we got our new puppy almost 4 weeks ago now, and at the risk of repeating what some other folks have said, I thought I would relay our experience as new Vizsla owners.
First of all, let me introduce Breeze, our new female Vizsla puppy. In the picture, she is about 9 weeks old. She has grown significantly since.
Now onto our experience. For me, Breeze is my first dog, but my girlfriend has had Labs for most of her life and is used to training and dealing with Labs. To her own admission, she wasn't ready for how different a Vizsla is from other breeds. First of all, Labs will do anything for foods, which makes it very easy to train them, whereas, when Breeze isn't hungry, she doesn't care about her food, meaning that we had to buy treats, even though we didn't think we would need to at the beginning. Training a Vizsla is very different from training a Lab and we are working our way through it. Breeze is really good with "sit" and decent with "come", and we are starting to work on "stay" and "down". We are looking forward to the Obedience Training to give us further tips.
The other thing that really surprised her was the level of activity of a Vizsla. Labs are very active dogs, but the first time Breeze went nuts, like only a Vizsla can, doing the zoomies, running and bouncing all around the place, my girlfriend looked at her with a "WTF?" expression. Even at 8 weeks old, Breeze going nuts was a sight to behold. i can't imagine what it is going to look like when she is fully grown. The other thing that we were surprised with is how much rest Breeze needs. I know every puppy is different, but we started thinking that Vizslas need lots of exercise and ended up over-working Breeze, not as in running 5 miles with her, but just playing too much with her in the garden. This resulted in a over-hyper puppy and she reminded me of my daughter who the more tired she was the more hyper she would get. After a few days, we realized that, even though she is a high activity puppy, she still needed a lot of sleeping and we know that when she gets totally hyper, she just needs some quiet time. That was our first rookie mistake with her.
Our second rookie mistake was not to have a stuffy for her. It took us a couple of weeks to buy one and during these weeks, we got introduced to the sharkies!!! Since we have bought a stuffy, the severity of the sharkies and the frequency of the sharkies have dramatically been reduced. Whenever the sharkies start, we give her her stuffy and she goes totally nuts on it. The first one last 4 days, so we got a more heavy duty one and she just loves it. I don't know if it is just a Breeze thing or a Vizsla thing, but, based on our experience, I would highly recommend having a stuffy on hand when bringing a puppy home.
Another characteristic we knew about, but still weren't prepared for the magnitude of it is the velcro aspect of Vizslas. We thought Breeze would be around us all the time, but what we didn't realize what that she would want to be "in" us all the time. The best way to explain this is that when we sit down on the floor, she is not happy sitting next to us, she has to be on us. if we crouch, she has to be in between our legs, her body rounding off to make a U like our legs. If we sit down on the steps of the porch, she will put her head between our arms and our body, trying to crawl through there. She wants to be physically inside the space of that person, which is super endearing and awesome, but still something that totally surprised us. I have attached a couple of pics to show that.
Finally, Vizsla puppies are insanely cute and, at least in our area, Vizslas are not a popular breed, so we weren't ready for the fact that we had to double the time it takes for us to walk her, just because everyone wants to pet her and see how cute she is. She is the absolute star of the neighborhood, which makes us very proud parents.
We are still adjusting to our life with a Vizsla, and there have been moments where we wondered what we had done, but as we are settling in and working things out, we love the choice we have made. She is an awesome dog without an ounce of meanness to her, who is super friendly, cuddly and a bit of a quirky personality, but is already almost outrunning us when we get her at full speed.
Thanks a lot for reading,