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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

This has been frustrating for my GF and I have no idea as to why it's happening to her. But Dax tends to enjoy biting Marissa, and by biting it's too the extent that my poor GF has holes in her. We understand he is teething. But the only problem is, Dax does not bite me.

Is it because, Marissa gives him more affection and plays with him? Or does Dax see her as a playmate then an Alpha?

I'm not saying that I dont give Dax affection or I dont play with him. Because I do, but I always make sure that he knows who runs the house. Apparently, when i'm not around, Dax tends to be more of a handful and is more rowdy. But when I come in, he seems to simmer down and be more responsive.

Any suggestions or ideas. I feel bad, and I know that Marissa is getting frustrated at it because she has been nothing but a gem to our kiddo.

Any help would be awesome :)
 

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Personally what I would do is put him in a time out. He needs to learn that this sort of behaviour is not welcomed.

Also, if he is teething give him ice cubes to take his aggression out on. Or a frozen kong with his fave treats.....isn't he a little young to be teething?
 

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This has happened to us. My vizsla (from puppy till about a year and some) would do the same thing. He wouldn't nip L. at all but he'd do it to me. He has since grown out of it (for the most part - no serious incidents since I'd say 2 months (knock on wood! ;-) )

Note: When I say nip, I mean I spent most of the winter with bruises all over my arms for weeks at a time.

This is what we ended up doing:

  • [li]I became the person who fed him and he knew it. i.e. make him wait (sit) place the food down and then tell him he could eat.
    [/li]
    [li]I stopped getting on the ground with him - no wrestling, no tug games, etc. I'm not a bigger puppy, I'm a person.
    [/li]

    [li]I found something he didn't like and if he even looked like was thinking of nipping (you know that look!), I'd do it to him (note: nothing that would harm him per say - some people use a can of pennies, some use an airhorn - in our case it was a squirt bottle). Mysteriously, he didn't like that.
    [/li]
    [li]There are bite inhibition exercises you can do with him - google it or ask about it in puppy class.
    [/li]

    [li]Also - he wore a training leash in the house (while being supervised) and when he'd go to jump, I'd step on the leash so he couldn't.
    [/li]

    [li]Finally - when he was being really bratty, I'd take his leash and 'hang' it on a door knob so he could move around in that area but not very far. I'd unhook him when he calmed down.
    [/li]
And as Crazy Kian mentioned - give him something to chew on - frozen kong is a favourite!

Hope that helps!
 

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Hi -

I don't have an answer. We are having the same problem. Finn is an 8 week old little guy who has been home about a week. We've read a lot about Dax and some of the other posts on here. We have used some of the advice. Most of the time Finn is delightful. Sometimes he is a wild-thing. This occurs only in early morning and late evening, esp after we have been out playing, he's been running a lot, playing fetch, etc. Its like he is a wound-up overly exhausted toddler. Then he runs at me with his mouth open and launches at my legs. Over the weekend he was able to grab my thigh with his teeth and got me good. I'm also having trouble with him humping on me which is a sign of dominance. My husband has much fewer issues.

I've tried:
- holding his mouth shut and saying "no bite" but he opens it biting worse -- the cycle continues
- holding him to the ground until he calms down. I've done it 3 times. Sometimes he springs up just as wild. I read in some puppy training book that this wasn't a repeated exercise. Once didn't do the trick.
- ignoring (it continues and hurts)
- turning my back, he runs around to my front and it becomes a game
- yipping/saying "ow" but so far no effect
- I can divert him with a chew toy when he is calmer but when he is wild he drops it and just runs at me again
- we've used the crate for a "time out" once, but he already doesn't like it and whines a lot when we use it (we keep persevering however and its getting better). I don't want it to have a negative association.

I wonder if I need to be more physically dominate to make the humping/jumping/biting assault stop. I'm fearful of hurting him. And I don't want to lose the delightful part of him (curling up in my lap, sweet licks, sits, comes, stands) that is around most of the day. What is the right way to "pin" him? How long do I hold him? Is this a repeated/regular exercise until he "gets" it?

Any advice for the humping? Do I just push him off and say "no" firmly?

I wanted a vizsla so badly and I love love love Finn. I just need to figure this out while he is young and more easily handled.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Crazy said:
Personally what I would do is put him in a time out. He needs to learn that this sort of behaviour is not welcomed.

Also, if he is teething give him ice cubes to take his aggression out on. Or a frozen kong with his fave treats.....isn't he a little young to be teething?
This would be my first puppy I've owned and Marissa' 4th. I'm no expert, but from what Ive been told and along with the Vet who we saw last week, we were informed that Dax is going through teething. Don't know if it's early or not... but hopefully it's not an issue if it is. Heheh...

We tried the ice-cube but no avail. We have him taking his aggression on some non-flavored hyde which I thought would help him with his biting issues especially to Marissa.. but nope! Haha, he enjoys the flavor of blonde and beautiful.
 

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http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-dogs-are-not-our-children.html

Caution: Rant to follow

My suggestion is to treat the pup as a hunting dog[/color].

Play games that only you would do as if you were creating a hunting dog. Put the pups mind to work on creative things that channel their hunting instinct. NEVER play agressive games like wrestling or the like. If you play tug of war, you ALWAYS have to win. I read hunting dog training books even before I chose to hunt with Bailey. These are the books to read. A Vizsla is a tough pup and a tough dog. Treat it as such.

I am seeing a lot of posts about people and their Vizslas as "pets." Please remember you have (if you have a good bred dog) a high octane HUNTING DOG.

Think like a hunting dog and not a toy dog.

Rod a.k.a. redbirddog
 

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I personally found yelping "ow!" to work then, and still work now if I think things are about to get out of hand. That being said, I often had to couple "Ow!" with removing myself from the situation--that is, leaving the room altogether, and often literally shutting the door in his face. This was especially true when:
LADR said:
- turning my back, he runs around to my front and it becomes a game
Basically telling Jasper that his teeth hurt, and I don't interact with puppies who hurt me. If it continues, time outs are definitely the way to go! Just remember to initiate the time out calmly, not angrily--the difference between consequences and punishments (it's a fine line!). Is Dax overtired when he's biting Marissa? They tend to get out of hand, like an overtired toddler.

If Marissa has at all ever let Dax nip her a little too hard, then he's going to continue with that level of nipping. It must never be permissible for him to bite her at a level she is not comfortable with, even just once.
 

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Same thing was happening with my boyfriend and I. I was the one always getting nipped, bruised and holed. I was the one to feed him and spent more time with him then my boyfriend. I'm not sure if Oquirrh didn't bite Greg (the bf) because he thought of him more as alpha or whatever, but I did notice the majority of the time that I was getting nipped at was when I was playing with Oquirrh. I soon started to figure out when it was time to stop playing, before the nipping would start. If Oquirrh got too excited or too tired he would start biting. I think she really needs to pay attention to the way she is acting with him and she might start to see it before it gets too bad. A couple things I did:
1. Anytime he would start to nip, I would turn my back. If he continued to nip at me I would leave the room. Sometimes I had to stay away for a minute or so, because if I entered too soon he would just start biting again. I would just end the playtime all together if I couldn't get him to stop biting.
2. I used a spray bottle anytime he would bite. I tried to be very careful not to spray him just because he looked like he was going to bite. I didn't want him to get confused by this, so I tried to make sure he was actually planning on nipping. With the spray bottle I would make it one quick squirt and hide the spray bottle behind my back, I would also say, "no bite" as I squirt him. I would hide the bottle, because I wanted him to think he was getting sprayed because of the biting and I didn't want him to think the water was coming from me.
3. At first I felt like he was biting me because he was mad at me or something ridiculous like that. Remember he is a puppy, they don't know any better until we teach them. Be patient with him, keep your cool and look for signs and try to prevent it from happening.
 

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redbirddog said:
Please remember you have (if you have a good bred dog) a high octane HUNTING DOG.
yessir.
We got a "companion dog" from the same breeder.
By the second day we thought there must have been some mistake with which dog we got... :D

Omar, I do believe I warned you about that... they're nuts, but it will get better.

You may not want to use physical corrections, but my dog needed it. Our first trainer had us use a plastic water bottle with 7 pennies in it, as a consistent and down right frightening NO!
Believe it or not, there is a way to shake it properly too. If you just give it a shake near the dog the response will probably be nothing. If you walk towards the dog and shake it while pushing it towards the dog, you will have a dog stop dead in it's tracks with the biggest WTF look on it's face.

Just like the "alpha roll", it isn't for everyone, but if we didn't have someone teach us those techniques, Mischa would not have lasted at our place much longer. She was completely out of control for a good 3 weeks until we hired a trainer, and there was instant progress after he arrived. It takes time, but you need to surpass your dogs excitement by making your NO! mean: "everything stops now."

Good luck.
-Dennis
 

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Agree with redbirddog! Of course we knew we were getting a hunting breed with Pumpkin; however, it took on a whole new meaning with simple tasks like peeing outside. She had to "hunt" the tweety birds in every bush 1st! This started at 9 wks with our "companion/occasional hunter." We knew this pup would only thrive if she were raised like a hunting dog regardless of our intentions. Thank goodness for good books (now have a small library) & hunters more knowledgeable than me :) My husband grew up with/hunting Labs. Very different than the V.
 

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It will pass. Puppy teeth are very sharp. We stopped playing with him and acted around Sam with calm, even tones and attitude (I don't mean assertive like Caesar). Sam learned to differentiate very fast and the nipping stopped.
What I mean is when we met Sam we made sure WE are NOT excited with hands flying around. It was hard, Sam was just a puppy.
Today, I still approach him the same way (calm and even).
Sometimes I think maybe we were lucky but I look at my previous dog and the cat. These animals are/were balanced, at least around our family members.

If I really want to romp around with Sam, he's always up for it. I just have to act excited and he's all over me clowning around.
 

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Since our Mac is marginally ahead of Dax in age let me tell you how things have played out for us. Mac is now 15 weeks old. He still play bites but much much less then when he was 12 weeks old. He does seem to play bite my wife more often then me but I think that this is completely due to reading body language. I realised that my wife moves back as he bites. Now that she doesn't make quick movements his behavior doesn't increase as much anymore.
Some tips that we found have helped to reduce the biting.
1. Don't sit on the group and play with him. If he is calm then you can sit on the floor and show him affection. If he wants to play stand and play with him.
2. If he gets over excited stop the play and walk out of the room for a count of 30 and then come back in ignoring him unless he is sitting or acting calm. If he goes right back into biting then leave the room again. He will soon get it that hyper = no playmate.
3. Like Redbirdog said. Treat him as the smart little guy that he his and tap into that hunting instinct. Provide hide and seek games with food or toys. One that Mac loves is that we put some dry macaroni into a 2 liter plastic coke bottle. It makes a lot of noise when he plays with it but man you can see it working his little mind on how to get to what is inside.
4. Get toys that force him to use his mind. Like a kibble ball that he has to work to get his food. Never give him all of his meal in one go. Give him 60% of his food in the bowl and the rest make him work for either in training or through Kongs or other games.
Like I said Mac still bites but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is happening less. I would say tip 2 above is the top tip. Make sure you stop play if he starts to bite. It gives you the power as all he is trying to do is play and you are the one that can take it away if he isn't doing it properly. Good luck!
 

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Hi LADR-

When Savannah was a puppy she got to a point where she started humping me, as well. The list you posted looks very familiar. Regarding your pinning question, it never worked for us. Here is what did...

1) Go back to basics. Decide on some rules and then enforce them. He needs to know you are the authority figure. While you are teaching the rules, it also gives him a few more days to grow up. For us, the rules included sitting before each meal, not being allowed on the furniture, having her follow me through every door.
2) Be specific about what you want him to do. Change the word 'no' to 'leave it', 'off', 'stop', 'sit'. Just saying 'no' tells him what to stop doing, not what to do.
3) Some will disagree with me on this one, so check out laurita's posts in particular to consider the counter-arguement. Regarding the humping, as you said, push him away and say 'off'. When he is off, then I would tell him why his behavior is unacceptable. Take as much time as you would like and use as many words as you would like. Even though he will not understand, the long angry speech will make an impression.
4) Give him an extended, CALM exercise in self-control. I had Savannah sit at my feet while I ate dinner for a few weeks. The first meal took me over an hour to eat because between every bite I had to CALMLY reposition Savannah - occasionally multiple times. It got better over time as she understood that she had to sit.

Lastly, regarding the time out and the crate. Put him in the crate BEFORE you get angry and always with a good treat (I used special, super-yummy, crate-only treats). Whenever possible use your crate command in a happy voice as you put him in - no matter how frustrated you are becoming. That way, he has done something good, has been rewarded, and you now have a few minutes to calm down.

Stick with it. If Finn really is like Savannah (and it sounds like it), he will be a fairly independent thinker. You will have to modify ANY advice to suit his personality and your style, but if you persist, you will find what works for you. Keep him busy and he will be amazing! For the next few weeks while he is growing and you are teaching him boundaries, I recommend wearing denim. Puppy teeth and nails are sharp and he won't learn overnight. :)
 
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