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This guide is geared to those puppies that were bred by Legacy Vizslas, but there is excellent information for anyone with a new puppy. This simple guide is offered to help you and your puppy make the change from my home to your home as painless and easy as possible.
Free food and water should be available at all times, until the puppy is 4 to 6 months old. After that, you should be feeding Twice a day, approximately 2 cups in the AM and PM. Fresh water should be made available at all times. Remove food dish after completion of eating. This gives you control over how much and when your puppy eats. It also gets them on a firm schedule for house breaking.
Your puppy has been wormed twice with Nemex II or another wormer, at 5 weeks and just before you pick it up. Most veterinarians will give a series of 3 to 4 puppy shots in 3 weeks intervals. Your puppy has had its first shot. You will need to make an appointment to see your Vet in about 3 weeks for a check up and your next set of shots. Make sure you take a stool sample in for a worm recheck.
Schedule! Schedule! Schedule!
Take your puppy outside immediately after:
Playtime (Every 15-20 Minutes)
After 12 weeks of age, your puppy should be able to control their BM. Wetting is much harder to control, usually until about 6 months of age. If you are having trouble at night, remove their water at 6PM and feed before this time. That way, everything that went in will be out before they go to bed. If you see your puppy squatting, firmly tell them NO! Pick them up immediately and take them outside, so that they can finish their business. Be sure to Praise, Praise and Praise! Tell them how good they were in a happy voice and love them up. If you find a wet spot, DO NOT PUNISH! They will not know why you're angry with them, since they will not remember doing it. They are so small at this age, it's easier just to pick them up and take them outside. They will go right in front of the door every time, believe me!! Also, make sure you use the same door over and over. After the first couple of weeks, you will learn to read your puppy and know when it has to go out.
Puppies should be socialized at all times!! They should go everywhere with you, within reason, so that they can get used to all types of sounds, smells and activities. You should be aware that up until your puppy has had all its shots, avoid going to places where there are a lot of dogs. Your puppy can pick up viruses from these dogs if their shots are not up to date. Just use common sense when taking your puppy out. Long walks around the neighborhood are great, but do not let large older dogs scare your puppy!!! Vizslas are very friendly with other dogs and people, but not all dogs are friendly with Vizslas. Family reunions, picnics and trips to the park are great ways to socialize your puppy.
I highly recommend some kind of puppy obedience kindergarten classes for your Vizsla. You can learn basic commands for a well behaved dog. It's also a great place to socialize, since other dogs will have to have their shots up to date to attend the classes. Riding in the car should be done on a regular basis to avoid car sickness. There is a wide variety of toys and chews out there for your puppy to enjoy. Be aware, you must rotate the toys so that they will not get bored with them. Puppies cut teeth up until 12 months! They like to chew, chew and chew!!! Give them something to chew on besides you. Rawhide toys are only as good as the place you get them from, avoid cheap grocery store imitations. Stuffed toys are a great play thing, not only can they play with them, they also like to sleep with them. I will provide you with a company that I buy from on a regular basis.
All Puppies go through what is called a fear stage, which can occur 2 or 3 times before 12 months of age. What happens is that the puppy becomes scared of everything! Do not make a big production of this. You will know when this occurs. Example: Once the puppy was not scared of the doorbell. Now, all of a sudden, the doorbell rings sending the puppy running and yelping for cover. Calmly go to the puppy and reassure it that all is well. If it runs away from something or tries to bite at something/someone that it never did before, pick up the puppy and walk right up to what it was afraid of and calmly reassure it that all is well. Continue this over and over if you have to.
If you go on vacation this summer, please do not put your puppy in a kennel. Lord only knows what it will pick up, not to mention they could be scared of everything when you return to get them. They may never be the same again. Kennels are too difficult for puppies to handle. If a family member cannot watch the puppy for you, please bring it back to grandma to watch....I do it all the time!
Trust me, dogs are den animals and they do like to get away from all people, noise and other animals to sleep. The security that a crate gives a puppy is very important. Your puppy has been sleeping in a crate since it was 5 weeks old. I also use the crate for housebreaking purposes. A dog does not like to go to the potty where it eats and sleeps. If a crate is used properly, it is not inhumane. When you go to bed, leave the house to run to the store or go to work your puppy should be put into its crate. A puppy tastes and chews everything it can in its mouth. This includes furniture, carpet, vinyl floors, door frames, woodwork and electrical cords. Beware!! Use the crate for the security and safety of the puppy. Remember, it's better to have an unhappy puppy then destroyed furniture, or worst yet, a dead puppy from eating or chewing a live electrical cord while you dashed to the store for a few minutes.
All of my dogs travel in crates while in the car. This can protect your dog from flying in the air in the event of an accident or if you have to slam on your brakes. Just remember, when you put your puppy in its crate and it screams and yells to get out, DON'T let it! Once the puppy is quiet, then you can let it out. A puppy will remember that if it screams and yells long enough and you rescue it, the next time it will do the same thing. It becomes increasing difficult to use the crate for quiet time or a time out. When your puppy carries on, bang on the crate and firmly say "No"! Then, go away until the puppy quiets down. After this, let the puppy out. Eventually, the puppy learns that if it's quiet, it can get out. Because of the puppy's size, you may need to pick it up and get it outside to avoid accidents.
Enjoy your puppy!