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Hi all, I have a breeder orientation/interview coming up in a few days and I find that the more I research this breed, the more confused I am.
Here are some questions:

We chose the breed because its size, easy grooming abilities, loving nature and friendly/fun characteristics are exactly what we want. In terms of exercise, we want a dog that we can take to off leash parks, long walks/jogs, occasionally the beach/small hikes on the weekend and one who is adaptable to guests and other animals. We also have a medium fenced yard. However, here are the hesitations we keep getting conflicting info on:

1. Energy level- After a romp in the off leash park for 45 mins and a couple leash walks in between, is our doggie going to be fine inside the home?

2. Separation anxiety. We'll be gone 3-4 hours during weekdays. We probably will crate him to avoid destruction but as he gets older, can he be left out?

3. Problematic behaviours- I've read a lot about random aggressive bursts sometimes just due to having so much energy or in the midst of zoomies. I also read a lot about going crazy on walks when little animals are seen (pulling leash or taking off). Oh...and I would be horrified if my furniture, floors or walls were victims of chewing! Having a sheepdog in the past, the most she did was scratch up the floors a bit.

4. We want to have kids in the near future. Anyone had a vizsla while adapting with a newborn? How did they respond? Will their rough play and speed be an issue or do they usually adapt?

I am experienced with dogs but by no means an expert. I also adore the velcro aspect of the breed. However, I dont want us to be in over our head/maybe its not the right time. I could also just be really nervous and overthinking it, and we could be fine!

Thoughts? Lots of questions, I know. Anything helps! Thanks.
 

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if you have a possibility to meet some vizslas and spend time with them, it may help too. Not all of them are exactly the same energy level and temperament, hence (and for many other reasons) careful selection of your breeder is key.

energy level and behavior : it is not all about physical activity. mental one is equally important. u will be surprised that after a training class teaching focus and attention or obedience or tricks etc how much your vizsla pup will doze off. also they tend to `show off` and become exuberant when they are young and don`t want to go to sleep even when you can see clearly that they are overtired. we had to teach to ours that there is a something called quiet time (we even name it like that) when he has to lay down and sleep and then there will be more playing and activity again. they can be thought many things due to their high trainability and that helps on energy maintenance too. i.e. if u teach them tricks that can lead into helping with putting the toys into they basket in the evenings:) the puppy phase can have some challenges here and there, gentle but firm leadership and patience helps to get thru those. those phases are temporary and what we experienced that redirecting from unwanted behavior instead of saying no for everything creates a more positive and confident vizsla. when he started his chewing phase at 8 weeks old of bringing him home, we gave him a nice antler and chew toys every time he started chewing the furniture. he was redirected to something more interesting. by 10 weeks old he only chew his own toys and doggy bed (lol he saw that as a toy). For a while white kitchen rolls were also not safe from him, somehow he was addicted to those till he became 1 year old. books, electric devices, phones, laptops etc have been safe in our house from day 1 with this method.

Crate training helps, not just in terms of home environment but for travel or if you have to board your vizsla. you would not want them to be out by themselves before they grow up, that helps them being set up for success.
we had a phase around 8 months old of being afraid of unknown men and barking at them excessively (ours is generally not a barker), so we went for walks and to shops and asked every friendly male person we met to pet him, he got out of that phase within 4 months, as if he never had that before.
3-4 hours being alone is perfect. Teaches your pup to be calm when alone (will probably fall asleep once getting used to it) and still not harming the velcro nature. make sure that you leave a tired vizsla in the crate.
we don`t have our own kid/vizsla experience, so i leave that to others.

also, i don`t think it is bad to analyze and think thru, at the end you want to have a happy situation where the dog and you are a great fit.
 

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I agree with Gabica's comments, as I most often do, but let me add these...

First, a Vizsla isn't really like any other "Dog". More than exercise and "Fun", the easy grooming, and the loving nature, Vizslas absolutely demand to be full, equal partners in your life, they are not just "Pets"..a descriptor they would find highly insulting...but true companions and partners. They do not tolerate second class status, or having their needs sidelined for others. If you are not willing to truly join with them and devote a large amount of you life to them, then you and they will be absolutely miserable.

Most of the failed placement stories involve a lack awareness of the huge commitment..above and beyond just caring for a "Pet"...and the inability or unwillingness for personal or lifestyle reasons to make such a commitment. For most people, a Vizsla as a "Pet" is as impractical as a Ferrari is for a daily driver. I work part time, and a large part of that from home, yet still find I could use more time with my Vizsla...something I have willingly done for the last 25 years with no regrets, mind you, but a sizeable commitment nonetheless.

I'd recommend you spend some time with the breed..and then maybe another and see the difference before you commit. They really are much more than their handsome appearance and their sweet loving nature, they are true partners and unless you can do that successfully, it's probably not a good breed for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input! I definitely have a lot of questions for the breeder. If off leash walks, lots of socialization, leashed training and the occasional run at the beach or a little hike is insufficient exercise wise...then yes, that may be an issue. Attention wise, we would be pouring love daily to the V, we are velcro humans. We want him to feel part of the family, but having a work life, social life and kids in the mix means there would need to be some adapting on the Vs part too. Lots to ask the breeder I guess!
 

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I can tell you a little bit about our experience. We got Amber when she was 10 weeks old and I'm a stay at home mom so was able to be with her during the day. It took a few months for her to settle (in the crate) when I left the house for just a little bit and only felt comfortable leaving her at home for 4 hours at the beginning of this year (so she was 2 by then). Of course, being home with her all day may have contributed to her taking so long. She's perfectly fine now napping in her bed (not crated anymore) and she is not destructive at all. As long as I give her a good 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour off-leash walk every day she's perfectly calm in the house. I do throw the ball in the yard a few times during the day but all in all she's very calm. I can tell you though that I had no idea how much time I would need to dedicate to training, walking, reassuring and just teaching her about all things. We went through different phases, the no listening when playing with other dogs, the barking at random people on our walks, the trying to get attention in the house. It's much easier now, but for the first 2 years it's not just give them a good walk and do other things during the day, it's constant attention you need to give them to teach them the proper things to do in the house and it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. I often compared it to when my kids were toddlers. If you give them the time in the beginning though, you will have a very affectionate and well behaved dog. I'm sure people who work can do it as well, it's just a matter of making the dog a priority when they are home from work. Good luck!
 

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Thank you for the input! It's super helpful. So I spoke to the breeder yesterday who thinks we are fine to raise a Vizsla and had a lot of positive things to say about their adaptability. In fact, some of what they said did not fall in line with a lot of what I have read in the forums- almost making it seem too good to be true! Either way, after discussing it as a family, something tells us that getting a V right around the time we want to start a family might be too much right now...especially considering the multitude of conflicting (but very helpful) info we are getting in terms of the forums vs the breeder. We think its best to get a lab/lab mix while we have a newborn in the house (not to mention my husband wants a bird...so this all might be too much stimulation for a V pup)...and can always add a V in years from now if suitable. We are dog lovers and will most definitely be providing a loving home to a few dogs over our lifetime hopefully. Thanks again
 

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Ours was (IMO) impossible to crate train. She's always had free roam of the house and only on the days we haven't had enough play time has she been destructive. I mountain bike 3-5 miles with her when we can't go on a long run and this curbs any destructive tendencies. We also have plenty of bones to chew, another dog for her to play with, a dog door and a large-ish backyard with a pool.
 

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Hi all, I have a breeder orientation/interview coming up in a few days and I find that the more I research this breed, the more confused I am.
Here are some questions:

We chose the breed because its size, easy grooming abilities, loving nature and friendly/fun characteristics are exactly what we want. In terms of exercise, we want a dog that we can take to off leash parks, long walks/jogs, occasionally the beach/small hikes on the weekend and one who is adaptable to guests and other animals. We also have a medium fenced yard. However, here are the hesitations we keep getting conflicting info on:

1. Energy level- After a romp in the off leash park for 45 mins and a couple leash walks in between, is our doggie going to be fine inside the home?

2. Separation anxiety. We'll be gone 3-4 hours during weekdays. We probably will crate him to avoid destruction but as he gets older, can he be left out?

3. Problematic behaviours- I've read a lot about random aggressive bursts sometimes just due to having so much energy or in the midst of zoomies. I also read a lot about going crazy on walks when little animals are seen (pulling leash or taking off). Oh...and I would be horrified if my furniture, floors or walls were victims of chewing! Having a sheepdog in the past, the most she did was scratch up the floors a bit.

4. We want to have kids in the near future. Anyone had a vizsla while adapting with a newborn? How did they respond? Will their rough play and speed be an issue or do they usually adapt?

I am experienced with dogs but by no means an expert. I also adore the velcro aspect of the breed. However, I dont want us to be in over our head/maybe its not the right time. I could also just be really nervous and overthinking it, and we could be fine!

Thoughts? Lots of questions, I know. Anything helps! Thanks.
Hi! I'm gonna try to answer to each point. I also have experience with dogs, but not an expert, just like you, but I decided to bring home a Vizsla for all the reazons you expressed, but also because Iwanted to do nose work (specifically SAR) and obedience. I live in an appartmement and have a 2 1/2 years old daughter and a 3 year and 3 months old female Vizsla (Sirah), so:

1. When Sirah was a pup I used to take her out for about 45min around 6 am in the morning to train a little and play or jog. In the afternoon I used to take her to a park near my hous for about 1 1/2 hr to do some nose excercises and for along off leash walk or play with other dogs, I did this most of the time also with my daughter (a little baby in those days), and we train SAR every saturday since she was 6 months old, so I ended exausted. I suppose that with a larger house with a nice yard this amount of excercise is not necesary, and it depends on every dog, mine is freakin' overenergetic. Now I only take her out in the morning around 1hr or a little more and in the afternoon just take her for 20- 30 min, thank God, but this is very recent. But the important thing is the training, to keep his mind occupied, this is what will keep your dogt off the house destroying, however, spect some level of destruction, as with any puppy, no one can avoid it.

2. I had do separation anxiety problems, she is very comfortable inside her crate where she can stay for several hours if necessary. But we never left her inside the crate when out for work, I used to leave toys, things for her to destroy and hidden treats for her to find, this workr kinda fine, but still we found some mess two or three times. She behaves really good now, no problem at all un less we left food or something out of its place.

3. I think you are talking about the shark attacks, right? In this forum are several topics about thisProblematic behaviours. Those things happens at specific times for example when they are sleepy at night right before bed time, what worked for me was to take her mind off that shark state. Right before the attacks happen or right after in starts I used to teach her something, to sit, to look at me, to down, hide some food to find or whatever. This way you can avoid the behaviour until it stops. It doesn't last long though.
About chasing animals, this is a energetic hunting dog with a big prey instinct, that is difficult to control and may require training -another reason to give a Vizsla a job, obedience is a must-. Since we train mainly focused on prey instinct, since the very beggining I used toys, mainly tugs and balls. This can direct the concentration of the dog to the toys and your selfs.

4. My daughter was a newborn when Sirah had 9 months old, and never had a problem. We intrdoced her liittle by little at the beggning. As my daughte was growing we let Sira to be with her much more snif her kiss her, but never let her alone the baby though, not becaus any aggression thign but because the girl was learning to walk and we did not want Sirah to take her down or something. Now they are best frends and the girl says "no" when necessary and takes care of her self. However Sirah es super velcro and wants to stay all over her, so ther has been some minimum incidents, I think we have had more accidents as parents than Sirah :grin.

They get along this well:
 

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