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Hi Everyone

Our beautiful puppy is almost 5 months old. She's our first v - we've had two GRs and a Pointer previously - and certainly she is the most challenging puppy yet! From the start we established that she was definitely an alpha female and we have worked hard on this being consistently firm, zero tolerance etc. and we are making some progress here. However, almost on a daily basis she has completely crazy spells where she will leap at us - often while out on her run - she nips and scratches (often breaking our skin) and she's pretty out of control. Our trainer at puppy class has taught us to roll her onto her back and hold her down until she submits. Sometimes we have to do this three times in succession before she will back down. At puppy class she loves playing hard with the other pups, but on several occasions has broken the skin on other pups and has been disciplined in the above way by the trainer. Compared to her the Rottweillers in the class are pussycats!

Anyway, my question is have any of you out there experienced similar behaviour and if so how did you cope with it, and when did they grow out of this phase. We feel that this must get this sorted soon before someone gets hurt!

Any suggestions very welcome!
 

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Hey

Our vizsla is 5 months old also and has these crazy times where he jumps up, leaps about, barks etc. For some reason it's usually when he's eaten his evening meal just before he goes on a walk. He is also quite difficult at puppy classes because he always wants to play with the other dogs.

The rest of the time he is very well behaved (through lots of time and effort on both parts!).

I found the best way to manage these moments is to firstly try and ignore. If you are out walking and get nipped then I would stop, stand up straight, look up/straight ahead and ignore until the behaviour stops. We found if we say no or carried on walking the behaviour would increase. We now don't see this behaviour at all when out walking.

At home we also try to ignore if possible and pick the moment when we can say 'no' when the behaviour dips slightly and I feel I have his attention. I find I have to really try to stay calm and patient - this also helps. Again we've seen the behaviour decrease.

I know probably not the most helpful of answers but I always feel it helps to take a deep breath and think about what you are doing then decide on a course of action.

I sometimes put him in the crate if he really does nip but I don't tend to use his crate for punishment so this is a bit of a confusing message for him!

I personally would never 'pin' as I don't know what I am doing and if you don't then it makes it 10 times worse and they get even more worked up.

At puppy class if her behaviour gets too much I would calmly but firmly take her by the collar, away from the other puppies and wait until she is calmer then invite back to the group. This is much harder than it sounds because I found that our pup never actually calmed down!! I see the theory though.

Good luck!!
 

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Hi,

my pup is now 9 mnths and never been very dominant or nippy, but he used to play quite hard as a little one and had wild moments. My parents dogs are 5 and 10 and we took him round there when he was about 10 weeks and if he went to nip or played too rough with the 10 year old then the older dog would growl at hom and 'tell him off'. Wiley then learnt thru this that he was bit too rough and that wasnt on.
I would maybe try this- socialising your dog with some older dogs who wont stand for her rough playing as opposed to other puppies.
Also what works for us is a plastic bottle with some pebbles in- as soon as your dog jumps and nips shake the bottle, and she should back off.
Whe she has backed off give her a command like sit and really really praise her for it so she learns her calm behaviour in a sit is when she gets the most attention.

Hope this helps in some way!
 

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Maple is almost 11 weeks, and this exactly her behavior. She will listen to my boyfriend when he scolds her, and both of us have had zero tolerance with her. I have had to put her on her back until she submits up to 5 times in a row at times, and even then she'll still nip my ankles. I've done everything - ignored her, left the room, pinched the back of her neck, put her on her back, scold her after every nip... There are a few hours in the day though when she is completely INSANE and will run at me, and even try and nip my face. She was playing with my sisters 7 year old lab, and completely dominated her. When she was sleeping, Maple totally climbed on top of her and stood right on her back and started jumping on her! I let my sisters lab totally dominate her after this, and she threw her on her back and lied down right on top of her to show her who is boss. After this Maple eased up quite a bit - for about two minutes (ugh).

The other day we took her for a longer walk than usual, and had her off leash afterward. My boyfriend and I took turns sprinting through the park while Maple chased us. Finally, when she seemed to hit the point of exhaustion (without completely overdoing it) we took her home. She was a little angel for the rest of the day!

She definitely listens to my boyfriend (and any other man) better than me. I still continue to be as firm as I need to be with her, and even if I have to put her on her back 20 times in a row I will. I know exactly what you're going through - it's exhausting! Our pup is much younger than yours so I'm hoping she will grow out of it soon (with our persistence and zero nipping policy). At times I've had my boyfriend around when she's nipped me. Right away he scolded her, put her on her back and had me hold her until she sub-missed. This seemed to work well at the time, because she would snap out of her crazy phase and start licking me.

If anyone has any suggestions for this type of behavior I as well would love some advice! It's completely draining. I've taken all the advice of being consistent with her. I know she's still a pup, but this type of behavior isn't ok since she will nip my face during her wild spells, as well as bite other dogs legs. There is definitely an issue with her trying to be dominant over me at times. The other times she's an angel just wants to cuddle with me as much as she can. What else can be done at 2.5 months?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your replies. We have now used the bottle and pebbles technique and it has worked really well - we now have several bottles strategically placed round the house! So Maple, if you haven't yet tried this one, I would recommend it. We have never had much success with ignoring her - just ending up with torn trousers and bites on the bum - I know it works for some, but ours is a very persistent puppy.

We are also probably going to take her out of puppy class. The course was nearing its end and to be honest she no longer needs to socialise with her peers - she just ends up over-excited and out of control. I think we will try to arrange a one-to-one session with our trainers GSD who does get called upon to sort out uppity puppies from time to time. Then after she's been spayed next month we will look at enrolling in an obedience class. Also, we soon have a 5year old v coming to stay for a few days and I don't think she will tolerate any nonsense - so this hopefully will be a good experience for Florence!

Again, thanks for taking the time to reply it's much appreciated.
 

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Bottles really worked with Maple too. Pebbles inside? That sounds like a great idea, I'm going to try that out right now because this little bugger is nipping my toes as we speak! :(
 
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