The distinguished Vizsla hails from Hungary and is descended from dogs used by the ancient Magyar tribes. It is believed that the Vizsla’s ancestors were used to hunt in tandem with falcons. The dog’s role was to point, flush, and retrieve the prey.
Although Vizslas are still used in hunting today, they are also popular family dogs. Their gentle personalities, intelligence, and affectionate nature are hard to resist. This active breed thrives when given plenty of physical exercise and loving attention.
Do Vizslas need grooming? Yes, Vizslas do need regular grooming; however, because their coat is quite short, does not trap dirt and odors, and does not have an undercoat, they are rather low maintenance. They are a self-cleaning breed, using their tongues to bathe themselves.
Regular grooming is an important part of caring for your Vizsla, but it does not need to be a tedious, lengthy process. Continue reading to see how easy it actually is.
Regular Brushing Is Important
Why Do I Need To Groom My Vizsla?
The Vizsla’s gorgeous, golden rust-colored coat with smooth, short hair will need to be brushed regularly. Brushing helps to remove any loose hair, stimulates circulation to the skin, and distributes the skin’s natural oils evenly. Regular brushing will keep your Vizlsa’s coat healthy and shiny.
Brushing your Vizsla not only keeps the skin and coat in top shape but is also a perfect opportunity to perform a quick check-up. Take a few extra minutes to check him thoroughly for any:
- signs of fleas or ticks.
- dry, scaly patches which could indicate a condition called sebaceous adenitis.
- cuts or scratches that need attention (don’t forget to check the pads of the feet too).
- signs of allergy-related irritation.
- lumps, swellings, or tender areas.
Brushing is also an ideal time to bond with your dog. Talk to him softly, and pause occasionally to give him a few kisses. Try to make the brushing experience as pleasant as possible for both of you and it will soon become a time you both look forward to.
How Do I Groom My Vizsla?
First things first. How often should a Vizsla be brushed? Generally speaking, at least once a week. This is usually enough to keep him looking sharp and your house relatively clean. Daily brushing is okay too if your dog is shedding more than usual or tends to get a little dirtier than most.
When selecting a brush for your Vizsla, look for a soft bristle brush, a rubber brush, or a grooming glove. Any of these will be gentle enough not to cause discomfort, yet suitable for the job at hand.
To get started, begin at the top of the neck and gently brush in the direction of hair growth. Proceed to brush the neck, back, sides, chest, and legs. Always be gentle, especially over the legs. Remember that there is no undercoat to rake through, so not much pressure is needed.
Once all of the dirt and loose hair have been removed, you can finish up by wiping him down with a damp cloth. This will easily remove any loose hairs that the brush may have missed. That’s it! You’re all done in just a few minutes.
Do Vizslas Shed? Yup. Just like other dogs, Vizslas do shed, though not excessively. Shedding is simply the body’s natural way of eliminating older, brittle hairs to make room for new ones. Your Vizsla’s shedding will likely be more noticeable in the spring as his body gets rid of the winter coat and again in the fall as he prepares for winter.
We cover Shedding in-depth and let you know more about this whole “Self Cleaning” business in our guide on Vizsla Shedding.
What about puppies? Vizsla puppies will begin to shed their fine, soft baby coat at around the age of six months. This age can vary slightly, but eventually, that first coat will be replaced by a denser, stiffer adult coat, and a continuous cycle of hair renewal will begin.
Perhaps you noticed that the word hair has popped up a lot. You might wonder if Vizslas do indeed have hair instead of fur. Well, the answer might surprise you.
Believe it or not, there is no biological difference between hair and fur. They both consist of the same substance, keratin, and cycle through the same growth cycle. Shocked?
The only difference between hair and fur is in usage of the words. Most people say that humans have hair and mammals have fur. Not many people would feel complimented if you told them that they had very nice fur, but when referring to your Vizsla, either word is technically correct.
If you don’t feel up to grooming your Vizsla on your own or simply can’t find the time to do so, booking an appointment with a professional dog groomer is a great option (and safer than hiring the kid down the block).
If your dog has never been to the groomer before, there are a few things that you can do to help prepare him and make the experience less intimidating.
- Make sure that he is familiar with the brushing routine.
- Accustom him to being touched all over his body.
- Handle his feet frequently to desensitize them.
- Be sure that he knows basic commands.
When you and your dog arrive at the groomers, you will likely be asked what you would like to have done and if your dog has any specific issues that they should be aware of. Let’s look at the services offered at a typical grooming facility so that you can have your answers ready when you arrive.
Dog groomers will have all the necessary equipment to give a dog a proper brushing, washing, conditioning, and drying. They also offer services such as nail trimming, ear cleaning and plucking, anal gland emptying, flea and tick removal, and tooth brushing. In addition, groomers will also check your dog for any abnormalities such as ear or eye infections.
Issues to inform your groomer of include any allergies, any dry or itchy areas, recent injuries or cuts, and fear of loud noises or of water. Many groomers are capable of sedating dogs if need be, and this might be best for some extremely anxious dogs.
When you pick up your Vizsla, all the work has been done for you and you can enjoy a clean, fresh-smelling dog. By the way, tipping your groomer is both acceptable and appreciated.
Bathing And Ear Care
Vizslas keep themselves quite clean most of the time; however, once in while, they will need a bath. To begin, place your dog on a non-slip mat in the bathtub. Using warm water, wet him down thoroughly. Grab your gentle dog-safe shampoo and begin to lather him up, starting at the head and working your way down the length of his body. Be sure to avoid his eyes, nose, mouth, and inside the ears.
When your bubbly pup is sufficiently lathered, rinse with warm water, again avoiding his facial area, and towel dry. Be prepared for him to shake excess water all over the place. It’s just what they do, and there is no stopping it.
Following a bath or a swim, it is always a good idea to clean those beautiful ears thoroughly to remove any debris and prevent infection. All you need is a good quality ear cleaning solution (for dogs) and some gauze pads. Drip a little bit of the solution into the dog’s ear, massage the base of the ear, and wipe clean with the gauze. That is all there is to it!
When should I first bring my Vizsla puppy to the groomer?
If you plan on using a professional groomer regularly for your Vizsla, the first trip should occur by the age of four months as part of his socialization. Getting him acquainted with the grooming process early will make future trips much less stressful and perhaps even enjoyable
A Quick Review
Vizslas are a low maintenance breed, but do require some grooming. Regular brushing will keep their skin and coat healthy, and an occasional bath will keep them smelling pleasant. Cleaning the ears often will help to prevent future problems and give you a chance to check for infection.