Training a Vizsla

Our pup Odin is a Vizsla. A Hungarian bird dog who’s been bred to point game birds for hunters then retrieve the bird back. I bet you’re asking yourself why on earth do we have a hunting dog in the city? Obviously not all Vizsla’s become hunters, some are just companions. (don’t let the hard core Vizsla owners hear this, I am a black sheep in the Vizsla crowd for not hunting my dog.) However because Odin was bred to work all day running in the field, he’s a bit more…well…energized than some most other breeds. If he doesn’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation he can be a handful. Don’t get me wrong, we knew what we were getting ourselves into long before we got him. We picked the breed for their athletic ability. El Granto and I spend our weekends walking the city, and wanted a dog to accompany us. He’s done even more than that. He gets us out walking rain or shine, hot or cold. We go hiking, jogging, swimming and walking. He has increased our active lifestyle to where we walk at minimum 5km each weekday and 10-15km each day of the weekend. We have also met a ton more people. Odin is the ultimate ice breaker, and we are constantly having people stop us to ask about our red bundle of trouble.

Has it been harder that I expected?! Abso-freakin-loutley. It’s a non stop job keeping up with him and keeping an eye on him. From crate training to loose leash walking, he has been stubborn and trying, but sometimes your hard work pays off. Last night we let Odin sleep out of his crate for the first time on a dog bed in our room. It entailed 15 minutes of us kicking him out of our bed repeatedly, then BAM, he got it and went and curled up on his bed and sleept the night through. A small milestone to some, but for us that was 9 months of work in the making. No bedding was eaten, no doors scratched and no barking screaming puppy. Hopefully one day soon we’ll be able to leave him alone in the house uncrated during the day, but for now I will take this small victory.

What was the hardest thing to teach your pet?

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