The content below is the week summary of the update from our Vizsla breeder on the things she does with the puppies and where they are at in their development. The activities below are an example of what a reputable breeders does to help puppies prepare to live their best lives. This post is part of our How To Raise & Train A Vizsla section. Click here to see more weekly updates.

In this fifth week of the puppies' lives, puppies are getting started on potty training. crate training, recall and eating a raw diet.

Notes from week 5:

  • Puppies are in the puppy room
    • an enclosed room (formerly a porch)
    • with a tile floor off of our kitchen
    • door that opens directly outdoors into a small fenced puppy yard
      • first few days they are enclosed by an ex-pen in an area the size of their whelping box
        • to help acclimate
        • learn where their potty tray is
        • expanded it a little more each day
  • Bring the puppies into the kitchen in pairs
    • to acclimate to household activities
    • to acclimate to being away from the rest of the litter
  • Previously had to carry the puppies to the enclosed kennel/play area or on the kitchen porch
    • now they are more agile and bold explorers
  • Starting the next important stage of their potty training
    • puppy room has a door which leads directly outside to another fenced area
    • now walk around to the outside and open this door and call them and they coming running outside to potty
    • carefully time this to open the door and call them while they are still napping (versus letting them wake up and have to potty immediately)
    • learning to go directly outside when they wake up
  • Use a little wooden platform to make a half step so they can navigate getting outside
    • going up is mastered quickly
    • going down is another story!
  • More exposure to new things
    • tunnel was a hit
    • slide was a hit
    • variety of waterproof plastic toys and jugs
    • put them out one day when it was sprinkling so they have been introduced to light rain
    • and mud!
    • more crates
      • plastic crate I put in their the puppy room
      • larger wire crate that they all fit inside
      • leave the doors to the crates open and put nice cozy beds inside them
      • removed the blankets them from the rest of the puppy room and they now already all gravitate to the crates when they need a nap
      • such an important lesson – putting themselves in a crate!
  • Worked on them taking food gently by feeding them by hand
    • lays the foundation for powering up the clicker and having them take treats
  • Puppies are great little eaters now
    • graduated from a ground RAW mix
    • to real chunks of beef heart, beef kidney and liver, and even chicken legs and thighs
    • do not yet eat the bones but they definitely enjoy working on eating them for long periods of time
    • now understand the concept of the puppy call – call out “Puppies” to them in a high pitched voice at mealtime
      • foundation to a recall
      • will have a puppy that automatically responds when called as it always means great things (right now it is a conditioned response)