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Hi everyone!
Our Vizsla, Vellyn, is now just over four months old. We had a recent blip when we put him in a larger crate, but I've now divided it down slightly smaller and he seems to be dry at night again. Big relief, fingers crossed it'll last.
I work from home so my routine is usually flexible and we live in the Lake District so exercising him is a pleasure (albeit limited by his not being allowed much exercise until he's a year old). Meals are approx 7am, noon and 5pm. I tend to crate him for his rests for an hour or two at a time and usually let him tell me when he wants to get up as I can usually stop work and go back to it after we've done exercise and training etc together. However, some days I need to work for a stretch of a few hours non-stop and/or take my children to an activity where a dog, let alone a boistrous not-yet-trained puppy, wouldn't be welcome. My husband has a 'normal' job and is out of the house for long hours most days.
Therefore I would really like some advice on how to leave him for up to four hours at a time, never more than once per day.
Currently, whenever he's left for more than two hours he wets his bed in his crate. From everything I've read, I should be able to leave him once a day for a number of hours equal to his months plus 30 minutes (assuming he has had exercise, food, water and the opportunity to wee). But he can't seem to acheive this and I feel awful coming back to a wet crate or listening to him howl and 'dig' in his crate while I'm trying to do a solid stretch of work that can't be interupted.
I'd really appreciate advice on how to get to the four hour mark, for my sanity and his too! A friend with beagles suggests an outdoor kennel but is this appropriate for a Vizsla in chilly wet northern England? As a family we are able to give him a lot of exercise and love and attention so I'd have thought a four hour stretch in his crate would be manageble.
Thanks in advance for any 'pointers' on solving this problem!
 

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Hi There All Vizsla experts,
We are enjoying our adorable young Vizsla, Vellyn, who is now 4 months old. My children who are 9 and 10 are great with him, we are an active outdoorsy family and I work from home in rural Cumbria, fairly flexibly, so we're going to be able to give him a fabulous active life. However, I do need to work and to take my children to rugby and other activities during the week (when my husband is also working long hours not at home).
Ideally I need to be able to leave him for up to four hours, only once per day, in order to do my work and/or take my boys to their activities. The time of day needs to be flexible as sometimes they have an evening session straight from school and other times I've got to work four hours straight during the day. But I can juggle things so that it would never be more than once per day that I crate him for this long.
Having got off to a good start, he has for the last two weeks plus been wetting his crate if I leave him for over 90 minutes during the day. A friend suggested his new crate was too big so I divided it so that he can turn around and lie down but not much more. Since then he has been dry at night time, so for up to nine hours, big relief.
But during the day if I leave him for more than 90 minutes at a time he wets his crate. Before I go out or start work he has had food, water, exercise, a bit of training and hanging out together and gone out for a final wee. In his crate there is bedding and stuff to chew but no water, there is space for him to turn around and lie down.
How can I build the 90 minutes up to four hours? He seems to have the bladder capacity; it's almost like he is wetting in protest that I'm not there! (And at what age will he manage to be in the crate that long?)
Many thanks for any advice!
 

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A rule of thumb we heard was "age in months = hours in crate" which works for the first several months of their life. So, at 4 months your little one should be able to stay in the crate 4 hours without soiling. Try stopping exercising/training and taking his food and water away for 1 hour before you leave, then giving a potty break, which may empty his bladder enough that he does not wet the crate. We've done great with having a hanging jingle bell on the door so the dog can tell us when she wants to go out, although it sounds like your problem is not with housebreaking.
 

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Welcome and excuse my delay in OK'ing your post. I wasn't clear on my moderator's role. Your post can now be seen by the HVF members and elicit some response. Sorry that I can't help with your question. Bob
 

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Hi Joanna,

I'm not sure about that formula there about crate time as some mathematical formula. Every puppy is different, so you do what works for them based on their actual experience. In your case, it's 2 hrs., so it's inadvisable to leave him for more w/o walks, unless you're OK with wet crate bed. Can someone trusted come over to do that when you are away for 4 hrs?

When you're home, recall that dogs i general (and V's in particular) are security freaks, so consistency is key. if you get him accustomed to "Work time"..part of the regular routine of eating, napping, playing, pottying, etc....then he'll come to expect that and time in the crate and should adjust over time. It helps to have a 2 hr potty break even if he's not initially complaining since that's his limit...and to keep the crate in the room with you so he doesn't feel separated.

Outdoor kennels..unsupervised, I presume..is not a good idea. Aside from the fact that Vizslas detest being alone, he can easily hurt himself, more so b/c he'd be stressed and lonely.
 

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My situation is similar. I work from home several days and need Baloo (5 months) to be out of my hair during that time. Baloo’s crate is in my bedroom which is also the home office. And she’s now ok in the crate as long as I’m in the room.

The days I’m not at home, my elderly folks are with her, and they refuse to crate her (it’s punishment) or leave her home alone (she’d destroy the house).

At this point, Baloo’s understanding of her world is that sometimes she’s in the crate and sometimes she’s not but there’s ALWAYS a person with her.

So, now we’re 3 months into crate training and since she’s essentially never alone she has a tantrum when she’s left alone in the crate. I’m talking hours-long tantrum! Even if she’s tired, and even with a Kong in her crate.

So I’ve lowered my expectations and gone back to the first stages of crate training again where I walk out of the room briefly and come back in and treat her in the crate if she’s quiet. So far I’ve worked up to about 5 minutes where she’s reliably quiet. Not much, but it’s progress. Baby steps, right?

That’s my long-winded way of saying (1) that you’re not alone - some pups are more difficult with crates than others, especially with unreliable schedules; (2) give yourself and pup credit for the progress you’ve made; and (3) if you back up to the last point that you were successful (30 minutes?) you can start building from that point. Many people find Kongs and related, long-lasting treats really helpful - for us they’re sometimes helpful but definitely not a miracle.

Hope that was helpful. If not someone else will have better suggestions. You’ll get there. Promise!!
 

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The days I’m not at home, my elderly folks are with her, and they refuse to crate her (it’s punishment) or leave her home alone (she’d destroy the house).
Well, parents....that's another forum, I suppose...

But, the work here is with them, not Baloo. Yes, some dogs simply do not tolerate the crate..although frankly I've never met one who has been properly introduced to and whose owner has used it correctly...who is intolerant. If Baloo is accustomed to grandparently indulgence..then, yes....expect screaming when you, as parents, step in and actually parent correctly. And, it's not Baloo's fault, but your folks...but you already knew that..
 

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Try and budget a bit more time with him before u will have to leave him. Allow him to chew in your lap a bit and also ensure he has peed several times, not just once. leave soft music with him when u leave. it is not protest but more boredom or feeling lost.
 

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Thanks everyone!
To summarise your suggestions:
I'm going to leave Vellyn with the radio on, build up from how long he can last so far, ensure he's had LOTS of time with me and the family and several opportunities to wee before he goes in. And do it every day so that it's a normal part of his routine. The only thing is the time varies depending on family/work commitments.
So lovely to have all this encouragement, thank you so much.
Joanna
 
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