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My wife and I are planning to get a dog and we've been researching breeds for the past several weeks. Vizslas are high on our list, but we've read in some places that they aren't a good choice if you have very young children or pet birds. We have no kids now but we just started trying, so we might have a baby coming into our lives in the next year or two. Also, we have nine chickens in our backyard. They live in a well-reinforced coop and run, but we do let them out into the backyard/garden for a few hours every day.

Should we forget about a Vizsla because of this? We are very responsible dog owners and are committed to training, socialization and management no matter what breed we get.

One more question: so many websites make such a big deal about the exercise requirements of Vizslas. Yet Dogtime.com lists Labs and Golden Retrievers as "5 out of 5" for exercise requirement, whereas Vizslas get only a "4 out of 5". Even on that site, though, in the description of the dogs they make a point of saying how much exercise Vizslas need, whereas they don't mention that with Labs or Golden Retrievers.

How much exercise do you find your Vizsla needs?

Thanks for your help!
 

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I think the whole "exercise" thing get's a bit blown out of proportion...my family and I are active - we go on walks every night - go to the park - go to the lake/pond in our neighborhood, and generally seem to spend a lot of time outdoors. For us the exercise thing is not an issue at all. Being that you have chickens in your backyard, I would take that you have plenty of room for "rover" to romp and play...Also, exercise refers to mental stimulation as well...these dogs love to work...training is a lot fun for them.

I have a 2 year old and he get's knocked over a couple times a day - Samantha loves him and can't seem to get close enough..she's get's this excited wiggle going when she greets him.

Don't know about the chickens - seems like that could be entertaining...especially during the puppy phase!! but that's just me... ;D

Good luck with what ever dog you choose!
 

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I think if you bring any dog into your family first before you have kids then you have to be careful of the dog getting jealous later. If the chickens are there first then the dog will just grow up with them and its behaviour towards them will have a lot to do with your training.

I think the 5/5 for excercise for the Labs is because they get fat very easily. V's run a lot and are very lean, hence hard to actually fatten up. Just read the forum. No ones writing about how to loose weight, more like trying to find something that they like to eat. Labs will eat anything.

If I don't let my V out of the yard (and we have a big yard), after a couple of days she will start to get a bit stir crazy. I normally walk her 20-30mins up the street each morning at 6am Mon -Fri and then take her out to the park once in the weekend. I have 3 young kids and no problems. Just the occasional knock over like Stevie-j says. Get a Vizsla, you won't regret it.
 

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I have a friend with an 18 month old who probably comes to my place once a month. Some how Catan knows to take his energy level down for the baby. He has allowed Evan to hold his leash and walk him around the house continously for a half hour. It was really amazing to see. Once my 15 year old son came home he took the energy level back up and started attacking his pant legs. Amazing dog (not for snapping at the pants but for sensing and reading the people around him).
 

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Thanks everyone for your responses. I did think the exercise thing might have been a bit overblown. Based on what you've said and other threads I've read here, I'm pretty confident we could give a V enough exercise. As for the chickens... I think that is a risk but with proper management and early training and socialization, it could probably be minimized. Now we just need to find a good breeder in California.
 

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Hi switters re kids and V's my boys are 5 and 7 and they always have freinds around and its never a problem he's giddy and hyper when they first get here but soon chills out and although we dont have chickens we do have a rabbit which has the run of the garden (not at the same time as scooby) but when he's in his hutch the dog never bothers with him, so go for it
 

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Don't forget that Vizslas are bird hunters. I let my boy run with my sister's chickens when he was ~14 weeks. He had a blast but was not able to catch them.

Scout is now 7 months and I am training him to hunt. He will point the quail and not try to catch it. However, if I flush the bird and it lands nearby, he has jumped on them and killed them.

My recommendation is to keep them separate. Scout ignores the quail when they are in the pen.
 

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I don't have little kids running around but I have successfully had 2 Vizslas (one at a time) and 1 Vizsla cross running around and I have chickens and ducks loose all day. We do not hunt. Our vet said that is the only way you can get by with birds loose. It would be too confusing to hunt and then expect them to live with free chickens.

When I first brought the dogs home, I kept the birds penned up and walked the dog on a leash past the pen 5-6 times a day and told him no every time he looked at them. We didn't stand and stare at them, we just walked past the pen like it was no big deal. At first he was real interested. When he wasn't so interested I let the chickens out to roam and kept the dog on a leash until I was confident he wouldn't hurt them and then I still watched closely when they were out together. It took some time and effort but now the dogs and chickens are out all day and I think it was worth it. I still do not let baby chicks or ducklings run loose. My dogs are also not allowed in the chicken house.

Our first V killed one chicken when he was young. Current V, Virgil never really bothered them. I do tell him no if I see him looking too closely. I have more of a problem with him wanting to make certain cats run. He has never hurt any of our cats tho.

They are fun dogs with great personalities
 

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Have kids, chickens and peacocks. Never had a problem with my own vizslas I raised, but ensure pups are intergrated early.
Check to see the breeder you are using isnt getting them ready for fur and feather at a young age, as this would cause issues with your birds.

NB. My vizz'z work to order and will point and fetch game.
 

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Sorry, I know this thread is older...don't get around here as often as I'd like.

I can attest to the kid thing. Our Loki is now 2 years old and we just had a baby in July. So far, he is the most patient and sweetest dog. Sure, he's a bit energetic (like any V) at times near the baby when she's on the floor, but he's gotten used to it now. Our daughter is getting to the "grab everything and put in my mouth stage" and Vizsla ears are no exception. He just sits there and takes it. I feel very lucky. However, any dog and child should always be supervised.

I'm sure with proper training and desensitization, a V and chickens could live together...but you'd have to start that at an early age...

And, as Loki has gotten more "mature" we're finding he's fine with less exercise.
 

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Our Vizsla is OK with the kids 5 & 7 y.o, V is only 16 months. She is great with the bigger of the 2 kids and getting better with the smaller. She would not bite, but has brought them to tears many times with her jumping up and scratching with her claws. Should try trimming them again, although I worry it will make them sharper. I can see that when she is older, she will be fantastic with the kids.
 
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