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Hi Vizsla Pros!

My husband and I are picking up our first V in 2 weeks (and are soo excited). I have read so many blogs and books and googled so many things...but I feel like nothing is the same as hearing from vizsla owners IRL. I am a teacher so I am able to be home with our little girl for the first 2.5 months so am trying to really nail down the training and potty training.
So my question for you all...
What are the top 3 things you wish you knew the first couple of weeks of owning your vizsla? What do you think would be helpful to a new vizsla mom?
 

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These were the things i wish i would have known more in depth:

1. adding probiotics to they diet from the get go
2. having a small crate for crate training and not starting with adult crate.
3. recognizing signs of overtiring opposed to getting enough exercise
 

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These were the things i wish i would have known more in depth:

1. adding probiotics to they diet from the get go
2. having a small crate for crate training and not starting with adult crate.
3. recognizing signs of overtiring opposed to getting enough exercise
Oh I really like these!!

I'll add;
1. Neck size for buying collars. ( 11" to the middle adjustment for a puppy.)
2. AKC registration comes with 30 days of pet insurance, and lifetime registration in an identification data base. You should still microchip, but having a backup tag on their collar never hurts.
3. A list of "Go to" brands of puppy food. Vizsla puppies can be a little bit finicky, and sometimes you have try different "flavors/brands" to find one that works. I've been using Orijen Large Puppy, mixed with cooked chicken.

Potty training is a few days of constant vigilance. Puppies do 4 things, eat, play, sleep, and go to the bathroom. If they're not actively engaged in the first three activities, they're getting ready to become engaged in the fourth activity.
Get them out the door often and make a really big fuss over them for going to the bathroom. You'll feel really silly doing it, but you'll be glad you did.
If you have a good solid 2.5 months to dedicate to the puppy, you're going to be just fine.
"Training Sessions" are short. 5-10 minutes at most, but multiple times per day. Just be sure to pay attention to Gabica's #3. Puppies need lots of sleep.
 

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These were the things i wish i would have known more in depth:

1. adding probiotics to they diet from the get go
2. having a small crate for crate training and not starting with adult crate.
3. recognizing signs of overtiring opposed to getting enough exercise
Can you recommend brands of probiotics and small crates?

Also, can you share what to look for when the puppy is overtired?

thank you for your tips and advice!
 

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Can you recommend brands of probiotics and small crates?

Also, can you share what to look for when the puppy is overtired?

thank you for your tips and advice!
As a puppy esbilac has worked the best for us. Miksa got that till he got switched over from puppy food to adults one. Simply added it to the kibble and some water too. As they grew i actually increased the water added, currently both boys (2 and 4 years old) have more of a soup looking meal. Later on i switched esbilac to goat milk and now i alternate 1% kefir with goat milk. Smashed sweet potato from time to time in a Kong is a big favorite too - but not too often, as sweet potato is a starchy vegetable. When we have more adrenalin increasing activities, like competitions, hunt, travel etc. i increase the amount of probiotics. For the adult ones winpro gut and the zesty paw ones are our favorites currently. But there are many types on the market, i would start with esbilac and once the switching is due see what works best for your dog.
As for crates Miksa liked to be in a plastic travel crate for a long time, then we switched to wire crate for the daytime and still had plastic crate for night. If your pup is ok in the travel crate, i recommend that, those are the safest and cheapest option, as you can use them at home and for trips to the vet etc. My other boy Bende was first in a bigger crate which freaked him out (hence my learning) and then we switched to a small wire crate and started the training over.
An 8-9 weeks old puppy needs LOTS of sleep for normal brain development. So a 30-60 minutes activity (60 if it includes eating) should be followed by 2-3 hours of sleep. When they overtire they will act all amped up, do their zoomies and sharkies, and are just generally far less cooperative...
I want to add one more thing, from experience and something where i should have listened to my breeder better: vizslas have the tendency to react to vaccinations or the mixture of them. So try and work with your vet to separate them, even if it means more vet trips, nothing more heartbreaking than a sick pup with high fever and diarrhea ending up in emergency room...
 

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As a puppy esbilac has worked the best for us. Miksa got that till he got switched over from puppy food to adults one. Simply added it to the kibble and some water too. As they grew i actually increased the water added, currently both boys (2 and 4 years old) have more of a soup looking meal. Later on i switched esbilac to goat milk and now i alternate 1% kefir with goat milk. Smashed sweet potato from time to time in a Kong is a big favorite too - but not too often, as sweet potato is a starchy vegetable. When we have more adrenalin increasing activities, like competitions, hunt, travel etc. i increase the amount of probiotics. For the adult ones winpro gut and the zesty paw ones are our favorites currently. But there are many types on the market, i would start with esbilac and once the switching is due see what works best for your dog.
As for crates Miksa liked to be in a plastic travel crate for a long time, then we switched to wire crate for the daytime and still had plastic crate for night. If your pup is ok in the travel crate, i recommend that, those are the safest and cheapest option, as you can use them at home and for trips to the vet etc. My other boy Bende was first in a bigger crate which freaked him out (hence my learning) and then we switched to a small wire crate and started the training over.
An 8-9 weeks old puppy needs LOTS of sleep for normal brain development. So a 30-60 minutes activity (60 if it includes eating) should be followed by 2-3 hours of sleep. When they overtire they will act all amped up, do their zoomies and sharkies, and are just generally far less cooperative...
I want to add one more thing, from experience and something where i should have listened to my breeder better: vizslas have the tendency to react to vaccinations or the mixture of them. So try and work with your vet to separate them, even if it means more vet trips, nothing more heartbreaking than a sick pup with high fever and diarrhea ending up in emergency room...

Awesome! Which food brand do you use? Also, what brand travel crate do you use? Finally, do you have any dog treats/chew toy brands you like?
 

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i would stick to the food the breeder puts the puppy on. if it is a poor quality food i would not get the puppy from that breeder. that has been one of the many items we discussed with my breeder at the first visit.
Crate wise, for the travel crate for the pups it was the pet mate, as it opens both sides, the wire one i have to admit i don`t remember anymore, whatever was available in that size. later on once fully grown they got the gunner kennels for travel, those are expensive, but we travel many miles per year and wanted to have a very safe option.
treats and chew: i would use the kibble with pups. later on boiled whole meat, dehydrated meat (i make our now jerkies at home for the dogs), and freeze dried treats. with a pup i would just be careful, they can get easily an upset stomach.
Baby antlers, and himalaya chews. we have a lot of go dog plus toys, they seem to be durable. no tennis balls, but a lot of other balls. no nylabones. kong products, chuckits. have a good basket of toys and rotate them. makes sense to buy a bunch of them when on sale and hide them till needed.
 

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1. You need to force puppies to sleep
2. Forcing them to sleep after activity prevents shark attacks, zoomies and other unwanted behaviour.
3. Forcing their sleep in a crate gives you much more freedom and peace of mind, so start crate training on day one!

Really, I’m enjoying every single moment of our pup because she’s so comfortable sleeping in her crate at any given moment. She’ll whine for 10 secs, then she lets out a long moan and falls asleep. At any given time I put her in there (only when I know she must be tired, not as punishment).

It gives me 1,5 - 2 hours to myself before she is awake for an hour maximum. Then right back to sleep again. She doesn’t roam the house ever. Only playtime, toilet or training time is outside crate. But then again, they only toilet, play, eat or sleep.

My arms have zero scratches and all of our furniture is still intact. No more accidents in the house either.

I never knew the importance of crate training, really I just started it because I wanted her to have a place for the night.

We did buy 2 crates, 1 upstairs (night) and 1 downstairs (day). When she’s comfort enough to sleep downstairs I’ll bring one crate to work because she’s coming with me to my office.
 

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Hi Vizsla Pros!

My husband and I are picking up our first V in 2 weeks (and are soo excited). I have read so many blogs and books and googled so many things...but I feel like nothing is the same as hearing from vizsla owners IRL. I am a teacher so I am able to be home with our little girl for the first 2.5 months so am trying to really nail down the training and potty training.
So my question for you all...
What are the top 3 things you wish you knew the first couple of weeks of owning your vizsla? What do you think would be helpful to a new vizsla mom?
Welcome to the Vizsla Adventure! I'm also a 1st time owner of a V. River is 7.5 months. She's my biggest pride and also (at times) my biggest headache. Here are my top three (I actually have a full word document typed on on things I've learned and products / tools I've found helpful):

1. They want to eat everything!!! Trash, poo, socks, random blades of grass. ALL OF IT. As a pup this is normal and it's not "hard" to train them to leave things be. But be vigilant. Watch them! Watch their poo so you know what you missed the previous day.

River is more work than a toddler but SO worth it to get the longer term companion I'm looking for. Initially walks were stressful because she wanted to EAT THINGS, pull and just be a dog. I never knew what I might find in her poo or when we might have to make a random vet run (yep... I'm that dog mom taking my kid in for all the things <face palm>). You'll get past this. For River, I had to use corrective tools to ensure that she understood her choices had consequences.. ie: mama says "drop it" and she says "nah mom I'm good". A Herms Springer prong helped collar helped correct her pulling and helped her understand that if she chose not to listen, there was a pop of pressure that would follow. Then we graduated off this collar (she will loose lead and off lead walk like a boss now!) and onto an eCollar (later - much later after I was confident that she understood her commands).

2. BE PATIENT! So many IG accounts and Vizsla forums will show you a highlight reel. My dog is perfect/brilliant/so obedient etc. Might be true. Might not. Know that any well behaved Vizsla had time, effort and training invested into it. I work with River 3+ times a day on training and we likely spend 2-3 hours exercising (walks, hikes, play, running, etc). You'll go through phases (nipping, bad bahavior, eating random things, upset tummies etc). It's normal and you'll work through it. Find other Vizsla owners to connect with and who you feel you can trust and ask ALL THE QUESTIONS!!! You can ask 6 different V owners their opinions, get 6 different answers back and they can all be right! Tune into your V; find your rhythm and give it time.

3. They are gentle but can also play rough. While noted as timid, gentle and loving dogs, a V pup can seem WILD If not properly stimulated and trained. I"m still working with River to get her to take things GENTLY when we play. Often she gets wound up and will want to nip at a toy, or my hand etc. She's playing - she has no idea she's being a bit rough. BUT - these are things I did not expect and could possibly scare a child if she was playing "rough" as she sometimes does. EXERCISE is your friend. BORDOM is your enemy. She's less apt to rough play with me that she is with my husband. V's are SMART and they know what they can get away with and from who. If you have a partner, or a family, getting them all on the same page with how to train, enforce and react to your pup is essential.

I hope this is helpful! I love talking to V owners so feel free to reach out any time. I'm on IG as @Mandorunslong and her account is @vizslariver. LOTS of great V owners out there with loads of advice! Welcome to the family!
 

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1. You need to force puppies to sleep
2. Forcing them to sleep after activity prevents shark attacks, zoomies and other unwanted behaviour.
3. Forcing their sleep in a crate gives you much more freedom and peace of mind, so start crate training on day one!

Really, I’m enjoying every single moment of our pup because she’s so comfortable sleeping in her crate at any given moment. She’ll whine for 10 secs, then she lets out a long moan and falls asleep. At any given time I put her in there (only when I know she must be tired, not as punishment).

It gives me 1,5 - 2 hours to myself before she is awake for an hour maximum. Then right back to sleep again. She doesn’t roam the house ever. Only playtime, toilet or training time is outside crate. But then again, they only toilet, play, eat or sleep.

My arms have zero scratches and all of our furniture is still intact. No more accidents in the house either.

I never knew the importance of crate training, really I just started it because I wanted her to have a place for the night.

We did buy 2 crates, 1 upstairs (night) and 1 downstairs (day). When she’s comfort enough to sleep downstairs I’ll bring one crate to work because she’s coming with me to my office.
THIS!! YES! After they play they are JAZZED up on adrenaline. It takes about 20min for it to absorb and they are too immature to know to settle on their own. Allow them to nap/rest in their crate after play time. It will also be helpful for them to have a "safe place" where they can't get into trouble and where you can have a mama break!!! River screamed her head off on crate training night 1. I slept next to her crate and we took lots of breaks to potty at night. Night 2 was better - and after a few nights - we were all fine and sleeping again!!! PATIENCE (and ear plugs).
 

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Welcome to the Vizsla Adventure! I'm also a 1st time owner of a V. River is 7.5 months. She's my biggest pride and also (at times) my biggest headache. Here are my top three (I actually have a full word document typed on on things I've learned and products / tools I've found helpful):

1. They want to eat everything!!! Trash, poo, socks, random blades of grass. ALL OF IT. As a pup this is normal and it's not "hard" to train them to leave things be. But be vigilant. Watch them! Watch their poo so you know what you missed the previous day.

River is more work than a toddler but SO worth it to get the longer term companion I'm looking for. Initially walks were stressful because she wanted to EAT THINGS, pull and just be a dog. I never knew what I might find in her poo or when we might have to make a random vet run (yep... I'm that dog mom taking my kid in for all the things <face palm>). You'll get past this. For River, I had to use corrective tools to ensure that she understood her choices had consequences.. ie: mama says "drop it" and she says "nah mom I'm good". A Herms Springer prong helped collar helped correct her pulling and helped her understand that if she chose not to listen, there was a pop of pressure that would follow. Then we graduated off this collar (she will loose lead and off lead walk like a boss now!) and onto an eCollar (later - much later after I was confident that she understood her commands).

2. BE PATIENT! So many IG accounts and Vizsla forums will show you a highlight reel. My dog is perfect/brilliant/so obedient etc. Might be true. Might not. Know that any well behaved Vizsla had time, effort and training invested into it. I work with River 3+ times a day on training and we likely spend 2-3 hours exercising (walks, hikes, play, running, etc). You'll go through phases (nipping, bad bahavior, eating random things, upset tummies etc). It's normal and you'll work through it. Find other Vizsla owners to connect with and who you feel you can trust and ask ALL THE QUESTIONS!!! You can ask 6 different V owners their opinions, get 6 different answers back and they can all be right! Tune into your V; find your rhythm and give it time.

3. They are gentle but can also play rough. While noted as timid, gentle and loving dogs, a V pup can seem WILD If not properly stimulated and trained. I"m still working with River to get her to take things GENTLY when we play. Often she gets wound up and will want to nip at a toy, or my hand etc. She's playing - she has no idea she's being a bit rough. BUT - these are things I did not expect and could possibly scare a child if she was playing "rough" as she sometimes does. EXERCISE is your friend. BORDOM is your enemy. She's less apt to rough play with me that she is with my husband. V's are SMART and they know what they can get away with and from who. If you have a partner, or a family, getting them all on the same page with how to train, enforce and react to your pup is essential.

I hope this is helpful! I love talking to V owners so feel free to reach out any time. I'm on IG as @Mandorunslong and her account is @vizslariver. LOTS of great V owners out there with loads of advice! Welcome to the family!
Thank you for the great advice! How soon would you start using the Herm sprenger? We will have an 8 week old in a few weeks and want to make training as easy as possible. We have 3 kids and so I want to try to get the pup to understand commands as quick as possible. Thanks again
 

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Thank you for the great advice! How soon would you start using the Herm sprenger? We will have an 8 week old in a few weeks and want to make training as easy as possible. We have 3 kids and so I want to try to get the pup to understand commands as quick as possible. Thanks again
I would be cautious using a corrective collar on a pup that young. I'm not a professional so you might ask others here on their thoughts. For a young pup though - IMHO you want to work on building their confidence and growing/developing a connection. Remember my item #2 which was "PATIENCE". Think about the time it takes to potty train a child... you want them to get off of diapers ASAP because no one likes changing them but it also takes time and each child is different. You wouldn't spank a 2yr old for having a potty accident ... but you might have a bit of a talking to with a 5yr old who pooped their pants. Same with a pup when you're training them - help them understand the right thing to do and THEN use corrections if needed. :)

I believe River was just over 4 months when I started using a prong and many would say that's too soon. For her - it was necessary because she was choking herself on walks. I also put the prong on my leg so I would know exactly how it felt and I did my research on how to fit it. The word doc I sent will have links on the specific type I ordered as well as a youtube on how to fit it. :)
 

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Thank you for the great advice! How soon would you start using the Herm sprenger? We will have an 8 week old in a few weeks and want to make training as easy as possible. We have 3 kids and so I want to try to get the pup to understand commands as quick as possible. Thanks again
An 8 w/o pup has baby brains. With three children you probably know that correcting a baby is useless, maybe even a bit harsh. You will find out soon enough that you can’t teach them commands quickly, just as toddlers have their learning curve. An 8 w/o can’t really focus.

Try to learn their routine in the first week, make sure they get at least 20h of sleep. That’s how they really learn the fastest way.

Oh, and tasty (lean) sausages do better than all those healthy dog treats ;-)
 

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Hi Vizsla Pros!

My husband and I are picking up our first V in 2 weeks (and are soo excited). I have read so many blogs and books and googled so many things...but I feel like nothing is the same as hearing from vizsla owners IRL. I am a teacher so I am able to be home with our little girl for the first 2.5 months so am trying to really nail down the training and potty training.
So my question for you all...
What are the top 3 things you wish you knew the first couple of weeks of owning your vizsla? What do you think would be helpful to a new vizsla mom?
My experience was a tad different because I picked my bud up at 6 mo old, but the number one thing I wish I had understood better is the amount of attention they need. Of course, a puppy needs a lot of attention, but for the first couple of days (weeks even), I would plan on devoting the vast majority of the day to entertaining, training, and getting them used to their new life. One thing that shocked me was my pup couldn't stand for me to be doing something he couldn't see, like preparing food on the counter. So it was a constant battle of keeping his paws off the counter long enough to make a meal, and when he wasn't jumping, he was barking. Patience and exercise are really key. Speaking of exercise, access to a backyard or a large space for them to run around is a lifesaver. We don't have a yard, and we venture to the dog park once or twice a day for him to run around. Now at 11 mo, once he has his exercise, he's (almost) a perfect angel. Hope this provides some insight. Good luck with your new pup!
 

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Can you recommend brands of probiotics and small crates?

Also, can you share what to look for when the puppy is overtired?

thank you for your tips and advice!
Only had mine a week but red eyes is a dead give away.

I’d also add make sure you’ve always got a toy or chew and food on you so you can redirect, distract and reward particularly when biting things they shouldn’t ... use the short attention span to your advantage 😊

while a little permissiveness at first is required as you teach the rules, settle in and bond, you want to transition very quickly to the mindset of not accepting things from the cute puppy that you wouldn’t from an adult dog. Consistency, persistence and patience are the key here ... but if you’re a teacher I’m sure you have those in abundance.

Lastly the only thing training wise with a major ticking clock is socialisation so I’d make that top priority as it’s very hard to do later in life (Vs can trend towards timidity) and it doesn’t matter how many commands they know etc if every time there is a sudden noise/smell/sound they are too terrified to think.
 
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