It was once thought that Clifford the Big Red Dog was a vizsla until Scholastic said otherwise. The vizsla is a breed of dog originating from Hungary. Also known as Hungarian vizsla or Magyar vizsla, it is a medium-sized sporting dog and is one of the smallest pointer-retriever dogs. They are characterized by their long triangular drooping ears and their red nose that blends well with their coat. Because of their intelligence and gentle nature, it is easy to train vizsla dogs.
The vizsla is a natural hunter with a great sense of smell. The breed is very protective of its owners and possessions. Because of these, they do not get along well with other animals. Here are some the things to think about when you train vizsla dogs:
- Firm hand and consistency – because they are natural hunters with an independent nature, vizslas need a trainer that can establish himself or herself as an alpha or master. They have a short attention span so limit your training sessions to a few minutes every day. Do not use harsh training methods because vizslas are very sensitive and does not respond well to these training methods.
- Routine and schedule – establish a set routine and schedule as soon as possible. You need to be consistent with the routine and make sure you can adhere to the schedule every day for several months so the dog will get used to it. With a set routine and schedule, your dog can anticipate when it needs to go to the bathroom, when you are going to feed it and when you are going to take it for walks.
- Potty training – this is one of the essentials when you train vizsla dogs. Assign a specific spot in your yard where the dog will do its bathroom business. Keep in mind that puppies have little control over their bladders so be prepared for accidents. Take your dog to its bathroom after exercise and after meals, and before it goes to sleep at night. If accidents happen inside the house, clean it up right away and use diluted vinegar to mask odors.
- Socialization – when you train vizsla dogs, keep in mind that they also need to be socialized. You must expose them to different sights, sounds, and smells. Introduce your dog to other family members, neighbors, and other pets you might have. Remember that they thrive in attention and interaction with their owners. A properly socialized vizsla is a gentle dog and is great with children.