- Wedding: December 1969 - City, State
We lived in an apartment for the first year of our Vizsla’s life as well. We got him at 9 weeks and had his second round of shots at 10 weeks. For the first few months, we directed him to relieve himself on concrete – no grass/dirt. I think using puppy pads indoors would have been way too confusing for him.
As for expending her energy – I would start her training immediately. Our boy was shy/coy for the first night, and after that, it was like a red tornado hit. I did short sessions with him a few times a day, initially just fun things like recall/his name, paw, up, down etc. Vizslas LOVE to learn and work for you, so the sooner you get her on your team, the easier it will be for you! It also helps with bonding!
The idea that these are high energy dogs who need to run hours and hours a day is somewhat off. They do need exercise, but they also need to be engaged and mentally stimulated. They also need rules and boundaries. If you set them early, and are consistent with them, she’ll settle in very quickly. Although it may be hard to believe it when she’s in attack mode, Vizsla’s are considered “soft dogs”, so patience, positive reinforcement, and remaining calm work best when training.
I did take my pup outside before his second round of shots – it’s so important to socialize a Vizsla. You just have to be careful not to overwhelm her. Look up developmental/fear periods in dogs. It was bang on for us and helped us work through a lot of issues that popped up during the first year.
Stuffed frozen kongs and chew toys will also tire her out. If you have a hallway, you can practice recall and fetch games with her. Make sure any surfaces she’s running on are soft, and I wouldn’t allow her to jump on or off any furniture as they can easily hurt themselves at this age.
Do you plan on crate training her? My husband was initially against it, but when he saw how crazy these dogs can be, he realized it was necessary.
Oh, and if you’ve never owned one of these pups before, I guarantee that you will ask yourself “wtf have I done?” several times in the first few months of your time together. Just stick it out, they’re great dogs.
Sorry to ramble on, obviously having a V has changed my life. As Marion Coffman put it in Versatile Vizsla: “A Vizsla is truly a dog to be proud of owning, and he is forgiving in case, in a moment of forgetfulness, you call him a dog—he is a Vizsla.”