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Hello, firstly thanks for this forum. It has been keeping me sane! Bernie is 19 weeks old and not my first dog…but boy is he testing me! I’m worried he will turn into a horrible boy as he has so many unrewarding traits!
We lost our lovely Bracco Italiano 5 months ago and I’ve found it tough bonding with a stubborn shark! To be honest it was probably too soon after losing my previous boy, but we got him for my teenage daughter who was struggling with mental health issues at the time. Consequently that has backfired as Little Man is hard work for a teenager as he requires lots of rules and supervision. (Not really a teenager way of thinking! Lol)
Anyway we are where we are and my husband and I are determined to get Bernie to a good point training and obedience wise. These are my worries: he is very bitey. It looks like out of spite or defiance, (when you tell him off or request he does something he’s not keen on) and sometimes just totally full on play. The saying ’ouch’ thing is just revving him up so we now separate him or us for a minute. He hates this…but of course when the biting is say when I’m putting him in his crate in the car I can’t follow through with separating him/me. I’ve tried holding his collar until he is supposedly meant to calm down but this also only aggravates the situation. He is on a training lead at home and in the garden to help keep him out of mischief, so I just use that to take him to a room for a short time out. I have thought about the spray bottle idea but I don’t want to rely on having to have that with me all the time.

He will do most things most of the time for high value treats. He knows some of the rules but thinks they are optional! I would like him to respond quicker or more and instantly to his name and a command. Is his refusal a dominance thing? I certainly haven’t skimped on training. He is just hard work and full on…which would all be bearable if he didn’t bite! I can’t trust him around my older parents without him being on the lead.
Am I expecting too much too soon? … will he grow out of the teething? …Are his nasty traits just a puppy thing or will they become habitual?
And to balance things out he sleeps brilliantly in his crate and goes in for long rests during the day quiet happily. He is a bit naff on the lead but I’m ok with that as work in progress! And he gets lots of fun in a large garden and plays lots of ‘find it’ type scent games as well. He seems to love meeting everyone and everything but eventually will end up biting!
Any tips or ideas gratefully received! (And before you say it…I have tried really hard to stop comparing him to my old dog!)
Many many thanks
 

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Hello, firstly thanks for this forum. It has been keeping me sane! Bernie is 19 weeks old and not my first dog…but boy is he testing me! I’m worried he will turn into a horrible boy as he has so many unrewarding traits!
We lost our lovely Bracco Italiano 5 months ago and I’ve found it tough bonding with a stubborn shark! To be honest it was probably too soon after losing my previous boy, but we got him for my teenage daughter who was struggling with mental health issues at the time. Consequently that has backfired as Little Man is hard work for a teenager as he requires lots of rules and supervision. (Not really a teenager way of thinking! Lol)
Anyway we are where we are and my husband and I are determined to get Bernie to a good point training and obedience wise. These are my worries: he is very bitey. It looks like out of spite or defiance, (when you tell him off or request he does something he’s not keen on) and sometimes just totally full on play. The saying ’ouch’ thing is just revving him up so we now separate him or us for a minute. He hates this…but of course when the biting is say when I’m putting him in his crate in the car I can’t follow through with separating him/me. I’ve tried holding his collar until he is supposedly meant to calm down but this also only aggravates the situation. He is on a training lead at home and in the garden to help keep him out of mischief, so I just use that to take him to a room for a short time out. I have thought about the spray bottle idea but I don’t want to rely on having to have that with me all the time.

He will do most things most of the time for high value treats. He knows some of the rules but thinks they are optional! I would like him to respond quicker or more and instantly to his name and a command. Is his refusal a dominance thing? I certainly haven’t skimped on training. He is just hard work and full on…which would all be bearable if he didn’t bite! I can’t trust him around my older parents without him being on the lead.
Am I expecting too much too soon? … will he grow out of the teething? …Are his nasty traits just a puppy thing or will they become habitual?
And to balance things out he sleeps brilliantly in his crate and goes in for long rests during the day quiet happily. He is a bit naff on the lead but I’m ok with that as work in progress! And he gets lots of fun in a large garden and plays lots of ‘find it’ type scent games as well. He seems to love meeting everyone and everything but eventually will end up biting!
Any tips or ideas gratefully received! (And before you say it…I have tried really hard to stop comparing him to my old dog!)
Many many thanks
I would say don’t hesitate from using a small squirt gun … you can keep that on you … hidden … all the time. With mine I think I took too long before I did that. They just get revved up very quickly and that age they seem to lack the off switch 😂… most likely he will respond to the squirt gun … and then after a couple of times just the sight of you putting your hands in your pocket to pull it out will stop him. Hope that helps … most Vizslas do this at that age
 

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…Are his nasty traits just a puppy thing or will they become habitual?

They are indeed puppy traits. Vizsla puppy owners need lots of patients, to stay calm, and a sense of humor. Vizslas are a very smart thinking breed. While you may look at it as stubborn, your puppy is weighing his options, and learning from them. They will try out different options, until they learn which one has the right outcome. As in gets the praise/reward they seek. Pushing, raised voices, or quickly grabbing them, just excites them more, and leads to more bitey games.
They also have a very short attention span, and a soft temperament when it comes to corrections.
They can be really soft hearted, oh so cute, red Tasmanian devils as puppies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
…Are his nasty traits just a puppy thing or will they become habitual?

They are indeed puppy traits. Vizsla puppy owners need lots of patients, to stay calm, and a sense of humor. Vizslas are a very smart thinking breed. While you may look at it as stubborn, your puppy is weighing his options, and learning from them. They will try out different options, until they learn which one has the right outcome. As in gets the praise/reward they seek. Pushing, raised voices, or quickly grabbing them, just excites them more, and leads to more bitey games.
They also have a very short attention span, and a soft temperament when it comes to corrections.
They can be really soft hearted, oh so cute, red Tasmanian devils as puppies.
Thank you for this. It’s like most things in life…a bit of test and a lesson. He has got sweet ways and you have nicely reframed things for me. So, many thanks. Deep breath for me and start again with a positive outlook. I was just panicking about what he might become I think! Thank you. (Engaging sense of humour/patience mode!!)
 

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I can't stress enough the usage of toys. Have tons of toys all over. Every room should have a few strewn about. When the bitey time starts, redirect by grabbing a toy and say "get your toy" and make it fun. Only interact when the toy is in his mouth when in this mode. If he drops the toy and starts bitey on you, ignore the behavior and walk away. Re-engage by saying "get your toy" and start with the toy again. After awhile the V brain will kick in and it will know that fun times when he feels bitey ensue only when he has a toy in his mouth. When Ellie gets super excited , we say "get your toy , get your toy!" , if she doesn't we say "EHE EHE EHE!" in a displeasurable tone to indicate that we are not pleased unless she has her toy in her mouth when in her excited mode. She will skamper around to find a toy and come back for the excited greeting. She pretty much does it automatically now.

You will get to the light at the end of the tunnel once you past the shark puppy phase!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
And as if by magic Little Man has got to 5 months and stopped biting and started listening! The transformation is amazing so I’m guessing some connections have been made in the brain. Also up until now he hasn’t had an off switch (needing us to put him in the crate regularly for rests) and now he has started to relax on his own. All the advice about hanging on in there, water pistols, toys and consistency has been so helpful. I am so pleased with him 🥰
Dog Plant Carnivore Dog breed Liver


I can't stress enough the usage of toys. Have tons of toys all over. Every room should have a few strewn about. When the bitey time starts, redirect by grabbing a toy and say "get your toy" and make it fun. Only interact when the toy is in his mouth when in this mode. If he drops the toy and starts bitey on you, ignore the behavior and walk away. Re-engage by saying "get your toy" and start with the toy again. After awhile the V brain will kick in and it will know that fun times when he feels bitey ensue only when he has a toy in his mouth. When Ellie gets super excited , we say "get your toy , get your toy!" , if she doesn't we say "EHE EHE EHE!" in a displeasurable tone to indicate that we are not pleased unless she has her toy in her mouth when in her excited mode. She will skamper around to find a toy and come back for the excited greeting. She pretty much does it automatically now.

You will get to the light at the end of the tunnel once you past the shark puppy phase!
 

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And as if by magic Little Man has got to 5 months and stopped biting and started listening! The transformation is amazing... I am so pleased with him 🥰
Great thread of the trials and tribulations... and then the "magic" of a V!!

Aly was 4.5 months old and the same "magic" occurred! Prior to that, I invested a fortune in toys and edible chews of every size and geometry (to fit her teeth and gaps as she was teething) and life was mostly a game of constructive distraction.

In my experience, now the real fun begins. Not just the "puppy play" bonding. But, the very close "friendship" bonding period. After years of research of the breed before getting a V, I had sufficiently prepared myself, mentally, for raising a V puppy... except in one way. I was simply not prepared for the type and degree of bonding, although I had been very academically aware of it (one of the intriguing traits of V breed to me). I suppose, an emotional thing that words just can't convey.

Cheers!
 
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Now my wife wants a wire hair V after seeing Bernie's picture! But then quickly thought about the first 6 months puppy stage and backed slowly away. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Now my wife wants a wire hair V after seeing Bernie's picture! But then quickly thought about the first 6 months puppy stage and backed slowly away. :ROFLMAO:
I'm just weird.🤡o_O🤪 I loved the challenge of 8 to 24 weeks. Will do it again, in a heartbeat. Though, I can easily understand why someone wouldn't want to!;)
 

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I'm just weird.🤡o_O🤪 I loved the challenge of 8 to 24 weeks. Will do it again, in a heartbeat. Though, I can easily understand why someone wouldn't want to!;)
i don`t think it is weird... i felt that i have learned a lot from the first time (Bende) and it made me much less stressed with Miksa. Having said that, my low level of pain tolerance made it very easy and genuine for me to be a drama queen when i got the sharkies LOL.
 

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i don`t think it is weird... i felt that i have learned a lot from the first time (Bende) and it made me much less stressed with Miksa. Having said that, my low level of pain tolerance made it very easy and genuine for me to be a drama queen when i got the sharkies LOL.
@Gabica The Drama Queen... has a distinct and memorable ring to it!😂🤣

I think my "plan" for a V-playmate for Aly is really quite similar to your assessment of Bende to Miksa.

Fortunately, I have a rather high tolerance to pain. With Aly, my hands and arms were in a constant state of scratches and bleeding. Rather then trying to prevent complete "mouthing" me, I worked through appropriate mouth play.

Today, at 11 months old, Aly has an incredibly gentle mouth. A baby can feed her kibble from between their fingers. Elder folks love her because she takes treats so gently.

Can I reproduce Aly results? Who knows. It'll be fun trying!
 
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