Crating while at work? - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Crating while at work?

My wife and I are planning to bring a puppy home this June and for the last 3 months have been scrambling to find as much information as possible on the breed. I have been doing a lot of research specifically on crate training. What I've found is that a lot of websites say to NOT leave a Vizsla in a crate for extended periods of time, which for us would be while we're at work. We are very active and run 6 miles before most work days. When the puppy is old enough (1-1.5 years) we plan to run it with us as well. To give an idea of our typical schedule, we get up at 4:30AM, run 6 miles, leave for work at 6:30AM, get home around 4 PM. We also have a decent sized, fenced backyard for running/playing off leash after work. My question is whether or not this sounds like it would work for a Vizsla? That would be a 9.5 hour stretch where the dog would be left in the crate. I have every other Friday off, so this would be the schedule for 9 out of every 10 work days. Would it be unfair to the dog to put it through that kind of schedule? And why is it that so many websites (mostly breeder sites) say that it is bad to keep a Vizsla in their crate for long? If it's supposed to be their den shouldn't they feel comfortable there? I'm hoping someone can share their experiences with crating a Vizsla for long periods of time. Thank you all very much in advance!!
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 08:49 PM
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Re: Crating while at work?

Puppies can't hold their bladder for that long, or the other either. So after 2 or 3 hours your pup is going to be trapped in its own poo and pee for hours. Your going to come home to a nasty unhappy pup, that is learning the crate is where you do your business.
Vs are smart and get bored easily, and they need exercise combined with interaction from people.
I would look for a dog walker/puppy sitter, or forget about getting a puppy. It not fair to the pup to be locked in a crate 9 hours a day.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Crating while at work?

Thanks for your reply. I guess I should have specified that this schedule wouldn't start until it were about 8 months old. My wife would be home all day for the first 3 months after bringing it home. After that, I would be able to come home at lunch for about a half hour to let it out.

With that in mind, I guess my question is less about when the dog is a puppy, and more about when it's grown and house trained. So, would your feelings be the same for a grown Vizsla? Is it unfair to any Vizsla to be crated for that period of time?
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 09:02 PM
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Re: Crating while at work?

Yes, 9.5 hours is too long, even for a well-excercised, adult vizsla (and I imagine almost any other breed too). But fear not! I know lots of people on the forum can give you ideas about how to manage the work-week, but there are many ways it could be done. For example, if either of you can get home mid-day for a 30-45 min walk/fetch/off-leash romp, that might get you through to the weekend. Or, find a doggie daycare that you're comfortable with --- half day or whole day would get you through also. Or, hire a dog walker you trust. I think what the websites you've been reading are trying to get across is just that a vizsla has neither the independent streak or the energy level to ever be okay being left alone for long periods of time (more than a few hours or so). When you bring yours home, you'll see exactly what they mean.

That being said, you'll find that puppyhood schedules are very different from adult schedules. When my pup (now 7 months) first came home at 8 weeks, I was amazed that she had the schedule of an infant! She'd sleep for an hour, play hard for an hour, then sleep for an hour, then play hard for an hour and so on, with lots of peeing in between. And puppies have to pee all the freaking time -- that's why most people follow the conventional 1-hour of crate time per age in months plus 1. And utilize crate dividers during that time.

But now, if I can get Lua to go on a good off-leash run/walk/hike for a couple hours, she'll be just find in her crate for about 4 hours (I've never left her in longer than that, as I have a flexible grad student schedule). Other things that tucker her out are doggie daycare for a half-day, going to the dog park for 1-2 hours, having a playdate with another V for a couple hours, or playing lots of tug, fetch, and doing some training games. And her best dog-friend Nemi (nearly 2 y.o.) will sleep all day after a good bout of activity. So your strategies will change over time --- just be prepared to get creative
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Crating while at work?

Well I have to say that this is really discouraging to hear, although I really appreciate all the feedback. What are your thoughts on the idea of not using the crate for that period of time. If there were a way to "dog proof" a room or larger area than just the crate, would the 9-9.5 hours seem feasible? I'm happy to be getting honest responses because ultimately we want to make sure we're being fair to the dog if we get one.

This would be the first time I have ever used a crate with a dog. Growing up I always had Basset Hounds, so energy was never really an issue.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 09:47 PM
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Re: Crating while at work?

[size=24pt][/size]Sun - let's make it simple - if U R at work 4 9.5 hrs & could not leave your chair - interact with other people - & still a child ? - is that fair - put yourself in the pup's place & the answer is in front of U - V's R social - why get any pup if U think they should V on your schedule !!!!!!!
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 09:54 PM
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Re: Crating while at work?

We hired a dog walker who could come get Wilson out for 1-3 hours everyday and we staggered our schedule so Wilson was never crated for more than four hours. We got lucky and as a 15 mo old, he does fine now loose in the house. But we still have a walker and I wouldn't imagine letting him go 9+ hours without attention or being able to relieve himself. No way. Wilson's walker takes him on a 30 min leashed walk if the weather is poor, but he is usually out for at least 2-3 hours. A 30 min mid day break wouldn't be enough for him in terms of his "soul"
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 10:08 PM
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Re: Crating while at work?

Even with a dog walker or coming home for lunch, leaving your vizsla alone for that long might not be a good idea. These dogs really are happiest when they are with their owner or other people.
I don't know what made you decide to look for a vizsla, but you might consider another breed. I think a lot of other breeds are happier when left alone at home.
I'm not saying it's impossible and if you make sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation and fun weekend trips it might be ok, but you might prefer a dog that will be more at ease being home alone during the week.
Good luck with your decision process!
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 10:51 PM
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Re: Crating while at work?

Dharma is pretty mellow- most of the time. She suffers from crate anxiety though and it makes it hard. Between my husband my daughter, myself and our dog walker we always pretty much have someone with her or take her wherever we go. We do put her in her crate from time to time for no more than a few hours. I AM TELLING YOU IT IS NOT PRETTY! (We are continuously working at it and hoping it will get better). Dharma is 8 months old and is happiest when she is with one or all of us.

Live, Love, Laugh.... Dharma you have helped me to do just that. Born on May 24, 2013
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 11:00 PM
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Re: Crating while at work?

My typical schedule for a 5 day work week...

2 days of the week the dog is usually in a daycare
3 days - dog gets a 45 min to 1 hr off leash walk/run in the morning, is crated for roughly 10 hrs. Then I we go for 1.5 or more off leash adventure in the evenings and our attention for the remainder of the evening....

We also do a lot of hunting, and training. She is a very happy and delightful pup...that shows no issue with her schedule.

References/books I have read, suggest dog's don't perceive time duration. They can't tell you if its been 3 hrs or 5 hrs. In the wild coyotes don't use "time". I don't believe there is a magic # of hrs allowable in a crate. I would say it all depends on what you do over the course of the day....

Its my opinion, the time in a crate is only part of an equation of being able to quality life to your V pup..... Just because a dog isn't in a crate, doesn't mean its getting the attention or exercise it deserves. i could sit on the couch all day and watch TV and I assure my dog wouldn't be happy - but I would be able to say she wasn't crated at all.

i am sure many will disagree my on this...but thats ok..

Nate
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