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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
We have an 8 week old pup, and had her a few days now.

We have obviously done research on vizsla before deciding on the breed. I have a few things that are bugging me though (caveat: I know i am being impatient, i have a post it on my computer monitor tell me to be patient with her etc) so any and all input wholly welcome

1) she wont leave me and my wife alone. We currently cant even eat dinner properly because of it - we put her in her pen/crate and she just howls like we are torturing her, which with crate training we have read is a bad thing so let them out (not to mention we cant concentrate with her doing it)
2) The post dinner/pre night time bite session - is this what is meant by a sharkies and/or zoomies? I assume so? How do we discourage this? We've read that telling a vizsla off is a bad thing to do so arent, but just walking away and ignoring her, just means she turns to biting things shes not supposed to (namely our sofa) and no amount of toys pushed into her mouth (which she can chew on) seem to help

Guess I am just looking for reassurance that this is all normal, and we arent doing anything wrong. Especially on the discipline side, as I dont see how she will know what is right/wrong just from ignoring the wrong?
 

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When you need to eat, just crate her. Yes, she may howl, but it’s not going to kill her. She needs to learn that certain times of day are crate times.
As for as discipline. A vizsla should not receive harsh discipline, and we work with more positive reinforcement. That is not to say I have never disciplined a vizsla. Mine have received a bop on the nose using two fingers, and a loud No. For sinking those little needle teeth deep in my skin, then trying to tear off still attached to my arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When you need to eat, just crate her. Yes, she may howl, but it’s not going to kill her. She needs to learn that certain times of day are crate times.
As for as discipline. A vizsla should not receive harsh discipline, and we work with more positive reinforcement. That is not to say I have never disciplined a vizsla. Mine have received a bop on the nose using two fingers, and a loud No. For sinking those little needle teeth deep in my skin, then trying to tear off still attached to my arm.
Thank you for your reply! it breeds some hope. I know its super early days, but I dont remember any of my labrador pups being quite like this, guess its just a breed thing, and both wife and I are both struggling already (though lack of sleep is quite probably to blame).

To be clear though, is it ok to crate said pup, not as a punishment, but it to not like it (we are doing crate training and trying to get it to a point of liking it) as long as it is a finite time and as short as possible?
 

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These are the biteyest ( not a word but should be) puppies I’ve ever came across. It’s just a breed trait. Luckily they do out grow it.
My advice is buy lots of different treats, and figure out what is your pups favorite. This also goes for toys when you’re trying to distract.
So far my new pup loves just about every treat that is freeze dried. Vital Essentials, Orijen, and Open Farms are the ones I buy the most.
Woof Gang bakery has Chicken Chips, better known as puppy crack. She gets a couple of these every time she goes to the crate.
Longer chews are bully sticks, and chicken feet.
With giving her healthy treats, I don’t have to worry about how many we go through in a day. As playing games for treats, is better than a pup latching on to your hands. One game we play it Get it, and Here. Puppy runs to get a treat you have thrown a short distance, and then comes back to you for the next treat. You can mix it up by adding a down, spin or a stand command, after the down. Each command followed gets a treat. Works brain, and exercises the puppy. At this age puppies are learning to learn. The more you teach them ( in short training session) the easier it will be later down the road.
 

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"To be clear though, is it ok to crate said pup, not as a punishment, but it to not like it (we are doing crate training and trying to get it to a point of liking it) as long as it is a finite time and as short as possible?"

It's a hard line at times.
As you are trying to train her, believe me, she is also trying to train you. ;)

If you absolutely know that she does not need to be let out of the crate, just let her cry for a duration, then let her out and play with her. It's not punishment, it's conditioning, just like training. She needs to learn, over time, that when she is put in the crate, she needs to settle down, relax, and be quiet.
Some folks are adamant about crate training, some believe it is a form of abuse. Most folks fall in between somewhere. I am in the first camp of folks. My dogs all hunt, and have to be conditioned to the crate for their own safety at times, and to be transported safely. They have to be comfortable in the crate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks both that is really helpful!
I think our biggest issue is, whilst we were prepared for a lot work etc, we hadnt quite envisioned the level of change our lives would go through, from not being able to eat food together etc.

We have a crate training "manual" from a friend who used a behaviourist, and frankly it just isnt right. It states the puppy should be "running into the crate for treats" but Ziva just doesnt seem to give a monkey's about food (even main meal) which is odd to my labrador experience.

Biggest thing that would help is if when she gets a little too much we could put her in her crate to calm down quietly. But said crate is in our living room (only place for it) which is the main communal area of the house.

With the massively reduced sleep weve had this week etc, i am not too proud to say there have been tears for both me and my wife today. We just dont know if we are doing the right thing for her, and obviously dont want her upset or depressed :cry: but at the same time, need some things to improve (like sleep)
 

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running into the crate for treats

That is where you hope to end up. It’s not where all them start. We have the puppies, we have. Different pup equals different motivation.
Some just reluctantly learn, when it’s crate time, it’s crate time.
No matter how old my dogs get, they still get a treat for going into the crate. Jasper (9 years old) will run get in his crate as soon as I open the cabinet that contains treat. Hunter (8 years old) stands at his crate waiting for me to give him his treat. Shine (4 1/2 years old) wants to smell the treat first, see if it’s worthy of going into the crate.
Heifer (3 months) wants tiny pieces to bribe her to the crate door. Then only entering on her own, once she is close, and sees I’ve put a bigger treat into the crate.
 

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TexasRed is spot on

When Finn was a puppy, he couldn't care any less about treats. They were worthless as training aids for me. Finn wanted to do one thing, "wrassle".
Now that he almost three years old, it has flipped and he is very treat orientated. He still likes to "wrassle" though. ;)
Finn was an awful little puppy in many regards, but he took to the crate like a duck to water. When we need to clean and vacuum out his crate now, he sits with this very anxious, worried, look on his face watching us. As soon as we are done he runs right in and "inspects" his space to make sure we haven't done anything.

You will get past this crate issue, I promise. ;)
 

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Lots of posts about crate training tips here on the forums. Be consistent, make it fun, and be persistent about following through with the plan. We had a crate next to our dinner table where we'd crate Ellie while we eat, still do to this day and she's almost 2 years old. In the beginning it meant having a whining puppy disturbing our whole meal for a week or two. Also at bedtime with the crate in our bedroom was weeks of little and poor sleep. Just keep with it. Now Ellie runs into her kennel when we are about to sit down for dinner. Same thing at bedtime. She even knows when we are getting ready to leave the house and per-emptively runs into her crate. She always gets a treat when its crate time, and will keep doing that forever. It is now her comfy and safe zone. It will all fall into place for you eventually!

Buy big bags of dog toy assortments and spread them all over the house. These are your defense implements to protect yourself from shark attacks. Start training "get your toy" asap. When the sharks start, redirect to a toy say "get your toy". Later in life this will be your command whenever you see her getting excited which means when people come visit or she sees you after leaving her for more than 1.5minutes 😄. First thing you say is "get your toy" so this way the teeth are on it and not you and your clothes!
 

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Thanks both that is really helpful!
I think our biggest issue is, whilst we were prepared for a lot work etc, we hadnt quite envisioned the level of change our lives would go through, from not being able to eat food together etc.

We have a crate training "manual" from a friend who used a behaviourist, and frankly it just isnt right. It states the puppy should be "running into the crate for treats" but Ziva just doesnt seem to give a monkey's about food (even main meal) which is odd to my labrador experience.

Biggest thing that would help is if when she gets a little too much we could put her in her crate to calm down quietly. But said crate is in our living room (only place for it) which is the main communal area of the house.

With the massively reduced sleep weve had this week etc, i am not too proud to say there have been tears for both me and my wife today. We just dont know if we are doing the right thing for her, and obviously dont want her upset or depressed :cry: but at the same time, need some things to improve (like sleep)
I am right there with you on the tears and feeling unsure that you're doing the right thing. We are entering week 4 with Poppy and it still feels like a mixed bag in a variety of ways, with some improvement in certain areas and not so in others. At a certain point, you just have to pick a route and stick to it, ideally one informed by what you've noticed about your pup so far, or over time. We've been lucky in some sense, as Poppy goes into her crate at bedtime fairly well (after some snuggles and wind down time on the bed) but she also decides at 4:30am that she has been in there long enough and must finish the morning in bed with us. She's been fighting the crate during the day and would much prefer naps in her dog bed (which would be fine, but we really need to be able to leave our house together at some point so are pushing through with the crate training). She goes in fine but when she realizes the door is closed it's another story. And each attempt seems different from the one before it 🤷‍♀️

I found that reading on here that what I was experiencing was normal really helped me feel like I wasn't just doing everything wrong and it was simply going to be HARD. So, all this to say. You're doing ok. This is very hard and maybe not what we envisioned. But the consensus seems to be it's worth it in the long run 😊 Right there with you.
 

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I promise anyone that is dealing with the crate training issues, that you will be very glad you did it one year from the day you first brought your puppy home.
All of my V's through the years have had the run of the house by about 2.5-3 years old, 24/7. Every one of them though still liked to retreat to their crates at times, even though the door was never shut. Sometimes to relax, sometimes to get away from their "roomate". Finn has been the exception. He can stay out if he wishes to, but he doesn't want to.
Stick with it. There is no safer way to transport a dog than in a crate/kennel, and in the rare instance that they should need to stay overnight at the Vet's, they will be much more relaxed in the crate/kennels at the Vet's office. Same result if they ever need to recover at home from surgeries.
Don't give up. It's worth the effort.

Gunnr (Mike)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am right there with you on the tears and feeling unsure that you're doing the right thing. We are entering week 4 with Poppy and it still feels like a mixed bag in a variety of ways, with some improvement in certain areas and not so in others. At a certain point, you just have to pick a route and stick to it, ideally one informed by what you've noticed about your pup so far, or over time. We've been lucky in some sense, as Poppy goes into her crate at bedtime fairly well (after some snuggles and wind down time on the bed) but she also decides at 4:30am that she has been in there long enough and must finish the morning in bed with us. She's been fighting the crate during the day and would much prefer naps in her dog bed (which would be fine, but we really need to be able to leave our house together at some point so are pushing through with the crate training). She goes in fine but when she realizes the door is closed it's another story. And each attempt seems different from the one before it 🤷‍♀️

I found that reading on here that what I was experiencing was normal really helped me feel like I wasn't just doing everything wrong and it was simply going to be HARD. So, all this to say. You're doing ok. This is very hard and maybe not what we envisioned. But the consensus seems to be it's worth it in the long run 😊 Right there with you.
This is very reassuring to hear! thank you

We are now at the stage where bedtime is ok, and other than the toilet stops, she will sleep from about 21.00-05.00/06.00 which is amazing (just need to add another hour onto that for normality). We are now at the how do we handle the the biting/over excited stage.

She hates going into the crate during the day, and will howl and cry for 20mins approx each time (very distracting when trying to work) and then we have to hold our breathes for fear we wake her up and might start it all over again.

We are going to be a bit stricter and put her in her crate whilst I work (with breaks for toilet and longer for lunch play/training) and just put noise cancelling headphones on for the 20mins (she does always quieten down and sleep) when my wife isnt home, with the theory/hope she gets used to it and give that a period of time. We are 100% certain she doesnt mind the crate, more the fact it means she cant be with us.

when wife is home she can stay out more
 
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