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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

We brought our vizsla home today, and I know (and have been told by many) that a fussy eater within the first few days is especially normal. I just wanted to see what everyone else did the first time they brought their new V home. After we brought her home from the breeder, we tried feeding her dinner in a bowl in her crate. This was an hour or so after she got acquainted with the place, met a few people, sniffed, jumped, and ran and played with every new person she saw. There were no troubles breaking her in, and she even whined when it was time for her to go pee. No problems at all in the house! Anyway, when I tried putting her bowl in the crate, all she did was cry. I have heard that we are suppose to be strict with eating meals ONLY in the crate, however since she is only a pup I didn't want her to miss a meal. After 15 minutes of whining in the crate and no eating I just took her outside to go pee. When I tried laying down a bit of her food on the floor, she ate it right away with no problems. What should I do? Maintain a strict plan of only allowing her to eat in her crate (and if she doesn't eat within that 15 minutes then take her out), or putting a bowl of her food outside it and allowing her to eat when she's hungry.

I'd appreciate any advice for this adorable little creature! I've only had her for a day but she couldn't be more perfect and well behaved!
 

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This might sound a bit nuts, why don't you try laying out a trail of food on the floor leading into the crate? You want her to be happy eating in the crate and you want her to associate the crate with food but you obviously don't want her to go hungry because she is stressed about going in the crate. We didn't crate train so i'm not speaking from experience.
 

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Maple

Unless there is a very compelling reason for needing to have her eat in her crate, I would kinda sweep that practice to the side.
As a new puppy, I'm assuming 7-10 weeks old, she needs to eat. First and foremost of her immediate needs are access to water at all times practical and a healthy diet.
Until Tika came along, I have always allowed my dogs to self regulate their food. In other words, the food bowl was always available and full of food. It was this way for 20 something years. Tika tends to overeat, so the food has to be regulated.

Pudgy, but not fat, puppies are healthy puppies. Let her eat on her terms for the first few week/months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Our breeder emphasized only and always feeding the vizsla when they are in their crate. THey also told us (and it's on their website) to remove all uneaten food after 15 minutes. They said the crate door should be closed during feeding, and their water to be left outside the crate. If the pup does not eat it, take it away until next regular feeding and then offer it again (not too sure if I agree with this though).

The breeder also said to never get into the habit of free feeding the dog (...I have always had labradors, and they've eaten their food right away so Im really not use to having a picky eater for a puppy). She said that feeding in the crate helps reinforce the idea that the crate is a "good" place.

Anyway...since I've always had labradors I'm really not use to a bowl of food not being eaten within a minute. This morning was a lot better...I did trail food into her crate and she ate the food while standing half in the crate. According to our breeder, this would probably be unsuccessful, but whatever. I definitely don't agree with taking her food away if she hasn't eaten it since she is only a puppy and these next few weeks are crucial to her health and development. Has anyone on here stuck to crate training since their V's were pups? My boyfriend really wants to stick with this type of training, but I'm really having a tough time agreeing with it. And I'm definitely not going to deprive her of her food at this point in time.
 

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Hello Maple

Our pup is now four months old and from the start she has spent time during the day in her crate when we couldn't supervise her. She is also put in her crate when she needs "time out", and she sleeps happily there all through the night. However, we have never fed her in there - to be honest I didn't realise that this was part of "crate training". When we first had her it took a good week before she would eat very much. Our breeder told us to give her pretty much anything in the early days to make her food more tempting. Now she eats plain, dry kibble very happily, with perhaps the occasional raw egg on top. The breeder also practices free feeding - but that is with five adult dogs - so maybe it's rather different. Like you, we have always been used to greedy dogs who wolfed down their food immediately, Vs do seem to be a little picky!

Certainly I would persevere with the crate - for us it's been a life-saver! Am sure it wouldn't hurt to bend the breeder's rules re. feeding in the crate at this stage.

Good Luck!
 

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maple, sounds to me like you have a dog from Onpoint, maybe I am wrong.

When we brought Kian home from that breeder we were told the same thing. It worked for us until he was about 5 or 6 months old, I can't remember.
what we used to do was get him excited about going to eat and he would literally follow us to his crate. It got to a point where he would just run into his crate at feeding time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kian,

You're right, we did get her from Onpoint! Great breeder, we are more than ecstatic about our pup! She's getting a little bit better, she eats for a little bit then realizes she is on her own in there and starts to cry. A small amount of food is being eaten now, so I'm really hoping her eating pattern will get better. I just need to remember that they're smart animals, and they will eat when they're hungry.

I am going to take the advice of Onpoint. They've been doing this for many many years, and obviously know so much about these animals. There is obviously a point to crate training, and I'm just going to have to persevere through this right now. I think it will definitely pay off in the long run. :)
 

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My question is, if Breeders are so smart, why do they feed their dogs crap food like Purina and Iams.

I think feeding labs or other dogs that have a huge appetite on a time schedule would work, but I know I follow what Gunnr suggested and just leave the food out for Charlie. He eats when he wants and seems to be fine doing it that way.
 

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Maple

Apologies upfront. I misunderstood the entire process, and didn't realize that crate training was the end objective.
You can try to jazz up her food to make it more attractive. Add litle bacon grease, maybe some rice, squashed up banana and honey, or maybe even squish up some bits of hot dogs and add it to her food to encourage her.
 

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Dubyajay said:
My question is, if Breeders are so smart, why do they feed their dogs crap food like Purina and Iams.
I believe money is the issue. It must cost a lot to feed 2 adult dogs and a litter of 6 to 12 pups (my numbers might be wrong lol) a high quality food. They might reason the dog will find a home in a couple of months and the owners will get something better.
 

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Mischa said:
Dubyajay said:
My question is, if Breeders are so smart, why do they feed their dogs crap food like Purina and Iams.
I believe money is the issue. It must cost a lot to feed 2 adult dogs and a litter of 6 to 12 pups (my numbers might be wrong lol) a high quality food. They might reason the dog will find a home in a couple of months and the owners will get something better.
I had someone tell me once why their breeder chose "good" food and why not great with their puppies. They want to insure their puppies get the best possible, but the reality is many owners will only get whats available at the grocerystore. If they start them on the best of easily accessible food, it's better then other crap they may choose when they're grocery shopping. If the owner wants better food and make the trip to Petco they encourage it.


I have to admit, when I had my first child our cat was switched to Iams ... (our Vet said it's the best without going to a specialty store). I just couldn't travel the half hour, recovering from a c-section and with a new born to get his normal food. I always try to get their good food, but with 3 kids and living in the middle of nowhere we have to improvise! We don't let our kids eat fastfood or watch TV, but every once in awhile it's ok. Same for our pets too ;-)
 

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Also, Mischa is from Onpoint too. There are quite a few on this forum. If you're in Toronto or surrounding area we do fairly regular meet ups to let the kids play and tire each other out. I hope you can come one day. :)

-Janice
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Janice -- It's nice that there are some other Onpoint pups here! And Gunnr, no worries. Yes, crate training is our objective and it seems to be getting better each day. Maple cries a little bit once we close the door, but she seems to be eating all her food now. She even went in there on her own today when she decided she needed a little "quiet time."

I assumed the reason for the Purina dog food was to save money. It does make sense as well that they started on something less affordable and something more accessible to everyone in case an owner couldn't (or didn't want to) pursue the holistic route. Next week I'm going to slowly begin the transition to Orijen.

I live in the Ottawa area. If anyone else is from Ottawa and knows of any nice parks are playful dog groups let me know! I guess the moral of any puppy story is to be patient. Things are going a lot more smoothly -- not so much crate training issues now as it is trying to get Maple to stop nipping my ankles when she's excited and I'm walking around!

Thanks again guys! :)

Ros
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Jess,

Maple is from the June 24th (Run/Rowdy) litter. That's great news though, you must be so excited! I couldn't sleep for days before we got her because I was so excited. All their pups look so great, I have no doubt that yours will be perfect!

Do you live in the Ottawa area?

Ros
 

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Hi, Ros!

I am already hitting the excited no-sleep - I figure it's good practice anyway. ;)

I'm in Toronto, so we'll be making quite a trek for our little girl! I'm very happy we were able to buy from Onpoint, and it was wonderful timing that they still had a female available when I inquired, as my husband is currently home from Afghanistan (he's a civilian IT contractor). We'll have a week together with the pup before he goes back until January.

Then the hard work begins for me! She starts puppy school the following weekend, and I anticipate 4 months will be both amazingly difficult and at the same time, fly by!

Jess
 

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Jess,
Congrats on the new Onpoint pup.
There are a few of us on the forum that have Onpoint V's.
A group of us also get together every few weeks to take the dogs for some off leash fun. We usually meet in Aurora at one of the forests.
Hope you can make it.
Good luck with the pup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's great Jess! I wish there were some people in the Ottawa area, it sounds like there is a wonderful group that get's together in Toronto. Goodluck with everything!!
 

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Thanks for all your nice comments, everyone! I feel badly for way-laying the thread, however. :)

I will probably be a regular poster on this forum this time in two weeks, I'll bet! And, yes, I look forward to the GTA Local V's meet-ups as soon as my Anya has all her shots. :)
 
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