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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi - I have a 14 week old female Vizsla who is the most adorable little velcro bundle, until she is not. The past week or so, she has taken to some very aggressive biting, to the point where my skin is broken and I am actually a bit scared and anxious myself. I have read a ton, I have tried the loud "OW", the yelp (sort of works), the squirt bottle of water (she likes it), turning away, always having a toy within reach to redirect with... There is not really anything that seems to dissuade her. I don't know if she thinks it is a game, or if she is truly becoming aggressive.

It definitely happens when she is more on the tired side, and I try to head that off when I see the signs. I try to make sure she is getting enough mental and physical exercise, and except for 1-2 really hot days, I can say she is well exercised. We work on training for 5-10 minutes a day, usually twice a day. I am the only person in the house, and we are in the process of getting a fence for her to be able to run around off leash (supervised of course) in the back yard. Otherwise, poor thing has not been off leash outside yet.

Any advice is welcome. 🙏 I am not sure if this is truly a behavior/aggression problem vs. a passing phase.

Thank you in advance.
 

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Please excuse me for chuckling as I read your message. You are experiencing CLASSIC vizsla puppy "sharkies"!

For some reason, vizsla puppies go thru their first several months with an intense mouthiness... inexplicably attacking like a shark. I assure you, it's just a phase! A VERY common phase!

My approach to dealing with Aly's sharkies when she was that age, was to be strategic with redirection. I ALWAYS had on hand, a multitude of chewies and toys... of every geometry, shape and size. When I was ATTACKED, stuff something in her mouth. If she didn't like the first thing, something different was used... on and on.

Due to my understanding this sharky behavior is SO prevalent in vizsla puppies, along with their pretty unique personality qualities when they mature, I reasoned it was best to not try to stop it... and just constructively deal with it. My thought was, trying to repress such an innate behavior fully known as just a stage, could possibly re-emerge as a negative behavior later on.

I'll go on to say... and against recommendations, during those early months Aly and I constantly engaged in mouth play. A lot of intense mouth play. Between sharkies and mouth play, I was always bleeding. LOL! Why would I do such a thing? Vizslas are wicked intelligent... and they initially learn the world with their mouth. My job in this relationship was to foster her exploration, intelligence and confidence. When mouth play became too intense and bordering on uncontrollable, I'd put my hands under my armpits and say in a controlled and even voice: "Not The Poppa." Never a reprimand or correction. Simply remove the stimuli.

Fast forward to Aly being between 4.5 and 5 months old... nearly over night, her psychotic sharkies vanished!

From 12 weeks old, Aly has gone EVERYWHERE with me! Grocery stores, big box stores, pharmacies.... etc, etc. As a lil puppy, her antics were just accepted because she was... well... a puppy and darned cute. By the time she was 7 to 8 months old, out in public she innately interacted with toddlers and the infirmed elderly, in the most astonishingly appropriate way... very gently! Aly is now nearly 20 months old... and for many months, has had the most soft and gentle mouth of any dog I've ever had (many, over 5 decades).

As and ending to my rambling on, again I apologize for my chuckles. I'd encourage you not to sweat the sharkies. Don't over-react.... just redirect, redirect, redirect. It's just a well known stage of this breed.

In some ways, I miss Aly's "sharkies". It was a time that'll never be able to be revisited. I cherish every moment and stage of her being with me!

Best of luck to you and your amazing 14 week old puppy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Please excuse me for chuckling as I read your message. You are experiencing CLASSIC vizsla puppy "sharkies"!

For some reason, vizsla puppies go thru their first several months with an intense mouthiness... inexplicably attacking like a shark. I assure you, it's just a phase! A VERY common phase!

My approach to dealing with Aly's sharkies when she was that age, was to be strategic with redirection. I ALWAYS had on hand, a multitude of chewies and toys... of every geometry, shape and size. When I was ATTACKED, stuff something in her mouth. If she didn't like the first thing, something different was used... on and on.

Due to my understanding this sharky behavior is SO prevalent in vizsla puppies, along with their pretty unique personality qualities when they mature, I reasoned it was best to not try to stop it... and just constructively deal with it. My thought was, trying to repress such an innate behavior fully known as just a stage, could possibly re-emerge as a negative behavior later on.

I'll go on to say... and against recommendations, during those early months Aly and I constantly engaged in mouth play. A lot of intense mouth play. Between sharkies and mouth play, I was always bleeding. LOL! Why would I do such a thing? Vizslas are wicked intelligent... and they initially learn the world with their mouth. My job in this relationship was to foster her exploration, intelligence and confidence. When mouth play became too intense and bordering on uncontrollable, I'd put my hands under my armpits and say in a controlled and even voice: "Not The Poppa." Never a reprimand or correction. Simply remove the stimuli.

Fast forward to Aly being between 4.5 and 5 months old... nearly over night, her psychotic sharkies vanished!

From 12 weeks old, Aly has gone EVERYWHERE with me! Grocery stores, big box stores, pharmacies.... etc, etc. As a lil puppy, her antics were just accepted because she was... well... a puppy and darned cute. By the time she was 7 to 8 months old, out in public she innately interacted with toddlers and the infirmed elderly, in the most astonishingly appropriate way... very gently! Aly is now nearly 20 months old... and for many months, has had the most soft and gentle mouth of any dog I've ever had (many, over 5 decades).

As and ending to my rambling on, again I apologize for my chuckles. I'd encourage you not to sweat the sharkies. Don't over-react.... just redirect, redirect, redirect. It's just a well known stage of this breed.

In some ways, I miss Aly's "sharkies". It was a time that'll never be able to be revisited. I cherish every moment and stage of her being with me!

Best of luck to you and your amazing 14 week old puppy!!!
Thank you, @derwos! I am so relieved to hear this. I have really been trying not to overreact, but if she catches me toyless and sinks those teeth in my arm - hoo-boy - the "OWs" are for real!! She is otherwise such a love bug with a friendly, outgoing personality who would just as soon kiss you to death. I like your theory on not stopping innate behavior, and I think I am going to adapt your "not the poppa" to "not the momma!" Thanks again so much.
 

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Yeah... the sharkies can be unnerving... even if you've academically familiarized yourself, here on these forums or other places.

Just do your best to be prepared with toys or chews. A super focus should be placed on preparation!

Should you experience an episode where you're truly surprised and it hurts? Absolutely "yelp" with authenticity! Even at a young age, these mutts will understand true surprise reaction. They're also plenty intelligent to very quickly understand faux reactions and then you'll have to deal with the game! Not a place you want to go!

Being prepared is the best remedy. Integrate it into you life! I promise, it'll pay great dividends!

Your monsters name?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah... the sharkies can be unnerving... even if you've academically familiarized yourself, here on these forums or other places.

Just do your best to be prepared with toys or chews. A super focus should be placed on preparation!

Should you experience an episode where you're truly surprised and it hurts? Absolutely "yelp" with authenticity! Even at a young age, these mutts will understand true surprise reaction. They're also plenty intelligent to very quickly understand faux reactions and then you'll have to deal with the game! Not a place you want to go!

Being prepared is the best remedy. Integrate it into you life! I promise, it'll pay great dividends!

Your monsters name?
LOL. Her name is Eve. :)
 
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