Hungarian Vizsla Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, here's the situation.

New Year's Day of 2010 we lost our 12 year old Vizsla, Annie. She'd had a good life and was a happy dog.

A few months later, our friend asked us to adopt their 5 year old male Vizsla, Indy, which we did. He is just the best dog ever. He was very hyper at first, but that was because he was adjusting. He stayed in the house from last February to April, and when the weather warmed we moved him outside. He was thrilled because we also have a beagle and a lab mix, and their kennel is all together so they're buds.

Here's the rub. Our Vizsla, while spoiled rotten by us and getting plenthy of people time, preferes to sleep outside. He literally will whine to go out and sleep in his doghouse. I probably ought to describe the dog house. My husband used to work construction, so he build him a house. It has a nice flat roof on which he sunbathes in spring and summer. It is elevated off the kennel's cement floor. It's made from solid wood and it's stuffed with straw. We put a windbreak around the kennel in winter. I worry about him because it's cold around here. I'm not talking subzero very often. We live in central Illinois. But it still gets cold and we get snow. He used to lie in Michigan nad never slept outside or was hardly off a leash.

He sled rides with my son, barks at snowmen, and runs through the snow with the other dogs. In the summer of course he has his own wading pool and I go biking with him every night. But obviously in winter he gets a little time with us and then he starts whining to go to his kennel. I mean he literally will go stand by his kennel. He loves us, I know, but he won't even stay in my son's bed for more than two hours before whining to be out.

Our previous Vizsla used to do the same thing.

Anyway, we also havea a hard time keeping weight on him in the winter. I know I need to adjust his diet and will do so, but I just feel guilty that he is sleeping outsidek even though he prefers it. At times he's a complete velcro dog, then he turns into mr. idependant. I'm asking advice because someone told me that they should NEVER sleep outside in winter EVER. If this is true, could it be why he is having weight difficulties during winter? Am I a bad mom because I let him sleep ouside with his beagle and lab mix brothers? He's a wonderful dog and I want thim to be happy and I can tell he is when he slobbers on me and then goes off to do his doggy business.

I'm totally torn and confused. Part of me says, "if he was unhappy you'd know" and part of me says "one person can't decided what ALL vizslas will be like".

Suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
It sounds like you're providing him with a wonderful life.
If he likes sleeping outside in his dog condo, with his dog buddy, why should that upset you?

Vizsla are lean dogs, so you could very well be over-reacting about his weight. How about a pic?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
I believe there are always exceptions! Most will say that Vs prefer to be indoors and should; however, your case illustrates that is not true 100% of the time. You know your dog best, he appears healthy/well cared for in the pictures & video, and you would not be asking for opinions on a forum if you did not care about your handsome guy! I think you should go with your instinct & feel good about your decision. Our pup, Pumpkin, shivers like crazy when it is cold out (been unusually cold in Dixie), but that does not stop her from wanting & needing to gets lots of outdoor exercise! She was a crazy girl in the recent snow & ice! She shivered a lot, but I cant keep a coat or sweater on her! I worried she was too cold, but she did not want to be inside without us. They will let you know. In fact, last time I tried to insist on a sweater, she showed me. She was in the yard with my daughter, and I noticed a big chunk of the sweater missing/chewed (all in about 15m); consequently, I watched Pumpkin poop yarn for 2 days ;D As for weight, he may burn more calories running in the snow and keeping warm. You may want to experiment a little with his food to entice him to eat a little more when it's cold. Feeding more raw &/or healthy treats between meals may help as well if he is underweight. Vs can be picky/strange eaters it seems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Sounds like Indy has a great life, lots of outdoor space to runaround, a doghouse that sounds like the ferrari of dog housel.....He seems to be adapting well to the weather and if he is not barking at night to come inside than I don't see a problem, maybe when you get one of those really nasty cold weather fronts that come around once in awhile and it gets really cold, you may want to have him in for the night. He also has has companion with him outside which he probably enjoys. What a great looking dog by the way.. Nice pics..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
I have to agree with everyone who replied so far ... sounds like Indy isn't lacking any love in your care. From the video it looks like there is enough yard and adjacent fields for him to romp around in. Indy isn't your first V or dog ... so I think you are pretty confident in knowing how to care, shelter, and feed him ... it's just that sleeping outside bit that has you puzzled ... and quite honestly me too. If Indy were my dog I would be hesitant to let him sleep in the cold. However, as long as he's off the cold damp floor and there's enough dry warmth (by way of straw, blanket or beagle-lab mix) I'd let him be... just like he let's you know when he wants out, I'm sure he'll let you know when he wants back in. When I was looking at breeders before we bought our V I noticed many of them had their kennels outside or in barns ... and we live in Canada. As for the diet, you may want to research some magazine articles for health & nutrition advice. I quickly scanned gundog magazine and came across this article that speaks to diet for dogs as you approach hunting season (which is in the colder climates of the year) http://www.gundogmag.com/health_nutrition/feeding_your_gun_dog_for_performance_112310/index.html there may be some nuggets of info. My last 2 cents on this would be to contact the breeder and ask if the sleeping outside behaviour was common amongst their dogs or in Indy's litter.

Let us know how it goes.

Finally - would love to see a pic of this magnificent monsoon proof dog bunker ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for your input! Petco just got a bunch of money from us this morning. I've been thinking about his food because his spirits are high and he's still a maniac. I will have to speak to the breeder, but I have to find out who he is because we adopted Indy from a friend when they could no longer care for him due to surgeries and a new baby. He was never allowed out in Michigan unless he was on a leash. So we had to train him to stay in the yard, which took awhile, but he's great now...unless he sees a cat! LOL! Then all bets are off. I know our former Vizsla breeder had outdoor kennels, but they brought the females inside to whelp.

This morning I spied on the dogs. It appears that the beagle is eating a LOT of the food. We feed them together. Well, he's a hound, he can do that. But Indy is such a pushover that he probably isn't getting enough, and then if he shivers he's probably burning more calories. Someone told me 1-2 cups of kibble mixed with 1 ounce of ground beef or chicken would be good for him. I got some Iams Chicken and Rice, Healthy Naturals. I got some beef and chicken. I felt incredibly guilty and got him some carob chip cookies, gingersnap cookies, cream filled sandwich cookies, and maple pecan flavored waffles out of the bulk bins at Petco. He's allowed one or two cookies a day. He also has new rawhides (its been awhile), and a brand new huge dog cushion to lay on. I'm going to try to bribe him with this cushion. Oh and it was on CLEARANCE! Woohoo! You gotta love those after xmas sales. The other thing I was worried about was dehydration as water freezes this time of year. So I'm going to work on really keeping him hydrated, fed up and inside as much as possible until it warms up a bit. He's already pouting because he's not outside, but we'll do potty/play breaks periodically.

I promise to post pics of the doggie condo once it warms up and I clean out the kennel. It's a little...dirty...right now! LOL! That happens more in winter than summer. But I promise, once we spruce it up on a relatively clear day, you'll get pics. I told the hubby he should have a side business of building them.

By the way, how many rawhide do your dogs go through in a week? Indy devours them. He loves them and he never tries to chew anything else, so I keep plenty on hand.

I'm going to watch his weight and if what I'm doing doesn't work I'm going to call the vet. Someone also suggested puppy food to help put the weight back on.

I should buy stock, in freaking Petco...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
582 Posts
I feel sure that the weight has no relationship to sleeping arrangements. Can you put a coat on him at night? I bet he is sleeping up against the other dogs and that is why he doesn't mind the cold, but a coat or sweater would be a little extra insurance against cold. I might also suggest spying on them late at night or early morning sometime on a cold night (like you did with the food); see if he looks relaxed versus shivering. If he looks relaxed, and is piled under the other dogs, that might help reassure you he's comfortable there. Also, would you be able to hear him if he barked at night? It would be helpful if so. I'm no expert, so I'm just throwing some ideas around. I do think that if the arrangement works and continues, I'd take extra care if there's ever a night when the other dogs aren't there, or as he get into his senior years (when the circulation isn't as good).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Sara and everyone else!

I am happy to report that after only 2 day I swear that I see a difference!

Here is what I did:

I am giving him 2 cups of Iam's Naturals Chicken & Rice, mixed with one ounce ground beef (raw). I also crumble one dog cookie into the bowl (cookies from the bulk bin at Petco). He gets this twice a day.

Also, I was worried about dehydration, so I make sure he has plenty of water.

It has been near 0 the past two nights, so I kept him in the house. He actually did a great job. He has been sleeping with my son in his bed. I don't even hear him turn over. He just curls up and sleeps, and no whining for the last two nights. As long as the temps are cold like that, I'm going to have him in to sleep at night (it makes me feel better).

We have decided that, for the next two months, if it is freezing in the day, we have set up his crate in the garage. We put a fleece blanket in and one of his rawhide bones. He did really well today (even though it was 40F and technically he should have been in his kennel/condo). He was happy to see us when we got home and he ran right out and pottied and everything.

So, until spring weather, or at least days like today, I think this is the arrangement we will keep. I know he'd be fine sleeping with his doggies brothers, and he does still whine a bit for them, but we've been giving him lots of 'potty breaks' so he can run out and say hello to them.

OH, I almost forgot...Sunday I had two pancakes left over, so he got to have them in his bowl. He loved them! He also loves those cookies from Petco.

Speaking of which, I had someone tell me today that sugar free cookies for humans are the same...is that true? I'm skeptical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
indysmom said:
Speaking of which, I had someone tell me today that sugar free cookies for humans are the same...is that true? I'm skeptical.
Hi - I'm new to this forum too!

I just wanted to advise you to use caution with any sugar free products. For instance, the sugar substitute Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top