Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

I would say the huge majority of owners here are head over heels in love with their V's.

Reading the "First Time Owner" thread, however, got me thinking about the adjustments we needed to make when we got the boy. Even though I read it was difficult, I didn't realize how difficult it would be. I was writing some examples in the other thread, when I decided not to hijack the thread and just to start my own.

Experiences as a First Time V Owner

- My biggest shock was that I did not love the boy. He was adorable and sooo tiny, much tinier than I expected he would be when we picked him up. Socially, he was exactly how we read he should be. He was cute and playful, but I didn't love him. He was this little creature sucking all my energy and needing so much, but I hadn't fallen in love with him yet (not like I loved the cats). It took maybe 6-8 weeks.

- We were surprised to realize we couldn't even go to the movies. Theoretically, they can hold their little poo poo for three hours in the beginning. We go to the two hour movie, get back in three hours to find the little guy covered in his own excrement. I wasn't too disgusted, but my husband was just appalled. Then you have to bathe him, scrub the whole crate, boil his kong, throw out his blanket. We could have gone to the movies again in a few months time, but fell out of the habit. We just went back for the first time this past month, more than a year after our first attempt.

- My husband told his friends, at times, that he couldn't go out because of the dog.

- We went to a wedding and came home early because we had been gone for five - six hours. At another wedding, we left the wedding, drove back to the house, let the boy out for a potty break, pet him, and then returned to the wedding for the after party. Next time, we'll just pay to board him or have a dog walker come.

umm, I think those are the major ones. My mother claims it's worse than a baby in the beginning, because they need the exercise too. That is difficult for me to believe, but throwing that out there anyways.

I would be interested in hearing adjustments others have made.
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post #2 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 10:56 AM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

Great thread....all very true.

I remember when we first got Ruby, those very trying first few months, my husband would come home from work and I would just say "take her". I would walk up to our bedroom and close the door for an hour just to relax. Working from home and taking care of a demanding pup was extremely difficult. I had to move my office to the downstairs for almost 6 months since we have the dog gates up and she was not allowed upstairs.

Anytime we are asked to go out with friends on the weekend, we still have to plan what we will be doing with Ruby during the day so we can go out at night. Her first year of life we barely did anything. Every couple of months we would board her over the weekend and head to the beach just to get a break and we would enjoy every minute of it.

Every morning my husband and I have to discuss our daily plans because of Ruby. Who will be handling her after work and if neither of us can then off to doggie daycare for the day. Daycare has been a life saver for us during the work week. Also, have a V down the street from us has been a god send. It is a win-win as they want to wear their dog out as well.

I'm sure people and family laugh at us on the beginning when they ask us to do something and we have turned them down because of the time of day or length of time we would be gone. That is just the way it is. It has gotten better with family as they realized that Ruby needs to come along with us for events like birthdays and holidays. They have been very welcoming and Ruby is great with all of our little nieces and nephews.

Ruby - born 12/24/10....our Christmas Eve baby!
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post #3 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 11:16 AM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

Couldn't agree more! Its very hard for the first few weeks. I dont even remember them as I didnt get much sleep.

It is like a having a new born baby! We knew it would be hard but not as hard as it was.

People offer to look after her for us but I wouldn't let her go to anyone. There is only 1 friend who I think could handly the V tendancies and Olive is pretty chilled.
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post #4 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 11:57 AM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

I am very very fortunate because my experience has been for the most part very joyful and free of frustration. But part of the reason was I had found this forum well before I brought my V home, so I knew what I was getting into.

We wanted a Vizsla for a very long time but had to keep postponing it until we were able to afford having a dog in terms of time, space and resources - something like a 6 year wait, a few moves and career changes in between. I was fortunate to get to know several people who owned Vizslas in the meantime. And then I was anal enough to want to learn as much as I could about raising a puppy in general and the Vizsla in particular. So I did a massive amount of reading (my dog book shelf has books jam-packed into it instead of nicely arranged because they just won't fit).

Then I started looking for a breeder, going top down - first contacting Breeder Referal at the Vizsla Club of America, then in my area, etc. I met some really great people along the way - long before I brought my puppy home. So perhaps the reason it worked out so well for me is because I had a plan, knew exactly what I wanted, what to expect and how to prepare.

Of course, I went through my share of puppy teeth, picky appetite and we did have a few moments of "Oh My God - will you EVER come down?". And while it's one thing to do all the homework in the world, it's something really different when a breathing/living puppy keeps trying to bite your fingers (or face) and even though YOU KNOW what you're supposed to do you find yourself losing patience. There were only two moments when I really wanted to scream and pull hair so I remember each in vivid detail. LOL!

We did skip a vacation this year because of the dog and I am now spending most weekends doing dog related stuff instead of brunch with friends in the city. There was a brief adjustment period and in the first few months I was ALWAYS really tired. But I'm really enjoying this brand new adventure. It almost feels like my dog is taking me somewhere and I'm following her lead and enjoying the journey.

I never hunted or went to a dog event before I started on this journey and I have to admit I was very nervous and apprehensive when we went on our first event (it was a Junior Hunter test). We did well that day but the biggest surprise - revelation, really - was how different the people are at those events in comparison with the people who go to dog parks. I am convinced that any Vizsla person who ever thought of themselves as maybe a little obsessed compared with the dog park crowd will feel instantly at home at events like that - welcomed, embraced and encouraged. That event was probably the second most important milestone for us so far - because it opened the door and showed us a different world hidden in plain view.

I also didn't love my puppy the minute I saw her. In fact, going to the breeder's house to pick it up, she and I both expected I would leave with a different puppy. But as I kept watching them all play and run in the yard, I kept looking back for her and admiring her gutsy attitude and bold personality. The breeder noticed this right away (major points to her for that) and so that puppy ended up being the one.

So what worked for me overall was the wait (about 6 months after we made a firm decision to get a dog), having a plan for what to do with the dog and the massive homework. I went to dog shows, agility trials and read books on breeding. Searching for the right breeder was especially frustrating (the lady I got my puppy from was probably the 4th or the 5th one I spoke to).

But - knock on wood! - I have a beautiful, outgoing, bird-crazy dog that got her JH in 4 straight back-to-back passes and earned placement in each of the two Field Trial stakes we ran (we never even trained for FTs). She is drop-dead gorgeous, healthy and has no bad habits of any kind. I could't be happier and I can only look forward to the future with anticipation and impatience.
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Uma (DOB 02/22/2012)
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post #5 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 12:12 PM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

We were fortunate to rescue our guy @ around 6-8 monthes old so we didn't have the puppy issues that others have, but even that was a big adjustment. For the first 3-4 monthes we had Kauzy, his separation anxiety was terrible. We we're living in a very small apartment and in the process of moving to our house when we rescued him and he did not handle the move well, which was understandable due to his recent detachment and shelter experience. Thank god all our neighbors are understanding and sympathetic dog owners, because when we would kennel him he would cry and yelp the whole time he was in his box. The Mrs was home the whole summer which made his transition easier, though I couldn't imagine what it would have been like if she was in school and i was at work. Fortunately, New Orleans is a very dog friendly town as we are able to take Kauzy to bars, concerts and restaurants. If the town wasn't dog friendly, we would never get out. Our pup goes everywhere with us which is a bit burdensome at times but is also pretty fun. I wouldn't trade him for anything now because he's my best friend next to my Mrs, but had I known how clingy and needy V's are, I may have looked into a more independent breed when we were dog shopping.
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post #6 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 01:00 PM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

I hope they make a sticky of this because I suspect this thread will be of great consolation to others going through the early months feeling at times that they have made an enormous mistake.

Lyra is 15 weeks today. I am 51 with three boys (two now away at university, one still at home), Lyra is my first dog, my wife has never had so much as a goldfish. We have talked about getting a dog, on and off, for ten years so this was no impulse purchase! We spent countless hours researching breeds and dogs in general and knew that the first six to 12 months would be the most difficult but NOTHING prepared me for the disruption that a puppy would bring to our lives.

I work for myself in IT from home but occasionally need to visit customer sites. My wife works during the day and I have one son still at home doing A-Levels. In the first few weeks it was almost impossible to get anything done during the day. My workload varies enormously and I am so fortunate that since getting Lyra work hasn't been particularly busy otherwise I can't see how I would have been able to cope.

After a couple of days I had got over the initial puppy love to 'what have we done' . A couple of weeks after that I wished we hadn't made the decision to get a dog.

A few of the 'lowlights' that immediately spring to mind:
  • [li]We bought a high energy dog because we enjoy fell walking but of course we can't go now (not together anyway) until she is older.
    The first training session. Watching an experienced trainer effortlessly getting Lyra to do things, bringing home just how much I had to learn (not Lyra).
    We've had three and this is much harder work than a baby (although over a shorter period of time). None of my babies chewed the skirting boards!
    I can't use puppy day care until Lyra is six months old
    Feeling constantly pressurised to achieve as much as possible in the first few weeks before her mind sets like concrete and we end up with an untrainable, antisocial monster.
As time has gone on both she and we have learnt. We are getting better at organising our lives around her. She is a lovable dog and developing into everything we hoped for. I am sure there will be other dark hours but I just wanted other people who may feel the same at times that they are not alone and it will more than likely get much better .
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post #7 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 01:23 PM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

[size=24pt][/size]as so many posts on this forum has POINTED out - the Vizsla is a lifestyle not a pet ! they never leave home - always dependant on you - as you grow with the pup - you will find a walk in the woods is much more rewarding than going to a movie - yes things will get better ! but you will adjust more to their world than they do to yours !
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post #8 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 02:14 PM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

I think Ruby was a pretty easy pup compared to some, but she was definitely difficult. She's 7 months now.

-- I fell in love with her right away but my husband didn't. This caused some arguments between us because I would defend Ruby when he was mad with her/regretting the decision to get a puppy. He fell in love with her after a few weeks and now I say he cuddles her more than me. :
-- Those first few weeks we couldn't do anything at all. We couldn't even sit on the couch and watch a movie, because if we weren't playing with her or supervising her she'd get into trouble.
-- At first, when we left her in the crate while we were at work, she'd be yelling when we left. And when the husband came home for lunch she'd still be yelling, and then again when I came home in the afternoon for good I could hear her as I walked up the drive. It was so stressful knowing she was upset and likely yelping the entire time we were gone. She outgrew this within a week and thankfully I work from home now so she is rarely crated during the day.
-- If we go out with friends during dinner time, we won't leave her for more than 2 hours or so. If we do leave her longer in the late afternoon/evening, we pay for it when we get home. She bounces off the walls and is sooooo excited and takes a long time to calm down. We have no problem leaving later in the evening around 8 or 9, however. This is close enough to her usual bedtime that she just sleeps and we can stay gone 5+ hours, come home take her out for a pee and she'll continue to sleep the rest of the night. We are very fortunate with this!
--Long gone are the days where we can go on a week long vacation and not worry, a LOT, about how Ruby is doing. We typically go on a yearly vacation and I had planned on having my parents watch her. Now I am not sure. I worry about her being upset... if she'll get enough exercise, if it'll be too much for my parents to handle, etc.

Overall we have a really well behaved girl and I wouldn't trade her for the world. She's the sweetest dog I have ever met and gives us so much joy!
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post #9 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 03:03 PM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

Great thread - I must say, I expected having a puppy (particularly a V puppy) to be difficult but I guess I'd forgotten how much harder everything feels when you're sleep deprived.
I've had her for nearly 5 weeks now and I think my body has partially adjusted to getting about half the amount of sleep I used to get - though I have developed a slight (but irritating!) eyelid twitch from sleep deprivation that WON'T GO AWAY!!!

Before I got the pup, because I won't be moving in with my boyfriend until next year (unless you count when I'll be staying with him over Christmas and holidays) my friends and housemates knew I would be on my own and they promised they'd help out a massive amount. They really haven't, and at times I've felt miserable from lack of sleep and sheer lack of understanding from other people. Things that wouldn't normally have frustrated me about her (bringing soil into the house, trying repeatedly to rip up carpet corners) would often really get to me, and it's sometimes been hard to stay patient with her.

On the other hand, as things are slowly getting easier (and I'll be going home for the holidays tomorrow, where I'll get much more help!) I've found a way to generally look on the positive side - I have an absolutely beautiful, sweet natured and GENERALLY very well behaved little pup, who I love more every day. I also think it'll be all the more satisfying, when she's grown, knowing that I dealt with her pretty much on my own for the first few difficult months.
Wouldn't change her for the world.

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post #10 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 08:48 PM
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Re: Adjusting to First V - Let's Be Real

let me start off by saying we drove 4 hours to pick Riley up from the breeder. We got in the car and started driving away and then he had an absolute cow! He howled and barked and cried for an hour and a half straight. Then he threw up on me (nothing says bonding like throwing up on mom.) So we got him home and he was great. The best part was he didn't have accidents on the carpet, he'd go over to the kitchen floor and pee on that. A lot easier to clean up. But the same night, first night he was home with us, I took him out to potty and he pooped and then he promptly stepped in it and had a cow....again. So he had to get a bath his first night.

In terms of adjusting to him, it took no time at all. I work in the afternoon so I'm home all day with him, he and Chuck only get crated an hour and a half, sometimes 2, for 3 days during the week. The weekends are a little more different based on plans. We were well aware that he would need a place to run so we did all his shots and signed him up at the private dog park near our home.

Chuck, of course, we rescued in March of this year. And we were lucky that he was only 2 months younger than Riley. We were also lucky that they got along right from the start! Chuck has never had an accident in the house, he never even tried to mark. All in all we have 2 terrific Vs and we wouldn't trade them for the world. They have brought so much joy to our hearts that we couldn't imagine life without them.
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