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(Or, Why You Shouldn't Get A Vizsla or almost any active, sporting type of dog)

Owning any dog is a big commitment. Owning a vizsla takes an extra amount of time and effort since they need plenty of attention and outdoor exercise. Karen and I spent over a year researching dog breeds to come up one that would best suit our lifestyle. We both enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, in-line skating, running, etc. We chose a breed that could keep up with this type of lifestyle but, more importantly, that we could also keep up with. Our decision to add a vizsla to our lives was not an easy one - we had to make sure we were willing to make the commitment necessary to raise the dog properly. This is especially important during the first year you have the dog. We both work full time but have agreed to adjusting our schedules so that the puppy will never be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. Anything more than that is simply unfair to the puppy.

There are already too many irresponsible dog owners out there who are either unwilling or unable to spend the time necessary to properly raise and train their dogs. Puppies are cute but they only remain puppies for a very short time. After that, you are left with a full grown dog who can either be a pain in the a** (to you and everyone he comes in contact with) or a wonderful companion. If you are looking for a furry creature to look pretty and take care of when you have the time, either buy a cat or a very small breed of dog that will fit your lifestyle and be content by itself at home. Don't make yourself and your dog miserable by selecting a breed that will not fit into your lifestyle.

If you are unsure about the characteristics of a certain breed of dog, there are plenty of free resources out there to help you. Finally, if you do decide you are ready for the commitment, DO NOT buy a dog from a pet store. These stores purchase their puppies from "puppy mills" which do not give the dogs proper socialization during the very critical early phases of development. These puppy mills are one of the leading causes of our pet overpopulation problem. Find a reputable breeder or better yet, contact a rescue group for the breed you are interested in. For more informaion on puppy mills and to see how you can help, visit Critter Haven - Unity Project.

Make no mistake - vizslas are extremely cute, friendly dogs.  But they do require alot of exercise.  And this means more than a walk up and down the block once a day.   Letting your vizsla play in the yard won't cut it either, unless you happen to have other dogs that will enjoy playing with the vizsla at a similar high-energy level.