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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

My hubby and I are completely new to the world of Vizslas. We will be adopting our puppy in late August or early September and I want to make sure we have everything planned out way ahead of time! :D

We both work full time (he works 8-9 hours, my schedule varies from 8-10 hours), but my hubby usually has two weekdays off while I have the weekend off. This will be great for the dog as it will only have 3 days a week that it would potentially be alone. (My husband also works close enough that he can come home on lunch break for about 30 minutes to play with the dog.) To fill the dog's alone time I'm trying to figure out if doggie daycare or a petsitter would be better. I've found a great daycare in our area that has good reviews, but I'm worried about the dog learning proper manners. The upside to this is plenty of doggie socialization and exercise. My family is willing to come exercise and play with the dog on the days we are working (they live maybe 1 min away). The upside to this would be that the dog will be able to stay at our house & I wouldn't be worried about our baby catching kennel cough or something. I also know a highly reputable petsitter that could come and exercise the dog.

What would you recommend? We are so excited to get our puppy! My husband goes running for several miles every day and we love going hiking and to the beach, so we think a Vizsla is going to fit in perfectly with our family. :)
 

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I'm not sure you'll need a pet sitter. Don't run him until he is older and you read up on running puppies. Crate train him from the start. Allot of good info on this site. I would read it all. :)
 

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I don't think you need to spend the money on either. Let your family come by the days your not able to be there if they're only 1 min away. It's great for them as everyone loves a puppy, but also good the dog gets used to them as I would presume they would look after the dog anytime you go away (vacation etc). My girlfriend and I both work regular hours 9-5, 5 days a week. So our dog is home approx 7-8hr by himself during the week (w/ a caveat) . My dad and mom love the dog and both are semiretired so they come by at lunch on the days they can (2-3/week). On the other days up until recently I would come home at lunch. But now at 4.5 months, he can last the day as long as he gets good 45 min exercise in the morning and then his big one 1 hour - 1.5 after work. Who knows, once he's no longer puppy cute my parents may cut back there visits..ha ha...so we want him to be okay w/ spending the day by himself when needed (and he seems to have adjusted just fine), so we're quite comfortable w/ this setup, of course things are quite different the first month or two.

I'd say feel free to do either the dog sitter/daycare should you wish, but I don't see it necessary. if he's not going to get much interaction w/ dogs outside of possible daycare, you may wish to do so, but if so (dog parks nearby etc) then I might avid it so you can control the interaction, but either way your not going to ruin the dog so long as whomever is looking after them is trustworthy and responsible.

Best of luck w/ it and congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the advice! My hubby won't be running with the dog until he's old enough, but we will be doing some fun hiking/beach trips. :)

I'm going to talk with my family. My mom and sister both have said they would love to play with the dog and exercise it whenever we need, so I think that should be sufficient. I'm having so much fun reading all the posts on the forum and getting some great info as well. I'm glad we have a couple of months to prepare!
 

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my husband and i have a similar schedule.. we have 3 days a week that we both work in the city and the other days one of us is home. henry is now 10 months... we adopted him when he was 3 months old. we crate trained him in the beginning-> that is to say, we had a crate that we kept open and a pen around the crate. the pen only allowed enough room for him to use a wee wee pad. we hired a pet sitter to come in the afternoon 3 days a week to take him out/feed him lunch/clean up the pen/etc. at night the crate training was a nightmare so i choose to sleep on the couch and he'd sleep on his dog bed and every hour... 2 hours.. 3-4-5 etc he would wake me up to go take him out/bathroom. each week the amount of time he could hold it would increase. not once did he have an accident and we had him house broken in a jiff...

but as he got bigger... he got smarter/stronger and was able to break out of his pen & his crate... so when he was 7 months old we decided it was time to find a doggie daycare place... AND MAY I JUST SAY IT IS THE BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE!!!! he is the happiest boy.

hope this helps!!!!
 

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I don't think you *need* either, but you may want it for your sanity. The rule of thumb I was told (after our V was a year old) was that they can "hold it" for a number of hours equal to their age in months plus one, but a lot of them can hold it longer. So, if he's 3 months old, he can hold it for 4 hours if he's crated. Ours peed in his crate from day one and did until he was about 6-7 months old (when he learned how to lean so he was peeing outside of his crate!), even following that rule of thumb. The key, though, is the exercise. Rex needed a solid 2-3 hours a day until he was over a year old. I could break that up in to 45 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at lunch, and an hour and a half to 2 hours in the evening. We hired a dog walker once a week (where we lived didn't have a daycare) to give us a break from having to wear him out until I really enjoyed the daily morning and evening walks. We've moved to an area with fantastic daycares and we take him 1 day a week now just to give him a little fun exercise day. I don't think you have anything to worry about with him learning "bad habits" if it's a good daycare. Rex is actually better behaved at daycare! I will say this, though, I notice a difference in behavior if he doesn't have structured walks and only has fun play. I would strongly recommend keeping up the structured walks to maintain the alpha status.

As for running, my husband and I run with our V 4-5 times per week, sometimes up to 10 miles. But, we've found that you should only take him for long runs if the temperature is less than 75 degrees and low humidity. We try to keep the runs under 20 minutes if it's 70-75 degrees. Always take water with you (unless it's like 50 degrees) regardless of whether or not you think you'll need it. If the tongue is hanging low, stop and give them water. Also, watch their paw pads. Rex ran one day until his paws were raw and bleeding but he didn't want to stop so he ran through the pain. They will do anything to make their owners happy, even if it kills them, so you have to watch out for them.
 

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Another puppy in our class went to doggie daycare the day of, and the trainer noticed it right away based on his play style! He was unusually aggressive, etc. Turns out the owner had taken him to a daycare based on the recommendation of her vet, and the place was not very good.

If you do decide to go that route, apparently some very important questions to ask are: How many breaks do the dogs get and what is the dog to human ratio?

Dogs need some break time away from other dogs--8 solid hours of play is not good for the dog, especially as in a lot of daycares there's really no place for the dog to go and be by himself. So they need to offer kennel time for the dogs. And I guess the recommended ratio is 1 human to 7 dogs (which still seems like a lot of dogs for one person!). So if you do ever end up going that route, definitely make sure to ask these questions!
 

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You guys are AWESOME! Thanks for all the great advice! I think we will probably do a combination of daycare and my family coming over to walk the dog. I can see how only unstructured play may have a bad effect on the dog's behavior. I will also make sure that the daycare gives them some alone time to relax. :D
 
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