Vizslas are lovingly referred to as “velcro dogs” because they want to be with the people they love 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This attachment goes back to the Vizsla's roots as a hunting dog. In the field, he never strayed too far from the hunter, which created a strong bonding experience. Vizslas are the perfect family dog for those who are already committed to an active lifestyle. Hunters can still use them to track and point in the field, and at home Vizslas make superb hiking, biking and jogging companions. They are fairly easy to train, and make a fine addition to active, outdoorsy families.
Vizslas need at least one hour of vigorous activity every day in order to maintain health, happiness and an even temperament. Vizslas who do not get enough activity quickly become neurotic and destructive. Running the backyard is a good start, but these hunting dogs prefer to have a “job” to do. That job can be anything from carrying a backpack while he walks the neighborhood, to simply keeping up with you on a jog. Vizslas prefer all exercise be conducted alongside a person he loves.
Vizslas do very well in organized activities including agility, tracking, field work and advanced obedience. They enjoy the extra bonding time and appreciate the opportunity to think while they exercise.
Vizslas are fairly easy to train, but some can be mighty stubborn. Start your Vizsla early for best results and be prepared to show calm-assertive leadership at all times. They are not dominant dogs, but Vizslas have a tendency to test boundaries, especially if they are not getting proper exercise. Sessions should be conducted with praise and treats, though it is ok to be firm (but never harsh) with a Vizsla if he does not listen to you.
When your Vizsla has mastered basic obedience, he can move on to advanced activities. Proper socialization should also be part of his training regimen, as Vizslas can be over protective of their families. If your Vizsla is easy-going, he will make an excellent therapy dog.
Separation anxiety is very common among Vizslas. These velcro dogs need to be with people at all times or they become anxious and depressed, which they express through destructive chewing and excessive howling or barking. Before you leave the house for a long period of time, make sure to vigorously exercise your Vizsla which can help stave off anxiousness. It is best, however, that Vizslas live in a home where someone is always around, whether it is a farm or in a family with one stay at home parent.
Vizslas are verbal dogs. They bark, howl, grunt, whine, moan and make “talking” noises throughout the day. If you are looking for a silent dog, the Vizsla is not for you. They are also prone to barking excessively so teach your Vizsla early on to obey commands to quiet down.