This post is part of our weekly series on raising our Vizsla puppy, Zooka.  You can use our posts as a guide to help raise your own puppy, regardless of breed. Keep in mind that different breeds might develop at different rates, so while you can do these things with any breed, your breed might need certain things at slightly different stages or ages.  Click here to see our list of all updates.

Notes from week 16:

  • Surgery recovery
    • see notes from week 15 or our special blog post about his ER visit and surgery for details
    • very limited activity this week due to the “no running, jumping or playing” edict from the surgeon
    • wears a cone at night when we sleep and cannot supervise
    • wears a Thundershirt or tshirt to help protect his staples
    • so far he has done great with not trying to mess with his staples but we want to be very careful
      • not only to prevent staples from coming out and hindering recovery
      • but also to prevent him from swallowing any staples!
  • Continue housetraining
    • prior to surgery, we had door open so he could go out as needed
    • now door is closed or gate off deck is closed, so we take him out
    • only in yard ON LEASH for now, so housetraining is more work for us!
    • we need to watch more closely for signals to go out
  • Continue training for meals
    • post-surgery week, we are feeding several smaller meals
      • to help keep things easy on his digestive tract
      • to make sure we can give any medication with food as needed
      • also gives us a chance to work with him more often to help burn energy
  • Creative ways to burn energy when you can't run, jump or play!
    • Additional training in between meals, using treats
      • continue with everything we had been doing up to now
      • doing more Shaping/Capturing with and without objects
      • added in Touch
        • NOT named (put on verbal cue) yet
        • for us this is him touching his nose to my fist (the fist will be his cue to touch with his nose)
      • added in Touch to other objects once started with the hand
        • these objects are held at nose level
        • click when nose touches but not foot (which he generally prefers to use)
    • Additional puzzle toys used to help mentally stimulate him
    • Frozen stuffed Kong toys to work on
    • Antlers to chew on
      • for now, no bully sticks or other consumable chews to help his digestive tract recover
    • Place various scents in various toys or other places
      • scattered around inside or on the deck
      • vanilla, lavendar, and other scents that will hopefully engage his nose
    • Hiding treats for him to find (in addition to puzzle toys)
    • Exploring outside is only on leash and limited for now
    • Walks are added back in later in the week
      • shorter than they had been
      • back on a shorter leash to prevent running
  • Muzzle training,continued
    • Basket muzzle, we use the Baskerville Ultra
    • In our case, this is in case we need to take him out with a muzzle on to prevent eating more ROCKS
      • the current muzzle we are training him on will reduce likelihood of eating rocks, but not entirely prevent
      • need either a muzzle with an extra guard to prevent eating or will need to adapt the one we have
    • Will also be able to use at the vet for handling
      • to prevent bites in the future if he has trouble cooperating with blood draws, taking temp, etc.
    • This week, the training consists of rewarding when he sticks his nose in the muzzle – feeding IN the muzzle
      • can be fed treats through the openings
      • can use spray cheese or Kong spray cans to deliver
      • can use peanut butter on a small spoon

Photos