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Hi,

We have just put the deposit down on a Vizsla girl who we will be able to bring home in January. I’ve always had family dogs (a cocker then a labradoodle) and my husband has grown up around vizlas (his aunty had 2 while he was growing up). But just after any words of advice before we bring her home. My husband works full time but I work part time 9-1, but my sister lives 5 minutes away and once the puppy as able to be left for any amount of time she will come and walk her while I'm at work. We are both going to take 2 weeks off each, so 4 weeks in total when she first comes home. We have two kids, 7 & 5.
Anything we should be prepared for? Any advice on getting her used to a crate? Any advice for the dreaded nibbling stage? Any advice on how to build up her time alone? We ideally want her to sleep downstairs, but I’m aware this may be a pipe dream!
Sorry for all the questions......trying to be as prepared as can be, even though I don’t think anyone can be prepared for the exhaustion that comes from a puppy!!
 

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Hello,

A bit of a shock to start with, there will be times when you'll think you've made a big mistake. Our Elsie is 17 weeks today. She's still likes a nip, but seems to be slowly settling down.

We're learning, but the early weeks are a rocky road. Elsie sleeps downstairs in her crate, and dependent on how tired she is will go through from 10pm until 5/6am. This is improving each week. There was no chance she was coming upstairs, we give her a short walk at 9pm, then lights out at 10pm. We leave her crate door open, (as we're hoping one day she'll adjust to a bed) and occasionally around 4am, she'll let us know if she needs to go out with a few taps on the door.

If I can give one piece of advice, I'd let your pup off lead as soon as possible. If you have a good bond, they won't go far.

However, we're first time pup owners, so I'd probably listen to somebody else on this forum! Don't rely on my tips. 😂

Cheers and good luck.
 

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Thanks for your replies. I’ve got to admit, I’m slightly nervous about the shark biting I’ve read a lot about and how to get my kids to deal with that! They are pretty placid kids but equally as sensitive!
 

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We are at 13 weeks now and got her at 9 weeks. I will say this has been a journey. I grew up with dogs but never expected a puppy to be this time consuming and trying. There was a point my girlfriend looked at me and said she didn't know if she could do it anymore. Ours got a parasite and hadn't been eating well, so I suggest going to the vet as soon as you can. We literally have to hand feed her daily to get food in her . While she is extremely smart, she can pick up a trick in 1 session, potty training because of this parasite has been a battle. I will say she does get the concept and wants to go outside but sometimes doesn't. We have had no issue with tearing things up do to her getting a ton of exercise. I highly recommend dedicating about twice as much time on exercise as you would think. Out of the litter of our puppy, 1 parent has had to replace their couch and another one said he has eaten pretty much all the wood legs in the house. We have experienced nothing like that at all so that's why I think exercise is the key. Bitting has been an issue and from what I am told common. Due to her weight issues we can't use cow ears that often and ours doesn't like kongs that well. As a last resort we have her a huge beef bone and she loves it. They do not recommend giving these to them due to them possible breaking s tooth but ours seem to not over due it and it's the only thing she will really chew on outside or our hands lol. Playful nipping is still an issue we deal with daily and gets worse the more playful she gets. LAstly our sdoes have what my girlfriend calls zoomies. She will go basically crazy for about 10 minutes untill we stop her and calm her down. We are told that normal and falls right asleep afterwards. As far as crate is concerned if she wakes up for any reason and she's in the crate she will want out , but if I fall asleep on the couch and she is cuddling me she can go 8 hrs easy. This is one thing we have been having a bad time with but kind of goes back to the parasite. She sometimes has diarrhea so we are too afraid to let her cry it out in the cage due to that. With all that being said we love ours so much and glad we got her. It's been rough but honestly well worth it.
 

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Nibbling stage? That is a significant understatement. I now know why people on this forum call them “shark attacks“ or “sharkies”. Vizsla pups have unbelievable energy, they are very intelligent, and want to play. They play using their mouths, and their mouths are full of fishhooks (puppy teeth). We had a Jack Russell previously, and I’m certain that the Vizsla energy is higher. Our daughters are 8 and 4, and you really have to be careful to watch the playfulness of the pup around them. There are going to be cuts and scratches from the puppy teeth.

Vizsla’s are energy mirrors - they will return as much, and often more, energy as is provided. The kids often forget about calm energy around Maui, and he gets excited to play. He’s about 40 lbs now and SO strong and fast. You have to watch the kids don’t get knocked down or jumped up on.

All that said, you’ll get through it, and into something so special it will blow your mind. Maui is such a wonderful pup! He’s almost 8 months now, and starting to mellow a bit. There has never been an aggressive bone in his body. He has a really special and distinct relationship with each of my girls. It’s like he knows now that he has to be more gentle with the 4 year old. It’s sweet.

You need to have plenty of toys. Kongs frozen with kibble inside keep them busy for an hour or more. Tuffy is a brand of plush/squeaky tug toys that are very durable - cheaper alternatives don’t last more than a couple days. As soon as the pup has had the vaccinations, start walking. Walk the energy out of the dog, or it will come out in ways you won’t appreciate. Maui started chewing on our baseboards one day!

Good luck with having your pup sleep downstairs... I don’t know how you’d accomplish that. These dogs want to be with you incessantly. Taking time off work is a good idea.

When you get to your wit’s end, be sure to ask for help on these forums. The wonderful and experienced people here have helped us immeasurably.
 

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Thanks so much for the replies. Once the vaccinations are done, how long do you suggest walking for at first?
 

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We are at 13 weeks now and got her at 9 weeks. I will say this has been a journey. I grew up with dogs but never expected a puppy to be this time consuming and trying. There was a point my girlfriend looked at me and said she didn't know if she could do it anymore. Ours got a parasite and hadn't been eating well, so I suggest going to the vet as soon as you can. We literally have to hand feed her daily to get food in her . While she is extremely smart, she can pick up a trick in 1 session, potty training because of this parasite has been a battle. I will say she does get the concept and wants to go outside but sometimes doesn't. We have had no issue with tearing things up do to her getting a ton of exercise. I highly recommend dedicating about twice as much time on exercise as you would think. Out of the litter of our puppy, 1 parent has had to replace their couch and another one said he has eaten pretty much all the wood legs in the house. We have experienced nothing like that at all so that's why I think exercise is the key. Bitting has been an issue and from what I am told common. Due to her weight issues we can't use cow ears that often and ours doesn't like kongs that well. As a last resort we have her a huge beef bone and she loves it. They do not recommend giving these to them due to them possible breaking s tooth but ours seem to not over due it and it's the only thing she will really chew on outside or our hands lol. Playful nipping is still an issue we deal with daily and gets worse the more playful she gets. LAstly our sdoes have what my girlfriend calls zoomies. She will go basically crazy for about 10 minutes untill we stop her and calm her down. We are told that normal and falls right asleep afterwards. As far as crate is concerned if she wakes up for any reason and she's in the crate she will want out , but if I fall asleep on the couch and she is cuddling me she can go 8 hrs easy. This is one thing we have been having a bad time with but kind of goes back to the parasite. She sometimes has diarrhea so we are too afraid to let her cry it out in the cage due to that. With all that being said we love ours so much and glad we got her. It's been rough but honestly well worth it.
Im so sorry to hear you’ve been through such a tough time.
 

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Thanks so much for the replies. Once the vaccinations are done, how long do you suggest walking for at first?
We just started walking around the block, and then extended it as we felt he wouldn’t have to be carried back! Distance increases pretty quickly, but don’t go on super long distances on concrete while their bones & joints are growing and developing. If you can take her on forest trails, even better. Maui’s at 8 months now, and we’ve been doing 4 km (45 minutes) in the morning and 8 km (1.5 hours) in the evening for several months now.

One surprising thing was that when we would get back from a walk, and figured Maui would have worn off some energy, we would let him out in the yard, and he would have a freak-out and run around the yard at top speed! It’s like he would have a surge of adrenaline after a long walk! I can only assume this is what many refer to as “zoomies”.
 

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We just started walking around the block, and then extended it as we felt he wouldn’t have to be carried back! Distance increases pretty quickly, but don’t go on super long distances on concrete while their bones & joints are growing and developing. If you can take her on forest trails, even better. Maui’s at 8 months now, and we’ve been doing 4 km (45 minutes) in the morning and 8 km (1.5 hours) in the evening for several months now.

One surprising thing was that when we would get back from a walk, and figured Maui would have worn off some energy, we would let him out in the yard, and he would have a freak-out and run around the yard at top speed! It’s like he would have a surge of adrenaline after a long walk! I can only assume this is what many refer to as “zoomies”.
Great advice, thanks PinDave.
 
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