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My wife and I are planning to bring a puppy home this June and for the last 3 months have been scrambling to find as much information as possible on the breed. I have been doing a lot of research specifically on crate training. What I've found is that a lot of websites say to NOT leave a Vizsla in a crate for extended periods of time, which for us would be while we're at work. We are very active and run 6 miles before most work days. When the puppy is old enough (1-1.5 years) we plan to run it with us as well. To give an idea of our typical schedule, we get up at 4:30AM, run 6 miles, leave for work at 6:30AM, get home around 4 PM. We also have a decent sized, fenced backyard for running/playing off leash after work. My question is whether or not this sounds like it would work for a Vizsla? That would be a 9.5 hour stretch where the dog would be left in the crate. I have every other Friday off, so this would be the schedule for 9 out of every 10 work days. Would it be unfair to the dog to put it through that kind of schedule? And why is it that so many websites (mostly breeder sites) say that it is bad to keep a Vizsla in their crate for long? If it's supposed to be their den shouldn't they feel comfortable there? I'm hoping someone can share their experiences with crating a Vizsla for long periods of time. Thank you all very much in advance!!
 

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Puppies can't hold their bladder for that long, or the other either. So after 2 or 3 hours your pup is going to be trapped in its own poo and pee for hours. Your going to come home to a nasty unhappy pup, that is learning the crate is where you do your business.
Vs are smart and get bored easily, and they need exercise combined with interaction from people.
I would look for a dog walker/puppy sitter, or forget about getting a puppy. It not fair to the pup to be locked in a crate 9 hours a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply. I guess I should have specified that this schedule wouldn't start until it were about 8 months old. My wife would be home all day for the first 3 months after bringing it home. After that, I would be able to come home at lunch for about a half hour to let it out.

With that in mind, I guess my question is less about when the dog is a puppy, and more about when it's grown and house trained. So, would your feelings be the same for a grown Vizsla? Is it unfair to any Vizsla to be crated for that period of time?
 

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Yes, 9.5 hours is too long, even for a well-excercised, adult vizsla (and I imagine almost any other breed too). But fear not! I know lots of people on the forum can give you ideas about how to manage the work-week, but there are many ways it could be done. For example, if either of you can get home mid-day for a 30-45 min walk/fetch/off-leash romp, that might get you through to the weekend. Or, find a doggie daycare that you're comfortable with --- half day or whole day would get you through also. Or, hire a dog walker you trust. I think what the websites you've been reading are trying to get across is just that a vizsla has neither the independent streak or the energy level to ever be okay being left alone for long periods of time (more than a few hours or so). When you bring yours home, you'll see exactly what they mean.

That being said, you'll find that puppyhood schedules are very different from adult schedules. When my pup (now 7 months) first came home at 8 weeks, I was amazed that she had the schedule of an infant! She'd sleep for an hour, play hard for an hour, then sleep for an hour, then play hard for an hour and so on, with lots of peeing in between. And puppies have to pee all the freaking time -- that's why most people follow the conventional 1-hour of crate time per age in months plus 1. And utilize crate dividers during that time.

But now, if I can get Lua to go on a good off-leash run/walk/hike for a couple hours, she'll be just find in her crate for about 4 hours (I've never left her in longer than that, as I have a flexible grad student schedule). Other things that tucker her out are doggie daycare for a half-day, going to the dog park for 1-2 hours, having a playdate with another V for a couple hours, or playing lots of tug, fetch, and doing some training games. And her best dog-friend Nemi (nearly 2 y.o.) will sleep all day after a good bout of activity. So your strategies will change over time --- just be prepared to get creative
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I have to say that this is really discouraging to hear, although I really appreciate all the feedback. What are your thoughts on the idea of not using the crate for that period of time. If there were a way to "dog proof" a room or larger area than just the crate, would the 9-9.5 hours seem feasible? I'm happy to be getting honest responses because ultimately we want to make sure we're being fair to the dog if we get one.

This would be the first time I have ever used a crate with a dog. Growing up I always had Basset Hounds, so energy was never really an issue.
 

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Sun - let's make it simple - if U R at work 4 9.5 hrs & could not leave your chair - interact with other people - & still a child ? - is that fair - put yourself in the pup's place & the answer is in front of U - V's R social - why get any pup if U think they should V on your schedule !!!!!!!
 

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We hired a dog walker who could come get Wilson out for 1-3 hours everyday and we staggered our schedule so Wilson was never crated for more than four hours. We got lucky and as a 15 mo old, he does fine now loose in the house. But we still have a walker and I wouldn't imagine letting him go 9+ hours without attention or being able to relieve himself. No way. Wilson's walker takes him on a 30 min leashed walk if the weather is poor, but he is usually out for at least 2-3 hours. A 30 min mid day break wouldn't be enough for him in terms of his "soul"
 

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Even with a dog walker or coming home for lunch, leaving your vizsla alone for that long might not be a good idea. These dogs really are happiest when they are with their owner or other people.
I don't know what made you decide to look for a vizsla, but you might consider another breed. I think a lot of other breeds are happier when left alone at home.
I'm not saying it's impossible and if you make sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation and fun weekend trips it might be ok, but you might prefer a dog that will be more at ease being home alone during the week.
Good luck with your decision process!
 

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Dharma is pretty mellow- most of the time. She suffers from crate anxiety though and it makes it hard. Between my husband my daughter, myself and our dog walker we always pretty much have someone with her or take her wherever we go. We do put her in her crate from time to time for no more than a few hours. I AM TELLING YOU IT IS NOT PRETTY! (We are continuously working at it and hoping it will get better). Dharma is 8 months old and is happiest when she is with one or all of us.
 

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My typical schedule for a 5 day work week...

2 days of the week the dog is usually in a daycare
3 days - dog gets a 45 min to 1 hr off leash walk/run in the morning, is crated for roughly 10 hrs. Then I we go for 1.5 or more off leash adventure in the evenings and our attention for the remainder of the evening....

We also do a lot of hunting, and training. She is a very happy and delightful pup...that shows no issue with her schedule.

References/books I have read, suggest dog's don't perceive time duration. They can't tell you if its been 3 hrs or 5 hrs. In the wild coyotes don't use "time". I don't believe there is a magic # of hrs allowable in a crate. I would say it all depends on what you do over the course of the day....

Its my opinion, the time in a crate is only part of an equation of being able to quality life to your V pup..... Just because a dog isn't in a crate, doesn't mean its getting the attention or exercise it deserves. i could sit on the couch all day and watch TV and I assure my dog wouldn't be happy - but I would be able to say she wasn't crated at all.

i am sure many will disagree my on this...but thats ok..

Nate
 

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R said:
SV- the sun comes up - my pup is up - sun goes down - my pup is down - the time between is what makes the pup happy !!!!! LOL
Agree 100%, although this time of year daylight is scarce so you better pack in the happy times!!!! lol... We spend a lot of time this time of year doing our off leash walks in the dark...I burn through head lamp batteries like nobodies business!! Bella wears a lighted collar which chews through batteries as well....

I would also like to add that my schedule works for me and my dog...i certainly won't say it will work for everyone/ every dog...

Nate
 

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My V is 10 weeks old and we have had her in the crate during work for 2 weeks now. She handles it really well. Our schedule is up at 6:00 for play and breakfast until 8:30. Then in the crate until 10:30, out for 45 min. Back in the crate until 2:30, out for 45 minutes. Then I get home around 5:30. We have s dog walker that lets her out twice during the day. Costs an arm and a leg but it is worth it to know my pup is happy.
 

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If you leave a Vizsla puppy for 9 + hrs, expect difficulty with crate training, separation anxiety, potty training, and destruction . It's just too long.

The first month we had family or neighbors stop in to let the puppy out ( we did with both chase and Miles) and I came home at lunch. After a month we weaned back to my lunch break and one check in from a neighbor. Then when about 14 weeks Chase did 4 hr blocks in the crate. They now are both loose in the house.

I completely understand working full time and trying to fit a puppy into your life. My husband works 40-70 hrs a week and I do 40-45. I get up at 5:30 every day and take the boys off leash running for 60-90 min, home for lunch for a 45-60 min walk/ fetch/ training time, then at night they get another 60-90 min off leash play depending in how much they got earlier in the day. We
Are fortunate to have friends and family who grab the boys if they are free during the day, and we do daycare 1 day a week.

I've been offered a new job that would significantly limit my work flexibility and the first thing I though was : what about the dogs? I've declined until a position opens closer to my home and we will start interviewing dog walkers for daily 1-2 hr hikes which will run us a good amount of money, but I am adamant that alone all day is not an option for a V.
 

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Hcr - you nailed it - about the V or any mutt - when a post is about what I want - why have a pup - give - take - it's all about GIVING - !!!!!
 

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I can totally understand your attraction to a V... they are beautiful, soft, clean, sweet, loving, etc.etc etc. They are also very attached to their people, EXTREMELY high energy, Very Needy, Very SMART etc. etc. etc. I can see emotional difficulties brewing in a scene of V in a crate, or alone for extended periods. I have raised one pup, with the help of an adult female Weimaraner ( Thank you Greta) can't even imagine how much more work it would have been with out her. I am now raising a new pup, with the help of a female Bloodhound ( Thank you Pearl) little different scenario, but this pup is so much more high energy than the first. He has been triple the work... Point being... All pups (like human kids) will be different, what works for one, won't work for another. But the basics are the same.
We raised our pups in pens, crate inside the pen, and graduated to the house, with doggie door to outside, it works for us, but I am retired, stay at home. A bored pup/dog is mischievous/destructive no two ways about it. Even if they can get out side to potty, they DIG!!! Eat sticks, chew furniture (or anything else like the hose, plants etc.) Inside is no different, a dog proof room is desireable, but be prepared for emotional issues.
I think you are really doing the right thing, by getting a true idea of what you are getting into, before you actually take the step to deposit your puppy. It is like having a baby, the first part is really tough, but the rewards are life changing. But you must think of it like a child, and not, that you can give it back if it doesn't work....

PS Fergy is 6 mo., he just came in with a huge glob of mud on his nose, and smeared it down my left thigh pant leg... I wonder what he has been doing????
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow I really I can't believe how forthcoming everyone has been with advice and opinions in such short period of time. It is all very appreciated. We have been talking with a friend of our that got a Vizsla puppy about a year ago and he says after a few months he was able to start leaving unattended while he was at work if he had to. He prefers to come home at lunch when possible, but said it has been much easier than he anticipated. Now, like many of you have said, every dog is different and his certainly seems to be further from the norm. We do have neighbors that are home throughout the day that would probably be willing to let her out and run around an hour or so during the workday if needed and if absolutely necessary I could drive home to let her out for half an hour at lunch. So we are still weighing our options because in the end we absolutely want to do what's best for the dog.

Now just to be clear, is the issue solely in that it would be left unattended for a long period of time, or is it because of being unattended AND crated? Because we could definitely work to make one of the unused rooms in our house (or kitchen) an area for it to stay while we work if that would help. In fact we had even talked about giving it access to the backyard while we are gone, but I do not think that's a great idea because of digging, barking, eating, etc (especially after what tknafox2 just said).
 

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Sun - crate or room ? the issue is a V pup has a bladder the size of a pea - after being house broken they will hold till they get a bladder infection - they also have 2 interact with humans - glad 2 c you r looking 4 options 2 own a V and make each of you happy !!!!!!!
 

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You have to be fair to yourselves and your puppy both physically and mentally. Vizslas are not named the Velcro dog for nothing. They are really people oriented and are like no other dog around- they are just different. This is coming from a first time vizsla owner but not a first time dog owner.
 

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Never ask a psychologist either or; with us, it's always both. ;)

In my opinion, though, I think being unattended for so long is more problematic than being crated for so long.

Here are my thoughts on the matter: Most people rave about crates because a crated dog can neither destroy things around the house nor hurt itself by getting into dangerous chemicals, chewing on treated, painted wood around the house, eating electrical cords, knocking over glass lamps and then walking through the shards, eating drywall and fiberglass insulation, and so on. You really have to use your imagination to come up with all the ways an uncrated dog can get itself into trouble. And a crate is almost akin to a wild dog's den --- most dogs learn to enjoy their crates (and there are LOTS of tips in the forum for crate training). Another benefit to crating (at least during house training) is it helps the puppy learn to hold it until they get outside. Because they adapt the crate as a sort of den, they become very reluctant to pee or poop where they sleep (and in the beginning when you are using a crate divider, they are even more loath to crap in the crate because there's no way to escape sitting in it). Thus, the benefits of the crate. Your dog is safe, your house is safe, and your puppy goes through house training faster and easier.

Now the disadvantages of being simply unattended introduce the questions of the dog's emotional and physical wellbeing in addition to the "staying out of trouble" point that I described above. Like pretty much every other dog, Vizslas are pack-oriented animals. They thrive when they maintain close group relationships (with dogs or people, or even other animals maybe). But where Vs differ from other dogs is in their degree of needing companionship. It's almost as if these dogs have a pack-mentality-on-steroids. They really suffer when they are deprived of their human's companionship. Now, every dog is different, with some needing more attention and some being more independent, but it is part of the breed trait to want to be with their people. The other concern people may have with leaving a vizsla alone for so long is that these dogs are super-high energy. Just the other day, MilesMom was telling us how she took her V for a 20 mile run, and he could still play more after that. These dogs put the energizer bunny to shame. And when they don't have a chance to be active enough (which will differ with time and between dogs), they tend to start to develop behavioral issues.
 
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