Hungarian Vizsla Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

We recently had to put down our english lab and seeking a new family dog. We have a 3 year old and 9 month old children. I work full time and my wife stays home. We would love to get another lab, but I like the idea of a smaller size dog given our small children. Our lab was so big and he didnt know his own strength around them.

I've always admired Vizslas and have been considering getting a puppy. My concern is their energy level and commitment to their exercise. My lab was very high energy and we would walk him or play fetch with him in our yard. However, he was also able to lay around and sleep for large parts of the day if needed. Not so much as a puppy though.

So, in a way I'm used to high energy, but I'm wondering if a Vizsla is even more than I'm prepare for? I could see walking, playing, going in the yard daily. But that's about it. I've read some breeders say that Vizslas need hours of dedicated running, play roaming etc. and that doesn't sound doable.

How often much effort does everyone put into their Vizslas daily? I'm curious the different opinions out there and thoughts of a Vizsla being a good family dog?

Also, a breeder around here is charging 3k for a Vizsla. Is this normal for this breed?

Thanks!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,958 Posts
Vizslas get bored, if only exercised in their own yard, plus they need to be socialized throughout their lives. A lot of vizslas are raised with kids, and do very well. Tons of training goes into the puppy, and teaching the kids how to interact them. As far as knowing their own size, I’ve been wiped out plenty of times by a Vizsla. They run very fast and have a short attention span. That leads them to not always watching where they are going. They are horrible about it when young. And I’m always glad when they outgrow that stage. Most vizslas are going to range between 40-60lbs.
As for as price, that depends a lot on where you live. A higher price does not always mean a well bred puppy, but a low price definitely means a breeder is cutting corners.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rchik43 and PhilipL

·
Registered
Oscar
Joined
·
76 Posts
Hi there!

Vizslas can be amazing family dogs and they do love to snuggle on the couch with you. If anything, a Vizsla is born to appreciate comfort - they have a gift for spotting the best places and taking reign over them.

However, a Vizsla, or my Vizsla, at least, has been a lot of hard work (as opposed to my expectations) - and reading other posts I realize he was some sort of an angel compared to others. He was insufferable as a puppy and he wasn't even that big on sharkies, but the constant need for engagement and attention exhausted me. Don't get me wrong, I loved every second of it and I had been whishing for a puppy for so long, that I put in all that I had and a bit extra, but it was exhausting nevertheless.

Working from home, I spent all day with Oscar, and while he napped for maybe 6 hours during the day as a young puppy, when he was awake, he always wanted something. I spent all his wake hours doing obedience, inventing games and playing with him. Even as a puppy, he had a huge requirement for exercise. I would take him out at 7 and we would spend up to two hours at the playground, mostly playing with other dogs at his own pace. He would then eat and nap for 3 to 4 hours. Then, the crazies started and that is when I did obedience for a few minutes, played a game, took a walk, did more obedience, until he was ready for another short nap. In the evening, we would go at the playground again for at least an hour. This was, of course, supplemented by all the extra 10 minutes walks around the neighbourhood.

With respect to training, I keep reading that Vizslas are easy to train. I really don't know what to say about that - I'm not an expert in training dogs and I never had a Vizsla before, or a sporting breed, maybe they are easier to train than a Weim, or a GSP. Oscar was stubborn as a mule and had the attention span of a teaspoon. However, was very eager to please. So, I found that short successful sessions rendered the best result (he had always liked seeing us happy - so if he got something right and I got happy, he learned more quickly). Also, I would say that a very soft hand might not be appropriate for all vizslas. Positive reinforcement is key, however, at least my pup, needed a lot of structure and rather strong, firm leadership following adolescence and into adulthood. I also do notice that Oscar slips out of hand rather quickly. If he gets away with something once he will be sure to remember and try it again next time (sometimes having a smart breed does not work to your advantage). We invested a looot, but a loooot of time in training. He is good, really good now (and we do get plenty of compliments on him from people who own or have previously owned Vizslas or other high energy breeds), but it sure was a lot of work and still is. Even at 2 yo, we have weekly refresher sessions on obedience, we have clear rules that are enforced without exception, and we all have boundaries which have been clearly set and are to be respected at all times.

There is a lot of structure around Oscar (from exercise and feeding, to manners and behaviour in different circumstances, as well as alone time vs. snuggle time), and the love and snuggles take the second place - we provide leadership first and love secondly (otherwise it would be crazy around here). Some might find this a bit odd, but a dog really does love you more if you are a strong leader and a good and reliable decision maker, rather than when providing them with snuggles. Oscar certainly appreciated the strong leadership and we bonded more after I realised that.

After the 1 year mark, there were noticeable improvements in his behavior. He was not as hectic anymore, he was not so much all over the place, but even today he always seems in a hurry. When executing commands, when eating, when fetching, if he is too excited he is quite sloppy. More like a hyperactive person that is trying to accomplish a task as quickly as possible, in order to get to the next task and finish everything they would normally do in a day's work just in one hour.

Vizslas need to be out in the nature as much as possible. A leashed walk around the block does nothing for their energy levels. They do need a big space, where they can run, use their brain and socialize. To me, it was a big surprize to see Oscar going on 8 hours hikes and not stopping (he was up and down all the time) - we were half dead in the afternoon and he was still going full force. However, when that is not available, we mostly exercise him for 2.5 hours per day with at least 1 hour of off leash running. He is mostly ok with this schedule and is very calm and composed.

Unlike other Vizslas, we keep saying that Oscar did some training with the navy seals in a past life. He is a machine - does not care how cold is outside, if it's raining, snowing, or a full blown storm. He is not cold, and can exercise for extended periods of time even with temperatures well below freezing. He does not require a coat unless it is below freezing (we put the coat when the temperature drops below 25F) and never shivers. So, don't count on your Vizsla cutting you some slack when the weather is bad. If it's 20 degrees(F) and piercing wind with frozen snow, your Vizsla might still be eager to run for an hour in the frozen field.

I don't see his energy levels as being lower now, than during puppyhood, I just think that we created a structure that works and that structure is followed every single day. We go out mostly at the same time, have breakfast and dinner at the same time and snuggle at the same time. It is expected of us to follow this routine every day and Oscar is diligent in making sure the routine is not altered in any way. With a clear schedule and at least 2.5 hours of exercise, he has been an amazing dog, snuggle partner, housemate, exercise partner and travel partner for us.

To date, Oscar has very little understanding of personal space and gentle manners (I gather most Vizslas struggle with these aspects). He does not lay down, like a normal being, he drops himself down. His armchair is wobbly all the time because he just drops himself on it like a bulldozer. He does the same with me - comes and sits nicely on the couch and then just lets his whole body fall on top of me. Otherwise, he is very sweet and has never done any damage in the house.

Regarding the size, Oscar turned out to be on the bigger side. He is 65-67 pounds and still filling out. Both his mom and dad were considerably smaller and somewhat leaner than him. Although he took the general looks from his mom, he is unexpectedly big and very muscular. I see that the size of Vizslas varies a lot, with some on the small side and other on the bigger side. Also, in retrospective, I would also check if his grandpa was the size of a horse, because apparently 40-50 pound parents does not necessarily mean a 50 pound offspring.

PS: Fetch, in Vizsla books, or in our Oscar's book, means using a hard, heavy ball combined with one of those throwing "hands" that allows you to throw up to 50 meters. Usually, it takes more than 50 throws for him to get bored and show any signs of tiredness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
We have had 2 labs one bred to be a Field trials dog. High energy

There is lab high energy and then there is Vizsla high energy! A BIG difference in what I have seen.

Running around in a backyard or jogging is not exercise for a V.
1-2 hours of off leash tearing thru the woods is exercise. My wife runs our 2 almost daily and they RUN 5-8 miles. (she walks/they run)
If she misses a day I know as soon as I walk in the door from work.

Your first 6 months with a V will make you wonder what you did. It does not matter how well prepared you thought you were. you are not :)

Your kids will be targets of attack from sharkies,. get them chain mail pants!

Will all that, we are looking to add a 3rd v to our pack!

If you can make it through the first 6-8 months you will have a really great dog. Make sure you go in with your eye's wide open.
Have a bottle of tranquilizer handy (for you).

We really love ours's but they are more challenging than many breeds.

Pricing in today's market is high. We are seeing in the $2000 range for a well bred pup.
If you get one and can not handle it keep us in mind! :)

Keep reading on this forum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
I am not trying to make you give up on a V.

Just want to be sure you are ready as you can before the fun you will have.

Our dog experience has been 2 labs/1 Weimaraner/3 V's (one passed very young)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I agree, 2 are better than 1. They keep each other company.

They do need lots of time and energy but it's
worth it. They give so much back!

We've had a choc Lab, Weinmerarna, German shepherd and a pointer. All beautiful/fabulous dogs but there's something about a Vizsla.

I hope you decide to get one for the whole family. Tough decision I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,671 Posts
You need to be very selective of the breeder, and honest.Many people are not, and that can cause issues from day 1.
Yes, there are Vizslas that are $3K, but you need to find out why. Are there multiple champions in the bloodlines? are the offspring obtaining titles? Or is it just a factor of that is what he current market will bear?
Do you need, or even want a dog from high powered field lines? You could end up with a whole lot more of a dog than you wanted, or needed. Maybe you want a quiet Vizlsas, a little bit of a "wallflower". Be honest with the breeder.
If you had a Lab from established gundog, or working, lines, then you do have an idea of the energy levels. The Vizlsa can "turn up the wick" a few notches above a lab, but once they get through puppy hood they settle it down a bit and are less "hyper". Labs can be couch potatoes, and Labs can be intense. It's all in the breeding. Same with Vizslas.
Regardless though, have a plan from day one. Ask yourself, where do I want to be with this puppy in two years? and what do I want it to be capable of doing in two years? Give it a purpose and "a job" from day one.
If you look at the "gratuitous tailgate shots" I've recently posted of my dog. That is what I have been working towards for two years now, being able to take those photos. Not for personal ego, but as a goal for Finn to achieve. I knew I wanted to see him sitting on a tailgate after a successful day in the field. He still has work to do, but he has "a job" now. He also takes that job very serious.It doesn't have to be hunting, or seeking titles. Just something to aspire to and work toward. For both you and the puppy.
 

·
Registered
Ellie
Joined
·
365 Posts
First 6 months will be trying but push through. Make sure you can give the dog 45min+ time off leash in a large natural setting. A .5 acre suburban yard won’t do. They don’t like being left out alone ( at least ours doesn’t). Just things to consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
You could just about stave off a crazy vizsla by running him in the yard a little. But that’s not a long term strategy. My vizsla gets 2 hours of walks a day. Usually the first walk is a full on hike or a swim in the ocean and throwing a ball along the shore with a BALLTHROWER (so 20-50 meters!) for 10-20 minutes.

I think they’re good with babies as adults but I’m not sure about puppies. I have a 3 month old and my dog was 2. He was always very gentle when approaching her. He has never displayed any annoyance or aggression towards her and actually want to get close to her. However we would rather wait until she’s much older to allow him to interact freely with her.

also I would get a female if size is a concern. I have a male vizsla and he is NOT a medium dog. Bigger than most labs I know. 26 inches tall, 60 lbs. muscular as ****. If he wasn’t such a gentle boy I would never trust him around her. And also, even with him, the moment his back is turned he forgets she is there. If he is napping or just lazing around I don’t mind having him close to her. But when he’s hyper? I watch him very closely.


You need to be very selective of the breeder, and honest.Many people are not, and that can cause issues from day 1.
Yes, there are Vizslas that are $3K, but you need to find out why. Are there multiple champions in the bloodlines? are the offspring obtaining titles? Or is it just a factor of that is what he current market will bear?
I don’t know if pandemic puppies is still a thing, but that would be my first guess. Puppy prices shot through the roof across the board. I wouldn’t be surprised that backyard breed could charge that price even for mutts of unknown lineage.

I wouldn’t be surprised even if good, responsible breeders are charging extra because they can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Hi and welcome to the forum! I wouldn’t ever say if someone is or isn’t suited to a vizsla, so just putting my experience (very limited, only got our first V cross 4 months ago!!)

exercise - You CANNOT tire these dogs out!! Haha joking aside, life is better if you can give a good, decent off lead walk once or twice a day, for atleast 1hr. Socialise them regularly with trusted dogs. Play games and give them challenges. If you can meet these demands, you will have a happy sleepy dog from about 8pm til 7am!!

family dog - I have a 5yr old and 8yr old. Our pup is amazing with them. Granted we have had the odd nip and unintentional scratch but nothing too dramatic. He’s definitely softer with the girls than me and my husband. He is very clumsy tho and if things were to happen, chances are it’s by accident!

prices are ridiculous at the moment. We paid £800 for a cross breed. We have no intention to breed, and his parents were both stunning so we were happy and that was about as high as we would want to pay but I’ve seen purebred Vs go for 2k/3k easy which is just unbelievable

good luck and im sure you’ll make the right decision for your family!! X
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
3K is not normal

It doesn't sound like the right home for a V

They require at least 1 hour of exercise a day and that exercise isn't casual backyard stuff.... things like hiking, hunting, running, dog activities like agility, etc
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top