Is a Vizsla for me? - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Is a Vizsla for me?

Hello Vizsla experts, I’m currently researching dog breeds as I hope to add a new addition to the family. I would like an exercise companion for long walks/hikes and occasional jogging. I love Vizslas but keep reading things that put me off so am hoping to get some lived experience from you.

I live with two daughters age 13 and 17, have an 8 yr old female chihuahua and 2 x 12 yr old make cats. We have had bigger breeds in the past including a Rhodesian Ridgeback and American Staffie so all the animals have lived with a bigger dog before.

I work 5 days and my eldest daughter is at college. We’ve calculated the longest a dog would be left alone for would be 4-5 hours (with chihuahua for company). I would be able to exercise for about 30 mins in the morning and approx 60 mins in the evening. I would take a new puppy to training classes.

I’ve read Vizslas can be destructive if left alone but that this can mitigated by exercise and stimulation. I suppose what I am asking is in your experience, would my circumstances provide a good home for a Vizsla or not? I won’t be getting anything until I’m certain on which breed, then will research breeders. I had veered more towards a Lab but as I love Vizslas, I really wanted to check out this with you guys first.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Tigertoes View Post
I would like an exercise companion for long walks/hikes and occasional jogging.
Tegee is our resident expert on Labs having owned them before so I'll yield my time, but until then, let me mention that a Lab is to a Vizsla as a pick up truck is to...a Ferrari. In short, you are comparing two breeds that have radically different temperaments and energy levels. And, based on your requirements which seem more recreational for you rather than seeking a companion, I'd say the Lab might be a better choice. Vizslas require intense work outs daily as well as being full fledged, equal member of your family.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 06:31 PM
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Thank you gingerling.....I am no expert by any means. But we have owned three pure breed labs and one mixed through my years. Owning two back to back the past 20+ years. You analogy to a pick up vs a Ferrari is spot on. Labs typically drive you nuts the first 1-2 years and drastically slow down to where you only need to exercise them in the AM for a bit and they are fully content. We do love labs and they make awesome pets/companions......we miss them dearly.

The only reason(s) why we switched breeds two years ago was for two reason. My wife and I simply could not put up with the shedding, my last Lab put us over the edge; which shed uncontrollably. And secondly, I use/work our dogs for chasing geese off our property (I work on a golf course) and labs tend to slow down at an early age. Going back to the Ferrari analogy, V's are literally non-stop, with high heat/temperatures from our experience being the only equalizer. When it gets above 90-degrees here in the Northeast our two V's slow down which is understandable.

With all that being said, we absolutely LOVE our V's. BUT BUT BUT you really need to wrap your head around their neediness. From our limited (2-yrs experience) our V's are more needy than necessarily requiring exercise. Don't get me wrong, they need 1-2 hours daily of off-leash full run exercise, but especially our 2-yr old male V needs constant companionship. He clings to me like glue. Again, my wife and I would not change a thing in selecting V's, but you definitely have to get used to constant exercise and make sure someone is around them during the day. I bring both our V's to work every day and they can lay silent for hours. But leave and you'll no about it......lol. We liked our first V so much we got another when our breeder had a litter ready in July of this year. We choose a female and she does seem a bit calmer than our male V fwiw.

HTH
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 02:38 PM
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I'm new to the Vizsla community with our first V, currently 6 months old. We wanted a high energy dog to take on long runs and hikes/backpacking trips. It's been a HUGE adjustment having her. We love her to bits and pieces, but it's been very difficult for me to find a work/life/dog balance. I generally work from home, but travel within an hour of my home frequently. It's a juggle every day figuring out when I'm going to exercise her to make sure she won't tear up her crate blankets when I leave her. A 2-3 mile walk in the morning is good for about 2-3 hours of crate time, but no more. I have to tire her out at lunch again, preferably with an off leash walk. If I can't do that, I play chase with her outside and get her some mental stimulation with training and tricks. Then at the end of the day, she gets another off leash walk or we take her to the dog park. The dog park has been WONDERFUL for getting energy out. Rainy days are particularly difficult, because she hates the rain. On those days, it's 30 minutes of tug/fetch inside plus mental stimulation with training/tricks, and hurry to get a walk in or play chase in the yard in between rain showers. I will say, I greatly look forward to the day when I can start running with her (we've read at least 18 months to allow for growth and development before running together).

Everyone says they are the best dogs, and you never want another breed once you have a V. My husband and I joke around and ask each other when she becomes the best... Like I said, we love her so much, but she's a LOT of work between training and exercise. But because we did want a dog that can keep up with us, we're super happy we have her on weekends when we have more time to go hiking with her, and having her has gotten us to explore parts of our home town and state that we wouldn't have without her. Overall, I wouldn't trade her for the world, but unless you're ready for that kind of commitment, a V may not be for you. Of course, please take all of this with a grain of salt, since we've only had our V for just over 4 months.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Eire228 View Post
I'm new to the Vizsla community with our first V, currently 6 months old. We wanted a high energy dog to take on long runs and hikes/backpacking trips. It's been a HUGE adjustment having her. We love her to bits and pieces, but it's been very difficult for me to find a work/life/dog balance. I generally work from home, but travel within an hour of my home frequently. It's a juggle every day figuring out when I'm going to exercise her to make sure she won't tear up her crate blankets when I leave her. A 2-3 mile walk in the morning is good for about 2-3 hours of crate time, but no more. I have to tire her out at lunch again, preferably with an off leash walk. If I can't do that, I play chase with her outside and get her some mental stimulation with training and tricks. Then at the end of the day, she gets another off leash walk or we take her to the dog park. The dog park has been WONDERFUL for getting energy out. Rainy days are particularly difficult, because she hates the rain. On those days, it's 30 minutes of tug/fetch inside plus mental stimulation with training/tricks, and hurry to get a walk in or play chase in the yard in between rain showers. I will say, I greatly look forward to the day when I can start running with her (we've read at least 18 months to allow for growth and development before running together).

Everyone says they are the best dogs, and you never want another breed once you have a V. My husband and I joke around and ask each other when she becomes the best... Like I said, we love her so much, but she's a LOT of work between training and exercise. But because we did want a dog that can keep up with us, we're super happy we have her on weekends when we have more time to go hiking with her, and having her has gotten us to explore parts of our home town and state that we wouldn't have without her. Overall, I wouldn't trade her for the world, but unless you're ready for that kind of commitment, a V may not be for you. Of course, please take all of this with a grain of salt, since we've only had our V for just over 4 months.

VERY well said Eire228. We've had very similar experiences with our 2-yr old male V and now with our 6-month female V. Our male did settle in a bit at 20-months old which did help. But they are a ton of work.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 10:06 PM
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All dog breeds are not the same! It's so important to take the very unique and particular qualities and characteristics and needs of the breed into consideration and really match them to your own.

Unfortunately for the Vizsla, they are just so gorgeous and so loving and affectionate even with strangers that many are seduced and forget (or minimize) all those other facets of their being into adequate consideration. The result is often so regrettable(yet predicable). Most of the time, after hearing the answers to probing questions I advise no. They really are like Ferraris..I have to come up with some thing better, I know... for better and for worse. Fortunately for me, it fits my needs and my current lifestyle. For others, it's but a dream, and that's not such a bad thing.
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