I receive many questions from future vizsla owners about how vizslas are as family dogs. Are they good family dogs? What’s the deal. This article explains everything a family needs to know about vizslas.
Do Vizslas Make Good Family Dogs?
In most cases, the answer is yes. Vizslas are naturally friendly, kind, and very playful with children. They love to receive and give affection and will bond quickly with the entire family.
This said, however, not all families will be compatible with a Vizsla. Vizslas have a strong working background and thrive on plenty of activity, exercise, and stimulation.
This is crucial to understand because for those families that are not very active, a vizsla could soon become frustrated, unruly, disobedient, and more, making them a very hard dog to deal with.
What Vizslas Need To Be Well Behaved
To be frank, no family wants to deal with a nightmare dog. Raising kids is challenging enough!
So what’s required for a well-behaved vizsla? Here’s the rundown:
- Physical exercise and activity of 1-2 hours minimum (every day)
- Mental stimulation (puzzle toys, socialization, interaction)
- Firm consistent training and a clear leader
- To not be left alone for many hours each day
- To receive adequate of attention
- To have a calm and stress-free environment
This mostly boils down to two things: Having time, and for the whole family to be on board with the decision of getting a Vizsla.
As long as your Vizsla receives those things, he’ll be the happy, friendly, and obedient vizsla you have in mind.
What will make or break this, is whether or not the family already suits a vizsla. If the family is not already an active, outgoing family with plenty of time on their hands, then a Vizsla may not be the appropriate addition.
Recommended read: When do vizslas calm down?
How Are Vizslas With Kids?
What makes a family a family… KIDS!
This is obviously an essential part of the decision-making for the parents, so how are vizslas with kids?
Vizslas are usually very good with kids. Vizslas are naturally friendly, social, playful, and well-behaved around children. Of all owners and families I have spoken to on this topic, there has not been a single bad word said about vizslas with children.
On some occasions, a Vizsla can get a bit rambunctious with playtime, and this can quickly get overwhelming for young children. So this is something to keep in mind.
Important: Children must be taught boundaries with pets. For the two to get on well, the kids need to play nicely and respectfully with the Vizsla. No tail pulling, poking, or randomly belly-flopping onto him while he’s asleep! (I’ve seen this a lot).
Mutual respect is a must for the relationship to work out (and to be fair on the dog).
Popular article: How much are vizslas? Puppy prices for USA & UK
How Are Vizslas With Other Pets
If you already have other pets in the household, this could be an issue…
Due to the vizsla’s vast working background as pointers, hunters, and retrievers, they have a strong prey drive. This can make it particularly difficult for them to get along with other pets such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, chickens, and cats.
It’s not impossible, but it’s certainly something that needs to be given a lot of thought. If you are bringing in an 8-week old puppy vizsla to a house that already has a pet, then you’ll have more than enough time to nurture a good relationship between them before the vizsla grows (and therefore becomes a threat). If you are bringing in a vizsla that’s already an adult, this might not work out at all.
If you have other dogs, this likely won’t be an issue, but caution always needs to be taken when bringing in a new dog to the home. Resident dogs can become territorial, possessive, and so it’s necessary for a lot of supervision early on.
Recommended Read: Do vizslas get on with cats?
Pros & Cons of Vizslas Being Family Pets
To clarify everything so far, let’s run down the pros and cons of vizslas being a family dog.
- Vizslas are naturally friendly and approachable
- Vizslas are playful and great with kids
- Vizslas are affectionate and love human interaction
- Vizslas give off a happy-go-lucky spirit whereever they are
- Vizslas can be difficult to manage without adequate training and guidance
- Vizslas can be unruly if they don’t receive enough exercise and stimulation
- Vizslas need a lot of attention
- May not get on well with existing pets other than dogs
When it comes to the “cons” mentioned. It’s only fair to point out that this will be the same for the majority of breeds out there. That’s just part and parcel of owning any dog… Anyway, I included them to give a fairer overview.
Recommended Read: Are vizslas cuddly? Vizslas and affection
Is Your Family Suitable For a Vizsla?
Ultimately, I think this is the question that potential owners must ask.
Any vizsla has the potential to make a wonderful family pet. But it’s whether or not the family is ready to prioritize the vizsla, share responsibility in exercise, feeding, training, and more…
As far as the temperament of Vizslas goes, a family should have no worries whatsoever.
Thank you for reading, and be sure to let me know your thoughts. You might want to check out this related article: 9 Things owners must know BEFORE getting a Vizsla.
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