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Flint is about 9 months old now, and is having some behavior issues, mainly with my husband. I am at a total loss what to do with him! He acts out so much when my husband is home from work that I am going insane. Unfortunately, my husband is not particularly fond of Flint, either, so the feeling is mutual between the two of them. I find myself standing up for the dog when he's being scolded too harshly, but that is probably making him (the dog) feel as though he can get away with whatever it is he was doing in the first place.

Things Flint has done specifically to anger my husband:
-Follow him to the bathroom and pee on the cupboard next to him while he's brushing his teeth. Flint is FULLY potty trained and had just peed outside.
-Barks if anything "romantic" starts happening
- Will not listen to my husband's commands to lay down, but if I say it, he does it instantly.
- Wakes my husband specifically at 5 AM every morning to potty. Which is actually a little funny, since Flint's bed is on MY side. I can hear him get up and walk to the other side to wake him. (I do intercept on days my husband doesn't need to get up soon for work anyways, I'm not heartless)

I know that Flint is still a puppy and needs more consistency than he's getting right now, and he needs more training. He used to get training from both my husband and I, but now all he gets is scorn from my husband, and then he's just at this ridiculously hyper stage for me that I can't handle when I try to train him. He settles down after walks, but then he sleeps, so I leave him be. By the time he wakes up, usually he's calm for the rest of the day and training has slipped my mind.

Flint isn't just a dog to me. He's not just a dog to my toddler either. They are practically siblings. They snuggle and watch bedtime movies together. They get into mischief together. They chase the cat together. I have tried to explain this to my husband, and he's just angry because he loves his darn cat. (Don't get me started on the cat!!)

Oh goodness. What do I do?
 

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I don't mean this to sound wrong, but it sounds like the problem is your husband. Can't be sure with out knowing you, but I'm sure the dog can sence he dosnt like him and the anger coming from him.

Train your husband and I'm sure Flint will get better.

Have the two of them done any classes togeather, that can help them bond better, and astablish a leadership role.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm really hoping to get into classes with Flint when we get back to the States, but we haven't done any at all. We are stationed in Italy because my husband is in the military and we aren't fluent in Italian, so even if there were classes, we couldn't understand them.

My husband has been very unhappy recently (work related), and we are moving soon, so I can imagine that Flint can sense all of that. Would having them walk together help? That's about all the time my husband ever has outside of work these days. Or should they focus on training?

I don't take offense, I do realize my husband is a lot of the problem. I am usually on Flint's side of the argument, but that has been causing a huge rift in my marriage.
 

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I can understand that. I do remeber now reading in one of your posts that you were overseas.

Yes walks can help for a bond, and help a little at the same time. Maybe if you can find a DVD or a book for your husband in the mean time. Just teaching basic comands with some treats even if it is over and over may help. The worst thing to do is getting frustrated and take it out on the pup, he will regress.
 

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I'm no vizsla expert and I'm not Cesar Milan, but it sounds like Flint respects you as the pack leader and your husband is just...there. Being that Flint won't listen to his commands and marked near him I would say that Flint is trying to show his dominance and show that he is more of the alpha than your husband.

I would suggest working on bonding activities with the dog and your husband (like training) so that Flint starts to understand and respect that your husband has a position higher in the pack than he does. Building that bond between the two will help to establish the leadership role that Gary is talking about and should start to get Flint to respect your husbands position in your "pack." However, I think before any of that can happen you really need to sit down with your husband and hash out what it is that is causing him to not really like Flint. Having this divide in the house between you loving the dog and him being able to care less about him will really put a damper on being able to build that relationship- if your husband doesn't want it then it's pretty hard to develop. I would also think that Flint is able to pick up on it as well.

I would also suggest working on consistency within your household. Get on a routine with Flint- go for a walk as a family after your husband gets home, do 15 minutes of training in the evening, go to an obedience class, anything to get a routine going that will start to build that consistency that I think Flint needs. Also, a tired dog is a great dog to train. You mentioned that he's too hyper for you- he definitely needs more exercise. Especially before you train him. Try to do some basic obedience after a nice long walk or after a run off leash and he'll be more apt to pay attention to you and listen. Trying to train a dog that is bouncing off the walls is just asking for trouble, in my opinion. Vs can be crazy and difficult during the teenage stage so you really have to step it up and put in the effort to make sure they are getting the training and guidance that they need when they challenge you or else you'll be taking steps backward in their training.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gary - thank you for your responses. This forum is such a wonderful resource.

I will talk to my husband when get gets home about taking Flint on a one on one walk every day and hopefully it will help their relationship. I just hope it doesn't cause more resentment because then he has another "chore" because of the dog, if that makes any sense. When they get back we'll all do the training together when Flint's good and tired.

After we got Flint, my husband realized that he really doesn't like dogs because he thinks that they are stupid. Because they aren't like cats. We have this conversation a lot actually. The dog he grew up with had been rescued from an abusive home and was very timid. You couldn't glare at her without her cowering, so I believe my headstrong Flint is just rubbing him the wrong way. KB87 - I think you are correct on the dominance issue, I do hope that the one on one walks will help a little. Flint is such a wonderful dog, even with all his energy, and even though he's sure a handful, I would never ever say he's stupid. I hope time alone with him will help my husband see this.

My husband's schedules keep flip-flopping, from days to nights (weekly, yuck!), and we are in the process of an international move, so you are very right about the need for a routine - for ALL of us. Flint probably more so than any of us, so I will work on that pronto. =) We do take him on hikes and off leash walks as well as on leash, plus we have a large yard that we play fetch in, but the weather has been awful here lately, so I do admit we haven't done as much as we would if it were nicer.
 

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Spray him with some finer body sprays

none like a stinker ;D

and powder da
$ss :-*

lol

he or she even you ;D will like him more

Clean is mean

and tight is right

She
said


:p
 

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Be careful of the cat situation. Your V is either going to decide the cat is part of the household or that it is prey. Given how much your husband loves the cat, you may want to take steps sooner rather than later to keep the cat from getting hurt.

Since your husband likes cats so much, you might try asking him if he sees any cat-like behavior from Flint. For instance, Savannah and my cat usually groom at the same time. I get home, turn on the news, they each go to 'their' spot - across the room from each other - and each decides it's time to lick the day from fur and paws. It's pretty cute.
 

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What is your body language or demeanor when your husband and Flint interact with each other? What if you were to take a step back and let your husband have more responsibility with Flint? When I first got Oquirrh (now 2 yrs old) I would want so badly to interfere with the way my partner scolded or disciplined Oquirrh. But at the same time, I didn't want Oquirrh to have a negative attitude towards my partner because of the way I reacted. I had to teach myself to take a step back and let their relationship work itself out. To me it sounds like you may need to take a step back and your husband needs to step forward. A perfect way for your husband to gain respect is by taking Flint for long, leashed walks. As for your comment about Flint being "ridiculously hyper"; he's a Vizsla!!!! ;) Sounds like he needs more outlet for his energy. Let the boy run, off leash, to his heart's desire and you will probably see a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jld640- The cat situation is an odd one. Most of the time, Flint sees her as prey. If I tell him "no" harshly when I see him eyeing her, he will back down, but he usually wants to chase her down. If they happen to be outside at the same time, and he catches her, all he has ever done is pin her with a leg and hold her there. (He pounces!) He has never hurt her, and I don't know his purpose. I don't want him to ever do it again to give him the chance. However, they do get along and drink out of the same water bowl and he lets her eat out of his food dish. She's an oddball and prefers his dog food to her cat food.

Oquirrh- Maybe I really should just let their dominance battle play out? I know I get defensive for Flint usually, when my husband is upset, but that's really messing with their dynamic and probably letting him think he's higher up in the "pack" than my husband anyway, isn't it? (I hope I worded that correctly!)

I think "ridiculously hyper" was an overstatement. He just gets bouncy and I get overwhelmed. That's usually when I realize we need to go out for our walks and runs. He has the largest personality I've ever seen in a dog. =)
 

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Sounds like the dog doesn't really respect your hubby :-[

Hubby must be one of those nice and gentle, intellectual type, perhaps? He may need to get a little more "hands on" with the dog.
Not out of anger, just needs to gain some respect.
He may need to work a little, a little one on one time with the dog. Dog needs a little structure and discipline, not just a bone to chew on.

My dog literally has no time to chew on a bone out of boredom.
Then again, has no time to pee around me, either :D
I worked him basic obedience and a lot of time outside.
He listens to me.

Good luck.
Please do not punish the dog for being a dog :( it only follows instinct and whatever it learned so far.
 

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when Ruby was a pup and being a bit "dominant" over my kids, I got them to feed her. They made her sit and wait until the "take" command was given. I'd try this with hubby and Flint if I were you. Hubby should get some satisfaction realising that Flint will listen to him, and Flint will get to realise that you don't dominate the hand that feeds.
 

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If your Vizsla saw your cat as pray you would have no cat lets not forget what has been bread into vizslas for decades.

Isn't possable Your V has imprinted on you and doesn't want your husband to get between you and your dog? Ive seen it in other breeds
 

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Part of me doesn't even want to join in on this conversation, (the smart one), but the other part of me is winning out. I don't know if it's for better or worse, but the first thing I want to say is please don't feel alone! My V does not like my husband either and has exhibited the same territorial, dominant behavior with him. My husband and I have been separated for the entire time that I've had Tai (my 6 month old V) and I know that Tai keys in on to me and my husband's behavior to each other. Why do I say this? To echo you ...

1. He's completely potty trained but will pee and defecate at or near my hubby. Whether or not he's just been outside.

2. Regardless of what he says or does he completely ignores what my husband wants him to do, and will come to me to say "this is my mom".

3. I totally understand the barking at any slight "romantic" behavior.

I've tried the "you need to take him to his training classes for me" route, but, (not to get TOO into my own business here) but my husband was not inclined to spend the hour. So now we meet on open, grounds with both our pups and it's seems okay, although I DO think my husband is a little heavy handed for how Tai learns best ... in my opinion. The harder my husband seems to press his "dominance" the worse it's working out for him. Tai is just shutting him out now. I'm not sure if it's him or what he's reading off of my behavior, but that's what's happening. Just an FYI from what I'm going through, not to say that's what's going to happen with you.

I guess that's the main thing that I wanted to tell you. It's not working for my husband trying to be the hard dominant one with my Tai. I have to say he's too smart for it and just runs off and does his own thing and REALLY irritates my hubby. Tai listens to me, which sometimes I think makes it worse for the hubby.

**** men's ego's!! :-* :-* :-*

Luckily we're separated, so we only deal with this on a weekly basis. My husband has my baby-dog which is a 6 year old GSP and Tai and Burt are fast friends! But we're a split family. I wouldn't want to come home to this on daily basis. :(

If I find ANYTHING that seems to work with my headstrong V and my headstrong hubby I'll let you know. Like I said, I just didn't want you to think that you were on your own in this.

OH, and to do this while moving across continents!! Oh VEY! Message me if you just want to vent!
 

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I also don't know if i want to get involved on this. But, it's the forums.... so..... here's my .02.

While I don't know if Flint can understand what is going on when you take his side over your husband's, your husband certainly can. I would imagine the fact that you choose the pup (in arguments) over your spouse only deepens your husband's dislike for Flint.

I agree that your husband need to take a more active role in showing leadership to Flint, but I don't think it is by talking loudly or acting "dominant." I agree with the earlier comment about feeding, although I would do hand feeding. We did treat based training. Maybe have your husband watch some videos (also suggested earlier), stock some treats by the door and when he walks in give Flint a command and treat. Then five more commands/treats. Setting up a five minute training session (and setting the time) could make a huge difference just in itself. The more Flint listens to your husband, the more your husband will enjoy being with Flint. If Flint walks well, I suggest the walks. If, Flint is frustrating on the walks, I would only suggest them if your husband is willing to work on the hard stuff OR if you have an ez walk harness or something that makes walks enjoyable.

And as for equity, take your husband's side when you can. If he's going through a difficult time, he needs it. If you hear Flint walking over to the other side of the bed to wake your husband, maybe stop him sometimes, get up at 5am (blah!) and take the pup for potty. When husband tells him "down" and he doesn't listen, don't jump in and do it for him. Let your husband reinforce (even if it takes longer and your husband needs to go back a step and get a treat or give a "no" and try again). Ignore barking Flint when you go to do something romantic. Close the door, or research the appropriate way to work on the problem. I'm not sure, but I imagine there are articles out there on how to help dogs with that, it seems like a common enough issue. Or make it a game and show husband he comes first. ex: "uh oh, Flint, doesn't like it when we kissed, guess we just have to kiss some more until he gets used to it" As for the cat, take his concern seriously. He loves his cat, not a bad thing. It sounds like you are stopping the chasing when you can. We have a safe room for our cats with a baby gate. They jump over the door and know the boy can't come in. We feed them in that room and have a scratcher for them. They don't seem to "need" it anymore, but we keep it so that they can always feel safe. Your husband may appreciate something like that (even if it's not completely necessary).

My guess would be that when you two come before Flint as a united front, your husband starts to feel like you're choosing him over the dog, and Flint and your husband start to bond/do training together, problems will decrease dramatically.
 

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First reply ever. Have a wife I begged for this crazy breed. MY DOG it was. Now she loves her. Have a cat that she chases, but now when Oliver is "caught" she is just on the table and they play footsies. Oliver knows she has a safe place above the kitchen sink, we can't even reach her so he is happy with his safe space.

Suggestions:

May be hard or not even possible - get a crate. Dog can't interrupt y'all or mess with him if he is in a crate and when he is out he is happy to be out. We crate our dog all night 11-7, 9-12 and 1-4 daily. They are OCD. Routine, routine routine. Makes them happy. We started Star in crate at 6 weeks. You will need a solid crate and will deal with barking for a while.

Train him. Sit, down, roll over, fetch, hand, stay sit, stay down, stay stand (hardest) and come. Now personally I have found heel the hardest, but the most important. It teaches the dog self control. After 2 miles at heel she comes home and just runs, but she did it. Obedience teaches the dog that it has responsibilities to perform and my wife loves the benefits. She commands her now and gives her treats for her compliance and her love.

Have only your husband feed the dog and make him sit and stay until released (the dog not your husband). I slap my chest to release (pick a sign, finger snap, whatever), I put food on the floor if she went for it, it was gone until she sat and stayed until released by me. Self control again.

I am sure your are exercising the dog. At 9 month I started my dog on my treadmill at slow speeds (4-5 mph 5min), straddling her at first, then at her side with treats and finally in front with treats. Now if I can't walk her I treadmill her10 min at 5-8.5 mph. I have special treadmill treats and when she smells them in my hand she jumps on the treadmill and looks at me to start it going. A tired V is happier V.

When Star messed with the cat on the table, I would come in and pet the cat as long as the dog stayed. As the dog sniffed, I showed the dog the fact that the cat was under my protection. Time after time the dog learned the cat is part of my pack.

I hope things work out. I am so blessed with my V. Brilliant, funny, happy and totally out in her den (crate) right now. I read the stories here and am so grateful that somehow I have this Superdog will no issues and so much love. I love my crazy little red beast!
 

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