What dog breeds could thrive without humans

This breed is often described as the "Velcro Vizsla." Most dogs are affectionate, but this medium-size hunting dog is especially attached to his people.

His Velcro nature has to do with his past: the Vizsla was developed in Hungary to be both a pointer and retriever who would work close to the hunter, never ranging too far away. That trait is still seen in today's Vizsla, who prefers to be leaning against your leg or serving as a footwarmer. If having a dog shadow you all day would annoy you, choose a different breed.

Despite their penchant for sticking close to their human pals, Vizslas are versatile and hard-working dogs who are happiest when they have a job to do. In a family, that job can be hunting companion, therapy dog, or jogging buddy. Give him at least an hour of exercise per day, and the Vizsla will be your best friend.

If you're interested in dog sports and activities, your Vizsla would probably be happy to compete. The Vizsla is the first and so far only breed to produce a quintuple champion — in conformation, field, obedience and agility. His superb scenting skills make him a natural hunter. Vizslas have also been guide dogs, drug-detection dogs, therapy dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs, and have competed in falconry, flyball, tracking, and hunt tests.

Whatever you do with your Vizsla, train this sensitive dog with kindness and positive reinforcement. He's quick to learn, and his keen senses and protective instinct make him an excellent watchdog.

Vizslas are talkers, and will whine, moan, or make other noises to let you know their opinion on everything that's going on. Some can become recreational barkers if this habit isn't controlled early on.

Not surprisingly, the best home for a Vizsla is one in which someone is there during the day to keep him company and give him the activity and mental stimulation he needs. Without them, he can become bored and destructive. With the right family, however, he's a lively, loving, gentle friend who will return tenfold the love you give him.