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I have a 11 week old Vizsla puppy and have never had one before and I don't hunt. I got her as a companion and joggin buddy. She has been excellent with the exception of being tough to get use to the idea of crate training. recently when we were outside, she pointed her head up and forward, lifted a foot, her tail went straight out, and she sat there like a statue for probably over 2 minutes. This dog doesn't normally sit still for 2 seconds. It was pretty funny but what is she doing? lol is it something I should encourage?
 

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Sounds to me like she was pointing! I'm also inexperienced with Vizslas so I can't say for sure what they do when they hold a point, but I did get to see the puppies do it a few times during the temperament test. However since they're bred for hunting I would say she was doing a great job :) It may not be something you'll need form the dog, but definitely a good behavior.

EDIT: I see the title now and I guess you realized she was pointing. D'oh!
 

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At 11 weeks the point is "usually" a sight point, but don't discount her nose. If you didn't see anything, she was pointing on scent into the wind.
Very good for an 11 week old.! ;)

And oh my yes, this is definitely something you want to encourage! ;D
 

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I wondered about this too. Rosie points spontaneously sometimes, lifting one leg and staring (we also have her as a companion, not for hunting). So when a dog that IS trained as a hunting dog points, what exactly do they do with their muzzle, leg, etc? I feel sheepish that I don't know this by now, being an owner of a 17 month V, but we just don't think much about her hunting potential since we don't need to develop it.
 

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When a dog points there are two fundamental actions occurring. Firstly, the dog is made aware of prey in the vicinity, and secondly, the prey is being "frozen" due to pressure from a predator.
Left to their own devices the dog would eventually slowly stalk the prey, In bird hunting this is known as "creep" and is undesirable, hence over the generations breeders have bred a dog that tends to naturally hold it's point longer, thus allowing the hunter to get into position.
A dog will not always lift it's leg on point. Sometimes they are frozen motionless on all fours, but their first step will be to bring that leg up,and get ready.
Left in position long enough you may observe the dog breathing through it's mouth in a kind of "puffing" fashion. It is bringing in more scent to help locate the prey.
Vizslas are somewhat unique. They can be a "dual purpose" dog. They can point,and hold it forever, and they can be trained to flush, and reestablish the point in position of the flush , and then proceed with the retrieve following the shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That explains a lot and now that you mention the breathing with a puffing action and that they can point on all fours, I'm pretty sure that my Lucy is a pointing machine. Makes me feel like maybe I should start hunting so she can fulfill her purpose and she isn't wasted talent!
 

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satellitebeach said:
That explains a lot and now that you mention the breathing with a puffing action and that they can point on all fours, I'm pretty sure that my Lucy is a pointing machine. Makes me feel like maybe I should start hunting so she can fulfill her purpose and she isn't wasted talent!
You don't actually have to start hunting her.
Many people that own Vizslas run them in trials and derby's, and never actually hunt them themselves. There are many examples of National Field Champions that have never "hunted in the field", so to speak, but have established themselves as proven performers during the Various trials.

In my opinion, strictly my own, the best way to train a Vizsla is to train it to do what it was bred to do.
A well trained "bird dog"will do just about everything an owner would want their dog to do, and there are already volumes of material on the subject available to train your dog in a systematic logical sequence that incorporates the breeds natural tendencies.

If available to you in your area, try to hook up with your local Vizsla club chapter and get her started. You never know what will come of it. ;)
 

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I am already amazed at how eager to please they are. I have always owned boxers and thought they were easy to train but nothing like vizslas. I have been using the click-and-treat method that I have always used with my pups and as soon as she figures out what you are looking for, she does it. At 10 weeks and on our 4th walk together, I had her walking on a loose leash and making eye contact with me consistently throughout the walk. I was amazed. I am not getting too intense with the training yet and trying to just let her be a puppy but it is tough when she picks things up so quick and you want to keep the momentum going. I'm pretty confident that, at this rate, Lucy will be able to clean the pool and do my taxes by spring :)
 

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satellitebeach said:
I am already amazed at how eager to please they are. I have always owned boxers and thought they were easy to train but nothing like vizslas. I have been using the click-and-treat method that I have always used with my pups and as soon as she figures out what you are looking for, she does it. At 10 weeks and on our 4th walk together, I had her walking on a loose leash and making eye contact with me consistently throughout the walk. I was amazed. I am not getting too intense with the training yet and trying to just let her be a puppy but it is tough when she picks things up so quick and you want to keep the momentum going. I'm pretty confident that, at this rate, Lucy will be able to clean the pool and do my taxes by spring :)
Want to come train my puppy??? He's my first dog and definitely a handful :p
 

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Really funny about the puffing. When Rosie is dreaming I see her doing this sometimes; I think I've caught her doing it awake too. I also generally find her a very quick learner. She was a star in obedience class even when we hadn't spent as much time as we should on our home practice. She always seemed to require fewer trials than the other dogs in class to catch on. Brag!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am 31 and this is my second dog, that was all mine and not a family dog. Everyone has their own opinions on training but most of the time training classes are better for socialization than actual training. With the internet, you can learn the techniques on your own for free. I paid a lot for the training my first dog went through and you can learn the exact same techniques from the website below for free. I thought the whole clicker thing was kind of weird at first but it seriously works. Basically you teach them that the sound means they've done something good and allows you to associate their good behaviors to words. I trained my boxer using it and she was an extremely well behaved dog. I can can tell this is already working with my Vizsla too. Check it out and see what you think.

http://www.clickerlessons.com/
 

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Yeah, we paid for the class just so someone would structure us and hold us accountable for practicing. But if you're able to self-discipline, another great resource for at-home training that you can now find on amazon for about $10 is a DVD called "perfect paws in 5 days" by Jean Donaldson (also clicker/reward based approach). She's a real dog training pro, I think she's now at San Francisco SPCA.
 
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