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Hi everyone, we are a couple in Yorkshire in the UK and 2 weeks ago we brought home our vizsla puppy boy at 8 weeks. We knew it would be hard but not like this. When does it get easier? Do they calm a little at 12 weeks? He can go walking outside at that point so I'm desperately hoping so. We researched the breed a lot and knew to expect a clingy dog needing lots of exercise and mental stimulation but I wasn't prepared for how hard a young puppy would be. My partner said it is much harder than raising a baby. The main problems we're having are constant lunging up and biting rather than playing with toys, we can't eat a meal with him around. We are trying distraction with toys and treats, bitter apple spray, he doesn't seem to want to learn "down" or "leave". Trying to get him ok with the cats but guess that one may just take time. Then there's the crate training. He'll sleep in his crate by our bed all night, which is amazing, but won't be closed in one during the day at all without going absolutely mental. We tried closing him away where it's dark and quiet, we tried keeping it in the living room so he could see us, he will choose to go lie on it but hates being closed in, whether it's 2 minutes or 30 minutes or longer. How long did it take to crate train, which method, how long should we put him in to cry?! Toilet training is going ok. It's just the biting, lunging and crate that is currently causing me to really regret this and wonder when it will stay to get a little easier and if he'll learn these things.
 

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I can completely sympathise with you. Our puppy just turned 10 weeks and his biting is out of control. We have tried everything and nothing seems to work. He's still biting hard which worries me as he gets older and he tugs at our clothing and growls. I've read from others that it starts to improve at 16-18 weeks but the thought of another 6-8 weeks of it is exhausting. We have been lucky with crate training as he loves his crate and got into it the second we brought him home. We have his bed and a few blankets in there with some plush toys at night and in the day he has some chew toys in there too. We have a play pen that we have attached to the crate and we feed him in that section and he has room to run about with his toys. We close the cage to the play pen at night so that he knows it's time to sleep. He's also still having accidents in doors but can stop himself if we pick him up to put him outside. I think it's just a process and it will take time. In the first week I was able to do some short training sessions with him for sit, stay, touch and come here but the last week or so he is not interested at all. If I try to teach down, paw or anything else he gets nippy and doesn't want to focus even if I have treats. He's just not interested so I've left it for the time being. Like you, we pray that as soon as we are able to walk him and socialise him he can burn off some excess energy. Just know that you're not alone. I'm currently like a walking zombie and I have days were I can't cope at all and feel like maybe we've made a mistake but I'm clinging to the hope that it will get better and once he's settled completely and fully trained we'll have an amazing dog. Hang in there, you've got this!
 

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Thanks for the reassurance, it's good to know it's not just me! Sounds like you've had great luck with the crate then, I envy you lol!
 

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Oh do I feel you!! Our puppy will be 17 weeks tomorrow. This has been this best week yet. Kicking him out of the kitchen entirely has coincided with the chill out, he is food obsessed and was swiping dishes off the table and searching for crumbs underneath. Because we have 4 kids under ten he was nearly always rewarded by something left behind or currently being eaten. Also for that reason we quit rawhide and bully sticks and other claimable treats. Now that there are way more rules around food, he is better. Also 4 teeth cut this week. Walks are so helpful, as is "when in doubt, take a nap in crate". Hoping for a decent lull before teenager stage!
 

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We our on our 2nd v pup (plus a 10 month old rehome)
SOUNDS NORMAL.
We thought we were ready for the first one. Read a lo/t watched video's/ we were ready! NOT.
It was harder than we thought. AT 6 months it started getting better.

We thought having the experience with the first pup we would be better prepared for #2. . Not really :)
In the end it will be worth it. The first 6 months are hel l.

It will get better! .
 

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Hi everyone, we are a couple in Yorkshire in the UK and 2 weeks ago we brought home our vizsla puppy boy at 8 weeks. We knew it would be hard but not like this. When does it get easier? Do they calm a little at 12 weeks? He can go walking outside at that point so I'm desperately hoping so. We researched the breed a lot and knew to expect a clingy dog needing lots of exercise and mental stimulation but I wasn't prepared for how hard a young puppy would be. My partner said it is much harder than raising a baby. The main problems we're having are constant lunging up and biting rather than playing with toys, we can't eat a meal with him around. We are trying distraction with toys and treats, bitter apple spray, he doesn't seem to want to learn "down" or "leave". Trying to get him ok with the cats but guess that one may just take time. Then there's the crate training. He'll sleep in his crate by our bed all night, which is amazing, but won't be closed in one during the day at all without going absolutely mental. We tried closing him away where it's dark and quiet, we tried keeping it in the living room so he could see us, he will choose to go lie on it but hates being closed in, whether it's 2 minutes or 30 minutes or longer. How long did it take to crate train, which method, how long should we put him in to cry?! Toilet training is going ok. It's just the biting, lunging and crate that is currently causing me to really regret this and wonder when it will stay to get a little easier and if he'll learn these things.
We have a 4 1/2 yr. old Vizsla named Cashew. The first week week we brought him home at 8 weeks old, I cried, lol! He was a wild man! He did not like that crate at all. He finally would settle after crying his butt off for a bit, then go to sleep. We only put him in it if we had to leave to go to grocery, or short errands when dogs were not permitted. We caved at nite, & let him sleep with us, waking up to let him out to pee if he told us. He was able to make it thru the nite very quickly, & all was well. The very best thing we did was to take him to puppy obedience classes at 4 months, soon as he had all his vaccinations. It made a huge difference. He loved the classes, & also did the intermediate class right after. It was all POSITIVE reinforcement training. He still follows all commands today.
The other big thing we did, was to take him EVERYWHERE with us, where dogs were accepted. He went to the coffee shop, the department stores, post office, some restaurants, beach, he even went paddle-boarding in the ocean & got introduced to water. Made sure he played with a lot of dogs every day. He was very heavily socialized from the get-go, & it made the difference.
Today at 4 /12, he is amazing. He adapts to every situation we put him in. He is very well behaved, & goes off-lead hiking every week-end, he never lets us out of his sight, recall is excellent.
 

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Me 2...I got him at about 10 weeks just one week I am so depressed already and cried days.
He wont go to bed by himself only if we holding him or force him in the crate. He doesn't like the crate much, but he wont bark long after play, eat and potty. I feel he is more crazy and throw more sharky bites when he needs to have a nap.
Yesterday I have to put him in the crate couple times, so I can finish my housework. It's better day time, but last nite was horrible, he woke me 4,5 times I couldn't even sleep...normally only 2,3 times....
I dont know how long I can hold myself up😔
Hope we both feel better and our V grow up quick !
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It must be normal to feel like this reading through a lot of posts. I'm clinging on to the thought that in a few weeks he'll hopefully be easier, so just trying to get through each day one by one at the minute! 😔
 

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Oh do I feel you!! Our puppy will be 17 weeks tomorrow. This has been this best week yet. Kicking him out of the kitchen entirely has coincided with the chill out, he is food obsessed and was swiping dishes off the table and searching for crumbs underneath. Because we have 4 kids under ten he was nearly always rewarded by something left behind or currently being eaten. Also for that reason we quit rawhide and bully sticks and other claimable treats. Now that there are way more rules around food, he is better. Also 4 teeth cut this week. Walks are so helpful, as is "when in doubt, take a nap in crate". Hoping for a decent lull before teenager stage!
I hope I can get him napping in his crate soon, we tried one day to wait it out and he barked for 1.5 hours before briefly conking out for a breather, I felt awful! Is 17 weeks the first time it's felt easier? Has he calmed down around human meal times and food then?
 

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Sadie is now 13 weeks old. At 7 weeks when we brought her home she was very mouthy. She never bit especially hard, but the constant onslaught of nipping and chewing really wore us down. She came from a large litter size of 10 pups so it seemed like she was very conscientious of how hard to bite without actually hurting you, but it was really getting annoying. We just weathered the storm and tried to redirect her attention to her chew toys the best we could. The worst part was her obsession with long hair. My 5 year old daughter couldn't even pet her without her going for it. I'd say since about 11 weeks things have gradually gotten better. Now its to the point where she doesn't really bite but still wants to stick our hands in her open mouth.

As far as being food crazy I understand that too. She had barking fits when we were eating. It got so bad that we had to put her outside while we ate. She still gets a little crazy when we try to eat dinner, but at least the barking has stopped and we're to the point where we simply ignore her pleas as we eat.

The lunging and jumping up on people is still a big issue, though. Our 12 year old Aussie Sydney was really bad about jumping on people as well when she was a pup. We devised a plan whenever she got rowdy we would stand on one foot with our leg bent and held out in front of us. She quickly stopped jumping on people after that. Hopefully that tactic will work for her as well, though she doesn't seem as easily swayed as Sydney was. Honestly, she is the first Vizsla we've owned, but I've had Labs and Aussies my entire life. Just stay calm but firm and redirect them to appropriate toys to play with. Eventually it will pass and they will calm down. Each dog is different though, but it will get better. Walking and playing outside are you best bet. Whenever they start getting crazy take them outside and throw a ball around or something if you're able or simply go for a nice stroll through the neighborhood. Eventually things will calm down and you'll have a sweet, albeit very energetic dog on your hands.
 

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I just starting to try today that when he stopped barking in crate I give him 1 kibble and said good calm down. I would walk away from the room, and he would bark awhile once he stopped I walk right back in and hand him the treat.
He seem getting it, im not sure, its only first day over all but V is smart for sure!
I prob will get some higher value treat for crate treat soon.
 

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Hi everyone, we are a couple in Yorkshire in the UK and 2 weeks ago we brought home our vizsla puppy boy at 8 weeks. We knew it would be hard but not like this. When does it get easier? Do they calm a little at 12 weeks? He can go walking outside at that point so I'm desperately hoping so. We researched the breed a lot and knew to expect a clingy dog needing lots of exercise and mental stimulation but I wasn't prepared for how hard a young puppy would be. My partner said it is much harder than raising a baby. The main problems we're having are constant lunging up and biting rather than playing with toys, we can't eat a meal with him around. We are trying distraction with toys and treats, bitter apple spray, he doesn't seem to want to learn "down" or "leave". Trying to get him ok with the cats but guess that one may just take time. Then there's the crate training. He'll sleep in his crate by our bed all night, which is amazing, but won't be closed in one during the day at all without going absolutely mental. We tried closing him away where it's dark and quiet, we tried keeping it in the living room so he could see us, he will choose to go lie on it but hates being closed in, whether it's 2 minutes or 30 minutes or longer. How long did it take to crate train, which method, how long should we put him in to cry?! Toilet training is going ok. It's just the biting, lunging and crate that is currently causing me to really regret this and wonder when it will stay to get a little easier and if he'll learn these things.
[/QUOTE
Hi
Hi everyone, we are a couple in Yorkshire in the UK and 2 weeks ago we brought home our vizsla puppy boy at 8 weeks. We knew it would be hard but not like this. When does it get easier? Do they calm a little at 12 weeks? He can go walking outside at that point so I'm desperately hoping so. We researched the breed a lot and knew to expect a clingy dog needing lots of exercise and mental stimulation but I wasn't prepared for how hard a young puppy would be. My partner said it is much harder than raising a baby. The main problems we're having are constant lunging up and biting rather than playing with toys, we can't eat a meal with him around. We are trying distraction with toys and treats, bitter apple spray, he doesn't seem to want to learn "down" or "leave". Trying to get him ok with the cats but guess that one may just take time. Then there's the crate training. He'll sleep in his crate by our bed all night, which is amazing, but won't be closed in one during the day at all without going absolutely mental. We tried closing him away where it's dark and quiet, we tried keeping it in the living room so he could see us, he will choose to go lie on it but hates being closed in, whether it's 2 minutes or 30 minutes or longer. How long did it take to crate train, which method, how long should we put him in to cry?! Toilet training is going ok. It's just the biting, lunging and crate that is currently causing me to really regret this and wonder when it will stay to get a little easier and if he'll learn these things.
Hi, I just thought I would reassure you I felt exactly the same. I researched the breed for years, met other Vizsla owners, called and spoke with the Vizsla society and despite some words of caution I thought I was prepared 😂😂
We started off reasonably well, his toileting was good and he was also ok in his crate. Then the biting and jumping up started and I must say I was shattered, my granddaughter was frightened to visit as were some older members of my family. I worried for weeks I had made a terrible mistake, I felt for Reggie as I wanted him to have the best and felt I was also letting him down. I then found the forum and realised I wasn’t alone and this was fairly typical. The advice from some of the people on here was my lifeline. But the main piece of advice that I clung onto was that it would pass and it did. Reggie is now no longer biting, I can see his personality emerging and although it’s by no means perfect and me and him are learning every day.
I would preserve with the crate we had a few crying episodes and my husband struggled but I stood firm and it worked. I find a firm no and moving towards him to show him I mean business results in him understanding. I’m firm but make sure I show him so much love when he gets it right. I hope it helps to know it will change.
 

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Thank you this really does help to give me hope that it can only get better!! We're thinking we'll try shorter 15 minute stints in the crate in the day just to get him used to it being part of the routine, even though we know he'll cry every time for now maybe he'll realise it's normal and I can leave the room or house briefly!
 

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I hope I can get him napping in his crate soon, we tried one day to wait it out and he barked for 1.5 hours before briefly conking out for a breather, I felt awful! Is 17 weeks the first time it's felt easier? Has he calmed down around human meal times and food then?
Crate has gone well most of the time. We treat him to go in. Close the door and treat. Cover all viewing sides with a sheet, turn on a white noise so he doesnt hear us as well. If he is a butt about it I lean against the crate and just silently wait, correcting extreme barking with a sharp no and a crate tap, but trying to just be silently present until he chills. 5 min or so usually, and then I walk off. He has barked for longer than I would usually want/allow before when we were out (can see him on a cam), but only if I leave in a rush. No eye contact was huge for him. Every time we try to leave him without covering he loses it.

No, we have had lots of ups and downs the whole time, but this past week was the first long stretch of ups.

yes, he has calmed down a bit because he can't get to it, but no, still obsessed if we were to have human food in his presence. Eating out is improving, he is better because he is leashed in that scenario.
 

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I totally sympathize you! I've been through all this recently. As I said before my vizsla is 10 months old now and it is a lot better than it used to be, so I have faith i will become even better the next few months. I was crying every day the first couple of months thinking what I was doing wrong and why it was so hard (Would my life be like that from now on?). Not everything will change magically, it really needs a lot of work and patience. Every month it gets a little bit better. I promise!
From my (limited) experience, you have to find yourself what it works for you and your dog. I read and read and read everything I could to find a way out of this disaster. Everyone had their advice and opinion, I tried everything, but in the end what worked for them didn't work for us and the other way around. Things changed for us, when I stopped taking random advise and tried to understand my dog. He has his own personality as I do, so we had to work this out our way. For example, everyone would tell me not to let him on the couch, thus we were on constant fight for the couch, but I realized it wasn't a matter of dominance, it was a matter of insecurity. From the moment I let him cuddle with us on the couch, we all started to feel a lot closer and he became more secure and comfortable.
It needs work, patience/ time (for them to grow) and understanding (try to understand why your dog does what it does before you try to solve it, try to attend a particular need/behavior each time) and of course don't be harsh on yourself! Try to understand yourself too, what you need to get through the day! Try to relax, you are trying to do your best for your dog I know, but your emotions reflect to your dog's behavior. I think a happy and balanced owner is what a dog needs the most.
 

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My male V pup is turns 24 weeks tomorrow :) at 10 weeks he was a biting machine...lots of biting zoomies, then the growling, lunging etc etc ...I read a lot including a lot on this forum, asked for advice here...in the end, its like what Artemis suggested, every dog will have some uniqueness, you have to try out different approaches and see what works with your pup. It will get better .. a lot better, mine still has zoomies quite often, the zoomies are more just clowning around now, the biting is almost gone..more recently to my surprise he has started spending his evenings with me and the kids on the couch.

>When does it get easier? Do they calm a little at 12 weeks?
Mine started calming down somewhere between 20-24 weeks, like I said he still has his zoomies, but the biting is almost gone.

>The main problems we're having are constant lunging up and biting rather than playing with toys, we can't eat a meal with him around.
Puppies will bite and mouth, they explore with their mouths...he will most likely just grow out of this. Here's what I did: With mine, usually the biting could get a bit out of control when he was overstimulated , so I got good at recognizing when he is almost there...and I would put lure him into the crate with treats, cover the crate and let him sleep...kept him in the crate when we were eating. A few times I resorted to a very strong 'NO' with a squirt bottle if and when the biting got out of control ( he may have been 13-15 weeks at that time). Out of everything I tried the crate & occasional squirt bottle helped me a lot.

>How long did it take to crate train, which method, how long should we put him in to cry?
I put his crate away from our bedroom since the first night, he whined and barked first night for 30-40 minutes...over 3 days that reduced to 10 mins and then he was ok.
I take him for a long walk in the morning so he is tired and when I get back I put him in the crate with a treat, he would sleep and wake up in an hour or 2...and I took him for a potty break every hour or so...did short 10 minute sessions of playing tug or some fun training and he would get tired again and I would put him back in the crate. he did spend a LOT of time in the crate in his early months.

>He'll sleep in his crate by our bed all night, which is amazing, but won't be closed in one during the day at all without going absolutely mental.
May be try doing some activity with him when he is out (training, tug, fetch)...that will tire him out and he may then want to sleep.

Another thing I did which I think worked really well was I never gave him his food in a bowl. To this day, almost every meal ...I hand-feed him. I use meal time as practice for all the commands he has trained for and reinforce them. For every handful of food I ask him to do some command. He is just used to this now.

I know these are not easy pups, much harder than I expected. They are eager to learn and take to training really really well, although can be really stubborn and have strong personalities :). These are amazing dogs and it is so satisfying when they start bonding with you as they grow up. Its going to get a LOT better, give it a few months, keep reading and trying different things, make your mistakes...spend time with him you will figure out what clicks with your pup in time.
 

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I’ve had two and the first 6 months is brutal, the second 6 months are hard. I would say it’s never easy but always rewarding. After that first year you have the most amazingly loyal and loving companion, great with kids and the elderly. But always with energy to burn, always “hungry”, and always needy for attention.

Hang in there and I strongly suggest professional training starting at about four months of age. We did this with one of our Vs and didn’t with the other, and the difference was noticeable.
 

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I can completely sympathise with you. Our puppy just turned 10 weeks and his biting is out of control. We have tried everything and nothing seems to work. He's still biting hard which worries me as he gets older and he tugs at our clothing and growls. I've read from others that it starts to improve at 16-18 weeks but the thought of another 6-8 weeks of it is exhausting. We have been lucky with crate training as he loves his crate and got into it the second we brought him home. We have his bed and a few blankets in there with some plush toys at night and in the day he has some chew toys in there too. We have a play pen that we have attached to the crate and we feed him in that section and he has room to run about with his toys. We close the cage to the play pen at night so that he knows it's time to sleep. He's also still having accidents in doors but can stop himself if we pick him up to put him outside. I think it's just a process and it will take time. In the first week I was able to do some short training sessions with him for sit, stay, touch and come here but the last week or so he is not interested at all. If I try to teach down, paw or anything else he gets nippy and doesn't want to focus even if I have treats. He's just not interested so I've left it for the time being. Like you, we pray that as soon as we are able to walk him and socialise him he can burn off some excess energy. Just know that you're not alone. I'm currently like a walking zombie and I have days were I can't cope at all and feel like maybe we've made a mistake but I'm clinging to the hope that it will get better and once he's settled completely and fully trained we'll have an amazing dog. Hang in there, you've got this!
It must be normal to feel like this reading through a lot of posts. I'm clinging on to the thought that in a few weeks he'll hopefully be easier, so just trying to get through each day one by one at the minute! 😔
Our Enzo is 12 weeks and reading this has made me laugh with relief. It was definitely easier when I had my daughter 😂. Currently, I’m up several times a night and he won’t leave my side. Biting not a huge problem yet, but leaving him alone is hard. I’m too soft and can’t bare the crying. However, whilst I am soo tired and feel like a plonker pleading for him to have a poo in the rain last thing at night, he is so affectionate and loving it is worth it. I know he is going to be an amazing dog. He has a crate but now sleeps on the sofa. I’ve relinquished by favourite dressing gown as it seems to be the only thing that he wants to sleep on. We are going o start training next week as soon as he can go out for walks. Fingers crossed the new stimulation will mean he’s happy to spend a bit more time on his own.
 

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My male is 19 weeks today....he was EXACTLY as you described. He’s better now, still have very challenging days- the biting is now much, much better. He was a terrible lunger and biter. I cried several times!!! I tried to play and exercise him and he’d rip holes in my pants and drew blood from us. Just today my husband and I wondered if we can do this for at least a decade but reading these posts I always gain reassurance and hope that it WILL get better. I’ve raised and trained several breeds in my life, Dobermans, Weimaraner, chihuahuas, poodles, corgis, shepherds. They were all very easy compared with this Vizsla. Thank goodness he is so sweet sometimes or we would’ve given up!
I agree- he must go into the crate several times a day for naps. If he’s out about an hour to an hour and a half, back in the crate for a long nap. This is mandatory!! He will stop crying in there at some point- it helps to buy a crate cover (Amazon) they’re wonderful and you can have one side up and the rest closed like a den. Remember, wolves and wild dog puppies are sleeping in a den most of the day. They come out to eat, play a little bit, then back in the crate. As he gets older and better behaved his time out of the crate can lengthen. Also, when he gets older, about 13-14 weeks, buy a “flirt pole” (Amazon). Folks on this forum gave me that advice and it helped- they love to chase the flirt pole outside and it burns off energy. Lots of videos online too! Good luck and remember there are lots of us suffering too 😂
 

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Some of the tips that worked for us.
  • Crate, crate crate. Every treat is given in the crate. The crate brings treats that fall from the sky.
  • We always hand fed our puppy with our other dogs so that they wouldn't resource guard as much. It's been working for us. If you want to feed additional food, give it in the crate.
  • For lunging, we use a small prong collar to give an "off" command with a little wrist pop when he wanted to jump up on people or children. He's getting the message.
  • In regards to biting items you do not want bitten, give a loud "ouch!". Regardless if its a finger, shoe, shoelaces or something else you're wearing. We swap out with a chew toy, a bully stick or rope. I think BUlly sticks are so under rated. They were great for our puppy to chew on since the beginning. To this day, he loves them to gnaw and chew on.
  • We use "leave it" to have him release something in his mouth or if he has the intent of putting something in his mouth.

Crate training took about 13 days before he came to his senses.
  • No water after 7pm.
  • One last "go potty" outside at 8 pm.
  • In the crate at 8:05 pm.
  • Midnight "go potty" break.
  • Then at 6am, come out of the crate, a "go potty" break, hand feed meals, provide as much as water as they want.

It got easier at around 14-16 weeks. Hang in there.
 
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