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A Vizsla or a Golden?

13717 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  scooby
My wife and I have narrowed our search down to two breeds - Goldens and Vizslas. These are the criteria we set out with:

- Size (medium-large)
- Shedding (low)
- Intelligence (high)
- Trainability (high)
- Good with kids (assuming proper socialization and management)
- Good with other dogs (assuming proper socialization)
- Affectionate
- Athletic and active
- Versatile

Vizslas meet all of these criteria, from what I understand.

Two other considerations: we're planning to have a baby in the next year, and we have backyard chickens.

I realize the responses I'll get here are fairly biased, but that's okay. I posted a similar message on a Golden Retriever forum! :)
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The Golden Retriever does not meet the low shedding criterion while the Vizsla certainly does. From personal experience I would say that the energy level of the V is much higher than the Golden.

Our V is very smart and very loving and very entertaining. Our most important criterion was low shedding so we completely ruled out the GR.
Thanks for your replies, everyone. I found this comparison between Goldens/Labs & Vizslas.

I'm not sure where low shedding fits in to our priority list. It's definitely not #1, but it's not the bottom of the list either.
I am in a perfect position to respond to your question. We currently have a 5 year old Golden Retriever, Loki, and a 4 month old Vizsla, Ronan.

It often seems like we have Golden puppies running around the house due to all of the shedding. We do use the Furminator on Loki, but the shedding is a constant battle. We have hard-wood floors and area rugs, so we vacuum almost daily. I do notice small hairs off of Ronan, mostly when I wear black pants.

Loki's energy level is rather low at this point, but that was not the case when he was younger. When we adopted him at 18 months, he was skin and bones from a poor diet of the equivalent of doggy junk food. Even after getting him on a good diet, he was very high energy and thin. Since having him neutered at 3 years of age, he's calmed down and put on a little weight. He looks really healthy now. He absolutely lives up to the Golden stereotype. We have 5 kids from 19 to 4, and he loves them all. My son uses him as a pillow, and I've seen my 4 year old closely examining his face and mouth. Never a sound out of him. He will get up and walk away when he has had enough. He actually is more velcro than Ronan, but that may be due to some separation anxiety. He is actually very timid around other dogs, but will warm up quickly and play if they are not too aggressive. He loves all people, without exception. We do say that he is not the brightest crayon in the box.

Ronan is also typically Vizsla already. He is only 4 months old, so I don't go over 2 to 2-1/2 miles with him at a time. Even so, this morning as we walked in the door from a brisk 2-1/2 mile walk, he was jumping at the leash to play and jumped on Loki as soon as we walked in the door. He is going through the puppy phase of nipping at the kids so we are working on that. I rely heavily on the advice here on the forum if any issues come up. He is sweet and loving, just as we had hoped. We are in puppy kindergarten, and we will continue to train him as he grows. He is scary smart, so we know we will need to challenge him.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions.
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Interesting to read all of the responses, and to see how they are similar and different on the Golden and Vizsla forums.

Everyone seems to agree that Vs are generally a higher energy, and perhaps more "sensitive" breed. There's a lot of disagreement on shedding. Some say Vs are "low shedding". Others say not only do they shed as much as GRs, they shed "needle-like", short hairs that penetrate fabrics like rugs and sofas and can be very difficult to clean.

A tough decision for us. I don't like the idea of constantly cleaning hair off the furniture, but at this point in our lives, with a baby on the way in a year, a SUPER high-energy dog might not be the best choice for us.
I know exactly how to fix your problem...

.......get both! :D

Well as a person who used to have their own dog grooming business years ago..... there is no question YOU WILL HAVE MORE SHEDDING, LOTS MORE SHEDDING with a G.R. Our V now 5 1/2 mths old sheds nearly nothing. I can have a black T-shirt on and have her all over me rubbing her and scratching her and you have to look hard to find a few small red hairs. But after knowing several friends with Goldens and having groomed them for several years .... well there is no comparision in my humble opinion.

After having dogs thru out most of my life and having a dog grooming biz in the past I have to say the time we have had with our new V so far has convinced me there is no dog like a V. Of course you have to consider I'm in my 50's, have no small children but have socialized her constantly in all sorts of places and situations and she has been literally an amazing pup so far. I can hardly wait for each new day so that we can train together and tighten the loyal bond that has already begun.

Good luck regardless of which breed you choose.
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I have a 6 month old V and three kids ages 5, 7 and 10. I cannot tell you how glad I am that we waited. If I had gotten Clyde before my kids we in school, I would have a nightmare on my hands. They require A LOT of time and as one of the other posts said they are crazy smart which you would think is a good thing but it has actually been rather frustrating because you will work on a command and think he has it down and then the following week he decides to challenge you by not doing what he is told. I did not get Clyde until he was 14 weeks old. The reason he went back to the breeder was because the previous family had a small child and could not handle him. I by no means feel like an expert when it comes to these dogs because everyday I am on this site looking for answers to a new struggle I am having. We got a Shiht zu when we were in your position. She is now 11 years old and she was a prefect fit for our family back when we had small kids. No pulling on the leash, no 40 mph figure eights everymorning for 10 minutes, no jumping up to eat the baby's food off of the high chair, no 60 lbs beast trying to sit on your lap while you are holding a little baby. Let us know what you decide.
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The chicken issue was addressed in the post "Vizslas with young children and chickens" fairly well.

It can be done with some work and is well worth it.
we have 2 boys aged 5 and 7 and an 11mth old V all get along fine but having read all the post on here I think we've got the lazies (or cleverest ) V around. On a school day the kids come down stairs all eager to see Scooby he just lays there gets fussed and kissed and goes back to sleep, I let him out he has his wee and poo and RUNS BACK to bed, as for giving him breakfast I have to bribe him to get out of bed and then he can't eat it quick enough to get back to bed (he's even ate it laid down before now ???), when I come back from school run he's hyper cause he knows its run time. :D
On a weekend in the morning he's still a pain to get out of bed but once he realises the boys are staying he wants to go straight out to play with them so I usually have 3 red heads playing in the garden from early on and as for malting he hardly loses any hair when I compare him to my friends GR, so good luck with your choice I'd go V every time but then again I'm biased


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