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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!
I am taking home a Vizsla either today or tomorrow. The puppy will be a male and he will be 9 weeks old. I have had dogs when I was young and was never in charge of the training. This will be the first dog where I will have 90% of the responsibility. I have a bunch of questions. I will list them below. All are welcome to contribute to some or all of the questions. Thank you in advanced!

Crate Training:
Please contribute your routine on how you crate trained your puppy.
What did you allow in the crate at all times?
Did you serve food/water in the crate?

House Breaking/Potty training
How long does it take after a meal or a drink, that a 9 week puppy needs to be brought outside?
What worked best for you?
When you see the puppy starting to go, do you stop the puppy, carry him and run outside?
If there is an accident in the house due to the owner not seeing him starting to pee, do I just clean it without saying anything to puppy?

Training:
When did you guys start training your pup some of the basic moves of sitting, heeling, coming back to the owner, and laying down.
What other tricks can I expect a puppy to learn.
Is it too much for the puppy to learn tricks as well as crate train and potty train?

Toys and treats:
What are some of the toys you guys recommend?
Also treats for training?

Thank you all. If I missed anything, please don't hesitate to post it. I am very, very excited and cannot wait!
 

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First of all congrats on your new puppy!! This is also our first puppy we raised by ourselves (without family), Axel is now 14 weeks old, or something like that, I've lost count after 12 weeks.

Ok, wow lots of questions... I have experienced all of them, however I will try to answer your housebreaking question. I found that puppies that age go potty very quickly after eating or drinking, I suggest you take him out almost immediately after drinking/eating and give him cues such as go potty, hurry, etc. and praise him when he goes, such as good boy, etc. When you see him going pee you can pick him up and take him to his potty spot, however you may have a stream of pee trailing behind you. I usually make a noise such as "uh ohh", or tsss, sucky noise, like he made a mistake and then take him out to his potty area. If he has an accident without you seeing him and alot of time has expired, you need to just clean it up, as he will not remember what you are referring too, regarding his pee, he may think he is getting punished for something totally different. I remember some people used to rub there nose in the mess, but that is old school training. ( I think i even did that years ago)
Also, take him out frequently thoughout the day, even if he is not drinking or eating, as they cannot hold their bladders, they just go when they have too. Also, try and limit his water intake before bedtime, I usually stop it about 7pm, so he doesn't have an accident in his kennel.
Ok, good luck, and I will let other people answer some of your other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply! i appreciate it. I haven't slept because he's missing his siblings and he's been crying. Please let me know what you guys know and your experiences!! thank you!
 

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The first night we had our puppy we put the crate next to our bed. He started crying. I told my wife, I was going to take a quick shower then see if I could calm him down. When I got out of the bathroom he was sound asleep. I asked my wife what she had done. She said she just laid down in front of the crate so that he could see her and after a few minutes he quieted down and went to sleep.

The next night when we put him in his crate he started crying again so I laid on the floor in front of it just as my wife had done. Same result. In less than 5 minutes he was snoozing away. After that second night we never had another peep out of him at bed time.
 

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Hiya,

Congratulations on your new puppy!
I have a 15month old boy and a 8 week old girl that we picked up yday from the breeder :)

Crate training - I would start straight away - last night I put Olive, our new puppy, in her crate - she tried to get out, I kept placing her back in and back in and after about 10 mins she gave up and layed down. When her eyes closed and I knew she was asleep I then closed the crate door and crept to bed. In the night if she starts whining I go and take her out of the crate and straight out to the toilet - I wait for her to go to the toilet and then take her straight back to the crate and back to bed. I don't talk to her or make a fuss when do this as I find it helps to keep her sleepy so she settles back down again when put back in crate.
In the daytime if she has been playing and then starts to settle down on the floor I will then pick her up and take her to crate and sit with her and wait for her to go to sleep. Then will close crate door and leave her. I would recommend to go completely out of the room and be in a diff room to them. At the min I am only leaving her asleep for about 45mins as it's best to return to them whilst they are still sleeping and not whining. If they start whining - do not go to them - wait til they are quiet for a moment, and then let them out.

toilet training - I find this really easy but I don't know if it differs from dog to dog. We keep taking olive out to garden for the toilet about every 30 mins - when she goes outside we give her LOADS of praise. Remember what time they went and remember to take them back out in another 30 mins. Also take them out straight after they have been asleep, and after drinking eating etc. If they start to wee indoors I would say pick them up and carry them outdoors - yes you will end up with a wee trail but I think it is better that just watching them do it and then moving them. I never told either of mine off when they had an accident- just really praised them when they got it right. I found this really worked for me, my boy was tolilet trained by about 9 weeks and Olive is practically toilet trained already she has only made one mess and is asking to go outside already!

Just my experiences! Hope that helps,

Lucy
 

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Congrats on your new puppy!
For me, rule #1 with a puppy is do not allow behaviors now that you do not want a 45-55lb animal to do. If you don't plan on allowing your dog to sleep with you as he grows, do not all ow it now. This is where the crate comes in. Crate training is fairly simple. That is not to say people don't encounter issues, but its purpose is for sleeping, containment (not punishment) & a safe little haven, IMO. When you put your puppy in the crate for sleeping at night (assuming he will be sleeping there), do not give into to whinning & crying. After 3 kids, and lots of dogs, I know how easy it is to give into the cries for a little shut-eye! You may need to take your puppy out to pee during the night for a little while. When our V pup would wake up & whine, we would take her out to pee. We would praise her like crazy if she went, but other that that, we spoke little & did not engage in play. Came inside, & we immediately put her back in her crate. The 1st few nights were trying, but most dogs quickly come around. That is if you are consistent. If you sometimes let the pup sleep with you or play during the night, you will have more trouble establishing a routine. The possibility of needing to go to the bathroom during the night will also pass rather quickly. Unfortunately, you are experiencing exactly what most new puppy owners experience to one degree or another, and that is just life with a new puppy. You are gonna have your routine & schedule altered from here on out. Just wait till your guy gets bigger & his exercise requirements increase ;D I believe the crate is a good spot for your dog when you are away; however, I do not think it is appropriate to put a young pup in a crate for hours on end during the day. If you work, and can not be home, I think you need to find someone to regularly let your pup out every 2 hrs. Time in a crate can increase as they get older, but I still believe it is not right to leave them there all day. IMO, the longest period of time in a crate should be at night when sleeping. Just my opinion. I think the best strategy for housebreaking is prevention. Try not to give your pup a chance to soil. Take him out often & do not allow him to roam your place unsupervised. There is no such thing as too often, and praise him like crazy every time he goes. We took our V pup out every 15-30m. yes, it was a pain at times, but she has been very easy to house break. Other than a UTI causing a pee accident, she has never soiled in the house.Socialize your pup with people, dogs, and surroundings. Enroll in a puppy class around 3m if you can. Provide lots of stimulation with positive correction. Be consistent, feed good quality food, and set limits from the beginning. My V pup has taken very well to clicker training. We don't always use it now (pumpkin is almost 6m), but it was very useful in laying a foundation for basic commands & manners. It will take a few days for your lil guy to adjust to his new surroundings, but it does get better. The fun, antics, & lots of exercise has yet to really begin! Enjoy :)
 

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Congrats on the new puppy. Holley (now 7 months) is the first dog that we have trained w/o family help. We also did the laying by the crate for the first couple nights until she got used to the new surroundings. The only things we have in there all the time are her bed, a blanket for her to curl up on and her kong toy. Trying to feed her in there didn't work for us but others had success. Timing for going out was as follows: 15 min. after eating/drinking, immediately after nap or first thing in the morning. We started training her right away since we were already behind with her age. She now goes to obedience classes and is a star pupil. As far as toys go, they all seem to be different in what they like. We bought all the tuff toys for Holley and she destroyed them in 5 minutes. It seems the tougher they claim to be, the faster she wants to prove them wrong. If we give her a aoft toy, she has them for months. It is weird. She also loves her kong. Treats for training are difficult for us since Holley can't have anything due to her tummy but the Blue Buffalo bites seem to be good.
 

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Congratulations on your puppy! It looks like crate and potty training have been pretty well covered, so I'll hit a couple of other areas.

I am not a dog trainer, but I don't think you can expose her to too much training right now. You just want to keep it fun (for both of you) and avoid expecting too much. Your puppy will let you know when enough is enough - for us it was usually by taking a nap. Savannah slept a LOT when she first arrived. Prioritize what you need to train first and concentrate on that. For me it was crate training, potty training, socializtion, car riding, and then all the commands; however, we worked on the commands along with everything else. You may want to add the following to your list of commands...Ok, Stand, Stay, Off, Leave It, and Drop. I would say the sooner your puppy starts hearing those words, the sooner the connection can be made. 'Off' and 'Leave It' are going to be very important in your near future! :)

I treat with her normal dog food whenever possible, but for really hard lessons, I will use a higher value treat. Natural Balance venison and sweet potato treats work well for us. Also, I put a spot of peanut butter in each cube of an ice cube tray and fill it with water. The ice cubes smell like peanut butter and take a while for Savannah to worry/crunch them. To slow her down, I will occasionally put the cube in her kong.

Lastly, I would recommend reading some books on Vizslas and training in general. Lots of opinions exist and some things will work for you and some will not. Read a few and make your choices. One of the threads on this forum had quite a few book recommendations.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello all. Thanks again for all the contributions. Granger has been with us for 2 days and 3 nights. He still doesn't respond to Granger or anything for that matter. His attention span is very short. The crate training is going as expected. He is crying at night. I take him out when he doesn't stop whining and half the time he has business to do. During the day when I crate him, he either cries or naps.

When did your puppies start responding to their given names?

When did the night crying end (sleeps through the night)?

When did the day crying (from being in the crate) end?

To be honest, this is hard to do. I've never had to take care of a puppy before. Although it is tough, I am keeping my hopes alive :). Thank you all, again for your posts. More will be appreciated! Thank you!!
 

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Hang in there. The first couple weeks are always the worst it seems. The name response will take a bit. Just use it as much as possible. We would make a big fuss whenever Holley looked in our direction when we used her name. The short attention span will take a while. We are still dealing with that but that is all puppies. They are just like little kids. It comes with age we are told. The night crying for us ended about a month after bringing her home but she was with her sister until she was 16wks old so it was harder to break her of it. Have you tried soft music for during the day to see if that helps. I know others on here have had luck. Our vet also recommended a plug in that you can get at Petsmart, etc. It is a DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheramone) fragrance. It also comes in a collar version. I bought the plug in but then Dan decided he just wanted to give her time to get used to the new place.
 

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Ending the night crying will be different from sleeping through the night. Savannah was 8 weeks old when she arrived.

I would get up and take her outside as soon as she moved around in her crate (to head-off the crying). I slept lightly for about 2 months and would take her outside at 7:00 (before she went to bed), at 10:00 (before I went to bed), around 1:30 (when she woke up), around 3:30 (when she woke up), and at 5:30 (when I woke up). She eliminated (pardon the pun) one of the wake ups after about a month. After the second month, she started faking being asleep so she wouldn't have to go outside (really cute!) and so I switched to waiting until she whined. She was able to consistently sleep through the night after being with me two and a half to three months; although she will still need the occasional trip outside.

Eliminating the day crying will depend on the cause. If it's just all too new, he should stop after he gets a bit more comfortable. If it's from being bored or lonely, you will have to try different things until you find one that works.

Good luck! It is all about finding what works for both you and Granger.
 

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To help keep occupied during the day, people recommended using a kong filled with treats and the stuffing they sell. Unfortunately that wasn't an option for us due to Holley's sensitive stomach but it will keep them busy during the day if crying is from boredom.
 

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Our pup, Pumpkin, quite crying in the crate by night 4. She slept through the night (no potty trips) after about 1.5-2wks. All dogs have their own pace. How long is your pup in the crate during the day? I would really avoid lengthy periods if possible. Young pups needed interaction. Provide items like the kong to help keep him occupied. Over time, IMO, keeping boredom & lack of exercise at bay is the best way to prevent behavioral issues. If you are already spending a lot of time with him during the day, you will just have to try different things to keep him occupied, and he will begin to grow out of the new baby stuff. You'll be amazed at how quickly they grow! Best of luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Again, I can't express how grateful I am for all your help. :)

I crate Granger in two hour intervals. For example, when he wakes up, I take him to go potty, walk around the backyard (his shots aren't done yet), come back, put him in the crate until 6:30AM for his first meal of the day. After his meal, I take him out to potty and walk him a little again. I put him in his crate for 1.5-2 hours. I then play with him/walk him for 25-45 minutes, then crate him for 1-2 hours. And this happens throughout the day.

Granger has been getting real rough lately. His bite inhibition took a step back and bit me and broke flesh today. I think he was excited because a lot of people was over. He started to bite on furniture more than the past few days. Is it bad to repeatedly tell a dog, "No", "Leave it", "Lay off". I find my self saying these terms a lot more than praises.

Thank you for all the contributions. They are all helpful and encouraging!
 

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If you're having trouble with serious wrong behaviors, like jumping, biting, etc., I would try spraying him with a spray bottle. I found that with Kobi he only needed to be sprayed two times before he KNEW the spray bottle meant he needed to behave. Now he just needs to see it and he will settle down. It is a good deterrent as long as you don't use it too much. Some dogs aren't really affected by it, and if you're overusing it because of that it just becomes mean.
 

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We utilize the spray bottle as well for unwanted behavior from Holley. But when she was going through the biting stage, I would tell her "No" and then immediately put a toy in her mouth so she knew that she had to chew on that and not us. It took a little while but it worked. If he is chewing on furniture, some people use the bitter spray that you can get at any pet store. As for using the negative terms frequently, we still find ourselves saying "No" alot but we make a huge deal out of good things when they happen.
 

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I haven't tried the spray bottle, but if Pumpkin is so overly excited we can not get her to calm down, we will crate her for a few minutes. Not as punishment, but as a "time out" for all to regain composure. One thing that I think has really helped Pumpkin is the clicker. I introduced clicker training very early. I have no training in it other than reading on the internet & books, but it has laid the foundation for a well behaved dog. Now is a good time for you to begin short training sessions (clicker or not). Your pup has a very short attention span, so you will begin rewarding for the smallest give in attention or follow thru of a command. You mentioned your pup not responding to his name....I would sit in the floor with Pumpkin & say her name. As soon as she looked at me, click then treat. The timing of the "click" is important (clicking right when the target behavior is done). The treat reinforces the behavior/paired with the click. I would repeat this exercise of pairing the name, attention to me, with the click-n-treat several times. The smallest/shortest give in attention was rewarded when her name was called. I would also practice saying P's name when she was across the room, then the word come, and click-n-treat as soon as she came or made movement towards me even if not completely to my feet. I started "come" by kneeling or sitting to be less intimidating/on Ps level. As any pup gets older, you begin to decrease the treats. Small pieces of healthy treats, so you don't overload on unhealthy junk. Your pup may only quit biting when excited for just a few seconds, but in those few seconds, it is very important to praise like crazy. I also think its important to know the words you will use for commands. For example, do you plan on using the word "come" or "here" when you call your dog? "leave it, "no", or "drop it?" You want to always use the same words to mean the same thing every time you use it. If you have friends, family, or a partner over a lot, I would teach them the words to use so the puppy is not getting mixed messages. A word or very short phrase is better. Come vs. come on over here, get over here now etc. It's great that you get your pup out every 2 hrs! How much exercise is he getting when you walk him around the yard? Off leash running will be a must as he grows, and that is not the same as throwing a ball in the backyard. Even at a young age (9 wks), we took Pumpkin on long explorations through the woods or in a field. Long in time outside not necessarily in distance. She let us know when she was getting tired. When your puppy gets all of his shots, it will be very important to socialize him with other dogs, and allow him to run with other dogs. My only point is a very tired puppy is a better behaved puppy. If your puppy always seems to be very rambunctious, he is probably not getting enough of the right kind of exercise. Games indoors are fun and can be stimulating, but stretching those long V legs is a must. I'm finding out it is much more of a commitment than I even envisioned ;D You are doing a great job so far :)
 

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Me again.....I'm gonna quit responding so everyone doesn't get sick of me ;D I wanted to say, when/if you start small training exercise, make sure your pup has gone to the bathroom, burned a little energy, and it's peaceful in your house. In other words, if your puupy needs exercise & friends are over, that is not the time to do attention exercises. You want to make sure that your puppy is going to have success, so set him up for that. If he does not do something you ask, like look at you when his name is called, don't punish him with words or action. Instead just keep trying and reward when he gives. It will take time, so it's important to work with him every day for little bits of time. Best wishes.
 

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Congrats! My two cents about the puppy nipping stage (which you may not have yet experienced). It is a normal stage! We used to say that Rosie "turned into a werewolf" when she was overexcited just before bedtime or nap time, and would really nip at us like crazy. Quite indistractible about attacking us with her teeth. We thought we would never get through it, that we had a crazy dog. Well, we sort of do have a crazy dog but she NEVER nips us now. That slowed down gradually, and ultimately stopped completely by a certain age...though I can't remember what age it was. Those puppy teeth can hurt. What worked best for us with that was what our puppy class instructor suggested, and that is a time out. You don't have to use the crate--we would walk away and turn our back on her, and if she persisted, put a door between us and her for a few moments, but listen of course to be sure she was not getting into anything she shouldn't. If she hadn't settled down when we opened the door and tried again with the nipping, we'd repeat the time out. For a useful article, see this link and click on the article "when puppies bite." http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=139&Itemid=375
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hello guys, just thought I would update.
First of all, thank you for all your responses. None of you are posting "too much". I read and appreciate all posts. Thank you!

My timing is good when taking him out. He rarely has accidents in the house. I do take him out a lot though. When do you know when they are potty trained. Do they instinctively bark? Do they touch your leg with their nose?

As for the biting, he is doing well. Everytime he starts biting, we give a stern "No biting". Let him bite a chew toy and bring him in his crate to calm down.

After some training with some treats and food. He is responding and coming to his name. He has to be focused, though. Once we are outside and sees the grass, he doesn't really respond. We will work up to that, though.

It has only been eight days, but it feels like forever. There are times when I want to give up, but I just have to recharge my battery and do it over. I am really looking forward to when he has matured and has his shots so I can take him out to the beach, hikes, dog parks, etc. Puppies are not my thing, but I will gut through it with the help of my family and friends, as well as the contributers to this forum. Thank you again. Don't ever hesistate to respond to this forum. I welcome it! :)
 
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