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Upper page: The Breed
Pull up a chair, and read some of our Frequently Asked Questions, and if you have your very own question, fill out the from below and we'll get right on it!
Pull up a chair, and read some of our Frequently Asked Questions, and if you have your very own question, fill out the form below and we’ll get right on it!

Have a question that you don’t see listed here? Scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill out the FAQ submission form, and a VCLI representative will respond ASAP!

Vizslas are not the best choice for families with kids under 6, because they are very jumpy and may knock them over. Vizslas are a high drive hunting breed and children frequently unwittingly act just like prey. Vizslas are also more needy in terms of affection and human companionship than other breeds and can see children as competition. Vizslas can be tolerant with children given proper supervision and training—if the children are good with the dog.

“Being good with children” does NOT mean “without supervision.” NO CHILD (family member or not) UNDER 11 SHOULD BE LEFT UNSUPERVISED WITH ANY DOG. All children should be taught how to interact with the dog and that dogs are not toys, for the two to live in harmony. Little boys in particular need to be taught how to handle a dog and not to pull on the dog’s ears, tail, or private parts, or to stick things in the same places. Puppies tend to mouth and bite small children, steal their toys and knock them down, and you and the children need to learn how to handle these situations calmly. The immediate reaction of many children is to start screaming and running, which just exacerbates the problem.

Children should also be taught that the puppy's crate is off limits; it is the puppy's safe haven, and to respect the dog’s space, especially near food dishes and wherever the dog sleeps or rests outside the crate. “Being good with children” does NOT MEAN tolerating any amount of pummeling from a child without ever growling or biting. This is an unrealistic expectation for any breed, but particularly for one that is sensitive like the Vizsla.

Families with children might also consider whether they will have time for the dog to get enough attention and exercise with young children demanding parents’ time and attention. It is extremely hard to be successful when trying to house train a pup and toilet train a human in the same time period. The pup usually ends up being the one who suffers on the training end.

Whether people have children or not, though, they should do as much as they can to childproof their dog, especially to toddlers and prepubescent children who seem to be especially threatening to dogs. They smell and behave differently than adult humans, which makes them confusing to dogs.

For a variety of reasons, some people are not able to keep their Vizslas, and these dogs become available for rehoming. Sometimes, they have had no prior training, or they have been abused and need major caring and rehabilitation, or they are available because of divorce, allergies or the death of an owner. Rarely are they puppies. Potential rescue owners are screened as or more carefully than new puppy buyers, and because of the unique needs and challenging demands of Vizslas, preference in rescue situations is usually, but not always, given to persons who have already raised a Vizsla and know what is involved. THIS IS NOT AN ALTERNATE ROUTE TO A CHEAPER DOG! Usually, prospective owners are asked to pay transportation charges for a dog and to make a contribution to breed rescue to further the work of rescue for other dogs. Rescue is expensive in both time and money. VCA State and regional rescue coordinators may be found at the VCA website here. The VCLI has an active rescue program which can be found by clicking here.

No. Being Hungarian is only an advantage in that you may know more about the origin of the breed than the rest of us, but more often, not.

Vizsla Club of America http://vcaweb.org

Versatile Vizsla by Marion Coffman. Revised edition. Alpine, 2004.

“The Vizsla” American Kennel Club http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/vizsla.htm

“Vizsla” http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/vizsla

“Vizsla” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vizsla

“Vizsla” http://vetstreet.com/dogs/vizsla - upper-tabs

Vizslas do shed, but unless you are allergic or obsessive, it sort of blends in with the décor. You can control this by rubbing the dog with a non-cotton sweater or a regular dog brush like a Zoom Groom to pick up loose hairs and resign yourself to frequent vacuuming.

Generally not very much, although most V owners say their feet smell like corn chips. If they roll in smelly stuff, which like many other breeds they like to do, they will smell like whatever they rolled in until washed.

No.

Vizslas are generally considered a high energy breed, and they love a safe off-lead run, especially when they are young, or if they come from strong hunting lines, but it depends on the dog. Not all Vizslas need a high level of exercise, but they do need something daily. They can generally enjoy as much exercise as you can give them, but more importantly they demand attention from their people. They must be woven into the fabric of your life. If you want to own a dog to say "Okay, now go over there and be a dog!" this breed is not for you. You can take a Vizsla for a run, but if he/she is not an integrated full fledged family member, then they will be sad, bored, and possible destructive. On the other hand, as long as you sufficiently exercise your Vizsla, they really love to relax. This is a great breed--very affectionate (referred to as a 'velcro dog') who loves to follow you everywhere and even loves to be comfy on your lap. Ideally, because of their need for large amounts of exercise, Vizslas like to live somewhere with lots of space, but they will be happy living in town as long as they are an integral part of the family and are still getting good exercise and activities that stimulate their intelligence and instincts.

The size is less important than the fact that it is fenced (at least 5 feet or more) and the amount of time you expect the dog to stay in the yard. It doesn't matter how much property you have; if you are not out there with them, they will not go out and play, or lonely and bored, they will either sit at the back door or get into interesting mischief like tunneling under the fence, digging holes, etc.

Vizslas are NOT dogs that can just be left in a yard. They were bred to be affectionate housedogs as well as hunting and field dogs, and they want to be WITH their people. They will follow you from room to room, including the bathroom, sleep next to you or at your feet, and lay their heads in your lap at every opportunity, etc. One friend has said that once you have a Vizsla, you will never go to bathroom alone again. Left to their own devices without human companionship, they will become lonely, bored and destructive. People who expect dogs to raise themselves by themselves will not like this breed and should possibly reevaluate whether to get a dog at all.

Overnight in an emergency, yes, but for any extended periods like vacation, it depends on the dog and the kennel. It also is much better if the dog has been crate trained. Be sure you see the place beforehand. Make sure that your dogs can be housed together if you are boarding more than one. Ask and check references if you did not learn of the place from a personal referral. One thing to think about is socializing the dogs to kennel life by starting to board them when they are young, even just overnight occasionally. Find a kennel and build a relationship with them. A dog comfortable in the environment and owners comfortable with the facility is what makes the situation positive for all involved. Read the American Kennel Club’s advice on boarding your dog here , or the advice on Karen Pryor’s site here Also feel free to query local VCLI club members via an officer by clicking here about personally recommended boarding places.

There are many methods and you need to consider that Vizslas are very smart and trainable and eager to please, but they are slow to mature mentally. In fact, they need training to be good companions so all that mischievous energy gets properly channeled. They are sensitive dogs who usually do not respond well to harsh training methods, and since they mature slowly, they often have short attention spans and get bored easily during training sessions when young. The rule of thumb is not to let a puppy do anything you wouldn't want a 45-65 lb. adult dog to do, and never to continue with a trainer whose methods make you uncomfortable. Most puppy buyers will want to get a minimum of a year of obedience training, and two years is better, with other socialization experiences continuing after formal training. This does not mean sending your pup for someone else to train, this means attending classes with your dog.

Vizsla Club of America contact: Florence Duggan at (908) 789-0774; email: FloPete4@aol.com; or contact your regional Vizsla club at http://vcaweb.org/

Sometimes, breeders may seem "snooty" to first time owners, and you should not purchase a puppy from someone with whom you feel you can have no rapport. Because of the special needs of this breed and because of their own breeding objectives, many breeders may seem reluctant to take a chance on a newcomer, especially one who only wants a pet who won't even consider doing any competitive events with the dog. You need to "sell" yourself (honestly, not deceptively) to the breeder as much or more than you need to be able to pay for a Vizsla puppy, and you need to keep an open mind about what you might do with the dog in the future with the breeder's help and encouragement. You are buying more than a dog. You are buying a carefully planned breeding, a pedigree, and a lifetime relationship with a breeder. Remember that Jack Sharkey, a retiree, only wanted a pet, and his Vizsla Chartay was the first quintuple champion in AKC's 116-year history. More information about breeders may be found on our site here., and also at "Speaking for Spot" here, and also at the VCA website here.

Puppy prices vary. (On the East and West coasts between $1200 to $2500 depending on the breeder and the pedigrees involved; prices are slightly lower in the Midwest) A higher price does not necessarily equate with better quality; many responsible breeders are working to keep prices reasonable in an effort to discourage puppy mill breeders. Ask the breeder of any litter you consider about the goals of their breeding program; ask why they paired the parents of this litter and about titles the parents have earned. Make sure that both parents have been cleared of hip dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) registry. Get a copy of OFA numbers for both parents. (There are also other tests that really should be done such as CERF and Thyroid as well as cardiac.) When you get a puppy from a reputable breeder, you also acquire support throughout the lifetime of your dog. Be suspicious of any "bargain" prices for this breed, especially if "AKC registered" or "AKC papers" is part of the selling pitch, without show or field titles and OFA numbers within the first two or three generations. Since breeders in this breed have been very forward thinking about hip dysplasia, there should be hip ratings (OFA or BIC) on all dogs in most five-generation pedigrees. Avoid purchasing a puppy from a breeder with whom you do not have good rapport and avoid puppy mill, pet store and Internet purchases.

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