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  #61  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 02:21 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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I did find this on wiki, regarding the vizsla:

Quote:
However, they must be trained gently and without harsh commands or strong physical correction, as they have sensitive temperaments and can be easily damaged if trained too harshly.
I don't agree with training ANY dog harshly, but some dogs/breeds do tend to brush off harsh treatment more easily than others. GSDs tend to be like this, rottweilers, etc. That type of working breed, which is why they are used for protection animals. Big dominant type dogs.
If viszlas tend to be the type of dog that doesn't easily brush off harsh treatment (and of course it will vary by individual, but we're generalizing here for example sake) then I could see them showing aggression with harsh handling.

I had a minpin in they are similar in that way. Minpins tend to respond to harsh treatment by biting back and not backing down at all. Harsh training methods will make these dogs very aggressive in a ton of situations. So an owner that tries to make the dog submit by physical means is more likely to be bitten or have aggressive behavior directed at them. Even if the dog is not an inherently aggressive individual.
Some of this I think has to do with pain tolerance. My minpin would stub his toe and lift his foot and yelp as if in severe pain. Where as my GSD mix would run directly into the corner of the coffee table and act like absolutely nothing happened.
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  #62  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 02:25 AM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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OMG - that is exaclty what I said to the vet nurse that day - "oh she is just communicating!". The nurse said quite firmly no, this is how they start and it only gets worse (talking about New Zealands high incidence of dog attacks on children, which ofcourse is a world wide problem). So this is how I got on this band wagon.

She growls a lot when playing, with dogs (and with us, but we're cutting down on that by rethinking the games or changing it to a sit game to calm her down), particuarly she growls when playing with other Vizslas, they are a very very vocal breed apparently. I leave them to it - she has two friends who are the same age, one from her litter, one from another litter. Gosh they have such a good time! They all did puppy class together, it got very loud!

But then she does growl if she doesn't want to be touched, like if she is asleep. I don't think that is good. I'm trying hard to desenstitise her after all the trauma like I've said. Because once or twice, when her ears were really bad and we were pinning her to the ground twice a day, she also whipped her head around after a growl and gave a warning bite, she has as soft mouth, very good bite inhibition, so it actually was a relief to know that even if I jammed her tail in the door by accident she isn't going to puncture! But its still not ideal. And once she has growled at my two year old for annoying her head too much, when she was awake. But he is very annoying!!! So I would growl too - and now I'm so careful, always supervising and teaching my two year old to rub her tummy or other things Ayla actually likes, not ear pulling!
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  #63  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 02:38 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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OMG - that is exaclty what I said to the vet nurse that day - "oh she is just communicating!". The nurse said quite firmly no, this is how they start and it only gets worse (talking about New Zealands high incidence of dog attacks on children, which ofcourse is a world wide problem). So this is how I got on this band wagon.
The nurse I think was too quick to judge. That's how it CAN start, but it depends on where the growling is coming from and why they are doing it. Not all growling is aggressive. If it IS aggressive it needs to be curtailed, you need to learn to recognize which is which. Some dogs are just very vocal. When my malamute mix and her sister play it sounds like they're killing each other, but they're just having a good old time.

Even if it WAS an aggressive gesture, you should realize that the vet was a bad experience for her. She was in pain due to the infection and lots of people were touching her and manipulating her physically, so you can't blame a young puppy to lash out when this is their first experience with the vet. That's why it's important to give lots of treats and good attention when she's at the vet, so she realizes going to the vet isn't going to be a negative and painful thing all the time.
You don't curtail aggression caused by pain and fear by causing more pain and fear. For instance, how would you feel about doctors if your first experience as a child was getting shots and then your parents smacked you for throwing a tantrum? You would probably HATE doctors and want to hurt them back after that point, not to mention distrusting your parents because they caused you more pain.

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But then she does growl if she doesn't want to be touched, like if she is asleep. I don't think that is good.
This is another case of learning how to distinguish an aggressive growl from a vocalization. Many dogs will vocalize with what sounds like a growl when they don't want to be moved but it is not aggressive. Walnut used to make a moaning sound if you pushed her away from you, and many people mistook it for growling, but it was not. She never showed any aggression physically, just a sound.
Actual aggression can be distinguished by body language. An aggressive growl generally will have the dog pull their lips back and snarl, put their ears back, stiff body language.
I cannot personally tell you whether your dog is doing this aggressively without seeing it myself, but in any case it is true that she should not be allowed to tell you when you can and cannot move her or touch her, because that CAN elevate to aggression if she thinks she can decide when you can and can't tell her what to do.

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And once she has growled at my two year old for annoying her head too much, when she was awake. But he is very annoying!!! So I would growl too - and now I'm so careful, always supervising and teaching my two year old to rub her tummy or other things Ayla actually likes, not ear pulling!
You're right that your child needs to learn what is and is not appropriate and they should be supervised at ALL times. Kids can definitely be very annoying, and it's not fair to make the dog put up with that type of harassment. The situation was certainly made worse I'm sure by the ear infection because she didn't want her head messed with, and you can't blame a dog that is in pain for being grumpy and not wanting to be caused more pain.
You don't want children to be a bad experience for your puppy, because she will transfer these experiences to ALL children.
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  #64  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 03:10 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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I found this article that relates to vizslas specifically, but it's good advice for dominant dogs in general.

http://www.vizsladogs.com/ARTICLES/dominant.htm

A few snippets that relate:

Quote:
Owners of dominant dogs may worry a lot that the dominant dog could never be trusted fully not to bite. They are concerned for kids, family members, and other dogs. The fear can become overwhelming.

However, owners can become much more relaxed once they understand that the process of keeping their Vizsla in its place is ongoing and needs consistency on their part
Quote:
Mouthing and biting is very typical of a young puppy especially a teething one and generally must be dealt with. Generally, distraction is a more suitable correction that follows with a reward for correct and acceptable behavior. For example, puppy gets excited and starts mouthing the kids, the kids pull away and probably yell etc. Puppy thinks this is a great game and continues with more biting. Teaching your child to get up and walk to another room and give the dog a command that it knows such as sit and reward with a treat might be a good way of dealing with this issue. Other forms of diversion work also with no pinning of the puppy, or other physical confrontations. With a very dominant dog the dog should have to follow some command for rewards. When behavior gets crazy and intolerable give a sit or down. Consistency is very, very important.
Quote:
Lastly, you get much more accomplished with positive rewards and reinforcement than negative. A wonderful book is Diane Baumen's Beyond Basic Dog Training. She talks alot about why a dog behaves as it does and what the dog is thinking. Rarely do people who understand Vizslas hit or smack their dogs. If things get to out of hand then the dogs should go into the crate as a "time out" until they can settle down.
Quote:
The point is to try and put yourself in the dog's mind if you can and look at the behavior from the dog's point of view. Why not get the food on the counter -- it looks great. Don't create situations with a young puppy that can cause a problem. Avoid problems before they occur by thinking ahead. After "puppy proffing" the house, learn to be consistent in corrections and rewards -- but most importantly socialize your dog and be VERY clear who is the alpha.
As someone who has worked with dominant dogs, and actually prefers dominant dogs, I can agree with this advice. They may be frustrating, but in the end you get a lot of satisfaction and hopefully a strong bond with your dog after having worked with them properly.
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  #65  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 09:26 AM
Mirela Mirela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michalgry View Post
[....]
Tonight she got a bit silly and grabbed my clothes three times, not releasing, me having to drag her over to where I could reach a toy/treat/bone to bribe her off me. But atleast I know this is not some serious misdemeanor or flawed temperament. Just a stage, and if I keep working on training, she's going to grow up to be a great dog.

[...].
My puppy used to do the same thing - nip at pant legs - so what we did is just stop moving and not look at him when he did that. Because it wasn't fun for him anymore he did it less and less and it took him about a week to stop the nipping.

Not completely, mind you - he still does it now and then but it's not a nuissance anymore.
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  #66  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 10:39 PM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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Oh dear,

Just like expected I guess, today is a bad day. We took her to the off leash beach - she was having a great time but then got a bit crazy - just puppy stuff, it was ok. But I was thinking time to leave. My hubby decided to take her to the waters edge, on the way back she was getting more jumpy, so he asked her to sit, her pulled up on her leash and then pushed on her bum (something we don't normally do, but he had no treats on him and the trainer had demonstated this - [and it had caused aggression] when she visited on Tuesday). Ayla got aggressive and snarled at him.

I was like - told you so, bad attitude towards my hubby, but I was annoyed that she had been pushed to that limit, I'm not pussy footing around, but I am making sure she is not in any situations where she will growl.

Anyway -then we leave, I said I would put her in the boot, he said, no he'd do it. So he did it without cheese, despite how hyper and crazy she obviously was. She snarled and warning bit as he lifted her in.

Ofcourse then I was very annoyed!!!!

So - is this going to get any better? Hubby has agreed we are best to make sure she doesn't get in these situations, and I think maybe he has agreed not to push on her bum again. But really - at some point we should be able to do that without her growling - not that I will want to, because her sit is very reliable normally. Especially if I add in a hand signal and get her to look at me first if she's distracted.

Oh - and her ears are playing up again, smelling when we got home (still treating twice a day, back at vets tomorrow). And she has a limp since yesterday, must be a strain, so will get vet to look at that too.

What if she doesn't grow out of this! Everything I read says for aggression, even growling when they are sleeping, seek professional advice. So I did that as you know, and didn't get anywhere. What woudl the professional advice be (ie from a good trainer)? I was planning from tonight to start dropping by when she is asleep a bit more, giving her a small piece of meat from time to time etc, conditioning her to accept my presence willingly. But what would the advice be along these lines for the in the boot issues, the pushing on bum issuees (I guess though, that won't be happening) - but lets say just picking her up or moving her against her will. Will she ever just let us do those things?

I tried to do a gentle restraint later today, and she was not impressed, even though she knew I had food. So I kept it pretty light, and then held her on my knee reclined giving her lots of treats.

This is such a headache!
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  #67  
Old May 26th, 2010, 05:37 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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Sorry I took awhile to respond. I haven't been online until now due to being very sick.

The main issue you're having now seems to be her accepting touch from you guys. And you're right that she should be able to accept you guys touching her.

Seems like something beforehand has caused her to mistrust people touching her. Could have been due to the ear infection, having to restrain her and administer meds, etc., who knows, but either way what you need to work on now is just getting her to realize touch is a good thing.

How does she do with other touch to her body? Does she know how to shake? If she puts her paw in your hand does it cause issues? How about if you go to clip her nails or something?

Start slow and try not to push her to the point of growling at first. If she will accept her paw being touched that's good. Don't go directly to picking her up or restraining her.
If she DOES growl, don't simply let go, because then she's learned that growling will get you guys to leave her alone. But you also don't want to start out with her learning how to accept touching by going directly to restraining her or something.

Try and start out by teaching her shake. Try getting her to accept quick touches on her body, such as a quick pat on the butt, the back, belly etc. and giving her lots of praise for accepting it.
If any of those things cause a growl, simply keep your hand there. There's no need to restrain even, just do not move your hand. Stay calm and pleasant. Don't use a high pitched happy voice, just a very calm low voice, as if you're trying to comfort and calm someone that's feeling sick. Be as quiet, calm and soothing as possible. A high pitched happy voice often gets puppies more excitable and excitability can lead to a more aggressive state. Think soooothing. Move slowly and calmly and deliberatly.

A good exercise is to sit on the floor, after she's already tuckered herself out for the day and is in a calmer state and get her to come to you and lay down. Gently rub your hands all over her body (avoid her ears for now, since it seems to be a source of pain for her), and sound very quiet calm and soothing. If she enjoys belly rubs then start there and slowly move to other parts of her body. In fact, act as if you're trying to get a child to go to sleep or something. It should be something that gets her into a very calm and relaxed mode.
I would actually suggest NOT giving treats for this exercise, because the smell and taste of treats is something that tends to get dogs excited.

There are also certain scented sprays and ointments for dogs that are meant to make them feel relaxed. You may want to try one of these, since dogs are so scent oriented, they may help a lot.

The main thing is just that touching needs to be made into a relaxing and GOOD thing that she accepts readily.

I know it is a pain right now, but just remember that SOMETHING triggered her to see you guys touching her as a bad thing. So you're having to work against that right now. Yes it's frustrating, and it's why people try to get puppies used to LOTS of touching in the first place, so they don't have to work against negative experiences in the future.

Quote:
What if she doesn't grow out of this!
Quote:
Will she ever just let us do those things?
Do you know what a self fulfilling prophecy is? You're worrying about this things before they come to fruition.
I can't answer those question, and it's not something you need to be thinking about at the moment. Take things one day a time.
Those kind of worries WILL transfer over to her, and she'll sense that you lack a certain amount of confidence.

You need to be thinking THE TRAINING WILL WORK.

Take this from someone that has experienced/owned dogs that have MUCH worse issues. It may take awhile but it WILL get better. It takes A TON of patience.
I haven't seen your dog in person, but the issues I hear you talking about aren't that bad compared to some dogs I've seen that DID get better after people worked with them and were consistent and gave them a chance.

That's the main thing you need to do is give her a chance. Both you and her need to build self confidence. If she had confidence and you and your family she most likely wouldn't be exhibiting those issues. A dog that's confident in their owner and their daily routine is generally pretty stable. A owner that's confident in their dog generally has a more relaxed dog.
That's why you'll see a dog that's pulling their owner around and acting like a hellion, yet you can hand the leash to someone like Cesar Milan and the dog will immediately calm down. A confident handler does A LOT to make a dog confident, so that's why you need to be confident every time you take her and work with her. Even if she's not showing a ton of progress that day you need to be CONFIDENT and seem self assured.
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  #68  
Old May 26th, 2010, 11:10 AM
charbar12 charbar12 is offline
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I have a 15mo old weimaraner. You are doing great if he already is almost potty trained nd following commands. Charlie, my weir, had the same issue with nipping and wanting gnaw at everything. It helped to spritz him with a water bottle if he was nipping at clothes,but the growling and biting with regards to his food needs to be nipped in the bud. Charlie did that once with my husband and, my husband simply took CHarlie and held him down saying no until he quit squirming. You have to establish that you re the leader, not him. Since then we have had no problems with him growling with his food, toys etc. I agree that you need to exercise him like crazy. That breed is a lot like weimaraners and need an extreme amount of "energy outing" time. The dog park or doggie daycare has been a life saver for us. Good luck with him. He is adorable!
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  #69  
Old June 16th, 2010, 09:17 PM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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Thanks

Thanks MyBirdisEvil for all of your advice. Sorry I haven't been back in discussion for ages, have been really busy. Busy working through Ayla's issues, but we've made such good progress!

I really took onboard what you said, started to feel more positive about the whole thing and bought Julia Donaldson's book called " Mine" - its really awesome and covers all aspects of resource guarding including resting place guarding, food guarding, object gaurding and physical body guarding (ie not wanting to be touched).

We worked through the counter conditioning protocol for sleeping place guarding, and has been very successful. She is pretty good with being restrained and touched, she goes limp in my arms, unless she's hyped up. She has no body touching issues.

With lots more excerise, and a bit of growing up she has improved 10 fold. I'm not really worried at all now, actually, not at all.

I'm sticking with my positive methods, no longer getting frustrated with her, and our relationship is great.

Thanks again

Kind regards
Michal
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  #70  
Old June 16th, 2010, 11:33 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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I'm glad to hear everything is going good.

Stay positive, continue doing what you're doing, and I'm sure things will keep improving . And of course keep us all updated!
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