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Hi all,

Our nearly 7 month old Harlow, whenever we greet him after coming home or whenever she meets any new person when they bend down to pat him he instantly mouths their arm, I know this is a sign of affection but is not ideal with kids/strangers. When we are at home we hand him a toy which he uses as a dummy but when out and about a toy isn't always available.
Any tips to stop this?
 

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Hi all,

Our nearly 7 month old Harlow, whenever we greet him after coming home or whenever she meets any new person when they bend down to pat him he instantly mouths their arm, I know this is a sign of affection but is not ideal with kids/strangers. When we are at home we hand him a toy which he uses as a dummy but when out and about a toy isn't always available.
Any tips to stop this?

Following along. Our 7-month old female V has been nibbling & jumping, mainly at my wife and I, more so than we remember our male V at that age. Our male V quickly grew out of the jumping on people when greeted and the nibbling stage seemed much shorter and easier to correct.

We've working hard on high praise when she doesn't do it and trying not to use NO repeatedly. But we are losing our patience.
 

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Our Vizsla (this is our second V) girl is out of control with her biting. She is 15 weeks and no one can pet her because she instantly wants to bite, and we can't even have our grandchildren to our home because she just wants to jump up and bite their clothes and/or their hands. She is perfect in every other way and very, very smart. We are losing our patience on what to do. Any suggestions? We did not have a problem like this with our first girl so it has caught us off guard.
 

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Ian Dunbar's approach worked for us when our pup was young and mouthy. When Ernie would bite on our hands I would push my hand deeper into his mouth and calmly and quietly repeat "gentle, gentle". He got it pretty quickly and it the prompt to be gentle works in a variety of situations. Look up Ian Dunbar, he has many good training tips. He talks about how a dog needs to learn that his teeth/bites hurt so that he learns to control himself, and that if a dog does not learn it then when he does strike out the bite can be much more severe. He certainly explains it better, but by teaching gentle it also protects our dogs from ending up in a situation where they end up being euthanized.
 

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Our Vizsla (this is our second V) girl is out of control with her biting. She is 15 weeks and no one can pet her because she instantly wants to bite, and we can't even have our grandchildren to our home because she just wants to jump up and bite their clothes and/or their hands. She is perfect in every other way and very, very smart. We are losing our patience on what to do. Any suggestions? We did not have a problem like this with our first girl so it has caught us off guard.

There is a bit more info needed.
What type of training program is your puppy on?
How much formal and informal training is she receiving per day?
How much time is she on and off leash? Both in and out of the house?
Puppies "bite" for many reasons, such as learning, dominance, play, mock aggression, resource guarding, teething, etc. The issue is understanding why. Remember also that dogs communicate with their mouths, both vocally and physically.
The closer you get to the ground, the more a puppy will treat you as a playmate. If you're lying on the ground, wrestling around, expect to get "bit". That taller you appear, the less. If you're simultaneously trying to be both playmate and master, that's not going to work well. In her mind she's trying to determine who is in charge, and right now, she's beginning to think she might be. Your first dog may have yielded right off the bat, this one doesn;t sound as if she is going to. She's probably going to be an awesome companion when she's grown. I personally like the more difficult puppies. The more independent as a puppy, the more independent as an adult, which generally translates to a more forward moving, confident, hunter.
Biting and jumping up are two of my pet peeves I don't encourage either, and train it out of them. Jumping up can be especially problematic. The biting usually takes care of itself with time, but you still need to work at it from a young age to ensure that respect is instilled .There is very little reason a dog needs to jump up, or put their teeth on you.
Sometimes though, you have to "set them up" to correct a behavior. For biting, you have to make this a very uncomfortable, non rewarding, activity for the dog.
Every single time the dog puts any teeth at all on you, there must be a near instantaneous correction. Gently, but firmly,squeeze the side of the jaw, force your finger into the mouth, grab the lower jaw, force another object into the mouth, etc,with a very firm NO!! command. It has to be quick as a snake,and completely devoid of all emotion. There is no conversation here. Correct and move on. Do this over and over, and over. When dogs correct each other it's done in a matter of seconds, and then done. They understand this.
Put a leash on your pup in the house. Leave it on. She bites, grab the leash, pick her head up, perform the above actions and immediately move on. Keep doing it. She jumps up, step on th e leash so that she can't.
Notice I never said to introduce pain. Pain is bad, and may cause some different aggressive behaviors later on. Make this very uncomfortable for her. Make it "not a fun game."
 

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Thank you so much for this thorough reply with great advice. She is off leash all the time. Starting this weekend, she will have received her final parvo vaccine and we will start walking and being out and about, and she will be on leash. I think that alone will be helpful. She receives formal training 2 x week (private) and I work with her in between. I will try your technique for the biting. I have just been holding her mouth closed with a stern “no” so far.
 

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It's tough to discipline them sometimes when their small puppies, because you're afraid of hurting them, and should be, but that is one of the ways they learn. The sooner a person gets on top of a behavior, the better off for them and the puppy.
Have absolutely no doubt that as you are a training a puppy, or young dog, they in turn are trying to train you. They are trying to identify the boundaries, and determine where they fit in. We all love to anthropomorphize our dogs, but in the end, they are still dogs.
Never, ever, ever, discipline a puppy, or dog, when you are in an emotional state. Better to gather the dog up, put them back in their kennel, and go over the issue in your mind. Discipline has to be devoid of emotion. Quick, firm, black and white, and then move on.
I think that once you get her past her second DAP shot and can get her out on a leash, things will start to settle out. Get a nice long, 30' length of 1/4" rope, ("check cord")put a swivel snap on one end to attach to her collar, and let her explore herself safely. If you're unfamiliar with the use of a check cord, post back and I'll explain what I know of it's uses and techniques.
Find a nice quiet place with very little distractions, or other dogs, and just enjoy some time with her. Let her be a dog. Work on the ground manners after she's had some time to "run"and then finish with a nice, no agenda, walk.
Lastly, don't feel as if this is somehow your fault, that you're not doing something right, or good enough. It's not you! it's a puppy learning to be a dog, and it is very natural.Most puppies go through this stage, and it is very annoying. My 6th vizsla is 12 weeks old, and at my feet right now. He's just starting to come out of the biting phase. You should've seen my hands two weeks ago!
 

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Thank you so much. You have been incredibly helpful. She is - as expected - much happier and with less biting now that we are out and about. She has also lost two teeth and I am more confident than ever that the issues were a combination of wanting to get out and about and teething. I have a 25’ cord and am going to do some research today on using it properly. She is incredibly smart and so dang cute! We are going to be okay. Thank you for your support I’m getting to this point. I am very confident that she is going to be an excellent dog and companion.
 

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ccelsa


The check cord is an extension of the leash. it allows her to get further away, but gives you the ability to bring her in. 25' is an excellent length to start with.
If you can, get her to a nice open area with no distraction. Attach the check cord to her harness, or collar. I don't use a collar with a check cord because the puppies can get a pretty good head of steam going and when the hit the end of it, all of that pressure is transferred to their throat, which is pretty delicate. I like a nice full support harness. It's a safer. A little less control for the handler, but safer for the puppy.
I tie three knots in the end opposite the snap, each about 12" from the other. This allows me to "yo-yo" the puppy in and out and know when the check cord is getting to the end.
I will start with the check cord dragging behind me and have about 4' between me and the puppy. The cord is going through an easy grip in my left hand, I allow the cord to slide through my hand and give the puppy some free rein. When I want to "reel 'em in". I give the come command, and start pulling the cord through the left hand, with my right hand. Generally, the pup won't respond so I give all kinds of animated motion and encouragement while walking backwards, still pulling the cord through the left hand.

At the exact moment, the pup begins to come to me on their own, I'll get down on my knees, stop pulling the cord through my left hand and encourage them all the way in. You want her to mentally think that there is no better place that with you.Sometimes though, you have to reel them all the way in and start again. It's just the way it is.
The check cord allows you to imprint in her mind that no matter the distance, you can safely enforce a command. Don't make it all work though. A few "come here" commands, with a lot of sniffing and exploring is what you're after at this point.
Give her her head and nose.
I have Finn, at 13 weeks, on 100' of flourescent orange, 3/16", para cord. This allows him to get into the woods, but I can always go get him whenever I want him, or he gets tangled up. I also have a 30' rope for closer control.
A 100' cord may not be necessary in your case, but Finn is to be used as a bird dog, so he needs to gain a lot of confidence early in his life. In time the check cords will be replaced with an e-Collar for him, but that is a long way off. Maybe by early summer. Hopefully.
Stick with it. get her out and about and let her be a dog. ;)
 
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