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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You all know we lost Samantha in March- we got Ruby in September this year. She has been awful from the beginning. I am on my third trainer- I have never experienced a dog that chews and destroys so much. Every toy that I had kept from Samantha is pretty much done - as well as all her beds. I cannot walk her because she pulls so bad. My trainer has advised not walking her until I can get her to heel- but seriously? The extreme energy this dog has is unreal. Her zoomies have destroyed most of our furniture. I am at my wits end- I think I made a mistake getting this dog too soon. She is not enjoyable at all- but I made a choice and I am not going to abandon it. If anyone can give me any advice, positive words, anything helpful, I would really appreciate it.
 

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I’ve owned a heavy chewer, and yes they will chew up things for years. If your trainer is recommending not leash walking her, what other exercise is she getting? Plus they learn by doing, so I don’t see her not pulling, unless your able to practice it with her. I’ve used pinch, and prong collars, even a half hitch to keep my shoulder intact. I can’t imagine not taking a dog full of pen up energy, out for a run release it.
 
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Everything you are describing sounds like a normal four month old Vizsla to me. My girl was, and is- a heavy chewer. When she was growing up, it was all about redirection to teach her what was appropriate to chew on. She still needs to chew, but it's bully sticks and not the furniture anymore.
And as for leash walking, that took us a lot of practice as well. I don't think that made her a bad dog, she just was following her nose and had a lot of energy! All of which NEEDS to be released in one way or another. When not worked enough, a pup will naturally become destructive. I plan my day around the two+ hours my girl requires of off leash time everyday.
 

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on my third trainer...sends alarm bells ringing for me, not the dog, but your lack of consistent input into your dogs upbringing, to my mind and thinking, you only get out what you put in..
 

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That dog needs a serious off leash run.... regularly
 

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but,,walk times, help with walking at heel, do the figure8 with a slip lead, there will be no pulling on that I guarantee
 

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I think what is most important to know is that you have a normal V. In the beginning it feels overwhelming, but be consistent and it eventually pays off. Don't despair and don't give up hope. Believe me, there were times in the beginning my husband truly thought our dog was broken 😆 The zoomies were crazy! And then they just all of a sudden stopped because she grew up a little more and we learned to adequately work her.
Like I said, for biting- keep showing her what is appropriate to chew. Remove your hand (or shoe) and put in a toy. Keep practicing the walking, especially AFTER she has had an opportunity to burn off her natural energy. My girl is an angel if we walk after she had played with a friend or had a good run. Before- not so much. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. That little Ruby will get there.
 

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what are your projected aims for your dog, working or a pet,,,the regimes can differ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I want to thank almost everyone for their positive and helpful advice-this forum has been helpful to me since 2009! Ruby is very smart and I do see improvements in some areas. She doesn’t bite anymore- just loves to chew up toys and beds. I’ve ordered a ”chew resistant “ bed - we’ll see. I’ve started using a lure with quail scent on it to play hide and seek, along with all the smart games you can buy for dogs - this helps her mental stimulation. Where I am having difficulty is getting rid of the physical energy. I live in an area that off leash is nearly impossible. I took her to some soccer fields nearby and let her run - really helped- but getting her to return to me was horrible! Recalls in a controlled training environment are one thing- but with all the outside has to offer- no competition. I found another smaller enclosed area to let her run and play - but as bad luck will have it - a train came by as soon as we got there. She was terrified- I tried to keep her steady, but she pulled so hard trying to get away- I physically can barely hold her. This is probably my biggest hurdle. I currently use a pinch - I have a couple of prongs that are not bad, but a slip is a joke.
As for being on my third trainer, I don’t feel I need to explain myself but I will to satisfy those with judgemental opinions. My first trainer is truly wonderful- she trained police dogs and did my first Vizsla Samantha. Unfortunately her class is a big group- no other puppies but us, and a lot of those dogs are trying for competition. Another lady I tried would only use positive reinforcement, nothing negative including pinch or prong collars - that did not work at all. The guy I am with now is good- but it’s only one day a week for an hour. Plus it’s in a big open training area with no distractions. Great until you get in the real world.
I will keep plugging along as best I can - only other option is a boot camp type where the trainer would keep her for three weeks. Makes me a little nervous just because I know how sensitive and attached this breed is - her whole world would be changed.
Thanks for letting me get all this off my chest- I appreciate all the suggestions and words of wisdom!
 

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I didn’t quite catch how old Ruby is, but I can imagine the difference between an older V and a young V must me immensely challenging your daily routine and expectations of a dog.
My V is now 3 and she has calmed down completely. She’s a different dog compared to her teenage period. For me, from 1 to 2 years old was most challenging.

Chewing is quite normal until older, a lot of owners have their V crated with blankets instead of beds at night. So did we for the first 1,5 year. We also have her many chewing sticks and still she chewed on our wooden table and chairs.

I’d dare to say my V is perfect now. Except for 1 thing: the pulling. We have tried EVERY training in the book, trainers etc. She has slowed down a lot in the city, but I can’t have her leashed when walking in the field. What worked for us is to go to off leash areas as much as we can for long walks and use the easy walker harness for short walks. On long hikes we use an Y-harness with a front clip, so I have full control when leashed.

Since we live in the city I also trained her to run next to my bicycle. Surprisingly, she doesn’t pull at all. I’d recommend using an Y-harness with a front clip for that.
 

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No beating around the bush puppy raising is HARD. Some more than others. And to make that even more difficult every single dog and every single owner and trainer is different. Keep at it - you’re on your own journey together just remember that, very much still figuring each other out and that’ll continue til she starts to mellow after adolescence and get your own routine and ways of working figured out. takes a lot of patience and help where you can get it! Good luck and keep at it, without beating yourself up if you can 🤣 it’s not often an easy ride
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the additional advice! Ruby is a little over 6 months old. We finally found a bed from K9 ballistics that she doesn’t chew!👏. Toys, still get eaten daily- work in progress.
I need to check out that Y harness recommended. So far I haven’t been able to use a harness- because she eats them, of course. Pulling is still my big issue- I really want to be able to take her to the park- but I don’t want to be laying on the ground or worse, in the lake.
we will keep practicing inside and around the house until I can find a trainer to work with me outdoors!
Btw- I watched the puppy videos recommended in another thread by texasred- funny and very helpful.
 

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Ruby sounds a lot like our Oscar!
Our first ever dog and what a huge shock for us. 😬
He doesn’t have a bed as he’s eaten or destroyed them all, wee monster and has pulled us both off our feet.
First year was a real challenge.
Along with his early health scare at around 5 months when vet thought he had epilepsy, jumping and biting at his lead and us.
We sought help from a “behavioural consultant” (whatever that is) ☹
They advised he probably had epilepsy and was inbred from a puppy farm, (he is most certainly not)
also if he jumped and bit again advised to kick, punch him, etc, whatever it took.
One visit from them was enough.
Oscar had investigations and no epilepsy but around same time changed to a raw diet and really made a huge difference.
We hired a well qualified behaviourist and he’s made huge progress. More confident and chilled, which we think also comes with age, he’s now 2 years and 3 months.
Behaviourist addressed the pulling by us attaching a bell to Oscar’s collar, when he was wearing it if he pulled we stopped until we had a loose lead then went forward. Takes time and practice but it worked.
We’d used various harnesses but we discovered not the solution.
Oscar now walks beautifully on a collar and lead, sometimes pulls occasionally if he’s excited and going to the dog park.
He’s a very sensitive boy and needs gentle handling on his terms. Used to be terrified of the vet but goes for a nurse visit every week, adores his nurse, Emma and now loves his visits.
Oscar’s luckily never been a chewer but he has antlers, pigs snouts and other body parts to excercise his jaws.
We used a long line for recall when he was a pup and he loves food so that helped.
Raising a puppy is hard work but you have a smart one 👍🏼
You’ll all get there 😀
Best wishes xxx
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I still think this is the best way to stop your dog pulling on a lead
 

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Try to find a trainer who can teach you to use an e-collar

You are probably going to have to train recall from square 1. Practice in your house and in your yard with a long line attached to her.

Vizslas do need to expend their physical energy to be good dogs. I think that is the ticket for your sanity in this experience: finding a way to safely exercise her and it is going to take some time and effort to get to the point where it feels safe.

When I lived in a city, I would drive about an hour everyday to get my dog to safe places to run. It is hard work, but worth it
 
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