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Hi All,

I and my partner got a 13 week-year-old female V last Saturday - Skye.

We are seriously questioning whether we have made the right choice, are able to train her correctly, and can facilitate her needs now considering the working lifestyle that we have, and having her now, the reality has kicked in...

I have read through most of the topics in relation to crate training on here and on other forums - have tried most things so far: lavender toys/positive reinforcement/toughing it out/covering the crate/longer periods/little and often/ nothing seems to be working... As soon as she is put in she barks, howls, and cries incessantly - does not stop. We left the house yesterday to go shopping for just over one hour and were told by our neighbors that she did not stop barking the whole time.

She is not toilet trained either. Peeing and pooing in the house at all different times. We are trying to rectify this - but she is still doing it...

The main issue lies with our working hours (i am a Police officer and my partner is a chef). I work shift work - earlies, lates and nights and can be away for 10-12 hours sometimes. My partners' shifts are less, more around 8-9, but are also not fixed, 9-5 work. We were trying to dovetail our rotas so that at least one of us would be at home with maybe a 1-2 hour gap in between. However, some days we have seen that we are both working at the same time and therefore will be out of the house for 8-9 hours. We were informed by our breeder that V's can be left alone this long with training - however, as we all know now, and after having read forums now we have her - we can only really leave her for maybe 1-2 hours tops at her age and level of training (which is none existent at this time)

Further, I am unsure of other peoples' experiences - but when she is awake and not in the crate she demands so much attention, will not leave our sides. I have never said NO or GET DOWN so much in my life. We are of course trying our best to train her with positive reinforcement (treats etc.) however, she just does not seem to be listening. We are wanting to keep her downstairs and not upstairs, with this, as soon as we go upstairs she whines and barks the same as if she is in the crate - of course, I know this is due to separation anxiety at this stage, however, we are finding it all of sudden incredibly difficult to complete normal household tasks - even taking shower or going to the toilet is stressful due to listening to the constant - and extremely LOUD - barking and howling.

We have spoken to our neighbours (we live in a mid-terrace), apologised in advance. They state that it is fine and not to worry, however it cant be OK. She is so loud and constant - I would not feel this way; in particular one of our neighbours works from home.

My partner has been in tears the last 2 days and is feeling as though we should rehome her as we are unsure we are able to train her effectively due to our working hours and all of the above. I still want to give it at least 2-3 weeks, as i have read that this is normal and most V owners state that it does get easier in time. However, with our working hours we do not have the luxury of time and lack of sleep etc. This weekend coming we are both working all day - we have provisionally arranged for a dog sitter to cover this for now whilst we try and engineer our rotas better for the upcoming weeks - but of course, this is now coming at an unforeseen expense.

So PLEASE - all advice is welcome re crate training, tolilet training, and all else that applies whether we should keep Skye and push on or we should find her a more suitable home.

What should we do??

We love Skye, she is beautiful and I know will be a great dog - we just cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment and it is already beginning to have an effect on my partners' mental health - we question whether our home and we as owners are right for her.

Thank you in advance.
Andy
 

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Well, a pup that young will not be able to "hold it" for 8 hours. Maybe an hour.
You need at minimum to find someone that can let the pup out at least once an hour . Then spend some play time with the pup.

I could add. a lot more, but I will not.Read into this as you wish.
 

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sometimes a puppy is just not a right decision in our lives. it can happen, and in my view the sooner you can correct it the better for the pup and for you too. reputable breeders tend too take back dogs, no questions asked. if it is not the situation here local vizsla rescues should be able to help to find a new home for the puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, a pup that young will not be able to "hold it" for 8 hours. Maybe an hour.
You need at minimum to find someone that can let the pup out at least once an hour . Then spend some play time with the pup.

I could add. a lot more, but I will not.Read into this as you wish.
Thank you for your reply.

Yes of course. In the initial weeks/months we will try and ensure this ,that she is let out to do 'her business'.

My concern with the post was whether she will be OK after the initial say 5-6 months at being on her own for that period. What i don't understand and question, is, that people work..? Normal families are away at work for at least 7-8 hours at a time and own dogs - surely they are left on their own for this period of time (most people do not return home to attend to a dog every 4-5 hours). Is the V a breed that cannot or is it one that will just adapt to this...
 

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Hi there,

Sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time. When my husband and I got our V puppy we both worked full time, (I have since retired.) My husband 's place of work is about 15 minutes from home, so every day at lunch he came home to feed the pup and let him out. Then I got home about 4-5 hours later. We were fortunate.
 

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Some adapt with age, and others do not.
A lot of people that work, get up extra early to take the dogs out for some off leash exercise. Have someone come by mid day, and take them for exercise again in the evenings after work.
This is a very intelligent working breed. They need mental, and physical exercise daily to be happy. Without those things a lot of them become destructive. With some it can lead to anxiety issues.
If your really feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out to your breeder. They should be a lifeline, when you need them.
Thank you for your reply.

Yes of course. In the initial weeks/months we will try and ensure this ,that she is let out to do 'her business'.

My concern with the post was whether she will be OK after the initial say 5-6 months at being on her own for that period. What i don't understand and question, is, that people work..? Normal families are away at work for at least 7-8 hours at a time and own dogs - surely they are left on their own for this period of time (most people do not return home to attend to a dog every 4-5 hours). Is the V a breed that cannot or is it one that will just adapt to this...
 

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Other people here are certainly more experienced, but we might be at a good stage to answer your question. We have a 1.5 year old female Vizsla, who is currently lazing quietly and unsupervised on the couch downstairs. This is only possible because she's already had about 3 hours of off-leash running today, and even with that, there is no way this would have been possible for the first year. I don't think we've ever left her alone for 9 hours yet, but we could probably get to that point if we had a fenced yard and a way for her to go in and out on her own.

At 13 weeks, my impression and recollection is that unless she is in a dedicated kennel she basically should not be left alone at all. I mean, you can, but you may well regret it, both for the pup's development and for what she may destroy. For the next 3 months or so, she "needs" to be treated with close to the same level of attention as you'd give a human infant. After that, you'll probably be able to crate her unsupervised for 1-2 hours without too much problem. Eventually, 4 hours crated should be fine, and maybe even loose in a part of the house you make safe for her. Going much longer than this would require someone to check in on her, or a special situation like an indoor/outdoor run.

From what you've written, my guess is that you are in over your head and are right to be looking for ways to rehome her. The exception would be if something major in your life is is going to change in the future that makes a Vizsla a more appropriate breed: you are an avid bird hunter and planning to train her; you are a trail runner and need a dog that can keep up with you; you are about to move to the country and will have multi-acre fenced yard; something like that. If that's the case, you can scramble to find ways to get through the next really difficult months.

I realize there must be a lot of sunk cost here, both monetary and mental, but unless there is a compelling reason you haven't mentioned that a Vizsla is the right dog for you, I think you, your wife, and the dog might be happier if you break things off now and find a more appropriate pet. Our Vizsla has switched from resting peacefully and is now barking crazily at the window. I'm going down to let her out to "defend" us against whatever it is she thinks she sees.
 

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What i don't understand and question, is, that people work..? Normal families are away at work for at least 7-8 hours at a time and own dogs - surely they are left on their own for this period of time (most people do not return home to attend to a dog every 4-5 hours). Is the V a breed that cannot or is it one that will just adapt to this...
It's a good question. My feeling would be that a Vizsla is not the right breed for a single person or a two-job couple unless they have great schedule flexibility, work at home, can bring the dog to work, or have a great support network that can fill in for them. I'm sure it can be done, but I think it would require money for outside help and almost total devotion to the dog's needs outside of work hours. There are people that do this successfully, but then again, there are also a lot of neurotic maladjusted dogs in the world. A Vizsla without sufficient exercise and attention is more likely to go crazy and turn destructive than many other breeds.

In case my previous answer seemed to harsh, I also wanted to add: congratulations on being brave enough to ask these hard questions. It's tough to open up to a potentially hostile crowd like this that you don't know. You're clearly trying to figure out what the right solution is, and that's a good start. Whether or not you choose to keep this particular dog, you're probably ahead of most people just by being willing to fully consider your options. If you want to, I'm sure you can make keeping this dog work somehow, the question is whether it would be worth the necessary sacrifices.
 

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In agreement with most of the counsel here. The first two weeks I got our girl, I was off work and able to spend that time just bonding and getting her settled. Supervision was constant the first three months. My husband and I work opposite shifts, so this was not a difficulty for us. Not sure we could have gotten a V pup were this not the case- they require so much time and attention the first year, it really is a major commitment. Not just an add-on to an already busy life. Now that she is almost 18 months, she is a dream, but it is because of all that investment during the early months. Even now she is rarely left alone more than 4-5 hours- not because she can't do it, but because we can't stand to be away from her any longer!!
 

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First ---THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE !!!!! I am so sorry that you are having difficulties. As far as holding pee in crate I believe a rule of thumb is 1 hour per dogs age. EG 2 months = 2 hrs. Yes they require constant attention. Our guy is 9 months and it is like having a 2 year old toddler. He requires constant monitoring, he loves to play and play, plays rough, gets into things often, and snuggles in your lap. We are retired and he keeps us busy.

Regarding the barking in cage, have you tried filling a Kong toy with peanut butter, smashed bananas, etc. when you leave. Our guy loves it and whenever we leave for a couple hours, he can't get into his crate fast enough. Texas Red's suggestion to have someone come over to play with her and let her out for potty is a great solution If you have family or a neighbor willing to help.

Best of luck to you
 

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I'm not going to sugar coat this, knowing Police shift patterns and rest days are subject to frequent changes and cancellations, and even with your best efforts to dovetail both of your time off, there is no way that young Vizsla puppy should be left alone crated up for 8-9 hours.

Vizsla puppies are notoriously hard work when young (more so than many other breeds), it is essential to spend much time with them when this young and that time is eventually rewarded by having the most loving and affectionate 'velcro' dog down the line, but they remain wanting close human contact and some can easily suffer from seperation anxiety if left alone.

The breeder who suggested they can be left alone for 8-9 hours, I can only assume meant when they are much older and with the luxury of a safe contained outside area, with freedom to move around, exercise, get food and water etc.

I concur with what BellaVT has said, in that difficult as it is, the best solution will be to put the puppy's welfare first and recognise it really can't work within your current circumstances, unless you can address the crating up and long hours spent alone, by using other reliable people to help you and having a suitable safe area made outside too.
 

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I’d say as others have said with the proper dedication and having someone come on those left alone for 9 hour days to not only spend 10 minutes but a good hour with exercise it can be done. This would be when she’s old enough to be left for 4 hours at a time. Otherwise you’d need someone to come every 2 hours at least n the beginning. Another option is doggy daycare that allows for social interactions with other dogs for those days.
 
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