Frequently Asked Questions about Vizslas

What kind of Health issues do Vizslas have?

In general, Vizslas are an extremely healthy breed and it is common for them to have a life span of over 14 years.

Some Vizslas are prone to skin and/or food allergies. They can be sensitive to anesthesia used during surgeries and it is recommended that owners consult their veterinarian regarding the use of a special anesthesia, such as isofluorine gas, during surgery. Vizslas may be sensitive to other drugs as well, consult your veterinarian for more information.

Vizslas are susceptible to hip dysplasia, although careful breeding has kept this problem to a minimum in the breed. All Vizslas that are going to be bred should be x-rayed and certified clear of hip dysplasia by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). X-rays must be taken after the age of 24 months, when a definitive diagnosis can be made. If you are purchasing a puppy, make sure that both parents have been OFA certified.

The Vizsla Club of America suggests that breeders also test for thyroid and eye diseases.  A CHIC certification is highly recommended for all breeding stock.

Less common genetic diseases in Vizslas include hemophilia, Von Willebrand’s Disease, tail defects, and epilepsy.

Are Vizslas Hyper?

As in any active sporting breed, Vizslas are energetic and enthusiastic. However, the Vizsla should not be hyper. Good breeders take care to breed for a good disposition, intelligence and personality – as well as conformation and hunting skills. Vizslas do require daily exercise, which should include running, preferably off-leash, not just walking, and they should have companionship and toys so that they do not become bored. A bored Vizsla can become a destructive Vizsla.  Vizslas are not natural retrievers as other retrieving breeds.  They can be trained fairly easily to like this game.  They will rarely have the drive to retrieve a ball like other breeds for an hour or more at a time.  Therefore this should be considered a short duration form of exercise for Vizslas.

Can Vizslas jump fences?

Vizslas are extremely agile and can easily clear fences over six feet (and some Vizslas may be even more “talented”). They do require a securely fenced yard. Usually, a Vizsla will not jump high fences to leave his yard unless he is bored or lonely.

 Can a Vizsla live in an apartment?

Vizslas can live in any environment if they have enough exercise, a warm, dry place to stay, and love and attention.

Do Vizslas get along well with children, cats and other dogs?

Like most dogs, Vizslas who are well socialized will get along very well with children, cats, and other dogs. They love affection and companionship. In general, the more people and animals that are around them, the happier they are. They are an energetic dog, in their exuberance they may knock small children down.  All dogs and children should be supervised when together.

Do Vizslas “mouth” a lot? Do they retrieve well?

Many Vizslas are known for their “mouthing.” They are very soft-mouthed and like to gently hold a hand in their mouth. Many like to carry articles of clothing and shoes around, like a retriever. Most Vizslas love to retrieve.

Do Vizslas Shed?

Vizslas have beautiful, soft, rust-colored coats that require very little maintenance. They do shed, which especially shows up against black clothes. They’re clean dogs and have very little odor. There is a wirehaired Vizsla, more common in Europe, but rare in the United States and only recently recognized by AKC.

Are Vizslas Affectionate?

Vizslas are commonly known by their owners as “velcro-dogs”. They are very touch-oriented and prefer to be in contact with their people at all times. They will accompany their people everywhere, including into the bathroom and shower. If you do not appreciate constant canine companionship, the Vizsla is not the dog for you.

Can my Vizsla live outside?

Vizslas are very friendly, affectionate, loyal dogs that make wonderful family pets and hunting dogs. They need to be treated like a member of the family, preferring to sleep inside and being close to their people. Most Vizslas are lap dogs – with males weighing 55 to 65 pounds and females 45 to 55 pounds – be prepared! They do not make good “kennel” dogs. They should be active, but not hyper. They require daily off leash exercise and will get into mischief if bored. Vizslas love warmth and are frequently found basking in the sun.  They require protection from the cold in Winter conditions in most climates. If you are not comfortable outside in a sweatshirt, then most likely neither is your Vizsla.

Is the Vizsla easy to train?

Vizslas are very easy to train, being both intelligent and eager to please. They are sensitive and should not be severely disciplined, but are not “soft.”  Vizsla excel in the Field, Obedience, Agility, Search and Rescue, Tracking and as Therapy dogs. The first ever Triple Champion (Field, Obedience and Conformation) and the first Quintuple (Field x2, Conformation, Obedience and Agility) champion in AKC history are Vizslas.

Triple Champion:

FC OTCH CH Cariad’s Kutya Kai Costa UD VC HOF

Quintuple Champion:

“Chartay”  FC AFC OTCH MACH CH Legacy’s DeChartay 5xUDX MH VC MX MXJ HOF –  In August 2006, AKC recognized Chartay as the most accomplished dog in the AKC’s 122 year history.

What do Vizslas Hunt?

Vizslas are outstanding hunters and will both point and retrieve. They have very sensitive noses, good eyesight and a natural enthusiasm for the hunt. It’s fantastic to watch a Vizsla lock up on point – it’s hard to find words to express their grace, beauty and intensity. Field trials are a large part of most Vizsla club’s activity schedules. Although Vizslas are primarily known for their skill in hunting upland game birds such as pheasant, quail and grouse, they are also used for hunting waterfowl and even small fur animals. In Europe Vizslas often hunt rabbit and track deer.  Most Vizslas are strong swimmers and should be introduced to water when they’re young.

Would jogging with my Vizsla be a good way to exercise the Vizsla?

It is true that a Vizsla could make a great exercise buddy when they are full grown.   Caution and care is needed when exercising a Vizsla because they have such a huge desire to please, it is easy to exercise them to a point of damage.  No breed of dog should ever be exposed to the repetitive motion or the stresses that jogging or bicycling gives the dog until their growth plates are fully closed.  All dogs mature at different rates but if you wait until close to the age of 2 years old, you will be guaranteed to have closed growth plates and not cause joint damage.  Exercising through jogging prior to them being closed could cause hip dysplasia and/or other joint problems when it otherwise would not have been a factor with off leash and free movement exercise.   The first two years it is best to have off leash and free movement exercise to exercise the growing Vizsla.  After two, slowly work into building them up like you would anyone that has never jogged before.  Start off with short distances and slowly build up the distance.  Often check the dogs pads too because sometimes they can get blisters just starting out on the concrete.  They too need to build calluses.