Bringing home a Vizsla puppy is such an exciting and rewarding experience. With their striking appearance, boundless energy, and affectionate nature, Vizslas make awesome companions for active individuals and families alike.
However, as with any new addition to the family, raising a Vizsla puppy requires patience, commitment, and a solid understanding of their unique needs. So in this article, we’ve put together some invaluable tips for new vizsla puppy owners to help you navigate the early whirlwind stages of puppyhood.
From the practical to the emotional and the funny, I hope these vizsla puppy tips help you raise your Vizsla puppy with love, humor and care so they can grow to be a loyal and cherished member of your family.
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Vizsla owner. I’m not a qualified dog trainer, Vet or dog behaviourist.
The Best Vizsla Puppy Tips For New Puppy Owners
Ask any vizsla owner to reflect on the vizsla puppy phase and they will no doubt have plenty of stories to share with you!
From potty training to puppy biting and crate training, vizsla puppies can be overwhelming for everyone.
But sometimes all you need is the reassurance from those who have been there done that, to inspire you to keep going! And that is the inspiration for these new puppy tips.
These top tips for vizsla puppy owners draw on the advice and experience of real vizsla owners who made it through the chaos and have lessons to share.
So if you’re about to bring a vizsla puppy home, or are in the throes of new puppy ownership and wondering what on earth you have done, read on – these tips for new puppy owners will help you through this challenging phase!
1. Routine Is Important
Just like most babies, new puppies thrive on routine. Establishing a regular daily routine that involves feeding, napping, play and exercise helps them know is expected of them each day.
It helps them settle more quickly at nap time and helps you be more consistent in your training too. You are more likely to notice changes and improvements in your pup’s behavior and helps you get all the things you need to do each day done.
Our vizsla puppy planner can help you document and track your routine, as well as keep note of training progress and house training successes. Discover more about what’s in the planner here.
2. Enforce Regular Naps
Unlike other dog breeds, many Vizsla puppies simply don’t know when to lay down and take a nap.
As a result of being overtired they become overstimulated, manic, and crazy wild. So one of the best tips for a new puppy is to plan for structured and regular naps.
The problem is many pups find it hard to settle for a nap on their own. Things that can help include music, calm petting, a quiet dark space and sometimes a firm cuddle.
3. Strategically Place Toys
It is a good idea to have toys strategically placed all over the house so you are in easy reach of them to put one in their mouth when they go for your hands.
Teach them to get a toy every time they start to mouth you, reward them for that action and/or redirect them to a different activity or game.
4. Practice Time Alone From Day One
Separation anxiety is a common issue for vizslas and your best chance of reducing it is leaving them alone for small amounts of time from day one.
5. Consistency Is Key
Being consistent in your routine, training and expectations is the key to a well trained puppy.
In a family household that means agreeing the rules and routine and ensuring everyone sticks to it!
Vizslas are super smart and will detect any chinks in the armour and have no hesitation to start training you instead of the other way around!
6. Don’t Ignore Bad Behavior
Gorgeous vizsla puppies have a way of getting under your skin and before you know it you are letting them jump up on you (they are so small and cute), laughing as they running away with your shoes and ignoring resource guarding because “they’re just a puppy”.
But those cute puppies can become difficult adult dogs.
Jumping, pulling on the lead, resource guarding and biting are all examples of behaviors you can’t ignore. Redirect, distract, train and reward the right behaviors.
7. Work On Recall From Day One
Vizslas are a high energy dog and need to be exercised off leash to burn that energy. Which is why recall is such an important skill for your puppy to learn.
So one of the best pieces of new puppy advice is to practice recall training from day one every chance you get – in your home, in your yard and at an enclosed park.
Reward them every time they come back to you until they learn the skill.
8. Be Prepared For A Long Puppyhood
Hungarian vizsla owners often joke their dogs act like puppies until they are about 10 years old.
And while it might not really be that long, vizslas do have a reputation for maturing more slowly than other dog breeds.
So be prepared for a long puppyhood and the look of surprise when you tell passer-bys who think your dog is a puppy they are actually “n” years old!
9. Never Allow Pulling On Lead
Vizslas are strong medium sized dogs and leash pulling is one of the most common issues for new vizsla owners.
Leash training is essential from day one and there is one rule – never allow your new puppy to pull on the lead. Every time they try to pull you need to switch direction or stop and call them back.
You may not get very far on your walk, but once they are allowed to pull it just makes it more difficult to train them not to.
10. Trim Nails From Day One
Many vizsla owners have trouble trimming their dog’s nails. They are dark, it’s hard to see the quick and so many vizslas just don’t like having their nails trimmed.
Hopefully your breeder has started socializing them with nail trimming – and you need to continue this when pup comes home.
11. The Hard Work Will Pay Off
One of the best first time puppy owner tips is that the hard work pays off.
Know that the effort you put into training them as puppies will pay dividends later. A well behaved vizsla is such a joy to have around and you will enjoy their unconditional love for life.
12. Research Off Leash Locations
A walk on lead on the local streets is not enough exercise for an adult Vizsla.
So spend time researching safe off leash locations near you so you can get out on the trails once you have some confidence in their recall.
13. Keep Your Sense Of Humor
The saying “If you don’t laugh you’ll cry” could not be truer for raising a vizsla puppy.
There will no doubt be times when you’re frustrated and in tears, but try and see the funny side as much as you can – it will save your sanity!
14. Stay Clear Of Zoomies
For first time dog owners who have never heard the term “zoomies”, it is the frenetic crazy burst of energy dogs have sometimes.
Whether it is laps of your lounge room, your yard or the park, when it kicks in they go FAST.
My best tip is to bend your knees a little, stand by a tree or post or just keep clear – because getting taken out by a dog at full speed is not fun at all.
15. Learn Some Brain and Scent Games
Renowned for their intelligence and powerful nose, brain and scent games are a fantastic way to tire vizslas out mentally.
Teaching them tricks, finding hidden treats or toys and playing puzzle games are all great ways to work your vizsla and are particularly good for vizsla puppies who shouldn’t be over-exercised.
16. Accept The First Year Will Be Chaos
Much like bringing a new baby into a household, a new puppy will completely upturn your life.
You may need to adjust your work schedule, move furniture, delay holidays if you can’t take them with you and apologize to your friends (and strangers) a lot for their puppy behavior.
But if you accept the first year will be utter chaos, you won’t be so disappointed by the change!
17. It’s Natural To Feel Overwhelmed
With the lack of sleep, shredded hands, and mental exhaustion dealing with vizsla puppy antics, it is no surprise you are likely to experience overwhelm when caring for a new puppy.
And you will probably threaten to return the puppy to the breeder at least three times in the first 6 months!
Know these feelings are completely natural and also know it gets better.
18. Reward Good Behavior
The vizsla dog breed is intelligent, biddable and love nothing more than spending time with you.
If you consistently reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior they will quickly learn what is expected and acceptable in order to please you.
Training a vizsla is not difficult most of the time – it just requires daily effort to get them there.
19. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize
One of the best tips for training a puppy is to focus on socializing your pup.
Exposing them to as many different people, animals, noises and experiences as you can will help them become well adjusted adults.
And go slowly with new experiences so they don’t get overwhelmed or feel afraid.
20. Accept You Will Be Sleep Deprived For A Few Weeks
Chances are the first night with a new puppy (and the next few weeks) might be rough. They’ve left their mum and their nice warm cozy pile of littermates and it’s likely they aren’t going to be very happy about it.
So disrupted sleep is inevitable in the first few weeks as you settle them, and take them out to pee through the night. But know that it does end!
21. Always Supervise Young Children
Vizslas can be great family dogs, but like any dog they should not be left unattended with young children.
Dogs and children are unpredictable and no-one wants to deal with the trauma and repercussions of a bite or worse.
22. Find Bucket Loads Of Patience
Patience is your friend through the early puppy months and you will need bucket loads of it.
They will test your patience every day, but with persistence and kindness they will reward you with endless love and affection!
23. Crate Training Is Your Friend
A crate is a secure safe place for your vizsla puppy when you are not home and overnight.
There are so many benefits to crate training your pup that is is well worth putting in the effort. Like most things you need to start from day one and be consistent!
24. Take It Easy And Be Kind To Yourself
Raising a puppy is exhausting – so be kind to yourself and ensure you plan time away from the puppy to recharge and relax.
25. Learn How To Make Homemade Treats
Treats are a great tool to train your vizsla pup – helpful when settling in the crate, at nap time and as a reward.
26. Take Lots Of Photos And Videos
In the whirlwind of daily life with a puppy don’t forget to take lots of photos and videos.
They grow so fast and you will quickly forget their squishy bodies, rolls upon rolls and soft puppy tummies.
27. A Dog Trainer Can Help
If you feel out of your depth and need help, a professional dog trainer is a good way to get back on track.
Always check their credentials, their experience with the vizsla breed and ensure they only use positive reinforcement methods before engaging them.
And if an in person trainer is out of your budget, online dog training is a great alternative. You can go at your own pace and get personalized help when you need it.
SpiritDog Training has a huge range of fantastic online courses. Click here to see the range and find the right course for your dog.
28. Cherish Every Moment
Finally, cherish every moment with your vizsla puppy!
They might act like demon spawn for a few months but know they are one of the most loving, devoted and loyal dog breeds you could ever own.
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