Hello everyone, I hope you're all well. As you can see we're new to this forum- we did quite a bit of reading on here before we decided on having a Vizsla puppy and it seems like a great place.
I'll try my best to keep this short, especially as I've already written it once but Heidi - our now 9 and a half week old Vizsla puppy, managed to jump up and refresh the page losing the long post I'd just written :
I will apologise in advance though as I do have a lot to ask about!!
We picked Heidi up 8 days ago today. She's now 9 and a half weeks old and has grown noticeably already! When we went to look at the puppies both parents were present and although they were both very different in character they both had lovely temperaments and were lovely looking and healthy dogs. Once we'd met the litter it was obvious that we were in love with Heidi - look at those puppy eyes.
We've not had a puppy before and we desperately need some advice and reassurance that we're not making any huge mistakes with Heidi's training and upbringing so far.
Firstly I'd like to ask about house training. At first we tried using puppy pads and wanted Heidi to do her business on them, but she just ripped them up and moved them around and ended up weeing on the floor. We started taking her outside regularly, especially shortly after a big drink, then heavily praising her once she had done a wee or poo and she seemed to be getting the hang of it. She has a few times now ran to the back door and waited to be let out to go toilet. She still does the odd wee in the house but has not yet done a poo indoors. Every now and then, especially in the evening (see below for manic episodes), she'll do several tiny wees in the house- not real wees just tiny tiny drips with the odd bigger patch. If we see her do this we instantly take her outside and tell her to "do a wee wee" which she sometimes does but most often it's like she doesn't need to go.
Will our method work to teach her to go outside eventually or is what we're doing totally wrong? As I say we start to think she has mastered it but then does the odd accident inside. We know she's only a baby and fully expected wet carpets and to be cleaning up until she is house trained
We do have a cage/crate for Heidi but we have not been putting her in it at night. We tried it on night 1 and she howled, clawed and cried so loud that we thought our neighbours would soon be banging on our door. We took her bed upstairs and placed it at the end of our bed on the floor and settled her in there after about an hour of trying. She woke up a couple of times during the night, and we let her out for a wee the first time and tried our best to settle her when she wakes.
The same has happened every night, she will sleep in her bed for a couple of hours and then wake up whining or clawing at our bed. It's a battle to settle her again afterwards but again we do understand that sleeping through the night could take a while. Any tips for helping with this would be really appreciated, as combined with the other points below my lack of sleep is really starting to take it's toll on us and our patience with our gorgeous puppy. (it might be worth mentioning that it is likely that Heidi will always sleep in our room, as have our other dogs, so having her in there is not an issue)
For the last few days, Heidi has started having episodes where she is absolutely possessed. She constantly bites at us, our clothes, our furniture, everything. She digs the carpet and sofa, bites at it and everything in site. We have tonnes of toys, chews, everything to play with her but she always goes back to biting our hands, ears, noses, pants and feet. On several occasions her biting has drawn blood, most recently today on my ear during one of our play sessions - to the point where I thought a trip to have stitches would be needed (luckily it's not that bad).
We've tried the methods that everybody suggests. Making yelping noises and stopping playing with her, ignoring her for short periods of time and rewarding her when she stops biting/nipping, stuffing a toy or chew in her mouth to redirect her & even time outs in her crate (she just howls and whines non-stop, usually taking around 15 mins if we have left her in there that long).
She gets plenty of mental stimulation, she's highly intelligent and already has learned to sit, lie down and is leaning to stay very well indeed! She also gets plenty of time to blow off steam and we play with her in the garden for ages.
Personally the lack of sleep, cleaning up small wees, everything else, it's not an issue. But the biting has to stop as soon as possible for everyone's sanity...and safety. The mother in law went home in a state because Heidi constantly bit her today.
I'm extremely ashamed to admit that my wife and I reached the end of our patience and both said we wanted to give her up on several occasions...she's had us both completely worn out and through lack of sleep and her biting we both broke down a few days ago.
This post might make it seem like we don't love or want Heidi, but that's 100% not the case. We are absolutely head over heels in love with her and although we said it we'd never let her heave our home! A lot of the time she is totally adorable, giving cuddles and kisses and playing happily. We just need some reassurance that this biting will stop and we haven't made a huge mistake somewhere in how we've been shaping her.
Sorry for the essay, I needed to get all of this out and I'm sure I've missed something still! Look at those eyes :-* :-* :-*