If you are someone who enjoys getting in a workout with your four-legged friend then a Vizsla can prove to be your perfect companion. A highly energetic and gentle-mannered sporting dog, the Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise and human interaction.
So if you have lots of love to give and even more energy to play, you would get along well with the Vizsla.
The Vizsla is an aristocratic breed among dogs. It was originally bred as a hunting dog by the nomadic Magyar hunter-herdsman in Hungary. They wanted a dog that could find, point, retrieve and track game. This led to the development of the beautiful rust-gold colored Vizsla—the perfect companion-hunting dog.
After this humble beginning, the Vizsla was elevated to the position of an aristocratic and honorable breed kept only by the nobility. It became a favored breed among barons, warlords and later on kings and queens. It was considered an honor to receive a “Royal Golden Vizsla” as a gift.
It was only much later that this striking breed became popular in the United States. The first Vizsla to arrive in America was in fact smuggled out of Hungary by a U.S. State Department employee in the 1950s.
The Nature of a Vizsla
Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that stand out in a Vizsla:
- Athletic prowess
- Great Stamina
- Need for affection
These good looking dogs were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they are highly energetic, highly intelligent and high maintenance in a domestic setting.
They have a friendly disposition and develop strong bonds with their owners and family. They even respond well to strangers. In fact, their need for affection and attention is quite high. They are great family dogs that require a lot of care and attention so if you don’t have enough time on your hands to spend with your dog, give the Vizsla a pass.
These intelligent dogs are curious and playful at the same time. So if you don’t engage their mental faculties they can create some trouble for you. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop and the same can be said of an idle Vizsla—they will find creative ways to get into trouble.
Another characteristic that stands out is the barking! Vizslas tend to talk a lot! This can be in the form of barks, whines, moans or other noises. They are extremely mouthy dogs and if neglected for too long they can cry, whine and even begin a bark fest that you will have a hard time putting an end to.
This versatile breed excels in many fields, it is one of the only breeds to make history by earning five AKC championship titles in different disciplines. In 2000, a Vizsla named Chartray exhibited the breed’s capacity for versatility by conquering these titles.
Related: Do Vizslas Shed?
The breed has certain natural abilities that can be enhanced through training. Let’s take a look at the factors that affect the trainability and things to keep in mind when training a Vizsla.
Are Vizslas Easy to Train?
Vizslas are intelligent dogs that train well if stimulated and treated kindly. They are eager to please their owners so they tend to pick up things easily. Even first time owners will find it easy to train a Vizsla.
However, the training should be consistent and positive, starting right from puppyhood and even into adulthood. Vizslas need to be constantly engaged otherwise they may create trouble.
Do Vizslas Enjoy Training?
Vizslas are social and friendly dogs who need to be given attention all day long. This means that they love training as they thrive on all the attention being lavished upon them. Since they are so eager to please they also excel at learning tricks like rolling over, shaking hands, bowing, crawling and even catching flying treats.
Training helps channel the dog’s energy and instincts and also helps the owners develop a bond with the dog. If untrained, these dogs can grow up to be quite the creative trouble makers.
Related: Do Vizslas Like to Dig?
Things to Keep in Mind When Training a Vizsla
Vizslas are sensitive dogs that do not respond well to harsh commands or strong physical corrections. If you exhibit heavy-handed behavior while training your Vizsla, you can end up ruining the dog for life.
Vizslas are eager to please their owners and intelligent enough to pick up instructions quickly. It’s affectionate and loving temperament responds well to positive reinforcement and gentle corrections.
Early and Ongoing Socialization
Since they have a sensitive temperament, these dogs should be socialized with people, animals and experiences from puppyhood itself. This socialization shouldn’t be stopped even after the Vizsla has been fully trained. These interactions are important for the dog as it thrives on affection and attention.
Show Quiet Authority
While it is important not to be too harsh with your Vizsla it is equally important to let your dog who is in control. Let your dog know that you are in charge through gentle but firm commands.
Showing authority doesn’t always have to be about being loud and heavy handed. Your body language and non-verbal cues can also convey this sense of authority to your dog.
Ensure that you have established solid communication with your dog through your body language and gentle commands.
Keep Them Employed
Vizslas are highly energetic dogs with a lot of stamina. They can create a lot of trouble for you if they are not employed. Since they are mouthy dogs, if neglected for too long they can even become recreational barkers.
They are not just energetic but also intelligent dogs so it is important to engage your Vizsla both mentally and physically. Here are some training activities you can try out to keep your Vizsla engaged:
- Field trials
- Hunting tests
- Obedience training
- Agility training
- Dock diving
- Barn hunts
- Lure coursing
- Scent work and tracking
Vizslas require one to two hours of exercise and stimulation every day. This includes not only physical activities but also exercise that keep the brain active.
Vizslas are very curious dogs and love solving problems. So if you don’t provide a creative outlet for mental engagement they will invent their own games and negative behaviors.
Puzzles, training activities, competitive obedience agility and field tests can help you productively engage your Vizsla and curb negative behavior.
These strong dogs are all muscle and sinew and need rigorous off-leash exercise. You can take your dog along with you on your daily jog or hike and he will be more than happy to tag along. In fact, make sure that you keep up with your Vizla’s energy levels while out with the dog.
Vizslas are water lovers that adore swimming, a habit carried over from their hunting and retrieving ancestors. So you can even take your dog along for a swim.
Irrespective of the weather you will need to meet your Vizslas exercise requirements. The exercise, mental stimulation and attention will keep barking down and ensure that your dog has a good time.
Vizsla will never be content with a dull and routine life. These highly energetic and loving dogs need a firm and gentle hand to train them and keep them occupied throughout the day. So if you think you have what it takes to train these gentle yet powerful creatures, go for it!