Hungarian Vizsla Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly I have to say thank you to this forum- it has saved my sanity many times over in the last 8 weeks. Seriously great advice. I have a 17 week female vizsla. We have been through some extreme sharkies and biting with several breeder calls and hours spent on this site! In the last few weeks the sharkies have definitely subsided especially in the house but we are still having some challenging behaviour outside. Like many of you, Ellie succumbs to the witching hour when she zooms/ barks etc but in the last two weeks it feels like it has taken an aggressive turn to the point where my two 12 year olds really do not want to be around her. In the evening now( and occasionally on walks ) she will suddenly get this intense frown stare; start barking and jumping up and lunging around you. But now she is adding hard biting to the list - thighs/ back of legs etc. Blood is often drawn. Even for me it is scary. She is very fast so we can't catch her in the garden for a time out which worked indoors. This is her schedule : up at 7. Walk at 7.30 for approx 30 mins ; breakfast ; nap for 1.5 hours usually; training 30 mins in garden; play ; total 1.5 hours ; sleep : rinse and repeat until 5pm. At 5 - 6 ish we do another 30 min walk ; dinner and then garden for a play. Behaviour challenges are usually on walk and evening in the garden. It's really the lunging/trying to hard bite - this does not feel like play biting( my husband actually got bitten last night for the first time) .We now have a pen in the garden which I've told the kids to get into and ignore her, but it's hard if they are not near the pen. The only other piece of info is that we are in obedience classes 2x a week and try to be really consistent in rewarding good behaviour- no forms of negative punishment have been used . Lastly while sleeping she has growled once at my daughter which she has never done -and recently started some territorial barking. I've told the kids not to pet her while she is sleeping but really want to know should I be concerned and listen to any advice. The rest of the time she is really well behaved and a super fun puppy. My guess it is arousal behaviour as she does get super stimulated in play/ walks etc, but really not sure what is best for this if it is the case. Thank you in advance for any advice offered.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,632 Posts
For in the garden, try a longer leash. Let her run around dragging it. That way she still has freedom but it’s easier to her from playing the rough bitey games with the kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
I am very much a believer and practitioner of positive behavioral techniques, with one exception. Biting!
Biting past about 3-4 months old cannot be tolerated. It has to be aggressively stopped. Vizslas are known as a very "mouthy" breed. There is a big difference between mouthy and biting.
This doesn't mean that you beat the dog, or rough it up. Which won't work, and will only cause a bigger problem n a few short months.
Keep a leash on her and every time she bites, or gets worked up enough to bite, get a hold of that leash, sternly. VERY STERNLY in a big voice, get one her, and immediately put her away. The pen in the garden is being used backwards. She misbehaves, she goes into the pen.She bites, you get her, lead her into that pen, and the moment she is in that pen, you change all of your energy as if nothing has happened. You become as emotional as a fence post. You have to do this every time she bites without exception.
The key though is a very over the top, aggressive posture by you, and immediately to be put away for a short time. You don't keep yelling at her once she is put away, or try to rationalize. Quick, short, and then turn your energy off. This is the way another dog would correct her behavior.
Don't beat on her, grab and twist her muzzle, violently whip her her about on the leash. None of that! Quick aggressive bluffing and then it's over.
As for the growling while sleeping. Is she in her kennel, or just out sleeping somewhere?
Some dogs are "hard sleepers", but if it continues, I would make sure that all sleep time is in the kennel.
Finn growled at me once when he was sleeping in his kennel. He was awake though when he growled. Cardinal Sin.
He ended up being dumped out the front door of that kennel, followed by a very stern session. He was much older than 17 weeks though.Probably at the year old mark it happened.
They will test you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am very much a believer and practitioner of positive behavioral techniques, with one exception. Biting!
Biting past about 3-4 months old cannot be tolerated. It has to be aggressively stopped. Vizslas are known as a very "mouthy" breed. There is a big difference between mouthy and biting.
This doesn't mean that you beat the dog, or rough it up. Which won't work, and will only cause a bigger problem n a few short months.
Keep a leash on her and every time she bites, or gets worked up enough to bite, get a hold of that leash, sternly. VERY STERNLY in a big voice, get one her, and immediately put her away. The pen in the garden is being used backwards. She misbehaves, she goes into the pen.She bites, you get her, lead her into that pen, and the moment she is in that pen, you change all of your energy as if nothing has happened. You become as emotional as a fence post. You have to do this every time she bites without exception.
The key though is a very over the top, aggressive posture by you, and immediately to be put away for a short time. You don't keep yelling at her once she is put away, or try to rationalize. Quick, short, and then turn your energy off. This is the way another dog would correct her behavior.
Don't beat on her, grab and twist her muzzle, violently whip her her about on the leash. None of that! Quick aggressive bluffing and then it's over.
As for the growling while sleeping. Is she in her kennel, or just out sleeping somewhere?
Some dogs are "hard sleepers", but if it continues, I would make sure that all sleep time is in the kennel.
Finn growled at me once when he was sleeping in his kennel. He was awake though when he growled. Cardinal Sin.
He ended up being dumped out the front door of that kennel, followed by a very stern session. He was much older than 17 weeks though.Probably at the year old mark it happened.
They will test you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for the helpful suggestion. I will try that. It's funny yesterday I tried a slightly different schedule where she had an extra nap until 5.30 and then I did her evening walk - she was super hyped up as normal but did some zoomies in a field near by, barked at a dog that was there and then walked calmly home, chilled out and then put herself to bed at 8. A bit of leash biting that stopped when I told her- but no biting me or attempting to... probably just a lucky day but I will definitely do your suggestion. My daughter suffers from severe anxiety so the pen was really also to help her if she feels overwhelmed, but I do totally get your point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For in the garden, try a longer leash. Let her run around dragging it. That way she still has freedom but it’s easier to her from playing the rough bitey games with the kids.
Thank you - I am definitely going to try the leash option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much for the helpful suggestion. I will try that. It's funny yesterday I tried a slightly different schedule where she had an extra nap until 5.30 and then I did her evening walk - she was super hyped up as normal but did some zoomies in a field near by, barked at a dog that was there and then walked calmly home, chilled out and then put herself to bed at 8. A bit of leash biting that stopped when I told her- but no biting me or attempting to... probably just a lucky day but I will definitely do your suggestion. My daughter suffers from severe anxiety so the pen was really also to help her if she feels overwhelmed, but I do totally get your point.
Also she growled when she was asleep on her bed in the kitchen not her crate- has not done it since, but if she does I will act.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Also she growled when she was asleep on her bed in the kitchen not her crate- has not done it since, but if she does I will act.
On a nice sunny summer day our male was taking a nap on our bed. He was dreaming of chasing something as he was running in his sleep. I reached down to give him a pat and knew I screwed up. He was up and on my arm in a heartbeat. A half second later he has this "look" on his face and was giving me kisses to apologize.
I startled him and the flight or fight kicked in. He was fight. Maybe you startled your V.

I did learn a lesson about letting a sleeping dog lay!
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
So much is involved with the presence you project and present. Dogs, and almost all animals, are very attuned to changes in energy around them. Some books will refer to this as pressure.
We all want our dogs to "be our friend", but in the end, the dog is looking for a leader. It needs a leader, and in absence of one will attempt to become the leader. This almost always is bad for the dog. It rarely ends well.
Being the leader doesn't involve being physical, mean, beating the dog, over bearing,etc. It just means that your behaviors become predictable to the dog. Once a puppy/dog can predict our behaviors, and our responses, they are in a much better, safer to them, place. They need this. They have to have it.
I know it sounds like a bunch of "psycho-mumble" BS, but this is a key element. All training, whether positive, or negative based, relies on the dog being able to predict a response and react accordingly.
I've always advocated that puppies should "have a job", and don't put them in the position where they are making their own decisions.
Find an associated past time, JOB, to involve the puppy in. Hunt training, dock diving, agility, search and rescue, bench and show, obstacle courses, water work, etc.. Basically anything that gives you a mental picture of what, and where, you want to be in a year, two years, three years, with your girl.
She's going to knock your socks off just as she is, once she mature in the next year. Let her show what she's really capable of, and what she can do. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So much is involved with the presence you project and present. Dogs, and almost all animals, are very attuned to changes in energy around them. Some books will refer to this as pressure.
We all want our dogs to "be our friend", but in the end, the dog is looking for a leader. It needs a leader, and in absence of one will attempt to become the leader. This almost always is bad for the dog. It rarely ends well.
Being the leader doesn't involve being physical, mean, beating the dog, over bearing,etc. It just means that your behaviors become predictable to the dog. Once a puppy/dog can predict our behaviors, and our responses, they are in a much better, safer to them, place. They need this. They have to have it.
I know it sounds like a bunch of "psycho-mumble" BS, but this is a key element. All training, whether positive, or negative based, relies on the dog being able to predict a response and react accordingly.
I've always advocated that puppies should "have a job", and don't put them in the position where they are making their own decisions.
Find an associated past time, JOB, to involve the puppy in. Hunt training, dock diving, agility, search and rescue, bench and show, obstacle courses, water work, etc.. Basically anything that gives you a mental picture of what, and where, you want to be in a year, two years, three years, with your girl.
She's going to knock your socks off just as she is, once she mature in the next year. Let her show what she's really capable of, and what she can do. ;)
Thank you for taking the time- I have been reading your advice a lot over the last 8 weeks. The predictable behaviour really resonates -so does not sound like BS . On the nipping/biting side we have not been as consistent as we could be (mainly because we haven't been able to catch her!) but I purchased a light leash yesterday and when it happened last night ( only once) my husband managed to get her in the time out - ignore etc and she calmed down very quickly. It is definitely more of an evening thing and I am still trying to work out if she is over tired or over stimulated as so hard to tell sometimes. She is also wearing the leash indoors as although 70% of the time she is OK with our cat - she can occasionally chase which I want to eliminate so again any advice there is appreciated. I grew up wth hunting dogs so understand the need for a job - and am looking at various classes for when she is a bit older - although there is not a lot where I live. I can honestly say I have never put as much effort into a puppy as Ellie - she is sooo smart; challenging ;demanding and tests me all the time...but am totally committed to keep going - I was more anxious if she had an aggressive tendency as that is a tough one with kids, but I think it's as you say - letting her know clearly was is OK and what is not. I had twins and it was a breeze compared to this girl!! Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Please don’t over worry about this. Luna our vizsla was the exact same- I have 2 toddlers and she would always attack my youngest with her crazy shark bites. She almost took her ear off when she was around 14 weeks. We used all sorts to try and stop but the trainer advised us to get a spray and add some lemon juice and every time she bit squirt it directly onto her tongue. She absolutely hated it. She said if that didn’t work use vinegar! But it stopped within days and changed everybody’s moods in the house. It does not hurt the dog completely safe just like us tasting something sour. Luna stopped when she was around 4 months old. But persevere she is now so well behaved and absolutely loves my kids and never ever bites them. Keep going.. the hardest parts will soon be over!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Please don’t over worry about this. Luna our vizsla was the exact same- I have 2 toddlers and she would always attack my youngest with her crazy shark bites. She almost took her ear off when she was around 14 weeks. We used all sorts to try and stop but the trainer advised us to get a spray and add some lemon juice and every time she bit squirt it directly onto her tongue. She absolutely hated it. She said if that didn’t work use vinegar! But it stopped within days and changed everybody’s moods in the house. It does not hurt the dog completely safe just like us tasting something sour. Luna stopped when she was around 4 months old. But persevere she is now so well behaved and absolutely loves my kids and never ever bites them. Keep going.. the hardest parts will soon be over!
Thank you .. there have been many moments where I've questioned my sanity despite the fact we have been researching these dogs for a long time before deciding- she definitely has an edge to her at certain times..the biting with the aggressive barking etc can be a bit terrifying even for me which is where my concern came from. Felt different from her previous sharkies. But the rest of the time she is great. Really appreciate the encouragement! know she will be a fabulous dog ..it's not helping my wine consumption that is for sure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
It will pass. I would follow the advice above, and also use a squirt bottle if she gets bite-y in the house, coupled with a STERN vocal reprimand. Those first six months are hard hard hard! Best squirt bottles are the ones you buy empty at home improvement stores- the ones meant to be filled with cleansers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I like yourself have a Puppy Vizsla but she is only 10 weeks old. When we brought her home at 8 weeks old she was great and then in the last week she has gone from this happy girl to just completely changing without us seeing it coming. She has started to snarl and show her teeth and has gone for my 8 year old daughter. She bit her pyjama top as she jumped at her. I had to resort to wrapping my hands and arms in towels to restrain her. I was talking calmly to her but she then jumped and bit my cheek. I'm mortified but i cannot keep her with this behaviour as she isn't Puppy play biting she's snarling and extremely aggressive but all we've done is treat her with lots of love, gentle play time and she sleeps whenever she wants for however long she wants. I have spoken to the breeder who has suggested i take her back but I'm not giving up on her although should it continue my daughters safety and mine come first. Any one else been through this at such a young age with a Vizsla? All comments appreciated. Thanks.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,632 Posts
Most quality breeders would want the puppy back, if for nothing more than to assess the behavior. It can be hard for someone new to the breed, to tell the difference between over excited play and aggression.
In both cases the puppy is snarling, leaping, biting, ripping clothes, and breaking the skin.
So it can be tough on some owners to distinguish the difference.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gabica

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
@Wykes , Our girl's name is Ellie also 😀 . I'm so sorry that you are going through this and seems you have it really bad. Ellie was a real handful and we had considered returning her to the breeder around 4 months, similar age as your Ellie. She would constantly harass my 8 year old daughter and it caused us to have a family intervention of sorts. It was everyone get on the same page with how to react to Ellie being "bad" in a consistent manner. One example was my daughter would flail her arms wildly trying to defend herself, of course this just riled Ellie up into even more shark behavior. We started defending ourselves with piles of toys strewn across the house. Shove the toy in her mouth, redirect the shark. Then if that didn't work, a firm NO or "EHE" and walk away/ignore. Next step was time-out in her kennel, of course the kennel process was always positive. The time-out gave her a chance to reset, usually she'd just take a nap. Most shark attacks were because she was tired anyway. We also dealt with the crazy dog moments on walks, where she'd turn into a little devil. Biting leash, trying to overpower pull away, biting shoes, sharking, and just basically throw a tantrum. Remember that is exactly what it is, a tantrum just like human children. Do not react no matter what. Step on the leash and just give a few feet and stand there like a pole for awhile, it may feel like an eternity and is definitely embarrassing. After a bit, hopefully she'll calm herself down, if not after awhile, try to just pick up the leash and start walking home as if nothing happened. You are demonstrating that the tantrum will not get them anything and it is a waste of time.

Consider 2 hours of kennel time twice a day according to your schedule. Many times these sharking and bad behaviors are because they are tired and are too young to figure out that I need to go take a nap. I'd take a look at your schedule, maybe you are trying to do too much at this age and it starts catching up in the evening resulting in super sharkie behavior? 6-8pm is already the witching hours even if they aren't overtired as it is.

For us magic started to happen about 2-3 weeks after we had our family intervention. At close to 5 months life was getting much better and we were actually enjoying Ellie way more than the first 4 months. By 6 months she was a new dog. Now at 8 months, she is so pleasant to be with. We still struggle just a tad with the greeting excitement and she'll still jump up and try to "grab" with her mouth. She has now learned "get a toy" at any greeting and she'll run and pick up the closest toy to keep in her mouth as she does her crazy wiggle butt greeting process. It acts like a pacifier.

Best of luck and hang in there, you are almost at the end of the tunnel!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
It will pass. I would follow the advice above, and also use a squirt bottle if she gets bite-y in the house, coupled with a STERN vocal reprimand. Those first six months are hard hard hard! Best squirt bottles are the ones you buy empty at home improvement stores- the ones meant to be filled with cleansers.
I will second this. I bought a small squirt gun from Amazon that I carried on walks. Pillu was doing the extreme biting zoomies at certain sections of the walk when he was around the same age. Very very intense and hard to control with razor sharp teeth. The Squirt gun brought it into control ...a very stern NO , quickly followed by a squirt at the face, startled him and it served as a pretty good correction for the behavior. He stopped doing it...next time I just had to say NO and show him the gun...and next time just the NO was enough. Having a Vizsla is a lot of training for ourselves 😂 in how to train. I have discovered over the course of the year that doing corrections is a really a matter of very good timing and they have to be very quick and just intense enough. It takes practice to get there. Also start practicing loose leash walking...lot of posts on that here. I have discovered that the leash is a very fundamental and useful tool to build that relationship and get them to listen to you. Also putting them in a pen for a timeout or just crating them when overstimulated helps. It helps to crate them before they escalate too much... if it is happening at specific times during the day in the house, just crate her slightly before that time, cover the crate and let her rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Most quality breeders would want the puppy back, if for nothing more than to assess the behavior. It can be hard for someone new to the breed, to tell the difference between over excited play and aggression.
In both cases the puppy is snarling, leaping, biting, ripping clothes, and breaking the skin.
So it can be tough on some owners to distinguish the difference.
Thank you texasred for your reply it's greatly appreciated. Since posting my message I have found a couple of residential training places where we could go for a week, be assigned a trainer and take it from there. It's not cheap and I'm also not sure whether it would sort things out, I know I'm grasping at straws but I would give anything for something to work for us. My daughter was one of twin girls and sadly my other girl has passed away which makes it extremely difficult and why I'm desperate for it to work out and am prepared to go to the end of the earth to make it work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
Thank you texasred for your reply it's greatly appreciated. Since posting my message I have found a couple of residential training places where we could go for a week, be assigned a trainer and take it from there. It's not cheap and I'm also not sure whether it would sort things out, I know I'm grasping at straws but I would give anything for something to work for us. My daughter was one of twin girls and sadly my other girl has passed away which makes it extremely difficult and why I'm desperate for it to work out and am prepared to go to the end of the earth to make it work.
it is admirable that you are not giving up, a good training can help us humans to see and understand things better about what we are maybe not seeing about ourselves, like body language.
If your breeder is close by, i would still recommend paying a visit, if they offer it, they know their line and the breed the best and can help you with little details. When my first boy Bende was an only dog, i met with my breeder regularly, we had play sessions with their other vizslas just as feedback / mentoring sessions for me. They were an immense help and i always left their house with the feeling that i have the best dog on the world and i can learn this as i am a good owner:).
Btw. puppy pictures please :love:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
it is admirable that you are not giving up, a good training can help us humans to see and understand things better about what we are maybe not seeing about ourselves, like body language.
If your breeder is close by, i would still recommend paying a visit, if they offer it, they know their line and the breed the best and can help you with little details. When my first boy Bende was an only dog, i met with my breeder regularly, we had play sessions with their other vizslas just as feedback / mentoring sessions for me. They were an immense help and i always left their house with the feeling that i have the best dog on the world and i can learn this as i am a good owner:).
Btw. puppy pictures please :love:
Thank you so much Gabica it makes me feel there is light at the end of the tunnel and your comments are greatly thank you so much xx
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top