12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Vizsla
1. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of energy they have. If you’re not already an athlete, they’ll turn you into one just to keep up with the demands of their daily exercise needs. I walk both of my dogs regularly, and when that doesn’t tire them out, I ride a bicycle while they jog along side. I recommend living near a dog park where your Vizsla can run off-leash. You’ll soon be the regular of regulars and know everyone and their dog by name.
2. The nickname “Velcro Vizsla” applies to every single dog of this breed - no exceptions. Been lonely lately? The good news is that you’ll have company no matter what activity you’re doing. But get ready to forget all about a little thing called privacy. Need to take a shower? How about use the restroom? Trying to enjoy some alone time with your significant other? Surprise! They’re present for it all.
3. Cuddling is mandatory. This point elaborates on how important the term “Velcro Vizsla” actually is. They don’t care if you’re on the sofa, bed, or floor - they just want to be right next to you, or even on top of you, constantly touching. I struggled with this for the first two years that I had my dogs. They weren’t allowed on the furniture at all, but after some consideration, I allowed them on one piece of furniture. That eventually evolved into them lying on everything. If you’re on it, they’re right there… smothering you with their affection and warmth.
4. Hunting is a built in character trait that occurs regardless of training. I should know, as I have not trained my dogs to hunt at all, it just comes naturally to them. Doesn’t matter if it’s a lizard, bird, squirrel, butterfly, unknown cat, or even a leaf blowing by – if it moves, it will be hunted by a Vizsla.
5. You will constantly be asked what kind of dog you have when you’re out. Since the breed isn’t very well known, get ready to repeat yourself for the entire life of your dog. It’s always amusing to hear guesses as to what kind of dogs I have. “Are those Rhodesian Ridgebacks? Redbone Coonhounds? Weimaraners? Labradors? Pointers?“ The conversation always ends with a person telling me what beautiful dogs they are, so hang in there, the compliments are worth the explanation every time.
6. You secretly join a Vizsla club the moment you own one. If someone recognizes what kind of dog you have, it’s for good reason. There’s an unspoken understanding between Vizsla owners. They know that you took great care in selecting your dog and for what reasons. They instantly like you and vice versa. You can practically speak to each other in a different language (not really, but close). And the obsession you have with your Vizsla is viewed as completely normal. In fact, you will probably find that most Vizsla people have more than one dog of this breed.
7. Your home furnishings will become an obstacle course for your Vizsla. They are quick and agile and very hyper when they do not get enough exercise. I still watch in amazement when my dogs jump as effortlessly as a cat onto or over a piece of furniture. Things will get knocked over and broken at first, so be prepared. Do you remember the lava game you played as a kid? Where you jumped from one piece of furniture to the next without touching the floor? I swear this is the game of all Vizslas.
8. Your trash is their treasure. Anything and everything left in a wastebasket will be cautiously removed only to be shredded into an abstract work of art. Q-tips, tissues, toilet paper, hygiene products, and whatever else they can get their paws on. In fact, I’ve often found Q-tips in the backyard when I make it barefoot friendly about once a week. Nothing is off limits if it’s put in a trashcan without a lid on it.
9. They are strong. I have one Vizsla that pulls almost non-stop when we walk and the other Vizsla will casually walk by my side. How I got two dogs on opposite ends of the walking spectrum, I have no idea, but I cannot stress enough to train your Vizsla to be gentle as it seems they do not know their own strength at times. I’ve been knocked over by one of my dogs and broke my tailbone. Dealing with that literal pain in the butt for almost two years has not been fun - at all. With the same dog, I got pulled over the handlebars of my bike and had road rash for several weeks. Point made? I think so. They may look like a medium sized, thinner dog, but they have the strength of an ox.
10. They are very, VERY, vocal. Not so much with barking, but with other noises. They will use either a whimper/whine or playful grumble/growl to communicate almost everything to you (second to that are tail wags). Whine to go in and out of the house, whine for a belly rub, to eat dinner, when it’s time to go to bed, when they want to play, when they need a hug, when they are bored, etc. They truly do “speak” to you to get what they want.
11. Counter surfing is considered an Olympic sport. Any edible item (food or not) left on a counter top is fair game. And don’t think they won’t be able to reach it, because they absolutely will if they want it badly enough. Just to name a few things - I’ve lost a tub of cake frosting, a whole casserole dish of fried okra, makeup brushes, tubes of toothpaste, a loaf of bread, a store credit receipt with $250 on it, and even my debit card (even though it was safely tucked away in my wallet). It’s best to just train yourself to pick everything up that you’d rather not have eaten by your dog. Vizslas are especially equipped for counter surfing with their long legs and ability to jump on anything. Even if you think you’ve trained your dog well, it’ll save a lot of frustration in the long run if you remove the temptation all together.
12. The love you’ll have for your Vizsla is unlike anything else. As more time passes, it feels as if you have become one with your dog. You’ll share thoughts and emotions and miss them during your day at work. You’ll be so bonded together that you couldn’t imagine living life without them. That’s when your second Vizsla will come into your life and a whole new term is introduced: Multiple Vizsla Disorder.