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Countdown to Vizsla puppy...

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ArmedBear, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    June 15th is D-day.

    What's the first thing to do?
  2. Kilgor

    Kilgor Well-Known Member

  3. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    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?
  4. Kilgor

    Kilgor Well-Known Member

    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).

  5. lee n. field

    lee n. field Well-Known Member

    Feed him?
  6. Skoghund

    Skoghund Well-Known Member

    Get your self a copy of, The Versatile gundog by Guy Wallis. A very good book on training HPR's. Try www.amazon.co.uk If they don't have...e is talking about. Good luck with the puppy.
  7. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Well-Known Member

    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.


  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    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!
  9. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    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.....

  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    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?
  11. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    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. :(
  12. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Well-Known Member


    Soft/hard, neither is good or bad unless it’s 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 I’ve 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 I’ve seen of the German techniques. I’m 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 didn’t 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 :)

  13. koja48

    koja48 member

    +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 . . .
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    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!

  15. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    Would you look at that face! How could you say "no" to that? :cool:
  17. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Well-Known Member

    Now that is one hansome little fellow :)


  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    PUppy? Make sure ya got lotsa newspapers.

  19. koja48

    koja48 member

    Don't hear this from the hard-hearted, grizzled, old, Montanan very often, but regarding that photo . . . awwww, ain't it cute? Good job!
  20. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge Well-Known Member

    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!"....it 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?):)

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