need help winding down. I taught Amos "calm down' by catching him and holding him upright and belly out with my hand tight under his front legs and hind legs supported. This position makes it very difficult for him to keep biting you. I would speak calmly and say "calm down" over and over again till his heart rate slowed and I would then praise him, "good calm down. good boy!" He was usually asleep within minutes. Now he's 5 months old and too big for me to hold him like that, but he doesn't really bite anymore. He still gets the zoomies, so we'll have him sit and stay on his bed while we do the same "calm down" and "good boy" routine. It really helped him learn how to settle himself. Hope that helps!
 

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I had to explain to my boss one day that the dog chewed (actually bit the bum) of my uniform pants to shreds and that I needed new ones. This is a new take on "the dog ate my homework" my boss laughed. I didn't find it very funny because it hurts when they do that.
Yes it has to do with the puppy getting overtired and not catching it before it is too late. We turned our backs on her and ignored her or we gave her something that belonged to her or we just started to recognize when this was happening. Often if you did turn your back on her though you would get it!
The good thing is that it will stop in time. I remember those days.........
 

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We just VERY consistently kept toys all over that we could quickly grab and put in his mouth when he would bite. We would praise him for playing with the right thing. We found an antler was by far his favorite, and he would gladly take it over our hands. Our breeder also told us to hold his mouth shut and say "no bite" firmly. I know this method is controversial, but it seemed to work for him. It seemed like over night he just stopped biting at about 12 weeks.
 

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The most important aspect of a puppy's education is to use this time while they are a pup to teac bite inhibition. These lessons are vital and are NOT LEARNED by telling the dog NO! or by re-directing the behavior toward attacking a toy, or other means that suppress the attacks.

Instead, the best method is to get ones hand inside the pup's mouth many times daily during this phase. If they bite you go (gently deeper). They will back off. If they are too aggressive then folding their muzzles (very gently) inside thei mouths soif they bite down with their sharp little teeth it is on their own tender fleash, teaches biting hurts. There should never be any pressure or drama in his from the owner.

The more one can get ones hand inside a pup's mouth the better. This should take time on a daily basis and last for months. At the end of the process one will have a dog with a soft-mouth and one that will have the lowest possible odds of evr biting a human, especially a child.

Going through this process is the most important aspect of raising a young Vizsla by far.

Bill
 

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Gatsby went through this sharking stage too, and this forum was a life-saver and a reassurance that it is normal! Nothing we tried really worked, he just outgrew it. He did seem to do it more when he was overtired or overexcited. He will be two in June and is an angel. It will pass, but I know it's hard at first!
 

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Great thread. Mogwai is 10 wks today. He is in the puppy biting phase as everyone has mentioned at this age. We are using a combination of methods most people in this thread have used. We have toys scattered around the house so that we can quickly replace our hands with a toy and praise him. When he really chomps down we give him a loud "Ouch". He also goes into his manic phase that is impossible to calm him down. We put him in his crate if he's really out of control, he wimpers for less then a minute and then lays down and falls asleep pretty quickly. We are then able to open the door and he just stays in there and rests. We will work a little more on bite inhibition as others have mentioned.

Thanks again to all who have posted.
 

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I'm in the midst of this, I'm heartened a little to know I'm not alone. Disheartened to hear I'm likely facing another 3 months of it.

He's just calmed down after a fairly strenuous shark phase. Very hard to deal with, feel like we're failing him. Unlike Mogwai crating just sends our boy to another level. He'd actually been improving quite a lot, but this evening he didn't settle after his evening meal leading to over stimulation/fatigue and nothing seemed to calm him.
 

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I'm in the midst of this, I'm heartened a little to know I'm not alone. Disheartened to hear I'm likely facing another 3 months of it.

He's just calmed down after a fairly strenuous shark phase. Very hard to deal with, feel like we're failing him. Unlike Mogwai crating just sends our boy to another level. He'd actually been improving quite a lot, but this evening he didn't settle after his evening meal leading to over stimulation/fatigue and nothing seemed to calm him.
Use this time wisely. Doing active bite inhibition training at this age is a process and a critical part of raising a safe soft-mouthed Vizsla. There is nothing to fret about. Just don't miss the opportunity.

See my post above.

Bill
 

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I looked at things a little differently. Yes Vizslas are softand loveable and positive reinforcement is the way to go but, they can also becrazy bird hunting machines. That is what I asked for from my breeder and thatwhat I got. In the end they are all still dogs.

If a puppy bites another puppy and nothing happens he willbite again.

If a puppy bites a dominate dog or an adult dog he will NOTget away with it and there would be an immediate response.

The one thing I did NOT tolerate was biting. Yes puppies nipand mouth you, no problem. But when they are in "shark attack mode"and the teeth are out and their eyes are dilated and he is biting, that is notacceptable. I would put him down by the scruff of the neck and kneel on eitherside of him, get a foot from his face and look him right in the eye with asharp “NO”. 5 seconds he looks away, 10 seconds the teeth go away and he lickshis chops, 15 seconds his eyes return to normal and I let him up and movealong. Sometimes he just sits there and does nothing, sometimes he continueswith the zoomies.

I’m sure there are lots that will disagree with me and haveother tactics they use and they are all good.
 

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I only pin a dog down (up against a fence/wall if possible) in self-defense. I don't consider puppy bitting to need self-defense.
 

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Aspen was far more tolerant with Willow than I expected. With certain things I wish he was less tolerant.

If she started sharking him and he wasn't in the mood to tolerate it he would turn at her and snarl and give out a low bark, which was often enough. If she persisted his growl would get deeper and he would pin her. That got the message across.

I've had him around enough young dogs to know his corrections are not over the top. I also know if a dog is not heeding his message when to step in so that the situation does not escalate.


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In all the posts about sharkies, this is something that I had not thought about. What does an adult dog do when shark-ed by a puppy?

Bob
The adult dog might well snap at the puppy. But we are raising pups to be socialized with human beings (and especially with children) so we need to teach pups something different that another dog would teach that pup.

Bill
 

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Thanks for all the responses. We are just entering this phase with Bo at age 8 weeks and are trying a combination of all suggestions. It's good to know it's just a phase but it's still frustrating. Thanks to all and good luck.
 

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Try this method while the puppy is going through the " shark attack " it works great with our 11 week old puppy
We pick him up in a football hold and he calms right down .
I hold him for a minute or two and then pet him while he's calm.
Once he's calm I put him down on the ground .
If he keeps biting I do it again for a bit longer and then he's usually good .
I also bring a biting toy every time I go out with him to try and distract him if he tries biting me.

Hope that helps . Good luck
 

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Hey, guys, we've had our puppy now for a week, he's 9 weeks old. Very kind, sits when you tell him to sit, sleeps in crate, no problem, comes when called,... But, once a day or so also gets into these psycho shark attacks, where he jumps up at me, the kids and starts biting... It can get really scary, we're turning away, saying no, sit, tried spraying water with vinegar mix into his face, I've pinned him to the floor on a couple of occassions (because he was really hurting me), you name the technique,... but nothing really seems to work. He's also got a dozen of his own chew toys, but wants to chew on everything else. What to do...?
 

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Just about all the puppies go through this. A search will come up with a plethora of things people have tried. Essentially, stay consistent, patient, and let him grow through it. It could take months until he is through. Then he starts chewing as he loses his razor sharp teeth.


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