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I was just wanting some advise. I'm currently 5 months

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Hi there, I was...

Hi there, I was just wanting some advise. I'm currently 5 months pregnant and in the last few weeks my 2 year old vizsla has become aggressive towards other dogs. she has start to snarl at them and tonight she got into her first fight. She has always been great with other dogs. She is fine when ever my partner takes her for a walk and my sister took her for a walk the other day and was great. But when ever i take her she becomes aggressive and i don't know what to do.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. We need to be extra careful with pregnancies, so we'll need to connect you with the Veterinarian ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?

I don't think so

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog Training
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Answered in 5 hours by:
12/19/2017
Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 7 months ago
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,409
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

It could be that she is just being over protective of you now that you are pregnant. She would know that you are physically not in top form due to being pregnant and dogs do know when you are pregnant. She doesn't feel that your sister or husband need protecting but that she does need to protect you.

Now obedience training may help the situation as she will see that you are still strong willed and physically able to be the boss and protect yourself. I don't know how much training she has already had so let me give you a site that can help. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

It is going to take time to correct the problem so it might be best to let others walk her for now or take a route where you are unlikely to come into contact with other dogs. Additionally, you can do leash training with her as well. What you do is put a hot dog sliver in your hand at your side and this helps keep her interest on your hand rather than anything else. You need a supply of the slivers as you will need to give her a lot of them initially to keep her interest in your hand. You have to give the slivers while she is paying attention to you and not after she has lost interest. You are rewarding her for paying attention to you. If you give it after she is paying attention to something else like another dog, she will feel that she gets it when she pays attention to other things.

Walks should be fast paced as well which keeps their interest on the walk and off of passing dogs since they are moving past them rather quickly. With you entering the last months of your pregnancy, it may be difficult for you to keep a fast paced walk as well.

I would go ahead and start training as much as possible since she is likely to be protective of the baby when it comes as well and since dogs train pups by growling and nipping, you will want to have her trained as much as possible before the baby comes. Then you can train her to stay a certain distance from the baby.

You will leash your dog and if the dog gets within 3 feet of the baby, you will give the dog a short tug on the leash and a firm, low toned NO. It may take a bit of training before she realizes that she is not allowed near the baby. Once she starts stopping the required distance from the baby, start rewarding her with a tasty treat like a thin hot dog slice. At this point you will see her stopping long before she gets to the baby. It is important that you reward this behavior with both treats and praise. Once she has it down pat, you can start sometimes just using praise and sometimes treats so she doesn't know if she is getting treats or not.

At this point, you will want to teach her to move if the baby gets within 3 feet of her. So you will move the baby into her space and then using the leash move her away from the baby the required distance and give a treat. Since she will already know she isn't supposed to be close to the baby, it may only take a couple of times before she sees that she needs to get up and move if the baby enters her space. Since treats are involved, they usually learn quickly. Again, treat for desired behavior. This is important because when the baby starts walking everywhere, the dog needs to move out of the baby's way.
Most of the dogs that I have trained have learned within a few weeks but the owners worked with the dogs daily and were very consistent. Once your baby is around 3 years of age, then the baby should be able to say sit and down with a little conviction. At this point, you will start the baby giving the dog known commands to teach the dog that she has to obey the child as well.

If you have any further questions concerning this matter or need clarification, please done hesitate to respond. At the conclusion of our correspondence, your 5-star rating will be most appreciated, as this will enable me to continue to send quality answers to additional clients and receive recognition from the website for my assistance.

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Dog Trainer: Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist replied 6 months ago

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. I strive to provide the best answer possible. Did you find my answer helpful?.

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