Knowing which breeds will get along well with your vizsla isn’t always straightforward. Whether you want to know before your next visit to the dog park, or you are considering getting a second dog, this article is for you.
I will cover 10 of the most compatible breeds for your vizsla and explain why.
Dogs That Work Well With Vizslas… What To Consider
Before thinking about other breeds, it’s important to first consider what vizslas are like.
Your vizsla will have his or her own quirks and differences, which is essential to consider throughout. But although all vizslas are different, there are still some typical breed traits to discuss first.
In the dog world, opposites usually don’t attract, so it’s important to find matching temperaments.
Prey Drive & Hunting Background
Vizslas have a strong prey drive. And even if your vizsla is a family pet, their prey drive is still there. This does not mean vizslas were bred to kill, but they were used to hunt, seek out, and retrieve small animals and wild game.
This fact cannot be ignored. When it comes to small pets, small animals, and even small dogs, extra caution needs to be taken.
It is known that small toy breeds can sometimes arouse these instinctive “chase and capture” behaviors within dogs that have strong prey drives.
This doesn’t mean to say vizslas cannot get along with very small dogs, but the relationship would take a lot longer to develop. If your vizsla was to get a little carried away or lost in an “instinctive moment” it could traumatize a tiny dog.
Very Energetic & Big Exercise Requirements
Vizslas are genuine athletes of the dog world and need their fair share of exercise. Around 2 hours per day is a good amount for a vizsla.
But not all breeds are like that, some wouldn’t need so much, and for others you would have a hard time getting them out the front door!
So it’s important to consider how this would affect your vizsla’s current exercise routine. If you were to get a second dog who couldn’t keep up, it may entice you to end your walks earlier, then your vizsla would lose out.
When it comes to energy, playfulness, and exercise requirements, your life will be so much easier to have dogs with similar requirements, otherwise one may end up losing out over the other.
- Related: When do vizslas calm down?
Vizslas Love Getting Their Own Attention
Many consider the vizsla to be a “velcro-dog”, meaning they absolutely love sticking close by their owner’s side. While this is quite endearing, it can encourage possessive/territorial behavior over an owner.
Of course, this isn’t the case for all vizslas out there.This can become a little tricky if you were to get a second dog
who also has the tendency to “battle” for their owner’s attention.
Some breeds don’t handle this well, and others are more “easy-going” around other potentially jealous breeds. So this is another thing to keep in mind.
10 Breeds That Get Along Well With a Vizsla
Let’s cover the 10 breeds that get along really well with a vizsla. There are many more than 10 breeds, but these are the ones that vizsla owners often mention.
Vizslas get along best with dogs such as Labradors, golden retrievers, spaniels, border collies and pointers.
- English Pointer & German Shorthaired Pointer
- Border Collie
- Irish Setter
- Springer Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- Australian Shepherd
- Portuguese Water Dog
Yeah, I know what you are thinking, “so obvious!” And it’s true, labradors are popular, but it’s for a very good reason, they tick all the boxes, not just for families, but for other dogs too.
Labradors are playful, naturally friendly, energetic, and are similar in size to a vizsla, albeit a little smaller and stockier. Labs will be a vizsla’s perfect exercise partner and companion in general.
Labradors are affectionate yet easy-going, so they won’t be too bothered by a vizslas neediness to be the center of attention, a lab will just get on with it, and enjoy the moment for what it is.
Getting a labrador for your second dog will please both your vizsla and your family.
2. English Pointer & German Shorthaired Pointer
Pointers are very similar to vizslas right from the get-go. Aside from being physically similar in looks, vizslas are actually considered part of the same pointer group along with English pointers.
English pointers are playful and very energetic, and they will certainly give your vizsla a run for his money in the local dog park. They are very quick and have a keen sense of awareness.
Despite their impressive working background, pointers also make great family dogs. They are affectionate, loyal, highly trainable, and love to appease their owners.
A pointer will certainly try to claim their own fair share of attention, so there may be some friendly competition in this area, but nothing that can’t be managed.
All in all, a pointer would make a great second dog for your vizsla. Just be ready to stay on top of training and their exercise.
3. Border Collie
Border Collies are another impressive working dog. Collies have an extensive history in herding and pair up with vizslas nicely.
Collies are similar in size, although a little shorter, have just as much energy, and require the same amount of exercise as your vizsla.
Not only have I personally seen collie/vizsla combinations in person, but I have read in many vizsla forums that these make great pairs. So it’s a pretty solid combo!
And if you weren’t aware, Border Collies are rated as the world’s most intelligent dog. It need not be said they are extremely intelligent, obedient and well behaved, so they may teach your vizsla some positive habits!
They are also very affectionate, loyal, and relatively easy-going. Collies do enjoy their fair share of attention, but they aren’t known to be a breed that competes for it like a vizsla, so that’s good.
If you don’t mind upping your training regime, and sweeping your floors some more! then a collie will be perfect.
4. Irish Setter
Irish setters are also extremely similar to vizslas, so much so, they are basically their longer-haired double-twin!
Irish setters are strong gundogs with the same working purpose that a vizsla has. These two breeds match up nicely in pretty much every way.
Irish setters shed more than vizslas due to the fact they have a double-coat whereas vizslas do not. They are also very energetic, playful and will hold their own living with a vizsla. Especially when it comes to rough play.
Irish setters love their attention just as much as a vizsla does so you’ll have to be sure to keep things fair and show adequate attention to both, otherwise, there will be tantrums.
If you like the sound of a long-haired vizsla, get an Irish setter!
5. Springer Spaniel
Springer spaniels are the first dog on the list that is fairly smaller than vizslas, although they are both gundogs and have the same working purpose to hunt, point, and retrieve wild game.
Spaniels are known to be incredibly friendly, great with children and families in general. You won’t have any problems on that front.
Spaniels are extremely high energy and their playfulness is through the roof. If you want a more “chilled” second dog, then this is not the breed for you. Needless to say, a spaniel will make an excellent playmate to your vizsla.
Spaniels will shed considerably so that’s something else to consider with this breed. But if you don’t mind that, this breed makes an excellent choice.
Spaniels are also easily trained, obedient and eager to please their owners, so if you’re a keen trainer, a spaniel will definitely tick the box for you.
6. Golden Retriever
What kind of list would this be if didn’t contain a golden retriever? America’s No.1 dog comes out on top for good reasons, so of course, golden retrievers absolutely make this list.
Retrievers make amazing family pets and it goes without saying you’ll need a new vacuum too.
Retrievers shed A LOT so if you aren’t ready to up your brushing game, this breed, unfortunately, won’t be for you.
Aside from that, retrievers have a lot of similarities to vizslas, in that they are very playful, energetic, affectionate, love to appease their owners, and are all-around, amazing dogs to own.
Retrievers love their attention but at the same are very easy-going and won’t cause much of a fuss when your vizsla puts his head in between yours and theirs.
All in all, another great choice for both your vizsla and your family.
7. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are gaining popularity and are becoming more of a household name every year. Aussies are very similar to border collies.
Aussies make great companion breeds for other dogs and for families. They are very loving, friendly-natured and affectionate, yet hard-working, highly intelligent, and eager to please.
This past summer I had the pleasure to speak to many vizsla owners, two of which also had an Australian Shepherd, and the pair were inseparable.
Australian shepherds are double-coated breeds that will require a lot more brushing and grooming compared to a vizsla.
Aussies have similar exercise requirements and will make excellent playmates for your vizsla. All in all, a wonderful addition to your family and your vizsla.
Dalmatians are similar in size and build to vizslas, but just with spots!
Dalmatians have a short single-layered coat like vizslas, but you’re not off the hook with shedding! Dals let out their fair share of hair year-round.
Dalmatians are very energetic and will require just as much (if not more) exercise than your vizsla. These two will definitely keep each other entertained inside and outside the house.
Dalmatians require a good amount of training to be obedient and well-behaved. And if you leave these two together for long periods of time alone, they will likely misbehave together.
As long as you enjoy training and have plenty of time to exercise both of them, a dalmatian is another great option to go for.
9. Portuguese Water Dog
If you like your dogs big, then a Portuguese water dog could be a great choice for you. PWD’s are large, working dogs that were primarily used to drive fish into the nets of fishermen.
This breed grows to be larger than a vizsla and much hairier too! PWD’s are known for having very curly hair, much like you would see on a poodle.
Portuguese Water Dogs are loyal and intelligent and are known for being great family dogs too. They will rival your vizsla’s affection and desire for attention, so that’s something to consider.
Exercise requirements are similar and they will both make great playmates for each other.
If you don’t mind a large addition to your family, a Portuguese water dog would be a great choice.
Apart from greyhounds being a little larger than vizslas, these two breeds are extremely similar.
Both greyhound and vizsla LOVE their exercise and will keep each other highly entertained at the dog park.
Greyhounds are naturally friendly, loyal, and affectionate but they are also somewhat easy-going.
Neither breed tolerates being left alone for long periods of time so this is something to consider. If your household remains empty throughout the day, a greyhound will only add to your vizsla’s nerves, not ease them!
Greyhound will be a great choice, so long as your training is high and your vizsla is already trained and obedient.
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The Characteristics To Look Out For
Although I covered just 10 breeds above, there are MANY more suitable breeds out there. Here are some of the common characteristics to look out for.
Breeds that get along with a vizsla will have the following traits:
● Playful, energetic with medium to high exercise requirements
● Intelligent & easily trained
● Affectionate & family-friendly
● Not stubborn
● Not overly territorial
● Not naturally aloof to strangers
Any breeds that meet most if not all of the above criteria will make a good companion to your vizsla.
Are Vizslas Better In Pairs?
Time to address the elephant in the room! I haven’t yet mentioned getting another vizsla.
So, are vizslas better in pairs? < (full article about this here)
The short answer, yes! Vizslas are great in pairs and will get along well with each other due to how similar their temperaments will be.
Practically all breeds get along very well with their own breed. But you may be interested to know that it still hasn’t been proven whether dogs are able to recognize their own breed or not.
Experts believe the reason they get along so well is due to their similarities in behavior, not because they recognize themselves to be the same breed.
The one thing you will have to consider is competing for attention. Each vizsla will probably try to claim you and this will mean a few arguments here and there, so that’s something to remember.
But yes, a second vizsla would be an excellent choice for your first vizsla.
Should Your Second Dog Be Male or Female?
This is another important question and the answer is fairly straightforward.
If you have a male now, then it will be better to get a female next. And vice versa.
Opposites get along much better than two males or two females. If you get the same gender, they will fight more frequently and consistently to gain the “alpha” position over each other.
That will still happen with a male and a female, but they will find a balance much quicker, and it will be much easier for the relationship to work.
Is it impossible to make two of the same gender work? It isn’t, no. But getting a second dog brings with it a whole range of additional challenges to think about aside from this, so you may as well do everything you can to help you from the start.
If you want two females or two males that’s fine, but you’ll have extra work to do in order for their companionship to work.
When To Get Your Second Dog
When it comes to timing, there are two options…
And that’s to either get a second dog right away while your vizsla is also still a very young puppy (around 8-10 weeks).
Or you wait until your vizsla has matured and has been house trained to a high level. This is typically the preferred option. By this time your vizsla would likely be 1.5 – 2 years old.
It’s important to have your resident dog trained and well-behaved before you consider bringing another dog into your home. A mature and well-trained dog will know how to act appropriately with the new dog/puppy and will pass off good behavior and habits to them.
I’ve seen this situation before with friends (sorry!) who have gone ahead too soon with a second dog before their resident dog was mature or trained, and it was a nightmare, to say the least. The resident dog had no idea who to act or behave, became even more disobedient and subsequently, the puppy grew up to be just as chaotic and disobedient.
Unless you get both dogs from a very young age like 8-12 weeks, then you’ll have to wait until your vizsla has properly settled in, matured, and become as well-behaved and obedient as possible.
Thank You for reading! I really hope I have helped you with your original question. If you think I have missed valuable information out, let me know, and I’ll be happy to add relevant sections. Kind regard, Harry.
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