Viszla vs Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever(37 Posts)
Hi all, this is my first post
Just wondering if anybody with either of these breeds could give me feedback on living with them as part of a family?
We have always had Dalmatians and I would cheerfully have a dozen more, but DH has expressed a desire to not spend the next 12-15 years under a layer of spiky white hairs! We are at the stage where we will be considering adding another dog in the next 2-3 years. I have, in the past, worked with dogs of all sizes and am used to dealing with big bouncy ones, particularly having had dallies for the past decade or so!
I probably could convince DH to go for another spotty one, but am willing to consider others and have narrowed it down to these two breeds based on our situation and requirements.
We are very active as a family and someone is at home each day, as we mostly work from home. We have a reasonable sized garden/house and never had an issue with 3 Dalmatians in the space we have. There is no limit to the amount of exercise available, as we all love to walk and DH and I take turns to alternate morning and evening walks. We are experienced with both puppies and rescue dogs and will carefully consider either option. The kids are used to (and confident around) large bouncy dogs from our dals, to rotties/ridgebacks/weimaraners owned by family and friends. All of our dogs have been trained using positive reinforcement techniques and this is a method we will continue to use.
The things I love about my dallies and would like to have in future dogs if possible are; their sense of fun and slight air of stupidity, their stamina, their absolute devotion to the family.
Research into each breed is ongoing, particularly with regards to any health issues in the breed, so any experience of that side of things is welcome as well! We will also be looking to spend more time around each breed in the near future!
Sorry for the long post- thanks for taking the time to read!
I've got a weimaraner x viszla and he is a dude, so might be biased, but both are awesome dogs. I like the look of a viszla more, however. Main difference is that the retriever will shed far more hair.
My sister leads a similar life to you and has boxers. They are great dogs and far more trainable than people will have you believe. Really good natured too.
I adore weimaraners, but they're just a touch too big for my house :-( a viszla/weimy cross sounds like a perfect compromise! As much as I enjoy the company of boxers, they just don't quite do it for me for some reason!!
The consideration for the Toller is because DH craves a hairy dog . I think a wire haired viszla would work for him too, though. I'm not too concerned about shedding generally, due to the amount produced by the spotty ones, but I think he would like to minimise it a bit, so definitely something to think about with the retriever!
If you don't want spiky hairs around, don't get a Viszla! A WHV might be a better option.
We have a V. She is perfect for active families. But she was really, really hard work as a pup. There are loads of Vizsla groups on Facebook, if you are on there, with members who will happily tell you all about their pros/cons.
Look for Vizslamentes, they do amazing rescue work with dogs from Hungary and rehome to the UK.
Thank you- I will look for them on Facebook! I'm not too bothered by the hairs- it's DH, and I'm sure ginger hairs would be less bothersome to him than black ones on his white clothes and white ones on his black clothes
I have a Toller - they're quite a bit smaller than a Viszla and not quite as rambunctious as most of the Viszlas we know but still very playful and fizzy. On the whole they're very bright, easy to train and have a lovely temperament. Their coats have a different texture to Golden retrievers and ours doesn't shed much unless he's in the middle of a moult. I love ours and think he's the perfect dog for an active family
I had a Vizsla as a guide dog and I absolutely adored her. I was actually very lucky as she was the smallest dog in the kennel and the fastest, they match guide dogs on peoples size, Walking speed and lifestyle. I think that particular guide dog school in the US is the only school that trains them, no offense to Labrador owners but I am so glad I didn't get stuck with a boring Labrador.
Vizslas have a lot of energy and are extremely fast, beautiful dogs. If you have children that like to exercise and run around, a Vizsla would be perfect! If you get a Vizsla that is anything like mine was, watch your rum cakes, pills, balloons and anything else that looks remotely edible! She was a bottomless pit!
We dog sit a Toller sometimes and he was an absolutely lovely dog.
We ended up with a Golden Retriever as they have always been my passion but we were very nearly swayed and with hindsight I think maybe we should have got one. They are less tank like than Goldies!!!
Thanks everyone! all pretty positive experiences then. It's going to just come down to personal taste I guess. I think I'll start by joining some of the Facebook pages and seeing if there are any breed meet-ups or shows on over the summer.
TLDR: check out breed health and breed genetic diversity. High genetic diversity will on average result in better health.
The thing I always bang on about when people are asking 'What dog' or 'What breed' is, check the breed health and check the coefficient of inbreeding (COI). The higher a dog's COI, the greater its chance of having genetic health problems and/or a compromised immune system.
The breed average for the Toller is low, BUT the breed as a whole is based on a small number of founder dogs (9 or 10) and so is not genetically diverse. A very quick look at a few Toller pedigres on the KC website indicates that these pedigrees tend not to go back very far, and this will reduce the accuracy of the quoted COI: you really want 10-20 generations, not 4 or 6.
On the face of it, the Vizsla breed COI of 5.3% is worse, plus the breed went through a genetic bottleneck at the end of the World War II. On the other hand, the breed probably had more original founders than did the Toller, and the pedigree data looks (again, at a quick glance) more complete, giving a more accurate COI.
If you find a breeding or a litter advertised, or are told about one by a breeder, look up the parents on the KC website and use the 'mate select' tool to obtain the COI of the puppies. Also, make yourself aware of the genetic diseases in each breed, and read up on breed health generally and what the breed clubs are doing about it, because obviously COI isn't the whole story.
I love Vizslas - bouncy, active, beautiful dogs. You are clearly well up for the bounce and exercise needs, and I hope you find a great dog that fits in well.
Thanks Lumela. Full research will be done into the health and breeding of any potential puppy (although, as I said, we'll also be looking into rescues). It's something we've had to do quite extensively with the Dalmatians to avoid the issues that come with the breed, although we may have just been lucky too!
Excellent! Seems I was preaching to the choir!
I would pick a toller over a vizla I must say, but I do like small(er) fluffy dogs.
lumela- only a little. I've seen far too many dogs suffering as a result of horrible let genetic conditions. As we're not in a huge rush, I haven't fully looked into that side of things with these breeds yet, but it's going to make for a lot for fun evenings of reading!
Soubriquet- I'm more of a big sleek dog person, but DH has a hankering for something a little hairier, and I've always been drawn to the Tollers I've met, so this may be our compromise 😁
Before me, my dh would never have entertained a chihuahua. He said they were horrible snappy things and not real dogs. He now loves them and won't have any other breed.
I have a Toller and a Dalmatian! The red rug in my dining room is mostly unrecognisable....
The Toller is the second one I've owned, and I adore them. However, they are very rambunctious, particularly when young, and need training or a 'job' (agility, flyball etc) to stop them making their own trouble. My current dog is great with my dc, who were 5 & 7 when we got him, but for a long time I had him on a long line when other children came to play. This wasn't due to any aggression but simply because he was so bouncy and apt to be thoroughly over-excited by squeals, screams & swiftly running children. Talking of screams, he does the Toller scream - have you heard of this? We cleared out the vet's waiting room recently when he did it there.
Only other thing I'd say about a Toller is that you could have a long wait for a pup. There aren't many of them. Definitely worth the wait though - as long as you can get over the carpet/hair issue. Mine is brushed daily and still seems to shed as much as, if not more than, the Dalmatian....
Bramble! the Toller scream?! off to Google that now! how do the two compare energy-wise? DH and DD9 have both expressed an interest in flyball, so certainly something we could look into! I will be reporting back to DH about the shedding and see how he feels. I think it's the fact that the dally hairs show on absolutely everything and are nearly impossible to remove. Nobody in the house has any allergies and we're used to high levels of hoovering/completely giving up hope and ignoring it!
My Dalmatian can run further, faster and for longer than the Toller. Give her enough exercise and food, and she'll spend most of the day sleeping (unless she thinks there's an opportunity to snaffle something extra to eat). However he can come back from a long walk and whine & cry for attention. Mental stimulation is really important to this breed. It doesn't always have to be training or agility; I do scent work e.g. scattering tiny bits of food over a wide area for him to find, dog puzzles, and just taking him out & about with me. If I'm home, he wants to be with me but he's never been a problem to leave for a few hours either.
Thanks! that was about the comparison I was expecting :-) my boys definitely don't need the mental stimulation like other breeds I've had in the past! I do have to outwit them with bins, cupboard and rabbit poo though!
Thank you Lumela- I'll spend some time reading both of those
That site Lumela linked to is brilliant. They've also got a really good FAQ on the coefficient of inbreeding which is well worth a read.
Tollers are fab. I'd say they are quite similar to Dalmatians in personality and temperament. They're great people dogs but can be a bit indifferent to strangers. They're slightly nuts and I wouldn't say they were easy to train. They have very selective hearing and if something else is a better option, they'll take it. They're also a bit daft! They do moult but not like a dalmatian.
Mine isn't noisy! He doesn't bark much and we've only heard the Toller scream under conditions of great excitement (usually involving water and a ball). The Toller scream has been described as sounding like the dog is being fed into a wood chipper but not all Tollers scream much if at all.
Mine is very well behaved as long as we're constantly scanning the horizon for potential pitfalls. We do obedience with him (he flew through his bronze, silver and gold Good Citizens awards in no time), we do fun agility and do little bits of training with him every day and on every walk. He's also a Pets as Therapy dog and charms everyone at my dad's nursing home.
He's definitely calmer than the Viszla who lives a couple of doors down from us and as he's smaller and lighter seems easier to manage but they are working dogs and do need to have a job of some sort. As long as ours has two good walks a day with swimming most days he's very chilled when he's at home, just curls up and has a snooze
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