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New Puppy - advice gratefully recieved!

12432 Views 41 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Islander
Hi everyone

My name is Fiona and I am writing from sunny (!) Scotland! My husband and I have just got our vizsla puppy Floyd, he is 9 weeks tomorrow. He is absolutely adorable but I'm so glad that I stumbled across this forum as I have lots of questions which I hope you will all be able to help with!

We have a crate and after a few bad nights of leaving him in the living room, we moved him up to ur bedroom and he slept right through apart from needing out once - what a difference from all the barking/whining/howling he did the first few nights!

However, i will be going back to work next week (i only work part time so 4 hours at a time) and he will need to be in his crate when I am out of the house. I am yet to leave him on his own in the house, and worry that he will howl and bark the whole time I am out, but need to start the process ASAP - any advice on how to settle him before I disappear out would be very gratefully recieved!

Also, he is biter, from what I have read this is common with Vizsla's, but he doesn't listen at all when we say No, or Ouch. We wonder at what age he will start to listen to our reprimands , and when we should start training him, as he seems to just want to play or sleep at the moment, and although he seems to have got 'sit', it seems like other commands may be nore difficult!

We love him to bits and want him to have a good start in life and to be a happy pup - so any help/advice gratefully received! Sorry for the long post!! :)
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Hey Fiona, congrats on your new V. I was home with mine for a few days before I had to go back to work. On top of this I'm lucky because most of the time, my husband and I have different schedules. I'm working and he's at home and vice-versa. However there are times when she is at home alone. To prepare her for this time alone, I began making short trips out of the house leaving her in the crate. I started with ten minutes and moved up to the maximum time I would be gone which was basically four hours like you. I might have popped out for a shopping trip or for lunch but each time I gradually increased the time I was away. It seemed to work out well as none of my neighbors have told me that my pup howls the day away. As to the biting, I know everyone says this is a phase and it really is (but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt!) My girl is five months old now and starting to get some adult teeth so it doesn't hurt as bad (thank goodness.) She doesn't do it as much now though and the sneak attacks (don't know if you've experienced those yet) have almost come to a standstill. Most of the time she just mouths us without biting and it really is an affectionate gesture. Her way of saying I love you and all. But when she was a younger pup and doing it all the time, a good long walk or play period with a ball or a water bottle or some other toy would get her mind on something else. Or you could try a short training session. They do learn in their own time. All dogs are different. But two to four (five minute sessions) a day seemed to work best with Tizane. Her concentration was completely shot after that. That being said once they learn commands you don't have to spend a lot of time on follow up. Except with recall when they are going through adolescence. She can't remember that one at all anymore. One thing I have learned though, If they don't do it the first time, don't plead with them three or four more times. Just put them in the position you want as you are saying the command the second time. As in "sit" (no response) Press that bottom down as you repeat it the second time. Shows them that if they don't do as you say, you will make them comply. It might sound mean but it isn't. It will make a well behaved pup and one that will listen to you the first time.
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Don't worry too much about the biting. He's just a baby and it is a normal stage. I think most of these dogs are pretty smart so if you show firm consistent disapproval he will catch on. They like to please their owners not disappoint them but this thought process comes with maturing throughout the first year. Try to be patient and have faith that it will pass. Some of the stages Blaze went through I thought would never end but he is a great dog now @ 15 months and I'm by no means the perfect owner. I have 3 young boys too so I train only as much as my schedual allows. One thing I don't let suffer though is the exercise. My God these dogs need alot! I try to take him off lead running free for at least 45 min to 1 hour daily, more if time allows. But your guy won't need those long runs for quite a while yet. Enjoy! It is fleeting this puppyhood!

Thanks for both your replies, its great to hear other people experienced the same things!. I started with leaving him for 10 minutes this morning and went out into the garden - i thought if i left the tv on it may help, but he whined and barked for 9 of those 10 mins! i went back to the crate and quietly let him out once he was calm, as all the books have told me to do. later today i intend to try for 15 mins and actually leave he house - i hope it goes ok! Many thanks again, Fiona
sup vfloyd, we're both on, thats like an eclipse for this site huh ;D
Hi there Fiona hows the V going... We live just outside Aberdeen in Scotland and got our little girl at the weekend she was 7 weeks on Monday and a right handfully first night was a night mare but we are getting better every day she sleeps in the kitchen in her crate with a pen around her crate with a toilet and toys.... She is the same nips a lot but the puppy kong toys seem to work playing in the kitchen when she tries to nip... As for the crate thing Amber seems to sleep alot so we can leave the house when she is sleeping and she seems fine when we get back but we live in the middle of the country so nobody would tell us.. But even in the morning she goes to sleep at 00:00 and does not make a sound until 06:00 then I take her out let her do her business and play for about 30 minutes and then she is off to sleep again for another hour...

Not sure what else I can think off but If I can I will let you know
Hi Malkie

We are near Stirling, so not a million miles away from you! We have had a mixed day today - on the plus side I left him in his crate twice on his own while I went out for about 15 minutes each time - he howled and barked when I left but was calm and quiet when i came back so that's good. on the negative side he had a good game of attack the jumper, while I was wearing it, and no amount of telling was getting him off me, which relsulted in a hole in the jumper - arghhh! He's only started doing that the past two days, he seems to take funny turns and goes abit mad trying to nip and attacking clothes - does your V do that? Great to share experiences with others on here!
Was the "attack the jumper" a sneak attack? Those are even more fun than the times you are aware they are going to attack you. Tizane used to hide behind anything and everything and then take a leap at us to attack the clothes we were wearing. Hopefully you won't have to play that fun game, but if you own a v, be prepared. Keep working on the crate training it does get better. If you can get Kong Stuffn' (not sure if that's the spelling) across the pond, you might try putting some on a chew to give her something to do. That way she is distracted when you leave and doesn't realize until later. If you can't get it, a bit of peanut butter might do the trick if your girl likes peanut butter. Not much though (a Tbsp, maybe.) Another thing is not to make a big fuss and tell her you'll be home soon, as that can make them anxious before you even leave.
Vfloyd, I have spent a fortune on my boys socks. He especially seemed to like my middle boy's socks and this is always while they are on his person rather than on the floor. I really should darn them but... Anyway too bad about your sweater ( that means jumper correct? - just out of curiosity is a jumper only a sweater or could it mean any type of shirt? We don't use that term in Canada.
Aside from clothes we lost a leather couch this year due to damage inflicted by Blaze. I watch Marley and me and feel better. He is worth it, many many times over.
Sahara - thanks for the advice about the kong stuffin - may try that but we are actually doing not too bad when I leave him,yesterday I went out twice for 15 mins and this morning a whole half hour - he seemed to be fine when I got back! The jumper attack wasn't a sneak attack, it was while I was sitting on the floor playing with him and his toys - he must have thought I seemed more interesting! Can't wait for the sneak attacks though!

Blaze - yes, a jumper is a sweater (not a shirt though!) - floyd loves socks too!! I must watch Marley and Me!!
A word about Marley and Me, the movie is good, but you must read the book. As with any book that is made into a movie, the book is SO MUCH BETTER. You get a better insight into the events.
Yes I read the book first and well worth the read for dog owner or not :)
Hi Vfloyd, I got my pup 3 months ago and had all the symptoms you describe down here in Devon! My dog was exactly the same, I would say that the advice you've had here is pretty spot on but it just takes perseverance. You even get to thinking that you may have a rogue one off pup!! All I can say is that it will all come together. Mine is an absolute pleasure to be with. I was very firm with him and he now is beginning to work out right from wrong! I have also trained mine to sit and recall to a whistle which is absloutely invaluable at times. It also makes peoples heads turn in wonder when your little pup is more obedient than there 3 year old! Stick to it.

Sahara, many thanks for your advice and reassurance, sorry i haven't been in touch, I just spend as much time with my dog which is pure joy!!
Hi Jas

Thanks for your reply. We are getting on abit better although the nipping/chewing on clothes isn't getting any better - worse with me if anything (not my husband tho). Floyd has moments when he sems to think i am fair game to jump at, grab on to my clothes or even arms sometimes if i try to push him back. I try to get him off me then say 'No biting' or similar and try to walk to another room (as all the books i have read tell you to do) but he follows me and keeps jumping/nipping/ barking ( when the barking starts I stare him out - another tip from a book, and a few times that has worked and he has backed down!) Did you have this problem, and if so how did you get over it (and how long does it last?!)

yes vfloyd I had the same problem, the best thing that worked for me after the constant "No Biting" phrase was to put him in his crate for 5 mins when he started doing the same to me or visitors. After about 5 times he really got the message quickly. He obviously thinks you are easier game than your husband so you really need to let him know that your not!
I read a lot of literature that said these are very sensitive dogs and do not respond to shouting or any harsh treatment. I have to say I shout when i have to and if he really keeps playing up he gets a little clip across the back of the legs and he soon responds to that! I'm not suggesting you start beating your dog but don't be afraid to be firm with him.
All I can say about how long it lasts is that Oscar is nearly 5 mths oldd and its all coming together, he obviously has his moments as he is just a pup but they are a lot fewer now.

Yes I think he must think i am an easy target. i have to say that whatever we are doing isnt working! He doesn't seem to listen to us at all - he is 10 weeks tho so maybe we are hoping for too much at this stage? We have a water sprayer (on the advice of our breeder) which is the only thing that seems to stop him in his tracks, but i have to say his constant barking, nipping, jumping and wanting attention are exhausting! We love him tho and will keep trying! I don't find that putting him in another room or his crate stops the barking, he still goes wild! We took him in the car last night to visit my parents and he barked the whole of the 10 minute journey there and when we got there he was so excited he was running aroung jumping up, grabbing their clothes and nipping them! We all turned our backs on him and ignored him until he calmed down, but 5 mins later he was attacking my arm again! Argghh! feeling now that i don't want to have visitors at the house until we have taught him some manners. The good news is we have signed him up for training classes but can't start for three weeks until he has had all his vacines. Did you take your V to classes, and did it help at all?
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Ah yes those were the days...In about 6 months things will be better!
10 weeks is still very very young Vfloyd, I would just hang in there. Everything you say reminds me of my time and I reckon it will be at least a month till you see any of that childmania subsiding!
he is still very young, you're right. I feel like we have made some progress tho and have had a good day today so far with no 'attacks' as i have started calling them!
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