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Hi All. I just joined the forum. I have wanted a Viszla for years and seriously considered it last year but decided to wait awhile longer for my kids to get a bit older.

I am a stay at home mom. My sons are now 2.5 and 4 years old. My oldest will start school next September. We live in a large house on 1 acre of land on a dead end street with access to hundreds of acres of woods across the road.

I am a long distance runner and love the outdoors. Right now I run for 1 hour, 3-4 days a week but that distance increases as I train for half marathons. I go walking/hiking with my sons twice a week. I bike once a week in the summer too. Snowshoe in the winter. So I am confident I can exercise a vizsla enough, even if that means getting up at 5am to walk/run before my kids and husband get up.

I have to be honest and say that my husband doesn't want a dog. We had a retriever mix for 11 years. My husband was the one who had to bring him to be put to sleep when he started having seizures from a brain tumour. It really hurt my husband and he said he would never have another dog. Before that though, we both got very stressed out when our kids were born and the dog barked all the time and woke them up. So he still has that fear of being overwhelmed with a dog in the house again. At that time, our dog was not getting exercised at all so I know that led to issues. I used to be a couch potato but am completely different since becoming a runner in 2013.

My husband said I can get a dog if I want but he doesn't want anything to do with it. I think he will change his mind and will become attached to the puppy, he just doesn't want to consider that now. So all of the training and exercise will fall on me alone.

I've been reading some threads and am worried about the shark attacks? If the dog bit my kids, I don't know what I would do. My boys are very rough and tumble kids, they wrestle and fall down all the time. So I know they could handle being bumped/knocked down by a dog. But I am very concerned about the potential for biting.

Also, We are spending a huge amount of money renovating our kitchen which includes putting down hardwood floors. My husband is worried that the dog would ruin our house. Will the floors be scratched if the dog's nails are kept short?

I have read tons of dog training books, I've read a lot about vizslas, I've had dogs all my life. I will be staying home with my kids for another 2-3 years so I feel like I would have a lot more time to deal with puppy behaviour now but now also means that my kids are little.

I have been talking with a professional breeder of competition winning vizslas. She will have puppies available in February.

So please, lay it on me. I would love your honest opinions. Thank you.
 

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There is a post "I read they were good with kids" in the index. Take a look.

You are active enough to burn off the energy but can you focus on what a hunting dog needs?

If you get a Vizsla from competition stock it will have uber energy. My suggestion is let members here know what town you live in. Maybe someone has a Vizsla they could let you "borrow" for a weekend. Do a little house sitting for a weekend with husband and children and see how it goes.

Your first part of the story was perfect. NEVER get a Vizsla unless EVERY member of the family buys in.

My oldest daughter will not bring over her 6 and 3 year old sons unless I put the dogs in another room. They just are too rough. They don't mean to be, they just are.

If you lived in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay area, I'd let you borrow Bailey and Chloe for a weekend.

Happy trails. I am sure others have opinions.

RBD
redbirddog.blogspot.com
640 posts and growing
 

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Kirsten,

Firstly Welcome to the forum :D

Secondly hold back on the hardwood flooring..... it will get ruined!!' ( get a rug/s)!!!

Thirdly, go get yourself a Vizsla and start 'LIVING' ;) :)

Hobbsy
 

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Kir - GO 4 IT - 2 kids 2 V bite - a husband that in 2 weeks will think the pup is his - hard wood floors 2 wear out !!!!! PIKE & I see no DOWN SIDE - LOL
 

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My kids were rough to when young, but I don't know that they would have held up to the shark attacks that my puppies dished out. Funny story that I don't think my son would like me telling. He was 12 years old at the time and my puppy was full of piss and vinegar when young. He called me on the phone and said Cash (puppy) had him trapped on top of the recliner. Cash was just in a crazy play mode, but that meant nipping hard enough to make blood blisters, and rip cloths. I could hear Cash in the background barking.
I laughed and told him "Get down off the recliner, and put the puppy back in the crate."
 

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Hi Kir

I have seen dogs ruining couples!
When they are perceived as intruders or when the partner have the feeling he is not being considered.
I would say it's important the V is welcomed by everybody(almost like a baby)in order to have everybody love her and bear the shark-attacks,the sleepless nights....and enjoy all the loving she can give

So...I know you can change his mind!! ;)

As for the kids:Leo met a two years old last w-e and for the first time in his 6month life ,took care not to jump on someone!he was sweet and gentle but we never let them out of sight.

I find the experimental w-e a great and generous idea!You could embark your young family in this adventure and see if they feel like living it for 15 years!

all the best

Mir
 

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Gosh! What a question! As a loving v owner I'd say "go for it, your hubby will come around!" But the fact that some Vs end up for adoption says otherwise (for any number of reasons of course).

We picked a calm puppy and Nico is now trustworthy for the most part at 10 months. Hardwood floors and baseboards are unscathed. I would keep a v puppy waist-leash at any "unsupervised" times during the first few months (shark attacks and zoomies)....
.... But I honestly wouldn't be able to have a V without my spouse's help. I'm a social being and knew that I was sacrificing almost all my "me time" by getting a V but you just don't know what that truly means til you have one, eh? Sometimes I call Dave and ask him to come home to walk Nico so that I can go for a solo run just to experience that "me time" again! I can't go back now (or ever probably) because I love the Velcro dog too much but I can't deny that it's taxing!

Anyhow, I'll leave you with a pic of Nico with our 7 month old niece Kori (he loves kids and cats... He musters up all his self restraint so that we allow him to be around them ;) )
 

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As a funny anecdote: I was the v fanatic & Dave was the hesitant one before we got Nico... And just now when I read the title of your post out loud he said "Yes. That's all you needed to post, why did it take you so long to type 3 letters?"

But think about it for yourself!! Good luck!
 

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Before we got our pup, my husband was of the mindset that he was never ever having another dog. He had dogs previously, and didn't want to be tied down that way again. One day he caught me looking at a rescue dog online, which sparked the conversation of us potentially getting a dog. When he realized that I really wanted a dog, he reluctantly started discussing breed options (his previous dog history being lab mixes and a malamute). We began researching and decided on a V.

Even though my husband ended up agreeing with getting the dog, he told me that the responsibility of the dog was left entirely to me - toilet training, obedience, walking, etc. Though my husband loves our dog, these tasks still fall to me. Over the past year and half I have gotten used to getting up at 5 am with the dog to play and exercise. I come home at lunch to again, play and exercise the dog. After work, it is the same thing. I have taken the dog to obedience classes, and now agility classes. I do not have kids, and honestly *for me* I don't think it would have been possible to do what I have with our pup, and still look after the two kids - unless my husband were to take sole responsibility of the kids, while I look after the dog :p In addition to training the dog, you will also need to train the kids in how to deal with the pup (which may be harder than training the dog :p). However, if you want something bad enough, and commit to it, you can accomplish anything! :) Your a mother of two, so your likely more patient and used to lack of sleep than me.

My friends and family (most who have or have had kids) tell me that my dog is needier and higher maintenance than a kid. I don't know how much exposure you have to the breed, but RBD's suggestion of finding some Vs to hang out with and/or borrow is an excellent suggestion to see if a V would be a good fit for your family.

As for destruction of the home - lol We will be putting down new floors next year, and I'm going to be researching to get the most durable , aesthetically pleasing floor I can find. I don't know what you've selected for a finish, but a V is not an easy dog on a house. Mind you, they may not be any worse on the floor than rough and tumble kids :)

You know your family best, and what your capable of - Goodluck!
 

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C-E struck a couple of notes that resonated.

Our first dog was my wife's idea and responsibility. But it didn't take long for me to come around and it's possible that your husband might too. I'm not saying to count on it, but it could happen.

A potential problem with kids is not just that they'll get knocked down by a dog, or be subject to shark attacks. The other, bigger, problem is that they can unintentionally provoke a dog into biting. I adopted my Charlie from a breeder after he had been returned for biting kids (twice). Charlie is NOT a biter, but the kids pushed him too far and he did bite. It's a matter of training the kids.

Our previous 2, of 16 years each, were not destructive of the hardwood floors, which were of no special kind. YMMV, of course.

Yours is a tough call and for most tough calls I recommend going with your gut feeling. Do your research, but don't try to analyze too much.

Bob
 

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I'm certainly not going to advise one way or the other, but here are two more considerations as you think it through.

First - Even with all your running and exercising, you will need to devote still more time to exhausting your pup mentally. Also, you will need to monitor your puppy's exercise to prevent overworking growing joints. Your exercise routine may be disrupted until the pup is old enough to keep up with you safely.

Second - At some point, a Vizsla will overwhelm just about any household. You may not be the one reduced to tears or trapped on the recliner (great story TR!), but someone in your family WILL. Make sure you have a plan to handle it and the inevitable discussion about whether or not to keep the pup.

With that said, they are wonderful dogs if they are a match for your household and lifestyle!

Good luck with your decision!
 

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First of all, let me say I cannot imagine our lives with our Vizla. He is so much a part of our family. While my fiancee wasn't totally against getting a dog (we lost our 14 yr old last year), he was reluctant to do so. I researched different breeds then read this forum, books, and many other websites about Vizsla's. They are honestly a different breed of dog. When people refer to them as "Velcro" dogs - they mean it literally. We don't do anything without Gus. We've had him since Feb 28 and he's spent one night away from us - that's one night since Feb that we've slept without him. :) He demands constant attention.
He does pretty good with our nephews who range from 6-12. He loves playing with them. He can get a little too excited though. As mentioned in previous posts it is important to train the kids as well as the dog. We don't have that luxury. We just have to try to explain to the kids and to Gus to play gently. Thank goodness they've all learned and love to play hide and seek. My parents can't get over how much like a kid he is.
I have been reduced to tears over Gus's tirades, I have been mad beyond belief when he chews a hole in my new mattress, and I have been the lucky recipient of his cuddles and nose kisses. I wouldn't trade Gus for anything.
My fiancee fell in love with him the first night we got him. He only calls Gus "your dog" when he gets in trouble. They stayed glued together when he gets home from work. It helps tremendously to have a partner share in the joys of raising a puppy. Everyone needs a little break.
Gus has learned patience but it has been hard. He will still come to me in the middle of a workday & ask to come up in my lap for cuddle time. (I work from home & am on the computer all day.) He knows when it's 5 o'clock. Forget overtime.
Gosh, I could go on and on about how special our Vizsla is. It's hard to make the decision for anyone else though. Gus requires much more exercise, mental stimulation, and overall attention than either of our labs did.
Good luck with your decision.
 

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In regards to the floors, you can buy socks with traction on the soles if you feel the need. In my opinion, if you can hear nails on the ground they are too long.

I too am a long distance runner. My husband was not interested in a dog at all. He had never had a pet. I love dogs and had been waiting for years to have one and was completely prepared to take 100% responsibility for the dog with the occasional help of family or a dog walker.

We got Miles almost 3 years ago. I took care of him completely and Miles is to this day "my dog." He is deeply bonded to me and always prefers me to my husband, though he still likes my husband. My husband was a bit sad that Miles so strongly preferred me, as he unexpectedly enjoyed having a dog and started to help out a bit. He agreed to getting Chase, our second V, and was very hands on with raising Chase.

So, I guess my point, is that if you are prepared for it, go for it. Not much makes me happier than getting up at 5:15 for our morning 75 min off leash run. It's the best way to start the day. I had a client at 5:45 am today and missed our run, and my husband took them, and I missed them all morning until I got home for our lunch hike. :D
 

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Short answer, no - at least for now (in my opinion).

You have two young children, at least one who will be at home for a while and a husband who doesn't want a dog (he may come round, he may not). Believe your mum; I have three children, now (barely!) adult - the pup was much more demanding than any of them for the first few months and we were fortunate enough to not have any sleep issues or suffer from shark attacks. I think you are underestimating how demanding a Vizsla puppy is, make sure you checkout http://www.vizslaforums.com/index.php/topic,6693.0.html. Vizslas do settle down a lot once they become adult but the pups are VERY HARD WORK!

I suspect you will also have to give up running for a while as V pups require 24 hour supervision and it will be some time before you can take your dog running with you because of the potential affect on its joints (search the forum for threads about running with your dog). My wife and I are keen hill walkers but basically had to stop for a year when we got our first pup.

I wouldn't worry too much about your floor, our kids did far more damage to flooring. The rest of your house may be a different story though! :)

Personally, I would wait at least until both your kids are at school. I would also at least consider a rescue. I think people fear that they are all uncontrollable monsters but that is rarely the case. The important thing is to go through a reputable rescue organisation that will match a dog to your needs and circumstances. We now have two dogs, one from a pup and one a 14 month rescue. TBH the rescue has the better temperament although their is a bit of training that needs addressing (recall and she jumps up and licks everybody). As well as wanting to provide a home for a dog that needed it, one reason we got a rescue was because I work from home but couldn't cope with the full time attention that a pup needs. It literately drove me to tears with our first dog because I couldn't get ANYTHING done until my wife got home from work.

You don't say where you live - if you can let us know we may be able to point you in the direction of local groups etc. that you may be able to meet up with to help you decide. This forum is also an excellent source of information, read as much of it as you can to get a good feel for the breed. They are quite different from other breeds. If they are what you want they are absolutely fantastic dogs but the fit and the circumstances have to be right.
 

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No way.

V's are incredibly needy and very high maintenance. They require a lot of exercise (which you have nailed) but even after running many miles on the trail will still have energy at home. This doesn't mean they will be destructive or crazy, just that they still move around A LOT. Especially as pups. V pups are mischievous, intensely curious, and playful. They are wicked smart and get into everything. So not only will you be chasing 2 little kiddos, you will spend even MORE time monitoring your vizsla.

We don't have children and my husband works from home. He was not entirely on board with getting a vizsla but I pushed (and won). Redd is now almost 8 months old and at one point nearly destroyed our marriage. NOT HIS FAULT, they are just that taxing as puppies. My husband still feels his life is entirely disrupted. Its getting much better, but its slow.

Do we love him? To pieces. He is loving, sweet, gentle, smart, sassy, crazy, and somewhat obedient. We would not ever give him up. But NO WAY would I consider this breed if I had children AND a reluctant partner. It will take the both of you to successfully raise him without completely losing your minds. And you may still lose your minds.

Pick a different breed or forgo altogether until your husband is more on board or your children are older. That's my .02!
 

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I think you might be bighting off more than you can chew(oops no pun intended).
We have an all adult household and everybody wanted her but she was still a handful and a big time consumer. Not to mention that she is incredibly Velcro and gets in the way of any cuddle time my husband and I have.
You also need a lot of time for training and exercise and everyone in the family must be consistent in training and crating etc.
We love Dharma to pieces but she is now 18 months old and will probably not settle down any more until she's like 5 years old...... She is smart and feisty and somewhat obedient. But above all she is part of our family despite everything we had to go through in getting her and sometimes I wondered if it was ever going to get any easier.
 

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I was in your situation last winter. We now have a four month old pup, two young (7 and 4) kids and we both work. Training is difficult if not impossible to keep consistent among the four of us, but particularly the children. My husband helps care for the dog, but doesn't tolerate her antics as much as I do. She has a lot of energy. As Redd stated, you may go for a walk, run or hike, but they are still boisterous in the house afterwards. Summer is the "crazy" dog in puppy class because all she is interested in is playing with everyone - people and dogs alike - which I think is kinda cute. I've banned my husband and kids from the class - it was too stressful! She is smart and is improving with commands.

Can you do it? Sure you can. It is a lot of hard work and whatever precious personal time you had will disappear. Is it worth it? If you had asked me two months ago (or maybe even yesterday after class), I would have said no way! But over time, it is getting easier and she is certainly a part of the family. We love her. The kids adore her and she is a fantastic companion.
 

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my two boys (human) were age 5 and 6 when we got Ruby, I'm so glad they were both at school full time as it was harder to train them than a boisterous pup.
 

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I Have a Crazy, possesive little boy.... yes its work but Not out of the ordinary..... Bo is now 2 yrs & he is rough,loving, crazy, talks Vizsla, eats like there's no tomorrow, but most of all very obedient. My husband takes him hiking for many miles at a time & they both have a good time. I feel atease when My husb take the dog on a long weekend bcs I don't have to worry that he is alone. Bo is big enough & will be by his side. Tell you husb that this Vz will be loving & another Fam member. I can't imagine our lives with out BO & Harley... All Vizslas look the same, act the same its amazing how close all of ther are??? take a chance !
 

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A little advice from a runner that was working and going to school when I got my pup... my running came to a major halt when I got my pup ... and to be honest, I don't run as much even now that he is 3 years old than I did when I was without a dog.

Having two young children is even more time consuming than working and attending school. Who watches the kids when you run? Or do you jog with them in a stroller? I only ask because you will most likely need someone to care for them twice as much if you get the pup.

You won't be able to run with the puppy until he is much, much older (about a year and a half old). Then, when he's old enough for leash training, I can't imagine it would be easy keeping my eye on a four year old child that wants to walk instead of being in the stroller, pushing a stroller, and watching a dog that is putting sticks, gum, poop, leaves, rocks, cigarettes, etc in his mouth or wants to tear his leash apart. Admittedly, I'm not the most patient person in the world, but when Otto used to attack his leash it took all of my might not to lose my cool. It was frustrating and lasted for the better part of his puppy hood (8 weeks to about 1 year old)!

Even now, I only run with Otto when we're in trails. He slows me down on the street because if I go fast he wants to go faster .. which is too fast! ::) I workout at the gym or run when I get our of work, but heading out for a run from the house without him makes me feel too guilty leaving him home so I've found I don't do it as often (as that used to always be most convenient). This might not be the case for you but just realize that when he is a puppy your running could be put on hold for a year or so.

Also, its a possibility that your your young children could start certain sports or activities soon (not sure if that's something your family will do but I know plenty of families with young kids that play soccer, scouts, or do dance and/or gymnastics). If that's the case, you'll be out of the house doing more driving and watching them at their activity.. which means less time to raise a well trained dog that you want as a member of your family. If you're one of those people that is fabulous at juggling responsibilities then go for it! I can only say that I could never handle a vizsla puppy if I had young kids.

Puppies are wonderful and trying all at once. If you're committed to giving him the best chance at being a wonderful dog for your family - go for it! But if there is the slightest possibility that he could end up on the back burner, I'd say wait. It's not worth another dog in a rescue or shelter.
 
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