Are you sure you want a Vizsla?

Most people know only one thing about Vizslas – that they are a beautiful breed of dog. Their slick gold rust coat blends with their eyes, nose and nails. They require little grooming other than an occasional bath and regular nail trims. They are very clean in their habits and shed less than many other breeds. This makes them a perfect house dog FOR THE RIGHT PERSON. However, the characteristics of the Vizslas go far beyond physical beauty, and these are the things that make them a breed not suited to every home.

Many think that a Vizsla is just a smaller version of a Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever with less coat. This isn’t the case! For more information on how Vizslas compare to Labs and Goldens, check out this article from the Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club.

Vizslas – The Good and the Bad

Good Points
1. Vizslas have a short, sleek coat that requires minimal grooming.
2. They are very good at alerting you to anybody coming to the door. However, they can be loud and rowdy and must be taught not to jump on guests or “mouth” them. Vizslas can be very vocal.
3. They are generally very good with considerate children, and are naturally protective of them.
4. They are excellent jogging and walking companions. THIS BREED MUST HAVE A LOT OF EXERCISE – after all, they were bred to be hunt all day long!
5. They are very curious and want to be part of whatever you are doing. They should be indoors when you are home, as they very much want to be a part of the family. If not allowed to be part of the family, they can become very destructive and develop numerous neurotic habits.
6. Overall, they are a vigorous and long-lived dogs. Average life span is about 12 years – 14 years.
7. They are very playful and will invent games to play with you. They do not lose their free spirit or love of life as they age.
8. They are very sensitive to your moods and want to be touching you when they lie down.
9. Most are good hunting companions.
10. They love to retrieve and carry things. A WORD OF CAUTION: THIS INCLUDES YOUR SHOES, CLOTHES, AND THE CHILDREN’S TOYS.
11. They love to go with you anytime, anyplace and anywhere.
12. They are intelligent, easy to train, and want to please. However, they are very willful.

 

Bad Points

 

1. Vizslas can be destructive and many are chewers until they reach maturity. Some are chewers their entire lives.
2. Some will eat anything – pantyhose, VCR tuners, sofas, pillows, sheetrock walls, eyeglasses, etc. They are also natural thieves and you must learn to keep things out of their reach. NO MORE FOOD LEFT OUT ON COUNTERS. Many of them are champion diggers.
3. As a result of the above two traits, a crate or other safe place for confinement when not supervised is a MUST with this breed.
4. They are too clever for their own good, and can be very stubborn and manipulative. They will try to get away with everything possible.
5. They must have consistent discipline and positive (motivational) obedience training at an early age. Otherwise, both dog and owner will be miserable.
6. They can be too rowdy for small children and the elderly.
7. See GOOD POINTS 2 and 4
8. They are prone to hip dysplasla and other hereditary conditions.
9. They were selectively bred to hunt anything with fur or feathers, and will harass squirrels, cats, birds, and anything else that can be interpreted as prey. However, many can be taught to live with and respect cats.