We use a high energy high quality food (30% protein & 20% fat content) for our high energy working dogs. We will be happy to discuss this in more detail so please contact us. We are strong advocates of Purina, and recommend, the Purina Pro Plan line of food, specifically Purina Pro Plan Performance. For Puppy Food we feed, Purina Optimal Start Puppy Chow and recommend it for your new puppy. We strongly advise that you make little or no dietary changes during the first two months that you have your puppy. This includes keeping treats to a minimum. Please let us know before you make any changes to you pup’s diet so that we can be sure that you are making the right choice. Be wary of vets who sell their own food and recommend that you switch – they are just trying to make a sale just as the pet store will also attempt to upsell.
Pick one type of quality food the dog likes & stick with it! In general, always feed in the crate. Following are guidelines and tips to assist you:
- feed your puppy food 3 X day until 7 months, starting with a large handful of food
- after 7 months, gradually switch to a quality adult food and feed only 2 X day
- feeding once a day after 1 year of age is fine. Don't hesitate to call us to discuss the fat and protein content or other related requirements your dog. Your dog’s exercise is also a consideration!
- NEVER feed your dog canned food as this does not provide your dog with the protein/fat required for proper development. Dry kibble is also preferred to avoid dental problems in future.
Note: It has been unfortunately proven that 85% of owners create the problem of obesity in their dogs. Obesity is one of the most serious health problems affecting dogs but it is one of the easiest to rectify. Please contact us anytime if you are unsure about your dog’s weight or development.
- Lastly, there is no point feeding in the crate if the door is left open. This accomplishes nothing!
- Keep fresh water available outside the crate at all times.
REMEMBER, A FAT DOG IS NOT A HEALTHY OR HAPPY DOG!
THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS & NIGHTS...
Your new family member may be homesick initially. Do not let this be a source of worry. This is likely the first time your pup has been separated from its littermates and extended family.
It usually takes about a week for your pup to settle in and not cry all night. You may wish to place the crate away from the family sleeping area at night, to get your rest. Your pup is used to having a radio on. Tune to your favorite music... country, pop, classical! Puppy will enjoy it all, too!
Newspapers are great to line the bottom of the crate and are not harmful to pups. This facilitates the cleanup of accidents until puppy is trained to go outside. Towels and blankets work to but are not recommended in the crate when your pup is unattended as these can be harmful if chewed and ingested.
If the pup does not eat well the first day or two, try not to get concerned. Make sure that there is fresh water available morning and night. Always feed in the crate, with little distraction as possible! Remove all uneaten food after approximately 20 minutes. If all food has been eaten at the end of this time, increase amount at next feeding interval. Crate door should be closed with water left outside the crate. If the pup does not eat, take the food away until the next regular feeding and then re-offer it. Adding things to make it taste better can result in a picky eater. You could end up adding things for the rest of your dog’s life. Avoid treats until eating is back to normal. Vizslas are not dumb, when they are hungry enough, they will eat; give them choices and treats, and they will insist on always having these. Before you call to indicate your puppy doesn’t like its food, ask yourself - if the puppy didn’t like the food, how did the breeders get it to live, grow and thrive on the very same food for the last four weeks ?!? Do not underestimate the importance of properly feeding your dog. Never get into the habit of free feeding (leaving a bowl down always full of food). This simply is not good for your dog. You cannot monitor the food consumption so there is no way of telling if your dog is sick and has lost its appetite. Also, feeding in the crate helps reinforce the idea that the crate is a “good” place as well as prevents possible confrontations between your dog and children regarding the food bowl!
Refer to our guidelines below on how to crate train for a happier puppy and family. If you are unclear on this concept, please let us know.
CHILDREN AND PUPPIES...
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to supervise young children with your puppy. Accidents can happen that can permanently damage your pup. A drop can result in brain damage, internal bleeding or hip and bone problems! Although puppies appear rough and hardy, they are in fact very fragile. A broken bone may not heal correctly if it occurs on a growth plate. Remember, puppies should never be thought of as a toy for the children. They are a responsibility of the adults in the family! While young children may well be able to handle a 10 lbs pup, they often do not realize that the pup the very next week is 15 lbs and simply too strong for them. Start your puppy and children respecting one another and you’ll avoid many potential problems. Lastly, just because your children are good to puppies, do not assume that all children are. Vizslas are particularly intelligent dogs. If a neighbourhood child mistreats them, they will remember and become fearful or mistrusting of all children - even yours! Also, be sure to have your children become accustomed to picking up all small toys. Your puppy will chew on these toys and small pieces could choke it!
A puppy is a transition for the whole family!
GROOMING OF YOUR ONPOINT PUPPY...
Your pup is used to being bathed regularly, using a gentle baby or puppy shampoo. DO NOT use a flea shampoo or flea collar on your puppy until after eight months of age, to avoid adverse skin reaction or irritation.
Your pup is used to having its toe nails cut regularly. This should be done about once a week. If you continue this habit, your dog will respond favorably. Vizslas’ nails should be kept short so that you don’t hear them clicking on the floor. Do not become stressed if the nail bleeds after being cut the first few times. The bleeding quick will cease. This will become easier as the dog matures and the quick develops further. Long toenails weaken the foot and puts unnecessary strain on your dog. Do not be intimidated; this is simply something you are going to have to do to properly care for your dog.
VETTING OF YOUR ONPOINT PUPPY...
Your new puppy will have received its first booster. A complete vaccination record/schedule is provided with your puppy that outlines the shots that have been given and when the rest are due. Your puppy has also been checked for worms and given treatment if required. We ask that you keep your puppy away from all other dogs, and parks frequented by other dogs, until it has had its second set of shots. Your pup’s immune system has not fully developed and is vulnerable to airborne bacteria. Also pups can become infected with worms from contact with other dogs or infected areas.
To begin your puppy experience positively, we insist that every puppy we sell be crate trained. In fact, we INSIST that you have a crate before we release the pup into your care. We are completely inflexible about this issue! It doesn't matter if this is your first Vizsla or if you have had them for forty years, everyone must agree and understand the importance of crate training. We strongly recommend a crate such as the Vari Kennel model 400/ Pet Porter /Petmate Intermediate or large size. This is the perfect size and style of crate for your pup. Costs vary so shop around; contact us for retailers. Wire crates are not recommended as they do not provide the security your puppy needs.
Crate training is not a new concept but is one that is rapidly increasing in popularity. A crate trained pup is reflective of a well informed and responsible owner. There is nothing cruel about crate training. Not crate training exposes your puppy to serious injuries from unattended children, household items, poisons and toxic house plants. As responsible breeders, we cannot release a puppy into this type of environment! Provided you are giving your dog sufficient daily exercise, your pup can stay in its crate from the moment you leave for work until you return at night. Your puppy will be happy to see you and vice versa. Your house will still be in the same condition you left it in the morning and you can immediately spend happy quality time with your pup. Your pup needs a crate as a safe zone where it can rest and sleep undisturbed by young children & other household pets. Remember, every fox, wolf, or coyote has a den in which it can retire to feel safe and secure. You must provide the same area for your new pup. Your pup will continue to naturally rest in its crate even as a senior dog. Crate training is the best thing you can do for your dog. It is not punishment and should never be used as such. Even when you are at home, your pup should be placed in its crate when you are unable to give it your undivided attention. Do not leave your pup unattended even for 5 minutes as you are asking for trouble. Puppies can be very destructive as they do not know any better. You cannot correct negative behaviour if you have not witnessed it in progress. By crate training, you are guaranteeing that you will be able to train your pup faster and more effectively.
Your pup should always sleep in the crate at night. Feeding should also always occur in the crate to prevent your pup from being put in the situation were it might snap at a child or another household pet. Furthermore, feeding in the crate allows you to monitor what your pup (and not the other animals in the household) has eaten. This enables you to judge whether or not your pup is ill.
We recommend owners consistently use the crate until the pup is 3 years of age. By that time, the pup has been trained and all destructive tendencies are gone. Don't be tricked into leaving your pup out because he has been just perfect for the last six months. This will get you every time! If you are unsure or uncomfortable about crate training, please call us. Take the time to further learn about crate training, it is worth it!
PLEASE BRING YOUR CRATE THE DAY YOU PICK UP YOUR PUP SO THAT WE MAY HELP YOU SET IT UP AND FURTHER UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF USING IT!
Should you have any additional questions about this important concept, please feel free to contact us anytime.
YOUR ONPOINT SUPPORT SYSTEM:
For first time owners of Onpoint bred dog, we wish to emphasize we are available to answer any of your questions at anytime throughout the course of your dog’s life. If we don’t hear from you, we cannot help you! Let us help keep you and your dog on the right track - please keep us informed. For those of you who are purchasing a second Onpoint bred dog, we thank you. Again, please keep us informed as to the progress and development of your dog. We are always learning new things that may be of assistance to you or others along the way.
We wish everyone the best possible luck with their new family member. We hope that you have a long, happy and enjoyable experience. Again, please feel free to call anytime if you have questions you think we might be able to answer for you or if you would like our advice regarding the Vizsla you have, or may be considering! If we don’t know the answers, we will find someone who does.
REMEMBER TO CONTACT US IN TWO DAYS WITH NEWS OF YOUR PUPPY’S TRANSITION!
This information is based upon questions that are most frequently asked by new puppy owners. All material is original to Onpoint Kennels and is based upon our many years of experience raising purebred Vizslas. Suggestions for changes are always welcome.