Puppy Training & Socialisation
The training of your puppy must have, most importantly, consistency from all members of the family. This starts from the journey home, which can upset and stress your pup, depending on the length of the journey. Your puppy may have experienced a few short journeys, but you will find that nearly all suffer from motion sickness. Some are worse than others and may suffer for a longer period of time.
Familiarity with the vehicle
We start this part of our training by taking the pup into the vehicle to play, explore and be fed. This may only be for five or ten minutes, but should be done two or three times a day. Take something which your puppy enjoys, such as a favourite toy, chew or food. Do not start the car at this point – the puppy needs to learn that this is not a frightening place. He or she needs to understand that only good things come from being in a vehicle. Remember not to let your puppy jump in or out of the car or off the seats. Any shock or upset now could be a major set-back for future journeys, plus the risk of serious injury.
Once you can walk the puppy to the car, with the puppy happily to be placed insude, then you can turn the ignition on. You could turn the radio on low, providing a distraction for the puppy rather than fretting about the vehicle. Continue playing, or let your pup sleep next to you on a blanket in the vehicle while it is still stationary.
Once you have started the vehicle, take note of your pup’s reaction. Normally it will stand up and have a look around. Stroke the pup, talk calmly and encourage play to give it reassurance. If the very first journey home involved lots of cleaning up, your pup may already be fretting. Only move the vehicle a few feet at a time until your puppy is happy. A better time to concentrate on travel training is once your puppy has had all vaccinations and is settled in to the new home and surroundings. Until then, persevere with making the environment inside the vehicle an enjoyable experience. So, post vaccinations, if your pup is happy with the vehicle and doesn’t fret or empty itself, then this part of the training is completed.
Remember that your pup must travel at all times in a secure place, either in a dog box or crate. If your pup still suffers from motion sickness, as it gets older it may start to refuse to get into the vehicle. It should help to only go short distances. Make sure that there is something enjoyable for the pup at the other end of the journey. Perhaps a walk, training, or meeting other dogs. There is no magic cure here – persistence is the only way.
If your dog is still not coping with travel and you need to travel any distance, we would advise that you go to your vet. Please note that this should only be in extreme circumstances – most puppies don’t require such severe action. The key is to provide encouragement by ensuring that the vehicle is a nice place to be and that the end result will be enjoyable.
Basic puppy training:
First of all, you must have a plan and to be clear about what it is you would like your dog to do as an end product. Remember that your dog is a blank canvas – one that gets excited or frightened, feels pain and discomfort, but is full of love and always wanting to please. It is up to you to teach him or her the rules. If you shout constantly or feel that you have to hit a dog, you have already lost the game.
Your puppy is like a baby, but with four legs, lots of sharp teeth and lots of natural instinct to run, chase, hunt and carry. You will get out of your puppy what you put in, and that is all down to time. If you don’t put the time into training, your pup will always be out of control or un-handleable. A pup looks to you and members of your family if it lives in the house, for guidance. Your pup doesn’t know the difference between your best lounge carpet and the lawn – until you teach it.
Puppies and all young dogs test much of their environment with their mouth. It is natural for a young pup to want to chew, as well as for it to go to the toilet when it needs to. They don’t do this to annoy you. It is your job to observe your pup at all times when it is free in the house, as prevention is always easier than cure. A pup doesn’t know that there is a difference between your best table leg and a puppy chew. Puppies get bored very easily, so it is best to have quite a few different toys and chews. Alternate them so that the puppy stays interested in them (soft toys, hard toys and different textures).
Nothing can beat time spent with your pup for bonding and for training. Your puppy will learn nothing from being locked in a crate for hours on end. You must spend as much time as you can with your pup, especially for the first few month. If you wish to have a dog that will not damage or continually foul your home, you can not blame the dog. All it means is that you haven’t been there when it needed you.
We do not intend to write a book here on how to train your dog, so it is very important for you to teach your pup the basics. Teach it to walk on a lead sensibly without pulling your arm out of its socket, which they will grow powerful enough to do. You cannot keep your dog on the lead forever, so you will need to train him or her to come back to you when called. This is done preferably with a dog whistle, which you should never go out without.
As Vizslas grow, their instincts also start to show. Hungarian Vizslas are not only super intelligent, but are one of the best hunting dogs in the world. It is natural for them to want to hunt and run, so allowing them to do so without any control could have dangerous, if not fatal consequences. You do not want your dog to run out of control onto a busy road, for example.
The Vizsla is very intelligent, but also extremely boisterous, seeming immature (puppyish, mischievous) until around three years of age. This can be worse if there has been little or no training or mental stimulus. You will never produce a calm, confident, well-mannered companion by only allowing your dog to run to tire it out.
We strongly recommend that you take your pup to good socialisation classes from an early age. From then, take them to a HPR dog trainer, as they will understand your chosen breed. Even if you don’t plan to work your HPR, they will teach you how to control your dog with a whistle. This will enable your dog to go off the lead, but for you to be always in total control. You will learn how to mentally stimulate your companion, so that it will respond better than you ever thought possible.
We offer individual training or group lessons in North Yorkshire. For more information on this, please contact us directly.