Whether or not your Vizsla can be left home alone is an important question to ask. Whatever reason you may need to leave the house it’s crucial to consider how this will affect your Vizsla.
One or two hours here and there will cause no problem, but many hours in a row will not be tolerated well by a Vizsla. Vizslas dislike being left alone and can develop isolation distress and separation anxiety easily.
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Can Vizslas Be Left Alone?
Vizslas do not cope well when left alone. They are a breed known for developing strong bonds with their human families and crave having company at pretty much all times.
How did this happen? Vizslas have a long history of working as hunting dogs and were bred to work very closely with their owners.
From spending so much time with their owners, their bonds were quickly developed. Even after a long day working, vizslas would still seek their owner for comfort and affection.
Let’s move on to the next important question…
How Long Can Vizslas Be Left Alone?
Unfortunately, one answer doesn’t fit all, and all vizslas will have a different tolerance. Some vizslas may be fine for 4-5 hours, and others only 1.
But one thing is for sure, vizslas definitely cannot go for several hours alone. No breed can.
There are, however, ways you can start gauging your own vizsla’s tolerance. I will cover this below, but first let’s go over what may happen to a vizsla that is left alone for too long, too often.
What Can Happen When a Vizsla Is Left Alone Too Often
If your current situation already involves leaving your vizsla home alone for many hours, this section will highlight why you may want to make some changes sooner rather than later.
Issues that can happen after being left alone too long, too often:
● Isolation distress
● Separation anxiety
● Boredom & frustration
● Destructive behavior
● Temperament changes (aggression, aloofness)
As you can see, ALL of these are serious conditions that can be hard to rectify once developed, especially separation anxiety, which some experts believe to be incurable.
Vizslas will soon become extremely frustrated, lonely, and anxious if they spend many hours alone each day. For most, this comes out initially as destructive behavior and obedience issues.
After discussing this topic with other Vizsla owners, the one thing that was frequently mentioned was quality of life. “This breed absolutely craves human interaction and without it, they just aren’t happy. The fact that being left alone really kills the joy and life out of a dog that can be so happy is so sad”. this was very disheartening and really resonated with me.
Signs That You’ve Been Gone Too Long
Every time you leave the house, you can take this as an opportunity to learn about your Vizsla’s tolerance to being left alone.
Record how long you are gone each time over the next week and you will very quickly learn how long is too long for your vizsla.
Signs to look out for when you come home: The Indicators:
● Audible barking, whining, crying as you approach your home
● Evidence of destructive behavior (Everything from scratching doors to ripping things)
● Overly erratic and anxious behavior upon seeing you
● There’s urine on the floor despite being let out before you left (short durations only)
Analyzing your home and observing your vizsla is critical when you first arrive. It’s at this moment will you realize if you’ve been gone too long or not.
Besides obvious destructive behavior, the body language of your vizsla will be key. His body language will speak volumes and if you see him to be overly anxious, shaking, trembling, or even cowering, it means you were gone too long.
If you were to come home and your vizsla seems happy, but mostly unphased by your arrival, then it suggests he handled that duration just fine.
You could also invest in a pet camera to help you with this. These cameras can let you see your vizsla in real-time from your smartphone. This way there’s no guessing involved at all. I will explain pet cameras in the section below.
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Do You Work Long Hours? Here’s What To Do
This will be the biggest concern for the vast majority of owners out there. Long work hours.
If you are out of the house for several hours each day, you have pretty much two options. Let’s go through them.
Get help from friends & family
Ask friends or family to make a single check-up on your vizsla halfway between how long you are gone for. This check can involve letting him out, topping up his water bowl, and giving him some attention for 30 minutes.
For some of you, this will be a possibility, especially if you have multiple friends or family members that are also dog lovers themselves. That will make it even easier.
Hire a dog sitter
For those of you who can’t do that. Then you can hire a dog sitter to do it instead. Although this requires you to part way with some of your cash, it’s a far simpler way to resolve your situation.
Dog sitting is a very reliable business service nowadays. With a simple Google search, you will find many people in your area who do this. Of course, you want to do your due diligence checks, but most people will have reviews from other dog owners they have worked with, and you can even interview them yourself before hiring.
● Are these the only two options? Pretty much, yes. If you are working for several hours on end with no one in your household all day. It won’t matter what tips and tricks you try, or how many toys or treats you put down before you leave… it’s just way too long: real human-company is the only answer.
6 Ways To Keep Your Vizsla Happy When Home Alone
Apart from the options given to you in the previous section (which by the way, are the best options). You can additionally implement the methods below to help keep your vizsla happier, when alone.
1. Exercise him thoroughly before you leave
Even if you leave for work early, getting up even earlier to give your vizsla a good running around will work wonders. By expelling as much energy as you can before you leave, your vizsla will be much more content to rest for at least a good hour right after you leave him.
If you leave him with pent-up energy, he’s going to become frustrated pretty much instantly compared to if you exercise beforehand.
2. Create a dedicated space him
This is a very powerful way to help your vizsla feel more safe and secure while you are gone. This is preferably done by using his crate.
Locate his crate in a room that’s furthest away from outside noises and distractions, then over the course of 1-2 weeks, start spending a lot of time with him around his crate. Throw toys in there, offer treats to him in there, and always keep the door open.
Get him feeling very comfortable with his crate and he will soon use it as his very own “den” when you are gone. This will keep him feeling more comfortable for longer once you leave.
3. Leave the TV or radio on
Yep, it really does help. But not because your vizsla adores the sound of your local radio host. By leaving some background noise on, you will effectively drown out other outside noises that would have normally kept your vizsla on edge.
Vizslas are very sensitive and alert, especially when alone. Any noises outside from people, traffic, other animals, and building works can prevent your vizsla from being able to calm down and relax.
The sound of the TV or radio will help to make these noises less noticeable.
4. Leave him with a comforter
Your unwashed t-shirt is the answer. This will work as the ultimate comfort item for your vizsla. Vizslas have an extremely good sense of smell (experts say 10,000-100,000 times better than ours!)
This also means that your scent is VERY important to your vizsla. By leaving him an unwashed t-shirt of yours in his crate, he will have a potent source of your smell, which will keep him feeling calm and reassured for longer.
Sounds silly, but it really works. Just be careful of choking hazards (if your vizsla has a chewing issue, then you may want to avoid this tip)
5. Provide interactive puzzle toys
Interactive puzzle toys are great for entertaining your vizsla for extended periods of time. You can actually get all different styles of puzzle toys, but some are more suitable for when you are there to assist.
Our favorite would be the Star Mark Bob A Lot, which essentially acts as a slow feeder, your vizsla can easily play with this alone, and it will keep him occupied for a solid 45 minutes.
Not only that, but these toys get the mind working, and this will expel much more energy than you may have thought. A mentally tired dog is a very happy and restful dog.
6. Invest in a pet camera
Pet cameras are awesome. These are essentially indoor CCTV cameras, but much easier to set up. After you mount them securely in the room where your vizsla stays while you are out, you can see your vizsla in real-time right from your smartphone wherever you are.
Some cameras come with a two-way screen and two-way audio, so you can actually speak to him.
The ability to view your vizsla at any time within seconds is extremely valuable. If you tap into the camera and see your vizsla is looking distressed, you could ask a friend or family member to help out, ask the dog sitter to go earlier, or even go home briefly yourself. This is only possible if you can see him at any moment.
This is our favorite one, but there are many great options to choose from.
Vizslas are not a breed that copes well when left alone. They are highly social and depend on their owners being there with them. If you work long hours, you will almost certainly need to hire a dog sitter or ask friends and family to visit your vizsla while you are out of the house.
All vizslas have their own tolerance, so it’s hard to say that one specific duration will be ok for all. Some may be fine for 3 to 4 hours, and others may freak out after 30 minutes. This is why it’s crucial for you to do your own checks and tests, to find out your vizsla’s personal tolerance.
I hope this has helped! If you feel I have missed anything that would help other readers please contact me and I will happily include relevant sections.
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