You’d be hard pressed to find a doggo that’s more active, loyal and affectionate than the Hungarian Vizsla. In fact, so loyal are these dogs that they’ve been awarded the title of ‘Velcro dogs’!
But is your Vizsla going to be a barker? Read on to find out!
A Little Bit about Vizslas
Vizslas, also known as Magyar Vizslas, come from an ancestry of hunting and preying, originally bred to point, track and retrieve prey.
Native to Hungary, these dogs have solid-colored coats—they’re natural redheads, but may sometimes also have gorgeous golden-brown-rust coats.
Intelligent and inquisitive, Vizslas nearly went extinct post-the Second World War due to the rising popularity of other breeds in the Pointer family. In fact, all Vizslas today come from about a dozen Vizslas that survived this near extinction!
Vizslas came to the United States after the Second World War and were recognized by the AKC in 1960.
These dogs are average shedders and while they don’t seem to shed much, they shed all year round, with the shedding peaking in the spring season.
The fact that they don’t have an undercoat makes things much easier; even otherwise, the shedding is nothing that basic grooming can’t handle.
Do Vizslas Bark?
Vizslas are known to be quite vocal, expressing their emotions and communicating using a wide range of sounds, such as grunts, whines, howls, moans and yes, barks.
However, these dogs don’t bark more than the average dog and if they do, it could be an indication of improper training or unhappiness, requiring your attention.
Reasons Why Your Vizsla Could Be Barking
Like all dogs, your Vizsla could also be barking for a host of reasons, ranging from boredom to being a good watchdog to just pure joy!
Sure, some of these reasons could actually keep you safe and warn of you approaching danger, while some could just result in a splitting headache and not-so-nice calls from your neighbors.
Here’s a breakdown of the different reasons why your Vizsla could be barking:
Boredom is an extremely common reason behind incessant, excessive barking among dogs. Vizslas, with their level of innate intelligence, require quite a bit of mental stimulation to keep them content, happy and balanced.
When they’re not sufficiently engaged mentally or challenged enough mentally, you can start to bid adieu to your furniture and your peace of mind and say hello to destruction-and-incessant-barking-mode Vizslas!
Another common reason for your Vizsla’s barking could be loneliness. These dogs are ‘Velcro dogs’ for a reason—they love sticking by the owner’s side.
Their loyalty and need for proximity is a natural tendency and these dogs don’t do well when left alone for long periods and if done so, can result in a lot of barking. This is their way of dealing with it.
Therefore, give your Vizsla enough time and attention so that there’s no separation anxiety, or train your Vizsla to be prepared for these long periods of loneliness.
Vizslas may also bark to express their joy! Parents coming back, playtime, visiting his or her favorite spot in the park—all of this excitement could manifest in happy ‘borks’!
Vizslas are extremely protective when it comes to their families and will bark without hesitation should they sense that something is off, whether this is a snake in your path or uninvited guests in the backyard.
Vizslas are energetic dogs, with a penchant for exercise and the outdoors running in their blood! The fact they were originally bred to withstand long hours on their paws is still carried by Vizslas today.
Therefore, these dogs require more than just a quick walk or 10-meter sprint. The lack of exercise to expend all this energy may result in it being diverted to barking, instead.
Related: Do Vizslas Like to Dig?
Did you forget to fill the food bowl? Or perhaps your Vizsla’s favorite pillow has been taken over by the cat? There’s nothing other than barking that your Vizsla can resort to, to apprise you of his or her woes!
Controlling the Barking
While barking may be beneficial in some cases, incessant barking never is. Wanting to control or reduce this barking is very understandable and justifiable.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your Vizsla’s barking, here are a few tips!
Fit in Plenty of Exercising
Ample exercise is necessary for a dog as physical as Vizslas. Your Vizsla, at 9 months old, will need at least 45 minutes of exercise twice a day and this only increases as your Vizsla grows older.
A good formula to use to figure out your Vizsla’s exercise needs is allocating at least 5 minutes for each month of your puppy’s age, either once or twice a day.
Thus, at 3 months of age, this would be 15 minutes twice a day, 45 minutes at 9 months twice a day and as much as 90 minutes of exercise for a 1.5-year-old Vizsla!
Remember, don’t push your Vizsla too hard as a puppy, despite the love for physical activity.
Exercising your pup too hard can limit proper development, so lay the focus on playing and resting enough instead of hardcore exercise!
Be on the lookout for signs that indicate whether your puppy needs rest or wants more playtime.
In case you’re mostly away from home, employ a capable dog walker who knows the breed and knows what they’re doing and won’t mind going the literal extra mile to sufficiently exercise your Vizsla.
Proper training will go a long way in helping your Vizsla cut down on the barking by keeping him or her calm and secure, even if you’re going to be away for some time.
You can train your doggo to associate their crate or bed with peace, quiet and relaxation.
Another necessary word that your Vizsla can learn through training is ‘quiet’. Reward your Vizsla for recognizing that the command means no barking and you’ll see better and faster results!
Remember, don’t ever make the mistake of rewarding the barking, even if you mean well.
For example, comforting your Vizsla if he or she should bark at the thunder or crackers—this reinforces the fact that barking will lead to attention as well as your dog’s behavior.
Also, remember not to shout at your Vizsla when you’re training him or her not to bark. This could either be seen as a sign of you joining in with the barking or your dog will start to fear you and you don’t want either.
Desensitization and Distraction
You could distract your Vizsla as soon he or she starts to bark—many owners swear by this tactic and the use of commands such as “come” and “sit”, in succession, for the distraction itself. Yet others swear by toys.
Ultimately, the aim is to get your dog to replace his or her unwanted behavior with a better one!
If your Vizsla is extra sensitive and barks at even the shadows, keeping the curtains closed might be a good idea.
Music could cover noises from outside that could set your dog off and if your dog has something against the mailman, consider getting them to be friends—with the mailman’s consent, of course!
This way, your Vizsla will recognize your mailman as a friendly face and not be inclined to bark.
Dealing with the Barking
Your first reaction to your dog’s barker shouldn’t be controlling it or stopping it—it should be identifying the cause of the barking. We get it—a barker could really throw things off, especially if you’re living in a condo or apartment.
While you may go “aw” at your pet’s supposed attempt at being talkative, we’re ready to bet your neighbors won’t see it that way—some folks have even been sued!
Conversely, though, a noisy dog may be a great choice if you live in a separated home, as barking is generally accompanied by a natural inclination to being a watchdog.
Whatever the case may be, it’s always good to know what behavior a dog is inclined to. You can either encourage these natural tendencies to reasonable and productive extents or figure out how to counter them if your heart is set on the breed.
It may also seem tempting to just cut your job short and jump straight to the training, it’s better, in the long run, to get to the root of the problem.
Additionally, by doing so, you’ll be better equipped to treat the problem and eventually eliminate it.
And before you go all Gunnery Sergeant Hartman on your Vizsla, bear in mind that Vizslas are sensitive dogs who do much better with positive reinforcement and an upbeat attitude, as opposed to negative or harsh ones.
Related: Are Vizslas Good Dogs for Families?
The Final Word
While they aren’t extreme barkers, bear in mind that Vizslas are a vocal breed—for reasons both protective and expressive—so your aim should never be to tamp down the barking completely; it should only be to reasonably control it.
Be kind, be understanding and be reasonable—after all, barking is a way of communicating for your Vizsla, so always think about getting to the source instead of just cutting the barking short.