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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I"m moving to a small rural town in Western Washington. It will be a 4 bedroom ranch home on 5 heavily wooded acres (no fence) adjacent to a large pond and protected wetland. My neighbors all live on similliar properties with dogs. I will have 3 room mates w/out pets (can't depend on them for dog care).

I work about 12 hours +/- a day.

Plan is at 0545 to put dog(s) in 1/4 acre secure, fenced pen with food/water/shelter while at work until 1730 and then let dog(s) out and then they will go everywhere I go. When I'm inside they will be inside and sleep in the bed etc. I will be doing lots of work on the property cleaning the place up during the week and the weekends will be a lot of outdoor activities: running trails, hiking, kayaking, mt biking, surfing, long hunting treks, visiting friends in seattle (parks, busy streets) so the dog will be experiencing a lot of different environments.

My belief is that the Vizsla would be a good dog for me b/c (please correct if wrong):
o the vizsla can handle a lot of different environments if it experiences a lot when young
o it will stay w/in 30 +/- feet while i'm running trails / hiking / biking
o will be willing to chill on top of my kayak
o will be ok walking busy seattle streets and playing frisbee in the park
o good with kids and LOTS of meeting new people
o will just stick around me while i'm working all over the property
o won't tear up a random person's house in seattle that i'm visiting
o good for hunting

1. Vizsla or Rhodesian Ridgeback?
2. 1 or 2 of the above?

any thoughts would help, thanks !
 

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think this plan sounds good for an adult dog but not sure how a puppy would cope with being left alone for that length of time even if they are outside. for the first few weeks our girl went crazy if she was left for more than 5 mins! maybe they puppy would get used to it quickly but i reckon that the wee guy would be pretty distressed for the the first few days!!

as for vizsla over ridgeback im not sure i have never owned a ridgeback they are beautiful dogs but i love the barmy vizslas!!
 

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Please note before I say anything - the following are just my own personal opinions from months and months of research before becoming a V parent and then being a V parent since last August.

In the volumes of reading I did on V's they do not like to be left alone outside.... hence the term "velcro dog" .... they were developed eons ago to travel with their humans, sleep with their humans and hunt with their humans - the Magyar Nomads - yes they adore being outside, taking in the world, sniffing and experiencing all nature has to offer but doing it with their human. I can tell you that our girl would be traumatized if left all day outside without one of us with her. She adores hitting the beach, running, swimming and checking everyone and everything out but she is constanting checking in with me, and not just looking up to see me but running back to actually TOUCH me and then running off again.
I think I would reconsider especially with a pup... it is a very important time in their lives when bringing home a Vizsla pup ... the bond between you and the dog needs to start from the time it leaves it's mother and becomes your companion. I just couldn't imagine having the dog I do today without that close connection that grew from the hours of bonding time we spent together from day one. Just my personal thoughts on the matter. Perhaps a breed that doesn't require or desire the close physical contact with it's owner would be a better choice for your lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good thoughts all around and thank you for the feedback. I've done a lot of reading and I know many people do not recommend 2 puppies at once but i've also heard some great stories about how 2 puppies at once was better when people have had to leave their dogs alone for a while.
Do you think that would help the situation or just add too many other problems?
 

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I haven't had two puppies at once although I watched some friends struggle with two lab puppies.

We had a kitten and a puppy at the same time and that was a lot of work whilst they were little.

Merc has always been alone during the day - from about 9am to 5pm. However the first two weeks we had him I was home all day and then till he was a good six months old I was coming home at lunch times. So although I think your plan would probably work for an adult dog I'm not sure about a puppy.

And I wonder if all the extra time Islander put in with Ziva has resulted in her having a more sticky kind of velcro dog than the one I have.....

Good luck!
 

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Rex

I don't know what your experience level is, but to train and condition a dog for the items you have listed, especially the hunting component, is going to be a very time intensive effort. Trying to simultaneously do it with two dogs while on 12 hour shifts is going to be extremely difficult. I live on a wooded 2 acre property on a river amongst rural farmland and a 25,000 acre forest right out the backdoor, and even with those advantages it's tough.

Let me comment on each bullet you have listed.

The Vizsla can handle a lot of different enviornments, but their confidence comes from their relationship with their owner. They are not a dog that does well kenneled, and you may encounter eratic behavioral issues. If your intent is to enclose a 1/4 acre you will need to carefully consider your containment system. These dogs can clear a 4'-5' tall fence from the sitting position. Give them a running start and a Vizsla can clear the bed of a 4wd pickup. One of my hammerheads took me out doing exactly that. They can climb fences very well, so bear that in mind. If it were me, I would have a 6' fence with and invisible fence barrier system to keep them away from the fence.
The weather in the Pacific Northwest may be a little too cool and rainey for permanent long term kenneling 365 days a year. The Vizlsa has a single coat of hair, there is no undercoat to collect and store oil for insulation, and to repel water. They can take some pretty cold/wet weather, but they need to be free to run around and generate heat, and they need to be able to dry off.

Your Vizsla will not stay within 30' of you while running or biking. They will loop out and back continually. I was a former USCF Cat II cyclist and Triathlete. I have a alot of experience doing these two activities with my Vizlsas through the years. Don't try to keep them that close permanently. It's not natural for them.

The Vizsla is a capable shallow water entry dog. They can be used to jump shoot ducks on ponds, and hunt coastal ducks on a limited basis, but they are not a Chesapeke Bay Retriever. If you were too have an accident with your kayak and put your dog(s) into the water, you will need to have a recovery plan, and absolutely have a neoprene flotation vest on the dog, or you risk drowning your dog. Not all Vizslas are good swimmers, some are deplorable, so bear that in mind. I've had one that could outswim an otter and another that would have drowned in 3' of water, and 5' from the bank without assistence. It's a chance.

Your Vizsla will be fine on city streets and playing frisbee. Don't use a regulation frisbee though, they're too hard. Get a softer disc designed for dogs. They go just as far as a real frisbee, but are easier on the dogs teeth.

Vizlsas are very good with kids and meeting people, but they need to be socialized, or they can be a little spastic. On 12 hour shifts this may be difficult to properly achieve.

If your vizsla has bonded to you, he'll follow you around no problem. If you want a true hunting dog though, don't expect it. Your dog will know where you're at, but you don't want them attached at the hip at all times. A good hunting dog needs to be forward.

My dogs, in 23 years, have never torn up anything in the house. They have knocked things off of tables though racing around the house. Keeping a dog outside 12+ hours a day though will present issues. Don't expect them to be calm in the house just because they've been outside all day. Just because they've been outside doesn't mean they've been active. They may be wound tighter than a clock spring by the time you get home. Be prepared fo it.

The Vizsla is an excellent on foot hunting dog, and they can be hunted from horseback quite easily, but they excel as a personal gundog.

A Vizsla and a Rhodesian may appear similar in appearance, but all similarity ends there. They are very different dogs.

To be brutally honest given your work situation, I would not recommend two puppies at once. You may in fact be better off getting a started, or finished gun dog. Pick your lines carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well its safe to say I won't have the time to properly care for 2 V's they way they deserve it. It's hard to get around the thought process that 2 will be good company together. some additional thoughts here...

o Is a V going to develope ok and will we have a good relationship if I am gone 12 +/- hours a day M- F. I plan on it being right with me for every single one of those other hours and on the weekends? I know 12 hours is a lot friends, but it seems over all with all the activities and space that the dog would have, we'll be able to carry on pretty well...

o I've always thought that an outdoor pen / kennel area would be better for dogs or puppies while away but would crating be better? That seems like too long to leave a dog in a crate to me. Maybe fencing an area of the garage would be better?

o also, Gunnr or anyone else with a little spatial wiggle room, are you able to let your dog(s) just wander your property while you're gone with the expectation that they stay on your property? Is it feasible to take your dog on walks of your property lines and hope that he will eventually be able to stay within the boundaries for 12 hours a day unsupervised?
 

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Rex

I am currently working 12 hour days, and have been for about 6 weeks. I get up at 0430, leave the house at 0530 and I am getting home at about 1900. I work in a Nuclear Power Plant. This is temporary while the Unit is being re-fueled. My "typical workday" is 8-10 hours. My wife is home with the "girlz" during the day. She normally gets up at about 0730.
I have had dogs in kennels in the basement and outside during periods of our life when we were both on 10's and 12's. It's not ideal, but sometimes you just have to make do. The only fifference is that we always tried to plan it so that we had the puppy for a long while to get them through the house training period and properly adjusted to the daily routine prior to kenneling.
My dogs are very rarely left outside un attended for any period longer than is reasonable to go to the bathroom and then whistled in. (They're also supervised in the house.). I have left them outside virtually all day, they have about an acre and half of Invisible Fence area, but I'm going in and out doing yard work and other chores. Usually I've found that if I'm in the house for too long of a period, in their mind, they're on the back porch waiting for me. Once I go back out, they wiggle around, get a pet or two, take off and resume their day. They always "check in" on me though. Even if just for a second or two from a distance.
I would never trust a dog permanently left alone in anything other than a locked fenced kennel, preferably enclosed with a shade barrier on the roof and an automatic watering system.
I like the freedom of the invisible fence for the dogs, but should our work schedules require the girls to be left out during the day it will be in the kennels. Realize also that an invisible fence only keeps your dogs in. Any wandering/roaming dog is free to come into your yard. A well bred Vizsla puppy is a very expensive investment in simply money alone, not including time and emotion. The last thing you want is some roaming dog to come in and injure/kill your dog in it's own yard. A quality kennel enclosure can be built for about $500.00. It's worth the piece of mind. Don't leave your dog, especially a young puppy, alone, unsupervised, and not contained.
Everyone wants a puppy, and truthfully, who doesn't. In your case though, I would really look at an older started dog. One that is mentally and physically at a point that it can be left alone, or with a kennelmate, for extended periods.
If you absolutely want to have a puppy, create a space in the house for it. We've had ours in a "dog playpen", a 4'x4'x8' plywood enclosure on linoleum.l If you have a spare room in the house that would be even better. It will have to be "puppy proofed".
Everthing you want to do can be done, you're just going to have go a different route. Leaving a puppy unattended in an open yard is the wrong route though. Build a space for it in the house.
 

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Hi rex you've had some real good advice so far, I'd just like to comment on the V or Ridgeback issue Scooby's best mate is a Ridgeback (Boris is 1 month younger but twice the weight) and they play great together, from my experience with Boris he's so laid back compared to Scooby, if we don't go out together Boris would be happy with a 'plod' around and not run any where and then be happy not to go out again that day, if Scooby doesn't get 2 good runs a day he's unbearable to live with, he's the only ridgeback I've known but from what his owners have said that's the 'norm' for the breed.
Good luck with choice
The pic is of them both when they were about 5months old, and they still play as hard and rough now but they're twice the size, it's great to see 2 big dogs play fight without any aggression.
 

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Hi guys,
I am not disagreeing with Gunnr and his comments on vizslas and fences (i've only lived with the one for just over 2 years now) but thought I'd add my experience with merc which is that although one of our fences in barely waist-high, he has never even thought of jumping it. He stands up with his front feet on it like an old man watching the world go by and he has jumped that high doing agility training but in his mind jumping a fence is something completely different. We fully expected to have to re-fence the yard as he grew up but haven't.

Scooby - love the photo of the two playing. Although Merc plays well (is restrained0 with the little dogs I loe seeing him wrestle with the big dogs too
 

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Mercutio

I understand your position exactly.
All of my Vizslas have been very respectful of boundries. I can put a cardboard barrier across a door in the house and they will stay in that room, even though they could easily knock it over or jump over it. A piece of ply wood will keep them out of the quail barn, and I know they can jump through the dutch door if they want to, they just seem to know not too. It's wierd, and they seem to do it naturally.
I based my advice on a young dog being left unattended for long periods of time, and a worst case scenario. I should have been more clear in my response.

PS.
That's a nice shot of Merc. ;)
 

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We used to have that comfort with Penny and fences... but it just took one time of her deciding to climb/jump out for everything to change. I believe her motivation was to be with us as we left her in the fenced back yard one day and then went without her to the front yard. She jumped and ran to see us, but then took off for some "exploring". This was around 10-11 months. And then once she knew how to get out other motivations were enough for her to escape. We ended up having to install an invisible fence to keep her away from the physical fence. Inside she is pretty good at respecting barriers that could easily be jumped, but she is most assertive in trying to get through when she is left alone, even if just in another room. (Hence the post about off limits rooms.) So the lesson is be extra careful when leaving them alone, it's extra motivation to get out, and remember they are smart. I often think of the scene in Jurassic Park when they realize the raptors are studying how doors work.
 
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