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Cannot stop the biting

18155 Views 21 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  scooby
We just got our little female a little over a week ago, so she is 9 weeks. I know this is early, but I want to make sure there are not tried and true tricks to stop biting with Vizslas. Our little girl bites us constantly. We take her for walks 2-3 times a day, and so far is very good at walking. Potty training seems to be going well also with only a few minor accidents which were mostly our fault. Her biting concerns me. I have grown up with dogs (never a vizsla) and they don't bite as much as she does. Anytime we are within reach she is biting us. This is not mean biting, more it is either a playful biting, or a chewing biting. We have lots of chew toys and if our hands aren't present she will chew those. But when we go to pet her she will usually feel our hand and nip at us. Most bites are soft and what I would expect from a puppy, but some are really hard (to the point of breaking skin or ripping jeans).

We have tried holder her mouth shut and sternly saying "No bite". This was our breeder's recommendation. She will squirm and as soon as your release she will bite our hand, or nip at some part of our body. We have also tried the method of crying "ouch" and getting up and ignoring her. This results in either her following use and gnawing at our shoes or pants leg, or she will be distracted by some toy and move on.

Is there something else that works better?

She is crated during the day being let out at lunch and taken for a walk. Do I need to walk her harder/longer? Does she have still too much energy?

I just want to be able to hold her in my lap and pet her without her trying to bite me.
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Hi. I think you are going to get lots of replies about this. Our 9 month V likes to hold your hand alot, particulary when she sees you after a separation; like in the morning, after work etc. She also likes to play fight (& bite/mouth) if you let her. She has never broken my skin and seems to know not to bite to hard.

She was a real biter when she was 8-12 weeks old and ripped quite a few of the kids shirts. She liked to nip at the shirt tails and she ran by. Drove my wife crazy. We were quite worried as well but she grew out of it. Just keep reinforcing that you don't like it and it will probably get better in the coming weeks/months. However hand holding is probably there to stay! Just don't let your hand get right down the back of her mouth thats where the bone crushers will be when she gets all her adult teeth!
if your dog had a hand she would shake it or pet you but since she dosent her mouth is the only option she has once she knows and grows up it will get madabout said keep reinforceing it but never expect it to go away.they are dogs that work with there mouths.
Just like everyone else says...V's like to say Hi with their mouths...they're bird dogs who are supposed to carry birds. They are definitely a very mouthy breed. But, that's also how puppies play and explore, so this is a normal phase of puppy hood as well.

That being said, the shouting "ouch" technique actually worked for us. It has to be a high enough pitch and pretty sharp for them to stop and be taken aback. We immediately shouted "ouch", turned our back to our pup and walked out of the room. We didn't pay any attention to him for quite some time after. Seems to have worked pretty well to stop the puppy play biting. Some say to actually let the pup mouth you gently, and to shout "ouch" when it gets too hard. The theory is that this is what mom would do to teach bite inhibition.

However, our guy still likes to take your hand in his mouth when he gets overly excited. We use the same philosophy of immediately removing all attention when it gets out of hand.

Good luck!!
GEEZZZ our 9 week old just had the most biting session of play in a week of life with us. Hopefully this bump will get us some more responses / ideas in play.

he's wearing a collar with a 36" check cord...should I say "No Bite" and give it a tug right after the command offering a negative stimulus?

I try ignoring and then he shifts to pant legs.

thinking about a growl and scruffing the neck like momma would.

any suggestions? has any one ever put the bitter apple on their hands??
My pup will be 9 weeks in 2 days and he is exactly the same. He broke skin for the first time today and i shouted OUCh but this seemed to have no effect. he just kept coming back for more. He then started with my 2 grandchildren so i had to physically restrain him as he just kept going back. I just put it down to excitement and just pray he will grow out of it!
He definitely will. When I was going though that stage with my guy - I thought it might end up being a permanent behaviour problem. But it most certainly is a stage . It does not end over night though, and is of course worse when kids are around because they "ramp" the pup up and nip nip nip he goes.
Your totally right about the kids Blaze, Oscar gets pretty hyped up with my grandchildren who are 2 and 4 years old and after about 20 firm NO's and them(bless them) foldiong thier arms I have to take him in my arms and give him some time out to calm down!
He played with another dog for the first timew today and loved it! They played for about 15 minutes and he has pretty much slep the whole afternoon, it completely whacked him! Its all been a brand new very tiring experience for me but I'm enjoying it ;)
Hi Jas,
This year has been what I call a "Marley and Me" year. But Blaze is 13 months now and what a good dog. But I am not far removed from early puppy memories and while there were lots of precious moments there were lots of "What Have I Done!" moments too! I've got 3 boys 5,8,and 10 so it gets pretty hectic around here especially with a V thrown in the mix. Although this is my 3rd dog and second vizsla - I grew up with one - no one can prepare you for the first year. If you get a chance,you should watch that youtube "Are you fit enough for a Vizsla? video. The link is in one of the recent posts.
Enjoy your puppy! :)
My husband & I are new to the breed. We thought out Lucky was biting so much, but it seems to be normal for the breed. Our Lab, Magpie (now 3 years old) was also a biter, but not as persistent. We stopped her from biting our hands by pushing her lips into her mouth so that when she bit down on us, she also bit herself. It was very effective. She is very gentle with her mouth. So far this in not working with Lucky, though. The "ouch" method didn't work with Magpie, but I will try it again with Lucky. We shall see...
posting an update here last was at 9 weeks now at 18.
he's better about not mouthing with those sharpies (teeth). we have employed the pinching his lip with his teeth and pushing down on his tongue. the worse the offense the longer I do it. longest has been about 6 seconds...felt like an hour and a half as he hated hated hated it. BUT IT WORKS. we have kids and had to do something that worked.

the other thing is his needing a break or time out. sometimes he's just wigging out (yes even after workouts) and I realize he's ready for the kennel. we use it to give him a break and ourselves a break because it constant when he's not in it.

like folks told me, it will get better. just stay after the correct corrections and everyone will be happy.
are you kidding me, why would play biting be a problem, my Lili does it all the time, when she's really happy to see me she runs up and chomps on my arm, what fun :D, she like to chase me around my pool and if she gets close enough she'll bite my hand or arm kinda hard, its like tag only i'm never it ;D, vizslas are fun, period, if little kids can't handle it pffft get rid of them, vizslas ftw!!!!!
i agree dragon my duke does the same when i get home chomp chomp chomp he is a good boy love to be chased around by my boys chomp chomp chomp I really do not see it as a problem, never get hurt.It is a great package these vizslas.Gsp's are alright also.
Reviving an old thread. I posted earlier on another thread that we were getting the 10 week old's biting under control by holding her muzzle shut. Actually, it is still a big problem, but only in the evening when she turns into a werewolf:) It's really weird, it happens around 9 PM, she starts biting hard (breaking the skin) and will not quit. She's very soft with her mouth the rest of the day. As others have said, when she turns into a werewolf, the correction just seems to amp her up even more. She even starts to lunge for the face sometimes, although she hasn't actually bit there yet. We finally decided to try putting on a humane muzzle for brief periods when it gets out of hand to see if that is easier than holding her muzzle shut. I can't remember who it was here who said that helped. We also found speaking to her in an exceedingly low, almost demonic voice seemed to startle her momentarily away from the biting frenzy.

we are still having problems with floyd play biting and nipping (we were at a training class last night and he was even doing it there) We have tried the ouch technique, we have tried walking away and ignoring him (he usually follows and nips the back of our legs) The trainer last night said we should try holding (yes, holding!) our fist in his mouth, pushing it gently towards the back of his mouth (very sore I have to say, as you will all know those teeth are needle sharp), until he gets bored with it and realises that it isn't fun. I tried it once and the pain was too much i have to say, my husband is persevering but i have to say i am sceptical about it. Has anyone ever heard of this technique and whether it is effective with V's at all?


heard of that technique but have not tried. they will not hold their body still for that meaning their head and mouth will move with, or more importantly, without your hand causing you as much discomfort as the pup.
we simply pinched our pups lip between our finger and his teeth. we held according to how severe the nipping was. he's pretty well stopped.
plus by 9pm he may be tired...we kennel our pup occasionally when he goes wild in the evening. particularly when he has had a good exercise that day...then one more walk / activity and "p" prior to bed.
Good point, cornbread, maybe she's tired even though it looks like the opposite (kind of like how kids get when they're "punchy" with fatigue). She just seems to go crazy every night at the same time. If you discipline her in any way (however mild) for the biting she ups the ante and gets even more wild, barking and coming back for more with a vengeance. The problem is that it's happening at the point when we're the most tired, too. I hope I'm not coming across as cruel btw, we're not muzzling her for more than seconds at a time, just enough to try to get her to change gears. We've read that if you want to be taken seriously, you speak in a deep voice, which actually did seem to help her to listen last night. I know it's a normal phase and I expect that it will pass with maturing. She is so great the rest of the time. Minor nipping doesn't bother us, just when she starts really chomping hard and repeatedly. I'm also thinking maybe we need to really spend more time on commands like sit,down,stay, so if those are well-learned we might be able to help her control herself that way.
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I don't teach stay. Sit is it if he lays down, fine. either way he's not to get up until I say "okay".

other trick when he's going crazy and wants to nip / bite is that I will pick him up and hold him around the chest area so we are both facing the same direction, but hold him out so he can't reach me with his paws and just suspend him there until he calms. then slowly put him down....if he starts running before all 4 paws are down I calmly raise him back up. I very much AM in control...this seems to let him know that he must submit.

yep this sounds familiar, must be a trait of these little angels :-\
purdey definitely gets over tired and just doesn t know what to do with herself round the same time every night,no amount of no, stop, agh will have any effect on her so i pick her up facing outward do not speak to her and hold her firmly until i feel her relax might take five/ten mins even longer sometimes but at least i am calm and not being bitten/nipped.this normally results in her falling to sleep on me quite deeply on occasions! bless!!!!! :-\ just like a baby after a screaming session - they look like butter wouldn't melt when asleep!!! ( hence-our photo)
good luck
C x
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