Are you looking for a breed that makes an excellent hunter and is loyal, smart, and gentle? Look no further then the Vizsla!
This beautiful breed originated in Hungary and was written about in 14th century manuscripts. Almost extinct after World War II, many dog fanciers came to the Vizsla's rescue, revitalizing the breed. The Vizsla is a hunting dog first and a companion second.
High, High, High, did I say High - Energy
If you are not a runner, or can't imagine a daily three mile walk, please do not even consider the Vizsla. This breed has intense high energy, and without the proper exercise, they are known to be very destructive, as well as becoming neurotic.
A backpack will be great for this working breed. The backpack is a great tool that helps drain energy and gives a working breed a job.
Doggy daycare, dog park, or dog beach, the Vizsla will be ready to go at a moments notice! This breed should be reconsidered for someone that works long hours. A Vizsla left alone for many hours will develop behavioral issues.
Thrives on Hunting
Vizsla means "pointer" in Hungarian. This breed was bred to hunt and retrieve waterfowl and rabbit. This genetic trait has not changed in the Vizsla. So if a companion dog is desired first, and hunting is not on your agenda, proper daily exercise will be a must.
They have a natural ability with their hunting skills, making them a quick learner. The Vizsla, much like the Weimaraner, needs gentle training techniques, as they are a very sensitive breed. Harsh and physical forced training sessions can hinder the Vizsla's wonderful personality.
Like the Weimaraner, they too, are often considered a "velcro dog." They can suffer from separation anxiety very easily, so early training, confidence building, and teaching a young puppy to be independent away from, you is imperative.
Kid and Dog Friendly
The Vizsla has the mom stamp of approval! This rambunctious and playful breed may be too high-energy for small children, but with older, active kids, the Vizsla will be the perfect romping buddy. Vizslas enjoy being around other dogs, so consider scheduling regular playdates!
Vizslas are very gentle, affectionate, loyal, loving, friendly, and protective of their family.
If your home has small critters like rabbits, hamsters, or guinea pigs, the Vizsla may not be the right fit, because of their strong hunting instinct. The household feline will do fine if a young Vizsla is introduced and taught to respect the cat.
Wire-haired or Smooth
The Vizsla comes in two different coats: wire and smooth. Rust, copper, and brownish-red are just a few descriptors of their coat coloring. Nail trimmings should be done every 6-10 weeks and bathing when needed. The Vizsla does not carry the typical "doggy odor." Sadly their tails are docked, except for in European countries where the practice is illegal.
Health concerns for the Vizsla are limited due to their strong genetic lineage, however, irresponsible breeding can cause hip dysplasia. Other concerns, although not common, include Canine Epilepsy, Cancer, and Sebaceous Adenitis (skin disease). Their average lifespan is 9-10 years.
Please consider looking for a Vizsla through rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe