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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Me again! this time more of a future post rather than a "help me obi-wan kenobi" post.

I was just unpacking the weekly shop with my other half, and Ziva (11 weeks) cheekily helped herself to a carrot and was happily munching on it (after we broke it in half) whilst we pottered around her. It was blissful (I even managed to hug my wife without interruption for the first time in a month!)

This is the closest to what we are wanting for inside the house we have ever achieved. 10k feet description, dog is around us, happy to interact, but able to amuse herself whilst we busy ourselves with whatever (chores, tv, gardening etc).

I was just wondering, what is a realistic expectation of what life will look like months/years from now?

Will we have a dog that can busy and amuse herself when we are busy? Or are we always going to have to entertain/feed her whenever she is awake?
Will we have a dog that falls asleep by herself (whether that be in her crate/bed or on the sofa), or are we always going to have to crate her because she has ridiculous FOMO? (we have asked her trainer and shown her the behaviour in videos etc, she is certain it is not separation anxiety)
Am I going to be able to take her down the pub and have her behave next to the chair/table? (not come close to trying this yet, as she is not allowed out due to immunity until tomorrow, and she is too young to sit still for a couple of hours whilst i chew the cud with mates)

So what does a Vizsla as a family dog look like? and how do we get there (NB all advice will be run through our trainer)

Drogo
 

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What you are describing is what we are aiming for as well. We are a few months ahead of you, Viktor is now 9 and a half months old. Like you, the first few weeks/months were full of "what have we done" moments of constant attention and worry. Will he ever learn to settle down outside the crate? Will we ever be able to go out and enjoy dinner? Will he ever not be the centre of our attention?

And the answer to all of those is a qualified yes. It has taken a while but right now Viktor is sat beside me in the room I work from at home chewing on a buffalo horn. He had 3 and a half quiet hours in the crate this morning while I worked. I took him out for toilet and our lunch and now he gets out-of-crate time until his afternoon walk at 2pm for an hour of running in the woods.

He still needs motivation to settle down while we watch telly. We will spend some time playing and training before we sit down. Sometimes he will get the message and curl up...others he will be pretty demanding. We have learned to put the toy box away and leave out just two toys for him (one soft and one chew). If he has trouble settling or starts pacing around the furniture we ask ourselves "Has he had enough exercise? Has he had enough attention? Is he empty?" and if the answer to all three is yes, and he still can't settle then we pop him in the crate and he usually konks out without an issue.

Our average at the pub is getting better (we have learned that the trick is a good walk to tire him out, but no so much running that he gets overtired) and he has become a more reliable sleeper. He is still up at 5 but will frequently go back to bed for 90 minutes after he has gone outside and had his breakfast. Yesterday he went back to bed with my partner for two hours and I had the most relaxing morning coffee that I have had since January.

At nine months now we count his good stretches in days rather than the minutes or hours when he was much younger.

So yes, you will get there. Lots of training (get that recall down), lots of exercise (two to three good sessions a day as she gets stronger) and lots of love and attention during "his" time.

PS...Viktor loves carrots too. We keep them in the freezer and they are his treat while we enjoy dinner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What you are describing is what we are aiming for as well. We are a few months ahead of you, Viktor is now 9 and a half months old. Like you, the first few weeks/months were full of "what have we done" moments of constant attention and worry. Will he ever learn to settle down outside the crate? Will we ever be able to go out and enjoy dinner? Will he ever not be the centre of our attention?

And the answer to all of those is a qualified yes. It has taken a while but right now Viktor is sat beside me in the room I work from at home chewing on a buffalo horn. He had 3 and a half quiet hours in the crate this morning while I worked. I took him out for toilet and our lunch and now he gets out-of-crate time until his afternoon walk at 2pm for an hour of running in the woods.

He still needs motivation to settle down while we watch telly. We will spend some time playing and training before we sit down. Sometimes he will get the message and curl up...others he will be pretty demanding. We have learned to put the toy box away and leave out just two toys for him (one soft and one chew). If he has trouble settling or starts pacing around the furniture we ask ourselves "Has he had enough exercise? Has he had enough attention? Is he empty?" and if the answer to all three is yes, and he still can't settle then we pop him in the crate and he usually konks out without an issue.

Our average at the pub is getting better (we have learned that the trick is a good walk to tire him out, but no so much running that he gets overtired) and he has become a more reliable sleeper. He is still up at 5 but will frequently go back to bed for 90 minutes after he has gone outside and had his breakfast. Yesterday he went back to bed with my partner for two hours and I had the most relaxing morning coffee that I have had since January.

At nine months now we count his good stretches in days rather than the minutes or hours when he was much younger.

So yes, you will get there. Lots of training (get that recall down), lots of exercise (two to three good sessions a day as she gets stronger) and lots of love and attention during "his" time.

PS...Viktor loves carrots too. We keep them in the freezer and they are his treat while we enjoy dinner.
This is a joy to hear! thank you @Viktor’s Dad !!

We actually had a bit of a break over the weekend, 3 good days followed by an ok day (Fri-Mon) so count ourselves lucky there. As mentioned elsewhere, we have employed a trainer to help us, and actually on Friday as I was supping an ale with my mates, i found myself missing Ziva for the first time, which was an amazing feeling.

I had assumed a walk before the pub, or rather, assumed the pub would be the purpose of the walk, so that aligns well with what youve said there. Will be interesting to see if she when she starts settling down for out of crate time (at present out of crate needs 110% of our attention usually, and for some reason our sofa sends her bonkers crazy?! this will be worked on with the trainer in due course.

Recall is as good as you might expect in a smaller UK back garden, but we back onto the estate of Lord Portsmouth who very kindly lets dogs do what they want, so plenty of woodland and fields (both farm and open meadow) to run there when recall is ready. Until then, local park and a 20m long line.

Thank you again, its good to hear
 

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I'm not an expert, but I think you'll do fine. We've got a 1.5 year old female, and when I started to write this I had to ask myself where the dog was. Turned out she was laying quietly on the couch downstairs. Unlike the stereotypical Vizsla, her Velcro seems pretty weak, and she doesn't always stick near us. We trust her to be free in the house at this point when we are home, although we usually still put her in her kennel if we're going out for more than a few minutes.

We rarely take her to restaurants, and usually if we do it's because there is outdoor seating. But when we have, she's been very well behaved. We usually "cheat" by using a Sprenger prong collar in these situations, which makes her seem more perfectly behaved on a leash than she would be otherwise. She does excellently at large box stores that allow dogs. She's learned that sometimes there are even pigeons to flush in the bird seed aisle. The employees adore her.

(she just wandered upstairs to check on me and whine a little, and then wandered back downstairs after I told her that I'd take her out in a moment)

She still does occasionally chew up things that we'd rather she didn't, but it's getting rarer. Usually it happens when the cats knock something off the counter and then she grabs it. I think the last thing was a mechanical pencil a couple days ago. She get's along pretty well with both cats at this point. Overall her behavior is pretty good around other people, although it still helps if they are dog tolerant. We haven't fully stopped her from jumping up on the initial greeting when she isn't on a leash.

We have done lots of training (both obedience and bird), but the fact that she's getting older and a little calmer certainly helps too. We also still give her lot of exercise every day. Part of the reason she's calm this afternoon is that she joined us on a 5 mile hike this morning, on which she ran at least 10 miles. She probably gets level of exercise about 5 days a week, and the days when she gets less she is quite a bit less relaxed.

Anyway, my guess is that your pub plans are probably fine for this time next year, as long as you keep up the general training, and ideally give her a few miles of free running beforehand.
 

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This is exactly what we're looking for too @DrogoNevets. We're just a handful of weeks ahead of you and I feel like those pieces are becoming more and more frequent when at home, especially in the evening and early afternoon. Poppy definitely has two sides to her day. Mornings are high octane with a tendency towards rough play that we're making some progress in, but that do require me to be pretty locked in with my attention. But then post lunch Poppy is happy to chill in the sun on the balcony and we're seeing a noticeable increase in ability to self-occupy. It was a long road for interest with toys, but seeing some pay off finally.
I do still have to be close, but we're working on me walking in and out of the room as much as possible and I've discovered that she will, in fact, survive whining if I don't race back each time to reassure her. With some structured walks and play time over the rest of the day/evening, Poppy is mostly content just to curl up on the couch with us while we watch TV or quietly follow us from room to room while we get ready for bed. And even this has become more sullenly watching us get ready from her dog bed.

Still miles away from that "fully trained and integrated family dog" feeling, but I can see the progress and I'm sure you will more and more as well. For us, forcing the crate for naps with more regularity became required and has helped immensely. She did not want to put herself down and I just couldn't get through the "fuss" she was making if she wasn't already half asleep going in (and being in an apartment made me very nervous about noise and neighbour complaints). But we were kind of forced into the issue recently and, with the odd exception, I do feel like I notice an improvement after only a few days of being consistent.

For the socializing, maybe start small and short? We did a coffee outing recently and took a frozen carrot for her to munch and it went surprisingly well. Picked a time of day that we knew she'd have higher odds of being calmer and just went for it for the length of a quick coffee and half a frozen carrot for her. She had to sit in my lap rather than the ground, but she's definitely a typical vizsla and the patio was on a busy street. We had been nervous to try stuff like this, but we had a dog sitter with her for some unavoidable travel who just kind of... went for it. And that gave us the courage to as well.

Good luck with Ziva!
 

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You will be able to take her down to the pub when she is a little older, our boy Rafa when around 10 months went to the pub for the first time and it was full of dogs and people sat calmly eating their lunch. He then proceeded to jump up onto his back legs and kanagaroo hopped the entire way through the bar to the tables outside on the terrace, much to the amusement of the people and with incredulous looks from the other dogs! Fast forward to a year later and we went to a pub where there was a power cut shortly after we ordered lunch, not only was Rafa now very well behaved, but he lay down and waited patiently with us for the power to come back on for nearly 3 hours. He was so calm an d chilled out people were stepping over him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is exactly what we're looking for too @DrogoNevets. We're just a handful of weeks ahead of you and I feel like those pieces are becoming more and more frequent when at home, especially in the evening and early afternoon. Poppy definitely has two sides to her day. Mornings are high octane with a tendency towards rough play that we're making some progress in, but that do require me to be pretty locked in with my attention. But then post lunch Poppy is happy to chill in the sun on the balcony and we're seeing a noticeable increase in ability to self-occupy. It was a long road for interest with toys, but seeing some pay off finally.
I do still have to be close, but we're working on me walking in and out of the room as much as possible and I've discovered that she will, in fact, survive whining if I don't race back each time to reassure her. With some structured walks and play time over the rest of the day/evening, Poppy is mostly content just to curl up on the couch with us while we watch TV or quietly follow us from room to room while we get ready for bed. And even this has become more sullenly watching us get ready from her dog bed.

Still miles away from that "fully trained and integrated family dog" feeling, but I can see the progress and I'm sure you will more and more as well. For us, forcing the crate for naps with more regularity became required and has helped immensely. She did not want to put herself down and I just couldn't get through the "fuss" she was making if she wasn't already half asleep going in (and being in an apartment made me very nervous about noise and neighbour complaints). But we were kind of forced into the issue recently and, with the odd exception, I do feel like I notice an improvement after only a few days of being consistent.

For the socializing, maybe start small and short? We did a coffee outing recently and took a frozen carrot for her to munch and it went surprisingly well. Picked a time of day that we knew she'd have higher odds of being calmer and just went for it for the length of a quick coffee and half a frozen carrot for her. She had to sit in my lap rather than the ground, but she's definitely a typical vizsla and the patio was on a busy street. We had been nervous to try stuff like this, but we had a dog sitter with her for some unavoidable travel who just kind of... went for it. And that gave us the courage to as well.

Good luck with Ziva!
You will be able to take her down to the pub when she is a little older, our boy Rafa when around 10 months went to the pub for the first time and it was full of dogs and people sat calmly eating their lunch. He then proceeded to jump up onto his back legs and kanagaroo hopped the entire way through the bar to the tables outside on the terrace, much to the amusement of the people and with incredulous looks from the other dogs! Fast forward to a year later and we went to a pub where there was a power cut shortly after we ordered lunch, not only was Rafa now very well behaved, but he lay down and waited patiently with us for the power to come back on for nearly 3 hours. He was so calm an d chilled out people were stepping over him!
This forum continues to fill me with joy and hope! 10 months feels a VERY long time away (she hit 12 weeks today, and it feels like its been years already :p )

Thank you, i think our next phase of training is going to be lead walking, recall and self occupation (shes not very good at being still, even in her sleep tbf).
 

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This forum continues to fill me with joy and hope! 10 months feels a VERY long time away (she hit 12 weeks today, and it feels like its been years already :p )

Thank you, i think our next phase of training is going to be lead walking, recall and self occupation (shes not very good at being still, even in her sleep tbf).
I should have mentioned that according to numerous Vizsla owners we have met, that girl Vizslas are apparently a lot more chilled out and much calmer than the boys and our Rafa was the most exciteable wild male puppy in his entire litter! You should therefore have an easier time and get to the pub sooner than we did. 🤣 🐶
 

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Yes, you will achieve your goals.
She will begin to amuse herself, but she’ll do it right at your feet. Literally. You move, she’ll move. Don’t have the expectation that you can be in one room, and her in another amusing herself. It’s not going to happen. She will be where you are.
If she does seem to be “quietly amusing herself” in another room, you better get in there quick!!!😉
As soon as you can get her out and about, the better for her. Take her to the pub, have a quick stay, and move on to somewhere else. Keep increasing the time interval, and eventually you’ll get there.
She will one day “put herself to bed”, but it takes a few years. It’s just not in their nature to abandon their owner. Her “job” is to watch over you. Finn is just at 3 years old, and still doesn’t really put himself to bed. He still wants me to do it. It’s been the same with all of my Vizslas.
For her first couple years, if she’s by herself and “quiet”, you need to find out why. She’s doing something, or has something, you probably don’t want her to be doing, or having. Guaranteed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, you will achieve your goals.
She will begin to amuse herself, but she’ll do it right at your feet. Literally. You move, she’ll move. Don’t have the expectation that you can be in one room, and her in another amusing herself. It’s not going to happen. She will be where you are.
If she does seem to be “quietly amusing herself” in another room, you better get in there quick!!!😉
As soon as you can get her out and about, the better for her. Take her to the pub, have a quick stay, and move on to somewhere else. Keep increasing the time interval, and eventually you’ll get there.
She will one day “put herself to bed”, but it takes a few years. It’s just not in their nature to abandon their owner. Her “job” is to watch over you. Finn is just at 3 years old, and still doesn’t really put himself to bed. He still wants me to do it. It’s been the same with all of my Vizslas.
For her first couple years, if she’s by herself and “quiet”, you need to find out why. She’s doing something, or has something, you probably don’t want her to be doing, or having. Guaranteed!
Totally happy with it happening at our feet. We picked the breed for the Velcro trait. Just need to be able to get in with life a bit more than we currently are able to do.

We don’t really let her be left by herself as we know she’ll be up to no good, but the downside is she always want one of us sat on the floor with her.

She started going for short walks on Wednesday which has helped tire her, though does mean she is over tired in the evening and gets bitey again. So we are going to add another hour in her crate to the schedule to help combat that (thoughts?) and gradually work up the distance we walk (currently is estimate about 0.25m - we have a tracker arriving soon so can monitor more effectively) just need to get recall down so we can let her loose in the park and introduce her to the woods (long line doesn’t work well around so many trees)

All in all we’ve got a long way to go as a family (dog and humans) but progress is being made slowly
 

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It’s a work in progress.
she is going to develop very rapidly. By Her 14th to 16th week she will have her “ adult brain”. She’ll be able to process more complicated information, but the discipline won’t be there. That takes time a repetition.
You need to have a “soft, yet firm”, training mentality. She is capable of more than you might know. She’s also going to be training you at the same time. They’re so smart, that sometimes they seem to play dumb to get their way.😉
In hunt training, by this time next year, she would be expected to work afield under control, mostly, find and point birds, stay when they take flight, mostly, stay when a gun goes off, watch the bird land, then go and retrieve the bird, hopefully, and return it to hand. She would get cut some slack because she is young, but by year two, that would be the expectation.
This is a very complicated, dynamic, scenario, and there are many distractions, and pressure, she would be expected to handle. This is what she is capable of.
Train with purpose. Have goals, and milestones you would like to achieve, and work her training backwards from those goals and milestones. Above all, “ Give her a job”.🙂
 

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never had a problem taking my dogs to the pub, all socialistion is good socialistion ,imo
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I started this thread on August 30th. A mere 2 weeks ago (ish).
Today we felt brave after a small win at our church picnic last week, so went to our local Starbucks with Ziva. Unbeknownst to us along with no less than 5 other dogs and their owners.

Whilst it was a little bit like a puppy club (mostly puppies/younger dogs there as well as a very old girl too) with lots of excitement etc, I must say I (and my wife) were really proud of our Ziva and how she handled them/the situation, and once they'd left and we were eventually sipping our drinks and eating lunch, we were there for nearly an hour with a beautifully well behaved puppy. Not sure how we managed that but I am not complaining!

We obviously sat outside, and wont even try the pub until we've done that equally successfully a few times, but there is definitely
hope for my drinking buddy to come through yet - though that hour or so of stimulation has knocked her out for the count ever since.
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