The loveable Vizsla has a bit of history to its breed. Originally from Hungary, these dogs acted as pointers and retrievers in the days of old. This means your dog has a lot of energy and sometimes it may need to be redirected. So, what can you do if your Vizsla is biting? In today’s article we will discuss exactly this, going into tips as to what you can do if your Vizsla puppy is biting. Let’s discuss!
Why do Vizla puppies bite all the time
There are a number of reasons why your Vizsla might start biting and they are not specifically restricted to the Vizsla breed. Factors can include (but are not limited to the following):
- Puppy is losing its baby teeth
- Early weaning causing poor socialization development
- Puppy is developing aggressive behavior (rare)
How do I know if my Vizsla puppy is simply losing its baby teeth?
This sort of behavior can often be determined by your dogs chewing habits. Puppies losing their baby teeth tend to chew more items, as the pressure is relieved partially by this behavior. Typically your pup will have their full set of adult teeth by the time they are 7 months of age. How long Vizsla puppies DO bite may be a little longer, however, up to as long as 9 months. It all depends on how long it takes for all of their adult teeth to come in and each Vizla is different.
How long does puppy biting last: What to do if it is a teething issue
The best approach is to give your puppy a stern ‘no’ when they bite you and give them something else to bite instead, like a nice chew toy. This can help to redirect the behavior while still letting your puppy address the issue. If this technique does not help and your puppy was weaned before 8 weeks of age, however, it may be a socialization issue.
If your puppy has excessive biting issues and they were weaned too early, then this is going to be a matter of you teaching them how hard it is acceptable to bite. Biting is a normal part of puppy-play and if a pup is weaned to early, then it simply never learned how hard to bite when playing. This behavior is learned from mom as well as other pups and so the means of helping your puppy to learn what is acceptable can be mimicked at home by you in order to teach the pup properly. The easiest method is sometimes referred to as the ‘yipping’ method. Simply put, when your puppy bites too hard, immediately say ‘ow!’ or make a ‘yip!’ sound like a hurt puppy and stop playtime for a period of 3-5 minutes. Play may begin after this but repeat the ‘bite and yip’ response as needed to help your puppy to learn. Over time your Vizsla pup will realize that play stops when they bite to hard and they will amend their behavior.
What if I think my puppy is developing aggressive behavior?
If your dog was adopted there is always a possibility that the previous owner might not have been kind with your pup. If this is the case, don’t worry, patience and firmness with biting can still help to to mitigate this. At this point it becomes a matter of trust. Another
“At this point it becomes a matter of trust.”
issue that can cause aggression in dogs is codependency, and while it doesn’t always fit the third category of ‘aggressive behavior (generally it manifests as whining and chewing, for instance, for attention) it can result in aggressive behavior. In a case of codependency you can slowly socialize your dog with other dogs and people over time and it may mitigate the issue. Generally the test for this sort of behavior is simply noticing if the dog appears to want to bite anyone who is not YOU.
Are there other things I can do to stop my Vizla from biting?
Most definitely, so do NOT give up on your pup. Practice patience and try some of the following methods:
- Completely stop playtime when puppy bites you – Playtime STOPS when puppy bites, with no exceptions. Over time your pup will notice.
- Discourage pouncing behavior – If your puppy is pouncing on you playfully like a kitten with a ball of yarn, try keeping treats nearby to distract them. Show the treat and hold it ‘out of range’ and encourage your Vizsla to walk alongside you instead. Be sure to give them the treat after a bit and your puppy will learn that pouncing is discouraged.
- Keep your temper in check – NEVER lose your temper and hurt the dog. While biting hurts and your initial impulse is to slap, don’t give in to this. Violence is only going to hurt and scare your dog and may encourage even more aggression in the animal.
- Don’t pull back your hand when using the ‘yip’ method – Pulling back your hand may encourage the dog to take advantage of what they perceive as your fear. Some dogs, especially Alpha personality dogs will take ‘pulling back’ as a sign of weakness so resist the urge to pull back your hand. Simply stopping playtime is enough.
Just because your Vizsla is biting doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog is ‘hopelessly aggressive’. Remember that there are a number of reasons that this behavior can occur and act accordingly. Patience on your part can help to build a long and enduring friendship which you and your dog will miss out on if you don’t try everything that you can. Try our tips and research others as well if these fail, often you will find that the answer which you needed was looking right at you. We wish you and your new best friend the best!