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Do you have a Hungarian Vizsla?

(83 Posts)
MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 09:41:32

We are still in the research stage, working out which breed will be best suited to our family, but a Hungarian Vizsla is one of the breeds at the top of our list. Obviously, we have read that they need lots of vigorous daily exercise and have separation anxiety, but we are not sure how that looks in practice.

If you have a Vizsla, how often and for how long do you walk your dog? Is that a walk or a run? And for how long can you leave the dog before it starts destroying your house?

We would be able to do two, hour long walks a day, longer at weekends and our dog would need to be able to be left for two or sometimes three hours a day, but would otherwise have constant company.

What has thrown us is that people always recommend we get a Labrador but on Pets4Homes, the Lab and the Vizsla get comparable scores and are both listed as having extremely high exercise needs. Lab owners we’ve spoken to seem to think they don’t need much exercise though! We just don’t know any Vizsla owners to ask.

Wolfiefan Tue 28-Nov-17 09:43:36

Show labs and working labs are VERY different.
Vizslas would not be a breed that would generally be a good idea for a first time dog owner. If you get a dog with separation anxiety you can't leave it. At all.
Perhaps contact the breed club or society and get to meet some owners and breeders.

PeterRabbitt Tue 28-Nov-17 09:52:05

We have a viszla cross, she is genuinely the most loving dog in the world and as a family we wouldn't be without her. However... She is now nearly 4 and still has the temperament of a puppy. Very high energy, clingy and needy.

We are both experienced dog owners and even we can be a bit worn down by the level of attention she needs. Luckily I am a stay at home parent now but I have never been able to work a day shift of even 6 hours without getting a dog walker in and my dad to pop in and say hello to her as well.

She also barks. A lot. And I have lost count of the amount of times we've ended up at the vets due to her splitting her tail as she just gets so fucking excited to see anyone.

But, all that aside, we love her and will get another viszla/pointer cross of some sort next year. If you're ready to meet their attention needs I would highly recommend them!

PeterRabbitt Tue 28-Nov-17 09:53:59

Also, walking!! We do one half an hour walk a morning in the week. She runs so much that she is dome for the day and doesn't need anymore. Weekends we take our time and are out for longer.

Doublechocolatetiffin Tue 28-Nov-17 09:54:37

I have a Vizsla and absolutely adore her. She is a superb family dog, incredibly kind and patient with my 2 yr old DD.

She does have an awful lot of energy though, most common question we get on meeting her is to ask if she is a puppy. She’s 3 1/2! Still acts like a puppy and will do I’m sure for a long time yet.

Ideally she has a couple of hours exercise each day. She has done with less though (when injured) and actually her energy levels seemed to lower. She could run all day though if you wanted to. We don’t have any issues leaving her though, I am a sahm so she’s not left frequently or for very long. She is crate trained and usually goes in there when we are out.

It might be worth joining the Hungarian Vizsla UK Facebook page and asking some questions there. Or you could search for your local VizWhizz - people are usually very happy to accommodate a new potential owner along on an outing and it’d mean you could meet some owners and dogs and ask questions.

Mine is a lovely dog, but not without faults. Her main issues are a very strong predatory instinct which makes her recall too unreliable for off lead walks (luckily we have anough land that we can of off lead at home in a secure fenced environment). She is also very excitable when meeting new people and jumps up. They are clever dogs usually and I’ll be honest we weren’t experienced enough to own her when we got her and so she has lots of bad habits. But she is the most kind and loving dog and it’s not he fault we’ve done a bad job of training her.

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 09:59:25

Our next step will be to speak to breeders. I'm surprised that you think it isn't a first time dog owner breed though as this is different to what we've read. Your response is exactly what I am concerned about! Our dog needs to be highly and very specifically trained as we have an autistic child, and these dogs are said to be good therapy dogs. Not being able to be left at all is a worry though because surely that is not possible for anyone? What do you do when you go to the supermarket? Do you just literally never leave the dog?

I am South African and grew up with dogs but it is a very different culture there where the dogs are outside a lot and if you go out for the day, they have the run of the garden. In the UK it seems very different and this is what I am trying to get my head around.

JuniUmiZoomi Tue 28-Nov-17 10:00:24

My friends have one. It is HUGE. Very affectionate. I think they have to walk it a lot and it barks like mofo which I wouldn't like. It seems to need a lot of attention, but I'm not sure if they made it like that a bit.

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 10:02:55

Thanks PeterRabbitt. What is your dog crossed with out of interest?

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 10:04:14

And thanks Doublechocolatetiffin. The predatory instinct might be a problem.

PeterRabbitt Tue 28-Nov-17 10:04:28

She has her own room, when we go out she's shut in there. Mainly because she was always uneasy when not in her crate as a puppy so when the crate went we just made her a bigger space.

She's fine if I need to go out to the shops for a few hours and because she's in one place she's never been able to destroy other areas of the house.

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 10:05:34

Also barking like a mofo might be a problem.

Our problem is that we have been in the research phase for so long that we research ourselves out of all breeds!

JuniUmiZoomi Tue 28-Nov-17 10:11:16

I'm not a dog owner but I think you can train them out of certain barking habits? It goes mad if someone's at the door for example (terrifying for my DD) but a lot of other dog owners I know send the dog to their bed or distract them at these times and they don't do it? It's not necessarily a breed thing, perhaps.

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 10:14:57

I'm not sure what you can and can't train a dog out of! I really want to be doubly sure that we are able to take this on.

Balearica Tue 28-Nov-17 10:20:08

I have friends with Vizsla's and they are all hyper and a bit neurotic. Really not calm family dogs.

I know it is hard when you have set on a particular breed, but would you be willing to look at some other breeds? For example, I can thoroughly recommend poodles as family dogs (including standard ones), bright, highly trainable, low predatory instinct and very good with children and other dogs, plus no moulting.

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 10:27:33

To be honest, we are trying not to get too attached to any particular breed! We are trying to put the needs of the children ahead of any personal preferences but we find it hard to get excited about labradors, which seems to be the go to family dog.

Neurotic really doesn't sound good at all! No moulting does sound alluring. I'll put poodles in the mix. We also have retrievers and cockers spaniels on the shortlist. I have a wildcard of a greater swiss mountain dog and my husband has a border terrier on his list. These probably won't happen but it makes us happy to look at the pictures.

PeterRabbitt Tue 28-Nov-17 10:30:58

Crossed with gsp. We've tried everything with the barking, she just likes the sound of her own voice I've concluded!

Feelingkenty Tue 28-Nov-17 10:39:27

We (two small children) have a show lab; my sister (no kids) has a Vizsla.

There is no comparison in the amount of attention and exercise her vizsla needs compared to our lab, despite him being a good few years older.

Our lab is content with sitting and watching a lot of the time, whereas the vizsla must be a part of everything! We call him the stalker dog as he is always right there, even when you think he was happily ensconced in something else.

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 10:46:17

Hmmm. I'm beginning to suspect something. To be honest, these are all things that have been irking me so I'm not surprised by these responses. Perhaps this needs to be our next dog when the kids are older, not our first dog.

Feelingkenty Tue 28-Nov-17 10:50:09

My sister's vizsla is a lovely boy, gorgeous and friendly; just what I would term high needs

Mrsmorton Tue 28-Nov-17 10:51:04

I’ve got two Weimaraners, they’re supposed to be neurotic etc. I can’t even get mine out of bed in a morning.
I asked the vet if they were defective and she said because we expect them to be crazy, we let them get away with it.

Doublechocolatetiffin Tue 28-Nov-17 10:54:01

I’d have to disagree with Baleraica slightly but I can see why anyone with a friend with a Vizsla would think that because when you meet mine she does really seem very enthusiastic. However it’s just a snap shot into her life. On a day to day basis she’s a very calm and hugely affectionate dog, she just goes a bit bonkers for 10 mins when new people come into the house. I hope it’s something we can train, I am trying to.

To be clear, for my dog her prey instinct is strong, but made much worse by living rurally. We are next to a pheasant shoot so have pheasants and deer roaming across our land regularly. She has learnt to chase them because we give her free reign to run on our land. Again our choice and if we’d been strict with training, especially when we was a puppy we could no doubt control the predatory instinct much better. They can be trained to a high degree, they are usually very intelligent dogs though which means training requires time and effort to make sure you get it right and don’t accidentally train things you didn’t want.

My girl doesn’t bark much, only ever outside and mainly at pigeons in trees!

The dogs do vary massively in size, we have a female who is quite small for the breed. Smaller than a Labrador. The males can be huge. They do love attention and don’t like to be far from their owners. She is always in the same room as me in the house, out in the garden she is usually a couple of feet from my DD the whole time. For her faults the one thing I absolutely cannot fault her on is her behaviour and attitude to my daughter and for that I personally wouldn’t consider having any other breed again.

Dontfuckingsaycheese Tue 28-Nov-17 10:55:08

Friend had one. He was bonkers and barked constantly. Who's going to do the therapy training?

rizlett Tue 28-Nov-17 10:56:00

Have you considered speaking to a local dog trainer to ask which breed they feel might fit your family circumstances best?

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 11:07:19

Doublechocolatetiffin that is exactly why we keep coming back round to this breed. We need a companion for my daughter. We can't get on the waiting list for an autism dog but this dog might be exactly what we are looking for.

Dontfuckingsaycheese, I am going to do it. I am going to do the course with Dogs for Good as a starting point before we get the puppy and we will probably engage a trainer to work with us on an ongoing basis. I need our dog to be as highly trained as an autism dog would be and I am willing to put hours every day into this.

MabelBee Tue 28-Nov-17 11:09:50

It's a big undertaking. Hence the endless research and worry about whether it's right!

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