Possibly the PERFECT Pet – (The Story of the Vizsla)

Before working with dogs professionally, I was relatively unfamiliar with the Vizsla.  I did have one friend, older than the rest of our circle, who got a dog (a Vizsla) as a substitute for the family he wanted.  (He was a sweet guy, but he just couldn’t find it in him to commit to more than a dog.)  He took that dog with him EVERYWHERE (as you can only do in NYC) and dressed her in hats, shirts, coats, costumes…whatever he could find.  He made YouTube videos featuring her and posted endless pics on social media.  All I could think was “That is one sweet, patient dog.”

Not long after I met another Vizsla, Sadie.  She came to my dog daycare every day.  We all called her “Sweet Sadie” because she was just that.  Never barked, rarely played (she was an older pooch)…she was affectionate and well mannered.  A perfect dog.

So, Vizslas!  I don’t think they are as popular as the lab, and I don’t think they are as well known as the retriever.  They are a fascinating breed, though, and ideal pets for family life.

Vizslas originated in Hungary, and stone etchings confirm they have been kept as pets for over a thousand years.  As Hungarians at this time lived a nomadic life, these dogs were not just companions but herded and guarded livestock, tracked wild animals, and hunted (often alongside falcons.)  In other words, they were essential to human survival. Later, Vizlas would accompany lords and barons when they hunted for sport.  They were such a sign of aristocracy, it wasn’t until 1825 (when breed standards were established and Vizslas were named the Official Pointing Dogs of Hungary) that non-nobles were permitted to own them.

So you know that they are a competent noble  breed, but what makes them good pets?  Well, first of all, they are gentle mannered and extremely loyal.  They are quiet  and affectionate.  They are great with children.  Best of all (as if you didn’t already think they were the perfect dog!) they are incredibly easy to train – both in basic obedience and hunting.

If you are lazy and don’t want to spend any time with your dog, the Vizsla is not for you.  These dogs want to be outside hiking and biking.  They are intelligent, so they need to be stimulated.  They will not be content to sit inside and watch tv all day, and they will not be happy to be left alone much of the time.  (I am the same way myself!)

I have always been drawn to this breed.  I think they are amazingly beautiful creatures and (while I know it is a dangerous game to make assumptions about an entire breed off a handful of examples) I have never met a Viszla who wasn’t he absolute sweetest, most gentle and loving creature.

So, I’m curious.  What do you think of Vizslas….are they the perfect pet?

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34 thoughts on “Possibly the PERFECT Pet – (The Story of the Vizsla)

      • We have 2 Vizslas, got as puppies when my children were 2 and 4. They are wonderful family pets, absolutely gentle with children. Even when mine were tiny and all 4 of them (children and dogs) would run down a set of stairs together, my dogs would navigate perfectly to never bump into the small children and make them lose balance. They are endlessly patient with being dressed up, having pillow forts built upon them and smothered in kisses. I cannot imagine them being any better with children then they are!

  1. We’ve had five vizslas in our 17 years of marriage and fostered another one. Fabulous dogs, they very much are a part of your life. Extraordinarily intelligent and full of personality. I doubt we will own another breed of dog ever.

  2. We have two Vizslas, and I agree completely. For an active family, they are perfect – full of love, loyalty, are incredibly fit (even our 11 year old can run non-stop for hours), and they even curl up at your feet in the evenings! They are low maintenance, and easy to please! Highly recommended.

  3. I have a vizsla mix. I am not exactly sure what he is mixed with; as I rescued him and the organization was unsure as well. I’m thinking vizsla pitbull mix. He is the most AMAZING animal I have ever had. I also have two labs and Cole blows them out of the water. He is the sweetest, cuddliest, and loyal pet I have ever met. Everyone who meets him is immediately connected to him. He is hilarious, energetic, and has these little quirky behaviors he does. He can be a little stubborn at times, but has helped me through so much. Vizslas are truly amazing, empathetic, and devoted animals to their owners. It’s almost as if Cole has a radar, when to be heplful, when to be playful, when to be gentle (with kids etc). They are super smart and he has blown away every other dog in obedience classes I’ve taken him to as well as Wag it Games classes (agility/sniff components to these classes). I encourage you to rescue as well.

    • Brittany,

      Thank you so much for your comment! Cole sounds like he is representing Vizslas (and Pit bulls…or whatever his “mix” may be) well. There are very few breeds that I’ve dealt with where they ALL are sweet and wonderful. This is one!

  4. I have a vizsla puppy and she is absolutely the most amazing dog ever. I read a lot about them before getting her from a breeder. She is super affectionate and such a great companion. I will never feel alone. She loves to be outdoors but once we come inside she is a magnet and follows me every where.

  5. Our Vizsla Fender is 6 years old. He is simply the best dog on the planet and we love him almost as much as he loves us! There is no dog who will love you more, they are called the Velcro dog for a very good reason. He has even included my son’s close friends in his family and is as excited to see them when they come home from college as he is to see his own boy. Vizslas are not for everyone, they can become very sad and neurotic if they don’t get enough excercise. A large fenced yard is a must, a simple walk is not enough they live to RUN. They also don’t do well with harsh discipline, their intelligence should be respected and a firm kind reminder will usually do as they live to please.

  6. This is our third Vizsla in 30 years, Magee, Clancy, and Reilly. I know, Irish names for a Hungarian breed but my grandparents were Irish. They are a great breed !! We have three children, adult now. Every one of our dogs were so good and patient with the kids when they were little. High energy, which fit our life style. We will always have a Vizsla. 😊😀😄

  7. I own a 4 year old vizsla and can honestly say I could never wish for a more perfect dog. She has such a distinctive personality, she’s a big goof ball and you can tell her emotions from the expressions on her face. She is a joy and has become a member of our family. Very very clean dog, never gets that dirty dog smell that labs often have. Barely sheds, barely barks, and loves to show so affection to everyone. Incredibly high energy which is what I like for my life style.
    Cannot say enough amazing things about vizslas.

  8. I am looking into a family pet and instantly fell in love with the Vizsla, these posts make me love them even more. My husband is a big dog lover but allergic does anyone know how people with allergies react to the Vizsla?

    • I have pretty bad allergies and my Vizsla mix doesn’t effect me whatsoever! My mother’s are even worse and she isn’t bothered either. They are very clean dogs as most of them lick themselves clean (like a cat!).

    • I own a 17 mo vizsla & also have allergies. Even though she is short-haired & extremely clean, she’s not hypoallergenic. I take a centrizine every night & try to be diligent with my Flonase, but she sleeps with me & I awake dry-eyed & sniffle free. I’ll probably get back on Flovent, too, because I sometimes get an allergy cough, too, but that seems to be more seasonal than dog-related. So, any symptoms are easily managed & I wouldn’t trade my girl for anything. She’s extremely high-energy, loyal & loving like everyone has mentioned. Another warning, the puppy years are challenging as you have to keep them busy, active & have time to devote to them during the day. They are not a good dog for a couple that leaves the house at 7am & returns at 6pm.

  9. My Remy is SUCH a Velcro dog. He’s everywhere! I wouldn’t call him low maintenance, when he wants to cuddle he’ll prance around until you bend down to let him burrow into your armpit. But what a sweetie. So affectionate, and incredibly high energy!!

  10. I have had 4 Vizslas and yes, they are extremely loyal, loving and gentle, but honestly, I’m not sure I would recommend them as an “ideal” family pet. These dogs need much more from their owners than other breeds do. Having a Vizsla is more than just owning a dog, it’s a lifestyle. Vizslas require as much attention, stimulation and supervision as a toddler, for their entire lives. Imagine having a toddler that was super strong and lightning fast…..and they get into things too just like kids. You must have time to spend with your Vizsla, not just being together, but engaging in play and exercise for at LEAST 1 to 2 hours per day. Vizslas also require that their owners socialize them repeatedly throughout their lives, because they develop fears and anxiety if not properly and repeatedly socialized. Three out of my four Vizslas were very uncomfortable around small children and they are not known for being great with smaller animals like cats.

  11. We have a 4 year old (Mork) and 4 month old (Zoey) and they are both amazing dogs! They are always right by your side and you have to realize you will never have a chair to yourself again! I would own no other dog breed. We love our Vizslas!

    • I lost my 12 year old Vizsla (Scooby} last year. He was the most affectionate,obedient and smart dog I ever had.He was a big boy with a heart of gold and had a special bond with my grandson. who initially was terrified of dogs. It did not matter how sick he was.he was always ready for a cuddle with Samuel,and the two often sat next to each other for hours.A sick dying old dog and an extremely energetic 2 year old boy.happy in each others company.We all miss Scooby and Sammy constantly talks about his mate.When I am ready for another dog the Vizsla is on top of my list.

      Herman in Melbourne

  12. My Sisu is the best friend I have been waiting for all my life! I cannot imagine life without her. I was introduced to the breed when I lived in London during the Olympic Games. The two beauties I met were in Regent’s Park and after that day, I knew I wanted the VIZSLA as my own. Someday, Inhope to return to Regent’s Park with my Sisu to complete the circle.

  13. If not exercised and well-trained they can be anything but “a good family dog”. These dogs are not for someone who doesn’t plan on committing a great deal of time toward their development. And mine are very loud and barky and talk a lot. They have tons of energy that needs to be used up to keep them from destroying couch cushions and baseboards, etched. They are big and can easily plow down a young child…by accident. They have a huge need to be near people at all times.
    However, if you do train them and you do excoriate them, then they can grow into wonderful dogs. But be warned, they are like livable Tanzanian Devils for the first couple of years!

  14. I have 3 – no they are not the perfect pet for everyone. They can be too in your face, too needy, too much wanting to always be there for some people. They can be stubborn, manipulative and can suffer from separation anxiety.
    But for me they are perfect. 👍🏽😎

    • Many of them end up in rescue because of their temperaments and articles like this one could lead to some confusion about the breed. They really are not the perfect pet and require much more of a commitment from their owners than other breeds that are easier to deal with . A Vizsla will not be relegated to the back yard like other dogs and they certainly don’t amuse themselves…..they demand that their owners participate in their daily exercise.

  15. My Vizsla boy was the “perfect” dog. He picked me at 4 weeks old, then at the 8 week mark I went back to see him and he chose me again. From the day I brought him home we were pretty much inseparable. The bond was immediate and strong. Never gave me a moment’s grief as a puppy. Everything I wanted to teach him he grasped immediately. He housetrained in about 2 days with maybe 1 accident (my fault). He was the most loving, sweet, brilliant, obedient, and quirky dog I’ve ever come across. My heart. The love of my life. I lost him at 9 years old to cancer and more than 3 years later I still cry. I miss him everyday. There is no other breed I can think of that is more special. Vizslas are unique and wonderful. More human than dog. I could talk all day about how stunning and smart he was. My boy stopped traffic and anyone who met him fell in love with him. There will never be another like him. Rest in peace my sweet baby. Anubis 03.06.03 – 12.13.12

  16. I have had an assortment of dogs throughout my life. However, when I met my second husband, his Vizsla was just the sweetest pup I had ever seen. Baron lived to be a day shy of 16! Then we rescued a female Vizsla who succumbed to an enlarged heart near age 9. For the past 14 years I have been widowed, but the love of my life is another female Vizsla who is a perfect dog. I cannot think of a thing I would change about her. What a great personality, zest for life, loves to be close to me whenever and how ever possible. She is obedient and above all, loving and loyal. Vizslas have been in my life for more than 35 years. I am a dog lover, in general, but feel especially drawn to the Vizslas. Have no hesitation recommending them as pets. Just do not shout or raise your voice. Be clear and consistent with your commands. Vizslas are so intelligent that In no time, your Pup will be a wonderful addition to your family. They are not apartment pets. They were bred for sport, agility, obedience, and retrieving. New owners need to commit to exercising them daily. They live to love and please their Master. Stay away from pet shops! Purchase from a recognized breeder or one that has been recommended through the AKC and/or Vizsla Clubs on-line.

  17. I have a vizsla and I don’t think I can own anything else. Our vizsla is amazing with our daughter who is 2. He is SO patient with her I am continually surprised despite him never showing anything else but patience toward her. Agree 100% you have to be an active family for this partnership to work. I can’t say enough to good things about Vizslas!

    • Cythia,

      First, I would like to apologize for not responding to this sooner. As the owner of a small business and mom to a 9 month old…this blog often falls to the end of my “to do” list. I have not been keeping up with comments like I should.

      I am sorry for using a picture of your Vizsla, Cashew. I immediately removed the picture from the blog once I read this post. I wrote this particular post five years ago when this blog was read by my mom and my clients, and I often simply copied pictures from a Google search. Now that this website has grown, I use original content only.

      I will tell you – this Vizsla post is my most popular post by a mile! People seem to love commenting about special Vizslas in their lives. While I don’t make any money off this blog – I would be more than happy to keep Cashew’s picture up with a photo credit or a link.

      Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. My email is jessica@wagsandwhiskershouston.com. Thank you so much!! And you have an adorable dog!!

      —Jessica Fuentes

  18. Oh my, yes they are the perfect pet….
    I had the most beautiful Vizsla named Oliver or Ollie for short. Basically he thought he was a 28kg lap dog. He would curl up on my lap like a baby. They really do have the most beautiful nature, but are known to be quite anxious. The original Velcro dog, they like to be close at all times and lean on you when standing near you.
    Unfortunately I lost my boy to cancer just after he turned 9, way too early and I certainly was t ready to say goodbye.
    That was 3 years ago and it still feels like yesterday.
    I miss him every single day.
    Lisa

  19. My almost 7 year old girl is the canine love of my life. I’ve had many dogs before her, many of them very good dogs, but none come close to the relationship I have with this one.

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