Bringing a new vizsla puppy home is such a wonderful experience. Full of cuteness, rolls and licks, your days will be taken over with puppy needs and love.
Regardless of the age at which you bring your puppy home, it is important to start training your vizsla right away. They are intelligent and energetic dogs who benefit from good training.
If you are a new dog owner, this article is for you. We outline some basic principles for getting started training vizsla puppies.
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Vizsla owner. I’m not a qualified dog trainer, Vet or dog behaviourist.
Set up a space for training vizsla puppies
Before you bring your puppy home, it is a good idea to set up a dedicated space for them. You will need to find space both indoor and outdoors.
A play pen and / or crate are great options for inside. Ensure your outdoor space is contained so they cannot escape.
Limiting the area in which the puppy can wander inside is the first step for successful house training.
Our vizsla loves her crate where her bed is set up. She will often retreat to it when she feels unsure, and sleeps in it at night.
All dogs need their own private place in the home and getting them to understand and own their space is a part of the training process.
Invest in some basic training and care equipment
In order to train your vizsla puppy you are going to need a couple of essential pieces of equipment. Most importantly you will need a collar or harness and a leash.
When you first bring your puppy home, pop their leash on regularly to get them used to the feeling of the collar and leash.
Put it on when you take them outside, and even when you are walking around the house for short periods.
It is also essential you put the leash on when taking your puppy out to go potty, so you can confirm when they have been (and also so they don’t disappear in the evening!).
In addition to a leash, some basic chew toys, soft toys and balls are great puppy training tools.
Our vizsla LOVES a soft elephant with a long trunk and we use the toy to teach her the basics of fetch, as it keeps her attention for quite a while.
Buy a few different textured toys and see what your puppy prefers. See all our favorite vizsla toys reviewed here.
Start potty training
No matter the age of your vizsla puppy, begin potty training right away.
Establishing a potty routine it super important for you and your pup.
We cover everything you need to know about house training in our complete guide to vizsla potty training.
Agree the basic pet rules for the household
Before your puppy arrives, agree on the household rules for the dog.
Consistency is key to training a vizsla puppy and agreeing the rules up front will ensure everyone in the house applies the same rules.
The types of rules to agree include:
- Where will your vizsla sleep?
- Are they permitted to sit on the couch?
- Is your vizsla puppy allowed onto the beds and into bedrooms?
- Which parts of the house are they allowed to venture into?
- Will you feed your pup dog food only or are human food treats allowed?
By agreeing these basic rules, everyone in the house will be consistent with the puppy when they are welcomed into your home and your pup will quickly recognize the boundaries it needs to follow.
Call the dog by their name, all the time
One of the most important initial training steps is to name them and call their name all the time.
If you are still stuck on a name, see our list of the best vizsla names here.
The name of the puppy should be short, easy to understand and clearly understood by people as well as the dog.
Start calling the dog by name for every request. Incorporate calling your dog’s attention into your short training sessions each day.
When the dog looks up when their name is called, reward them! They will soon understand their name.
Develop a consistent vocabulary
Agree on the key words you want your vizsla puppy to learn in the first week or two.
From day one everyone in the household can use the same words in order to quickly train your dog.
For the first few weeks, focus on the essentials. Teach them basic commands such as:
- Their name
- ‘Go potty’
- ‘Leave it’
- ‘On your bed’
All these commands are possible in the first few weeks.
It is also really important to teach your puppy the agreed commands for ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.
Vizslas are highly intelligent and by communicating your agreement or disagreement with their behaviour from day one is an important training step.
Create a daily routine
Just like newborn babies, puppies thrive on routine.
Following a routine helps your new vizsla puppy adjust to its new environment and helps keep them healthy and happy.
Routines to establish include:
- A consistent night-time bed time
- Meal times
- Play time
- Quiet time
- Training times.
When your vizsla puppy is young, give them a good play session before attempting any training.
Plus keep training short and sweet at around 10 minutes after each play session. Your pup is likely to be calmer and more open to learning at this time.
Reward good behaviour
Every dog has a unique personality, but we believe the best approach for training vizsla puppies is with positive reinforcement.
Traditional training techniques focused on control and punishment, but treating a dog is a great way to encourage positive behaviour and train your dog.
In the first few weeks, constantly reward them with tiny treats – boiled chicken, raw meat, dried meat, and even their everyday kibble.
Make these easy frozen yogurt treats for something a little different.
We treat our pups for every positive behaviour – going potty outside, staying in their bed, listening to their name. Reward lavishly and consistently for the best results!
Vizslas are incredibly loyal pets and require a positive training approach and affection even during the training process.
Patting them on the back, talking to them, and giving them plenty of encouragement is a super important part of training.
Train consistently over many months
The actual task of Hungarian vizsla puppy training will take many months.
You should plan to spend some time every day teaching your puppy basic commands, skills like walking on a leash or harness and even a few fun tricks!
Training sessions don’t need to be long, but embedding some time into each day will help you train your puppy into a responsible, loving adult.
Socialize your vizsla
One trait of the vizsla breed which can be a little challenging is their often timid nature. To combat this it is important to socialize your puppy right from the start.
Socializing your pup is essential for training a Hungarian vizsla puppy well.
So what does socializing your puppy mean? It means getting them used to all the normal occurrences of every day life.
Introduce them to sudden loud noises, water, rain, thunder, vacuum cleaners, cars, garbage trucks, other dogs, cats and different experiences.
Introduce them to different people and children – different ages, people wearing hats, sunglasses, men with beards, children on bikes or scooters.
Spending the time socializing your vizsla puppy will help them adjust more quickly to new experiences.
It will also help them be more relaxed when meeting new people and will help reduce the chance of them developing phobias, fears and behavioural problems.
There are many different training methods on offer and if you are serious about vizsla training, it is worth researching them and selecting a training method before the puppy arrives.
Some of the top training methods for training dogs include the Koehler Method, Motivational Training Method, Model Rival Training Method, and Relationship-Based training method.
The most common form of dog training is the Clicker Training Method which is based on operant conditioning.
Make your dog part of the family
Building a strong and loving relationship with your dog is the most important training tip.
Vizslas are sensitive, sociable and are very loyal to their family, which is why they make fabulous family pets.
It is so important to show dogs love and affection and it is even more important to make them feel like they are part of the family.
We hope you found this introduction to vizsla puppy training tips helpful.
- Vizsla potty training guide
- The best dog food for vizslas
- Best toys for vizsla dogs
- The best harnesses for vizslas
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