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Hi,

This is my first post in this forum but I read a lot of other posts and try to learn from similar experiences!. My husband and I have a male puppy about to turn 6 months old, I am not a very experienced dog owner and I am his primary owner!.

He pulls like a freight train on his normal collar and I have tried a head collar (goes around his snout and clips at the top of his head), it works a treat but he HATES it so much, he tries to roll around in the grass every chance he gets trying to get it off his nose!.

Yesterday, I tried walking him on just his normal collar and it snapped off! i had to catch him before he ran off. I put his collar back on before he got away and was holding him from his collar in case it snapped again. That was when he saw my mum walking towards us and went physco because he was so excited. He was trying to jump whilst i was holding him, flipping around mid air, howling and even starting to bite my hand that was holding him back!!! not a nice experience for both of us.
I kept holding him back and firmly kept saying 'no, calm down!' until he sat and finally stopped.

Sometimes he will bark back when we tell him 'No' when he has done something naughty and sometimes will run away too when he knows hes being naughty. He also does do the submissive pose or cower when I raise my voice when hes really naughty. When I ask him a command I always have to ask several times before he will do it! If I dont have a treat I feel like he ignores the command! Like when we walk him and stop at a crossing, we always make him sit. If we have treats he will do it straight away generally, otherwise if we have no treats we have to stand there and wait until he sits after we give the command! it takes forever! he seems to ignore us and we cant get his focus.

Does anyone have any ideas on what to do with a naughty 6 month old puppy and how to get them to respect you!? I guess he does not see me yet as his leader (yet) and likes to test!

so sorry for the long post!! This is a few months of built up frustration!! Thanks

Christina
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Your pup is testing you and his boundaries. Try to stay calm and do not give up! It sounds like a phase many on this forum including myself went through. Is he from hunting lines by any chance? Have you introduced him to birds? I found that field work helped a lot in re-directing my pup's over-excitement and high energy levels into a positive thing. This experience has also created a great bonding between my Vizsla and I. He then started to follow my commands and not only when he felt like doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply!

I'm not sure if he is from a hunting line (breeder didn't mention anything in particular) and I have not introduced him to birds!. Although whenever he sees a bird it has his 110% attention and he starts to stalk them.... There isn't really an opportunity to hunt around where I live unfortunately, but my dog club does offer agility, flyball and other types of sports that he could try?.
Thanks for your suggestion! perhaps channelling his energy into something is the way to go!
Meanwhile working on his obedience skills I guess!
 

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Any activity is good. In addition to the field work (I am not a hunter myself, but joined the local hunters to train my pup), I also do obedience and rally-obedience and tricks, etc., anything I could to funnel my boy's energy). Do you exercise him? I found that exercising my pup (letting him run free to burn off his energy first) helps with his obedience training.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK - I will look into doing some sort of sport at the dog club I have a membership with.. They have agility on offer for dogs from 10 months old so still a few months away until then. Regarding exercise he gets out every day for long walks on the lead, I am a runner but am holding off running with him until he is 1 year old. Other than leash walks and fetch/play in the backyard he dosnt really get any other exercise (I am trying to find some land to take him to run around off leash). There are off leash parks where I live but all suburban and none of them fenced and we cant trust him off leash yet, he just runs away and will chase other dogs and people (it has ended badly in the past when he chased after some kids and their parents were not happy about that). There is an off leash beach down the road that I take him to on weekends sometimes (its winter at the moment so only weekends for now). I have let him off the leash here but again he cant be trusted to come back or not jump on/chase strangers or worse - he just wonders off and I dont want to loose him!
 

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Hi Christina! Wow, not being an expierienced dog owner yet having a Vizsla, you;re very brave.... ;)

First, consider getting a good trainer. Ask your vet, interview a few people, see who clicks with you and he. If you're not really experienced, it's hard to know what to do, basic intuition doesn't always work. Go over to Amazon and get "Mother Knows Best" by Carol Lea Benjamin, it is a wonderful primer on dog training.

So, since the issue here is training, your boy (and you!) need some basic obedience training... I would highly suggest NOT doing any hunting training or field work as that requires a level of training and discipline neither of you are quite at just yet. The easy leader ( the leash around the snout) works well, but not initially. Read the instructions that were included and stay with it, you want to practice with him in the yard or in the house where you have control over him, as you've experienced, you don't have a lot of control initially as he thrashes about. Outside in the world, you want one of those chrome chain collars until he gets the easy leader......make sure it can slide tightly over his head but not so loose that if he stops he can slide out. Have the salesperson show you how to put it on, you basically slip on eend thru the "O" ring so it looks like a "P" for "Perfect" as you face him. When he pulls, you give him a sharp pull AND RELEASE and say "Heel".

Exercise is key for V's, they are typically like tightly coiled springs. He needs off lead time where he can run extensively...either in a safe enclosed space, preferably with the company of another known dog, or on a safe hiking trail.

Lastly..even though there's so much more to say, I know...the easiest way to train your dog is to tune into him, and in the course of your time together watch for him doing the things that you want....watch for him to sit down, come over to you, be quiet, eat, lay down, stay off, etc., and AS HE'S DOING IT, say it to him, with praise, so he learns to associate his actions with your words..so, "Good sit!, good boy!"

Thoughts?
 

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christina891 said:
Other than leash walks and fetch/play in the backyard he dosnt really get any other exercise (I am trying to find some land to take him to run around off leash).
Vizslas need their off leash exercise/ free run time, to be able to burn their high energy off. I would start working on recall issues. Have you heard about clicker training (there are several topics on this forum about this)? Reward him every time he comes back to you. We started taking our puppy to off leash areas (at first when there were no dogs around) as soon as he had his vaccines in place (he was about four month old) and soon he started to follow us/ come back when called. There were times (teenage months) when he would develop selective hearing issues. He is two and a half years old now, but I still run the recall drills time from time. I found it is important not to immediately put the leash on every time he comes back, but set him free time from time (after rewarding). I use mix of treats, toys, petting/ scratching, or just tell him ow wonderful he is, so when called he now runs to me in anticipation.
 

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JMO
I disagree on not doing any type of hunt training.
One of the basic things taught is recall, and its one of the bigger problems she's having. The pup not being able to get rid of its pen up energy, is causing other problems.
 

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Stay firm, you are the boss. I'd buy a strong collar. I'd also make him use the gentle leader (around the nose) collar on walks. Last but not least, I'd enroll him in some training - start with beginning and work up to intermediate. The true purpose of dog training is to train the owner. Do it now before he's much older. Rehabilitating an adult dog can be a chore.

Good luck! The fact that you care so much tells me you'll figure this out.

P.S. Keep in mind that he's a pre-teen right now. They are hard to control in human form too :eek:
 

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TexasRed said:
JMO
I disagree on not doing any type of hunt training.
One of the basic things taught is recall, and its one of the bigger problems she's having. The pup not being able to get rid of its pen up energy, is causing other problems.
Ditto. Plus it is a good idea to have an early exposure to birds. As he is a puppy, it would be all the fun staff anyways. All the great smells, running around with the mouth full of feathers and the opportunity to share their bird with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ksand24 - Thanks for the link to the collar I will check it out!

Gingerling - I might not be the most experienced dog handler but very persistent, dedicated and patient ;). I will consider getting a trainer ( I picked up some business cards yesterday and will look into it ).
Regarding obedience training he has been enrolled in classes (yes more for my own training) since he was 8 weeks old with puppy class and now we are members of the local dog club which have classes every week. He does know all the basic commands (sit, drop, stay, come, roll over, shake hands haha). I have done some recall training with him but sounds like I just need to do much more of it with distractions around and use a much higher value treat in these scenarios. The chrome chain collar you spoke of, I have one already, I actually used it last night and did exactly that. Spent about 40min walking with his check chain and when he pulled I would "check" him (pull him back). By the end of the 40minutes he still didnt get the point haha - we stopped every few seconds (didnt get very far). These chains are actually frowned upon where I live (In Australia) and actually not allowed to be used at dog clubs)... I will still try it with regards to teaching him to heel though.

I think all your comments have confirmed what I thought - he needs more off leash time!! .. I found one dog park (only one!!) that is fenced and my uncle owns a farm with land so i'm going to try and see if I can let him run around here (I think there are some pet dogs on the farm too, he can play with).

Ksana - Yes I definitely need to work on recall with distractions. I will put him on a long lead at the park and practice here. He will do it at home fine mostly and even when were walking and i call his name he will come to me, however its when there are other people/dogs that listening to me goes out the window. I think I will need to use a higher value treat to get his attention (read somewhere that coming back to me needs to be better then going off to other people/dogs)??.

I will hold off on hunting training for now until I have tried the above but will look into it.

Vizsla Baby - see some of the above comments :). Yes the gentle leader is great.. it just that we have been walking with it for a month now and he still hates it so much (tries to roll in the grass to get it off as soon as its on and during the entire walk). I will stick with the training at home and at the dog club. Thanks for the kind words!! I think we will figure it out! Just a learning experience with ups and downs :).

Regarding exposure to birds I will look into it! I don't know anything about it but I will ask the dog club!.

Thanks again everyone for your feedback. Sounds like if I stick with it and make some changes we will be just fine :).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, one last thing... he bites my hand when I'm holding him from doing something he wants to do. The usual response of 'yelping' when he bites me to let him know he hurt me doesn't do anything, it doesn't phase him (only raising my "angry voice" stops him from doing things. I think he tends to think my hand is a chew toy when he gets worked up.

Ie: my example about holding him from the collar to stop him from jumping, he was biting my hand because he wanted me to let him go. He is not usually like this, he was just in his hyper puppy state of mind and I was holding him back. When its just me and my husband he knows he cant jump on us and when he does, we turn our backs on him and ignore it, then when he sits we pat him. But when he is excited and has 'puppy brain' he bites me and its almost like he will do anything to get his way.

I figure this is unacceptable to be biting me whenever he doesn't get his way!

Also, whenever I kneel down to his level he will just jump up and paw and want to bite my face sometimes? (obviously very bad habit) so I have stopped kneeling down unless he is civil about it.. Any other tips on how to fix this!?

(its definitely my fault as I like to cuddle him and let him jump into my lap whilst knelt but he doesn't get the whole "biting/scratching people's faces is not nice" thing yet).

I know I have probably painted him to be a little monster on this forum (which sometimes he is! especially when I came home last night to my yoga map ripped to shreds), but he can be an angel sometimes and is really a beautiful little boy (just a little naughty ;) .. I just think a little more work and we will be fine, he has the makings of a really great dog and friend! )
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I attached a couple of photos of him so you can see what he looks like! His name is Thor :) <3
 

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christina891 said:
Yes the gentle leader is great.. it just that we have been walking with it for a month now and he still hates it so much (tries to roll in the grass to get it off as soon as its on and during the entire walk).
Our weim also hated the gentle leader at first. She doesn't even like wearing a regular harness and will try to rub that off in the house. Just what worked for us - I put a regular front clip harness on her AND the gentle leader (leashes on both). If she pawed at the gentle leader or tried to roll, I pulled up on the leash connected to the harness. It took some repetition, but within a few days she'd mostly accepted the gentle leader. Also, lots of treats when she was walking nicely in it :) She also did a lot better on it when walking outside where there were other things going on to distract her... practicing in the house was useless!
 

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you need 2 teach WHOA & HEEL !!!!!! whoa is easy with a whoa board - heel is easy if you teach it in a stair well - when the pup wants 2 get in front of your knee pinch him against the wall - #1 tool !!!!!!!!!! pup pulls - you do not MOVE !!!!!!!!
 

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R said:
pup pulls - you do not MOVE !!!!!!!!
I also found penalty yards being useful. The harder my puppy pulled, the longer it took for him to get to the place he wanted. He finally learned, but once in a while still needs a reminder (especially in the field during field practice when he tries hard to get to the start position to be released for birds search).
 

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Ks - SO TRUE !!!!!!!!!! we run UFTA trials - does not matter were we are on the premium list - as we walk 2 the blind PIKE stays at heel - in the blind PIKE whimpers and shakes - the walk 2 the start he is nuts - why I use a 2ft belt lead - I never correct him - all of his energy is 2 find birds !!!!! PIKE turning 7yrs old - I hope this never changes !!!!!! NO HARM - NO FOUL !!!!!!!!!
 

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