Our crazy, energetic, hard headed, excitable, cuddly vizsla puppy is one year old today! She’s brought chaos into our lives but the kids are head over heels smitten with her and I’m starting to have a pretty big soft spot for her as well. As for David, he’s still warming up to the idea of having a puppy, but I’ve caught him snuggling her here and there, so… progress!
All joking aside, getting a puppy 5 years after losing Koda was bit of a shock to the system. I had definitely forgotten how much work puppies are and how much time they demand. Finley specifically was about as cute as they come, but she also was very bitey when being playful and stubborn.
However, she’s also sharp as a tack so we knew we needed to pour some effort into training ASAP for all our benefit. With the help of a local trainer and the Mini Educator, we finally were able to communicate clearly with her and she learned quickly. We got her to stop counter surfing and we also had to correct some behaviors we allowed early on, like being on the couch, which we shouldn’t so until pack order is firmly established and respected.
Now at one year old, and about 10 months into having her as ours, she is well on her way to being a really incredible dog. She’s reliable off leash and listens well to us. She can come, stay, lay down, shake (kids taught her that one), and stay in her “place.” She’s crate trained, potty trained, and knows the routine of our days, down the the minute she should expect a sniffari or a meal. Like all vizslas, she always looks so solemn in photos, which is at complete odds with her crazy personality; I’m going to make it my mission to take better photos to capture it!
She’s a great snuggler, complete with the vizsla trademark of not understanding personal space and curling up right on top of you. I really miss snuggling her on the couch and hope in the next month or two we will have pack order firmly established and she will be able to snuggle on the couch only when invited. I guess we run a pretty tight ship over here for puppy training, but feel hopeful it will pay off with a well trained, happy dog.
A few specifics for fun!
- She eats a raw food diet which we order through Corrina’s Corner. She likes the beef best but we usually do the Corrina’s formula chicken blend. She eats eggs, sardines, raw goat milk, scraps of fruits and veggies, pumpkin and flax seeds. It’s been the craziest learning curve to feed a dog this way but it seems to be working well for her!
- If I had to pick her favorite food I’d say it’s probably cottage cheese.
- She gets up with me around 6:00 AM and curls up at my feet until 7:15 when she knows it’s time for a Sniffari (a slow, off leash walk where she’s free to sniff and wander).
- The kids fight over who gets to cuddle with her but have both been good about helping with the responsibilities that come with having a dog, like walking her and picking up poop.
- We don’t trim her nails because she freaks out and I know we should but I don’t know how to fix it at this point.
- Her favorite toys are soft, squeaky ones she can rip to shreds within 10 minutes.
- She loves braided bully sticks.
- She digs! I know it’s a dog trait, but Koda never did this. She’ll dig a hole, hide a bone, and come back a week later to dig it up and enjoy it. This tickles me for some reason.
- Watching her point and stalk birds and squirrels is the coolest.
- Watching her go crazy with the zoomies is a close second. Zoomies are pure joy!
Today we are celebrating her with a homemade birthday treat that the kids want to bake and by taking her on a hike! I’ve also told the girls we can take her to a pet store afterwards and let her pick out a new toy. We are so excited; she’s going to have a great day. I’ll have to come back to this post and add those pictures as a keepsake 🙂 We love you, Finster, and the energy you bring to our family!