Can a Vizsla Be a Service Dog?

Vizsla waiting for command

If you’re looking for a good service dog breed and are wondering if a Vizsla can fit the role, then you would be quite happy to know that these dogs fit the bill perfectly. Vizslas are very smart and intelligent dogs with gentle dispositions, making them perfect as service dogs and wonderful companions for people with disabilities.

What Are Service Dogs?

Service dogs are essentially dogs that aid individuals with disabilities, enabling them to lead a more independent and fulfilling life. As per the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), a service dog is trained individually to perform tasks or do work for any person with a physical or mental disability.

Service dogs are working dogs that are not only faithful companions but are trained to follow commands and perform specific tasks for people with disabilities. For instance, mobility dogs help people having balance problems or those using walking devices or wheelchairs.

Guide dogs help visually impaired or blind people navigate while hearing dogs help people who are deaf or hard of hearing and alert them to sounds. Service dogs also include medical alert dogs and psychiatric service dogs.

While there are many dog breeds that make excellent service dogs, Vizslas can make great service dogs owing to their hardworking and highly-energetic dispositions, strength and loyalty.

Vizslas are generally quite healthy dogs with lifespans of up to 12-15 years. In this article, we’ll explore what makes this breed suitable for being good service dogs.

Reasons Why Vizslas Can Be Good Service Dogs

There are many reasons as to why Vizslas make excellent service dogs including:

Friendliness and Loyalty

Vizslas are generally very friendly and loyal dogs. They bond very quickly with their humans and follow them wherever they go. In fact, this attribute of the breed gives Vizslas the name of “Velcro dogs.”

These qualities of the Vizsla make these dogs perfect to be service dogs, especially for kids with autism to provide reassurance required when they are anxious or stressed, particularly when going out in public or into a crowd.

Further, Vizslas have a relaxed and calm demeanor, which makes them blend easily into public areas, where they are usually welcomed.

Trainability

A dog needs to go through rigorous training before becoming a service dog. They need to learn how to respond to commands and behave in various situations when helping their human companions. Vizslas are very intelligent and smart dogs.

They are quick to learn and can be trained very easily, which makes them excellent service dogs. If you’re planning to use your Vizsla as a therapy dog should start training your pet early when he is 8-12 weeks old.

This enables your Vizsla to socialize with other people and pets since, as a service dog, your pet will be encountering different types of environments and people. This will also give your pet exposure to changing situations. You should also train your dog for various situations such as walking along with a wheelchair, next to a person with mobility issues, etc.

Adaptable Temperament

Service dogs are often required to perform several different tasks and they must be capable of adjusting their behavior according to the situation. Vizslas have the capability of being highly energetic and can keep up with the needs of exercise sessions while being calm when acting as an emotional support animal.

The highly-energetic nature of the Vizsla makes them a wonderful addition to the family and an absolute joy to be with, where you can spend your free time with your pet when he is not working as a service dog.

Energy and Strength

Vizslas are not only hard-working dogs but they are strong, as well as high-energy dogs, which are essential qualities if you want your pet to help out with daily routines, making them perfect service dogs.

Vizslas can be trained to carry light weights or backpacks on their backs and help people with mobility issues. Your pet can also be trained to bring things to their humans such as getting medication. The high-energy nature of Vizslas makes them tireless workers, especially if you want them to perform therapeutic exercises such as walking, fetching a tossed ball, etc.

Health

Vizslas are generally healthy dogs that live for a long time with life spans between 12 to 15 years. This will enable you to enjoy several years of companionship with your trained service dog.

This is especially important because the bond that you and your pet share will help to enhance the assistance quality that your service dog can provide. When it comes to getting their humans to complete their exercise routines, you will find that Vizslas are excellent motivators.

You will find that your high-energy pet is always ready to set off on a walk or play a game of fetch with you. Using your Vizsla as a service dog, you will be able to experience the advantages to your health, as well as your life that comes from following an active lifestyle with your pet.

Versatility

Service dogs can be supportive and serve different purposes, be it as a mobility dog, medical alert dog, guide dog, hearing dog or emotional support dog. For people suffering from behavioral or emotional issues, Vizslas can be a source of support and provide the calm and strength required by individuals to carry out their everyday activities.

Individuals suffering from disabilities may need a service dog that can enable them to be independent so that they can carry out their everyday tasks like answering the door, fetching the phone or their medications, alerting them to the doorbell, etc.

Some people may need their service dog to provide both physical, as well as emotional support. Vizslas are extremely versatile dogs and they are easily trainable to offer different kinds of assistance to meet different needs.

Vizslas and the Disabled

As we have discussed earlier, Vizslas can be trained and make great service dogs. They not only make great companions for people with disabilities but also help to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. The 4 main areas for Vizslas to work as service dogs include:

  • Cognitive: This is primarily related to the patients’ memory which involves exercises, which are done to help them learn and remember details about their pet such as the breed, color, size and the other features of their pet.
  • Emotional: Dogs, including Vizslas, play a very important role in the emotional aspect of the individual. The idea is to enable the person to open up and express their feelings. And, dogs are excellent means of helping people to remember things and speak about the important situations, moments or issues in their lives.
  • Physical: This is a very important aspect, which comprises a series of exercises that involves the patient getting up, moving, walking or running with their dog to help with their mobility. In this area, the dog and the patient must communicate and interact properly so that the patient can regain his/her lost mobility.
  • Relational: The relational area involves motivation, which is the key factor, which enables the patient to relate to the environment, particularly to other people. This can help them in feeling safe, secure and comfortable when they go out in public or in places where there are crowds. The company and support of a service dog can help immensely in the relational aspect.

What to Look for When Choosing a Service Dog?

Service dogs play a very important role in the life of a person suffering from disabilities. So, it is extremely vital to spend time with the canine and get to know the animal. It is a good idea to visit several breeders and understand their training methods before choosing a specific dog that can be used as a service dog.

Some of the factors to consider when selecting a service dog are:

  • The temperament of the dog to be a service dog and if he can handle the job that you expect him to do.
  • If the dog is the proper size for your specific requirement.
  • The dog’s intelligence and strength enable him to assist you dependably.
  • The energy levels of the dog to enable him to handle your activity level.

Training Your Vizsla to Be a Service Dog

If you want your Vizsla to be a service dog, then you will need to train your pet for the same and you will need the help of a professional trainer to do it. As per the AKC, it can take between 6 months to 2 years for a dog to be trained as a service dog.

However, if you feel that it may be difficult to train your Vizsla to be a service dog, then you can simply adopt a dog that is already trained to be one.

Parting Thoughts

In conclusion, a Vizsla is a wonderful breed. These dogs are intelligent, loyal, lovable, adaptable and can be trained very easily. All these characteristics of this breed make Vizslas excellent service dogs that can help to forge a strong bond between you and your pet and improve your quality of life immensely.