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We've been having some issues with our vizsla being a bit of a pushover, specifically when playing with other dogs. When other dogs get vicious and aggressive at the dog park he just tucks tail and cowers behind us or hides in a corner, even when the dogs are much smaller than he is. He's just over 6 months old and we live in New York City, is there any thing we can do to toughen him up a little?

Thanks
 

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Your pup is young, and acting exactly like a puppy should. Please don't let other dogs bully him.

We don't toughen up our puppies. They mature, become more confident, and learn how to interact with pushy dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's fair, I think we need to reset our expectations, he's such a big boy we sometimes forget he's still a pup.
 

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. When other dogs get vicious and aggressive at the dog park he just tucks tail and cowers behind us or hides in a corner, even when the dogs are much smaller than he is.
I am very sorry to say, but I believe that if you want a dog, that has ability and is willing to stand up to vicious and aggressive dogs in any circumstances, be that in doggy park or elsewhere, you chose a totally wrong breed. Vizslas are pointers, retrieves and very well balanced family companions. That's it, even if it means they are a bit pushovers by other dog bullies. Don't ask me how I know.
 

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If you see a lot of cases where you feel the other dogs are too much for your pup i would try to find another way to socialize and run him. At 6 months old he has a lot of insecurities and if he does not look happy in the dog park, he may end up associating having other dogs around him being a bad thing. If you have a local vizsla meet up place or smaller doggy daycare where they watch which dog gets alone with whom, that could be very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He's a very happy pup and well socialized, we have friends with dogs who are well behaved so he has good overall associations with dog parks and other dogs in general. I just get a little concerned because he's nearly 50 pounds and he's being intimidated by dogs less than half his size when he could easily smack them in the face with his big paw and put them in their place :)

Again, I think I'm just forgetting he's still so young despite have a large build.
 

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He is going to be a big boy.
Just wait till the teenage stage kicks in, and he starts testing his boundaries with other dogs. LOL
 

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The Vizsla's avoidance of confrontation is a good trait. In today's world of $150 fines per dog off leash, we have to spend time in places like dog parks. And if a dog is "tough", it will lead to fights. Which leads to vet visits. Vet bills are way over the top expensive.
Besides, the best part of a V is his gentle temperament! I, personally, would never want to train that out of them.
 

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I'd hate to think that my two would "bully" another dog, but I'd be equally loathe to see them roll over and submit, especially when they're out working, they do the work and get their reward, one or two dogs have tried to steal their thunder in the past, one or two dogs have failed in that ambition
 

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A nervous breed to begin with, you must be careful because this can turn 180* and he can begin to be aggressive himself. Then you'll have another issue on your hands. I'd find a good dog training group who also socializes, and make bi-weekly trips to training. It turned our Viszla around and we went from having a spastic dog who would run away to a polite, obedient dog who is everyone's best pal. We found a behavioral specialist, not just a generic dog trainer. And every dog owner is committed so its not like a day care. It takes work and includes homework, but we are so very glad we did it. The same Pete who would run away and take hours to capture comes, waits, stays, sits, lays down for extended periods, and when he hears "by me" he sprints over to sit at our side. All for a tiny bit of hot dog and praise! It was an unbelievable transformation and his behavior with other dogs is not at risk of adopting bad behaviors that the dog park can impart. Do what is best for your boy, but they are such sweet dogs that it would be a shame to see him become aggressive himself. Good luck!
 

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Well our Vizsla, Brownie, is seven and is about as aggressive and anti-social as Vizslas get. He would never back down from a dog confrontation. Since we live in NYC we would be happy to introduce him to your dog if you want a role model but might not be such a great idea lol.
 

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When we first starting taking Blu to puppy socials and puppy class, she would run to people and lean into them with joy and excitement until another puppy came near her and she would freak out and run to any human for safety if she couldn't find us. Ours was 3 months old at the time and it wasn't until 6 weeks later that she finally would play with another puppy but it had to be one on one and not around the other dogs. Sounds like one on one socialization with dogs he knows and maybe integrated an extra dog he already knows may get him used to multiple dogs. Maybe in some time will be good and if it gets worse or does not get better waw129 has some good advice on getting a behavioral specialist.
 
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