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Is a Vizsla right for us?

3842 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  scooby
Hello All

I am so pleased that I found this site and wonder if you can help. The picture shown with this message is of Dalton, our beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback who we bought off a couple on the first of Feb this year when he was aged just over 13 months. For those who do not know about Ridgebacks, they are scent hounds, companion dogs, extremely loyal and loving and absolutely full of character, being very intelligent and quick to learn. They do not suffer fools gladly and if they think you are instructing them to do something (eg get over a stile) in a less than efficient way, they will show you how they think it should be done!

So ... why am I on a Vizsla site? Basically, although I work from home and am able to be there for Dalton whenever he is not sleeping, we think he would benefit from a canine friend. He loves company and we believe would bond very well with another dog of the right type. I have researched a number of breeds and it seems to me that Vizslas have much in common with Ridgebacks and Dalton would therefore respect the breed. (Just so that you know, we would love another Ridgeback, but Dalton is 41 kilos and could reach 45 kilos when fully mature and whilst my husband could handle this, I recognise that if 90 kilos of Ridgeback were on the end of my lead and just happened to spot a deer, then I would resemble and individual travelling at speed without a sled! - a smaller version of a Ridgeback therefore, would be fantastic and without knowing much about Vizsla, they seem to fit the bill).

If any of you vizsla owners could give me any idea of the funny things your wonderful looking dogs do or any of their characteristics then this would be fabulous. Also I would like to know how they behave around other dogs and whether they prefer to be with their own breed, etc. Any snippets would be gratefully received to aid me in my decision. To help inspire you, I will first list a number of Dalton's traits and this may also give you an idea whether a Vizsla would get on with him or vice-versa.

Dalton is quick to learn and can be taught to respond to a new word in a matter of hours and a maximum of a few days if it is particularly difficult. However, if he is excited and you want him to do something in particular, then he will decide what you want him to do before you say a word. For example he has recently learnt both "back" which means he reverses and "twirl" which means that he goes round in a clockwise circle. If he senses you have a treat for him he will do a series of twirls and a few backs before sitting down expectantly as if to say well ... that must be what you wanted, can I have my treat now.

He does not sleep in the bedroom although we do put a bed for him on the landing at night (His bed is actually in the downstairs cupboard - the door having been removed from the hinges). If he wants us to get up he moves so that he lands heavily on the door with a banging sound or stretches his legs so that his claws make a scraping noise. He also yawns loudly.

He does not bark often but he shakes his head so that his ears flap loudly, he whines sometimes, though we are trying to discourage this, he sighs and he moans. When he sleeps he snores his head off or alternative he makes a noise which is surprisingly like purring although we are not sure whether this is an indication of contentment.

When we first got him he did not wag his tail very much - Ridgebacks can take a while to settle in a new home, but this has evolved from a slow wag, to a full circle wag and in the last month he has developed what we call "happy ears" in that he pins his ears back so that you can see the insides of them. It makes his ears stick out and he looks quite a clown but this is a definite sign that he is happy about something - he always greets you with these ears.

Dalton is essentially a very gentle dog and although we have only had him almost 5 months, he allows us to handle any aspect of him without fuss. We can clean his feet, lift his tail etc and this morning when my husband was walking him, Dalton came back to Griff because he had a piece of chaff or seed in his eye and wanted Griff to remove it.

Inspite of being very intelligent, Dalton is definitely a scent hound and can be a bit of a clutz, knocking over his waterbowl yesterday even though it was in clear sight. Griff and I often see rabbits, pheasants, and even deer that Dalton will only spot if he happens to catch a whiff of a scent or he is a few feet away!!

I could probably go on but I guess this is enough to get you started. I feel sure that the Vizsla will have just as much character and look forward to any anecdotes. Thank you in advance for your help with this.
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Hi just thought I'd reply because Scooby my 6mth Viszla is best friends with my friends 5mth Ridgeback, they play great together (at the Moment Boris is 25kg compared with Scooby at 20kg) my friend has just undergone surgery so I am chief walker and can fully appreciate why you don't want 2 Ridgebacks even at there young age they are strong dogs.

I would say the main difference between them is the level of exercise they need, Boris is quite happy with a short walk on his lead and 10 Min's off the lead (even when off the lead if he's on his own he just plods around) were as Scooby needs alot more, after half an hr of off lead exercise he stills wants more ( unfortunately for him I still have to limit his exercise till about 18mths).

When they are together they chase and play fight but Boris is always the one to give up first, Scooby runs up to him with a stick and then runs off knowing full well that he can't be caught, it's like watching kids tormenting each other, and if we are near water then Scooby's straight in leaving Boris on the edge (he hates water)

I don't know of any other Ridgebacks so not sure if he is typical of the breed or just a very chilled dog
they are both great with kids we have 4 boys between us aged 2, 5, 6 and 7.

Out of the two of them I would say that my V is the more stubborn one and the worst for coming back when off the lead, but he is adorable.

As a breed the saying 'Velcro Viszla' is very true scooby can be quite happy chewing a bone but if i leave the room he follows, which isn't a problem for us but I can see some people not liking it.

Hope this helps a little bit, all I can say is that he's been the best puppy I've ever had and wouldn't change anything (well maybe the coming back ! but he is getting better at it) and I am wanting another but Hubby says no will have to work on him!!!!
Good luck!
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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, your information has been really helpful. It is interesting that the Vizsla is a lot more energetic than the Ridgeback and this does follow with Dalton who will always keep going - he has great stamina which is a breed characteristic, but he does not necessarily always need to walk. We love to walk and Dalton usually gets at least two walks a day of a minimum of half an hour but if it is raining hard, then he is quite happy to stay at home. (He does like water though and would no doubt be a Scooby's side!). If he finds a stream (or even a less than clean looking ****), he will if allowed, walk in the water, rather than on the path and if thirsty, drink in a shovel like manner as he proceeds! Very odd!

Scooby is perhaps still a bit young to be taking too much instruction, but have you any idea how focused he is with training. Does he learn quickly and is he food motivated? I have a feeling that with time and patience, all dogs are responsive to training but it would make life easier if the Vizsla was a relatively quick learner.

Finally, do you know what weight Scooby can expect to achieve? I believe that he will be quite a bit smaller than the Ridgeback but can't quite put things into scale in my minds eye.

Well, thanks again for your help, it really means a lot and I certainly did not expect to hear from someone who had experience of both breeds. Fantastic! Evidently Scooby is still a puppy but already it sounds as though he has a fabulous little character and certainly I wouldn't mind if he was constantly by my side. I hope that you have many years of fun with him and .... that you are successful in obtaining a companion!

All the best.
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Glad I could be of some use, an adult male should weigh between 20-29kg (45-65 lbs) but Scooby was at vets today an weighs 20kg already, looking at the loose skin he's got the vets thinks he'll be heavier than that, but even so will be lighter than Boris. From what I've read all Viszla's are easy to train but are very sensitive so from what I've experienced with scooby this is so true, he is very food motivated but loves to please so will come back to open arms and a happy voice as much as a treat.
Hope you do decide to get Dalton a play mate and I'm sure you'll not regret buying a V if that's what you do decide on, they really are adorable, even though he's asleep at my feet snoring very loudly!
I don't usually have much luck with downloading pics but will try one now of Scooby and get a recent one of them both (if I can get them to stay still long enough!!!!)
Scooby is about 4 months in the picture


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Scooby is just georgeous!! No wonder you love him ... I have a very strong feeling that I want him!! He even sits in the same strange fashion as Dalton.

I have found that there is a Vizsla breeder not far from Grantham, which is not silly far from where we are, so I will try and see if I can get over to meet their dogs as a next step. Their web site says that people are welcome as long as they call first, which is understandable. I, like you, have a husband to convince first though because whilst he is not against another dog, he is so fond of the Ridgeback, he would like another and of course, he does not have issues with strength as I do. We are going to a Ridgeback party just outside York on July 5th, so hopefully we will be able to get more advice then. Maybe if I can get Griff over to meet the Vizslas, they will steal his heart. Wish me luck.

Thanks once again.

NB: I have posted a couple of photos we took of Dalton earlier this year, just so that you can put a face to the name as it were. He has just returned from his walk and is resting in the back of the vehicle.


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Hi just wondering since you mention Grantham and York were abouts you live , we are in Sheffield I assumed you were abroad as most of the people on this forum seem to live state side. Dalton looks so cute How old is he there? I have posted a couple of pics of Scooby and best friend Boris, one is mid play (not really sure if you can tell who's who) and the other is taken after when they were a little less hyper.


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