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A friend of mine just picked up her 7 week old vizsla puppy this week and we've been on the phone quite a few times. I've been trying to convince her that things will get better, but I also know it's hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel for the first while. I'm sure most of us who got our vizsla at such a young age had quite a few moments of an overwhelming urge to throw ourselves off a bridge lol. And I still stand firmly on the fact that I believe vizsla puppies are not normal puppies. They put you through ****, but good things never come easy. I thought maybe we could start a thread (and maybe sticky it?) with some words of encouragement and a tip or a few of what helped us get through the first couple/few of months to help out some new parents who might be at their wit's end.

So on that note:

Tips: Normal or Insane? I would suggest referring to this topic here: http://www.vizslaforums.com/index.php/topic,928.0.html <-- This thread is great because for one, you can get an idea of what to expect, but also has a lot of good tips on how to cope as well.

Also, if you plan on crate training your V, and I'd highly recommend it - do not give in!! The screams and crying can be absolutely heart wrenching, but know that it is for the best. When you have to go out for a few hours, it's a comfort to know that your V is happy (maybe not now but definitely later) in a safe place. There are a lot of hazards a rambunctious V can find, such as poisonous plants, a glass of water left on a table that could get knocked over and shatter, etc.

Lastly, if you can, try to save up for a trainer - it definitely helps. I believe it's worth the money in training/raising your puppy right than having to spend the same amount or more and having a harder time correcting years of bad habits and behaviour.

Words of Encouragement: The puppy stage is only temporary!! Things get better every day/week/month/year.
 

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Mischa

I think the puppy stage is the best time. So much promise, and possibility in a 12lb., little butterball, package. They're Little hard drives waiting to be programmed.

I would add to your list ,Some Books;
"Gun Dog" by Richard Wolter. If a person were to follow this book for the 1st 8 weeks, weeks 8-16 of puppy hood, they'd be amazed at where they would be.
"The Vizlsa" by BC Boggs. Pretty much the definitive source on the breed.
"Gun Gog" magazine. You only need a subscription for about 18 months. After that the articles begin to repeat themselves in content.
"The NAVHDA" Green book". When a person needs to go further than "Gun Dog" by Wolters, this is a good compliment.
Anything by Horace Lytle. His books have been out of print for decades, but his insight is amazing.

Personal Philosophies;

Train your dog from day one with the goal to hunt, even if you never intend to ever actually hunt. It's their nature and instinct. A completely trained bird dog is more dog than most people will ever need.
 

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Thank you for this thread!

I am the friend with the new V - 8 weeks old now. We have had him for exactly one week!

I am having an extremely difficult time coping with the new little addition to our family.

He screams in the crate all night and whenever we put him in during the day, he pees all over the floor no matter how many times I take him out (he has no signals), he chews everything in sight no matter how many times I give him his own toys to chew.

I am having a very difficult time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! I can't imagine how this little ball of fury will end up being my companion :(

Any words of encouragement are greatly appreciated!
 

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Mine is 8 months old. I remember when he was 11 weeks old my boyfriend had gone skiing & I was left on my own with this naughty munchkin. I rang him up almost in tears unable to cope!!!! He is still mischievous now but adorable. They are intelligent & learn quickly even with useless teachers like me - so you will get through it. Mine is going through his rebellious teenage years now!
 

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I too am a relatively new owner of a V puppy. We have had her for eight weeks now, and during this time the Forum has been a great help (and comfort!). We are fairly experienced at puppies having had dogs for 25 years, but this little pup is proving a big challenge! She is now 16 weeks and I feel we are making progress - so take heart new owner it does get better, but slowly!

The crate has been an absolute God-send - can't imagine how we would have coped without it. She has been happy to use it almost from the first day. We have enrolled her in puppy classes, which she loves, and it's been useful to get the trainers input into how to handle her. The biggest problem we have is with play biting and jumping up. Our trainer says her she has a hard bite - probably because she came from a very large litter and didn't get enough discipline from her mother. Certainly we have had several instances of broken skin, which we don't recall happening with our earlier puppies.

On the positive side I am amazed at how quickly she has learnt basic commands and she is eager to learn which is very rewarding.

Anyway, persevere with the crate and be reassured that you are not the only one feeling it's difficult to cope. You will get through it!

Best regards
Florencebear :D
 

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My husband and I never thought we'd get through the puppy biting stage. Every night it seemed all Hobie wanted to do was lunge at us and bite (HARD!). We were considering renaming her "Whiskey" because that's what we ended up drinking a lot of......

We were NOT experienced puppy owners, either. We took as much as we could from the forum, our breeder and trainers. It has all helped. Sometimes she's still a juvenile delinquent but she's gotten so much better. We couldn't imagine life without her.
 

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Kimm992 said:
Thank you for this thread!

I am the friend with the new V - 8 weeks old now. We have had him for exactly one week!

I am having an extremely difficult time coping with the new little addition to our family.

He screams in the crate all night and whenever we put him in during the day, he pees all over the floor no matter how many times I take him out (he has no signals), he chews everything in sight no matter how many times I give him his own toys to chew.

I am having a very difficult time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! I can't imagine how this little ball of fury will end up being my companion :(

Any words of encouragement are greatly appreciated!
Kimm

Some solutions

For chew toys;
Find an old bedsheet. Cut it into 2'-3' squares. Fold the squares in a triangle and then roll the triangle up. Tie multiple knots in the rolled up material. Make 10-12 of these and leave them everywhere.

For crying in the crate:
You just have to get through it.

For weeing:
Puppies do four things. They play, they sleep, they eat, and the wee. If they're not playing, sleeping, or eating, That's their signal that they're getting ready to wee.

As for being your companion;

He will one day soon be your best friend, not just a comapnion.

Give him time, he's only 8 weeks old.
 

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Gunnr said:
If they're not playing, sleeping, or eating, That's their signal that they're getting ready to wee.
Ha! That's so true now that I think about it.

I have just today hired a private trainer to come to our house for 6 sessions to see if he can help us learn how to communicate our expectations properly.

I have a feeling that my anxiety/stress is probably rubbing off on the little guy as well so I am going to try to just take it a day at a time!

Thanks for all the messages of support - it helps to know others have felt the same way and it's not just me!!
 

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Kimm, I was ready to give Kian back at one point.

Oh and if you called Troy you will be impressed. Tell him we say Hi.
 

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Crazy said:
Kimm, I was ready to give Kian back at one point.

Oh and if you called Troy you will be impressed. Tell him we say Hi.
I did call Troy! He's coming Thursday! I am very much looking forward to it!!

Wish us luck!! ;D
 

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Kimm992

If I could, for a moment, climb on the soapbox. My advice to you would be to be very receptive to the training that the trainer will provide you, and be honest with him concerning your experience with training dogs.
At 8-9 weeks old there will not be much that can actually be done with your puppy. What the trainer should do is to provide you with a general guideline for development of your puppy that you can implement over the next few weeks/months to keep the little guy on track.

Off the box now. ;)
 

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Gunnr said:
Kimm992

If I could, for a moment, climb on the soapbox. My advice to you would be to be very receptive to the training that the trainer will provide you, and be honest with him concerning your experience with training dogs.
At 8-9 weeks old there will not be much that can actually be done with your puppy. What the trainer should do is to provide you with a general guideline for development of your puppy that you can implement over the next few weeks/months to keep the little guy on track.

Off the box now. ;)
Thanks very much! I am really trying to hang in there until tomorrow when the trainer comes.

I feel absolutely terrible, guilty and embarassed that after 4 months of waiting/researching/reading I am now so overwhelmed and not happy with the poor little guy.

I thought I was SO prepared!

Yesterday was the first day he was crated all day while we were at work (except for 20 minutes out of the crate midday for lunch and a pee). When I came home last night he was absoultely insane. We went for a 45 minute walk/run and he still came back in the house and was losing his mind.

I know it's not his fault. I am seriously starting to consider whether it's a good thing for him to be crated all night and then all day while we're at work (except for a short break at lunch). I think I spent the last 4 months really wanting it to work and convincing myself that we'd all be alright.

My husband and I love this little guy and want what is best for him. We are now wondering if maybe he needs to be with a family who is home more often and able to dedicate the time that he requires. We also have a 7 year old cat that has decided to go on a hunger strike and pee all over the floor twice now.

The breeder has said that he has other buyers for the puppy if we decide to go that route. I am SO confused and torn.

I don't want to give up....but I also don't want to have a puppy that is driving himself crazy with boredom and us crazy in the process. I have not been able to eat properly since we brought him home (I have lost 7 pounds) and I wake up feeling sick every day. Last night my husband came home to me crying on the couch because I just didn't understand what the dog needed (he was just going crazy).

I am absolutely beside myself right now with guilt and sadness over what we have done.
 

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KImm

1st things first.

Never let a puppy/dog go bananas in the house, playing is one thing, going bonkers is another. Put them back in the crate, or take them outside. They need to learn from day 1 that the house is not a play yard.

How many hours a day is the puppy outside of the crate?
What is his general routine for the day?
What is he eating?
Does he have adequate access to water? He needs a lot of water. More than you think.
If you have any vacation time from work, Now would be a very good time to take it, if possible.

He is going to go to the bathroom A lot! I mean every 20-30 minutes while he is active. He needs to be afforded the opportunity to get out and go to the bathroom. The moment you get up in the morning, he is the first chore of the day. He goes out before coffee is made showers are taken, papers read, etc. I used to keep a pair of gym shorts by the side of the bed. I can tell you it gets pretty cold in december with gym shorts, and flip flops on in the snow. Even with a Bean coat. :eek:
The first thing you do coming through the door after work is get him out that door. Don't let him walk, you quickly carry him outside for a week or two. Carry him first thing in the morning also.

Vizlsa puppies can be a trial. They are so quick and curious. They really bear constant oversight for the first few months. I think though that once someone familiar with the breed sees him in action with you, they'll be able to help you understand what is going on better.

You are definitely not alone thinking that it was a wrong decision to get a Vizsla. Everyone that owns one of these dogs has wondered if they were out of their minds at one point.
Last September Gunnr had me a wits end, and I seriously considered contacting her previous owner, but there were enough flashes, or moments, when I saw the real Gunnr to get me through her erratic behavior.
I've had these dogs for 23 years and she was seriously kicking my rear end for while.
 

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I think having any puppy stuck in a crate all night and most of the day would go bonkers!! Bit like us constantly being stuck on an ecconomy class long-haul flight!

See if you can get neighbours/family or pay for a dog walker/sitter to help you out at these early stages, it'll be a good investment. Perhaps see if your husband can take over for a day or two and give you a rest so you can restock your patience!! Also see if there is somewhere in your house where you can shut the puppy in but it has more room to wander and explore etc. we used our kitchen, put down some puppy pads and lots of toys - clearing up some accidents/mopping/cleaning is just part of the job I'm afraid if you're going to leave it alone. We had a crate which the puppy loved, but we never shut the door, it was his choice when to use it.

Don't give up though, just when you think you can't take anymore of a certain behaviour, they suddenly sort it out, you don't need to be some amazing trainer, nature just sorts stuff out as they get older.

Even though you're tired try to enjoy the gorgeous little chap as much as you can, they grow so quick! It'll all settle down and be calm soon enough. Give him loads of cuddles and encouragement, loads and loads of good boys, he's just being a puppy and doing what puppies do, so try not to get stressed or angry.

All the very best of luck, you can do it!
 

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Kimm,

I am so sorry that things have been difficult for you guys. I know exactly where you are coming from, my husband was ready to call my breeder and tell her that we were giving him back, but I am glad that we held in there. My cats where held hostage in my closet for days, didn't eat and for the most part hated each other before Riley came home. Now they are best friends....I guess in a crisis situation you will end up bonding!! Have you considered hiring a dog walker to come and let him out at least twice a day, for walking and eating/peeing. I know that my husband who works from home, walks our dog for about 45 minutes at least twice before I get home which has made a huge difference in his energy level. We have him on a strict schedule and he pretty much stays in the crate for now at 3-4 hour increments and my husband lets him out to eat, play and pee for about an hour and then he is back in the crate. He is not as destructive as he was before we started the exercising/crating. I am sure that you know this breed needs lots of exercise or they will drive you INSANE! When you place him in the crate do you place a blanket over the crate? This has made a big difference in my dog barking for a long time and just whining for about 3 minutes and going to sleep. Also, V dogs need to run off leash if at all possible which has also made a big difference to get their energy levels out. Even though walking on a leash is good, it's not the same as running freely off leash. I don't know how old your dog is, but dog parks and doggie daycare has been a lifesaver for my husband and I. If you know a reputable doggie daycare, then I would definately look into that. We started Riley when he was 5 months old for a 4 hour doggie daycare and let me tell you he comes home and collapses. The daycare is great they really take care of the dogs and know who will play well with one another. Of course, you don't want to do daycare if they are too young. I hope that any of this has helped. It will get better, so hang in there!
 

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Kimm,
I hope things are going more smoothly now but here is something my husband and I just discovered that has been so helpful. Have you ever seen one of those treat balls? We bought one at Petsmart the other day and we fed him his breakfast in that this morning. It kept him busy for long enough for us to do all the dishes (unload the dishwasher plus wash some), make breakfast and eat it! Normally, we either have to tether him to us and listen to the whining, or divide and conquer. We were both actually able to get things done this morning. You might want to look into it. We just filled it up and set it on the kitchen floor where we could keep an eye on him and let him go to town. He loves it and so do we!
 
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