Caring For Your Vizsla Puppy
Caring For Your Vizsla Puppy
Vizsla puppies are much like children, they will test their limits and see what they can get away with. If you don’t teach them what you want, they will do what they want.
There are many different strategies to training a puppy to go to the bathroom outside. The one that works for you is best. Keep in mind that these little guys have little control at a young age. Clean carpets and floors will be up to you. Setting a timer and taking them out every 20 minutes gives them a great chance to go outside. As they get older you can adjust it to 30 minutes, then 40 etc. When you aren’t available to take them out regularly you can keep them in a kennel. This is their space. You want to keep it clean and cozy in a quiet place. As long as the kennel isn’t too big, the puppy will not want to use the bathroom in his/her space. A pillow or something can block the back of a too-big kennel until the puppy gets bigger. Accidents do happen so you may want to line the kennel with something disposable and easily washable.
Praising the puppy when they do go to the bathroom outside is important. Give them a lot of positive praise when they go where you want! Vizslas can be sensitive and want to please you more than some hunting breeds. Take care when scolding them, a little goes a long way.
Compared to other breeds Vizslas don’t tend to be big chewers. Giving them a variety of different things that are theirs to chew will keep them away from things you don’t want them to chew. Tell them NO when they are chewing something you don’t want. Replace it with something they can chew. Ropes and other items can be good for their teeth and breath, so you don’t want to stop chewing altogether, but they can be taught to only chew their things.
Not all foods are created equal. Vets will tell you that dogs starve while eating certain dog food. Other dog foods are also needlessly expensive. Finding the most nutritional value for your dog for what you can afford would be best. Dogs from Outdoorsman Vizslas will be weened and able to eat hard food when you take them home. There can be an adjustment period when they start eating a new food where they may have diarrhea for a few days, this goes away once they have adjusted.
Dogs store fat around their organs and can be overweight without it showing on the outside. Keep in mind that foods may not seem like much to a human, makes a much bigger difference to a dog. You may want to take it easy when tossing them food under the table.
Chocolate can be poisonous to many dogs. The darker the chocolate and the more chocolate content in food can increase the risk for your dog. The size of your dog can make a difference as well. If you are unsure, call your vet, they can tell you what would be appropriate for your dog. If chocolate has been consumed and your worried, a large swallowed tablespoon of salt can induce vomiting when such a situation occurs.
Vizslas are smart dogs and can handle all the basic training. They are softhearted, so a little scolding can go a long way. Positive reinforcement works very well with them. Keep in mind that even if you are okay with a behavior when they are a cute cuddly puppy, that they will get bigger. Unless you are okay with the behavior when they are big, train them when they are little.
Vizsla have a high energy level and require exercise on a regular basis. A tired vizsla is a happy vizsla. As a puppy, start slow with shorter play/walk sessions and gradually increase over time to suit their individual needs and energy level. A fenced yard is a great way to allow your vizsla to run and play freely and work out some energy. They are also very playful so they love playing fetch and playing with your or your kids. Vizslas make great running companions as they have the endurance to keep a running pace for a great distance. They love the taking walks/hikes where they can run off lease as well. Obviously they are bred to hunt so hunting is a great way to exercise your dogs and enjoy the great outdoors together. If a vizsla doesnt get the exercise they need they can get destructive and start chewing and digging.
The vizsla breed tends to be more timid in nature then some of the other hunting breeds. This makes them vulnerable to being scared by loud noises such as fireworks and gun fire. The proper caution needs to be taken when introducing a vizsla to these noises. I have heard lots of stories of vizslas running off scared because of fireworks and ending up getting lost or hit by cars so please keep your vizsla away from fireworks until you are sure they can handle it or introduce them very slowly and cautiously.
Be very careful introducing your vizsla to gun fire. They best thing is to build your dogs bird drive by doing significant bird work first. This could take a month or more of bird work before a gun is introduced. Once your dog is crazy for birds then slowly introduce gun fire during your training. Start with a muffled shot or .22 at a distance only when the dog is chasing a bird hard (completely focused on getting that bird). Then slowly started to move the gun closer but again only firing when the dog is fully focused on chasing a flushing bird. Once your certain and comfortable that the dog isnt bothered then do this same process with an un-muffled gun or shotgun. Again once you are certain and comfortable that the dog isnt bothered you can move into actually shooting a bird for the dog. If at any point in this process you notice the dog stop chasing, nervous, or scared then stop the gun fire. The more times you scare the dog the harder it will be for the dog to get over the gun shyness. Call me or a professional trainer for any more recommendations.
We work very hard at socializing our puppies properly so that they wont be afraid of anything. They are around lots of loud noises at the kennel so they shouldnt have any kind of a problem with loud noises but always be cautious.