Are Vizslas Good Family Dogs?

Couple with Vizsla dog breed

If you’re on the lookout for the perfect pooch who can keep up with your active family, then probably, the Vizsla is the ideal dog breed for you. These highly energetic dogs are extremely active and are always game for any adventure that you have in store. Traditionally, bred for hunting, Vizslas make excellent family pets.

These dogs love working and are the happiest when doing something with their owners. And, as long as they have proper exercise and loads of attention, you have a wonderful companion dog in a Vizsla. The most appealing trait of the breed is its personality and affectionate temperament, these dogs are best suited for an adventurous family who loves action.

So, if you’re wondering if Vizslas are good family dogs, the answer is “Yes, they are great family dogs”; however, they need proper training, loads of attention and very importantly, they need plenty of exercise daily. Vizslas are known for being gentle, affectionate and loyal. And, if you want to know all about the Vizsla breed to determine if he will be the perfect addition to your family, then read on.

The Vizsla Breed

A mid-sized sporting dog, the Hungarian Vizsla breed has been around for over 1,000 years. Historically, Vizslas belong to the pointer group and were originally bred to be hunters, trackers and retrievers. Originally, the striking, copper-colored dogs were used by the Magyar barbarians as hunting dogs and in the 14th century, they became companion dogs for aristocrats and the elite barons of Hungary.

Although Vizslas are slow to mature mentally, they are highly intelligent dogs. They are eager to please, making them very easy to train. The lively breed is filled with energy, but is extremely gentle and loves being close to people. Extremely affectionate and loving, the Vizsla is an excellent breed that has endured the test of time.

Vizsla Temperament

The Vizsla breed’s uniqueness lies in the fact that apart from being active and highly energetic dogs, they are extremely sensitive, gentle and affectionate. They are known to form strong bonds with their owners. Vizslas are extremely social and often forget how big and heavy they are. They are quite happy to hop onto your lap and cuddle with you. Often referred to as “Velcro dogs”, Vizslas can be quite clingy and follow you wherever you go.

They have a deeply ingrained desire to remain at the side of their humans at all times, due to the pointing and retrieving traits bred into them long ago, which has continued for several generations. Vizslas don’t like being alone and prefer to be in physical contact with their owner.

In fact, if you leave your Vizsla alone often or for long periods of time, they can become destructive and even develop separation anxiety. While some people may find this “Velcro-like” clingy behavior of the Vizsla annoying, others who love the breed find the undying affection, love, devotion and loyalty adorable.

Grooming Your Vizsla

Vizslas are very soft dogs with a lean and muscular frame and a short, easy-to-maintain coat. They are characterized by their thin, long face and beautifully soft and silky ears. Generally, the male Vizslas grow to a weight of around 65 lb, while the female dogs weigh around 40 to 55 lb, which makes them ideal for families looking for a dog that is not too large.

The breed is quite low maintenance and easy to groom. They don’t need frequent bathing. Just a quick brush of their coat 1-2 times a week to remove loose hair, clipping of nails and cleaning of ears, whenever required, is all that is needed to keep your pet clean and good looking.

Vizslas don’t have an undercoat and so they don’t have the characteristic “doggy smell” and are self-cleaning. Although Vizslas don’t have extra hair, they do shed. And, while the lack of extra hair makes them cleaner, this also makes it quite difficult for the Vizsla to keep warm during the colder months. And so, they should not remain outdoors for long periods in the cold weather or swim in cold water.

Vizslas Love to Cuddle

Cuddling is something that comes naturally to the Vizsla and your pooch will crawl into your lap at every instance he has, especially after a long day or some energetic exercising. Don’t be surprised if you find your Vizsla snuggling cozily in your bed under the covers or leaning against your legs to remind you to give him attention. Your Vizsla just can’t get enough affection.

Vizslas are not only soft in terms of their sleek coat, but also in terms of their temperament. These sensitive dogs do not respond very well to the harsh methods of training. They are shy and timid and can get unsettled if you use rough correction methods. The right method to get the best out of your Vizsla is by using positive reinforcement.

Vizslas Are Highly Energetic Dogs

As we discussed earlier, Vizslas are extremely energetic dogs. They have oodles of energy to burn and require a daily exercise routine to burn off all that energy and be happy. A short walk around the block may not be enough for your Vizsla. They need to walk a lot, ideally around 5 to 10 km daily and it is better if they can run or have some other vigorous exercise.

If not exercised to burn off all their energy, your Vizsla can get bored, troublesome and destructive. The Vizsla is up to any kind of exercise, be it running, jogging, fetching, hiking, agility training, inline skating, or just about anything to burn off his energy. In fact, Vizslas are perfect dogs for active families who love outdoor activities.

They are extremely intelligent dogs and apart from physical activity, Vizslas also need plenty of mental stimulation and activities to keep them occupied to prevent them from getting bored and prevent behaviors like digging and chewing.

Vizslas respond well to training with positive reinforcement, although they can get distracted very easily. It is very important to train your Vizsla from a very young age. Also, they need plenty of socialization to overcome their shy and timid nature. If trained well, Vizslas make great family pets.

Vizslas Are Great with Kids

Some of the key reasons why Vizslas are considered to be good around kids is because of their sensitive and loyal disposition. However, you must remember the high energy level of the breed and often in their exuberance, when focused on some task or game, Vizslas can become unaware of their surroundings. They can become quite bouncy when excited and jump on people to greet them.

While they are extremely gentle dogs and will not intentionally harm kids, it is important to watch over younger kids when they are interacting with your Vizsla as your child can get knocked over by your over-excited dog when he jumps up to say hello. And, this can get rather overwhelming for younger children.

Also, Vizslas can be mouthy, which can be difficult for your younger child to control on his/her own. And, Vizslas may also not tolerate rough play from toddlers like pulling their tails, etc. So, it is important to teach your kids to safely interact with your pet.

Nevertheless, Vizslas are extremely affectionate, loving and playful and love to play with kids all day long. And, at the end of a long, playful day, they are happy to snuggle on their laps and cuddle. A Vizsla is a great choice of a pet for families with older kids who are very active and love the outdoors. Playing fetch, running around, learning tricks and hiking can be great both for your children, as well as your pet.

Vizslas Need Socialization

By nature, Vizslas are very gentle, affectionate and loving dogs. They are extremely intelligent and as discussed earlier, crave attention and interactions with people. When they receive plenty of affection and are allowed to show it, Vizslas are the happiest and thrive in a loving environment.

However, proper socialization is key to raising a friendly, as well as well-adjusted Vizsla who is comfortable in various types of situations. Vizslas can be quite timid around people, especially strangers and it may take a while and plenty of socialization before your pet becomes comfortable around people. Socialization also helps Vizslas to get along with cats and other dogs.

Introduction to different experiences, people and situations will give your Vizsla the confidence to face life without any shyness or fear. However, you must be prepared to spend a lot of time socializing with your Vizsla and the process must continue throughout your pet’s life. The key to a happy and well-adjusted pet is patience, consistency and practice.

Final Thoughts

If you’re sure that you and your family have the stamina and can keep up with the high energies of a Vizsla and you can commit to providing your pet plenty of affection, attention, mental and physical stimulation, then you may have just found the perfect pet for your family.