Vizsla Life & Exercise

Living Conditions, Exercise & Life Expectancy

Vizslas thrive being indoors, around their family

Living Conditions

A Vizsla's greatest needs are exercise and human contact. Vizslas will often literally follow their owner(s) from one place to another within the house. While it's important to have access to a fenced yard or other area where your Vizsla can go for off-leash running, your dog's mental and emotional health will tend to suffer if he or she is required to sleep outdoors. A Vizsla can tolerate living in an apartment or smaller home, but only if you provide a lot of running and walking as compensation. Do not take on the responsibility of owning a Vizsla if you're not prepared to give it the ample attention and physical activity it requires.

With adult Vizsla dogs, try to replicate the sleeping conditions they had before moving into your home. A soft bed with exposure to the sun may be preferred. With Vizsla puppies, you may wish to create a partitioned area where they can play and sleep. Allow your puppy some time to explore its new home, and give it plenty of love and attention-along with a few treats. Vizsla puppies are known for being somewhat difficult to housetrain, and crate training is often recommended. Vizsla puppies also like to chew on things, so keep your puppy in certain areas of the house or make sure that any potentially dangerous snacks (e.g. electrical cords) are inaccessible.

If your Vizsla absolutely must sleep outdoors, then it's best to provide a shelter that is comfortable and well insulated. The Vizsla's thin coat offers little protection against cold weather. The shelter should offer enough room for your dog to move around, but don't make it too big. A smaller shelter will help your Vizsla to feel secure, and will also offer greater warmth.

A large yard and plenty of indoor and outdoor space is the best living situation for a Vizsla. Ideally, a Vizsla should not be left alone during the day. If necessary, employing a dog walker to exercise your Vizsla would help it to cope with daily absences.

Exercise

It's difficult to overstate the need that a Vizsla dog has for exercise. The Vizsla is very athletic and is one of the oldest hunting breeds in the world. This is not a dog that will be content with sedentary apartment living and a short daily walk. Jogging, running, swimming (Vizslas are typically excellent swimmers), hunting, hiking, roller blading, and extensive walking are all activities that a Vizsla would enjoy. A long walk twice a day might be adequate, but a Vizsla would be happiest if it can run-preferably off-leash-for at least 30 minutes, and preferably an hour or more, every day. If you're a jogging addict or part of a family that loves being outdoors or going to the lake or the farm on the weekends, then a Vizsla would be an ideal companion.

If a Vizsla is not getting enough exercise, behavioral problems are very likely to ensue. These are often compounded by the fact that Vizslas need a lot of mental stimulation as well. Destructive behaviors caused by a lack of exercise include hyperactivity, chewing, and digging huge holes in the yard. Vizsla puppies will tend to jump on or at people.

Life Expectancy

A healthy, well-cared for Vizsla will typically live from 12 to 15 years. However, that range may vary by two years or more either way (10 years to 17 years).

Grooming

The Vizsla breed's exercise needs may be high, but in the grooming department it's a blessedly low-maintenance dog. Viszlas are naturally clean with little to no smell-unless they've been mucking about in swamps during a hunting excursion. But even then, their short, close-lying coats help keep them from getting too muddy or smelly. They may shed more than you'd expect for dogs with such short coats, but their twice-annual shedding can be minimized with regular brushing (it's best to brush outside if anyone in your household is allergic). Vizslas also lack an undercoat, which makes them an acceptable choice for some people with allergies. Bathing your Vizsla is seldom necessary. A weekly nail clipping, teeth cleaning, and brushing is about as complicated as a Vizsla's grooming needs get.

Bathing your Vizsla too often will cause its coat to lose color, and will remove natural oils that keep its skin from drying out. Bathe only as necessary, and use a natural or dry shampoo. It's not unusual for a Vizsla to be bathed just twice a year. More frequent spot washing of your dog's face is fine, and will help to keep up its appearance. Regular use of a bristle brush would also help to keep your Vizsla's coat and skin healthy. Check your Vizsla's paws and eyes daily and ears weekly for signs of infection, and gently remove debris.