The first family dog I ever had was a Vizsla. Her name was Sam, and she was my mom’s dog from college, before she had me. I can still vaguely remember trying to ride her like a horse, as my mom pulled me off of her, explaining that it’s not okay to do that. Suffice it to say, Vizslas are a tolerant breed. But how well can Vizslas get along with other dogs?
The answer is: with proper training and socialization, Vizslas can not only get along great with other dogs, but just about any other animal.
How Vizslas Interact with Other Dogs
Vizslas are a gentle, affectionate, loyal, intelligent, and playful breed. Supreme athletes, they are full of energy, and can spend hours running around. Pairing up a Vizsla with another athletic dog is a great idea since they will certainly love having a playmate.
A well-socialized Vizsla can’t wait to meet and play with other dogs. It’s like a dream come true to them. Vizslas are restless and they get bored easily, so having a buddy to run around with and keep them entertained is just what they need.
In the video below, you can see a Vizsla and Weimaraner – a descendant of Vizslas – playing together.
I don’t think I would pair a Vizsla with a small dog, or a breed that isn’t as playful. Notice how rough the dogs in the video were playing. Even though Vizslas are gentle and playful, they are powerful dogs that can do a lot of unintentional damage if they get too carried away. They could also become annoying to a dog that isn’t as interested in playing all the time.
Also notice that the two dogs in that video appear to be about the same age, which means they were probably raised together as puppies. How a Vizsla interacts with other dogs is going depend largely on how well they’ve been socialized to other dogs. Not every Vizsla is going to automatically respond well to other dogs, unless they were trained early on as a puppy.
Socializing Vizslas to Other Dogs
Vizslas require a lot of socialization, in many different scenarios with both other dogs and people. Vizslas are not alphas, so without adequate socialization, they can become timid, and have even been known to hide behind their owner’s legs.
As with all other breeds, socialization should begin as early as possible. Familiarizing a Vizsla with other dogs during the early puppy stage – four to 12 weeks – is ideal. However, Vizslas are smart and easy to train, so older Vizslas can also be socialized.
Start by taking your Vizsla on frequent walks where they can possibly get some exposure to other dogs – e.g., public parks, busy sidewalks and trails, or anywhere that they might encounter other people walking their dogs.
This is really good for Vizslas in two ways: One, it gives them an opportunity to be around other people and animals, and learn how to properly behave in those situations; and two, it helps them release their pent up energy, which will make them less anxious.
When you’re walking your Vizsla, if a situation arises wherein they’re not behaving correctly, do not yell at them or yank on their leash. If you do this, it’s just going to excite them, and increase the negativity of the experience for them. What you should do in these situations is distract them. You can distract them with a treat, a verbal command, or by touching them.
Once your Vizsla has gotten used to walks, it’s time to take them to the dog park – just not in to the dog park. Before you take them in to a dog park, walk them around the fence first, and see how they react. If they seem afraid or anxious, it’s too soon. However, if they seem curious and enthusiastic, head on in.
After a few successful trips to the dog park, your Vizsla should be ready to start meeting and playing with other dogs in other social situations. For example, maybe you have a friend or family member who has dogs that you can arrange a play date with. Start with a play date at their house or a public place, and then try one at your house. If all goes well, then your Vizsla is ready to have a new dog introduced to the family.
Dogumentary TV (Jun 10, 2017). ALL ABOUT VIZSLA: HUNGARIAN SPORTING DOG. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLTdf8k5KcQ