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Hello everyone. I’m so glad to have found this group. We are at wit’s end and need support and suggestions. We dreamed for years of bringing our puppy home and thought we were completely prepared in every way. But despite knowing it was going to be HARD work, especially the first month, we're really struggling.

Nighttime is kind of okay, which is a relief. Our male pup goes right to sleep in his crate in his bed and only gets me up once or twice. That is the only thing going well for us. Potty training is still a mess. But what has us losing it is we can't seem to make any progress getting him on a schedule, most notably napping or occupying himself in his crate or pen for even short times during the day so we can move freely and simply make/eat meals and take care of necessary tasks. Despite providing toys, Kong, etc., to keep him occupied, the barking, screaming and fuss are absolutely nonstop.

To make the situation even more stressful, my husband can't tolerate the incessant barking as we try to accustom our puppy to confinement. I've been using vacation time to this point so I could be here to get everyone settled. But when he is home alone later this week, trying to work, he won't be able to simply remove himself from the noise and won't be able to get his work done, especially as pup and pen will be in the same room with him. Frankly, I have been caught blindsided by his inability to cope with this.

I really need suggestions if you have some. I spend every spare minute watching training videos, reading books, throwing money at toys and things to help. Nothing works. I know we’re doing something wrong - probably many things - but I am so overwhelmed I don‘t know where to start or where to turn.

I don't want to be forced to return our beautiful boy, but am caught in the middle of a "me or the dog" bind. Also “my sanity or the dog.” I'm very desperate to find solutions rather than make the hard choice but am running out of options.

Thank you. Also if you are in the Twin Cities and know of any good in home trainers, please let me know.
 

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I think I see many of your solutions in the very words you wrote.

First, I'd like to hear what you'd consider a perfect 24 hour period with your puppy, on this very day.

Also, give my a hypothetical perfect day when he turns 6 months old.

For each, am not looking for hour by hour.... but enough time resolution to get an idea of the anticipated time you want/intend on spending with him... and time you definitely don't want to spend with him.

Additionally, are you former dog owners... and when you were "preparing" for this puppy, did you do any specific research into the vizsla breed? I'm assuming this male puppy is a vizsla, though you never specifically mentioned it.
 

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The puppy stage is very hard. I too "prepared" by reading books, trying to figure out a schedule, buying toys, puzzles, games, etc. I still found the first few weeks incredibly challenging (I cried every single day for the first week), but now I have a wonderful companion in my 13-month old, Poppy. But each puppy is different and it takes a while to establish a schedule. For the first year, that schedule will shift every few weeks or months as your puppy develops. Being flexible and figuring out what works for you and your dog is key. That said, here are some things I did with Poppy that I think really helped us:

Potty Training - Poppy took to potty training pretty quickly, but I took her out every 20 - 30 minutes when she was not napping. As soon as she woke up from a nap, we went outside. I think the frequency of our outings helped her pick up potty training quickly.

Crate Training - To help with potty training, when I wasn't interacting with her - playing, training, etc. - then she was in her crate. I work from home, so I set her crate up in my office where she could see me and see outside. She got treats for being quiet and she did eventually learn to settle down and be ok in the crate. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but your pup will get the hang of the crate eventually. Make sure it's comfy and inviting (if you haven't already). I think Poppy being able to see me while she was in the crate during the day helped a lot with her anxiety. As long as she could see me, get reassurance, and get rewarded for settling and being quiet, she was ok in the crate.

I hope that helps and good luck with your puppy!
 

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Hello everyone. I’m so glad to have found this group. We are at wit’s end and need support and suggestions. We dreamed for years of bringing our puppy home and thought we were completely prepared in every way. But despite knowing it was going to be HARD work, especially the first month, we're really struggling.

Nighttime is kind of okay, which is a relief. Our male pup goes right to sleep in his crate in his bed and only gets me up once or twice. That is the only thing going well for us. Potty training is still a mess. But what has us losing it is we can't seem to make any progress getting him on a schedule, most notably napping or occupying himself in his crate or pen for even short times during the day so we can move freely and simply make/eat meals and take care of necessary tasks. Despite providing toys, Kong, etc., to keep him occupied, the barking, screaming and fuss are absolutely nonstop.

To make the situation even more stressful, my husband can't tolerate the incessant barking as we try to accustom our puppy to confinement. I've been using vacation time to this point so I could be here to get everyone settled. But when he is home alone later this week, trying to work, he won't be able to simply remove himself from the noise and won't be able to get his work done, especially as pup and pen will be in the same room with him. Frankly, I have been caught blindsided by his inability to cope with this.

I really need suggestions if you have some. I spend every spare minute watching training videos, reading books, throwing money at toys and things to help. Nothing works. I know we’re doing something wrong - probably many things - but I am so overwhelmed I don‘t know where to start or where to turn.

I don't want to be forced to return our beautiful boy, but am caught in the middle of a "me or the dog" bind. Also “my sanity or the dog.” I'm very desperate to find solutions rather than make the hard choice but am running out of options.

Thank you. Also if you are in the Twin Cities and know of any good in home trainers, please let me know.
We just got our puppy about a month ago. I can tell you if someone would have come to my door those first 2 weeks asking to buy him I would have done it! The potty training was similar to another persons answer. Take them out the same door and to the same spot every time but be proactive. As soon as the get up from sleeping, after they eat and after play time. Our biggest issue is getting him to sleep through the night but I’m sure it will get better. I do know someone in the Twin Cities looking for a Vizsla pup if you do decide now isn’t the time for a pup!
 

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Your not really going to get a puppy on a schedule for the first couple of months.
They sleep when they are tired, and need to be taken out to potty, every 20 are so minutes that they are awake. The most you can do is try to tire them out, so they fall asleep and you can get things done. They are a custom to playing with their littermates, and not being alone. They need time to slowly adjust to their new home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I see many of your solutions in the very words you wrote.

First, I'd like to hear what you'd consider a perfect 24 hour period with your puppy, on this very day.

Also, give my a hypothetical perfect day when he turns 6 months old.

For each, am not looking for hour by hour.... but enough time resolution to get an idea of the anticipated time you want/intend on spending with him... and time you definitely don't want to spend with him.

Additionally, are you former dog owners... and when you were "preparing" for this puppy, did you do any specific research into the vizsla breed? I'm assuming this male puppy is a vizsla, though you never specifically mentioned it.
Yes, my puppy is a Vizsla. I respectfully decline being Vizslanalyzed, but will consider your questions. We are dog people of over 25 years and of course did much research before deciding to welcome a Vizsla puppy into our home. Thank you very much for replying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The puppy stage is very hard. I too "prepared" by reading books, trying to figure out a schedule, buying toys, puzzles, games, etc. I still found the first few weeks incredibly challenging (I cried every single day for the first week), but now I have a wonderful companion in my 13-month old, Poppy. But each puppy is different and it takes a while to establish a schedule. For the first year, that schedule will shift every few weeks or months as your puppy develops. Being flexible and figuring out what works for you and your dog is key. That said, here are some things I did with Poppy that I think really helped us:

Potty Training - Poppy took to potty training pretty quickly, but I took her out every 20 - 30 minutes when she was not napping. As soon as she woke up from a nap, we went outside. I think the frequency of our outings helped her pick up potty training quickly.

Crate Training - To help with potty training, when I wasn't interacting with her - playing, training, etc. - then she was in her crate. I work from home, so I set her crate up in my office where she could see me and see outside. She got treats for being quiet and she did eventually learn to settle down and be ok in the crate. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but your pup will get the hang of the crate eventually. Make sure it's comfy and inviting (if you haven't already). I think Poppy being able to see me while she was in the crate during the day helped a lot with her anxiety. As long as she could see me, get reassurance, and get rewarded for settling and being quiet, she was ok in the crate.

I hope that helps and good luck with your puppy!
Thank you so much for your reply. This is very helpful. Yes, SO MUCH crying!

I’m constantly taking our little guy outside. To the point he seems to be super sick of being toted out to the potty spot. Still, he will pee outside, then find more to pee soon after returning inside. Argh. It’s hard to concentrate on training games and playtime when worried and watching for signs he’s going to pee yet again. I have potty bells to try, just have to figure where to put them since he is confined to one part of our big family room for now and doesn’t have direct access all the way to the potty door.

His crate is cozy at night, he won‘t quiet down unless his bed is in there. But when agitated during the day for naps, it’s just covered crate with Nylabone or Kong for entertainment and his Snugglepuppy on top of the crate. I’ve been cautioned against having bedding in the crate until at least through the teething stage. Some crate news from today though - he finally quieted down in the crate twice! I tried adding white noise from my iPad, so maybe that made the difference? I’ve been reluctant to crate him for short stints if he doesn’t potty outside or for naps when he’s overtired because of the endless (and I mean endless) barkscreaming. But I’m just going to have to go for it aren’t I? Hoping this was a step in the right direction. Also had some pretty good crate and pen game responses. Nervous to see what happens when I leave him with my husband to sneak in a run tomorrow morning. Adding some healthy normalcy back into our days while still seeing to all the puppy needs is crucial for success. Gotta go for it and hope we’re pleasantly surprised!

I’m curious - is Poppy also comfortable being in the crate away from you? What are your favorite puzzles/ games? Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We just got our puppy about a month ago. I can tell you if someone would have come to my door those first 2 weeks asking to buy him I would have done it! The potty training was similar to another persons answer. Take them out the same door and to the same spot every time but be proactive. As soon as the get up from sleeping, after they eat and after play time. Our biggest issue is getting him to sleep through the night but I’m sure it will get better. I do know someone in the Twin Cities looking for a Vizsla pup if you do decide now isn’t the time for a pup!
Thank you - your response is very reassuring. It’s a comfort knowing we aren’t alone in struggling these first days/weeks. We are taking him out at all those key times as well as watching him like a hawk! Sometimes it does happen that I second guess my impulse/observation and miss. Argh!

He would have to go back to breeder upon surrender per agreement, but thanks. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your not really going to get a puppy on a schedule for the first couple of months.
They sleep when they are tired, and need to be taken out to potty, every 20 are so minutes that they are awake. The most you can do is try to tire them out, so they fall asleep and you can get things done. They are a custom to playing with their littermates, and not being alone. They need time to slowly adjust to their new home.
Thank you. I appreciate your input.
 

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Yes, my puppy is a Vizsla. I respectfully decline being Vizslanalyzed, but will consider your questions. We are dog people of over 25 years and of course did much research before deciding to welcome a Vizsla puppy into our home. Thank you very much for replying.
Fair enough.
Good luck. It’s abundantly apparent you’ll need much.
My thoughts and prayers are with the nameless, tiny puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fair enough.
Good luck. It’s abundantly apparent you’ll need much.
My thoughts and prayers are with the nameless, tiny puppy.
Thank you. All new puppy owners can do with the good thoughts of others. However, our puppy is not nameless. I simply prefer to maintain a level of anonymity on social platforms. 🙂
 

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Thank you. All new puppy owners can do with the good thoughts of others. However, our puppy is not nameless. I simply prefer to maintain a level of anonymity on social platforms. 🙂
… and I thought I was overly cautious, bordering on neurotic, in maintaining anonymity on the internet.🤣😂🤣
 

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Thank you so much for your reply. This is very helpful. Yes, SO MUCH crying!

I’m constantly taking our little guy outside. To the point he seems to be super sick of being toted out to the potty spot. Still, he will pee outside, then find more to pee soon after returning inside. Argh. It’s hard to concentrate on training games and playtime when worried and watching for signs he’s going to pee yet again. I have potty bells to try, just have to figure where to put them since he is confined to one part of our big family room for now and doesn’t have direct access all the way to the potty door.

His crate is cozy at night, he won‘t quiet down unless his bed is in there. But when agitated during the day for naps, it’s just covered crate with Nylabone or Kong for entertainment and his Snugglepuppy on top of the crate. I’ve been cautioned against having bedding in the crate until at least through the teething stage. Some crate news from today though - he finally quieted down in the crate twice! I tried adding white noise from my iPad, so maybe that made the difference? I’ve been reluctant to crate him for short stints if he doesn’t potty outside or for naps when he’s overtired because of the endless (and I mean endless) barkscreaming. But I’m just going to have to go for it aren’t I? Hoping this was a step in the right direction. Also had some pretty good crate and pen game responses. Nervous to see what happens when I leave him with my husband to sneak in a run tomorrow morning. Adding some healthy normalcy back into our days while still seeing to all the puppy needs is crucial for success. Gotta go for it and hope we’re pleasantly surprised!

I’m curious - is Poppy also comfortable being in the crate away from you? What are your favorite puzzles/ games? Thank you!
Sounds like you're doing the right things on potty training. I think every puppy is a little different, so it may just take him some time to get it - hopefully that happens very soon!

Yay on the crate success! He'll get it eventually. I felt like Poppy was never going to learn, but she finally did!

Poppy is really only crated now when I am away from the house. She never got to a point where she liked being in the crate if the crate was in a different room from me. I know that's not always possible for every situation, so I empathize that having him in a different room from your partner while he's working will be difficult. Once Poppy got better with potty training and wasn't sleeping quite as much during the day, I got a waterproof mat on amazon and an adjustable play pen. I set her up in there with her bed, some toys, etc. and we kept that set up until she was fully potty trained. After that, she had free range of my office space.

Poppy likes all of the Outward Hound puzzles. She solves them pretty quickly, but she gets excited when I bring them out. She likes all of the West Paw toys and puzzles as well. The toppl treat toys are kind of expensive, but I think it's worth it to get both pieces. I put high value treats in there and connect the small and large pieces tightly. It takes her a good 10 - 15 minutes to wedge it open and get the treats out. She also likes the snoop toy from Planet Dog. We also go through a lot of braided bully sticks - those last her much longer than the regular ones. It usually takes her a couple hours to get through a 12 inch stick. I also bought the Pupsicle Pack from mywoof.com. It's similar to the kong, but it contains the mess much better. I don't like giving Poppy stuffed kongs because she makes a mess.

Once you trust your pup with bedding in his crate, I highly recommend a Snoozer Pets crate cozy cave. Poppy LOVES her cozy caves and that's where she settles now while I am working. She has the rectangular crate bed as well as a round bed.

Hang in there and I promise it will get better!!
 

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The first few weeks are very challenging! In our limited experience once they reach 6 months they start to become great dogs.

BUT you have to make it to the 6 month plus point.

I am a bit (lot) of a smart azz. So bear with me a little.

No matter how prepared you thought you were, you were NOT!

It WILL get better.

Our first V was a challenge we had done a lot of research and we were ready. NOT!

For your husband a decent set of headphones while he is working? Listen to some music?

At night we slept on the floor near the kennel. When he went to sleep we snuck out.

Good luck. And Patience.

If you give up we can be there in 6-8 hours.

Regards

We lost our first male very young and even after what we went thru with him it was horribly hard on us. We Got 2 More.One was a regime and easy the other was not nearly what our first one was.

Get to six months!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The first few weeks are very challenging! In our limited experience once they reach 6 months they start to become great dogs.

BUT you have to make it to the 6 month plus point.

I am a bit (lot) of a smart azz. So bear with me a little.

No matter how prepared you thought you were, you were NOT!

It WILL get better.

Our first V was a challenge we had done a lot of research and we were ready. NOT!

For your husband a decent set of headphones while he is working? Listen to some music?

At night we slept on the floor near the kennel. When he went to sleep we snuck out.

Good luck. And Patience.

If you give up we can be there in 6-8 hours.

Regards

We lost our first male very young and even after what we went thru with him it was horribly hard on us. We Got 2 More.One was a regime and easy the other was not nearly what our first one was.

Get to six months!
Thank you very much! Right now I’m focusing on getting to that 12-week mark. Seems like that can be the first turning point? Will set 6 mos. as the next carrot! Good news is that we set the playpen up out in the room where my husband works, and things went incredibly well. Of course I was still around to provide potty breaks, etc., but … I’m taking that as progress and a good sign. Thank you, again. P.S. 6-8 hours, huh? 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sounds like you're doing the right things on potty training. I think every puppy is a little different, so it may just take him some time to get it - hopefully that happens very soon!

Yay on the crate success! He'll get it eventually. I felt like Poppy was never going to learn, but she finally did!

Poppy is really only crated now when I am away from the house. She never got to a point where she liked being in the crate if the crate was in a different room from me. I know that's not always possible for every situation, so I empathize that having him in a different room from your partner while he's working will be difficult. Once Poppy got better with potty training and wasn't sleeping quite as much during the day, I got a waterproof mat on amazon and an adjustable play pen. I set her up in there with her bed, some toys, etc. and we kept that set up until she was fully potty trained. After that, she had free range of my office space.

Poppy likes all of the Outward Hound puzzles. She solves them pretty quickly, but she gets excited when I bring them out. She likes all of the West Paw toys and puzzles as well. The toppl treat toys are kind of expensive, but I think it's worth it to get both pieces. I put high value treats in there and connect the small and large pieces tightly. It takes her a good 10 - 15 minutes to wedge it open and get the treats out. She also likes the snoop toy from Planet Dog. We also go through a lot of braided bully sticks - those last her much longer than the regular ones. It usually takes her a couple hours to get through a 12 inch stick. I also bought the Pupsicle Pack from mywoof.com. It's similar to the kong, but it contains the mess much better. I don't like giving Poppy stuffed kongs because she makes a mess.

Once you trust your pup with bedding in his crate, I highly recommend a Snoozer Pets crate cozy cave. Poppy LOVES her cozy caves and that's where she settles now while I am working. She has the rectangular crate bed as well as a round bed.

Hang in there and I promise it will get better!!
Amazing info, thank you! Guess I’ll be doing yet more shopping. Can’t wait to check all these out. I tried setting up plastic cups over treats in a muffin tin today. Mostly he wanted to munch and kill the cups. Ha! Absolutely, a Cozy Cave is on my list for when potty training is accomplished. His cozy crate bed has a half cover, but the one time I showed it to him so he could crawl under if he chose, he just wanted to bite it. Wee shark. So far, he doesn’t think Kongs are any great shakes no matter what I put in them, even though I help him get started. Lickimat with peanut butter is typically more of a hit. Plain yogurt? Forget it! He obviously hasn’t read the Stuff Dogs Love rule book. Thank you, again!
 

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Hi, I don’t have any more advice beyond the great tips already provided. But I will tell you that you are not alone. Viktor just turned 5 months last week and is turning into a much more manageable pup (for now), but the first month and particularly the first few weeks were miserable.

We ended up sleeping on an inflatable mattress in the kitchen for two nights, listened to him constantly whine and cry in the crate and basically try to eat everything. But within a month things stabilised. It felt like a year but we got there.

Every pup is different but your experience sounds totally normal. Stick with it and he’ll get it…and when you need a minute or two break, toss a bunch of kibble on the floor and make him play “find it!”.
 

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Hello, Your puppy is very young. I remember that when I got my pup, it was more hard work than I expected, in spite of having had dogs before. Vizsla puppies definitely have extra intensity and no off switch!! but they are the cutest :) and full of life!! Like @InTheNet said before they get significantly better at month 6 or so. At that time I did a lot of research on how to manage the extra intensity and painful nipping an puppy biting..and these are the things that worked for me.

1. Lot of crate time. Also cover the crate if you can ...they need a LOT of sleep...in fact I remember , at one point he used to be out for only 15-20 mins or so before he got out of control and back in the crate he went. To a large degree this was the only thing that worked to manage the biting.
2. Usually they seem out of control, cranky..again its mostly because they are very tired and need crate time. My pup used to do this at predictable times everyday ( 5pm or so)...so I would put him in the crate before he would go crazy on me.
3.I got a large crate that he can grow into...but used a divider so that his space was small in the crate. I would leave him in the crate and take him out for potty every hour or so for first few weeks ...he was quick to learn not to potty in the house. The limited space in the crate helps ...because they usually won't want to potty where they sleep. If the crate is too big he may go to the other side in the crate and potty there.
4. At some point I did use a squirt gun to let him know that charging at me and biting is not ok....used it sparingly, but it worked. you may want to keep a couple around in your room.

Enjoy your pup, they grow up fast...he will be the best dog in a few months, hang in there!! I remember at times i was so tired of handling his energy...but then one day he caught kennel cough from some other dog and was not moving much at all and looking very sad. and had me really worried. At that moment, I remember feeling I would give anything to have him back at his regular intense, full of energy self!! They are clowns!... enjoy this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi, I don’t have any more advice beyond the great tips already provided. But I will tell you that you are not alone. Viktor just turned 5 months last week and is turning into a much more manageable pup (for now), but the first month and particularly the first few weeks were miserable.

We ended up sleeping on an inflatable mattress in the kitchen for two nights, listened to him constantly whine and cry in the crate and basically try to eat everything. But within a month things stabilised. It felt like a year but we got there.

Every pup is different but your experience sounds totally normal. Stick with it and he’ll get it…and when you need a minute or two break, toss a bunch of kibble on the floor and make him play “find it!”.
Thank you so much. Miserable is right - and something about your saying so is oddly comforting. I think what makes this experience all the more difficult is the ups and downs. We will have a great morning, then plummet to a s*** afternoon or evening. The next day vice versa. It’s tremendously exhausting. Thank you for adding your words of support. You all are helping me to hang on.
 
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