If you’re an active family that wants a dog with more than enough energy to keep up, then the Vizsla is the breed for you. These jovial pups have more fuel in their systems than most can handle, and will be happy to tag along for all of your adventures. Bred as hunting dogs that would also make great family pets, they love to work and will need activity with their humans in order to be happy, but as long as they are given the proper attention and exercise, you will have yourself a wonderful dog.
The Vizsla temperament and personality is perhaps his most endearing trait. These dogs are not just best suited to families who want an adventure buddy — they really are ONLY meant for action. Vizslas are not apartment dogs and can be destructive if left to their own devices.
To help you understand what you might be getting into if you bring home an adorable Vizsla puppy, this article is going to dive into the Vizsla characteristics that will either make them the perfect pet for you or better suited for someone who has more time and attention to give to their dog.
The Vizsla Temperament
Vizslas are known to be happy-go-lucky dogs who are eager to please their owners. It’s important to note right away that while a dog’s temperament will vary from animal to animal, it is less predictable than physical inheritance.
You can also mold your dog’s temperament through consistent training. One of the more endearing Vizsla characteristics is how easy going they are.
Vizslas usually get along well with anyone and anything, including strangers and other animals. However, this is only if they are properly socialized with new people, animals, and experiences early in their lives.
Otherwise, they may become excitable and be easily startled in new situations. This can come along with hyperactivity and destructive behavior. A Vizsla that was not socialized will have a tough time adapting to a new environment and may struggle to get along with other animals.
If you have a Vizsla and then decide to have children, your dog may see the child as a rival if he starts to lose the attention he has become accustomed to. This can create a rivalry in your home that you don’t want to have to deal with, so make sure to never neglect a Vizsla as your family grows.
Perhaps worse than a Vizsla that has not been properly socialized is one that is bored. If your Vizsla is not given vigorous daily exercise and a hefty dose of TLC from you and your family, you can expect to find a lot of things chewed up, as this breed is notorious for venting its energy in this fashion.
A Vizsla may not be right for you if you don’t want an excitable dog who jumps, barks, and requires vigorous exercise and a high level of attention to be happy. However, if you can handle their tenaciousness, energy demands, and gentle and sensitive nature, then you will have a lifetime of fun.
This breed is not known to be aggressive, although as with any breed, it differ on a dog to dog basis. Vizslas generally are not alphas and will not try to dominate other dogs or people, but their smarts give them a tendency to test the boundaries of what they can get away with. They love mischief and will absolutely find trouble to get into if they aren’t given enough attention and exercise.
Typically, the only time a Vizsla may get aggressive is if he senses a threat to their family. They are so attached to their humans that they can sometimes become overprotective. This can sometimes make them bigtime barkers, but this behavior can be tempered with training.
If Vizslas do exhibit barking or howling it will often be because of separation anxiety, which is common in this breed. Because they are velcro dogs, they have an intense need to be around people at all times. When they aren’t, they can become anxious and/or depressed. Usually, these feelings will be displayed via the howling and barking or even through chewing and destructive tendencies.
Vizslas will do best in a home where someone is always around, but if this isn’t an option for you, you can still help to manage your pups canine separation anxiety by giving your Vizsla a good run before leaving him for any long period of time. This can help keep your pups anxiousness at bay, and he should be able to spend the day peacefully. But if your dog is left alone with all of his energy intact — look out, you might come home to a wrecked home or angry neighbors due to all the noise.
While their barking and howling can be limited, you’ll never be able to eliminate it completely. Vizslas are very verbal dogs that will talk to you throughout the day through barks, howls, grunts, moans, and whines. The Vizsla definitely is not the breed for you if you are looking for silence.
The Vizsla Personality
Energetic and athletic, the Vizsla can become bored and destructive if left to his own devices. But when he has the training, exercise, and companionship he needs, this eager-to-please dog is hard to beat.
For the most part, Vizslas are thought of as gentle, happy, lively, affectionate, friendly, intelligent dogs that make great family pets. They love to be around people at all times, and as we mentioned above, can develop some separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
Some Vizslas can be a bit shy, but for the most part, they are very sociable and good with strangers, children, and other animals.
When they are given the proper training, early socialization, and enough daily exercise, the Vizsla is among the very best dog breeds you can find.
The Vizsla level of attachment can be a bit much for some, and this breed will take some patience during training because they are a bit slow to develop mentally. But if you stick with it, chances are you will end up with a fun-loving dog that always wants to be at your side. In fact, that desire is the first Vizsla characteristic we’re going to dig into.
Vizslas have been lovingly given the nickname “velcro dogs” because of how attached they become to their humans. They will follow you everywhere you go (yes, including the bathroom) and will desperately crave to be involved in everything you and your family does.
This is an inherited breed trait that goes back to their days as a hunting dog. When they were working in the field, they were trained to never stray far from the hunter. This created a strong bond between dog and human that has stuck with the breed throughout generations.
Though extremely athletic and muscular to their core, these lean, rangy dogs are actually very gentle, sweet dogs, that even make great playmates for children or other smaller breeds of dog. As long as they are introduced to other animals early, they will love to socialize and play without getting rough. They actually seem to have the instinct to play nicely with smaller dogs and children.
Proper training will of course help them learn how to act around other people and animals, but for the most part, they will be able to learn when it is time to play and when it is time to relax. Well known for their good manners, a well-trained Vizsla will be a joy to all of those who come around.
A Loving Breed
Along with their velcro attachment comes a heavy dose of affection. Vizslas are well known for forming strong bonds with their owners, and will follow you to the ends of the earth without question.
Although they will grow up to be around 60 pounds when fully developed, Vizslas will have no problem hopping up on the couch and getting in your lap. Good luck trying to tell them they aren’t lap dogs!
Loving companions, Vizslas are among the most affectionate breeds of dog that exists, and will demonstrate the very definition of unconditional love to their owners.
Since they are gentle, they will relish the opportunity to show love to anyone they pass on the street, and seem to care more about the people than other dogs. But no matter what, they will remain devoted to their owners.
The Vizsla Intelligence
Vizslas have a high level of intelligence, although it takes a while for their brains to fully develop. But once they do, these are incredibly clever dogs, that can solve some fairly complex problems. If left to their own devices, you might even categorize this breed as “too clever for their own good,” because they do love to get into a little trouble.
However, their intelligence and desire to please and work means they will tackle any challenge you throw at them head-on. You can enter your pup in agility training competitions, see how far he will chase a frisbee, or give him tasks to do around the yard.
And don’t feel guilty about ever putting this breed to work, they want it! It’s in their nature to have a job, so they will relish the opportunity. They will establish their role in the family early on and will know where they stand in the pecking order.
As mentioned in the beginning, Vizslas are the perfect dogs for any family that lives an active lifestyle.
It will take more than just a daily walk to keep your Vizsla happy, but he will love to go on hikes, runs, and with some training can even run alongside you while you ride your bike.
You should generally budget about one hour of exercise for your Vizsla every single day. This can involve the activities listed above, but you should also make sure you give your dog the opportunity to run off his leash to really stretch his legs.
And yes, you will have to be involved in whatever the exercise is, so make sure you have the energy yourself!
You can also give your pup little jobs to do within his activities, because this breed loves to work. Give him a backpack to wear when you go for a hike, or bring a ball or frisbee along for him to fetch when you are out and about. You may also consider giving agility training a go, as Vizslas are superb athletes and known to perform quite well in competitions.
Vizslas are thought to be fairly easy to train, but they will take some patience. Known to be slow-developing dogs, training may take a while for some Vizslas to pick up, while others may master commands in a matter of days. Once they develop, however, they are very intelligent dogs that will be eager to learn whatever you want to teach them throughout their lives.
You’ll still have best results if you start training your Vizsla early, otherwise, you might end up with a hard-headed dog that thinks he is in charge. The best strategy to use is calm, assertive leadership and positive reinforcement. Give them proper praise when they do something right, and be firm, but gentle, and never too harsh, when they aren’t performing a behavior as you’d like. This will keep your dog coming back for more and more lessons!