7 Things To Know Before Getting A Vizsla Dog
The Hungarian Vizsla hunting dogs are one of the most underestimated dog breeds for family pets. They ranked #34 in the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 2019 which is above average.
The Vizsla is not just an above-average dog breed – they are an exceptional family pet.
What are the key characteristics that make Vizsla special?
The physical appearance of Hungarian Vizslas is nice and cute but it also looks a bit ordinary – like just another hound or hunting breed. This is very deceptive, however.
While most hunting breeds are extra social, playful, and intelligent, the Vizsla goes far and beyond compared to most.
The Hungarian Vizslas have an impressively soft coat, they are incredibly gentle and loving animals, and they love to play with kids and adults for hours every day.
If they are so great why aren’t the Vizslas more popular?
Branding, mostly. The popular dog breeds tend to be at the top of the rankings because of certain unique physical characteristics, a funny name, or a famous kids’ movie. The Vizsla breed doesn’t have any of this. To make matters worse, they come from a foreign country and have a difficult to pronounce name (that means “tracker” by the way).
The Vizsla breed definitely deserves more attention, however. If you’re thinking of buying or adopting a Vizsla puppy, here are the main things you’d want to know first.
The 7 things you should know before getting a Vizsla
1. The Hungarian Vizsla is a highly energetic hunting breed that needs lots of exercise
Like most hunting and tracking dog breeds, the Hungarian Vizsla is an outdoorsy animal. This breed loves to run, play, and explore and needs to do so every day.
If you’re thinking of leaving your Vizsla locked at home for extended periods of time, you’re going to raise one very unhappy dog. Instead, this breed requires several hours of outdoor playtime every day.
Having a big yard can help with that and is indeed very recommended but even that’s not enough – the Vizslas need a dog park.
In fact, it’s a good idea to often bring your Vizsla to new parks or to take him/her to mountain trails with you. This will not only give your dog plenty of exercise and outdoor playtime, but it will also offer your pup new and exciting areas to explore.
Does this mean that you can’t afford to go to work for 8-10 hours per day if you have a Vizsla?
Not necessarily. You can go out during the day but you’ll have to give your Vizsla plenty of playtime before and after that. This means two prolonged walks a day, both filled with lots of running and playing.
What if you don’t have that kind of time?
Ideally, you’ll have family members that are willing to put in the time for you. While the vizsla is a great pet for loners it’s an even better breed for large families. Alternatively, you can hire a dog walker to walk your Vizsla during the day while you’re at work.
And if you absolutely can’t do any of that and just want to chill at home?
There’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t get a Vizsla dog.
2. Vizslas are surprisingly loving, gentle, and affectionate
When you hear about a Hungarian hunting dog breed called “Tracker” you probably don’t imagine a soft and lovable cuddle-machine. Yet, that’s exactly what the Vizsla is!
When they’re not running in the park or playing fetch, these dogs will constantly be at your feet, looking up lovingly, and begging to be pet.
Why are the Vizslas so lovable and cuddly?
Well, to be honest, most hunting dogs are very social and that makes them gentle and lovable toward their owners almost by definition. The Vizsla is an impressively gentle breed even for that type of dog, however!
3. This breed is exceptionally smart and can be taught an untold number of tricks and skills
Vizslas rank #25 on the “Dog breed intelligence” ranking which is quite respectable. Many Vizsla owners would argue that Vizslas need to rank higher, however, as the breed is indeed impressively smart.
What further makes Vizslas a very entertaining breed to train and play with is that they are very impressionable and love to listen and learn. A lot of highly intelligent dog breeds are stubborn and often refuse to learn or follow orders but the Vizslas are not one of them.
If you want a pet that would love to learn and practice new tricks in the yard or the dog park – the Vizsla is an excellent breed to pick.
4. Vizslas get easily bored due to their playfulness and high-intelligence
The downside for these dogs’ high intelligence is clear too, however – they get easily bored. If you don’t give your Vizsla enough attention, if you don’t stimulate his or her mental faculties, and especially if you live the dog at home for too long, you’re going to have problems. Namely, you’ll risk your Vizsla getting bored, depressed, and even destructive toward your furniture.
The easiest way to mitigate that is to play with your Vizsla so much that it never gets bored. That’s why it’s important that you want a playful and intelligent dog – otherwise, all that daily playtime will feel like a chore and that’s not fun.
Is there anything else that might help?
Absolutely – consider getting your dog some mentally-stimulating dog toys and puzzles.
5. This breed needs a fair amount of socialization or they can get antisocial and frightful
Another very important note about the Vizslas is that they need to be properly socialized when they are young. This means introducing them to new people and dogs almost daily and helping them have positive interactions with them.
This is important because your Vizsla dog will otherwise become antisocial. And unlike other dog breeds that become aggressive when they are raised to be antisocial, the Vizsla becomes fearful and shy.
And that’s no fun neither for the dog nor you. So, especially if you’re thinking of getting a second dog later down the line or if you just don’t want your pet to literally live in fear – make sure that you start socializing your dog as early as possible.
6. Vizslas are very child-friendly and safe dogs to have at home
One of the biggest upsides of the Vizslas’ gentle and friendly personality is that they are an excellent dog breed for young families.
You want a safe, caring, cuddly, and loving dog for your newborn child to grow up?
The Vizsla is definitely an excellent choice!
With such a dog you can be certain that neither the dog will ever hurt your child nor your kid will accidentally manage to hurt your dog – it’s a Win-Win!
Of course, some training is required, as with any other dog. But as we expressed above – training a Vizsla is very easy! Just follow the standard training tips for introducing a dog to a toddler and everything should be perfectly fine!
7. The Vizsla’s coat is so soft and enjoyable to pet that they are often called “Velcros” instead of “Vizslas”
We mentioned how cuddly and loving Vizslas are but what makes this an especially great pus is that their coat is as soft as a cloud!
In fact, Vizslas, often just called Vs by their owners, are also nick-named as “Velcros” – that’s how soft their coat is!
Add to all that the fact that they love to be touched and petted, as well as that their coat required a very minor amount of grooming, and the Vizslas are an excellent breed if you want a dog that’s made for pets!
Who are Vizslas “right” for?
Now, for the big question – you may be sold on the breed, but is it actually the right choice for you? Too often dog owners pick the breed they want to have but that’s just not right for their lifestyle. And the Vizslas are right for people with a very particular lifestyle.
So, you should get a Vizsla dog if:
- You are an active, outdoorsy type of person. If you love going to the park, jogging around the neighborhood, playing outside with your dog, and going on treks in nearby wildlife parks and mountain trails – a Vizsla dog can be the perfect companion for you!
- You have a large family and there’s always going to be someone at home to take your Vizsla out and play with him/her.
- You’re not worried about trusting your dog to a pet walker when you can’t afford to give your dog the necessary amount of time in the park.
- You have – or you’re thinking of having – young kids that can benefit from growing up with a dog.
How to prepare for getting a Vizsla?
Fortunately, as a relatively healthy breed that’s easy to train and interact with, Vizslas don’t need too much “preparation.”
If you have – or want to develop – the right outdoorsy habits, you’re almost ready for a Vizsla already. The next steps are to just learn how to train your dog to do stuff and get the right equipment such as a leash, dog toys, dog bowls, dog bed, etc.