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I am scared now...

We have been doing research for 2-3 weeks now.
My plan was to get a V. in 2019... Then my husband convinced me to move it to 2018... He kept insisting and now supposedly we could get a puppy from our chosen Hungarian breeder in August.
We have 2 kids (5&4yo).
Is it gonna be so hard???
My life is easy now. I have slept 8hrs every night for the last 3 years... Is it really worse than a newborn/toddler????
What are the benefits of having a dog for the household?
 

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Two-three weeks is very little time to research the breed, much less a breeder.
Each should take months, and not doing due diligence can make the experience a nightmare.
I thought I knew about the breed before purchasing my first vizsla. Looking back, I knew very little compared to present day, and I'm still learning. How much do you know about the breeder, and the bloodlines they breed? How does it compare to other bloodlines? Do they do health clearances, and do you know how to look up and verify the clearances? Do they compete with their dogs? What does their contract look like? Do they offer references, and have you spoken with people that have purchased their puppies in the past? Will they take back the puppy, or help you rehome it for its lifetime? Is this breeder someone you actually get along with? I ask that question because a good breeder can also be a mentor.
Are you prepared to socialize, exercise, and take this pup to training classes?
I love this breed, but they are the nippiest puppies I've ever came across. It takes a very patient, and committed person to get through the puppy, and teenage stage.
It is kinda like having another toddler in the house, but this one also nips the kids. Be sure and look up shark attacks, because puppy play can feel aggressive. Keep in mind its not, and is normal puppy play for these guys.
For those of us that love the breed, no other dog breed compares. They are silly, and full of personality. Have you laughing one minute, and curled up next to you for snuggles the next. Follow you everywhere you go, and want to interact with every aspect of your life. They are the kid that never grows up, and needs you for a lifetime.
 

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my pup scooby is 4 months old now and is bat sh*t crazy but in a good way :grin the only problem we had with him is the night time crying. i would lay down with him for 5-10 minutes and put him back to bed and he would be fine. the things that will drive you mad about a vizsla is what you will love most about them if that makes sense. the last dog i had was a weimaraner 15 years ago and imo are far far far harder work than a vizsla. but the thing you need to know most imo is the velcro tag they have. forget about the stuff you have read and forget about what you have been told there is not another living creature on earth that will love you as much as a vizsla some people like it some people hate it. i love it :grin every morning my wife opens the stair gate to let scoobs come up to see me and he dives on my bed jumps on me licks my face and just goes crazy to see me and i love it. :grin
 

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This is a great (scary) thread.

My first Vizsla comes home in four weeks... I am very excited, and a little terrified!

Sharks, Velociraptors, Sour Patch Kids... oh my!
Just keep in mind how much most of us love the craziness, and are willing to do it all over again with new puppies.
 

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I've had my baby boy for 4 months. I contemplated this new addition to the household for 5 years! Our kids are adults and we have had numerous animals over the years. THe vizsla is for ME as I wanted to remain active through my golden years 😊 I found this article below just before I made the final commitment that you may find helpful in your decision. I LOVE ❤ my Vizsla and have no regrets! My 30 lb baby is "velcroed" to me now.... ❤❤❤

http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/vizslas.html
 

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What a fantastic thread ;D

We went from not knowing the V breed to owning Dugo within 2 weeks ... a bit ignorant if I look at all the effort some owners put into the arrival of their new Vs. We watched a Dog 101 episode on youtube after being told about the breed by a friend, watch a few more youtube videos on Vs running around like crazy and was totally prepared for the exercise part but not the rest...... As lady luck would have it, when we googled to see whether there were any breeders in the Cape Town area we found a puppies for sale advert that was posted the previous day. We pondered for 2 weeks and then decided just to visit the breeder and have a look .... the rest is history!

I completely fell in love with the serious little pup sitting just to one side observing the "brat pack" of the litter competing for our attention when we arrived. Once the "brat pack" was done jumping and biting and whining he saw the gap, quickly came over and started to lick my hand. I could have told him there and then he had me at the first lick :-* After choosing the little guy we noticed he was the biggest pup of the litter. His baby tummy and love of his couch have earned him the nick name of couchpotato from a few of our friends but I only smile cause I know one of these days they will have to grovel when they see him run.

So it was about 15 minutes later that he left with us, new toys, blanket etc all ready and since then I've not looked back once .... although the hubby complains that he has gone from hero to zero within a matter of the 1 hour trip back home.

Looking back Dugo fitted right in and never cried for being taken from his four-legged family. He only had a few accidents in our flat but mainly because we didn't haul ass when he wined at the door. Up till now (I may regret this when he turns a teenager) he has never chewed on anything other than his toys and only steels socks when he wants to get your attention - he will literally come and show off that he's got the sock and if you don't chase, let it fall to the floor looking very disappointing. On a couple of occasions when left home alone for an hour so he will grab himself a shoe or jersey to take to bed with him and sleep on it.

Obviously we now have first hand experience of sharkies, zoomies, jumping and all the rest but the one thing that is still difficult for me to handle is the separation anxiety. Dugo always bark when I leave even if the hubby is around - he will literally mope around until I am back which make it extremely hard for me to go anywhere without him. Both us work full days during the week and have been very lucky up til now that we could find reliable people to look after him during the day. However, we've seriously limited our social life for the time being which sometimes is hard to explain to friends and family. In some ways it don't bother me so much as I get to spent more time with my V but it does become a frustration point for the hubby. As Dugo grows older it obviously becomes easier to manage so this will hopefully get easier.

But no matter how desperate we were in the beginning for a few hours additional sleep, or with the broken toes episode or struggling with on-leash walking .... when I look at his adorable face or he snuggles up to me in the evening I can only thank my lucky starts that I could experience life after adjusting to a V :-*

What a great pic!
 

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Oh wow. I've read the threads here and even though this is my first V I'd like to weigh in. BUT ... first, you have to know it's not my first bird dog. My Weime was the most obnoxious, strong willed dog you'd ever meet. His training was intense for 3 years ... and that was just to keep him from trying to be alpha! He was wonderful! It helps a LOT to know what youre getting into, and no matter what I read I figured it would be WORSE than my Weim, so I felt I was fairly prepared. Don't get too hung up on what I call the "velociraptor years". You know ... from Jurassic Park? The Velociraptors that poked their head out of the grass, ran around and were crazy intelligent yet insanely hyper? Yeah. I've seen that same look during the "zoomies" and "shark attacks"! Nothing is worse than when my Tai gets that look in his eyes. It's either letting him deal with his zoomies or crating him to get him under control.

Second, Ive never slept well and have insomnia, so having a puppy that wakes me up repeatedly doesn't bother me much. I WILL tell you that comparing my baby V to my weime boy the V (Tai ... 12 weeks old and very smoochable) is much easier to deal with. A case of preparing for the absolute worst and then being plesantly surprised. I'm not saying that he doesn't need constant attention, affection, exercise, etc. but he's very VERY bright and eager to make everything work.

Things that have helped me in the past 2 weeks since we've started our journey:

1. a very specific schedule. we get up every morning at 4 AM (mainly because I have to be at work at 6:30 AM). We exercise and go over our commands and have breakfast. The hardest part of the day is leaving him in the morning. He's great in the crate except for in the AM.

2. I have a doggie daycare company (Critter Caretakers for those of you in AZ) come in and play and exercise him after 3 hours. That way he doesn't go in his crate and has a good experience and has people that are continuing the training that I'm doing.

3. I come home at "lunch" AKA 1 PM to take him out and exercise him again. I just wish it wasn't so short.

4. I come home at 4:30 PM and run his butt off!! THis is when the real exercise and fun comes in. He gets to run around the neighborhood, learn more of how to walk on his leash, play with me, and (in general) be with me until we go to bed. The more tired he gets the better. The best advice I can give you is:

A TIRED PUPPY IS A GOOD PUPPY!!!!!!! Wear him out when he's this age. that's the best thing you can do for yourself, family and for your new addition. Wear him out ... train ... eat ... sleep ... repeat.

Rule #2 of fight club is ... A TIRED PUPPY IS A GOOD PUPPY!!!!!!!! Again ... wear him/her out .... train ... eat ... sleep ... repeat.

Two, nothing is better than having a cutie bug snoring in your ear or waking you up 5 minutes before your alarm cuz he already gets the time schedule. Also, nothing is better than having your new boy or girl lie on top of you, completely relaxed as you read your book. Keep in mind that the good totally outweighs the velociraptor. Just be consistent, stay on a schedule and wear them out. :)

I hope that all works well with you!! They are great GREAT dogs and after 2 weeks (heck ... 2 hours) I was completely in love! :)

Good Luck!!

I know I'm a little late on this post. However, I'm about to be picking my pup up in less than a month. A lot of what you mentioned is exactly what I was taught growing up with my Dad's dogs. He raised Dobermans, another high energy breed. Though, not near the energy level of a V. However, they are considered one of the smartest, and most trainable breeds. This makes for some ornery situations, stubbornness, and unwanted behavior. Long story long, schedules and exercise are a demanding dog owner's best friends. The dogs tend to behave better when they know what to expect. It makes corrections easier...typically because the dog knows they're doing wrong. And an exercised dog is more focused, easier to control and, most importantly, calm(er).

While I know I'm ignorant on the subject, having not experienced a puppy V yet, I know I will be doing everything in my power to set up my new pup for success with a schedule and PLENTY of exercise. I work from home every day except for Mondays when I have to go in for a team meeting(blah) which I'm usually back home around lunchtime. So, I'll have plenty of time to dedicate to my pup. I will, however, be training the pup to be separated from me and learning to cope. I know, I know a lot of people will tell me the pup will train me. I'm in firm belief that you can train a smart breed just about anything and it won't be for all day. I also know it won't be an easy task with my V pup...or a quiet one, lol. It will just be a few hours(3-3.5) in the morning after our morning exercise.

I'm seeing a lot of people with no experience raising dogs and getting a V for their first one and can't help but think they must be crazy. However, after reading most of these posts, I'm learning you have to have a little crazy in you to raise one. A good crazy, but crazy none the less, lol. I can only imagine the horror for them. I've said many prayers for folks while reading this thread even though I'm years behind the posts. lol. God bless them for sticking it out.
 

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How lovely to come across people who have felt completely the same.
Over the years we have had many other family dogs of varying breeds, but our boy is our first together, and having a partner in the military i am doing this alone, training is my passion and to feel i didn't love my boy was so hard. The puppy blues is a real thing, and vizsla's are the hardest breed i have ever encountered. 7 weeks in its still so unbelievably hard, bit i wouldnt change him for the world and have seen big improvements, the leaving a room without him screaming, and leaving the house for more than 3 minutes even when he is exhausted is impossible but I love him, and for now that is enough =) good luck people. We are all on this crazy ride together.
 

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I am so late to the party with this post and I wish I had found it when Eric (our 9m V) was younger - but it is still really helpful now as he is still a real handful. I have also found it really cathartic to reflect back on what we survived and wanted to share our experience to help others. It is very long so scroll to the bottom for some tips!

My husband and I have always owned dogs but Eric was our first V. We thought we had done enough research but what we had actually done was read what I now describe as 'surface research' and speak to a small handful of breeders - we didn't go through forums such as this one and we thought we could overcome breed traits with training (so naive). Had we found this forum first, we may have re-thought our choice! I love him now but he still makes me cry on a monthly basis so here is our experience for anyone else struggling, thinking of owning a V or anyone that wants to feel better about their experience :) I used to cry every day so we have definitely improved haha!

When choosing Eric from the litter we went for the larger, most confident V. This is something we have always done when picking our pups but I think a different approach is better with Vs - we should have gone for a calm, small to normal sized pup that was content snoozing in the background. By nature these dogs are high energy constantly, can be reactive and are so intelligent that they can decide to challenge you and be very stubborn. They are also very strong - pure muscle. So having a pup that demonstrated the ability to be calm at the outset and in the normal size range would've given us a better start.

Getting him to sleep on his own downstairs in the crate without crying took 4 nights so that was pretty good going and not a big issue at all. I am thankful for this win! We took it in turns to sleep outside the crate downstairs with him for the first two nights with the crate door open. Every time he climbed out, we silently picked him up, put him back in the crate and went back to sleep ourselves. We closed the door on the third night but still slept outside and then we headed upstairs after he fell asleep on the fourth night. We took it in turns to get up in the middle of the night to take him out to the garden as their bladders can't make it through the night at that age. All worked well and he has continued this trend since - sleeps brilliantly all through the night until morning and is happy to get in his crate at night.

For the first six months we felt like we had to have eyes on him CONSTANTLY to stop him from peeing & pooing everywhere, eating something he shouldn't, jumping on the cat, biting us, biting furniture, swallowing EACH AND EVERY stone in the garden (all garden visits had to be accompanied), eating stones on walks, eating dog and cat poo on every walk despite having enough protein in his diet (I read that this sometimes causes them to eat poop). It was a full time job so whoever was working from home that day would literally hand him over when the other got in from work and go upstairs to shout, scream or cry in peace. When writing this it doesn't sound that bad but imagine spending half a year constantly on high alert, battling with a super intelligent, high energy baby shark that doesn't act like any other breed of dog and that is what we experienced. We couldn't even leave him if we needed the loo without knowing something would have happened in the two minutes we were out of the room. This was also the first six months of our marriage - Eric was our wedding present to ourselves. In hindsight, that was a terrible idea. After six months, things got so much better so hang on in there if this is you right now!

The puppy biting was insane. His bite strength at 8 weeks old was incredible and it meant we couldn't have guests round as nothing we did would stop him. We paid for a private dog trainer to help us and unfortunately had to resort to using an aversive rattle to make a loud sound to stop him. This was effective but it took a while for guests to want to come round again! He was so strong and so incessant with it! We wanted to use positive reinforcement only with Eric but it wasn't possible in this scenario. Everyone said this was normal and to accept it - puppy biting is normal but incessant biting and no response to corrections to the point that you're bleeding is not ok. We wish we had called the trainer sooner so if this is you, and you have tried everything, call in the trainer now! Once it is corrected it is life changing!

We were not put off by the descriptions of 'high energy' as we are active and wanted a dog that could keep up with us. What we didn't think about was that for the first year of their life, you have to restrict their physical exercise while their bones and joints are developing. This means you have a super high energy puppy who is not allowed to run to their heart's content which makes for a frustrated little pup who is hard work for anyone who is on pup duty. This has massively improved now we are at 9 months and he can go for two 45 minute walks a day but when he was three months and could only go for two 15 min walks it was a nightmare. We also didn't fully anticipate that 'high energy' in a V is very different to other dogs described as 'high energy'. Vs are relentless and can outdo any dog/human with their energy reserves. They need constant stimulation and if excited, will never stop. This plus the separation anxiety I discuss below means you should not get a V unless you or someone who can keep up with them is home every day all day/most of the day. We got Eric on the proviso that my in-laws would have him twice a week - he has proved far too much for them from an energy perspective which results in a boisterous and frustrated pup. As a result, they have dropped back to having him for 3 hours a week rather than two full days. Non V owners will tell you that their dog is also 'mental' or 'high energy' or 'excitable' and then they will meet your V and ask you how you are still standing. Now that Eric walks for 45mins x2 a day he will sleep for most of the day if one of us is home so his energy is where we would expect it to be.

The stories of the separation anxiety and Velcro tendencies of the breed are not exaggerated they are real! My husband naively said before we got Eric that he could train anything and that while a breed may lean towards having certain traits, that doesn't mean all puppies will have this or that it can't be easily overcome if tackled from day one...Nope!! Vs are the most dependent dogs I have ever met. Eric is incredibly unhappy if he doesn't have human company - it doesn't necessarily need to be us (although its clear that is his preference) but even if with another dog, our cat or with a plethora of toys and treats he is devastated at the thought of being alone - even if you've just popped upstairs. He howls if he is alone for more than an hour and a half if you have actually left the house, he will whine and bark if you put on your shoes or go upstairs, he busted out of his crate, broke through the baby gate and he has destroyed our sofa. We have been doing separation training since the beginning! At nine months we now count 2 and a half hours out alone of an evening when he is mostly asleep as a win! We had to give up on crate training during the day (happy to go in to bed at night) for his own safety and we are very lucky we live in a detached house otherwise we would have had complaints. No amount of exercise and mental stimulation improves this, including off lead and scent training. All of this means that in 7 months my husband and I have not been able to go out together for more than 2 hours at a time unless we pay for a sitter. This has massively impacted our relationship. But, we are seeing improvements and we now leave him alone for a couple of hours each day. If it the evening, he has started to sleep through these alone times which is massive progress. We noticed this improvement at about 7 month old.

Pulling on the lead is insane and no amount of training, including with various private and well thought of dog trainers has overcome this. We have trained many a dog to walk to heel but Eric's sense of smell and desire to follow smells is out of this world and it takes over his brain (he is from v strong hunting lines). From a practical perspective this means I have to walk him on a head collar because at 28kg of pure muscle, he is too strong for me otherwise and pulls me over. It also means family, friends and most dog walkers can't walk him and I have pulled my shoulder more than once. He hates the head collar but this is the only way I can actually take him for his on-lead walks. We prioritise off-lead walks but it is unrealistic to think your V will only have off-lead walks if you live in a town/city.

Dog socialisation - this may not be a V thing and may just be an Eric thing but we have regularly socialised Eric with both puppies and mature dogs since he had his jabs. It was important to us that we had a dog that socialised well with other dogs as a lot of our friends have dogs and we go to dog friendly pubs. Now, Eric absolutely LOVES other dogs and has not once been aggressive. However, he does not read canine ques so when a dog is telling him to back off or that it is done playing (including when they bite him in anger, bare their teeth, growl and air snap) he just keeps trying to play - incessantly. He plays and hassles other dogs CONTINUOUSLY until his body starts to shut down from exhaustion. His eyes will be bright red, he will be panting, he some times starts to limp from over play, he will have red bite marks from the other dog etc and he will not stop. He will not listen to commands, he will not leave the dog alone and he will not be calm in the same space as another dog. It is damaging to his health and that of the other dog as well as our mental health. This is proving to be the hardest one for us to both overcome and live with. We have employed the help of specialist dog trainers who can get small improvements from him but we have a long road ahead. We now have weekly training sessions dedicated to trying to get him to be 'polite' with other dogs and stop playing/hassling them either after an initial amount of play or when the other dog tells him to stop - these can only last a couple of hours for everyone's sake. But we have to have very tolerant dog owners who are happy to lend us their dog for such an exercise. It also means Eric cannot be boarded or go to day care. Nor can we take him out to public places such as pubs, picnics or cafes as if he sees another dog he will go crazy trying to get to it. This means if we do want to go out we pay through the roof for a sitter to come into our home to sit him or to live in our house when we go on holiday. Other V owners have tried to sympathise and say their V has endless energy as well and that they can outrun any other dog but this is not the same - Eric is incapable of stopping even to the detriment of his health when with other dogs. This has been one of the hardest things and I know my husband is at his wits end with what to do now.

Lunging - I now know that this is a common thing Vs do. When on a walk and sometimes in the house, Eric will lunge up at me, mouth open and either clamp on to clothes on his way down, ripping them, or actually bite me. It seems like it is an overwhelm of energy or more commonly, frustration. If you tell him off this seems to rev him up more and he will do it again. He has done this to me, my mother-in-law and some guests. Either out of the blue or in response to being told 'no.' Other V owners on here have said it becomes less frequent (and we have seen a decline over the last month thank goodness!) and that it is something they just do sometimes! Before knowing this, I was so confused as to why my non-aggressive dog was doing a surprise attack to me at home or going crazy in the middle of walks but didn't appear angry or as if he was actually trying to hurt me. For anyone struggling with this issue, we have found time out to be the most effective consequence for him lunging in the home and when on walks we find the nearest wall, sit down on it, hold Eric on a short lead and ignore him (including not looking at him) until he stops.

Boisterous - V's do not know how big they are, how fast they are or that it isn't polite to barge into people or run into their legs, climb over them on the sofa etc. Eric now has to ask permission to get on the sofa to help tackle this and if he tries to climb over someone's head (why he does this I don't know), he is made to get down. We are using impulse control training to help him learn how to act in all scenarios - such as asking to get on the sofa, not being allowed to eat his food until he has heard the 'release' command, waiting to go through door frames until given permission etc. Initially we didn't prioritise impulse control training with Eric as we were picking our battles with the above issues. But I regret this now as he needs more boundaries to make him a polite dog for guests to be around due to his excitement and thinking he is a lap dog - so if you have a young V or you're thinking of getting one - impulse control training is an absolute must.

Intelligence - my god they are intelligent which also makes them stubborn and in need of constant mental stimulation not just physical exercise. From a practical sense this means nothing is safe in my home - he can and does get into everything, he can also undo baby gates that flummox most humans and untie knots...my dog unties knots! It also means if he doesn't want to do something, you can see him weighing up the consequence of not obeying the command and carrying on doing what he wants to do vs the reward of obeying the command. I can see the clogs working behind his eyes. So while V's can be trained to be incredibly obedient dogs, this is more to do with their bond with you vs them just listening to what you say. This can be frustrating when you know that the V understands the command but try to stick with it as the closer your bond becomes, the more consistently they respond to you. It does mean that if you are relying on help, the person/people helping you have to also be very consistent and authoritative in their training. If they're not, your V will quickly realise they are push-overs who can be ignored which will also make your life harder.

Recall - I was told that due to V's being Velcro dogs, you will not have any issues with recall and they will mainly want to walk next to you. Second to this, they are hunting dogs so easily trained. Nope to both! They are confident, HPR dogs that have high prey drive, excellent sense of smell and can self reward by following that scent or that fun looking dog or small child running in the other direction. At 6 months, as Eric's confidence and obsession with other dogs increased, his recall response disappeared. We are now back to re-training on this issue and making good progress.

Jumping up at guests and passers by on walks - Eric's love and enthusiasm means he will jump up at any new guest or any passer by on a walk. But given the size of a male V when on their back legs, this means he is able to lick the face of most guests that walk through the door. We have seen massive improvements on this with consistent training but it is just the reality of living with an excitable, loving, very tall V. Not all guests are that understanding - we use 'place' training for him to go and sit on a mat when guests come in but sometime he literally bursts from the mat when the excitement bubbles over.

Toys - not one toy has lasted more than a couple of weeks he will destroy each and everyone and take great pleasure doing so even with his full exercise quota and mental stimulation having been met. Give up on soft toys! If your V takes pleasure in destroying things, they will not last.

HPR dog - The V is a gun dog breed. We knew this at the time but the most popular pet dogs in the UK are from the gun dog breeds so this didn't put us off. We thought this meant easy to train (nope), loyal (nope he loves everyone) and able to keep up with us (he overtakes!). We also found a breeder that doesn't work her Vs so that he wasn't coming directly from strong hunting lines. However, his dad, grandparents and every dog before them come from champion, award winning hunting lines. Actively working in Hungary, the US and the UK. So what we have is a dog that has been bred from the most resilient, largest, most active, most enduring Vizslas. Which equals an insane amount of energy, intelligence, independence, confidence, size and strength! Which is quite hard to handle!

In summary, I don't know how my husband and I are still together or how we have individually survived the last nine months. When I articulate this to other V owners, they sympathise and say it gets better at 2 years! Which feels a long time away. However, I love Eric deeply. I miss him when I am not home and I love seeing him progress with his training and understanding of the world. Our bond grows closer every day and as much as his intelligence is a challenge it is also amazing to see. He is also one of the best looking and most affectionate dogs I have ever met. So now that I am in this Vizsla life, my advice to any who are still reading my very long post and are still thinking of getting a V or are soldiering on with their existing V is this:

- Impulse training from the beginning is a must. They are large dogs that lack awareness of their size. You may think you have bigger battles to fight but trust me that impulse control will improve all aspects of their behaviour and their bond with you - including their responsiveness to all commands.

- They are not the same as any other breed of dog - even hunting dogs. So stop comparing them to the dogs you used to have or your friend's cockerpoo that sleeps all day and is nothing but sweet. Comparison is the thief of joy. Focus on your V and the progress they're making each day.

- Toilet training a V typically takes longer than most other breeds - expect 6 - 8 months and if it happens sooner, pop open the wine and celebrate. Consistency is key and they will get it eventually. The best thing we did was stop using puppy pads and made it so the garden was the only acceptable place to pee.

- Choose the calmest puppy of the bunch and a mid-normal sized pup. This ought to set you in good stead for the future (there will of course be exceptions to this rule).

- Vizslas are categorised as medium sized dogs but most people you encounter will comment on how large and strong your dog is. They straddle the medium/large category and depending on their heritage you could find yourself with a rather large dog. All of them are strong.

- Before choosing your pup look up their full and detailed lineage. If they are from strong hunting lines then your dog will have been bred from those which have demonstrated the most confidence, endurance and resilience. All great traits but this will mean your pup is likely to have more energy, more intelligence (sometimes stubbornness) and independence than your average V who has been bred from non-working lines. You will have to provide more stimulus, exercise and training than you think and have a harder challenge on your hands.

- Ask for help from experienced puppy trainers before you reach breaking point, follow this forum and join a Vizsla group on facebook.

- Only get a V if you can be home for most of the day every day. Do not expect less energetic/active friends and family to be able to keep up with the care and attention your V needs.

- Puppy biting is a phase and will often be referred to as 'sharkies' in the context of Vs. But if it is getting too much, get help rather than let you or your family get hurt. There is a difference between bite inhibition (totally fine and every pup needs to go through this to learn) and incessant biting that hurts you and others which does not stop with usual inhibition training.

- Use their mind. They're intelligent and need mental stimulation. While they're too young for obedience, agility or hunt training then buy some scent training or agility aids online and use them at home to burn off some of that energy. It will help all aspects of their behaviour and increase your bond as well as tire them out.

- Set up a time out pen or a time out space. Use it consistently for unacceptable behaviour.

- Start separation training from the beginning and be persistent. Regularly put on your shoes, pick up your keys, put your coat on even if you're not going out.

- Set time aside for you and your partner/family where you are not looking after or talking about your V. Pay for a sitter if need be. It will keep you sane and get you a well earned break.

- Keep a diary of your struggles and successes. When there are so many training needs it is easy to miss how far you have come and how much effort you are putting in. Reflecting back can give you the motivation you need to carry on.

- They are amazing, loving, beautiful dogs that deserve a home with care givers who are experienced with high energy demanding dogs. Care givers who can give them their full attention and their full exercise need and have the patience of a saint.

I hope this post helps someone!
 

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How lovely to come across people who have felt completely the same.
Over the years we have had many other family dogs of varying breeds, but our boy is our first together, and having a partner in the military i am doing this alone, training is my passion and to feel i didn't love my boy was so hard. The puppy blues is a real thing, and vizsla's are the hardest breed i have ever encountered. 7 weeks in its still so unbelievably hard, bit i wouldnt change him for the world and have seen big improvements, the leaving a room without him screaming, and leaving the house for more than 3 minutes even when he is exhausted is impossible but I love him, and for now that is enough =) good luck people. We are all on this crazy ride together.
Hey,

Your post enabled me to find this thread so I thought I would say hi and hang in there! I completely agree with a V being a very hard breed. I have just posted a post (far too long but I got carried away) of our experience with our V who is 9 months old. I hope it helps :)
 

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we researched and researched some more about owning a vizsla as it got us prepared abit on what to expect.
A couple times we nearly changed our minds on getting one as they sounded high maintenance but our heart just told us to. no regrets one little bit, yes alot of training was needed especially on separation anxiety but he got there. he's so loyal and affectionate, cheeky and cheerful, wouldn't change him for the world.
 

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My boy isn’t my first dog, and granted I was a child at the time of my first dog, but I don’t remember the cocker spaniel being such a huge lifestyle change. We took him out once a day for half an hour and didn’t really train him.

Now that the V is 7 months old I have to say I didn’t enjoy the puppy phase much. I was high strung couldn’t relax even for a second or he’ll get into trouble. And the biting. I hated the biting. I don’t think I bonded with him until really 1.5 months in.

Sure, he was super cute back then, but these days he’s so good and independent and well behaved. And yeah, he’s not as cute but he’s a handsome adolescent now and we love each other so much more. He frequently sleeps in with me, and the moment I get up he doesn’t want to nap anymore either. I can’t sneak out of bed without him getting up and following me, which means he stayed in bed just go cuddle with me!

i would do it again. Not because I enjoyed the puppy phase in the least but you don’t get a dog like him if you’re not willing to power through that phase and put in the work. High energy dogs can be so good when trained! He’s better behaved and more accomplished than so many dogs I’ve known I the past. and the destructiveness is just a price you pay for not treating a potentially great dog right. I’m convinced his energy level is part of what makes him such a good dog.
 

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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.
I think the point of the thread is to reassure people who may be struggling a bit or having doubts that a lot of us have been in the same position but have ended up with a fantastic dog that is a well loved member of the family :D

I don't think it was meant to put people off although some of the comments may help people realise what they may be getting into, especially in the first few months!
My goodness I am so glad I read this thread. I’m only over a week in and already overwhelmed by my pup Reggies needs. I feel very naive writing this but I’m a 1st time dog owner in my mid 50s and felt a connection with the 1st Vizsla I met. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m struggling though my resolve and commitment remains intact if not a bit dented. My life has turned 180 degrees and while I had some understanding Vizsla’s could be a rollercoaster I think the wheels have well and truly come off the cart ! From toilet training/ nightime toilet dashes to the challenge of the ‘sharkies’ I’m exhausted. Any advice or words of encouragement would just be the tonic I need at the moment. thanks in advance
 

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My goodness I am so glad I read this thread. I’m only over a week in and already overwhelmed by my pup Reggies needs. I feel very naive writing this but I’m a 1st time dog owner in my mid 50s and felt a connection with the 1st Vizsla I met. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m struggling though my resolve and commitment remains intact if not a bit dented. My life has turned 180 degrees and while I had some understanding Vizsla’s could be a rollercoaster I think the wheels have well and truly come off the cart ! From toilet training/ nightime toilet dashes to the challenge of the ‘sharkies’ I’m exhausted. Any advice or words of encouragement would just be the tonic I need at the moment. thanks in advance
It will get better in a couple of months. Although I realize that the idea of keeping up with the current situation for a couple of months might feel discouraging, time will fly by in a sec and looking back you’ll be amazed of how far you’ve both come.
Don’t raise the bar too high and remember you both need to adjust to the new life together. In a couple of weeks you’ll read your pup much easier and you’ll be able to anticipate his needs.
My dog is now 10 months old and although puberty is going to be a tough period, I’m so happy with how we get along. We’ve created rules that work for our household and we’ve learned not to panic or get frustrated if he’s not always behaving according to the training. It’s a learning curve for all of us, especially as first time dog owners.
Take it step by step and don’t forget to also enjoy his puppy naughtiness...it’s gone before you know it.


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Thanks this makes me feel I’m on the right track and hopefully this phase will pass. I have made a point of reading most of the posts and while some are really helpful some do leave me dreading what’s to come. I’ve decided to try and remain as positive as possible, not so much as sticking my head in the sand but just reducing the anxiety about the future. Taking It step by step is great advice.
 

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My goodness I am so glad I read this thread. I’m only over a week in and already overwhelmed by my pup Reggies needs. I feel very naive writing this but I’m a 1st time dog owner in my mid 50s and felt a connection with the 1st Vizsla I met. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m struggling though my resolve and commitment remains intact if not a bit dented. My life has turned 180 degrees and while I had some understanding Vizsla’s could be a rollercoaster I think the wheels have well and truly come off the cart ! From toilet training/ nightime toilet dashes to the challenge of the ‘sharkies’ I’m exhausted. Any advice or words of encouragement would just be the tonic I need at the moment. thanks in advanc
I really, really, like the honesty in this post!
You have the correct mental outlook, which is the most important aspect of ownership and training.
You're going to be just fine my friend. ;)

Gunnr (Mike)
 

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This is a great topic and I always take the time to read your comments and learn more when I have free time, which makes me more comfortable.
 
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