Strong, versatile and intensely loyal, the Wirehaired Vizsla makes an ideal companion for active outdoorsy people who have time and energy to spare. These smart, gentle, affectionate animals quickly become devoted to their owners. In the field, they are exuberant, willing and tireless. In the home, however, they are calm and steady, preferring to snuggle under the covers with their owner rather than being confined in a crate. The breed is typically outgoing and friendly, but not overly pushy. Wirehaired Vizslas are rarely timid or shy. They are not known as an aggressive breed, although they can be expected to take a stand if challenged. WHVs bond strongly with their people and characteristically are great with children and other pets. They can have a stubborn streak and be a bit aloof with strangers, although usually it doesn’t take long for them to warm up. With plenty of activity and affection, the Wirehaired Vizsla’s cheerfulness and overall good-nature will surely shine. The personality traits of this breed, together with its instinctive hunting talents, make it an excellent choice for double-duty as a working gundog and family pet.
Similar to most other sporting breeds, Wirehaired Vizslas are high-energy dogs that will only thrive in households where they get ample attention and exercise. This is important not only for their physical fitness, but also to prevent the restlessness, boredom and depression that accompany inactivity. This breed is not suited for small apartments or homes in which they would spend much of their time alone in a confined space, such as crate, kennel or dog run. A lonely, bored, sedentary Wirehaired Vizsla will quickly become an unhappy Vizsla that almost certainly will channel its frustration into undesirable behaviors, like pacing, barking, destroying furniture, eliminating in inappropriate areas and/or compulsive licking. Regular activity and mental stimulation are essential for this breed. Ideally, a healthy Wirehaired Vizsla should receive at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-rigorous exercise several times a day, with plenty of additional time off-leash to frolic and play in a safely confined area. Because they are strong swimmers and enjoy water, pools, ponds and lakes can make excellent places for Wirehaireds to burn off excess energy. Most owners of this breed participate in hunting or other fast-paced outdoor activities, like agility or tracking, to keep their canine friends physically and mentally occupied. The adaptability of Wirehaired Vizslas to a variety of terrains, together with their stamina, make them wonderful companions on long hikes, camping trips, jogging outings and bike rides. They also enjoy chasing balls and Frisbees at the park.
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a responsive and willing learner. They are clever, usually self-confident and eager to please, which makes training them a pleasure. They are especially easy to train when they perceive their training activities as challenging yet fun, particularly when those activities build on their natural hunting instincts. Sometimes, Wirehaired Vizslas can be stubborn, but rarely in an obnoxious or intractable way. This breed is unusually sensitive and does not tolerate harsh handling. Forceful corrections, overbearing commands or other attempts to strong-arm Wirehaired Vizslas are unnecessary and unwise. Positive, gentle, consistent training techniques should be enough to elicit the desired results.
Wirehaired Vizslas generally are quite good with people and other dogs, especially when they are properly socialized from a young age. For the most part they are quiet dogs, barking only when provoked. They do have strong protective instincts, but generally are not aggressive or noisy unless threatened. These talented hunters are eager to spend time with their owners in the field. Wirehaired Vizslas are excellent trackers, pointers and retrievers. They can work tirelessly in forest or field, over challenging terrain and under harsh weather conditions. They love the water and are terrific swimmers. They have a strong craving to stay close to their owners, earning them the nickname “Velcro Dogs.” Given the Wirehaired Vizsla’s hunting instincts, it is probably best to keep them away from smaller pets that may live and occasionally roam around the household, such as cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and birds.