Raising a Vizsla
Here Comes Trouble!
Owning and raising a Vizsla can be exhausting and rewarding. These hyperactive puppies are a handful. Love to play, chew, jump and run...indoor and outdoors. Here are some of my stories about raising my puppy Morgan (now 7 months old).
No, my hands are not chew toys
Rule One: Always make sure your puppy Vizsla has plenty of chew toys. These little pups need to be constantly busy. Morgan is no exception. Being our second Vizsla we thought it would be easier. Boy, were we wrong. We forgot the fact that we were now older raising our second Vizsla. Vizslas can be a handful and Morgan is definitely no exception. At age three months Morgan thought my right hand was a chew toy. I always had to be ready with a toy to stick in his mouth. Puppy teeth hurt! But, he was just being a puppy; normal and happy.
Keep Your Puppy Busy - Great Finds
I fill this with his dry lunch food and he loves playing with it while eating. Beats the bowl!
This treat toy will keep your puppy busy for hours (hopefully).
I cannot walk into a pet store without Morgan taking this toy off the shelf. He loves it and if he is good, Santa may get it for him from Amazon for Christmas.
This toy is extra special. Morgan keeps it outdoors and as soon as you walk in the yard with him, he grabs it for you to throw. He prefers it over tennis balls, if you can believe that.
Private Training 101
On the advice of our veterinarian, we hired a private trainer who came to our home. I don't know who became more frustrated, the trainer or me. Morgan truly has a mind of his own and wants to do whatever he desires. Turning your back on him at this stage gave him the opportunity to nip you in the buttocks. As I said, puppy teeth hurt. After a couple of weeks of training a few pair of torn jeans, she gave up. The mistake was you should hire someone who is familiar with Vizslas.
Trouble in a Dog Suit
Got to Love Him Though
Morgan is now 7 months old. Our Vet calls him "Trouble in a Dog Suit." By accident, while walking around Pet Smart with Morgan (who was trying to open every bag of food), we bumped into a couple with a very calm Vizsla. They told us that their Vizsla was trained by a trainer at Pet Smart who is very familiar with Vizslas. Without hesitation, we signed up Morgan for one private class and eight group classes. What a blessing. We were told the correct food to feed him, how much exercise he should get and how to stop him from nipping (playful) now that he has full grown teeth. The trainer is wonderful. Morgan at first was shy with the other puppies but now just loves class (and day camp).
He Loves His Crate
One of the easiest things to do is crate train your Vizsla. It took one day. We started with a small crate (which our grandsons loved to stay in) and then moved onto a large crate as Morgan grew. As soon as we go to the cookie (biscuit) jar with a Kong in our hand, he runs into his crate. He has chew toys and tug toys in his crate so it feels like home. There are times we have to coax him out of his crate. I highly recommend crate training (try to keep the grandchildren out of the crate).
Actually, it is my crate.
Socializing Your Vizsla Puppy
A Member of the Family
It is very important to socialize your Vizsla as soon as possible. Walking him/her, taking your Vizsla to stores that allow pets and having family and friends visit (especially children). Morgan is no exception. He loves playing with other dogs and having company. As a "child" himself, he loves playing with children. Vizslas are very good pets for families with children. Although known as hunting dogs, they are very domestic and homebodies (velcro dogs). Our grandchildren love running and playing with Morgan. He is so gentle with them. Again, socializing your Vizsla is a must.
Exercising Your Vizsla
Not Just Taking Walks!
Morgan loves to go on walks or as I call them, drag the master (?) around the block. He loves to run in the yard, play at the dog park and absolutely becomes excited beyond belief when he goes to doggy day camp. At first we were hesitant to send him, but now you cannot say the word doggy day camp without Morgan grabbing his leash and running to the garage door to get in the car. Once at day camp, he bolts into the playroom.
One other exercise Morgan truly loves is swimming. We have a nice pool in our yard with a child safety fence. Now it is called a Morgan safety fence. He would jump in the pool every day no matter what the weather is like. One of his favorite past-times after swimming is just relaxing on a float. Do you think he is a little spoiled?
One thing for certain, by the end of the day we are both tired and ready for bed.
Vizslas Loves to Swim - Enjoying a Swim with the Grandchildren
Group Training Week Four
Do Vizslas Remember?
Well, yesterday was week four of group dog training. Morgan is a perfect/model student...until he gets home. Like a child who behaves in everyone else's home or at school, Morgan lets his energy and craziness rip when he gets home. He now can sit and stay; responds to lay down and come now...but only at school. I even bought the treats the trainer uses but, no luck. He is as hyper as ever but as cute as ever. I think Vizsla's puppyhood lasts for about two years. Give me strength!
Oh, and by the way, he helps himself to water at the vet's office...even turns on the water himself.
Group Training Week Six
Starting to Remember
We have just completed week six of training. Morgan is really starting to learn. He sits, stays, gives paws (one at a time of course) and spins. We are even working on rolling over. Apparently Morgan will do anything and remember if given a treat. However, he still hasn't mastered loose leash walking. That is when you train your dog not to pull you or jump on everyone. Morgan is very smart but he still gets very excited when he sees people walking. Our trainer did say he would outgrow it but not for more than a year. Vizsla puppies remain puppies for a very long time.
On a real positive note, my hands have healed and are no longer chew toys.
Group Training Week Seven
He's Getting There!
Well, Morgan did really well in his seventh group class. He has learned just about every command EXCEPT to not drag me with his leash. He loves school and is so excited when he gets in the car. He always thinks he is either going to school or to day camp (at the same location). You actually have to spell the words (like you would with a child) because he gets so excited and does not calm down until you put him in the car. Anyway, he is improving. He comes home exhausted and the new thing is that during the night he gets out of his bed and sneaks up on my bed, cuddling on top or next to me. Being a "Velcro Dog," he's a dead weight so he stays like that until he wakes up.
He is an absolute love.
Group Training Week Eight
Tonight is Graduation Night!
Well, Morgan is graduating from puppy school tonight. I will post more about it later this evening. He will be attending Intermediate School which should help even more, He absolutely loves his trainer Linda and EVERYONE knows Morgan. They have their own cute nicknames for him like "love," "terror," "wild one," "cutie pie" and his trainer's favorite nickname "fine young man."
So check back later to help celebrate Morgan receiving his diploma.
YIPPEE, I GRADUATED!!!
Morgan Wanted to Write About His Graduation
Well tonight was really special. I actually graduated from Beginner Education (sort of like Kindergarten). There were three in my graduation class. I don't think I was the Valedictorian but I know I graduated at least third in my class. I already miss my trainer Linda. She means the world to me. She just loves all of us and has such patience with me and I know my Mom an Dad truly appreciate it. In fact, in February she will be having an Intermediate Class (sort of like third grade) and I WILL be attending. I can't wait. Until then, I will try my best to practice what I have learned by "training" my Mom and Dad. They still need a little work. I know we will get there.
For now on, my Mom will keep you posted on how I'm doing. I'm exhausted from today's ceremonies and am going to bed. Good night, Love Morgan.
My Graduating Class and Their Parents
December 7, 2010
Morgan in His Own Words
Male Vizslas Beware!
All I wanted to do was play in day camp with the other puppies. Because of rules and regulations, I was not allowed "being a male dog." So, my Mom and Dad decided that if I wanted to have great "play dates" that an adjustment had to be made. Well it was. For a few days I looked like a television antenna. However, now I can go play with my friends whenever I want. Sometimes you have to "lose" something to "gain" something else.
Make Sure You Have a Comfortable Chair for Your Vizsla
Actually, We Can't Get Him Off the Recliner
After a long day or half day at day camp which Morgan goes to about every other day or so, he comes home exhausted. As his Mom I used to love to sit in the recliner...it's no longer mine. Morgan has taken it over. With a face like his, how can I say no. Maybe it is not the "proper" training thing to do to allow your pet on the furniture, but he is just so happy and relaxed. At eight months old, what more can you ask for !
Morgan's First Christmas
Santa Loves Vizslas!
Morgan had his first visit with Santa Claus today. Santa said he was a very good dog, mischievous (which is consistent with his age), but good. Morgan was so happy because he thought he was getting coal (which he would probably eat) but instead he will be getting some new toys. He is now on his best behavior at least until Christmas. Hopefully it lasts!
One thing, because of Morgan's chewing and knocking down antics, I am not putting up a Christmas tree this year (I have a very expensive ornament collection). Plus, he would probably rip the paper off the packages. The rest of the "unreachable" areas are decorated.
From Morgan's home to your home, have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Morgan's First Birthday
His Gift? Cooking Classes of Course
Well, "trouble" just turned one. Since he absolutely LOVES to eat we decided to sign him up for cooking classes. One of his favorites, making pancakes for the family.
He is still getting into trouble, but of a different nature. He is fully trained, except for loving our stove, and makes us laugh all the time. Vizslas are energetic, hyperactive dogs and remain puppies for about two years. So be prepared, you must spend time, be paitent and most of all give your Vizsla plenty of exercise.
He is a little love...a terror, but a love!
Morgan and Doggie Day Camp
You Have to Whisper the Words "Day Camp"
At least once or twice a week, either for a full day or half day, we bring Morgan to day camp to play with the other dogs his age and release some of that tremendous energy he possesses. Well, the word day camp has to whispered because as soon as he hears it, he grabs his leash in the laundry room and cries at the garage door (which is through the laundry room). It is so funny to watch. He literally drags you into the door of Doggie Day Camp. He just loves playing with other dogs. He runs, tugs and just prances all day with the other dogs that the doggie day care people get such a kick out of watching him. He does get down type (nap and lunch), but is ready to go again after an hour.
I highly recommend ANYONE who has a puppy or dog that needs to expend some of his energy to take him or her to a reputable Doggie Day Camp once in a while. They enjoy it and when they return home, they're tired and YOU get to rest.
Morgan is a love and can be quite a hyperactive one year old but that was expected. As hyperactive as he is, how loving and affectionate he is. What a joy he has brought to our lives.
Lap Dogs for Life?????
This photo was taken on Morgan's first birthday. Now that he is one, he still thinks he weighs five pounds (he is 60 pounds now). One of his favorite spots, my lap no matter where I am sitting, he climbs on. Unfortunately, I can't resist; he is just so loving.
Still Learning and Training
I will keep updating this lens as Morgan progresses and I learn more and more about puppy Vizslas. For now, Morgan and I say goodnight. See you soon.