As a breed the Hungarian Vizsla puppy is hard work. As many times as we say this to people it gets skimmed over as people do not listen to us or other breeders. I want to stress to everyone these following points as its worth listening to if you are considering a puppy.
For a start all we think about is picking up an ideal puppy. One that will love us instantly and just fit into our families. The Vizsla is a wonderful dog but they are one of the hardest puppies to settle in. We know this because we bred Weimaraners before Vizsla, and family bred Cockers, and an Uncle bred Labradors. We now breed Pugs and the Pug is a dog that settles in instantly. Their is differences between every single breed of dog and although we think Vizsla is easy for our family it doesn't mean its going to be easy for you, because we have got so used to the breed it is like second nature. IN fact we think Vizsla are hard work. I would say they are the hardest breed to settle in that we own. Pugs are so easy!
So you have got to tell yourself you have 3 weeks which will be frustrating but then life will get easier and life will become good.
All dogs go through stages as well, from the settling in, screaming, to biting their owners hard, then it will be house training blips. Then it goes onto jumping up anyone to finding its feet at 9 months onwards. We all go through it, professional dog handlers or not.
Travelling home with the puppy can either be easy and it sleeps, or the puppy is sick, pee’s and is stressed. You never know what the dog will do. As dogs do act out of character too because of stress. However calm in the breeders home, the dog can show total opposite behaviour with new people. But usually the Vizsla is reserved and frightened for a start. They seem to go inward, and they know their house is changing. Sudden fear of the unknown. They are hugely intelligent and thats why they act the way they do.
So the first day bringing the puppy home is wonderful, exciting and a bonding experience for us. We want to keep watching the dog because its all ours and we have such pride and joy looking at them. We feel we have the best dog in the world. Then night time comes and suddenly the dog is screaming its lungs off. Your the lucky one if it does it for ten mins then goes back to sleep until 7am. But here are some tips which we think helps settle in a dog.
1) Take the dog to bed with you. Okay I know most behaviourists will be spinning in their seat at the thought. But the Vizsla is scared and doesn't know where the heck it is. Taking pup to bed with you will ensure him to bond with you. Have a crate in your room, where you can put the pup, and when he wakes at 2am, get up and take him outside to the loo. Come back put the dog back in the crate, if he whinges, put your hand out and let the pup sniff you. He should settle down.
2) Buy a heart beat toy, yes these things exist. Amazon. Sell them. They are brilliant as remember the dog started life laying on top of a bundle of puppies, the heart beats of other puppies is comforting to your puppy. When that suddenly goes the dog is lonely. So put the toy in the crate with the dog.
3) Buy a Snuggle safe pad with fleece cover. These go in the microwave for 6 mins and last 10 hours. We swear by them, and again you may have central heating but your dog is missing the warmth of other dogs. Place in the crate, and they are washable. Hopefully your breeder will of also given you a blanket with some familiar smells of mum on and the siblings. They will cuddle up to this. Some pups will of messed on them by morning, others dont.
4) Pet Remedy is a plug in which emits scent which calms dogs, and also they do a spray you can spray a cloth and place in the bedding. We provide cushions sprayed in this which works every time. We rarely have people these days struggling over night with their puppies.
5) If you can not stand the idea of a dog going to bed with you then sleep downstairs on the couch beside the dog. If hubby is off for the weekend, let him sleep on the sofa, and swap when he goes back to work. Take it in shifts, and even if you have teenagers get them involved and let them also take turns, so you all get some sleep In the week. It takes 2-3 weeks to settle any dog in.
6) Wear puppy out! Dont let the puppy sleep all evening and then go to bed and expect it to sleep. Keep the puppy entertains and play games with the puppy during the evening. Take the puppy out to the toilet before bedtime.
7) If spring or summer the mornings get light after 4am, cover the crate with a blanket or a black out cover so it remains darker in there. It helps dogs sleep for longer, as in the wild they would get up at 4am and go to the toilet. Remember most dogs after going to the toilet will go back to sleep again. Often dogs like a sleep after they have eaten.
8) Ask your breeder for tips, dont just struggle because they know their dogs and may have some tips for you.
Remember the dog is your responsibility, you have not brought the dog from a shop where you can return if it doesn't fit your lifestyle. You make it work just like you wouldn’t get rid of your kids if they were playing you up. You may like too but its not ethical.
9) You must crate your dog daytimes. For a start the dog is crated probably more than it will be the rest of his life. Because your training the dog. Crate training means getting the dog used to the crate. No matter how well trained the dog at the breeders home was, taking it home with no other dogs reverts the dog back to the beginning with crate training.
In all the years of me breeding dogs, and speaking to friends and family it is only the smallest amount of people who can not cope. Its always the ones who we think will be absolutely fine, and the ones we think well they may have a problem, cope fantastically.
Do not panic and think you are alone, theirs probably 8 other people in the litter who are going through what your going through. Its not just you, and we are the intelligent being here, not the dog. You can do this, you can sort this puppy out. After the settling in stage your next goal is socialisation, and puppy classes. Its always the people who dont go to classes that end up with issues with their dogs. Remember it’s your dog and your responsibility to the dog to train it. So get classes booked up as soon as you reserve the puppy with the breeder. So your all ready to go in a few weeks after taking pup home. If anyone tells me they cant find classes I know they will end up ringing me saying they cant cope later on. So get classes booked up asp. You can do this!!!
Mrs Rachel Savage