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  • Writer's pictureSierra Combs

Is a Vizsla Puppy right for me?

Updated: May 4

So, you’re ready to buy a Vizsla. Please remember not every person is the right match for every breed. We highly recommend doing your research before you are set on a specific breed. It is very important to become familiar with your breed before ever buying a puppy.

Most importantly get to know the breed standard this will give you an overview of what your puppy will look like as an adult as well as an overview of temperament, grooming, training requirements & etc. Knowing the breed will also help you to choose a breeder. What health tests does the breed require and what sport should the breeder be competing in to prove their dogs worthy of breeding?

A Vizsla pointing a bird
Jolene and Vizsla from Nosam Kennels

The AKC Standard calls the Vizsla "lively, gentle-mannered, demonstrably affectionate, and sensitive."

The Vizsla is a sensitive, and Velcro breed. The term Velcro means that they like to be wherever you are doing exactly whatever you are doing. If showering or using the bathroom alone is something you enjoy. Don't get a Vizsla because most likely they will want to join you on even the simplest of tasks. Due to this trait, Vizslas thrive in family environments, where they can be an active member of the home and often form strong bonds with every member of the family.

They are also slower to mature than some breeds and are very soft-hearted. This means they need lots of positive reinforcement balanced just right with the most minimal correction needed during training. Everything they do right should be a BIG deal!

Vizslas are a highly intelligent breed. This means they really think about things before they do them. They tend to get bored quickly if you are too repetitive and do not make training fun and engaging. I've seen this breed overthink things to the max. That kid that gets good grades, but bad tests scores can be a Vizsla on any given day. This can be a challenge to the novice trainer if they lack patience. However, with the right methods they learn fast, and tend to retain training sessions well. I find them to be the easiest to house, crate, and obedience train of my three breeds but their slow maturity makes it a bit challenging to push them into higher-level training or competitions too quickly.

Vizslas are eager to please and want you involved in everything they do. Their handler bond is very strong. Even during hunt tests, we have found Vizslas tend to perform better for their owners or the person they have built the best bond with. Often I have started Vizslas for clients, entered them in tests and they did ok. Later their owner ran them and their scores greatly improved simply because they preferred to work for their master.

This breed feeds off their owner so it is important to be involved with a Vizsla's training if you want to set them up for success. Owning Vizsla's is what pushed me to learn to train my dogs myself. After getting to know them I knew they wouldn't thrive as well without my involvement. Wanting to set my dogs up for the best I rolled up my sleeves and learned the ins and outs of training and handling my dogs. To this day I say that I don't think I would be the trainer I am today if I had started with anything other than Vizslas. They taught me to always be 3 steps ahead of the dog I am working with, to slow down, to take my time, and to reward heavily.

A Vizsla is going to thrive with a trainer who has the experience level to train this breed whereas harsher methods that many bird dog trainers use just won’t cut it and often they do best when their owner is highly involved in the process.

Pushing your young Vizslas too hard as a puppy can cause them to shut them down. They will lose their style, intensity, and love for hunting. Even if you don't hunt you can quickly lose their interest in other sports if you don't keep it fun. This breed might be fast but training them isn't a race. If you are impatient and just want to go shoot birds over your broke dog at the earliest possible age get a German Shorthaired Pointer or an English pointer. If you love the nature of the Vizsla and are fine with taking your time to train, then Vizslas are like fine wine and only get better with age and training. If you take them out, have fun, and let them mature they can hold their own with GSPs & Pointers. They just take a little more time.

The Vizsla is a powerful hunting dog that needs vigorous daily exercise and lots of personal attention. Due to their athleticism, they are amazing running, hiking, biking, and overall active companions for the outdoor enthusiast. The Vizsla can excel at various dog sports with the right training. We have produced many puppies who have been in the top tier for the breed in many sports such as Obedience, Rally, Fast Cat, and more. So if you enjoy dog sports this is an excellent breed to own.

Lack of exercise, and companionship can cause this breed to present with behavioral issues. So if you prefer to sit on the couch over getting out with your pet. This likely isn't the breed for you. I recommend that this breed has a BARE minimum of 1 hour of running exercise per day. This doesn't include mental stimulation and daily training.

Ultimately, ensuring the Vizsla is the right breed for you and choosing the right breeder is the best way to set yourself and your new puppy up for success.

Below are some of our favorite links & provided reading material. 

-Sierra Combs of Nosam Kennels. AKC Vizsla breeder of merit in Kentucky!

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