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Discussion Starter #1
I have done a lot of research on MANY breeds. Trying to decide on a new family member. I am a stay at home mom of three boys. We are quite active and would love a running partner. Everything I have read about the Vizsla seems perfect for our family, but I do have some concerns:

Barking...I expect some but is this a "yappy" dog?

Chewing .... I have read they like to chew A LOT? How long is this crazy chewing phase? and how bad is it really? I have read horror stories of chewed up couches and dining room sets! How does it compare to other breeds? Is this a rare occurrence?

Thank you so much!
I have an opportunity to get a Vizsla puppy a lot sooner then I expected. I don't want to be rushed in! I want to know I'm making the right decision.
Thanks :)

one more .... invisible fences?
 

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Hey Lyndsey,

Vizsla's are great family dogs, especially if your boys are a little older.

Like any dog if they are bored they will bark and they will chew. Our dog as never chewed any of our belongings as we always had toys for her to chew and play with, plus she is to busy chewing my other dogs ears ;D

They need alot of exercise and playtime (remember no running on leash for long periods until they are at least 1 year old)

They are extremely affectionate and loyal dogs who will always want to be with you.

I cant comment on invisible fences, as i do not have a need for them, but imo anything with electric shocks involved is cruel (imo!!)

If your an active family who would like a new family member i couldnt recommend a better dog... they are awesome
 

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IMHO electric stimulation collars are not cruel. They are a useful training aid, in most cases. We bought a collar that had ultrasonic, vibration and electric stimulation for Dexter when he was younger. None of the methods or any combination of them worked for him. I actually had to test the collar myself because I didn't think it was working. It worked fine but Dex didn't care. He went where he pleased. We finally put up a fence, a wooden one.

Never had a problem with either of our dogs chewing things up except that scarlet like to chew up paper towels, tissues and magazines.

We love our two Vs but don't think they are good for first time dog owners. They need someone experienced to handle them. If this is your first dog be careful.
 

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Hi Lyndsey,

I'm a first-time V owner although we always had a dog when i was growing up,

For a while we had a problem with our V, Merc, barking when bored in the yard but it was fairly easily solved with a combination of activity toys and more training. He is much easier to live with when his brain is kept busy - that seems to be more important than physically tiring him out.

And because he had plenty of his own things to chew he never destroyed any of our things (unlike the cat). While he was little we kept anything important and tempting out of reach - i think it really is the owner's fault if the puppy plays with your phone or your favourite shoes...

As for invisible fences, I know a couple of people who have used then sucessfully and we thought we might need to get one to reinforce one of our fences that is very low. We never needed it so I can't speak from experience. However whilst looking for other information I came across this article which has changed my opinion on them a little and I would think very carefully about my options and how to train the dog before getting one.

http://www.positivedogs.com/articles/electronic_fencing.html

Just to let you know, I am a positive reinforcement person (Merc is clicker trained) and am not very keen on "positive punishment" methods so perhaps was easily swayed by this article.

That's not to say they don't work, they do, but I think you neeed to be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your responses!

Big said:
We love our two Vs but don't think they are good for first time dog owners. They need someone experienced to handle them. If this is your first dog be careful.
What are your reasons? I grew up with dogs and around our families dogs often, but this will be our first dog. Just curious :)

In regards to the invisible fence...
It would be near impossible to have a true fence in our neighborhood/yard. We could fence off the back, but doesn't leave too much room. We have a large front yard and wooded area that would be perfect for digging . . . I'v never dealt with an invisible fence, my family dog just stayed in the yard. It was never a problem. Our house does sit up and away from the road, but would like some extra insurance he wouldn't tear off into the street or next door to visit the black labs. (who are an their invisible fence). Is it unreasonable to train the dog to just stay in the yard? My dog experience is with very lazy dogs (ex English Bulldog. there was no worries she would go anywhere! lol) Of course, I would never leave the dog outside alone, but I'm sure there will be times I let the dog out in the morning while I make the kids lunches for school etc.

We plan on bringing our puppy to puppy school and continue with obedience training until we feel comfortable that we have good control.
 

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Lyndsey

I'll answer your questions one at a time.

Vizsla's are not yappers. Once they are mature they seldom bark,and when they do, you need to find out the reason.

Chewing. They will chew until the day the pass away. Provide them lots of chew toys that they know are theirs, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Invisible fencing. They will learn and respect the fence very quickly. But you must be absolutely fair and correct when introducing them to the fence. Watch the video many times and do it the right way and you'll have no issues. I personally wouldn't use an invisible fence on a dog much less than a year old. Up until that point they're on a leash, or a checkcord anyway and under direct supervision.
As for the cruelty issue; that's a personal decision. I have held every one of my dogs collars through the years in the palm of my hand, and taken the hit. They are uncomfortable to hold, but once you know what is going to happen you can continue to take the hit. I did this to test the safety function of the collar. I even tested a bark collar.
I can tell you from experience that I've seen the girls get tagged by the horse fencing in the pastures. The fence is 4500 vdc at .2 joules. They didn't seem to traumatized by it, they just learned to keep their butt down lower when going under the lowest braid. They still go back and forth between pastures under the horse fencing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks :) I feel better about the chewing, guaranteed a few kid toys will be lost along the way :p I'm sure getting the kids to pick up will be a lot easier after Darth Vader loses a limb!

Now I'm concerned about digging!lol We have plenty of places for a dog to go to town ... just not on the lawn!
 

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If found taking Charlie to the beach he tends to dig a lot, but he hasn't (fingers crossed) started digging the grass up on the lawn.
 

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hi lynsey

im first time vizsla owner but also first time dog owner! my girl is 11 months now and is shaping into a great family dog. as long as u prepare yourself and arm yourself with as much knowledge as u can you'll be fine! ive found this forum especially GUNNR a great source of info lol! bailey has done it all - barked, chewed, digged run off, and jumped up on everyone BUT slowly but surely we are getting there. i have dealt with each doggy issue as it has came up and nothing has been to traumatic or destructive. i can honestly say she is an amazing dog and i couldnt imagine ever owning another breed now. good luck wth ur new puppy!

fiona xx
 

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The chewing/destructiveness is an issue for us. Rosie is now a year old, and it's probably as big of a problem as it is because we haven't spent enough time working with her on training/behavior management. She does like to chew and "dig" wood furniture, floors, upholstery. These items are already worn and this may have enabled us to be lazy/inconsistent about curbing her behavior. She has plenty of her own chew toys, and we do try to redirect her. But if we had started young enough with discouragements (like bitter apple spray), it probably wouldn't have progressed as far. If you get a vizsla, I would at least try to use bitter apple spray on any really precious items of furniture to discourage mouthing those areas right from the start. Others might have other suggestions for training them to respect your belongings. The other big struggle we have is stealing. She loves to take our things (shoes, bras, glasses, cell phones, anything she can reach), it's a game to her. She's adorable, so she gets away with far too much in our household.
 

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Hey all! I am new to this forum and am finding it extremely useful already!!! My husband and I have had our vizsla puppy for 10 days now! He is almost 10 weeks old. For us, chewing is a slight issue (drives my husband crazy more so than myself!). I have more patience so I just sit on the floor and constantly correct the behavior by giving him something appropriate to chew on. Believe it or not, the persistence is paying off and slowly, but surely, he is getting the idea. Maybe a few more months/years and we will have those boundaries set!!
I grew up with dogs but this is the first dog my husband and I have owned. If you want a dog that will become a part of the family almost immediately you will love a vizsla. Pacer follows us every where we go!! Be aware though that it is not easy!!!! It is a lot of work, especially, if you want to teach him certain behaviors at a young age. Also, exercise is key!!!! If you don't have time to take your vizsla and let him run, off lead, for at least an hour each day maybe you want to reconsider. This is just what I have learned in my first 10 days of vizsla ownership!
 

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minnere said:
If you don't have time to take your vizsla and let him run, off lead, for at least an hour each day maybe you want to reconsider. This is just what I have learned in my first 10 days of vizsla ownership!
Is running off leash for an hour each day okay for 10 week old? Just wondering because I keep reading all this stuff about over exercising, etc.
 

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I talked to the breeder about it and he said it was okay to let him run around in the grass as much as he wanted. It is the routine type running that is more likely to hurt them. I just keep an eye out for how tired he is and make sure he takes water breaks because it is really hot where I live right now. If I don't let him do this, he becomes very destructive!!!! I work on training for mental exercise and give him plenty to chew on, but he will be extremely out of control if I don't let him run around outside.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
 

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At two years old we still have chewing issues, but mostly of stolen objects, not so much furniture. Stealing (often combined with counter surfing) sometimes is just to get attention but often results in the stolen item being chewed up if we don't immediately retrieve it from her. Commands to get them to bring things to you and drop things are very helpful if you can get good response.

As for the invisible fence, I can speak from experience. We have a 4 foot chain link fenced in back yard. By 9 months she had learned to climb and jump it like a cat. She escaped several times, originally to follow us when we left the yard. Installing the invisible fence inside physical fence was the best solution to us. I also emphasize that you should be very thorough in the training steps at the beginning. Without an additional physical barrier there is the risk that they can learn to run fast through the area before the correction is applied. I saw Penny do that once in the one corner that is not right along the fence line. But it does work great. And as a bonus, our gardens are outside of her area so digging is somewhat contained!
 

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I guess we got really lucky with Mischa. She likes to chew but never really touched our furniture or anything inappropriate. Well, she did chomp onto one of our breakfast bar stools and after a firm "no!" she never went for it again. We make sure she has plenty of toys to chew on, that seems to elate her. She's also teething right now so I've been freezing her nyla bone, kong, giving her ice cubes. I also made a tasty treat of frozen plain yogurt, peanut butter and a tiny bit of honey frozen in ice cube trays.

As for barking, she's definitely not a yappy dog. The only time she will bark is when we're playing. She'll get down really low (downward dog) wiggle her butt/tail in the air then bark a couple times and try to pounce you.

Mischa has never tried to run away from us either. When she was a puppy and we let her off leash she'd stick right beside us. It was only until a couple of weeks later that she realized she could go further (watching other dogs) that she branched out a bit further. A call of her name and she usually comes back. Recall is something I suggest to constantly work and practice on. She's been getting a little defiant lately, but if I hold a stick in my hand and call her and wave it in the air she comes running back.

It was really, really trying and tough at first but at 5 months I'm already seeing all of the time and effort come to fruition. Part of it was socializing her from day one with our friends and safe dogs, puppy class, and also recently, our trainer too.

Although, now that I've typed this all, it's Murphy's law that she will turn into a demon again. She's also going to be reaching a "defiant stage" at 6 months soon, so we'll see. I'm just grateful we have our trainer to help us if it gets too bad.

Lyndsey, there is a never ending supply of information on how to deal with specific issues you may face with your V. As long as you can muster up tons of patience, and perseverance and also know that your options are limitless (classes, trainer, this forum, etc.) you will be just fine. :) Enjoy your V, to say that they are amazing is an understatement.
 

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Hey all,
I got my V from a shelter at 4 years. He doesn't eat my furninture but he does shred things. I give him old towels and rags and such because those teddy bears are kind of hard to clean up after they expode all over the place, and he seems determined just to shred the fabric, not chew on it until it comes apart. More like hold the arm and tear off the ear.
As far as I can tell he only acts up when he is lonely. So when I have to go to work he has to go in his room or outside. He really lives to please me so he does nothing wrong in my presence.
I don't know about running too much at a young age but this kid would run at 30 miles an hour for a week and want to play when he got home. He also has some serious speed, and agility (jumps 4-5 foot wall at the lake). He will break through brush and uses his head like a battering ram to get through what might be in his way ie my back door.
He is also a loving cozy guy especially with the kids. My nephew and Shemp are bet pals. They are both 4 years old.
 

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Cooper is just about a year.
I have had many dogs over the years and cooper is lots and lots
of work. He never chewed anything. Never has dug a hole in the yard. Never barks much even when my other dogs are barking like mad.
I knew from day one this was a dog I was not going to be able to take my eye's off for even a second.
He has more energy then any dog I have ever seen.
My husband will take him out for a run, on his return he will come thought the door running full board and body slam into the couch. He bounces off the couch in a run and repeats for as long as he is allowed. I usually try to stop it before it starts but doesn't always work. I think it is is favorite thing to do. He has knocked the stuffing out of the cushion on the back of my couch. I do not even know who many times. Stuffing is not an easy thing to get back where it belongs, but it can be done!
He has peed on everything I own including my husband (twice).
I did do my research and we have a friend who had a vizsal but nothing prepared me for cooper.
He is smart
He is loving
Thank god he is growing up.
If I had any idea how much work it was really going to be I am not sure if I would of made the same choice.
I am glad I didn't.
He is a better dog everyday and I am so glad I have him.
 

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JP,

Yeah, Rosie knows "drop it." The problem is, she will only comply if she can see the treat in your hand. Most of the time, if she has your prescription glasses, pill bottle or touchscreen smartphone, it isn't a time to worry about bribery being bad, so she gets shown the treat, and that is at least a small part of the reason she got fat. Thing is, option 2 (chase) is also quite reinforcing to her--maybe even more reinforcing than the treat. She loves the game of chase. She's the only dog I ever knew who I can honestly say looks cute when she has your brand new prescription glasses in her mouth.
 
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