NEW Pages


Honest Abe The MockViz Mutt

With Dog Week continuing at the Ranch, today's post will be breed specific to Abe.  You can read his introduction to the ranch (here) and about his puppy fav's (here).

Today I'm gonna write down for the ages what kind of dog Abe is suppose to be, and also is suppose to become, based on his mixed breed personality and looks.

A mutt.  Abe is a mutt, that's what kind of a dog he is.  Well that's if a mutt has a minimum mix of two breeds of dogs.

A Vizsla, pronounced Veesla, (don't pronounce the Zzz among full bred owners), is a Hungarian dog.  I'm not all into what dogs were bred for back in ancient times, my modern intention is that he is our pet and likes naps when I like napping.  So far so good on that.  But when he's not being a regular pet his natural instinct is to point and find game.  That is a trait he inherited from his English Setter mother as well as his Vizsla Pa.  Many of his fathers Vizsla qualities overlap with those of his English Setter mother.  Except looks.  Honest Abe gets his good looks and charm from his papa.  The two breeds don't look anything alike, with the Vizsla being the better looking of the two in my opinion.

Vizsla Mix Dog,

I have to remind myself he is only half Vizsla, which means regarding his temperament and personality he is just as much English Setter.  It's easier to think of Abe as only a Vizsla like his dad, because he looks like one, or so it appears anyway.  But digging a little deeper I found out he has some differences from his full bred father and anyone who owns a pure Vizsla would probably look at Abe and know right away he is a Mock-Viz. 

Abe's nose is all black.  A full Vizsla does not have a black nose, they have a red nose.  They also have blue eyes at birth with red skin around the eyes.  Abe has light or dark brown eyes depending on the light, and highlighting his mischievous gaze is permanent black eyeliner, not red.  He also has white on his two back paws like he forgot to pull his socks on past his toes, as well as a white bib on his chest.

Vizsla Mix Dog,

Looks wise, Abe has many of the typical Vizsla traits, like being long and lean, with a short smooth coat, and the older he gets the more muscular he should become.  I won't get into the hair vs fur debate, but there is one big difference for Abe... he is a one coat doggie.  He does not have a top and bottom coat, only a top coat.  An under coat is like insulation, and only having a top might help with less shedding, make him extra soft and easy to groom, but he can get cold faster than say a lab with two coats.  Abe's coat is finer and not coarse, so I will enjoy touching his silky torso all year long and make sure he stays warm in the winter.  With just one coat he probably won't love winter cold and snow but neither do I, but that undercoat he doesn't have would sure be nice for him at 20 below zero.

I had read, and the vet also brought it up, that I should get used to having people say things like "do you feed him?" and "put some meat on his bones his ribs are showing".  Folks, it's just the way these dogs are made.  I also read that you should see a line of ribs when they turn their body, not seeing that could mean they were overweight.  But don't worry, like myself, I'm sure I'll be able to fatten him up without even trying and he'll pack on a little insulation of his own for winter.

Vizslas are a very clean dog, preferring to have their paws and body clean and if I could teach him a little de-cluttering skills he could be the Felix Unger of the dog world.  The Vizslas grooming needs are low, unlike his mother the English Setter who has high grooming needs.  A low maintenance dog was very appealing to me, I can clip his nails and give him any needed bath without driving to a groomer.  We have backyard ponds that he has stayed out of even though supposedly he should like the water and has webbed feet for swimming, so if he learns to like the pond I could toss him the dog shampoo and a towel and he can do it himself.

Vizsla Mix Dog,
Those soft velvety ears!

Have a jogger in the family? He is an athletic dog, and a very fast runner.  In the top 10 breeds for speed, Vizslas are known to clock in at up to 40 mph and he exhibits this stride at breakfast and dinner when he hears his dish move.  While Vizslas are in the top 10, English Setters are in the top 20 for running dogs so Abe would make a great jogging companion per both his parents.  Now I just need a runner that he could go along on jogs with, maybe a long run around the lake that would tire him out, say at 7:00 every evening before bed. 

Abe is smart, said to be easy to train on both sides of his parentage.  Able to learn a new command between 5 and 15 repetitions and respond to a known command with 83% accuracy the first time.  Based on the words he knows at this point, I believe this is true for him.  Perhaps I should work harder on the word DOWN and less on toy and belly rub.  On one web site his temperament was described as mega-super-ultra loyal.  We didn't adopt Abe, he adopted us, we are his people, and his goal is to please us.  Vizslas also are consistently listed as an excellent choice as rescue or therapy dogs.  Guess when the kids send me to the home he can come along.

Vizsla Mix Dog,

Because he is smart he is very trainable and being treat motivated helps with training.  Both of Abe's parents are considered a sport or gun dog, they point and retrieve birds. If I take up hunting for my turkey dinner Abe will come in very handy.  Right now he's into trailing chipmunks, birds, and anything else that moves in his yard.  It's pretty comical to watch him point at -and sneak up on- absolutely everything.  Everything also includes any item that is out of place, as well as pieces of dandelions and leaves flying with the breeze.

Abe is what's known as a velcro dog.  I have seen Vizslas referred to as the original velcro dog, but of medium to large dogs, Lab's, Great Danes, and German Shepherds, are listed more in the #1 spot as a velcro dog.  Based on the fact I have had labs and know many people who have had amazing Lab's who are content not to follow them into the bathroom, I am gonna have to claim Abe as more so of the velcro ilk.  Our other dog followed me from room to room, and Abe is the same.  He doesn't like his humans to be out of sight, and because of that he doesn't wander which is great when he gets out the door into the front yard.  All I have to do is say ok see 'ya, start to close the door, and he comes running.  I think many breeds of dogs have the potential to be a velcro dog if they stick by their family.

Vizsla Mix Dog,

Let me talk about his tail.  His short stubby docked tail.  Un-docked Vizslas would have long thin tails and the breeder routinely docks his Vizsla pups, something about how easily the tail gets injured while slapping on the brush as they hunt.  So before I get lectured about the cruelty of cutting off part of a puppy's tail, remember he was already like that when we got him, we had no say in it.  At first I thought it looked funny but I have gotten used to it, and when he wags his stub at high velocity it's darn cute.  He is a people dog for sure, everyone is part of his pack, unless you come into our house after dark when he is asleep.  Then he barks the kind of bark that says I will chew you to pieces if you get any closer.  Perfect for the paranoid woman who lives here, but it will be a lot quieter when she doesn't have offspring that come home after Abe's bed time.

Black Lab

When I got married I got a husband as well as a black lab that eventually turned into two black labs.  We have also had two Great Danes, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and as my husband used to say, the replacement dog for the Ridgeback, my daughters Puggle Moses.

Each dog had it's unique personality and certain quirks, but the one thing they all had was the ability to be a guardian of our family, and that was always a top priority around here with six kids.

Family Photo
Rhodesian Ridgeback
All the offspring survived under the watch of the family canine, but as everyone knows, the good-byes come too soon when those dogs are permanently done with their shift.  The torch has now been passed to Abe to keep watch on the second generation of little people, and if all goes as planned he'll be keeping us company as we are rocking in that chair on the porch.

Oh, and one more thing..... I completely made up Mock-Viz, so if it catches on you heard it here first.

Quick Links:


  1. very cute puppy! i have friends with Vs and English Setters (we have E.Pointers). if you have a mixed breed dog, there aren't any sweeter breeds to combine! both have great temperaments!

  2. Love Abe. He has such a sweet face and looks like a lover. Ours follow me everywhere.

    I can't imagine life without our Peanut and Reeses. I'm with them 24/7 five days a week since I can't drive anymore.

    Loved reading about the history.


  3. One thing is for sure, Abe's not mocking cute, he IS CUTE!! My sister had a Rhodesian named Ramona. Sweetest girl with people, but boy did she love to attack other dogs. From what I understand they were bred to protect the tribe from lions and tigers. Not sure if that's true, but we went with that as the reason she was so touchy with other animals.


I read every.single.comment. If comments are turned off on a post it's due to spam, so drop me an email instead