How to Potty Train a Vizsla

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Vizslas need praise to reinforce good behavior.
Vizslas need praise to reinforce good behavior. (Image: cute puppy young dog pet vizsla image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com)

Vizslas are an intelligent, easily trainable breed, and they develop habits quickly. Potty training is easiest when your vizsla is a puppy, ideally between 8 and 12 weeks old. As an owner, the single most important thing you can do is to be patient with your dog's mistakes and reward it for good behavior. Like a baby or toddler, young vizslas are still learning how to control their bodies. Housetraining can take several months to reinforce, but you can prevent most accidents by being attentive to your dog.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog crate or enclosed space
  • Leash
  • Bell

Create a feeding schedule for your dog by feeding it at the same times every day. Never just leave food out in a bowl. This will prevent the dog from needing to eliminate while you're at work or asleep.

Observe your dog at all hours. When you must leave your vizsla alone, confine it to an enclosed space. The easiest and most popular method is crate training, where you put the vizsla in a dog crate when it is alone.

Walk your puppy frequently in order to teach it proper housetraining. Take your vizsla out after awakening, 15 to 30 minutes after eating and drinking, immediately following a play session, before bed and whenever the dog whines, stands by the door or looks restless.

Wait several minutes for the dog to eliminate, but if it doesn't, return home and try again in 20 minutes. Only reward the puppy with praise or a walk when it finally does eliminate so that you reinforce good behavior.

Establish a routine for your pup to signal when it wants to go outside. Before walking your dog, move toward the door and press its nose to a bell on the door. Eventually, your dog should learn to stand by the door and ring the bell when it wants to go outside. When the vizsla begins to do this on its own, take it for a walk and praise it lavishly.

Praise the dog after every correct action and take it for a walk after it eliminates as a reward. Never punish your puppy if it has an accident in the house. Instead, gently tell it "No" and take it outside to show the dog what you want. If you catch it in the middle of the act, move the vizsla outside as quickly as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • The crate training method creates a comfortable space for the dog to rest. It should not ever be a punishment. Crate training will reduce the number of accidents because a dog is unlikely to soil the place it sleeps.
  • Be ready to take your vizsla outside at any moment's notice. Have a leash, collar, clean-up bags and your shoes ready so you can take it outside to prevent accidents.
  • Eliminate any lingering smells from an accident in the house so your puppy is not tempted to go in the same spot again.

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