The Vizsla is one of the cleanest dogs in the world! Party due to biology and partly due to behavior. They have a short, clean coat with no undercoat. They have very little odor and they self-clean. What more could you want? We’ll go into this all below.
Do Vizslas shed? Yes. Vizslas do shed lightly but regularly. They have a short, clean red/rust coat that is easy to maintain. They have no undercoat so there is no seasonal shedding like with many other breeds. Vizsla puppies shed very little and adults shed lightly, year round.
I know, you want to hear more about this self cleaning thing and their coats. No worries, we have it all covered!
Overview Of The Vizsla’s Coat
One of the best things about these dogs is their short coat. It consists of a single layer, as they have no undercoat like most dogs. This short coat means that shedding is not a big problem. After centuries of selective breeding to suit the needs of the nobility, we are left with a dog that doesn’t cover your house in hair shed.
The coat of a Vizsla is not hypoallergenic, meaning they do shed and the dander is present. However, they are less likely to cause a serious allergic reaction because of the light shed and lack of undercoat. Groomers will probably charge you less because this is a low-maintenance dog when it comes to their coat. It’s safe to say that when you walk into a groomer with a Vizsla in tow, they know that they are in for a relatively easy job.
Bear in mind that shedding is a seasonal problem. As we already mentioned, Vizslas sheds very little hair. However, there are certain times of the year in which you might see a little more hair around the house. This mostly happens in the spring, as the dog is trying to get rid of the excess hair that they acquired over the winter.
What’s This About Vizslas Being A ‘Self-Cleaning’ Dog?
One of the most uncommon qualities of this dog is the fact that it will groom itself like a cat. This is why some people refer to the Vizsla as a ‘self-cleaning’ breed. Unlike most breeds of dog, you will not need to bathe the Vizsla frequently. In fact, you will only need to give them five or six baths per year. Why is that the case? Because they do most of that work for themselves.
Vizslas will frequently lick themselves all over, using their tongue to pick up loose hairs and remove them. Although they don’t have the same kind of rough, sandpaper-like tongue that cats have, they are able to do this with efficiency.
As you might imagine, this creates a slight problem with the dog coughing up hairballs. Contrary to common belief, dogs will occasionally cough up hairballs much as cats do. This is a natural result of the cleaning process, so it isn’t usually any cause for concern.
Thankfully, these dogs do not cough up hairballs as frequently as a cat. Most of the time, the hair that they pull from their coat is either spat out or digested. If you have ever looked at your dog’s droppings and seen a lot of hair in there, you now know why those little piles look so hairy.
You would think that all this hair would create a problem for the dogs. If most dogs tried to clean themselves in this way, there would be a definite choking hazard. However, the Vizslas’ short, thin coat makes it so that there isn’t really a whole lot of hair being digested. In the wild, a dog has to be able to digest fur, since most of its natural prey is covered in the stuff.
Basic Grooming Needs
The grooming needs of the Viszla are very light. In fact, you don’t really have to do much of anything to groom this breed. At the same time, it’s not a bad idea to help your dog out by brushing them down once in a while. Yes, the dog can do that task themselves, but they will certainly appreciate a little help in this department. And brushing them regularly adds to the bonding between you and your pup
It’s also important to keep the dogs’ nails trimmed. This breed can develop fairly long claws if left to their own devices for too long. They already lick themselves like a cat, but you certainly don’t need them clawing up the furniture like a cat! As such, it’s good to trim those nails as closely as possible without harming the dog. Although some people choose to take their dogs into the vet’s office for this kind of grooming, it’s pretty easy to do the job yourself.
We all have a lot of options when it comes to grooming tools. Which brush, clipper, shampoo… I know, it’s so many choices! We made a list of the stuff we use. It’s based on trial and error, reviews, and what we actually like the most out of all these products. You can take a look and see what we feel are the best choices.
Top Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Coat.
The most important factor for maintaining the health of your dog’s coat is their diet. There are many dog food brands that claim their product will give your dog smoother/silkier hair, and some of these claims are even true.
You should be sure to give you Vizsla a type of dog food that contains plenty of essential fatty acids. These are technically referred to as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These substances are well-proven in their ability to improve the sheen and thickness of a dog’s hair. One of the easiest ways to increase your dog’s fatty acid intake is to switch to dog food with fish as the main ingredient.
At the same time, you can help the health of your dog’s coat even more by giving them the occasional egg. The easiest way is to simply crack a raw egg and put it in their food bowl. Don’t worry about cooking it, as dogs seem to prefer it raw. Also, cooking kills at least a little bit of the nutritional content, so your dog will get some extra nutrition. Obviously, fresh eggs are preferred, but any eggs will do.
Any time that your dogs’ skin feels excessively dry, there is a good chance that he or she is not getting the right nutrients. Don’t forget that this dog was developed by nomadic hunters. Its early diet would mostly have consisted of meat. Meat is very high in fat, protein, and (more importantly) it tends to have plenty of those essential fatty acids.
How often should I bathe my Vizsla?
Vizslas need little to no bathing under normal circumstances. Obviously, you will want to give your dog a bath if they get particularly dirty. We all know that dogs are sometimes prone to roll around in feces, corpses, and other disgusting things. Short of that, you will only need to bathe your Vizsla 5-6 times a year.
Do Vizslas get cold easily because of their short coat?
Yes. The Vizsla is not a cold-weather dog, and there is nothing that you can do about that. You can mitigate the problem somewhat by putting your dog in a thick woolen coat, but this will only help to a certain degree. It’s odd to consider that this breed originated in a cold northern climate, but you don’t really need such a thick coat when you spend most of your time with humans.
This breed was originally bred for nomadic life, but they become common dogs for Hungarian noblemen afterward. They were a status symbol for the nobles due to their long history of being amazing hunting companions combined with their loving nature.
The Vizsla is a rather unique dog. They may not look particularly unique, but their qualities speak for themselves. Because of the short, soft coat that this breed has, it is an interesting coincidence that this breed is sometimes called “the velcro dog.” This term originates from the common behavior of the breed.
Vizslas tend to stick very close to their masters and suffer from separation anxiety very easily. This behavior may be related to their short hair, as this breed would have a very hard time surviving in the winter without human aid. The coat of a Vizsla may be its most endearing quality, both for the work that you can save and the affectionate nature that comes from its natural qualities.
You’ll find answers to your other Vizsla questions and maybe some you haven’t thought of, HERE.