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Hey all,

My wife and I are getting a female vizsla this weekend and we are so excited. We've been reading up a lot on the breed and what to expect...can't wait to share stories. And Yes, we are prepared!

My question is, "what's the best way to set up the crate for her?"

I've been hearing many different theories, to say the least, on the best way to set up her crate or environment:
- put blankets, mats, etc. vs. don't put anything aside from news paper
- add plenty of stuffed animals/toys vs. nothing more than a bone
- keep her water and food inside the crate with her vs. definitely make these two separate distinctions
- place a sheet over the crate to give the feel of a cave so she feels protected vs. keep all sides of the crate open so she can see all of her surroundings at all times

anyway...the list can go on and on. I was wondering if anyone had insight on effective ways to set up a crate...what seems to work best, what provides comfort for her, and any other information I'm leaving out will be appreciated.

Thanks you in advance for your input.
 

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Hi Bluelake

I'm not sure if there is one specific recommended way of doing it, but I can only tell you what we did for our pup which seemed to work for us.

We made sure the crate was all set up ready before we brought him home and put inside it a soft padded bed and a couple of blankets together with a teddy bear! The crate was kept in the kitchen where we had hard flooring and we put some newspaper around the floor, but not in the crate (you don't want them to mistake their crate for somewhere they can go to the toilet!). When we brought him home we left the crate door open and gave him chance to have a look around within the confines of the kitchen so that he could wander in and out of the crate whenever he wanted. We kept his food bowl and water dish close by, but again not actually in the crate. We found that he went into his crate fairly quickly of his own accord and within a couple of hours of bringing him home he was asleep in there. We then shut the door of the crate and opened it up again when he woke up.

On the first night we put him in his crate around 11 o clock and shut the door. I know some people prefer to keep the crate in their own bedroom for the first few nights, but that wasn't an option for us as we didn't really have the room so the crate was just left in the kitchen. Be prepared for some whining and howling but make sure you stand your ground, they will settle down eventually!!

For the first couple of weeks I was getting up at least twice a night to let him outside - you will soon learn to distinguish the 'I really need to pee' noises from the 'I actually only want attention and to play' noises! We got our pup in January so standing outside in the middle of the night with a torch whilst the snow was falling wasn't much fun but fortunately it didn't last long. He was soon down to only being let out once a night and now at six months old he has been lasting right through the night for a couple of months already.

Having the crate was definitely the best thing we did. He now goes in there quite happily and often sleeps in there during the day with the door open. It really gives us peace of mind that when we do have to go out we know he can't come to any harm and our belongings are safe!

I'm sure other people probably have different methods that work equally well, but this is what worked for us.

All the best with your new pup!
 

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Sounds like EnglishV had a pretty good system! And English V is right, you don't want them thinking the crate is the toilet!

All they really need in the crate is some type of padding and a toy. Could be just a blanket or towel as they need some type of cushion. As far as toys, we use the rubber stuff since I'm 99% positive any soft toy left in the crate would be nothing but shredded stuffing bits when we got home. We just leave a stuffed Kong with him in the crate to keep him occupied and a bone (again, rubbery - not a real bone or rawhide). But sometimes folks even recommend putting in old Tshirt or sweatshirt in; something that has your scent on it to calm the pup.

I don't think they need food in the crate. Mostly since they should be fed on a schedule and not free-feed. However, putting the food in the crate during meal time is a great way to introduce the dog to the crate. We don't put water in the crate, but we never have him in there for longer than 3 or 4 hours. But some people do have a bucket-thing that attaches to the crate door.

The crate is really intended to mock a den environment that is naturally supposed to be calming to dogs. This is why I feel putting a blanket on top of the crate is a better choice. Especially if you have a wire-type crate instead of the plastic ones as they're not as enclosed. I hear it suggested for calming puppies. But I don't think it really matters...

Just be prepared for some whining - don't give in and let them out while they're making a fuss! This will just teach them they can whine more! Only let them out when they are calm and settled. And be sure to properly acclimate them to the crate before shutting them in, especially for long periods. I assume you've read into how to start crate training, but there have been some posts here recently on how to adjust your dog to crate and go about it.

Good luck and have fun with the new puppy!!! Take lots of pictures.
 

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Thanks for all of your input! We had a great first weekend with our new Vizsla puppy, she's been awesome. You'll be happy to know, we've yet to have an accident in the house/kennel. She's been great so far and warmed up to her crate very nicely. She's done great both nights sleeping too...a little more whining on the second night, but she's slept all the way through the night (6 hours) both nights...what a blessing. I think it had a lot to do with us wearing her out, ha. One thing we tried and found very helpful was to stick a warm water bottle in her kennel and wrap it in a towel. She seemed to really like the comfort of something warm to sleep up against (it is a strong, nalgene water bottle...one she can't bite of course) Apparently this is supposed to symbolize warmth she was used to getting from sleeping up against her mother/litter. We so are excited to have her around...she's such a smart dog. Thanks again for your input, and yes, LOTS of pictures.
 

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My only way to help is to tell you about what we did with Bailey.

When we got him we started with a cage, and we got him a simply bedding mat and a toy. At night when we were learning potty training, he would sleep in his cage with a blanket over to differentiate that it was sleep time.

Now we cage him when we leave the apartment, because he has gotten into things before. When he is bad and goes in his cage, we put the blanket over him so he knows that is punishment. He now sleeps with us at night.

As for leaving toys, I no longer do it as he is a year and likes to EAT his toys.. sigh... I leave the tv on in the bedroom for him so he doesn't feel alone, but he sleeps when he is left in there.
 

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I know its been a while, but in case anyone is reading this ...

If you are going to use your crate for your Vizsla's full life (have them sleep, stay in there when you leave) I would highly recommend not using the crate as a form of punishment.

The crate is supposed to be a fun place to go, and once you start using it for punishment you may never get them in there again!

We hide treats in the crate, and our V has been doing great with it. He's only 12 weeks and he goes in there and sleeps with the door open.

If for some reason we need to put him in a time out, we put up a baby gate and put him in the kitchen and leave him in there for a while ... we don't want him to think of his crate as a bad place.

Just my two cents. But since baileysmama doesn't use the crate for sleeping, their teqnique may work for them.
 

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Hi all,

my crate is under the stairs and ready with blanet over etc. It is a big cage 42" x 28" x 30" for the adult dog!! Should I partition off half of it when she arrives on 22nd to cramp her up a little so she wont wee in it??

Thanks,

Graham
 

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I would if i were you, its not as cramped as you might think. It stops the dog peeing in the other end of the crate, though mine still did it anyway. But that was my fault for leaving him there too long. You can usually be certain that if a dog does pee in the crate its usually your fault and not the dogs. There are exceptions, I'm sure, but whenever mine did it, it was always my fault!!
 

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Re: Setting up the Crate - *Questions a many* + some more

Bounce comes home in 8 days. Her crate is getting ready, with blankets and soon to be coming toys.

I was thinking of sleeping in a location closer to the door for the first month I have her, but I could see how it could confuse the dog by moving their room. Does anyone have wisdom regarding changing the crate location at a later point?

Another interesting recommendation I got was to put some warm hot-water bottles in the crate under the bedding as they will feel like her litter mates, easing the transition to her new room. This seems logical, especially since she sleeps with her litter mates in a doorless crate at the moment. Anyone else have experience with this?
 

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I never used a hot water bottle (never thought about it to be honest) we had a 5hr journey home with Scooby next to me or on my lap, the cage was ready and set up with a padded bed and some toys and he was greeted by 2 very excited boys who he loved from day 1, the kids played with him till their bed time and then we sat in the same room as the crate and read letting him wander around and go in and out of his crate, everytime he went in we made a lot of fuss over him. We'd been up since 4am so by 9pm were ready for bed, but Scooby looked full of energy, before leaving him I put my jogging bottoms in his crate which after the journey had his smell on them but also had his mothers smell on them, I don't know if it helped or we were just very LUCKY but he slept through till 6am when he woke us up to go.
So good luck with what ever you decide to do but be consistent
 

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As I've posted earlier, Rosie is probably an unusually anxious girl who really went ballistic with her first crate, which she couldn't see out of easily (it was made of wood with small slats at the top). She seemed to calm right down with the second one, which is metal and which she could see out of. So as others pointed out, there may be some individual differences on that, or maybe a sheet on top would have been perceived differently by her than a wood crate. She's never been big on the crate, but the violent thrashing, tearing at the crate and screaming really stopped when we put her in the one she could see out of.

P.S. whoops, responded to an older part of this thread, oh well, I like the sound of my own voice I guess;)
 
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