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Hi there!

I'm Steffen from Germany and want to add a Vizsla to my life :)

The girl is expected to be born on December 05th, this year and her name will be Phoebe - I'm so excited.

I've had a dog before. We got "Lotta" at the age of 12-16 weeks from a dog shelter. She was a smaller greyhound mix and really adorable. When my ex-girlfriend and I separated, she took the dog with her.

Long story short: we never had a crate - and I really don't know anyone (here in Germany) who has one for their "family dog".
Our dog had her own dog-bed in the living room and used to sleep there or on the couch when we were not at home. If we thought she had to take some time off or should "relax" after playing or training, we'd send her into her bed (maybe with some treat) and she'd be fine with that and would stay there until we let her come out.
At night she'd come into our bed and sleep with us. Sometimes she would go in the living room if we humans have been too annoying.

I've never heard of the crate concept before and I'm curious if this is a "Vizsla thing"?
If it's up to me, I would buy a cosy dog bed for the V and put it in the living room and would like her to be "free" within the apartment.
Is that a problem with a Vizsla?

Thanks!
Steffen
 

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Hallo und herzlich willkommen!

A crate is not so much a breed requirement but generally, a dog requirement..or perhaps more accurately, a piece of equipment meant to help them acclimate to the human world by recreating a part of the canine world: A den or safe space for them. Like you, I grew up long ago and far away and with a dog acquired by and lived with not much thought to these things, including (excluding?) a crate.

So, while you can get a Vizsla..and another Phoebe, we just had one, and I still love that name...your life (and hers) will be much smoother if you get one and talk with us about how to use it to help her acclimate to our world. Start with one of those smaller, plastic enclosed crates with the wire door in the front..they are the most den like during the time she will appreciate that the most, and then move up in size as she grows so she can easily stand up and turn around in it.
 

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We use a crate for ours. It gives them a "safe space". It also helps with potty training. Dogs do not want to pee/poo where they sleep.


The crate should be sized So that they have enough room to turn around/stretch out for sleep. I would buy a big enough size for adult dog and partition off a section. As the dog grows you increase there space.in the crate.


Our 2 do not mind their crate , in fact at night after last potty trip they race to get in the crate/kennel. But that could be partially because they also get a 1/2 slice of cheese.


They will go into the crate during the day if they are tired.


You should NOT use the crate as punishment/timeout. We have a crate for each. We use a wire kennel that could be folded up for travel
 

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Thanks for your kind replies!

So.. this is a temporary solution? I'm curious because I really want the dog to feel comfortable in the apartment - like the living room (couch or her bed) and in the sleeping room in bed. It's okay for me, that the dog sleeps with me/us in the bed - I like it.

As far as I understood, you're suggesting a crate for the first nights until she's potty-trained?

Is it okay not to have a crate but a comfy dog bed where I can send her if she needs to calm down or rest? Otherwise it would be okay for me, if she's just lying on the couch - it's big enough. The other dog always had an own spot on the couch in addition to her bed.

I could agree to something like this: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91B5Kc2RrPL._AC_SL1500_.jpg which I would leave opened - so just as "den replacement" :)
 

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Steffen, a lot of people don't understand the crate when they first hear about it, and see it very humanly as "Confinement". When used properly, their crate becomes their safe space, their den. So, while you can certainly have a Vizsla without one, it will be much harder to train them, leave them unattended, and soothe them. Read up on it, google it.

I sleep with my Vizsla (and have for 25 yrs) and also have a crate, the two aren't mutually exclusive. Your Vizsla can and should be with you when you want, but also, when she wants some space of her own..and when left unattended...she'd do well to have her own space. If there's the chance that you would want her safely crated when she's left unattended or you'd like to give her protected space for her own use, it's easier to start that from the very beginning rather than realize you need it later on and then try to introduce it as a change.
 

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Hallo und herzlich willkommen auch meinerseits, ich bin in Suedungarn geboren und lebe in Texas zur Zeit:)

Steffen, similarly to you the crate concept was a strange for me at the beginning and thought it was temporary / confinement etc. My first own vizsla Bende also was not a big fan of it at the beginning (who knows he may have felt my own hesitation...) and ended up on a way too long crate training journey for us. The real kick in started for me when we began to travel longer distances. Safety and wellbeing of my precious baby in the car, in hotels, dog shows, competitions etc convinced me that this is a desired tool. He can room around in the house freely as he is very well behaved, but when we are gone for work, his and now his little brother`s safe space is their crates. We started Miksa (the second one) right on the crate and luckily he slept thru the night at week 11 in his crate. They both travel in the car in their high safety crates. At home they can decide when we are there where they want to lay down and relax. They always get fed in their crates and lay down there afterwards for a nap. By now they both are actually in pretty big crates, so that they can drag in toys, chews, stretch legs etc if wanted. When in their crates, they only get positive feedback, no matter what. It also helps when they need to be boarded elsewhere, as they see crate equals my space even if my own humans are not around and helps them settle which is extremely important, stress is a killer for these sensitive creatures.
Hopefully that helps you and won`t go thru the same painful journey with your girl then i had to go thru with Bende. A crate trained dog is a much happier one from the get go in my experience.
 

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I've only skimmed through the previous comments, so apologies if this is redundant.



I think the crate as a necessity is more of an American attitude or at least you aren't the first European I've heard say it's uncommon over there. I think the den thing is overplayed to some degree, at least with a breed like a vizsla where 99 out of 100 times they're going to choose to be with you rather than desiring personal space. That said, it is useful as a designated safe space outside your home. If I visit a friend or go on vacation, then my dog has her crate amidst all the unfamiliar things.



I find crates useful for potty training, for keeping young dogs from destroying things in your home, for securely transporting them in the car, and for traveling in general. If they ever have to stay at the vet overnight or have to be boarded at a kennel then crate training helps make that experience less traumatic for them. It's a life skill that makes your dog more adaptable.



My dog has free reign of the home most of the time. She sleeps next to me at night and is allowed on all the furniture, but I am glad she is crate trained.
 

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Each pup/dog is going to be slightly different.
I've had ones that could stay out of trouble uncrated, after a year old. Others that could still chew through a sofa at 6 years old.
All of my dogs are crate trained, but that in no way means everyone them spend a lot if time in the crate. As others have said, it's meant to feel like their den. Plus my dogs ride in crates, most of the time. As it's just safer for them, than loose in a vehicle. If your pup ever has to stay at a vets, they will be crated. It's just less stress on them, if the crate is not new.
I am not a, You have to do, as I do person. I'm sure you will figure out, what works best in your home.
Maybe speak with your breeder, on what has worked for other puppy buyers.
 
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Steffen
Sometimes we travel pretty significant distances with our dogs here in the US. A 4+ hour ride is not uncommon during hunting season, and to get a field trials. Having the dog loose in the car, van, or truck, for that many hours can be undesirable. Crating can make it easier , and safer, for all parties.
All of my dogs have been crate trained, even though they rarely spent any time in it at home past about 14 months old. I had one that would seek out his crate in the basement when he wasn't feeling well, even though he had a very expensive open bed right in the front room with us. A sure sign something was wrong.
Used properly, they can be of tremendous benefit.
 

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I have to endorse the use of a crate, too. We find it to be a "must have" for any car travel. No loose dogs in a vehicle. Talk about distracted driving!

It works great for night time sleeping and of course for house training.

Great for time-outs. V's don't like being isolated and a short trip to a crate after bad behavior really sends the message. If our pup is counter surfing during meal prep, there's no better option for him. It's very hard to stop him without it and he gets the message that we won't tolerate it.

And dogs do like it for a safe space. Even if it is occasionally used as a place for time-outs, the dog will retreat to the crate if it needs to be alone. This is especially true for homes with young kids.
 

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I think it depends on the dog. My late cocker spaniel was never crate trained, although he actually didn’t get into that much trouble, given how crazy he was. And as much as he was affectionate he didn’t need to be around us ALL the time.

Our V, and this is our first V so I’m not going to comment on the entire breed, is quite the opposite. At first I was super skeptical about a crate because that was not how my late dog grew up. He was always allowed to roam the house. The bedrooms and upper floors were off limits, and after a few days he started to respect that. Never destroyed anything that I can remember.

When our V first got home he showed a marked unwillingness/inability to be alone. Either we were with him, or he was alone, whiny or getting into all kinds of trouble. Much more than my cocker spaniel was as a puppy. And if we allowed it he’d sleep in our bed and follow us everywhere. To the point where we were scared to 1. Go get groceries 2. Eat out and come home and find the house destroyed/puppy electrocuted by licking on outlets, etc.

To me, there’s no other option. Either that or we play nanny to him for the rest of his life and one of us will have to stay with him at all times. The crate was, at first, the only way he’d ever get alone time without being destructive. Or he’d follow us. Or get into trouble.

And he will HAVE to be alone sometimes. We have to go to work. We have to travel with him as we’re going to move out of the country. Maybe even in cargo. Inability to be alone is not an option. And thanks to the crate forcing alone time on him, he’s actually become much more independent.
 

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My belief, and you can find several post here from me on this very subject, is that crate = cage. When I get a puppy I get out the crate and cover it with blankets and put it in his area of the house. But, I always tie the door open so it cannot close. This provides a safe place that if he wants to he can come out of when he is ready. This is great for a puppy, especially in a house with older dogs or kids. But they will soon grow out of it. And the crate goes back into storage. Though in my case, I always have a dogie door and a fenced yard for them so if they need to go out to go potty, or burn some energy, they can. So leaving them home alone is generally okay. Though with a puppy I work our way up to longer periods alone, but, like everything else, it takes time and repetition training.
 

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Our crate was out of necessity as Pete would chew up anything left in the house. At first he didn't want to go in because it had a negative connotation. Based on a suggestion we placed blankets over the crate and left it open, and after a couple weeks Pete started going in and resting. Ultimately it became his refuge and he seems to love it. We are careful not to bother him when he goes in there, affording him some "alone" time. The breed is very emotional and at times, nervous. This seems to give them time to escape whatever is bothering them (loud TV, people, weather, who knows what else) and it serves to condition them to go in voluntarily when you leave the house. Ultimately Pete grew out of the chewing and the crate - ugly as it is - remains an important part of the house. Be careful not to use it as discipline or when you are upset with him. Not disagreeing with Kutya, but it can make it difficult to get them in when you are leaving the house. We were instructed to use a dog bed for time out, and it works great because it reinforces the "down" command. After all, they forget what they did after 2 minutes anyway! As always, the best method to avoid bad behaviors is to never let them take hold. "Off" and "down" should be central commands. Pete also sleeps with us, by the way. One of life's great joy is an extra hot Vizsla on a cold winter night.
 
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