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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
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 for the reassurance. I am currently trying the time-outs before the spray only because the one time I was in the garden watering and accidentally sprayed her she loved it .. but there was no lemon juice and she hates that so I think that will be the secret weapon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
@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!
Thanks so much for this... it really helps knowing that you are not alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel Keeping her on a light leash in the garden and then time out if too much will hopefully do the trick .. it's hard to pick her up occasionally as she wriggles like crazy bit no biting do far. I had to laugh this am ( hysterical laugh not happy casual laugh )as the morning was chaotic.. kids fighting ; Ellie running round with e toilet roll in mouth ; cat trying to steal dog's food and husband .. who says , " I have a work call, I'll leave you to it!! " I am currently crating her for 1.5 hours in am and 1.5 in pm - part of it is I think her energy build trough the day - but you could be right re too much ! Thank you again
 

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Just a word of caution.
Picking the right trainer, can be the best thing you ever do. Picking the wrong trainer, can turn into a nightmare.
Don’t ever let someone train your dog in a way, that you are not comfortable with. You are your dogs only advocate, don’t be afraid to stand up for them, and say No. Just because someone has been training 20, 30, or even 40 years. It does not mean their training style fits you and your dog.
 
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Just a word of caution.
Picking the right trainer, can be the best thing you ever do. Picking the wrong trainer, can turn into a nightmare.
Don’t ever let someone train your dog in a way, that you are not comfortable with. You are your dogs only advocate, don’t be afraid to stand up for them, and say No. Just because someone has been training 20, 30, or even 40 years. It does not mean their training style fits you and your dog.
Ok once again thank you so much. But things took a bad turn last night and I spoke to the breeder who has actually now taken her back for a few days to see if she can get to the bottom of her behaviour. We absolutely adore her but even now I'm really scared of her as her mood just changes. I know they can pick up on your fear hence I tried my best to not show it, but they're far from stupid I know. I just don't understand why and how she can just change and the only way i can explain her behaviour is like a Jekyll and Hyde. Thank you for your continued support it's greatly appreciated x
 

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Im new here and i feel your pain. We have a 10 week girl Vizsla and she is just terrorising our 2 children 9 and 7. She goes for them to "play" by jumping up at them and biting them. They are aware to put their arms folded and turn away but Amber just jumps and bites the back of their legs or hangs onto their clothing ripping it. She just changes and goes nuts when they are in the garden (calm and not running around or screaming etc). She has free roam around our garden as its quite spacious for her but im wondering if this is too much. Seems this is a standard thing with them to go for the smaller kids, but i want the kids to be able to protect themselves and currently they cannot, its a shame as they both say they hate her but only when she is going mad and biting them. We use the NO as a family but she just ignores, we use the turn away and folded arms but she just jumps and bites whatever she can, she nearly bit my sons genitals, luckily he had baggy shorts on. Im going to try the water squirting with lemon (do you squirt in their face or open their mouth and squirt inside? What if it goes in their eyes?) but as someone else said she seems to like the hose squirted at her so not sure she will be that botherd by it. She is a little more responsive to my deep tone and big presensce when i boom at her but she often runs off then turns and starts barking and coming at me, so i just ignore her and find something like a ball/toy to distract her which works but im not around all the time. She jumps up at everyone trying to nip all the time, its becoming a bit tiresome but we will continue to try. Timeout in a locked room works on occaision but she barks and barks and howls until we come back to let her out a few mins later. Im still working on crete training so dont want to shut her in there and get her fearful of it. Im just concerned she will seriously injure one of the kids with her jumping up and trying to hang off thier little hands, arms and bottoms!
 

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I know others mention adding lemon juice, but I’ve never used anything other than plain water in the spray bottle.
 

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@Marshyrob I also have only ever used plain water. Lemon juice sounds like it will just irritate the eyes and mucous membranes if it gets in her nose. 10 weeks is pretty young, at that age we just used redirection by always having toys around ready to use for self defense. We started using the spray bottle with water around 4 months, but there is no hard and fast rule on it really. Crossing arms and ignoring never really worked for us. It would take leaving the area all together to show the pup that the behavior makes people go away. Our 8 year old daughter did not like Ellie for all of the same reasons, it was very depressing as you would think having a new puppy would be a fun family experience. While many of it was, early on much of it was not pleasant at all. At 8mos Ellie is now a super sweetheart. Still gets mouthy when excited playing and when greeting, but very manageable compared to the early dark days!
 

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thanks both, we do try to have toys around to redirect and it works for a little while but she soon gets bored and ignores the toys and wants to nip. Its defo during those nightmare hours of 5-7pm. Gonna try the spray and maybe some more timeout when she is persisting. I did see an idea to treat them if they sit when told at the time of jumping up but i dont see how thats a good thing, sends mixed messages to me in that i get a treat if i jump up at someone then sit....or maybe its more when i see someone and sit i get a treat? Either way not sure amber will listen to sit when she is going bonkers!
 

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I have never used lemon juice . I have used the spray bottle , just plain water … it was like magic … only thing that worked to startle Pillu out of the biting Zoomies when he was that age . One thing , I initially kept the spray bottle in ‘spray’ mode - did not work at all, switched to ‘stream’ mode worked very well. Also Vizsla pups seem to get over excited really quickly and they often do all this when they are tired … they have no off switch …I would just crate your pup ( try to do it before he goes crazy) you will most likely sense when he is about to do it … cover your crate … spray bottle + crate was the only option for me … none of the fold your arms etc…worked for me
 

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I have never used lemon juice . I have used the spray bottle , just plain water … it was like magic … only thing that worked to startle Pillu out of the biting Zoomies when he was that age . One thing , I initially kept the spray bottle in ‘spray’ mode - did not work at all, switched to ‘stream’ mode worked very well. Also Vizsla pups seem to get over excited really quickly and they often do all this when they are tired … they have no off switch …I would just crate your pup ( try to do it before he goes crazy) you will most likely sense when he is about to do it … cover your crate … spray bottle + crate was the only option for me … none of the fold your arms etc…worked for me
Also …I just spray directly on his face …most likely after you do it once, the next time you just have to show him the bottle .. I didn’t have to actually spray very often
 

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Also , I guess when I was putting him in the crate , I was not really treating it as a ‘timeout’… it was just for him calm down , settle, go to sleep … nothing else
 

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Also , I guess when I was putting him in the crate , I was not really treating it as a ‘timeout’… it was just for him calm down , settle, go to sleep … nothing else
Thanks @rchik43 ill get a bottle this eve and try this but i also like your advice of creating before they even get too mental. Im starting to recognise when that is so hopefully this will help. She doesnt like to be created when she isnt tired she will howl and bark, but its fine for 5-1o mins if it diverts the sharkies. All great advice and thanks everyone. Sorry to hijack the OP thread but its the same issue i have, was like reading it as if i wrote it! :)
 

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We never had any serious problems with our Hannah. As do most puppies, our Hannah (Vizsla) and our Echo (boston terror) both had a brief mouthy period. When they got bitey, I would simply grab their chin and with my thumb and middle finger squeeze their cheeks into their mouth for a few seconds and say “No teeth”. Since biting their own cheeks was as uncomfortable to them as biting our fingers was for us, they learned quickly that “no teeth” meant they were going to soon have a bit of pain if they didn’t stop. I never had to raise my voice beyond just being stern, and they learned quickly.
 

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I have posted a couple of times on this kind of difficult behaviour and the advice given here has been of great help. There has been progress but it's a case of two steps forward then a step back again most of the time. The biting thing was the worst to deal with, so scary at times, but getting to know when it's about to happen was very useful. I kept a behaviour diary for a few weeks and recorded everything that Fergus did from sleeping to biting, so I got a better idea of when things might happen. The biting is usually when he is tired, but not exclusively, and at any sign I now put him in his crate, where he goes for a sleep.
The best bit of advice, as suggested above, was getting a water pistol. I got two and they are located around the garden, and if Fergus gets bitey I give him a blast and he stops. A lot of the time now I can mention or point to it, or just picking it up gets him to stop. We were out walking in the woods yesterday and as it's a quiet place with few people or distractions, I tried him off lead for the first time. It was going very well, he'd walk ahead or fall behind, but always catch up and stay close. But I hadn't considered that he'd turn into the wild animal that he can be and he started flying around at speed, doing crazy leaps at me growling and snarling. Managed to get the lead back on and had control again. Will need to get a water pistol for these walks too.
Mostly things have improved, in things like Fergus goes to his crate most of the time when he's tired. I usually know when he is getting bitey and go into the house and sit down and read. He generally follows and goes to his crate. There are times when he fights the sleep and I have to put him in the crate. Evenings are another time that still needs to be worked out as generally after he's had a chewy thing for half an hour when I'd like a break, like clockwork, he decides to freak out again and bite me. A very stern NO stopped him in his tracks the other night, but that doesn't usually work and i either crate him or put him outside the back door till he's calm again. Usually he comes back and settles to sleep on the settee beside me. Still need to get the routine better, but I have found that it's all about trying out a lot of the advice here and using or adapting things that may work. I get complacent sometimes, but Fergus reminds me that there's still things to do when he sinks his teeth into my arms again. But when I compare now with when I first got him (and that's where the behaviour diary is handy) I can see we have moved on a bit. Still much to do, and the road will still be bumpy, but I feel we are getting there gradually.
 

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UPDATE: Well its been a few days and ive perservered with the NO and crete for a "calm" time. She still is a little jump up'y and biting peoples clothes more than them (Daughter dresses are a favourite) but its defo getting better, NO and a if needed a loud clapping normally makes her release, but that can be followed by her bouncing around barking at me like, "cmon then!!" ha ha. they are so full of energy that i dont think they know what to do with it. As @Duffeljaiket said, evenings are still the time when it can really go wrong if i dont recgonise that she is getting tired and crete her otherwise she will really go guns blazing...sharkies, zoomies, destroying anything she can pick up...madness! But i feel she is learning slowly so no water pistols or sprays just yet, but ill have them on standby in case. Thanks to everyone for advice here, its a learning curve for sure and i want to set her up for success but you do need to remind youurself at times they are pups, mine is only 11 weeks so lots of time left to mature.
 

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Glad things are improving! You have awhile to go so hunker in. I suggest not letting anyone wear dresses in the house during this time if you can. They will for certain get ripped and also serve to trigger with all the motion and tons of oh so fun cloth to bite. Another thing you can try is getting one of those soft balls with holes designed to stuff toys in. We had cut up an old t shirt and would stuff the pieces in. Ellie then had fun ripping the pieces out simulating shredding cloth praising her when she used it. Idea was to satiate the urge to destroy but only her toys.
 
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