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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I have been lurking this forum for some time, but this is my first time posting! After a very long wait, my partner and I are taking home our very own Vizsla next month! We have done so much research on this breed and can't wait to pick up our pup :D

We were initially attracted to the Vizsla because of how high energy they were. We have met so many V's in our town that seem like they would be the perfect fit for our life style. My partner and I are ultramarathon runners who each exercise about 9-12 hours a week by gravel biking, trail running, and nordic skiing. We live in an outdoorsy town that for the most part is off-leash friendly so we can't wait to have a V tag along on these adventures with us once she is old enough.

We also both work from home with flexible work schedules. We think this will help with puppy training, but also plan on investing in a trainer and puppy classes. I have seen first hand how much energy Vizsla puppies have, so I know training is very important.

I grew up with border collies and red heelers, but Vizslas are such a unique breed! My question to everyone here is what is one thing that you wish you knew before taking home your Vizsla?

Sorry for the long post, I am just SO excited about our new addition.
 

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Nothing really prepared us for the zoomies :) We read a lot about them, but actually living through them the first few months made me keep checking this forum to see if our pup was normal or if we somehow got a mental case. Knowing what they were, and how to just kind of stand back and let her go, made it actually fun at the end. She doesn't get them so much now, probably because we exercise her much more than we could at that age, being as it was winter and we had to be so careful pre-puppy vaccines. But yeah, my husband actually thought something was wrong with her.
 

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As @TrumpetBlast mentioned, that feeling that you made a mistake or think your dog is broken due to what appears to be insane behavior. Some have had great puppy experiences with V's out there, but that is a rarity if you ask me. There were definately good times; however, it is 5 months of my life that I would like to forget for the most part.

I'm sure you read that you should wait at least a year or longer before taking the pup for really long runs. Just mentioning it just in case. Off leash romping is just fine and they need more exercise than most other puppies of their same age. They also need lots of sleep and acting crazy can be a sign it is nap time, this was the case for Ellie. Too little or too much exercise/sleepy = shark zoomie mode.

On another note, sounds like your lifestyle is perfect and one to be envious of if I must say! We're not super active people, but our V has made us active. She has motivated me to get outdoors more and I now take 1-1.5 hours a day to go walk in the woods with her off leash. Leash walking once they reach 4-5 mos or so just won't do it for them exercise-wise.

Best of luck and remember to always hang in there it will get better!
 

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Crate training has saved our sanity a little bit and I have a dog walker that takes him for off leash exercise/socialization with other dogs 2x per week, so I can get some work done! He is 6mos old now and we are still working on counter surfing and jumping up on everyone. Good luck!
 

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Firstly, their speed!!
You don't see it for the first 6-8 months, but once they finally get that combination of size, strength, coordination,and stamina, they can move!!! If you thought your Heeler and Border Collie were fast,just wait for it;) :)
After close to 35 years of owning them, their speed still amazes me.
Secondly, their problem solving abilities.
They are very competetive and want to win,which makes some games a little bit interesting. While another breed may endlessly play with you and a toy, the Vizsla will very quickly realize that to stop the game,get the toy, and win, they need to go for whatever is holding, or controlling, the toy. ;)
As a new,soon to be Vizsla owner, congratulations. You're in for a lifetime of memories very soon.
Always respect this breed. They're special, and never mistake their "velcro" trait for being soft.These are mentally very strong dogs, and they are not soft. They can be extremely focused and driven, which some foks attribute to "hard headeness", but it's not. It's their nature.
Have fun with you new puppy, make it a loved,valued, respected, member of the household, and it will will blossom into something really special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow thanks everyone for the awesome responses! This was so insightful. I can only imagine how crazy the puppy stage will be!

Reading these posts, I feel like we definitley made the right choice. I am counting down the days until we get to take our V home. 😃
 

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The “shark attack” phase before getting their adult teeth. Our first vizsla was mouthy but our second was a little land shark. All my leggings had holes from his little bites. I thought I had an aggressive dog until I found this forum. Totally normal 😜. Take lots of pictures, they grow so fast !
 

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After 12 months I can't imagine a better dog, Fred has become my companion. I take her everywhere and she is so friendly, easy going. I like that my dog is so friendly but not so much that she jump all over strangers or other dogs.

For puppy time:
  • Crating your pup at least 2x2H a day to give them some well needed rest, and you some time to manage things without your little shadow chasing you. I'd suggest to start crate training the first hour after arriving home. Stay near at first, but later in the week you can start timing the minutes your pup cries before falling asleep. Usually about 30-40 mins the first times but you’ll be down to 10 minutes and 0 minutes very soon. Timing it shows you there is progress.
  • Also, you need to force rest on them. Otherwise they just go on. And they get tired and when they’re tired they are 10x the devil you think they could be.
  • They are smart, needy and very good at manipulating you into letting you jump through hoops while you think you'e in charge its actually them little monsters.
  • They are quite skinny at first, you can’t really overfeed as most of them self regulate quite well. Some of them can be picky eaters. A lot of information about this on this forum.
  • Puppy time is tougher than you might expect, just check out all the desperate puppy posts on the forum. This is normal and it gets easier after 6 months. They become more emotionally stable around 12 months.
  • If you want to start hunting (we only do training for fun) I would recommend puppy hunting classes. We did ‘normal’ puppy course and I kinda regret it now.
  • They tend to pull on the leash, I believe being bred to hunt they like to walk in front. Also, they’re amazing off leash. Start off leash training early, they’ll stick to you. And leash training, well.. if I had not given her so much slack when she was young, it would’ve made leashed walks a lot easier.
  • I have found that Fred is super sensitive to me even raising my voice. If you’re used to less sensitive dogs (like I was), I had to learn being softer but more consistent.


 

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I think that most first time owners are surprised at all the bitey games these pups love to play.
Next would be the short attention span, and them pulling like a sled dog on lead.

For me it would be how they capture your heart, and change your life in a positive way.
 
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I think that most first time owners are surprised at all the bitey games these pups love to play.
Next would be the short attention span, and them pulling like a sled dog on lead.

For me it would be how they capture your heart, and change your life in a positive way.
So true about the positive life impact. I and many folks tend to start off on all the negatives and how much a pain in the butt raising a V pup is, but it is definitely worth the time and effort. They are more than just an accessory to your life, they become part of it and they want to be incorporated into every aspect of your life. Embrace that and it is all worthwhile.

As @Frida010 recommends around being off-leash as early as safely possible, I have to absolutely agree. I followed the advice on this board with Ellie, much given by folks already responding in this thread. Starting with long lines and a harness in the woods away from dangers such as roads and other people/animals to graduating to an e-collar at the appropriate age using only the tone/vibrate only when necessary for recall. Everyone is impressed at how Ellie operates with me off leash in the fields and woods. I walk around and she does her thing looking for animals checking in with me, responding to whistles when I change direction, and recall when necessary. It is so liberating to be connected with a dog like this. It is also nice if she does encounter someone on a trail, she is always apprehensive if I'm not there with her and won't approach, and 100% of people are not afraid when they see her because she is "so cute" lol. I feel these dogs need this off leash work in nature as part of their lives to really shine.
 

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Nothing much, really. Going in we knew they were high energy and need lots of exercise. You know, the usual vizsla info you get when researching them. It all came true. Down to the separation anxiety. Fortunately that could be mitigated with training. I’ve also raised a puppy as a kid so even the shark attack and zoomies weren’t new to me.

Our dog proved to extremely biddable. He does have strong ideas of his own and he will let you know them (with some frankly hilarious noises. Not barks, thank god!) but he’s very willing to work with us to find a compromise. We didn’t expect how eager to please he is, despite being quite willful. So that’s a pleasant surprise. He’s so much more eager to please than even most of the dogs I know.

He loves working. Almost zealously so. we are teaching him the 3 cup game right now and when we ask him to flip the cup he doesn’t just flip it. He’s barely holding himself back and when he gets the command BATS the cup against the wall! He just can’t wait to work 🤣 and gets frustrated when we take too long to figure out what command we want to give him. Even other dogs can’t distract him in work mode. He’s just so revved up to work.

of course it helps that he’s such a sweet boy and wants so badly to make us happy, we want to make him happy whenever we can. So on the whole it’s a very reciprocal relationship. Knowing how he loves to be close to us, we have trained him to be able to sleep alone (if we need that flexibility) but he definitely comes to bed most nights! So I like to think he’s very happy with us also.
 
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