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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone from Staffordshire, England!

I've been visiting this site a few times as a guest but I've finally registered as the male vizsla puppy I've been on a waiting list for was born yesterday and I'm soooo excited about bringing him home! We'll be collecting him towards the end of January but I want to make sure I'm as ready as I can be when little pupster comes home.

I have a few questions that I'm hoping all you existing vizsla owners might be able to give me some advice on. Firstly, I've previously owned a GSP who now lives with my parents so I'm used to the 'jumpy' and energetic breed of dogs that I'm sure my vizsla is going to turn out to be! However, the one bad habit the GSP has always had is to bark A LOT every time anyone walks past the house or if he hears any kind of noise, even ones which seem indetectable to human ears, and its really hard to make him stop! Can anyone tell me if vizslas have the same tendancy or are they fairly quiet dogs? My husband and I live in a terraced house (with houses adjoining on either side of us) and I really don't want to have my neighbours complaining because of a constantly barking dog.

Secondly, I'm intending to crate train this puppy but have never done it before so any advice would be welcomed!
 

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Greetings! ;D

I adopted "Kadin" Oct 10th, 2008. He was born Aug 25th, 2008. He had done TERRIBLE with crate training and seems to be a VERY clingy and insecure dog. Has disasterous seperation anxiety and trashes the bathroom everytime we try to give him an Alt to the crate. When in the crate... YIKES! He yaps and screams like he is being tortured.

My little guy had a plane ride from IA to MA that was long and stressful. We assume that is why he does not like the crate but we are still working on it.

As far as barking... only when in the crate or left alone.
 

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Congrats on your new pup!!!

Crate training takes time and patience. Here is what I posted to someone else a little while ago (some comments might not apply!):

Crate Training: our V is the first dog I've ever crate trained and is the best thing I've done. However, if you get a puppy, they cannot go 8 hours in a crate..I don't think I would recommend that for an adult dog, but I'm sure people do it all the time and it's just fine. The "rule of thumb" is that dogs can hold their bladder 1 hour for each month of their age. We're lucky in that we're just 10min away from work so my husband and I take turns coming home at lunch. In regards to crate training, I would follow instructions you receive implicitly...it really does work if you do it right.[/color]

AND

Crate training was hard for us...again, we'd never done it before...and, even at 8 months old, I admit he will cry sometimes when we go away, and other times he's just fine...go figure. But he's perfect at night!

We literally took a weekend off and worked with him for two straight days building up time in the crate after doing the little baby steps for a couple of weeks. And we fed all his meals in there for at least a month straight! Oh how he cried at first!! But the best advice we had was: once you've built up a little time with him in crate, put a good movie in to watch (of course the crate would be in the room with you) and just put up with and ignore the whining but calmly and quietly put some treats thru the mesh in the crate when he's quiet. At the end of the movie, he should be settled. It sure did work! The other important thing we read was to absolutely ignore him when he's in the crate as well as up to 1/2 hour after you take him out! Then they don't think it's FUN time as soon as they're realeased. Here's what we followed (and probably similar to what you have).
http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/crate-train.pdf[/color]

About the barking, our pup is now a little over a year and he's barked a total of maybe 2 times. He's never barked when the doorbell rings or when people come walking around. Maybe he just hasn't learned it yet, but we feel lucky this hasn't happened! Here's another handout on barking: http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/barking.pdf I have hear of some trainers using a "quiet" or "enough" command. I think it outlines that in the handout. You say the command as soon as they've started barking and distract them at the same time, which should quiet them. Then give them a treat as soon as they've become quiet.
 

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As for housetraining...

He seems to have gone backwards. Now he runs as he pees and pees many times an hour. So we are working on that also.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well thanks for all the advice. Will keep you posted as to how we get on. At the moment I am working from home so I'm hoping the crate won't need to be used too often or for long periods of time.

Think I'll start stocking up now on newspaper and floor cleaning supplies!!
 

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Welcome!

I think it all depends on the dog you pick out too. Really play with the dogs if you can, and ask about personality, if that is an option too. We never had any problems, using the crate. She loves her crate, like a little home. Somedays she does cry a little, but very rare. she is so excited to see us when we get home. And she follows us from room to room all day long. She is the best ever. From the first night we got her, she was in her kennel, she cried and cried. You just have to be strong. We decided to sleep on the floor by her kennel, slowing moving back each night, until we were in our bed. That seemed to help her. But we never caved and she has always been in a kennel during the day, came home or the house next door let her out at lunch.

Amanda
 

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Our Vizslas are generally quiet boys (much quieter than the neighbour's yapping Fox Terriers) but they do take their guarding seriously so they do bark defensively at people walking past the house (particularly people walking dogs!). They calm down pretty quickly and personally, we enjoy the added security of having big, ferocious sounding dogs in the house! Yes, our sweet, gentle Vizslas sound like tough, angry guard dogs!
 

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Well the big day has finally arrived and we are due to collect our puppy tomorrow. I've been busy puppy proofing the house and garden today and can't wait to bring him home! He will be just short of 8 weeks old.

After reading all the helpful advice on the forum we decided that we would get a crate for him and I've got a few days off where I can hopefully get him used to it gradually.

Just out of interest can anyone tell me how they got on overnight using a puppy crate? How many times a night is he likely to need to go out to pee and roughly how old should he be when he can go right through the night without going out? (I'm just preparing myself for the disturbed nights I'm likely to have!!) I think I'm going to have to work out when he's whining because he needs to go out and when he justs wants attention.
 

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I'll give you a taste of our recent experiences, our 2nd dog (actually a GSP) is a little over 3 months old. We brought her home at 8wks and started crate training her from the start. My wife and I both work during the day, but we have someone come to the house 2-3 times to let the dogs out.

Anyway, we got off to a rough start with her during the night. I think our big issue was that we had her crated, but our vizsla would sleep on his bed. In retrospect we probably should have crated them both at night. So the good news about crating at night is that when she woke up during the night she'd wake us up very quick. So every time we all woke up we'd immediately take her outside. Here's the basic idea:

1. Take him out of the crate don't socialize, don't play, it's strictly "business"
2. Praise him profusely for going outside, give him a treat.
3. After that it's right back to bed, puppy in the crate, no play time.

I would prepare myself to wake up 2-3 times through the night. A good idea would be to cut-off water at around 8pm. In general your best bet morning, noon, or night is to take him outside to pee until you get tired of doing it. In my opinion there's no such thing as too much, the more you take him out the more you get the hang of it, and so will he.

What you don't want at night is him waking you up to play, but honestly puppies sleep so much that probably won't be the case. They also fall back asleep quickly, hopefully so do you.
 

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Tbone's got it spot on!

Our little fella would give a little whimper in his crate and we knew to take him out. And he was really good about never playing in the middle of the night; just business. We just started a schedule right away...I think it was something like: go to bed at 10PM. Try to wake up around 12AM and take him out. Then take him out again around 3AM and he was good again until 6 or so when my husband got up. We then transitioned to taking him out 1x a night around when he was 5 months (maybe a little sooner). Then it was probably another month when we could let him go the whole night (if we went to bed at 11PM!).

Good luck and have fun!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank's so much for all the good advice.

We bedded him down around 11pm last night and I got up to him twice, once around 1.30 and again around 4, but I did what you suggested and he settled down again pretty much straight away afterwards and was ok until I came down to him at about 7 when he was still dozing!

He's been a little star so far, although I honestly don't know how he manages to produce so much waste!! Had a few accidents in the house but he's learning fast. The problem is its been raining heavily here all morning and he's decided he doesn't like getting his feet wet!

Will keep you posted on the progress.
 

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good luck with your new pup.and i wish you the best.imagine that a vizsla that dosent like the rain.who would have expected that.haha :)it takeas both of mine two or three times to decide that they are going to brave that awful rain.again good luck and have fun i would imagine if Duke and Riley would stop playing with my sock long enough they would wish you the best also.
 

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We are getting our V on the 19 of february, my birthday is on the 22, and we're getting married on the 28. so she is going to have a busy schedule. i'm excited that your pup has done good, it makes me worry so much less. i feel like i'm getting a child versus a puppy. i wish you the best of luck, and will let you know how our little girl does when she finally gets here.
 

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It does feel a bit like having a human baby around! I've been trying to creep really quietly round the kitchen while he's asleep so I can get my jobs done, and being up several times a night definately feels like having a baby, but he's so cute and lovely that there's no way I'd be without him now.

All the best with your new pup when she arrives - it sounds like you'll be having a busy couple of weeks!!
 

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So it has been awhile for me and englishvizsla acquiring our pups. I am having a very hard time with Kadin! :-[ My Mom took him for tonight as the stress level this dog induces on our whole house is strange and unsettling. This dog is not normal and is not making improvement. Here is a letter I had to write for my college communication course to the breeder I acquired Kadin from;

Dear Bryce,
I have to say “Wow”; this Vizsla is off the walls. Kadin is turning 6 months soon and I am touching base with you to get some advice. As I told you on the phone you breed beautiful dogs. I often ask my husband how you live with 4 Vizsla’s and yearly puppies?! I know that I have only one and I feel exhausted and find myself stressed out much of the time. Now that winter is coming to an end I expect that this issue may not be as intense as he will be able to handle the elements better than he is able to deal with the frigid temperatures. I am looking for your advice on how to get this dog to respect us and boundaries placed upon him, as far as trampling us and making us fight for a spot on the furniture, injuring the cats in rough play, etc. . He treats my younger cat like a toy, not a housemate and as he gets bigger, I fear he is going to break the cat. My other cat won't tolerate him so he tends to interact very little with her. When it comes to my 10-year old daughter, he scratches her, jumps on her; sits on her and when she is lying down anywhere will trample her and sometimes has seriously hurt her. Twice I have had to call the on-call pediatrician... This dog is off the walls in his place in this family. When we try to work with him, he only listens for food and when push comes to shove in the moment, will do what he wants over our direction/instruction. He has chewed through many harnesses, leashes, and has even tried chewing his way through his kennel. Yesterday he broke out of his kennel after being in for only 10 minutes. By the time I got back from the store (gone total 20 minutes) the house was TRASHED!! The kennel was busted and I was in tears. Speaking of kennel, when we need to clean a mess of his, eat, clean the house or just need a break from him we place him in his kennel. This doesn't last long between his constant “whistle” (formed with mouth closed), barking and destroying anything he can pull through his kennel bars, even electrical wires. He has ruined several South Pole jackets, his own winter jacket, sheets, boxes, socks, books, pillows, etc. We left the pan out of the bottom of the kennel and lined it with really cushy materials, I went to the grocery store, came back and he had put his legs through the holes in the bottom, walked across the kitchen and ate anything he could get into his kennel. That was the time we realized he had chewed through an extension cord that had been running across the kitchen to the vacuum. When we are around the house he is constantly doing things he knows are wrong, he is not stupid, ignorant but not stupid. He is always counter surfing and eating items that no living things should eat. He poops in rainbows from all the weird stuff he gets before we can pry it out of his mouth. Kadin constantly is walking under our feet and has caused several painful accidents. He jumps on our living room gas heater frequently and is able to knock the knobs on our gas stove in the kitchen to the "on" position, causing gas to fill our home until my husband or I walk by and smell the gas. We are looking to buy a new stove that has locking dials or dials not on the front of the unit. When we shower, we have to ALWAYS keep the door shut or when you turn around to reach for the shampoo, there is Kadin ready to lick a butt cheek. I have not peed alone for 5.5 months. I am overwhelmed. I am a very experienced dog owner, not with this breed though. I am frustrated and find that Kadin is not serving his need in our family. HE adds more drama and stress than we have ever had before. He ate a textbook of mine that cost me $177.80 to replace, he has destroyed my homework and I stopped counting how many pens and pencils have been stolen and mutilated. From your experience is this the breed, the age or my **** luck? I value any suggestions you may have and thank you for your attention to this matter.
At My Ropes End,



So after reading that I extend my call for help to all V owners who have anything to offer me. I have considered returning him to the breeder or a rescue foundation as the yelling, stress and anger this dog causes is something out of a nightmare. I know how many of you are mad that I am being this honest but I am asking for help and if I told you how it was not, how could I be offered useful advice. Yes, I feel bad and that I am not a good person but am turning to you all for help.
 

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My goodness.Sounds like you have a dog with some pent up energy.Rember a good dog is a tired dog.I am sure that's not what you want to hear and I am not sure you are going to get the help you need hear but I am sure you are going to get a lot of opinions.There are so many things that can disturb a dog and so many things they do that will disturb you.Think about a trip to the vet ,a trip to a trainer and dint forget to let him know who is the boss.Sounds like he is not sure where he stands he might be testing you .have you had him fixed,mine are not fixed and they get a little headstrong now that they are turning one next month.yes they counter surf they are jumpy but i let them do it to me some they know when I say enough I mean it and they will walk on us when we lay down espically if they are rambunctious we have to watch our eyes.the wrestling matches carryover to the couch or the bed sometimes.But again I say if they were sleeping this would not be happening.Spend time with him make him smarter build his confidence think about it if you were in his shoes,try and think like a dog what he wants what he needs you know he wants to run and run and run he has to off leash is important if I don't take them to the park because of sever weather when they hit the ground you can see they have just ben itching to go they run further faster and longer and this for only one or two days at home.look at him is he truly happy does he need more can you give it to him.Is this what you want.do whats best they are quite a commitment GOOD LUCK
 

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Thank you so much for your feedback. I am taking into consideration the weather here should be improving. As far as the weather inside ... not sure how to deal with that. Meaning the kennel and him hurting himself or destroying the house and putting himself in danger when we are gone. We do need food and toilet paper.. :p


Please keep the replies coming!
 

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Oh, my gosh, I just read through your posts. I think ,since you are asking for honest advice, that you should indeed return to the breeder. I now own my second V. The first as a child - a dear gentle soul and the reason why I always wanted another V. So I introduced Blaze into our lives as a 9week old and he is now 11 months. I'd never raised a puupy before and God knows it has not been easy -I also have 3 boys under the age of 11. But the experience you are having with your dog is not good, at all. Don't give up on this breed - yes they are high energy but they should not be aggressive. You either need to have a personal consult wiith Ceasar Milan or return this pup. I'm not being mean! But I believe you mentioned you have a child. A dog should be an overwhelmingly positive experience even in the face of all the trouble they cause - I know - he has ruined a couple of couches, several pairs of sunglasses, and thought my little 4 year old as one of his chew toys for quite a while. But he also showed signs of "good dog" - right from the beginning :affectionate, accceptance of the crate, konwing when to give up trying to be the alpha etc. Ihope this helps you make the right decision and that it worksd out no matter whatyou decide. C
 

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Hi VizslaDiva

I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time with your pup. I'm not sure I can give you much helpful advice but I thought I'd update you on how things are going with Ferdie, our pup, who is now 3 1/2 months old. We've been really fortunate in that he took to his crate from day one - I honesty don't know what we would have done without one. The breeder we used had the mum and litter in a crate when they were still being weaned so he was already used to one when we had him.

In general he's been really great. He is now completely house trained and will go through the night without needing to go out. However, I do completely understand where you're coming from when you talk about how crazy your pup can get! We ended up taking Ferdie out for his first walks almost as soon as he had had his final injection, even though the vet told us to wait for a couple of weeks, because he was so high energy he was doing the wall of death round our living room. We are now taking him out at least twice a day for around half an hour each time - any less than this and he has too much pent up energy (and this is at three and a half months!!).

He tends to go completely 'wappy' in an evening, just the time when you're wanting to crash out and watch tv, and he will run around trying to pull all the cushions off the sofas or jump on the sofas (he's not allowed on any furniture) and then he gets really over excited and will just snap at anything and everything with his teeth including us. My arms are covered in bruises where he's nipped at me. When he gets into this state nothing and no one can calm him down and we have to take him out of the room and put him in the kitchen where we know he can't come to any harm to allow him to be quiet and calm down. We find this works quite well and when we let him in to us again he is much better behaved. There have been a few times where he's got so bad that my husband and I have both lost our tempers with him and shouted and completely lost it with him, but we've found that this just seems to make him worse. I now just keep repeating to myself over and over the Dog Whisperer's mantra of 'calm assertive, calm assertive, calm assertive....'! If I make sure I try my best to keep calm with him and simply take him out of the room when he goes mad it seems to work much better. I know dogs are very perceptive animals and can pick up on your mood and if he can tell that either of us is getting wound up with him it just seems to make him go even crazier. I know, however, that this is easier said than done!

We are very strict with him as to where he can and cannot go. For example he is not allowed upstairs and is not allowed on any furniture. This seems to reinforce that he is not top dog - although he will try and test us. We just have to make sure we jump on any bad behaviour straight away. However, I've also made sure I give him loads of praise all the time - not just for doing something good, but when he's not doing something bad! For example if he stays quiet while I'm getting his meal he gets praised, if he doesn't pull on his lead he gets praised, when he leaves the cat alone he gets praised etc. This seems to work well too.

I'm not sure I'm telling you anything new, but I just wanted you to know that you are definately not alone in being extremely stressed out with your puppy at times and wondering what you've let yourself in for. I really hope you manage to get things sorted out and can begin to enjoy being with your puppy again.
 

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Wow. Uhm...VizslaDiva: So, it is totally common for a puppy to chew, rough-house, etc. But your situation does sound a little extreme!

My first question: What is your exercise routine with Kadin? Sounds in your post it is "too cold"? Does that mean you are not getting him out for exercise? With these dogs, I don't care if it's 20 below. I'm getting my guy outside. There have been many mornings this winter I have had to just suck it up and get outside. Your pup will continue to exhibit horrible, horrible behavior if he is not exercised. It is ideal to give hm at least 45-60 minutes off-leash... I know not everyone can do this everyday. Our guy can go about 2 or 3 days until he starts to get naughty.

Second: Have you taken him to any obedience or other training classes? It sounds like this pup has promoted himself in your family and you need to stop it immediately. Demote him by: Never allowing him on the couch, bed, etc. Do not get down on the floor to his level to give him any attention what-so-ever ....remember, even yelling at a dog (which is not advisable) is giving him attention. You must remain calm (easier said than done) and level-headed and firm. Never let him enter a room or go through a door in front of you. Teach him "noting in life is free." http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/nilif.pdf He must sit for everything (unless you're hunt training him, then he has to stand calmly) including before you present him his food bowl. Teach him to lay down and use it over and over and over. Be sure to keep him busy and distracted with treat filled kong's,etc. Teach him about "Space." Meaning, don't let him block you, push you, etc. If the dog is in your way, you walk "through" him. i.e. don't walk around him. Instead, step over him or shuffle through him and make him move out of your way.

The kennel thing is a bit trickier. Maybe you've already done this, but if he's still using the kennel, or even the type of kennel, he was transported in, get rid of it immediately and start over. For example, if he was transported in a hard-side kennel (the one that has plastic sides and the wire door) switch it out for an all wire crate. This is one reason why our breeder doesn't transport in cargo hold on a plane. You're going to have to start your crate training over again. http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/crate-train.pdf

Keep in mind, 5-6 months is about the time people freak out about their decision to have gotten a dog in the first place. I volunteer at our local shelter, and you'd be amazed at how many dogs are surrendered that are in that age range. It's some sort of "buyer's regret." This is mostly due to the fact that at this age, this is the time when dogs start to test their boundaries, they're teething and more fussy, and the pups are usually starting to come out of the cute puppy look! They also are starting to become more independent and stop following you around, etc. This is also a phase of development pups will grow out of, you just need to know how to manage it. I recall our pup being most rambunctious around this age. He is now 17 months and has started to mellow out (don't get me wrong...he's still a bit on the edgy side sometimes!).

I also assume your pup is on some kind of routine at this point. i.e. walk at 7:00, feed at 8:00, potty then into the crate. or something. Dogs thrive on routine.

Well, I'm not sure if I'm of real help, but I would highly suggest getting him out to run, then working with a trainer on some of your most pressing issues (i.e. nipping at the kids, dominance issues and crate training) before you give up on him. Again, I see too many people give up on a perfectly fine dog because they don't understand dog behavior or don't want to try and work on it. I'm not suggesting this is you, by the way, as it sounds like you have plenty of experience with other dogs! And I won't lie, our Vizsla has been the most challenging dog I've had so far (I've always had labs who sort of take care of themselves)...he follows me everywhere (typical) he sometimes won't listen to me (typical) and has endless amounts of energy (typical) but he is also the most rewarding dog I've ever had who shows us never-ending love and commitment.

I wish you luck!! And I really hope it works out. But I would also hope you're breeder is more than happy to take him back if it comes to that...as any good breeder should.

I like these handouts, BTW, if you're interested in doing some reading:
http://www.ddfl.org/tips.htm
 
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