Something I really really enjoy doing is helping people decide on a dog breed. I have always loved learning about dog breeds, and when you add further investigation into behavior and personalities of these breeds it just gets all the more interesting. I have collected several breed books, and this is one of my favorites.
It’s not a complicated book, it breaks things down into categories such as: 9 to 5 dog, city dog, high input high output, good dogs that are hard to find, companion, watchdog etc… guess where the Vizsla falls in this book?
High Input High Output. To me it comes as no surprise that it also is part of the Watchdog category.
Here is what this book says about the breed, keep in mind we all know how complex this breed can be so this is just a brief look into the breed.
Let me know if you are having problems reading it, but it appears the photos of the text came through pretty decent (thank you new iPhone)
I think the possible drawback section really hits on an area that is not too commonly talked about among Vizsla owners.
“Sensitive though fearless with a strong protective instinct. Although this description sounds great it is fairly hard combination to pull off”
Soooooo true, this breed is so complex and this sums a lot of it up quite well. This is why I tell people it often is not an easy first dog for people and still may not be for those that are a bit more seasoned too. The combination of physical AND mental exercise needs as well as their above average brains and awareness can make them quite the challenge when these needs are not met. I researched a ton before I settled on the Vizsla breed for myself, months and months not to mention all my interest before I ever looked to getting a dog for myself… and I STILL wondered if I got the right breed those first two years. I also think in some ways I got more of a “True Vizsla” than others… don’t eat me for that statement but she is very much the hunter, independent thinker, and not overly canine social (when given the option of hunting/exploring). I don’t hold it against her, but I feel she likes to be the exception to the breed more often than not. She is far too much like me too 😉 In any case the protective instincts can make for a challenge when a firm consistent leader does not step forward in the family. It’s our job to teach them how to discern threats and non threats. But I feel that is the case with all breeds, but especially those that already have strong protective instincts, more often than not they will not be able to discern properly without our guidance in this complicated world.
So how did you pick your breed? Any tips for those looking?
Speaking of books this is another one I really want to buy, looks like a great book about dog body language
Based on that description, it sounds a lot like Chessies. I have always found one of the best ways to learn about breeds is to go to a dog show and speak to the breeders when they are not busy showing their dogs. Or if hunting, hunt testing, obedience is your interest, try there. Most breeders will be very honest if you ask questions. Most will ask you more questions than you have asked them. In addition, it is a good idea to ask the breeder what kind of dog they like to breed, especially if there are activities you want to do with the dog.
Hi there! This is me from IG, with Harko the Vizsla living in Switzerland…. it all sounds so very very true and I just wish I had more Vizsla proprietors nearby with whom to exchange experiences, information, tips and just general chat – I miss that so much!
Whilst at the time we were actually convinced that we had thought about our decision in depth to a) become first-time dog-owners and b) to become Vizsla owners, it became very apparent very soon that we had NOT given the decision nearly as much thought as it clearly required. We were so incredibly naive. I was in a state of shock I think for the first 12 months as it became clear that my life had to change dramatically to suit the needs of this amazing creature. Now, 2 years later I am proud of him and also quite proud of myself for having risen to that challenge and for not having let the dog down – on the contrary, I can’t imagine not living my Vizsla life and he (the dog) has transformed me into a nature-loving-mountain-hiker. Initially it was my husband who was going to take the lion share of the responsibility (walks) as he worked from home. 12 months later he got a job on the other side of Switzerland and is now away from home Monday to Friday. This change left me alone with the kids and the dog. So that’s our story. It was tough but it was worth it and if I had to get another dog, I fear it would have to be another Vizsla… 😉
Nice blog, btw. X
Nope, I did no research whatsoever when choosing my dogs. Sampson was such a good dog that I wanted a lab (based on his dad) I could have gone Golden, but I didn’t want to deal with the long fur. That’s how I based my decision. Thankfully I have the ability to learn, which is what has saved poor Delilah.
I really wish people put thought into getting dogs. 🙂
That was Amber, to a T! All except the well developed protective instinct. She once brought her toy to the meter reader. I miss her so much. My mutt girl is actually fairly similar to a Vizsla even if she may not have any in her. My one complaint is that she is not as snuggly as a Vizsla. She will get on the couch next to me but not curled up with her head on my lap like Amber. I think a lot of that has to do with her coat. It’s not quite as short as a pointer type coat so she’s not cold enough to snuggle that close! She is very affectionate in other ways though.
I have always wanted an English Setter, ever since I was a little girl. I saw one in a book and thought they were so beautiful (I know, not a good reason to get a breed). Rye turned out to be the perfect boy for us though. I am so thankful he is my dog. He is pretty similar to the Vizsla personality too. Very active outside, very calm and loving inside. He is not hyper at all, but is a little nervous at times which can be a trait of the English Setter. It’s funny, their breed standard says that they know no stranger. He has always been very protective of our house though! I don’t think he would bite a person but he sure barks menacingly and his hackles are all the way up if a stranger comes to the door.
I love talking about different breeds!
I agree with 2 Brown Dawgs they do sound similar to Chessies. I was fortunate enough to meet Chessies through a gal I worked with many years ago; we became best friends and I loved her dogs. I really got to know the breed through her and being with her dogs almost daily, I fell in love with the breed so when she bred her older female for the last time she gave me a pup for my birthday, that was the best present I have ever received!
My husband and I are dog people and like a LOT of breeds. When we rescued Meadow for her history, rather than her breed. But fact is, now that we have her and have gotten to know a lot more about Vs, we will definitely adopt another in the (far off) future. There is a lot to love about them…their friendly nature with people, their easy care coat, their easier to handle size (when compared to dobes, sheps, and Labs), their longevity (usually), and willingness to try just about anything. (Even Meadow, as timid as she is, likes learning Rally and Nose Work and hiking and vacationing…more than we expected she would). I also like that they are more protective than my Lab, but not as protective as my Shep mix, Leah. They seem to fall somewhere in the middle, which is perfect for me.
Oh wow, that listed drawback sounds so much like the problems my friend with her Vizsla LuLu has been having since her dog reached 18 months. In so many ways LuLu was the perfect dog for my marathon-running friend but her reactivity around other dogs has been a huge stress point for them. They also participate in agility with us and LuLu’s inability to be around other dogs makes this pretty difficult. Somehow, our dog is one of the few she gets along with, a fact for which I am very grateful as my dog doesn’t make friends easily either. Sometimes crazy and crazy can be a very positive thing!
I am obsessed with dog breed books and have been since early childhood. I used to flip through the one at my parents’ house on a monthly basis. I only own a couple and this isn’t one of them. No matter how many times I read through them, I still learn more the next time! Besides, who doesn’t love looking at all the beautiful photos?