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.

In this ninth week of life, our Zooka comes home from our breeder in North Carolina and settles into our eating, exercise, training and sleeping routines.

Notes from week 9:

  • We picked Zooka up at nine weeks old
  • First half of week was drive home from North Carolina back to Colorado
  • During drive back home, Zooka vomited at our hotel one night
    • noticed worms in his vomit
    • never saw worms in his stools
    • added our natural de-worming protocol once we returned home
    • after a day or two we did not see any further worms
  • We started our daily puppy log
    • using google docs so we can both access from our computers
    • update with daily activity
      • meals
      • training
      • pottying schedule
      • field trips
      • any other daily events
  • Took first few days to settle in at home without any field trips or visitors
  • Limited access in the house
    • crate and ex-pen set up in dining room/kitchen area
    • very limited access to rest of house
      • only after pottying outside
      • very closely supervised
      • most of house is off limits for now
  • Closely supervised when in back yard for now
  • Training/working for meals started on our return trip
    • sit
    • eye contact
  • Additional training session (aside from meal times)
    • crate training
      • “kennel up” will be our cue to go into crate
      • going in willingly (reward going in, no luring)
      • remaining in crate even when we walk away
      • sometimes closing door for brief periods
      • mostly keeping door open so far
    • Heel work / walking at my side
    • Name
  • Housetraining
    • out to potty after meals, naps and play time
    • go out with him to make sure he potties
    • potty first, then explore/play
    • first week we had ONE accident (because someone did not get him out as soon as he should have, but we won't name any names)
  • Walks started after a few days home
    • on leash mostly to get used to leash and start great leash manners
    • we use a harness rather than a collar so when he does hit the end of the leash he does not get a jolt to his neck
    • working in a few recalls
    • working on name response
    • meet the chickens
    • starting slow intro to our parkour objects (climbing over logs, etc.)
  • Crate training/separation training
    • for first two weeks we schedule our routine so someone is always with him
    • build comfort being on his own and being able to slowly start moving away
    • building value for crate so when we do need to leave he will be comfortable
  • Sleeping
    • sleeps in ex-pen with puppy bed (bed with no stuffing to chew!) at foot of our bed
    • could use a crate as well, we decided to use ex-pen for ease of getting out quickly for now
    • usually wakes up 4 to 5 am to go potty
    • usually goes back to sleep in main floor crate after going out
    • to bed around 9 pm
  • Meals
    • breeder had already established raw diet
    • transitioned to our own raw diet during drive home
    • layering in our additional foods/supplements once home
    • currently feed 10% of his body weight per day
    • spread over three meals per day
  • Weighed in at 11.6 pounds this week

New products referenced this week:


This video is the very first meal Zooka received after being picked up from the breeder.  The breeder started intro to the clicker already and taught Sit is how you ask for what you want. We are starting him on training in his first meal by hand feeding and working on Sit and Eye Contact.

This video shows us working on Eye Contact and Sit. Nothing is cued yet, we only reward offered behaviors.

This video demonstrates introduction to some of the dog parkour obstacles on our farm. Everything is his choice at this point, we do not force anything. We want it to be encouraging and fun for Zooka.

These are short fun videos in slow motion.