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If you’re considering getting a vizsla, it’s important to know what you’re signing up for… And whether or not vizslas are high maintenance is a sensible question to ask. This article will cover exactly what you need to know about vizslas.
1. Vizslas Need To Be Worked
One thing that many new owners overlook is the fact that vizslas are dedicated workers. And in general, working breeds require more of, well, everything…
You don’t need to take up hunting in order to own a vizsla, but keep in mind this breed requires daily activity that’s both physically and mentally engaging.
Working breeds all have a desire to feel valuable and useful to the pack. In this case, “the pack” is you and your family. If your vizsla’s lifestyle doesn’t involve enough stimulation and “work” then behavioral issues will happen fast. Just think of vizslas as the complete opposite of couch potato dogs, and it’s up to you to follow through with daily activities.
2. Vizslas Require A Lot of Exercise. Physically & Mentally
Although this is similar to the above, exercise needs it’s own special section! A vizsla in their prime (2-7 years) should receive around 2 hours of exercise per day, assuming they’re in good health.
What’s also important to know is that exercise doesn’t just mean physical exercise, oh no. Mental exercise is equally important and without it, you’ll never have a tired vizsla.
Puzzle games, interactive toys, a lot of daily training, and your undivided attention is needed to stimulate a vizsla’s busy mind.
It’s not either-or, it’s both, so consider how much time you have every day to commit to physical and mental stimulation.
Sometimes, it’s possible to kill two birds with one stone, for example, exercise at the dog park with other dogs will provide great physical exercise as well as mental exercise. Socialization is one of the best forms of mental stimulation for a dog.
3. Vizslas Don’t Cope Well When Left Alone
Most of us lead busy lives that require us to be out of the house and in the office. Whatever your reason for being outside of the house, remember that vizslas hate being left alone.
This is another common trait among working breeds, which all typically develop strong bonds with their owners, and depend on them being there with them.
If your household remains empty for several hours per day, a Vizsla will suffer significantly. If high maintenance for you means needing to be there for most of the time, then this isn’t an ideal breed for you.
Many negative issues can result from being left alone, such as stress, canine-depression, behavioral issues, separation anxiety, aloofness, and aggression.
4. Vizslas Require Attention
Vizslas love your undivided attention and it’s important you have the desire and time to give them the attention they need.
Of course, there’s always a limit to how much you can give them, but you do need to engage with them throughout the day. Whether this means playing, training, or even talking to them, it’s really important.
This will help your vizsla feel valuable, loved, and happy.
5. Vizslas Still Shed
If you thought you would get away with no hair on your floors, you’d be mistaken.
Even though vizslas have a short single-layered coat, they still drop some hair.
Short needle-like hairs will sprinkle onto your floor and your clothes and can actually be quite difficult to remove.
A regular brushing routine is recommended to keep their coat in good condition aside from keeping on top of the dead hair.
But fortunately, brushing doesn’t need to be as extensive as other breeds like a husky or German shepherd.
6. Vizslas Are Smart, But They Need Training!
Vizslas must receive a good amount of training from day one, and then continuously for as long as you can possibly manage.
Working breeds need a strong leader to follow, and that’s you. Training is one of the best ways to interact with your vizsla, develop a trusting relationship, and of course, develop their obedience and behavior.
It also establishes your position as a clear leader, which is extremely important for them to have.
I’m not just talking about house training, potty training, crate training, and leash training, I’m talking about command training as well. Mastering “sit, stay, come, down, and drop” are all essential skills that must be habitually practiced and improved upon.
If aren’t ready to be a good trainer and leader for your vizsla, you can expect behavioral issues within the first year.
Vizslas Make Great Family Pets
I didn’t want all of that to sound daunting! You can rest assured, vizslas make awesome family pets.
Vizslas are naturally friendly, affectionate, and gentle. And if you want a furry friend who you can depend on being by your side no matter what, a vizsla fits the ticket.
Another characteristic that I personally love about vizslas is that they’re naturally sociable and get on well with new dogs and strangers.
Not needing to worry about your own dog when out on walks makes life so much easier. But of course, you will still need to make an active effort to socialize your Vizsla from when he’s a young puppy.
Your Time Is Everything For Your Vizsla
What does all of this come down to?… Time, it’s all about time.
As long as you have the time, then giving your vizsla everything he needs to be a wonderfully obedient and happy dog, isn’t actually too difficult at all.
Exercise, training, playtime, and your general attention all require time, and quite a bit of it.
If you have it, then raising a vizsla will be perfectly achievable.
What Does High Maintenance Mean To You?
Aside from time, what does high maintenance mean to you?
All of us will have different thought processes on the kind of dog we would like to own, and that’s perfectly fine.
Consider what your ideal dog truly is, the characteristics and traits that you do and don’t like, And then compare how a vizsla matches up to that.
Thank you for reading! If you have any further questions about what vizslas are like please let me know!