The vizsla was bred to work side-by-side with hunters, pointing to and retrieving prey without wandering too far away. Today, these medium-sized, affectionate dogs still like to stick close to their people, earning themselves the nickname of Velcro Vizsla. If you're looking for a trusty companion that will always be by your side, this is the breed for you.
Vizslas love to be with their family and are a little needy when it comes to socializing. This is not a dog that can be left home alone during the day. The best home for vizslas is a family where someone is home during the day to make sure they get the mental and physical stimulation they need. If not, they get lonely and bored, which usually leads to destructive behaviors.
Vizslas are sporting dogs and like when they have a job to do. In addition to being great hunting companions, they make great jogging partners and therapy dogs. If you want a dog that can compete, vizslas excel at just about every type of dog sporting competition, including obedience and field.
Vizslas are affectionate and gentle, and they have a strong desire to please. They're also smart, which makes them pretty easy to train with the right techniques. Vizslas respond well to positive reinforcement and should praise, affection, and food should be their rewards. Although this breed responds to training at any age, starting when they're young usually yields quick results.
Vizslas are a generally healthy breed and live between 10 and 14 years, but they are prone to some health conditions you should consider before bringing one home. Some of these include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, and lymphosarcoma, a cancer common in dogs that is often successfully treated with chemotherapy.
This is an active breed that needs at least 60 minutes of daily activity. Vizslas enjoy going for a jog or walk, playing fetch, and running around in the backyard. They're good at dog sports, and they also really enjoy them. Without enough exercise, vizslas become hard to live with, so be sure you have the time to devote to their activity needs before adding one to your family.
The vizsla breed standard is a short, smooth, rust-colored coat that lies close to the body, but some breeders sell vizslas with longer fur, woolly undercoats, or that are pale yellow or deep red in color. They're low to moderate shedders, need weekly brushing, and rarely require a bath unless they get excessively dirty.
Vizslas grow to between 21 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 45 and 65 pounds. This is a medium-sized dog with a lot of energy, and it needs to eat about 3 to 4 cups of dog food every day, divided into 2 meals. Choose high-quality dog food to make sure your vizsla is getting the nutrition it needs to support its healthy lifestyle.
Vizslas are not the best choice for an apartment dog. They thrive in homes with a fenced backyard and a decent amount of space to run around. If you do live in an apartment, frequent walks and access to a park or other space for your vizsla to run around are critical to making sure your dog stays healthy and active. Their short coat and lean body make them vulnerable to cold weather, so they need a winter coat in climates that experience frigid winters.
Vizslas love kids, but they are full of energy and very excitable. This is not a good fit for families with young kids that could easily be knocked over or frightened by the vizsla's exuberance. This breed does well with other dogs and is fine with cats that were raised in the same household. Remember that this is a hunting dog, and it should not be trusted with small pets like gerbils or rabbits.
Viszla's were bred to hunt and retrieve, and they have kept these instincts. They are loud and like to moan, whine, and bark to let you know how they feel about things. They also like to chew, whether it's your shoes or favorite recliner. With training and positive reinforcement, this behavior can be redirected to chew toys.
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