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My male V is 15 weeks old. He is very loving but unbelievably stubborn. I don’t understand how everyone says they are sensitive! Mine doesn’t care one bit about a raised voice. We are being consistent with training but he’s always been a big biter, and you can’t take your eyes off him inside.

Obviously he needs loads of exercise and I walk/run him 2 miles in the mornings. However my husband and I both work during the day from home and kids are at school all day. (He is in the crate for nap about every 2 hours and naps for about an hour and a half). When he’s out of the crate I’m trying to think of ways to burn off his energy. I don’t have access to other playful dogs, no one is ever at the dog park, and to my dismay he will NOT retrieve a ball or frisbee- he’s just not interested. I have a huge yard, about an acre, but when we go out he just lays down and chews a stick. Then back into the house where he becomes a destructive maniac. I signed up for doggie daycare so he could burn off energy with other dogs but they want him neutered at 6 months and that’s a no- go till at least 18 months so day care isn’t going to be an option.
Im really shocked he won’t chase a ball- I guess I was really looking forward to that. Do any of them become more interested in retrieving as they get older?
Hiking is great but can’t do that on weekdays. Any suggestions? We’re going to work on getting him on the treadmill this weekend.
 

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Hi Kpl,

My male V is about 21 weeks now , but he also used to fit the description of >>"He is very loving but unbelievably stubborn. I don’t understand how everyone says they are sensitive! Mine doesn’t care one bit about a raised voice. We are being consistent with training but he’s always been a big biter, and you can’t take your eyes off him inside. " 😂😂. he is getting better now, not completely, but a lot better. Last few days he has been spending evening stuck to me on the couch, I really never thought he would do that.

Have you tried using a tug? Mine loves to tug and that can take a lot of energy. Only, I guess watch for the teething...if he is hurting he may not want to tug. Also the fetching thing...sometimes if he seems disinterested, I make myself more animated...if I run in front of him, or start moving quickly in front of him, that usually triggers him and gets him into a more excited state to play, I have also ordered a Squishy flirt pole (yet to receive) but I have a feeling he will love playing with it. You can also perhaps try a bigger ball , mine is a real clown and he loves to chase my sons basketball.

Regarding walking running-I take mine for a 45 min walk in the morning, and a 45 min walk in the evening...I don't think my walks are more than a mile, on some days I do some free play, fetch mostly about 20 more mins......Will be good to hear from more experienced folks to know how much to walk them at what age. I had heard 5 mins /month, but I guess I have been doing more than that. I know walking/running them too much too early may not be good for them, but not exactly sure how much is too much, seems like some people exercise their dogs a lot more than I do. Mine seems mostly happy with the amount of exercise he gets.
 

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I also do small 10 min training sessions with him at some points in the day, that can also be an idea to burn off some energy
 

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I also do small 10 min training sessions with him at some points in the day, that can also be an idea to burn off some energy
THANK YOU! Having someone identify with what I’m experiencing helps greatly. Bigger ball- good idea. He loves my sons basketball. Yes, I’m trying to listen to folks about staying on grass as much as possible for his joints.
 

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You have many questions, so I'm going to break down your post and try to respond to them individually.

My male V is 15 weeks old. He is very loving but unbelievably stubborn. In my experience, the best performers are stubborn by nature. They have to be to successfully hunt.
I don’t understand how everyone says they are sensitive! Mine doesn’t care one bit about a raised voice. Switch away from the voice and put him on a leash in the house. A short 1meter leash, and every time he acts up, go to a short leash work session. They are sensitive dogs, but sensitivity is not biddability and compliant. These can be very willful dogs.
We are being consistent with training but he’s always been a big biter, and you can’t take your eyes off him inside. Many are this way. Some are cozy little snuggle muffins and some are demon possessed.

Obviously he needs loads of exercise and I walk/run him 2 miles in the mornings. However my husband and I both work during the day from home and kids are at school all day. (He is in the crate for nap about every 2 hours and naps for about an hour and a half). When he’s out of the crate I’m trying to think of ways to burn off his energy. Do you have access to some big open fields? If so, put him on a 50 foot checkcord, and just let him find his own activity, and start to use his nose.
I don’t have access to other playful dogs, no one is ever at the dog park. This is actually not a bad thing to be honest. I would rather work my dog on my own. That's just me though.

,and to my dismay he will NOT retrieve a ball or frisbee- he’s just not interested. Have you tried something that rolls along the ground? It's easier for a young dog to mark, track an objects travel path, a rolling object, than a thrown object.
He's too young for a frisbee. Maybe short tosses from less than 2' off the ground, and just a short distance.
The beginning of the "fetch" is patterned, learned process. The young dog must see where the object originates. In this case your hand. Many times a squeeky ball, or one with bells in it is used. Toss the ball a short distance, underhand, starting the arc very close to the ground. Let the dog see the arc of your hand with the object in it. Toss it only 10 or 15 feet and let it roll and bounce along the ground. The rolling hoping ball, along with the noise, may be enough to capture his interest. You can also buy bottles of training lures in Pheasant, Duck, and Quail, and squirt a few drops on a regular old tennis ball to entice him to play.

I have a huge yard, about an acre, but when we go out he just lays down and chews a stick. This is frustrating, but right now he's cutting new teeth and his puppy teeth are going to start to drop out as his adult teeth come in. Try giving him an ice cube now and then. the cold of the ice, can have a soothing and calming effect on puppies that are cutting teeth.
Then back into the house where he becomes a destructive maniac. Yep, that's going to keep happening for anther month or two.
I signed up for doggie daycare so he could burn off energy with other dogs but they want him neutered at 6 months and that’s a no- go till at least 18 months so day care isn’t going to be an option. I would find another daycare. Neutering at 6 months is a ridiculous prerequisite for a day care.
I'm really shocked he won’t chase a ball- I guess I was really looking forward to that. Do any of them become more interested in retrieving as they get older? Not all will be natural retrievers, and in fact sometimes it has to be a trained, forced, behavior.
Hiking is great but can’t do that on weekdays. Any suggestions? We’re going to work on getting him on the treadmill this weekend. He's only 15 weeks old, it would be better to get him to a big open area and let him move and play at his own pace. A treadmill is a very static, limited range of motion, activity. He needs much, much ,more physical stimulation for proper development.

It really sounds to me as if you have a nice, well bred, dog from field stock.
I'm not going to lie to you,He's going to be a trial for the first year. I think that if you find a goal oriented activity to train him to, It will be easier.
Add structure to his training and playtime .
 

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Obviously he needs loads of exercise and I walk/run him 2 miles in the mornings. However my husband and I both work during the day from home and kids are at school all day. (He is in the crate for nap about every 2 hours and naps for about an hour and a half). When he’s out of the crate I’m trying to think of ways to burn off his energy. Do you have access to some big open fields? If so, put him on a 50 foot checkcord, and just let him find his own activity, and start to use his nose.
Hi Gunnr,
Love reading your posts and I keep learning! Question about the 50 foot checkcord, This is a really good idea, which I can try with my pup as wellI. I do have a checkcord like this that I got for training, although I have not used it much because every time he is on his own, he tends to put anything and everything into his mouth ( mulch, stones..sticks...etc). I think over the last couple of weeks he has gotten a bit better, but I never feel I can trust what he is going to eat/swallow if he is on his own. Is that something to be concerned about or you think if I give him some space he would figure out what to spit out...
 

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I also do small 10 min training sessions with him at some points in the day, that can also be an idea to burn off some energy
Yes and thank you also for the comparison in exercise. He does love to tug and I’ll do more of that. My mom also suggested the flirt pole- will do.
You have many questions, so I'm going to break down your post and try to respond to them individually.

My male V is 15 weeks old. He is very loving but unbelievably stubborn. In my experience, the best performers are stubborn by nature. They have to be to successfully hunt.
I don’t understand how everyone says they are sensitive! Mine doesn’t care one bit about a raised voice. Switch away from the voice and put him on a leash in the house. A short 1meter leash, and every time he acts up, go to a short leash work session. They are sensitive dogs, but sensitivity is not biddability and compliant. These can be very willful dogs.
We are being consistent with training but he’s always been a big biter, and you can’t take your eyes off him inside. Many are this way. Some are cozy little snuggle muffins and some are demon possessed.

Obviously he needs loads of exercise and I walk/run him 2 miles in the mornings. However my husband and I both work during the day from home and kids are at school all day. (He is in the crate for nap about every 2 hours and naps for about an hour and a half). When he’s out of the crate I’m trying to think of ways to burn off his energy. Do you have access to some big open fields? If so, put him on a 50 foot checkcord, and just let him find his own activity, and start to use his nose.
I don’t have access to other playful dogs, no one is ever at the dog park. This is actually not a bad thing to be honest. I would rather work my dog on my own. That's just me though.

,and to my dismay he will NOT retrieve a ball or frisbee- he’s just not interested. Have you tried something that rolls along the ground? It's easier for a young dog to mark, track an objects travel path, a rolling object, than a thrown object.
He's too young for a frisbee. Maybe short tosses from less than 2' off the ground, and just a short distance.
The beginning of the "fetch" is patterned, learned process. The young dog must see where the object originates. In this case your hand. Many times a squeeky ball, or one with bells in it is used. Toss the ball a short distance, underhand, starting the arc very close to the ground. Let the dog see the arc of your hand with the object in it. Toss it only 10 or 15 feet and let it roll and bounce along the ground. The rolling hoping ball, along with the noise, may be enough to capture his interest. You can also buy bottles of training lures in Pheasant, Duck, and Quail, and squirt a few drops on a regular old tennis ball to entice him to play.

I have a huge yard, about an acre, but when we go out he just lays down and chews a stick. This is frustrating, but right now he's cutting new teeth and his puppy teeth are going to start to drop out as his adult teeth come in. Try giving him an ice cube now and then. the cold of the ice, can have a soothing and calming effect on puppies that are cutting teeth.
Then back into the house where he becomes a destructive maniac. Yep, that's going to keep happening for anther month or two.
I signed up for doggie daycare so he could burn off energy with other dogs but they want him neutered at 6 months and that’s a no- go till at least 18 months so day care isn’t going to be an option. I would find another daycare. Neutering at 6 months is a ridiculous prerequisite for a day care.
I'm really shocked he won’t chase a ball- I guess I was really looking forward to that. Do any of them become more interested in retrieving as they get older? Not all will be natural retrievers, and in fact sometimes it has to be a trained, forced, behavior.
Hiking is great but can’t do that on weekdays. Any suggestions? We’re going to work on getting him on the treadmill this weekend. He's only 15 weeks old, it would be better to get him to a big open area and let him move and play at his own pace. A treadmill is a very static, limited range of motion, activity. He needs much, much ,more physical stimulation for proper development.

It really sounds to me as if you have a nice, well bred, dog from field stock.
I'm not going to lie to you,He's going to be a trial for the first year. I think that if you find a goal oriented activity to train him to, It will be easier.
Add structure to his training and playtime .
Thank you Gunnr! To update, I wrote the wrong age. He’s actually 17 weeks old today. He has been on a one meter lead at all times (except when in the crate) since he was 9 weeks old. We do use this frequently for short training sessions and to control him when he decides to shred our pant legs or refuse to exit the pantry, haha. If our house is to survive, the leash is a necessity. He is sooo trainable- extremely smart, very food motivated. I will follow your suggestions regarding going slow with the retrieve. We got the soccer ball out today and he went forever- I’d kick it on the ground as far as 40 feet and he’d chase. He never lost interest.

All four daycares in my area require the neuter at 6 months. Ridiculous! It seems he is starved for play with other dogs and I was hoping to find that for him.

Also I can see you are correct about the method of throwing an object. I’ve been teaching him to catch treats and small toys for the past few weeks and we do this across only a few feet, short underhand throws. He never loses interest!
My husband and I agree that our dog wild probably be wonderful in the field. His joy is nosing through the grass. I read your account of your “devil” and how wonderful he is in the field. That is perhaps what makes me most sad for our dog (his name is Goose). We are not hunters. I was planning on doing some dock diving with him starting next spring. Our property borders a creek and we take him there to explore (he never lets us out of his sight- naturally checks in constantly). We live near a very large lake and there are actually some dock diving training classes here. But will something like that be a substitute for never getting to hunt? Finding a field for him to enjoy his nose where the property owner wouldn’t shoot us for trespassing might be possible. I can do some research. Will things like swimming or hiking be satisfying to him throughout his life if he never gets to hunt?
 

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KPL

You do not need to be a hunter to train a Vizlsa as a hunting dog. Don't let that hold you back, because it is a very good way to train, and to meet people just like you, me, and others here on the board. It opens up a lot of connections within the Vizsla community.
You absolutely do not need to own a shotgun, or ever shoot a bird over your own dog to train them. Hundreds and hundreds of folks that don't even own a shotgun train their dogs to hunt. I know of at least four top breeders that have never hunted over their own dogs in the decades that they've been producing excellent field dogs.
At virtually every "hunt test", regardless of the governing association sponsoring it, there is always a "dedicated gun". This is the only person allowed to have a shotgun on the field, and they will have a spotter. There are club and fun run derby's, where folks shoot over their dogs, but it is very, very, limited, and generally not associated with a national, or regional, association.
Any program that has end goals is better than no program. Agility, obedience, dock diving, search and rescue, and of course hunt training, add structure to a training/development plan. There are end goals, and metrics, to gauge yourself, and the dog against, and most importantly, you are meeting like minded people, with the same goals you have, and many in exactly the same phase of development that your are at with your puppy, or dog. Their puppies are looking for playmates too. ;)
The DEP will have a website for your state, and it should contain maps of all of the regulated hunting areas in your state, WMA's, Wildlife Management Areas, Field Trial Areas, and all state, and national parks along with the rules of each area. This way you don't have to worry about trespassing.
Can a Vizlsa live a full happy life and never be hunted. Sure they can. Hundred and hundred's, if not thousands, of Vizlsas are living happy healthy lives that have probably never seen gamebirds in the woods.
Hunt training is what I know, and do, but there are many folks on the forum involved in other activities with their dogs, that would be happy to advise you in any number of disciplines.
 

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" Question about the 50 foot checkcord, This is a really good idea, which I can try with my pup as wellI. I do have a checkcord like this that I got for training, although I have not used it much because every time he is on his own, he tends to put anything and everything into his mouth ( mulch, stones..sticks...etc). I think over the last couple of weeks he has gotten a bit better, but I never feel I can trust what he is going to eat/swallow if he is on his own. Is that something to be concerned about or you think if I give him some space he would figure out what to spit out.'

You definitely have to be concerned.They put everything in their mouths!!!! It's just their nature. Finn is just over a year old and I still have to chase him down daily and take things from him.
What you can try is to give him a toy of his own, but he'll more than likely spit it out as soon as something else captivates his interest.
The check cord can be used as a long leash, and it can also just be dropped on the ground, as long as the area you're in is safe. If he starts to run off, or won't come when called, you can get ahold of the cord he is dragging behind him and get him back under control.
In the woods you can drop it and it gets tangled up and keeps him close, because you are constantly have to free him up. He has freedom, but only for a short while, and distance. Check cords aren't just for puppies either. They're used well into adulthood. Do use one exclusively with a full support harness only. Don't hook one to a standard collar. Sometimes they get up a good head of steam and the cord catches. The harness is much safer when this happens, and it will. I promise.
 

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KPL

You do not need to be a hunter to train a Vizlsa as a hunting dog. Don't let that hold you back, because it is a very good way to train, and to meet people just like you, me, and others here on the board. It opens up a lot of connections within the Vizsla community.
You absolutely do not need to own a shotgun, or ever shoot a bird over your own dog to train them. Hundreds and hundreds of folks that don't even own a shotgun train their dogs to hunt. I know of at least four top breeders that have never hunted over their own dogs in the decades that they've been producing excellent field dogs.
At virtually every "hunt test", regardless of the governing association sponsoring it, there is always a "dedicated gun". This is the only person allowed to have a shotgun on the field, and they will have a spotter. There are club and fun run derby's, where folks shoot over their dogs, but it is very, very, limited, and generally not associated with a national, or regional, association.
Any program that has end goals is better than no program. Agility, obedience, dock diving, search and rescue, and of course hunt training, add structure to a training/development plan. There are end goals, and metrics, to gauge yourself, and the dog against, and most importantly, you are meeting like minded people, with the same goals you have, and many in exactly the same phase of development that your are at with your puppy, or dog. Their puppies are looking for playmates too. ;)
The DEP will have a website for your state, and it should contain maps of all of the regulated hunting areas in your state, WMA's, Wildlife Management Areas, Field Trial Areas, and all state, and national parks along with the rules of each area. This way you don't have to worry about trespassing.
Can a Vizlsa live a full happy life and never be hunted. Sure they can. Hundred and hundred's, if not thousands, of Vizlsas are living happy healthy lives that have probably never seen gamebirds in the woods.
Hunt training is what I know, and do, but there are many folks on the forum involved in other activities with their dogs, that would be happy to advise you in any number of disciplines.
Thank you!
 

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I miscalculated how much I walk him ! I do walk him close to 2 miles in the Morning and 2 miles in the evening ... that’s 4 miles a day!
 

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" Question about the 50 foot checkcord, This is a really good idea, which I can try with my pup as wellI. I do have a checkcord like this that I got for training, although I have not used it much because every time he is on his own, he tends to put anything and everything into his mouth ( mulch, stones..sticks...etc). I think over the last couple of weeks he has gotten a bit better, but I never feel I can trust what he is going to eat/swallow if he is on his own. Is that something to be concerned about or you think if I give him some space he would figure out what to spit out.'

You definitely have to be concerned.They put everything in their mouths!!!! It's just their nature. Finn is just over a year old and I still have to chase him down daily and take things from him.
What you can try is to give him a toy of his own, but he'll more than likely spit it out as soon as something else captivates his interest.
The check cord can be used as a long leash, and it can also just be dropped on the ground, as long as the area you're in is safe. If he starts to run off, or won't come when called, you can get ahold of the cord he is dragging behind him and get him back under control.
In the woods you can drop it and it gets tangled up and keeps him close, because you are constantly have to free him up. He has freedom, but only for a short while, and distance. Check cords aren't just for puppies either. They're used well into adulthood. Do use one exclusively with a full support harness only. Don't hook one to a standard collar. Sometimes they get up a good head of steam and the cord catches. The harness is much safer when this happens, and it will. I promise.
Thx Gunnr
 

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I miscalculated how much I walk him ! I do walk him close to 2 miles in the Morning and 2 miles in the evening ... that’s 4 miles a day!
Rchik43, stay in touch! I’d love to keep comparing notes with you.
 

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My male V is 15 weeks old. He is very loving but unbelievably stubborn. I don’t understand how everyone says they are sensitive! Mine doesn’t care one bit about a raised voice. We are being consistent with training but he’s always been a big biter, and you can’t take your eyes off him inside.

Obviously he needs loads of exercise and I walk/run him 2 miles in the mornings. However my husband and I both work during the day from home and kids are at school all day. (He is in the crate for nap about every 2 hours and naps for about an hour and a half). When he’s out of the crate I’m trying to think of ways to burn off his energy. I don’t have access to other playful dogs, no one is ever at the dog park, and to my dismay he will NOT retrieve a ball or frisbee- he’s just not interested. I have a huge yard, about an acre, but when we go out he just lays down and chews a stick. Then back into the house where he becomes a destructive maniac. I signed up for doggie daycare so he could burn off energy with other dogs but they want him neutered at 6 months and that’s a no- go till at least 18 months so day care isn’t going to be an option.
Im really shocked he won’t chase a ball- I guess I was really looking forward to that. Do any of them become more interested in retrieving as they get older?
Hiking is great but can’t do that on weekdays. Any suggestions? We’re going to work on getting him on the treadmill this weekend.
Hi, My V is almost 5 now, & amazing, BUT, I remember when he was a pup, & how much time we spent socializing him, walking him, running him, etc...it was rough on my schedule. To give us a break & also help him grow into a great dog, we hired a local guy who takes dogs to go run off-lead with the pac everyday. It was so worth it. He got his exercise in, he learned how to behave with the pac, he learned listen to command by the pack leader, he became a very confident, amazing dog. We are able to take him hiking off-lead all the time now. It might help you to know they usually dial it down when they are about 3 or 3 1/2. I should add we also did basic obedience trying with him when he was 5 months old. He still obeys the commands today. One thing that is different about vizlsa's is that they do not respond to harsh voices at all. They do respond to positive reinforcement, & success when they get it right. My V will do anything I want him to if I ask politely, lol!
 

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May I ask what state you are in? I wonder how you found the person who took him on the off leash pack walks?
What state are you in? I live in Westchester county, NY and dog walking is big business here. There are so many dog walkers who take packs of dogs off leash. On the other hand, we spend the winters in Florida and I never see dog walkers there cause there are no beautiful hiking parks!
 
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