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Hello,

I need some advice. Me and my partner have a 4 months old male vizsla puppy. We got him a month ago. We took some days off and then the quarantine started. We are dog owners for the first time. Prior to getting the dog we did a lot of search and reading and thought we were ready for him...Unfortunately everything got wrong.
First of all we found out we couldn't trust our breeder and had to repeat the vaccination, therefore out little one had to stay home for a month, so he has learned to pee and poo in a specific spot inside the house. The last few days we take him outside whenever we feel he is ready to poo or pee (after a month we have figured out his habbits), but he struggles to do his bussiness outside. He keeps pulling his leash to come home when he wants to do it. We stayed outside for hours before he finally did it and praised him a lot. But he still struggles... Due to the restrict quarintine in my country and the lack of vaccination he didn't have the chance to socialize with other dogs/animals and he only met a few people. Although he is very enthusiastic about people and jumps on everyone, he is very scared of other dogs. After he met a few dogs in the recent walks he refuses to go back to the park....I think he is scared.
Secondly, we try to crate train him, but it doesn't work. He likes his crate, he plays inside and hides there when we chase him when playing. Most of the times he falls asleep in our laps and we take him to his crate, if he is sleepy enough he sleeps there. With a lot of practice, he finallys stay in his crate for an hour playing (with a stuffed toy and chewing toys), whithout much whining/barking if we are right next to him. If we attemp to get up and sit on the sofa, which is 2 meters across his crate and he can still see us he immediately starts barking. If we leave the room even for one second he goes crazy! Barking, biting his crate, even pees or poops even though he did it a few minutes ago. I think the breeder was keeping him in cages for a long time, so he is used to pee and poo where he sleeps... In general, he is really stressed when left alone even for a minute. We tried to leave him in his playpen instead, which is attached to his crate but he tries (and has succeded) to get out by climbing on the crate and jumping. If we leave him alone in the living room (this is the only room he is allowed to stay) he bites things and mischieves. I don't really care about the problems he causes, but I'm afraid he might harm himself....
At night, we stay close until he sleeps and then go to our bedroom, which is really small and has no room for his crate, so whenever he wakes up he barks and whinings. We let him out to pee but the minute he sees us he goes back to sleep. If we are lucky and he is exhausted he may sleep three straight hours, but most of the nights he wakes up every hour. Because we are afraid he may pee and poo on his bed, we go and let him out everytime (of course we wait for a pause before entering the room). We have tried to let him barked it out for half a hour, but he doens't calm down. Instead he goes crazy and bites his crate, destroys his blankets and barks and totally ignores his toys... What should we do? Maybe we should be more strict and let him bark it out? As I said before I'm afraid he may harm himself.
He also bites me a lot. Not my partner, just me. He thinks I'm a kind of a game or something. And now that his teeth has grown it really hurts. We have tried the "ouch" and "let it go" method but it doesn't work....
On the other hand, he knows all the commands (sit, lie down, up, jump, stay, go to your bed, come) and learns some tricks, but he is really stubborn and won't listen if he has nothing to gain (food, toys, playtime or get out of his crate).
I know we have made a lot of mistakes due to our lack of experience, but I feel he is really difficult too.
The quarintine may stops soon, and then we will have to go back to work and he will have to stay alone for 3-4 hours before someone can come and let him out.
Do you have any advice? I know we have a lot of problems. I guess I just want to know if there is hope for us...
 

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Can you explain a bit more about what went wrong with the breeder?
As far as training, you seem to be on the right path, but he is very young and in very special circumstances with the stay at home orders.
I would continue with the training and keep rewarding him. Don’t take away the food reward yet, he does not seem to be ready. But be super happy with your voice too when he does it right. Equally i would make most of his meals working sessions with the rest of his kibble consumed in the crate. What we think is stubborn is often just the short attention span of a pup, so try to keep those sessions short, 5 minutes max, but repeat several times throughout the day. Lots of play in between sleep time. Try hide and seek, retrieve games, learning the names of toys etc. he looks to be a quick learner.
And lots of sleeping, it is essential for their brain and nerve development. (14 hours a day at a minimum). Is his crate in a quiet place? I have for my dogs very quiet music in the background ( google dog sleep music on youtube) and their crates are in an area where there is not a lot of traffic. One of them sleeps the best during night if his crate is also covered with a blanket.
And keep doing the drama queen reaction for his shark attacks. It will get better, but it needs time, consistent reaction, the pup to mature and build that relationship with you and your partner that he wants to please you both. And then he will start figuring what pleases you and what does not, but it all takes time. It will get better. One thing i learned to do if i get frustrated with something they do and are not supposed to, is throwing in a joke, it calms me down. Like hey pup, leave the trash, it is not in your job description to carry it:).
Good luck and keep us updated.
 

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Thank you very much for the advise and support. It seems like we are on the right track, but too eager and expect too much of him. All his meals are trainning sessions and we always save some of his food to feed him in the crate. We also have some special treats and stuffed toys he only gets inside the crate.
About the breeder...Unfortunately we did not make the right research and we suspect he mistreated the dog. He arrived in a very small transportation cage after travelling a lot of hours. Since there is not a vizsla breeder here, the breeder we contacted brought our little puppy from abroad.
Anyhow, Rogan (this is our dog's name) has made progress on peeing outside, but none on staying alone
 

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Rogan looks like a really great and handsome puppy. Your post about being first time dog owners made me smile as I remembered me too being in that position with Rafa, my now 22 month old male Vizsla. This forum has been invaluable to me for advice and knowledge from the many here who are very experienced with Vizslas, the crazy zoomies, the mini shark attacks and so on. A vizsla is the most loving dog you could wish for, their velcro dog nickname is very apt, but their energy level is top range on the scale and initially you wonder what on earth you have let yourself in for! It all gets better as they get older, the mini shark attacks (nipping) will stop, their training will yield better results, the nipping is their very Vizsla way of communicating when young. Like me you have jumped in at the deep end of the dog pool breeds and it is a big learning curve, but you will see the benefits soon. Enjoy your puppy and take as many photos now as you can, they grow up so quickly.

A good friend of ours who has had Weineramas before are getting a Vizsla (Rafa's half brother) next month, they have no idea yet what they are getting themselves into!🤣
 

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Your words of comfort and support made me smile too! It is good to know we are not the only ones! Indeed I have the same feelings (where did I get myself into?!) and I already regret not taking more photos of him when he first came to us... he is almost twice in size already.
 

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Yeaah, keep taking pictures and videos, they wil serve as precious memories. This is a very lovely breed, but not always easy as a pup. On the other hand once u establish that realtionship, it is forever love.
 

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If I recall correctly 4 months old is right around when the fear phase begins. Is that right? Vizslas go through a slightly more pronounced fear period than other dogs during their puppy stage. It will pass, but you are going to have to come up with ways to socialize. It really makes life easier down the road.
As far as potty training, I work from home full-time and it still took me many months (i want to say six, iirc) to potty train O.G.. My prior V took no time at all. Each dog is a bit different. But they will eventually learn to stop going in that area in the house. I would suggest blocking the area off - because no matter how much you clean it the dog will still be able to smell it. I have yet to find a product that neutralizes that smell completely.
Just be patient, strong and don't let your frustrations show to your little sensitive friend.
 

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That sounds very stressful and I am sorry you are going through this. We have a 2 year old Wirehaired Vizla who we love to pieces. He was a lot of work as a pup. Same as yours, he peed and pooped in the house. Literally, we took him out, nothing, after a while, went back to the house and he proceeded to do his business. It went away after some time. Just be consistent and continue doing what you are doing. Ours also went through a fear phase. Even now, when we walk him at night, he seems sometimes fearful. I am not a dog behavioralist so won't give any specific advise, but I have had several dogs in my live and somehow they all figure it out after a while. Just be consistent, patient and kind.
 

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Fortunately, Rogan now does his business outside, although he is a bit confused when he has to pee in the house (due to the quarantine we cannot take him out more than 3-4 times per day) and we had a lot of accidents.
The problem that still remains is that he cannot stay alone even for a few seconds. I tried to reward him for every step he allows me to take away from him, but he doesn't get it. We left him alone for 1 hour to bark it out and although he was really tired he didn't calm down. And during that time he peed in his crate although he had peed before he got in. I think when he is stressed he pees....Any advice? It seems we will return to work in a couple of weeks and he will be alone for 3-4 hours.
 

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Hello,

I need some advice. Me and my partner have a 4 months old male vizsla puppy. We got him a month ago. We took some days off and then the quarantine started. We are dog owners for the first time. Prior to getting the dog we did a lot of search and reading and thought we were ready for him...Unfortunately everything got wrong.
First of all we found out we couldn't trust our breeder and had to repeat the vaccination, therefore out little one had to stay home for a month, so he has learned to pee and poo in a specific spot inside the house. The last few days we take him outside whenever we feel he is ready to poo or pee (after a month we have figured out his habbits), but he struggles to do his bussiness outside. He keeps pulling his leash to come home when he wants to do it. We stayed outside for hours before he finally did it and praised him a lot. But he still struggles... Due to the restrict quarintine in my country and the lack of vaccination he didn't have the chance to socialize with other dogs/animals and he only met a few people. Although he is very enthusiastic about people and jumps on everyone, he is very scared of other dogs. After he met a few dogs in the recent walks he refuses to go back to the park....I think he is scared.
Secondly, we try to crate train him, but it doesn't work. He likes his crate, he plays inside and hides there when we chase him when playing. Most of the times he falls asleep in our laps and we take him to his crate, if he is sleepy enough he sleeps there. With a lot of practice, he finallys stay in his crate for an hour playing (with a stuffed toy and chewing toys), whithout much whining/barking if we are right next to him. If we attemp to get up and sit on the sofa, which is 2 meters across his crate and he can still see us he immediately starts barking. If we leave the room even for one second he goes crazy! Barking, biting his crate, even pees or poops even though he did it a few minutes ago. I think the breeder was keeping him in cages for a long time, so he is used to pee and poo where he sleeps... In general, he is really stressed when left alone even for a minute. We tried to leave him in his playpen instead, which is attached to his crate but he tries (and has succeded) to get out by climbing on the crate and jumping. If we leave him alone in the living room (this is the only room he is allowed to stay) he bites things and mischieves. I don't really care about the problems he causes, but I'm afraid he might harm himself....
At night, we stay close until he sleeps and then go to our bedroom, which is really small and has no room for his crate, so whenever he wakes up he barks and whinings. We let him out to pee but the minute he sees us he goes back to sleep. If we are lucky and he is exhausted he may sleep three straight hours, but most of the nights he wakes up every hour. Because we are afraid he may pee and poo on his bed, we go and let him out everytime (of course we wait for a pause before entering the room). We have tried to let him barked it out for half a hour, but he doens't calm down. Instead he goes crazy and bites his crate, destroys his blankets and barks and totally ignores his toys... What should we do? Maybe we should be more strict and let him bark it out? As I said before I'm afraid he may harm himself.
He also bites me a lot. Not my partner, just me. He thinks I'm a kind of a game or something. And now that his teeth has grown it really hurts. We have tried the "ouch" and "let it go" method but it doesn't work....
On the other hand, he knows all the commands (sit, lie down, up, jump, stay, go to your bed, come) and learns some tricks, but he is really stubborn and won't listen if he has nothing to gain (food, toys, playtime or get out of his crate).
I know we have made a lot of mistakes due to our lack of experience, but I feel he is really difficult too.
The quarintine may stops soon, and then we will have to go back to work and he will have to stay alone for 3-4 hours before someone can come and let him out.
Do you have any advice? I know we have a lot of problems. I guess I just want to know if there is hope for us...
I think a lot of what you are dealing with is simply him being a puppy. This home quarantining is not helping you any! Be patient, you will get there. He is a cutey!
 

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Update: Rogan now does his business outside regularly. Actually whenever he needs to pee or poo he comes to us and barks with a very specific way, so either we take him outside if we can or lead him to his spot inside his playpen. He also stays about an hour inside his playpen without much trouble (we are increasing the time gradually) while we are close and tolerates a few minutes alone. Sometimes if he is in his playpen and we leave the room he goes to his crate (in the cave) and sleeps. Actually, when feeling tired if he is in his playpen he goes to his crate and sleeps and if he is outside he sleeps in a cozy dog bed we keep close to us while we are working during the day. What is incredible is that the last few days he only wakes up once or at worst twice at night, pees and goes straight back to bed. When it is sleep time, I just close the lights in the room and I ask him to go to bed and he goes to sleep! I wait a couple of minutes to make sure he is comfortable and then leave the room. It doesn't matter if we go to sleep or stay awake and he can hear us in the next room, he stays in there and sleeps. Now that the vaccination is completed he meets a lot of dogs during walks ans actually has a playfriend across the street! It's a male segucio 6-7 months old that my neighbor (which is also my cousin) found and rescued from the streets. They have met a couple of times during walks and once we let them play in our house but the segucio was really scared. We tend to organize some more playtimes eveynow and then. Since this is the last week of the quarantine we plan to take them both to our countryhouse and let them play and run in the big yard! And finally we are allowed to take him to dog parks to socialize!
Rogan is the luckiest dog on earth. Although the quaranitne is over, my partner only needs to go back to work only one week this month. So we have more time to prepare him to stay alone. My company hasn't informed me yet, whether I need to return to work or not, but in case needed I'll take a few days off during the week my partner works and ask my brother to watch Rogan the rest of the days.
What seems to have worked for us is a combination of small things...Due to hot weather, we removed the carpets in the kitchen and rearranged some furnitute. Our living room and kitchen are in the same room, only divided by a counter and we also have an office area in a corner of the living room. When Rogan first arrived we blocked the access into the kitchen with one of our couches (we had to climb or remove the couch to get into the kitchen, which was so tiring that we realized we didn't get enough water!) and the access to the office using a wooden pallet. While trying to get into the office that pallet had fallen once or twice the first few days, making a lot of noise, which scared him. His crate and playpen were close to the office area... In addition, we were told that crate training could work with a full size crate, which didn't, so after a while we used a divider to make the space smaller. In the spare space we added a small coffee table wrapped in a old sheet, so that from the other side it would look like a wall, but as I mentioned before we still had accidents etc. Now that we removed the carpet in the kitchen, we brought our furniture back to their original place (and we are so happy for that!) and allowed him access to the kitchen and also the living room balcony (after we removed most of the plants), so he now follws us everywhere. We figured he might was scared of the pallet, so we brought his crate and playpen next to the sofa area (between the living room and the balcony, so he can feel close to us and removed the pallet once and for all. With this rearrangement he had access to the space with the coffee table inside the crate, which he loves! Although it is very small (we call it the cave) he goes in there without any effort. We tossed a blanket in there and now this is his favourite spot! I think he feels safe and cozy in there, which made our lives a lot easier, since we now sleep well, we can leave him in his playpen to work and have our living room back!
 
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