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So we got our 9 week old Vizsla puppy one week ago and everything seems to be going well, but we have a few questions - just to see if we're doing everything we can to raise a happy and healthy boy.

1. Feeding. I am giving him good quality food 3 times per day - splitting the recommended amount. He isn't too obsessed with it, but I feel he can eat more if I offer. How do you know when we're under or overfeeding?
2. Sleeping. So far so good (or as expected) - waking at night every 2-3hrs and waits politely to be let out for a wee. Goes back to sleep no problem. We'd like to reduce the number of night wonders, but I guess it will be time. Are we supposed to play a little more with him in the evening for him to sleep longer or is it totally bladder related? He has a crazy mode moment around 8pm which is the last window for play together, lasts anywhere between 30min and 1hr15.
3. Alone time. Our holiday will end in 1 week and we're dreading having to work with a screaming puppy. He is absolutely fine sleeping in his bed in the play pen during the day and settles in under 10min, but starts wining 5 minutes after he's awake again which can escalate to a tantrum. We always catch and reward the quiet moment before paying attention to him, never approach when he is vocal. Despite this he literally hasn't spent more than 15 min per day entertaining himself in or outside the play pen, demanding our constant presence. How and when do we train him to play independently? My partner works from home, but this will be a huge challenge. As a plan B we puppy proofed the office and it has an exit to the wee terrace, but ideally we would like him to stay alone in a different room during important meetings and when we can't physically be in the room without him starting to howl and scream. My heart breaks for him, I can imagine he's still confused from transition, but also I see him having to spend a couple of hours alone in the future and I would like for him to become more independent.
4. Exercise. How much and for how long would you walk and play with a very young puppy? We still have 2 weeks until we can take him outside, so wondering how long should each play session be? We train twice per day and he is sitting, down and staying decently. Leave it isn't going so well 🤦‍♀️
5. Which brings me to sampling everything in sight. I'm terrified he eats something that's going to harm him. He adores plants, especially digging bulbs which I know are poisonous. I feel like I'm not letting him be a dog and I'm afraid he'll hate his leash when we do go outside.

Any words of wisdom welcome! :)

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lovely pup, seems to be a heartbreaker already:). nice summary too, very structured, looks like you guy really give it a lot of thought, lucky boy.
so here are my experience after 2 vizsla boys, and i will number the answers based on your questions
1. assess daily the poop, if runny, cut back, otherwise they are usually pretty good at not overeating at this age. watch that he does not start showing ribs yet, at this age, you want the ribs to be covered, then with growth spurt they will eventually have rib showing phases anyways.
2. i would say it is bladder related. some learn to hold it quicker some slower. definitely watch that he is not cold or in a draft. and oh yes, the witching hour before crashing, that will be with you for a while lol
3. this one is tough. playing alone probably won`t happen for a while, but instead of feeding him from a bowl, you can put it into a Kong or treat ball, so that he is mentally busy while your partner is working. safe chew toys may work in the crate too, with teething i imagine he would want to chew a lot. i have a story when Bende was screaming his head off while i was on a conference call with my boss and several other people discussing a pretty difficult issue no one seem to have had a solution for. suddenly in the middle of the whole crazy howling and screaming i came up with an idea how to resolve it and everyone loved it. after we hung up, my boss called me back and said he wants to put Bende on payroll too:))). he actually quickly learned to fall asleep next to me while i was working and learned to recognize when a conference call is ending...
4. Short and regular works better in alignment with the potty and sleep schedule and considering his puppy brain. remember it is very important for them at this age to sleep 16-18 hours a day. what method re you using for leave it training?
5. we set up the whole backyard with only dog safe plants... i have lost count how many times i replaced my marigolds and lavenders during both boys` puppy stage, but it was worth it, none of those are harmful for them and they outgrew that gardening passion eventually.

hopefully this helps, let us know and enjoy your puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
lovely pup, seems to be a heartbreaker already:). nice summary too, very structured, looks like you guy really give it a lot of thought, lucky boy.
so here are my experience after 2 vizsla boys, and i will number the answers based on your questions
1. assess daily the poop, if runny, cut back, otherwise they are usually pretty good at not overeating at this age. watch that he does not start showing ribs yet, at this age, you want the ribs to be covered, then with growth spurt they will eventually have rib showing phases anyways.
2. i would say it is bladder related. some learn to hold it quicker some slower. definitely watch that he is not cold or in a draft. and oh yes, the witching hour before crashing, that will be with you for a while lol
3. this one is tough. playing alone probably won`t happen for a while, but instead of feeding him from a bowl, you can put it into a Kong or treat ball, so that he is mentally busy while your partner is working. safe chew toys may work in the crate too, with teething i imagine he would want to chew a lot. i have a story when Bende was screaming his head off while i was on a conference call with my boss and several other people discussing a pretty difficult issue no one seem to have had a solution for. suddenly in the middle of the whole crazy howling and screaming i came up with an idea how to resolve it and everyone loved it. after we hung up, my boss called me back and said he wants to put Bende on payroll too:))). he actually quickly learned to fall asleep next to me while i was working and learned to recognize when a conference call is ending...
4. Short and regular works better in alignment with the potty and sleep schedule and considering his puppy brain. remember it is very important for them at this age to sleep 16-18 hours a day. what method re you using for leave it training?
5. we set up the whole backyard with only dog safe plants... i have lost count how many times i replaced my marigolds and lavenders during both boys` puppy stage, but it was worth it, none of those are harmful for them and they outgrew that gardening passion eventually.

hopefully this helps, let us know and enjoy your puppy.
Thanks for the advice! We are now 2 weeks in with our beautiful boy who turns 10 week old today. In terms of food we ended up measuring out slightly higher than recommended allowance as he came from a large litter and our breeder did tell us that they will eat a bit more. He is showing ribs (kind of, a little bit), but he is not overly slim.

Waking up at midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am like a clock. He can sleep for 4+ hours during the day, but not at night. We are zombie tired 😵 But after his 7am play in the garden we let him sleep-in in our bed for about half an hour and this is the best sleep our entire family has.

We started teaching him "leave it" in combination with "look at me" by showing him a treat and not letting him grab it until he looks at us, then praise and feed. He is fine only when really tired, but when he is hyper he won't listen and get very frustrated jumping and barking. As with the "sit" and "down" - he is almost automatic when we are close to him and have his attention, but forget it with distance or distractions. We'll keep at it!

We moved to plan B - he is allowed in the office that has access to the garden and is very autonomous here. Yesterday I even left him here for an hour or so when I went to prepare lunch and he was fine with it, no barking or whining. We hid all plants from him, but I am dreading that when we get out to walk on the streets (in one week) he will be sampling everything in sight.
 

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Thanks for the advice! We are now 2 weeks in with our beautiful boy who turns 10 week old today. In terms of food we ended up measuring out slightly higher than recommended allowance as he came from a large litter and our breeder did tell us that they will eat a bit more. He is showing ribs (kind of, a little bit), but he is not overly slim.

Waking up at midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am like a clock. He can sleep for 4+ hours during the day, but not at night. We are zombie tired 😵 But after his 7am play in the garden we let him sleep-in in our bed for about half an hour and this is the best sleep our entire family has.

We started teaching him "leave it" in combination with "look at me" by showing him a treat and not letting him grab it until he looks at us, then praise and feed. He is fine only when really tired, but when he is hyper he won't listen and get very frustrated jumping and barking. As with the "sit" and "down" - he is almost automatic when we are close to him and have his attention, but forget it with distance or distractions. We'll keep at it!

We moved to plan B - he is allowed in the office that has access to the garden and is very autonomous here. Yesterday I even left him here for an hour or so when I went to prepare lunch and he was fine with it, no barking or whining. We hid all plants from him, but I am dreading that when we get out to walk on the streets (in one week) he will be sampling everything in sight.
lol, so the Hungarian term vizslat means to relentlessly search and investigate... and i always have made jokes that with my puppies i became a vizslat before my vizsla does. haha, they will eventually learn to leave it, but it takes time before thought commands override natural curiosity dictated by wonderful puppy brain. while it us frustrating the more curiosity the more brain power in my view.
 
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