Countdown to Vizsla puppy...


June 5, 2007, 05:18 PM
June 15th is D-day.

What's the first thing to do?

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June 5, 2007, 05:24 PM

June 5, 2007, 05:30 PM
I've heard from too many people that they've developed bad habits in their dogs at an early age. Then I wonder if that's BS.

The youngest dog I've had was 9 months old.

What do you do with a young puppy, if you want a good hunting and house dog? Anything?

Any advice on how to raise a dog for best results?

June 5, 2007, 05:41 PM
Sorry, I read that as a Fila, not Vizsla. I don't appreciate the Fila Brasileiro. The Vizsla is by all accounts a fine dog.

I used Richard Wolter's methods with much success on my two Brittanys. Be firm, but loving. People usually take it too far one way or the other (cruel or a pushover).

lee n. field
June 5, 2007, 06:16 PM
What's the first thing to do?

Feed him?

June 6, 2007, 06:46 AM
Get your self a copy of, The Versatile gundog by Guy Wallis. A very good book on training HPR's. Try [url] If they don't have it on
I have been to several of Guy Wallis's training days and he is a man who knows what he is talking about. Good luck with the puppy.

June 8, 2007, 01:45 AM
The Richard Wolter's books are classics especially the first sections of the books dealing with civilizing the puppy, house breaking and what the human members of the household should and should not do are right one target. Your local library very will may have them.

Wolter's was a lab guy/waterfowler but what he has to say about bringing home a puppy and raising one for the 1st months applies to almost any breed.

Based on the Vizslas I've been around they seem to be pretty different personality-wise than most of the German VHDs. High energy and very intelligent but a bit soft which is something to remember if you get into some of the training protocols written about and used on/for dogs like GSHPs or GWHPs which tend to be a bit harder.



June 8, 2007, 12:44 PM
Vizslas aren't "soft" as much as they are manipulative and histrionic.

They are known for making all sorts of noise and acting like you're killing them, when you're not touching them, just because they don't feel like doing what you want them to do. I've seen it a fair amount. It's actually really funny, but only if you know what's happening. It probably freaks some people out.:)

That said, it's certainly true that a dog like a Vizsla that craves human attention and affection takes a different training approach vs. a more aloof dog like some field-bred GSPs.

Thanks for the recommendations!

June 8, 2007, 01:41 PM
If your dog is a male then I would suggest getting him neutered while they are young.

Vizla's are good family dogs but we had to put ours down to to behavior issues at 7 years old. He was not neutered, probably our first mistake, but we were going to breed him. He had a good blood line and was fully checked out(hips, etc.) and passed with flying colors.
The biggest issue is that he started dominating the house. For example, if he was on the couch and knew that he should not be, he would growl at you when you told him to get down. We had talked to the Vet and she gave us lots of suggestions that we tried over the past year without success.
When he started growling at the kids (and bared teeth at my 12 year old son) I had enough.

He was a great hunter although I did not spend near enough time in the field with him. His mousing skills were pretty good too! Take him to an area where people are shooting, not real close at first, just enough so that he will get used to it. I started with mine when he was about 3 months and he was never gun shy.

Here is a picture of our large Vizla, a rock-solid 75 pounds.....

June 8, 2007, 02:14 PM
Thanks, Marshall. Sorry about your dog.

Was he an alpha dog when you got him? Or did he only show those traits after a few years?

June 8, 2007, 02:58 PM
It started to show when he was about 3 years old and then started getting really bad at about 6 years. The odd thing is that he never had life so good. We had moved from a house on 1/4 acre to a house with 1 acre and it was all his to run. Maybe that had something to do with it?? If it was just me and my wife I could have put up with it but if he had done something to the kids I would have felt responsible. Our Miniature Pinscher is a year younger than the Vizsla was and we had him fixed right away. He has grown up to be a good little pet and is very obedient. His barking is a bit of a pain but that comes with the breed.

My folks had an un-neutered Lab that was almost the same way as the Vizsla. He even bit me once when I would not let him get on the couch with me. :mad:

Looking into the distant future I think my next dog will be a German Shorthair Pointer. We had one before the Vizsla and he was the best dog I have ever had. The only issue is that he had the occasional seizure. He died of cancer at 10. :(

June 10, 2007, 12:00 AM

Soft/hard, neither is good or bad unless itís excessive. They are what they.

In addition to owning and training several sporting and non-sporting breeds of my own over the years, I did dog training for a long time. Long story short, I had a chance to handle and observe more breeds of dogs than most and my comment regarding the Vizsla is a consequence of that experience.

Vizslas are wonderful dogs IMO and it's a breed I've considered owning myself. Based on my experience handling several examples of the breed (both males and females and various ages) and watching many others in training, or later in competition, they are softer than some of the other versatile hunting dog breeds. The Germans and Hungarians apparently had different ideas about dogs. The Germans some pretty regimented perspectives on how their dogs should be trained and not just their hunting breeds. The approaches in the old texts for training versatile breeds Iíve read, and the methods used in the states, are heavily influenced by the German school of thought. I think many people could/would have a good outcome with a Vizsla without doing the full blown version of what Iíve seen of the German techniques. Iím not sure the force or the high levels of repetition are required or appropriate for a Vizsla. They are smart and pick things up quickly. Train, do your proofing and move along.

YMMV but I hope you didnít think I was putting a negative spin on the breed as that was not my intent. Based on a couple of GSPs I trained back in the day, one of which was dog aggressive and hard as a steel rail, I would have welcomed even 10% the intelligence and tractability of the any Vizsla I ever touched. (And the clownishness also). Not saying the GSP is not a great breed but in certain camps where big running, far ranging dogs are prized we now have a GSP that does just that. With the independence it takes to achieve at that game, some of tractability and people-oriented side of the GSP is going away at least in some of the field lines.

I wish you the best of luck with you Vizsla :)


June 10, 2007, 09:54 AM
+1 on Richard Wolter's books. Also, crate train to housebreak. Keep the pup in a travel crate only slightly larger than the pup . . . dog won't soil his/her living space, but will let you know when it wants out. Later, move the crate to a quiet part of the house . . . it will become the dog's "quiet place" . . . a refuge away from people. Beyond that, can't tell you much about Vizlas . . . always been a Lab kinda guy. Enjoy . . . dogs are like kids, only less demanding, always loving, and more forgiving. I don't know where they go when they pass on, but wherever it is, that's where I want go when my time comes . . .

June 11, 2007, 12:27 PM
Soft/hard, neither is good or bad unless itís excessive....I hope you didnít think I was putting a negative spin on the breed

True enough, and I didn't think you were putting a negative spin on the breed. I was just saying that people can misunderstand what the dog is trying to do, and spoil the dog.

Thanks for the additional input and info!

Baba Louie
June 11, 2007, 01:16 PM
Excellent hunting dogs.

I've owned two males. If ever I walk that path again, it'll be a female.

Yes, they grumble. Yes, if you miss a shot, both of my males came back and told me what a lousy shot I was (I kid you not).

Voracious hunters. Pointing butterflys at 16 weeks.

Feather or fur, I taught mine feather.

I followed Robert Ruark's advice in his Old Man and the Boy book and both of my males would hunt, point and retrieve all day long.

They need room to range and run. Long exercise periods. Smart. Almost too smart. 6ft chain link fence got climbed over on a regular basis once they figured it out.

If you're not going to show or breed, neuter 'em.

Very high spirited. Very. When running at the local parks they'd jump up under trees and stand on two legs trying to flush birds. I've pulled my last one out of trees that he'd climb going after birds (multi trunked variety of trees which let him work his way up... never more than 7 ft above the ground tho so don't worry... see comment about chain link fence above)

When field training, I kept mine on a 50 ft lead. Otherwise they range too far for shotgun (I don't like to have to run up too far when they're holding a bird on point and some birds will flush with dog following and that get's real old real fast)

Originally they were hunted in packs on horseback which should tell you a lot about their stamina and energy levels.

Great upland bird hunting dogs. Never tried any other type of hunting with mine. Beautiful to watch work. Make sure they know you are the alpha of the pack.

June 11, 2007, 01:17 PM
Would you look at that face! How could you say "no" to that? :cool:

June 11, 2007, 05:35 PM
Now that is one hansome little fellow :)



Art Eatman
June 11, 2007, 05:38 PM
PUppy? Make sure ya got lotsa newspapers.


June 11, 2007, 07:29 PM
Don't hear this from the hard-hearted, grizzled, old, Montanan very often, but regarding that photo . . . awwww, ain't it cute? Good job!

Mr. 16 gauge
June 14, 2007, 03:46 PM
Would you look at that face! How could you say "no" to that?

Real easy, esp. when the little bugger is chewing on something he/she shouldn't be.......and it is usually something that my wife adores!

I also vote for the Wolter's books; I used 'GAME DOG' to train my water spaniel and Chesapeake Bay retriever.

So what do you teach 'em first? The word "NO!" will be the basis for almost all your training. When they hear that word, they will stop what they are doing (in theory, anyway;)) and then you redirect them to what YOU want them to do. Start with the basics (sit, stay, come) and make sure that they have these down solidly, as these are the basic building blocks for the rest of their training.
Good luck, and please post a pic of the new pup when you get him (her?):)

June 14, 2007, 03:53 PM
The pic above is either him, or his littermate. They look the same.:)

We have second pick of this litter; a neighboring breeder got dibs on the first. At least two of the males seem so similar I can't remember which is which. They're color-coded. 10 dogs total in the litter.

More pictures coming, when we get him!

Bottom Gun
June 14, 2007, 04:43 PM
I used to breed and train German Shepherd Dogs. The very first thing I do with a new animal, dog or cat, is to whistle train it.
You always want to be able to call your animal in when you have to. That's most important when he starts chasing a rabbit, another dog, or is fixing to get into trouble.
I live in the country and my animals roam far and wide. There are times when I need to call them in right away.

For dogs, get a pound of cheese and a good whistle like an Acme Thunderer. Blow the whistle and give the dog a small square of cheese. Repeat a few times until the dog learns to associate the whistle with the cheese treat. Make a big fuss over him as you give him the treat. Remember, the dog has to get a treat EVERY time the whistle sounds.
In no time your dog will stop whatever he is doing and come on a dead run whenever he hears that whistle.
Reinforce the training periodically and you will have taught your dog a very useful trick.

I carry an Acme whistle on my key chain for this purpose. It came in very handy one day when our Lab decided to take off after a bear we stumbled across in the national forest. I started yelling ang hollering at him to come back but he ignored me in the excitement. The whistle stopped him in his tracks and he did an about face.

I even trained our cats this way only I used a brass bell and ham with them because the whistle was a bit too disturbing for them.
If I want to get the cats out of the house (they like to hide inside) or give them medication or something, I only have to step outside and ring the bell. They all come running lickety split. People I show this to are amazed that a cat will come like this.

Do this with your dog and it will come in handy some day, especially if your dog is strong willed.

My two cents. . . . . . . .

June 18, 2007, 02:40 PM GSP was purchased primarily for hunting. From 10 weeks old on I have tried to take the dog everywhere I went. That included the corner grocery store. The object was to try and get her used to every possible non hunting noise I could. It created quite a strong bond. She was hunting and retrieving at 9 months, completed intermediate versatile field trials at 1 1/2 years, and has accounted for over 100 pheasants, dozens of grouse and a gunny sack of quail in the last 3 years. I use unassisted whistles and hand signals to direct her efforts when needed. She does not know what a shock collar is. I think she got where she is now primarily because of her natural ability. But along the way I was the only one that fed, trained, played, and healed her injuries.

August 11, 2007, 12:01 AM
ArmedBear, how is your Vizsla progressing?

We just added a German Shorthaired Pointer to the family. She is 15 weeks old and her name is Mocha.

August 13, 2007, 12:16 PM
Beautiful dog, Marshall!

Gus the Vizsla is also 15 weeks now. We got him at 7 weeks.

He went to his first NAVHDA training on Saturday (with us, of course). He's been doing well. He retrieves a quail DDF on land and in the water, can point a quail wing on fishing line (sometimes; sometimes he lunges).

A nightmare around the house, but also a really affectionate little guy, when he's had plenty of exercise, and then some more, and then more.:) Gets bored easily, and makes a lot of noise about it. He is now 99% bell-trained, though -- rings a bell by the door when he has to go out.

I think I'll start another thread about NAVHDA. Our chapter, at least, is a GREAT deal if you want to get a dog trained without dropping a few grand, and/or you want to bond with your dog by doing most or all of the training yourself. Good people, too, fun to hang out with.

August 13, 2007, 01:31 PM
I don't know anything about training a hunting dog, but have raised several puppies otherwise. What I've found works the best, when the dog is doing something it shouldn't, is tell them once, tell them twice, and then do something to where they KNOW you mean buisness. Usually just a stern voice is enough. Then once they are no longer doing what they shouldn't (even if it's because you forced them), give them praise. Very quickly the dog will learn that you are in charge, in a "best friend or worst enemy" kind of way and eventually they will start listening to you on thier own simply because they don't want to be yelled at.

With a young puppy a lot of times the bad behavior is pretty darn cute as well. It is hard sometimes to disipline them when it's obvious they don't know any better. But always remember, a well behaved dog is a happy dog and ultimately you are doing it for the good of you both.

Harley Quinn
August 13, 2007, 03:16 PM
I have had many dogs, was into breeding them and can tell you many stories.
One of the heart aches of being a breeder is culling. Many do, many donot.
Lack of culling certain breeds developed other breeds Color etc.

One thing I notice with this dog is the recessive traits of many of the breeds.

Vizsla's are dominant recessive gene's, which is why the color etc..

Similar to the white blue eyed human, all recessive traits.

Not that it is bad it is just a trait that is there...
Now sometimes. Very rare you are going to see a inferior color for the dog...Culling is what happens.
If you can find a dog with that trait and don't want to breed you are better off IMHO.

Many reasons for my remark but if you are into healthy and robust immune systems, go for the dominant traits. It is a fine line to be sure but one worth listening to.


Living Environment: Best suited for country living the Vizsla does not do as well in a city or suburban life but will adapt if sufficient exercise is given. Owners need to make their authority clear from the beginning. Would make a great companion for a hunter or a jogger


August 13, 2007, 03:54 PM
ArmedBear- I will check out NAVHDA.

HQ- Sounds like you have an issue with Vizla's? I think they are great dogs and excellent hunters. I went back to a GSP because I like their "needy" personality a little better.

All dogs need excersize and I agree that some need more than others. Our dogs are lucky and get lots of excersise on our acre lot. We also try to take them with on camping trips, hiking, etc. where they get a lot of extra activity. If you want a pet that just sits around and doesn't need a lot of excercise then get a cat.

As you can see from a picture taken last year, we try to keep our dogs in good shape. :D

Harley Quinn
August 13, 2007, 07:24 PM
HQ- Sounds like you have an issue with Vizla's? I think they are great dogs and excellent hunters. I went back to a GSP because I like their "needy" personality a little better.

Not true they are fine dogs and your dog looks very nice. If you are not breeding him, you should castrate him for his own longevity.

I am not sure how you came up with the above thought, but you sure missed the mark. :uhoh:

The hint came off of a Vizsla breeding site.

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