Breed GroupSporting group
Life Span12-14 years
Height21-24 inches
Weight44-60 pounds
OriginHungary
Best ForActive families

Vizsla Overview

Dog Breed:
Vizsla
Breed Group:
Sporting group
Characteristics:
Gentle, elegant, sweet, energetic, and biddable.
Height:
21-24 inches
Weight:
44-60 pounds
Life Span:
12-14 years
Coat Colors:
Golden rust
Area of Origin:
Hungary
Best For:
Active families/Able to provide space for free running/Keen interest in training

Vizsla Characteristics

Friendliness
Intelligence
Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Vizsla

  • Adores people

  • Very versatile

  • High Energy

The ultimate versatility dog, the Vizsla, adores his people and loves to work. They can turn their paw to pretty much anything as long as they have a favorite person to do it with. They were the very first breed to become a quintuple champion, which came from qualifying at the highest levels within conformation, field, obedience, and agility. Drug detention, service dog, search and rescue, they can do it all.

For all their ability in the field, they can also be very sensitive and so they need an equally sensitive handler and trainer to bring out the very best in them.

As a high energy breed, they do need that job to do and daily exercise, so if you have any couch potato tendencies, then this is probably not a great match for you.

The best scenario for a Vizsla is one where someone is home all day to keep them company and to provide them with the activity and mental stimulation they need.

Vizsla Breed History

  • Descended from the Magyar hunting dogs

  • Developed in Hungary

  • Arrived in the USA in the early 1950s

vizsla-history

The Vizsla, or the Hungarian Pointer as they are often known, is thought to have descended from the hunting dogs of the Magyars. These tribes rampaged across the continent on horseback before they settled in the area, which we now know as Hungary.

The tribe’s nimble red dogs were used for hunting game, hares, and birds, and eventually, the dogs become dual-purpose, with their ability to both point and retrieve. 

It was the early 20th century before the Vizsla was a distinct breed that became known for their excellent scenting ability and for working closely with their handler. They were used during World War I for delivering messages, but in its aftermath and then being followed by World War II, their numbers dropped dramatically.

The two world Wars nearly brought an end to the breed, however. Fortunately, the Vizsla did survive, and then in the early 1950s, the first dogs arrived in the USA. At that point, there was a huge amount of variability in how they looked. Some looked like hounds with long ears, while others were a deep chocolate brown in color. 

In 1954 The Vizsla Club of America was formed, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1960. Breeders then worked to standardize their appearance to become the dog you see today. 

Vizsla Size & Weight

  • Medium sized, athletic breed

  • Males 22-24 inches and 55-60 pounds

  • Females 21-23 inches and 44-55 pounds

vizsla-size

This is a medium sized breed who should provide a slender and athletic appearance.

There is little variation in height between males and females, with males measuring between 22-24 inches and females being 21-23 inches. However, when it comes to weight, you can see that there is a definite requirement for a much lighter female who should weigh between 44-55 pounds compared to the male at 55-60 pounds. 

Vizsla Personality & Temperament

  • Bonds strongly with their family

  • Tend to have a soft temperament

  • Dislikes the cold

vizsla-personality

Bred to stay closer to the hunter, this trait has stayed with the breed, which is often known as the ‘Velcro Vizsla.’ They quickly become devoted to their family and will want to always be by your side. They score a 5/5 for their friendliness because of this adoration of everyone, including children. 

With this devotion in mind, it does mean that you need to help your pup to become used to being by themselves for short periods. Without this training, you may find yourself with an adult Vizsla who becomes very anxious and distressed when left by themselves. 

Vizslas do tend to be quite soft in their temperament, and so careful training is needed; heavy-handed approaches will be hugely detrimental to the relationship you have with them. This breed is the ultimate in versatility, going from a day of high energy hunting in the field, to cuddling up on the sofa with their humans. 

They do get on well with other dogs and can live with cats if they’ve been raised with them. Though an unknown feline who wanders through the garden is likely to be chased. While they may be able to adapt to apartment living, a home with a garden will be a much better fit for their needs. 

This is not a breed that likes the cold weather as their single coat offers them little protection from harsh conditions. A fleece jumper will keep muscles warm when not working, and a good rub down after getting wet will prevent them from getting overly cold.

Vizsla Health & Grooming

  • Generally, a healthy breed

  • Some testing needed before dogs are bred from

  • Minimal grooming needs

vizsla-health

Vizslas are considered to be a healthy breed, and this is maintained through responsible breeders checking for health conditions before breeding from their dogs. 

The testing which is recommended for Vizslas is – 

  • Hip Evaluation to check for any problems with the structure of the joint.
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation to check for any signs of a number of conditions including glaucoma and canine cataracts.
  • Thyroid Evaluation to ensure that the thyroid is producing hormones at the correct rate.

This is a breed with minimal grooming requirements; a weekly brush is all that’s needed. Vizslas do shed, and if you like wearing black, you’ll soon find yourself developing the habit of continually picking off little red hairs!

Vizsla Training

  • Training essential from a young age

  • Needs carefully planned socialization

  • Strong prey drive

vizsla-training

Vizslas need consistent, positive training starting at puppyhood. As highly intelligent and curious dogs, they love exercise and quickly learn new behaviors. An untrained Vizslas is not much fun to live with, they will get themselves into all kinds of trouble.

They are considered to be a sensitive breed, so well-considered socialization is needed combined with reward-based training techniques.

Their versatility is impressive, and the Vizsla can be found working not only in the field but as a search and rescue dog and in the agility and obedience competition rings. As long as they are with the beloved people, they are up for most activities!

As expected from a sporting dog, the Vizsla does have a strong prey drive, but with consistent and committed training, this can be put under control. They also have a bit of a reputation for being vocal; they tend to whine to let you know their opinion on what’s going on. 

Vizsla Exercise Requirements

  • Training essential from a young age

  • Needs carefully planned socialization

  • Strong prey drive

vizsla-exercise

This is a high energy breed, so forget your brief onlead walk. They need a high intensity of exercise every single day. So, this probably means either going for a run with you or being able to have a good run off-leash. They’ll likely need a minimum of an hours exercise every day, more when you can provide it. 

If you’re looking for a playful breed, then the Vizsla should be on your shortlist. They love to play games with their family and will always be up for some fun.

Vizsla Diet & Feeding

  • Speak to a professional to discuss individual dog needs

  • Consider the dogs age, size and exercise intensity when selecting food

  • Avoid foods with unnecessary additives

vizsla-feeding

For dietary advice for your individual dog, do have a chat with either your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. Generally, look for food that matches your dog’s size, age, and exercise intensity. 

Try to avoid foods with unnecessary additives and colorings as these have been reported as contributing to some skin problems and behavioral problems. The feeding needs of an individual Vizsla can vary enormously from dog to dog. Looking at their overall condition is probably the best guide to how much you need to feed.

Vizsla Rescue Groups

If you’re considering adopting a Vizsla, there are rescue organizations across the US who will be able to provide help and advice. These include – 

Vizsla Club of America Rescue – https://vcaweb.org/rescue/rescue.shtml

New Hope Vizsla Rescue – http://www.newhopevizslarescue.com

Colorado/Wyoming Vizsla Rescue Group, https://www.coloradovizsla.org/

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