Yesterday we met up with a fellow Vizsla owner Eric, and his 1.5 year Vizsla Yoffi for a romp in some fields. We drove 45 mins to arrive at this huge field in Maple Ridge where Yoffi normally runs and trains with birds. We didn’t have birds this time but thought the dogs would love to run and perhaps flush out their own.
As soon as Yoffi jumped out of the car we could immediately see the difference between a Vizsla from a hunting stock and one from a confirmation stock. Whiskey’s parents were both shown in confirmation shows where the goal is to conform to the breed’s published standards. In shows they are handled by strangers, shown in front of crowds, and need to stay relaxed in these situations. Hunting Vizslas are bred for their drive and endurance and are tested in the field. So while Whiskey is very mellow for a Vizsla, Yoffi shot out of that car like there was a free bacon festival ahead.
Yoffi pulling and ready to hunt
As we let the dogs off leash in the fields, Yoffi took off bounding around happily monster-trucking through the fields and bushes. Whiskey stayed close and sniffed alot, at first keeping close to us in an unfamiliar environment, then eventually running after Yoffi. Yoffi was playing pretty rough with Whiskey- more from held-back energy than anything else. He also headbutts humans for hellos!
Whiskey leaping over the grass like a rabbit-antelope
a huge space for dogs to roam
Ears flying, dogs diving
Vizsla play is full-on
Pros of Confirmation/Show dogs
-in general these dogs would be better for city life as they are bred to show well and have a temperament conductive to have lots of strangers touch and inspect them
-they must also show good character to be tested (no aggressiveness, shyness)
-they are bred for their looks so they are beautiful!
-they usually need less off leash running and roam closer to you during walks
-they don’t need to work as much
-these dogs will not be bouncing through the walls as fast as a hunting dog if they don’t get a walk
-might be better bet if you have small animals like cats in the house (although probably fine if grown up with one)
Pros of Hunting/Field dogs
-obviously if you want to hunt, you would look for a breeder that hunts and has Field Trail Champions
-these dogs are amazing to watch do the job they are bred for. They are still couch potatoes at home, but are on full “work” mode outside
-bred less for looks and more for personality and intelligence
-I’ve heard show dogs are smaller, more sharply muscled, noisier and more generally hyperactive (Whiskey is smaller, vocal, but very mellow, not hyperactive)
-you may have heard with other breeds, working dogs are usually healthier and living older because they are bred for physical purpose but Vizslas are a very healthy dog that has been much better bred than Labs, German Shepherds, Dachshunds for example. Check this article out!
Vizslas were never overbred and trendy like Dalmatians and are generally a very protected healthy breed. In conclusion hunting dogs have not been proven to be “more healthy” but they certainly have more endurance and energy!
Yoffi’s crazy energy in a picture
Best of Both Worlds
Of course confirmation dogs can be hunters and hunters can be confirmation dogs if you get the right bloodlines that is! I’ve shown examples of extremes, but every dog is unique and with a good breeder you should have a well balanced dog. For example Yoffi is a beauty with great muscles and amazing fur while Whiskey was pulling like crazy when she saw a deer and flushed out a little bird the other day on a walk. Also with breeding you are increasing a chance, of a specific trait and it’s not a guarantee at all.
So driving home that evening we reflected we were really happy we got a confirmation dog, as Whiskey is not “calm” but she’s practically comatose compared to Yoffi. With both of us working full time jobs and not hunters it would push our limits to have to drive out of the city everyday to exercise her. Of course we’re both avid hikers and Whiskey gets plenty of exercise a day. On the other hand, Eric says Yoffi wouldn’t do well in a dog park with other dogs and people around, and that he was really crazy as a puppy. So although Yoffi is an incredible athlete and intelligent hunter, we’re super happy Whiskey’s been so “easy” to fit in our lives. As I’m typing this, she’s sleeping at my feet.