Hungarian Vizsla Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm really hoping to get advice for our new puppy nelson. We got him at 8 weeks and he was mild mannered enough but at ten weeks he's morphed into a whirlwind! He's our first dog and we did a lot of research and knew about the exercise requirements etc but at the moment we are honestly having trouble coping with his constant nipping, scratching and growling. He's in a crate but doesn't ever go in it of his own accord. He doesn't disturb us at night and goes about five hours without having to relieve, which is great but during the day if we put him in it, he whines, barks and starts to attack his bedding. We have both taken 3 weeks off work so he hasn't been alone for any length of time. We do go into another room for half an hour or more and leave him in crate. He does eventually quieten down but when he comes out after an hour or a bit longer, he very quickly turns into this "aggressive natured whirlwind"!
We let him out into the garden to play but all he wants to do is eat the grass and plants. If we bring him in to play he jumps on everyone, nipping quite hard. We have read all manner of articles about corrective behaviour so have tried "no" and giving him an alternative , we have tried arms folded and turning away and now we have resorted to putting him in crate ( but this goes against the theory about not using the crate as a punishment). To be honest we are putting him in there to calm down but how do we know he doesn't see it as punishment?

We were so excited about getting him and at the moment both of us feel like it's something we are doing wrong. We think the world of him already and my heart breaks when he refuses to calm down.

Sometimes he eats his food hungrily other times he ignores it totally and I end up having the food in my palm and he eats it a little at a time. We are feeding him four times a day.

I guess my questions are

What kind of activity is the correct form of exercise at this age?( he is having his second shot this week so cannot go to the park for another two weeks).

Is it normal for a puppy to be constantly trying to nip at you despite you trying to distract him with other things?

Should a ten week puppy have this much energy?!!!!!

Thank you for any advice. We just really want to get it right and fir him to be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Just to add, I just spent an hour with him and every few minutes whether I'm sitting or walking he growls, jumps up at me and sinks his teeth into my leg or grabs my jeans and tears at them. Tried ignoring him, pushing him down and now out s sheer desperation into his crate and walked away. If I don't put him in the crate he would then be unsupervised. We've even tried a play pen which he hates and knocked over!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,717 Posts
Should a ten week puppy have this much energy?!!!!!
You have a good Vizsla. They are high-powered hunting dogs and you got one that needs energy channeled. Over our 4 years of Vizsla ownership I must have walked 5,000 miles with my dogs. This is what they need more than anything else. At 10 weeks you can't do much walking yet but soon, just make it part of your lives

Vizslas are not dogs. They are lifestyles.

Suggestion would be to go to a local bookstore or on line get some books on hunting dogs that have chapters on puppies. Even if you don't ever plan to hunt, they can give suggestions for channeling energy.

Cesar Millan's books are excellent.

The puppy stage does pass. With Vizslas, it is at about 30 months.

Have fun. It will get better.

Rod
http://redbirdog.blogspot.com (lots of information I have gathered over the last couple years and recommended books.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
The nipping/mouthing is normal puppy behavior. Set clear limits & make sure "we" are setting the same ones with the exact same response. Consistency is important. If you have told him no & distractions aren't working, then crating is a good strategy, IMO. We did this a few times with P when she was a young pup, not as punishment, but a moment to pull it together. I think its wise to set limits in other areas too, such as giving Nelson the o.k. to eat when you put his food down, walking in/out the door first, dictating when plays begins & ends etc. You reinforce the msg that Nelson is not top of the food chain in your house. Find some interesting toys that he can roll around to work for a treat & offer him different activities. Nelson is very young, but he is old enough to start clicker training (if you choose) to begin attention exercises. Some choose to wait until their pup has had all their shots, but we had Pumpkin exploring the woods, fields, and creek by the time she was 10 wks old. Just like a person, if most of Nelson's activities are in the house or same garden spot, he will get bored. Boredom makes the nipping worse in my experience. In other words, a tired, stimulated puppy is a much better behaved puppy. Expose him to life everyday. Mix it up. Be patient & consistent. I found Joan Bailey's "How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves: Taking Advantage of Early Conditioned Learning," to be very helpful. Even if you are not a hunter, many of the training methods used by reputable folks offer a systematic way to a well-behaved, content dog. There are quite a few good books out there. Hang in there & keep the forum posted. Good Luck :)!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
A few comments:

- It will get better. Most of this is being a puppy & they don't stay like that forever.
- Your pup sounds like he needs more exercise (as you suggested). When my dog had his second shots, I took him nearly everywhere (except for the dog park). I found sand volleyball courts to be ideal. I took a baby frisbee, a tennis ball, and had him run around to wear him out. You're going to have to spend more time up front exercising him right now while he's a little wild one. They calm down once they get in a routine of getting exercise. For your yard, get a stuffed animal and tie it to a string. Use that or tie it to a long stick and have him stalk and hunt the stuffed animal. The less you move the animal, the more mental energy is used, the more you move it the more physical energy is burned. You have to engage the puppy because they aren't going to exercise themselves in the yard. Get a soccer ball and have him try to get it away from you as you dribble it in the yard. anything to get the little guy to burn energy!
- Work on getting your dog to associate sitting with very good things. Carry treats EVERYWHERE. The second your dog is sitting anywhere praise and treat. When you notice that he looks like he wants to jump, ask him to sit and treat. Predict his every move and BEFORE he does anything you don't want, ask him to sit and treat. When they're little ones and wild, you need to be preemptive because once they've lost control it's very hard to calm them down.
- I've heard negative attention is better than no attention with pups. Don't bother pushing him down when he jumps. Walk away and give him your back.
- Use the crate for time outs by very calmly taking your dog into the crate. Don't do it angrily so that it isn't punishment. If you can't pick him up without doing it angrily, take a breath and calm down, or ask someone else to do it calmly for you.
- Do bonding exercises with your pup. Things like the hunting game will bond you guys, taking the pup to explore, and small obedience exercises like responding to his name, calling him excitedly and praising him when he does, etc.
- Look for a puppy kindergarden class

I love Patricia McConnell's books, blog, etc. She has a PhD and some wonderful books on a 6 week training program for your puppy. I wish I would've read her stuff sooner!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
;D Read all the posts on this site and implement some of the suggestions. Understand he is a very, very young dog who is learning. Your job is to be a consistent stable teacher. Occupy his body and his mind! Put the time in and you will be rewarded with the best friend you ever had. ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi,

Thank you so much for all the advice. Some really useful pointers, e.g the games and learning to pre-empt nelson. I think we really need to improve on treats. We have a big box of them but end up always rushing to get one after the event so often miss the moment.

He,s booked for socialising classes and then obedience training so hopefully that will all help too.

Being able to share my concerns is such a great help and I feel so much better after having read the replies. I'm really glad that I posted.

(I just walked past his crate having settled him for the night and my heart just melts
when I look at him staring at me sleepily. )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,305 Posts
Yes, Scorpio, don't worry... it will all work out! How you described your pup Nelson in your initial post on this thread ("aggressive natured whirlwind") is really just normal puppy behavior. He is playing with you just the way he played with his littermates. Have you ever watched a bunch of puppies playing together for very long? They are really rough-and-tumble with one another! It will all be okay. But remember, they are puppies 'til they're two.

There's nothing sweeter than a puppy, but having been through it, I now adopt adult shelter dogs needing a permanent home. Sure, you miss out on that adorable (but also very challenging) puppy phase, but saving a life is just so gratifying. I hope everybody tries it at least once in their lives. Dogs are smart, and they know when they've been rescued. They really do. Another plus is that they usually come already house-trained!

p.s. You can find whatever breed you're hoping for in shelters. Purebred dogs get lost and/or abandoned all the time, and they are perfectly wonderful dogs. The screening process is very refined nowadays. (Naturally, I think my Willie is a GREAT dog!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Denard is 10 weeks too and from the day we got him his nipping has been out of control. We tried everything and the only thing that has worked SO WELL is a spray bottle filled with water. You need to spray him in the face immediately during any inappropriate nipping/chewing. Try it and good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
It took Savannah a few weeks to get through this phase. Not only did the nipping/chewing/growling get out of hand, she even started humping. In all my reading, I hadn’t expected anything that bad.

This phase is; however, an opportunity for you. First, now is a great time to decide how you are going to establish your place as head of the household/ employer/ pack leader/ King and Queen of the territory – whatever you want to call your roll. Define it and if you haven’t figured out your training program, do it now. For Savannah, that meant following me through every door, eating after I ate, staying off of the couch until she could understand the concept of permission, etc. Other folks have posted about bottles of water and cans of pennies for discipline and clickers for positive feedback. It is also the time when you get to figure out when the dog is going to get on your very last nerve. The sooner you can figure that out the easier it will be not to lose your cool. Finally, use this time to observe as many reactions from your dog as possible. If you can figure out the signs of a dog about to go bonkers, you can avoid some of the frustration later in the training process. And really, for as bad as this phase is, you might as well get something out of it.

One other idea for when you use the crate as a timeout (not a punishment) place: if you can get a treat in your hand, put your hand containing the treat in the crate to lure him in and say ‘Crate’ as he enters (or as you help him in). By the end of this phase, he will have gone into his crate so much that he will know the command. :)

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hi everyone,
Just wanted to update after using the advice from this forum. We have had 2 MUCH better days with him! I'm using treats to pre-empt him and wow it's working. He's still trying his luck but he stops immediately, his attention diverted by the treat. We feel so much better about ' time out' in his crate because now we are making sure we are calm when we put him in and don't feel guilty. He's having his second shot tomorrow so this time next week we should be out ad about with him much more.
I watched the you tube video ' are you fit enough for a vizsla' and I got so emotional and cried buckets because after just over 2 weeks with him I'm absolutely hooked! Every person who meets him remarks upon his " handsomeness" and I get so proud!

Once again thanks guys!!! We are in London so guess we won't bump into each other in the park but nelson is really lucky that we found so much help from across " the pond"!.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Great news, congrats! It will only get better! How funny- I remember a few months ago when my pup was absolutely unruly and I'd watch that video and start tearing up, too! I thought in the midst of his unruliness, that if I'd give him back I'd be ok until I saw the video and realized that I was in love, wild banshee and all. A few months later filled with tons of exercise, training (and training games), tricks, etc I can barely believe it was the same boy. He still has the great things about him, but he doesn't attack my pants when I walk now! haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I'd suggest that even getting out and about with your puppy in a rucksack helps tire their mind if not the body which at that age can still be a bonus. Luda would zonk out after i'd taken our other dog out for walkies, with me carrying her (as would I also, quite frankly; she got heavy very quickly!).

Expect a few odd looks though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
775 Posts
Oh...the 10 week ****. I think I made most of my posts during that time. I swear my husband and I were at each others throats during then. Ruby turned into the devil at that age - nipped out of control and would attack my legs. My trainer said to ignore her and it would just get worse. All I would do is keep toys on me and all times and redirect. The teething is so bad and does not get better for a while. It seems like something clicks when they get to 4 or 5 months where they get better and start listening.

Hang in there it does get better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Rubyroo, you are so right about the "click" at 4-5 months. At 5 months I wondered if my dog was sick because he was so much more mature than just a few weeks prior. I could actually enjoy myself and not worry about him and his little demons! I kept telling my friends that he was up to something, but no, it really does get better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Eating the grass will actually help the little guys digestion, so if you are okay with it, it is helpful for him. Like many of the others have said he will calm down, but it will be a bit still.

Biting: My husband and I have about 5 V's now and have had many many in the past. When they try to nip at you or bite you, stick your hand in their mouth clear to the back (so it will kinda gag them) and say "no biting" firmly. Be very consistent with this and you will completely solve the problem in a few days. Make sure they can decipher between regular time and play time...don't allow biting people even in play, make sure there is a toy or another object that gets the teeth.

Another way would be to pinch their cheeks together so when they do bite down they bite themselves. I know these sound a little harsh, but they really work and it doesn't take very much time before they get it. You really don't want to let "biting" be a problem.

Dogs are just like kids. Consistency is Key.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I wish I had access to all this info when Rex was 10 weeks old! I would come home on my lunch break from work, change clothes, then let him out of his crate, knowing full well he was going to rip my jeans with his biting! He ruined many clothes by biting and jumping on me. At 12 weeks old, we called the breeder to talk about taking him back (we got him at 8 weeks old) and the breeder gave us a couple of suggestions for dealing with him. Then a friend's dog passed away and I knew I wouldn't be able to live without Rex.

We found that for him, putting him outside was the perfect punishment when he was acting up (biting especially). Turning my back on him only made him bite the back of my leg. It only took about a week of doing that and he stopped biting completely. He knew it was for a different reason than to go potty by our attitude. We were always happy to take him out to potty, and cheering him along. If he was biting, there was no talking, I yelped (as close to a dog yelp as I could), scooped him up and dropped him on the back deck, then shut the door. He figured it out pretty quickly. Nothing is worse punishment for a Vizsla than to be away from their family.

RubyRoo and Laurita, it's funny that said something "clicked" at 4-5 months. We left Rex with a neighbor for a week about that time (she has a German Shorthaired Pointer) and Rex was a different dog after that. We just assumed she and her dog had trained Rex in that one week. Which, they probably did!

We took Rex for long walks to get his energy out. To this day I still see a difference in him between play exercise and structured walks for exercise. He gets wild if he hasn't had structured walks on a leash in a couple of days.

It really is worth it to go through the pain in the beginning. No creature will love you more than a Vizsla.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Hi Scorpio,

I have a ten week old also. I had a terrible day with him the other day as far as him nipping and being out of control. I assumed he needed more exercise. It ends up he was overtired. When I have him on a regular nap schedule he doesn't act as crazy or bite so much. When he gets tired, he gets silly and nippy. Someone pointed out to me they can sleep for 18 hours a day. I find he wakes up plays for one, sleeps for two, plays for one, sleeps for two etc. It varies a bit, but I use that general schedule. It seems to be helping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
We have an 11 week old and have also had lots of nipping/biting. We've been teaching him the 'off' command, and also stopping play as soon as he starts acting up.

Also, Fez tends to go a bit crazy and bitey when he needs a number 2! We've learned the signs now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
i'm always impressed when i read that families crate train their vizslas. i was never successful with crate training Henry. it all worked out of course, but i spent my nights on the couch when he was a puppy and he would jump up from his dog bed onto the couch and wake me up every hour... 2 hours... 3 hours... to take him out. never ever has he had an accident... and we got him at 3 months old. which is i'm pretty sure must be unheard of LOL. he'll be a year old in a couple weeks. 3 days of the week when my husband and i are both at work Henry goes to doggie daycare!
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top