The Hungarian Vizsla is a highly valued breed that has been around for more than 1,000 years. The Vizsla was not only originally bred to excel as a pointer, tracker, and retriever but was also developed to be a companion dog.
Although somewhat slow to mentally mature, the Vizsla is remarkably intelligent, eager to please, and quite trainable. This gentle, devoted dog delights in being in close contact with people and is more than generous with his affections which is why this wonderful breed has withstood the test of time.
Is a Vizsla a good family dog? Yes, Vizslas are excellent family dogs as long as they are given lots of attention, proper training, and most importantly, plenty of daily, vigorous exercise. This well-established breed is known for being gentle, loyal and affectionate.
Perhaps you are wondering about Vizslas’ unusual traits, grooming requirements, snuggle time, energy levels, or friendliness. Continue reading to learn the answers to these concerns and more, but – you’ve now been warned – prepare yourself to quickly fall in love with this unique breed.
Why Are Vizslas Known As ‘Velcro’ Dogs?
You may be wondering what exactly a velcro dog is. Any dog that frequently exhibits clingy behaviors such as following you wherever you go (Yes, even into the bathroom!) and always wanting to be by your side could be referred to as a velcro dog. These dogs literally want to cling to you at all times like velcro.
There is no doubt that Vizslas have a deeply rooted desire to remain close to their master at all times. This trait was bred into them long ago when they were used extensively to point and retrieve and has survived many, many generations. To this day, the idea of “personal space” is a foreign concept to Vizslas, and they prefer it this way.
A Vizsla does not enjoy being alone and will go to great lengths to remain in constant physical contact with his owner or family. In fact, if left alone frequently or for long periods of time, Vizslas can develop separation anxiety or become destructive. While some might find their clingy behavior annoying, lovers of the breed cherish the Vizslas undying loyalty and devotion.
Vizslas Are Easy To Groom, Love To Cuddle, And Are “Soft” Dogs.
Vizslas are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. A quick brushing a couple of times per week to remove any loose hairs, an occasional bath, routine cleaning of the ears, and clipping of the nails when necessary is really all it takes to keep a Vizsla looking its best.
Because of the lack of an undercoat, Vizslas generally do not have that “doggy smell,” and are known to be “self-cleaning.” While the absence of that extra hair makes for a much cleaner dog, it also means that a Vizsla will have a difficult time keeping warm. They should not be permitted to swim in frigid water or remain outside in cold weather for long periods of time.
Do Vizslas Like To Cuddle?
Cuddling comes naturally to a Vizsla, and he will eagerly crawl into your lap every chance he gets, especially after some vigorous exercise. Snuggling in bed underneath the covers is another favorite activity. A Vizsla will often lean against your legs to remind you that he is again in need of some affection. They just can not seem to get enough!
”Soft” refers not only to the Vizslas’ beautiful sleek coat but also to their temperament. What does this mean? Well, soft-tempered dogs tend to not respond well to harsh training methods, become intimidated by rough corrections, and are often rather timid or shy. Positive reinforcement during training is definitely the way to go with this breed.
This High-Energy Dog Is For Active Families
A Vizsla is a very high-energy dog that needs frequent bouts of vigorous exercise in order to stay happy and to avoid becoming destructive. Jogging, running, in-line skating, hiking, fetching, agility training, you name it, he’s up for it.
Families that regularly participate in outdoor activities that a dog can enjoy as well are the perfect candidates for owning a Vizsla. Remember, a short walk around the block is not enough to satisfy this breed’s daily exercise requirements, as he was bred as a hunter to be on the move for hours at a time.
Caution For Families With Small Children
A Vizsla’s high energy level cannot be stressed enough. These exuberant dogs can become oblivious to their surroundings when they are focused on a game or a task. They also are known for jumping to greet people and bouncing around when excited.
Small children could easily get knocked over when their Vizsla goes flying by or jumps up to say hello. As a safety precaution, families with little ones should consider waiting until the children are bigger before bringing home a Vizsla.
Vizslas generally are exceptionally gentle and most would never intentionally harm a child. Older children are bound to have a fantastic time keeping up with a Vizsla and his seemingly limitless energy. Amazing bonds are often formed between a Vizsla and the younger members of a family.
Vizslas Are Very Friendly If Well Socialized
Vizslas, by nature, are incredibly affectionate and gentle. They are well known for being exceptionally friendly and intelligent dogs who strongly crave interaction with people. They will thrive when allowed to both show and receive love freely.
Properly socializing a Vizsla is the key to raising a friendly, well-adjusted dog who will be comfortable in many different situations. Being introduced to a wide variety of people, experiences, and circumstances will give a Vizsla the confidence he needs to conquer life without fear or shyness.
Be prepared to spend a good deal of time socializing a Vizsla and understand that socialization should continue throughout the dog’s life. Some Vizslas can be rather timid around strangers, and it might take lots of practice before your dog is able to overcome his fear. Practice, consistency, and patience will help a timid Vizsla tremendously.
Are Vizslas good guard dogs?
Unfortunately, no. They are simply too friendly. However, they do have a protective side and most will defend the family if real danger is present. While they are not great guard dogs, some individuals are excellent watchdogs and will not hesitate to bark when strangers approach.
Do Vizslas get along well with other pets like cats and dogs?
Yes, provided that they have been raised together and socialized well, they often will view cats and other dogs as playmates. Due to the Vizslas hunting background and instincts, small animals and birds, sadly, might not fair as well.
In A Nutshell
If you are confident that your family has the stamina to keep up with a Vizsla and you can commit to providing him with plenty of attention, affection, and mental stimulation, then you might have just found the dream dog for you and your family.