Toby – Life with a new puppy

Formally known as Red Mallow Pepper – A Hungarian Vizsla

Toby’s Trial and Tribulations

Posted by Admin on 26, April 2008

Toby is now nearly 18 weeks old and manages to be either a super hero or the most annoying bundle ever!.

For example, we went for a walk. This is on a quiet country road for about half-mile, then over fields full of sheep, then a farm track for another half-mile. We set out on the lead and he walked next to me without pulling at all. He was happy and lovely. We then put him over the stile and into the sheep field. He tugged and pulled (understandable) and then ate every bit of sheep poo he could lay his hands on – despite much time spent in kitchen telling him to DROP – he totally ignored this instruction. On the farm track he is off the lead and was lovely – he came rushing up to me when recalled and would sit and wait for his treat. Then he found half of a long-dead blackbird. He rushed off with it – then lay in the grass and rolled himself all over it. Once I caught up with him, he picked it up and rushed off and then tried to eat it and roll in it as much as possible. I managed to eventually distract him with a toy and treat but he really behaved as if I was not there, he was deaf, dumb and blind to me in every way. Grrr…

Then he was back on the lead on the road and he walked like a hero – he has been interested in chasing any car that passed, but this time he ignored them and walked lovely.

We then came home, he sat and as I try to take off his lead he just bites and bites my hand – put treat in other hand and finally removed his lead. He then decided that despite having just had a lovely walk, he would poo in the garden instead – despite having poo’ed on that walk on other ocassions. 😦

I then put him in his bed for an hour and all was fine. When we went into the sitting room to watch tv he would not sit on his “blankey” but was determined to eat my shoes, bite my arm and race around like a lunatic. My husband then came home, Toby then jumped on him – he never tries to bite him. Husband told him to sit on his bed, which he duly did and not a peep out of him again. Sat there, no biting, no jumping good as gold.

When he has jumped up I put on my deepest growly voice but to no avail – Graham comes home, does the same and Toby behaves. Why does he bite at me and refuse to sit on his bed, but never with Graham. ?

Toby is the most loveable little chap and will be so beautiful, but boy is he hard work sometimes. 🙂

Will he ever stop eating sheep poo and rolling in unspeakable stuff?


3 Responses to “Toby’s Trial and Tribulations”

  1. Given the opportunity, Tucker would still eat sheep poo (or cat poo, or horse poo, or …) and roll in unspeakable stuff — the stinkier the better. But he’s slower than he used to be so he’s easier to stop.

    Does Toby come from field-work or hunting lines? He seems to act a lot like Tucker did when he was a pup. (Tucker’s father was a dual fieldwork champion.)

    “That’s not for eating. That’s for rolling in!” — Satchel

  2. SLM said

    Toby does come from a working gundog. His “Dad” was a champion something or other 🙂

  3. This all sounds typical for his age. Nothing we didn’t go through with Rocket. Hang in there. Vizsla’s first year is the most challenging. But how you form their training now is a major building block for the years to come. So keep up the good work.

    As for the biting you and not Graham. Possibly take note of your body posture vs. Grahams body posture. Dogs are very body language driven.

    When Rocket would nip at my hands I would cross my arms (putting my hands away so he could not get them) put my back to him (now he no longer has my attention), stand up straight and tall and say ‘NO’ with a stern deep voice. It took time but eventually he got the idea that Mom doesn’t play that game and this posture of mine means he’s a bad boy. I still use this method today with Rocket when he’s doing something that needs to stop. He now will come and obediently sit by me (begging for my attention). Before petting him I will have him do a simple command such as “down” or “stay”. Then I will treat/pet/release him. It reasserts pack order in the house.

    Don’t give up! After a year and four months we are now starting to really reap the benefits of our persivierance with Rocket. Although he still has a few bad habbits I’d like to fix but he’s turning out to be a good boy.

    One thing we wish we would have done at an earlier age was keep all four of his paws on the ground. Too often as a wee pup we let him jump up on our legs. What a mistake this was! Now he’s 66 lbs and his front paws reach my shoulders. Not near as cute.


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