This Hungarian hunting breed called Vizsla comes in two varieties - shorthaired and wirehaired. Their full name is Hungarian Shorthaired or Wirehaired Pointer and as their name clearly suggests, they were primarily bred for hunting as pointers and retrievers. These dogs are amazing family companions and pets as long as you have an active lifestyle or dedicate enough time for playing and training them.
Vizslas are extremely affectionate and lovable dogs that are loyal to their families. Even though their character makes them great family pets, they do not adapt well to living in apartments. These dogs prefer having a large fenced area where they can run, explore, and chase different things.
These dogs are elegant and some have described them as being aristocratic in appearance. They are lean and lightly build dogs whose structure enables them to be extremely athletic and agile. They have a well-defined musculature and a short coat that comes in a shorthaired or wirehaired variety. They are the embodiment of strength and beauty.
21-25 in (54-64 cm)
45-65 lb (20-30 kg)
It is believed that these dogs came to life more than a thousand years ago and were used as hunting dogs by the Magyar people. The Magyar tribes settled modern-day Hungary and these dogs played one of the most important roles in securing food for their people.
Dog Breed Characteristics
This is a fairly old breed and is registered and accepted in most, if not all, of the major cynology associations in the world. The two main ones we will be focusing on are the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) and the AKC (American Kennel Club). Both of these institutions played a huge role in canine history and played their part in preserving our favorite breeds for generations to follow.
The FCI is a union of 98 national cynology associations from 6 different continents. They are the governing cynology body for their member states and is in charge of lobbying and promoting dog activities.
FCI has a standard in place for Vizslas and it has placed them in Group 7 (Pointing Dogs), Section 1 (Continental Pointing Dogs). Because these dogs are hunting dogs and were bred for that purpose, the FCI requires them to have a working trial. They mention the required size for these dogs and it is 22,5 - 25 in (58 - 64 cm) for male dogs and 21-24 in (54 - 60 cm) for the females.
The FCI fully recognized and registered this breed on the 12th of August 1954.
AKC is the governing cynology associations of the United States of America. It is in charge of all the documents and registrations of pureblooded dogs born in the US. They too have a standard for this breed and it says that these dogs are robust yet light, with a distinguished appearance and bearing. They say that the preferred size of these dogs is 22 - 24 in (59 - 62 cm) for males and 21 - 23 in (54 - 59 cm) for females.
Vizsla has a smooth coat and that coat lies close to the body. These dogs don’t have an undercoat. These dogs shed and occasional brushing will help you remove all dead hair from the dog and keep the amount of hair around the house under control.
Vizsla coat color:
- Golden rust in various shades
They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them when needed, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.
X is a highly energetic and active breed. They were bred to work all day, so these dogs need a lot of daily exercise. These dogs need an active lifestyle to be happy. They love to be outside and be part of the action, whether running and chasing balls, playing, jumping or jogging. If you are thinking about getting a Vizsla, make sure you have enough free time and energy to spend it outside playing and training your Vizsla. If your schedule can’t allow you that, consider getting some less active breed. Except for daily activity, these dogs also need consistency.
Vizsla was bred for hunting, and because of that, they will need proper training if you want your dog to develop into a well-behaved dog. Also, their high prey drive can be a problem that you will need to take care of.
When training a Vizsla, make sure you use positive training methods. Never use fear, punishment, or pain because not only is it cruel, it can result in an overly shy or even aggressive dog. Be firm, fair, and consistent, but use only positive reinforcement! These dogs are eager to do whatever their people ask of them. Involve as many treats as you can and keep the training sessions interesting.
Make training a fun and interesting experience, and you will start noticing good results pretty soon. Never use punishment as a training method; correct the dog’s unwanted behavior calmly and continue with the training. Negative training methods can result in shy or even aggressive dogs.
Socialization can even be done at home. Dress differently; wear glasses, hats, and baggy clothes so your puppy can’t recognize you right away. Teach your puppy to stay alone for a while and not make a fuss about it. It is the best way to make sure your puppy will grow up to be a stable, confident, and well-behaved dog.
Early socialization and proper training can teach them to behave even when children are around. Their temperament makes them more suitable for families with older children. If you train and socialize your dog well, your children will get a great playing partner that has plenty of energy. These dogs can play for hours upon hours without getting tired or bored.
Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.
These dogs can get along well with other dogs and can enjoy their company.
They are not the best fit for other pets. They have a strong prey drive, so they will most likely try and catch smaller animals such as gerbils, hamsters, squirrels, or rabbits. They can learn to get along with pets they are raised with, but our advice would be never to leave them unattended.
Like any other dog breed, the Vizsla can potentially develop health problems. If you are buying a dog, make sure the breeder can provide you with the necessary health tests and guarantees. Always ask to see the results of tests from the puppy’s parents. The health problems these dogs are associated with are:
- Hypothyroidism - A health problem caused by the hyperproduction of hormones from the thyroid gland.
- Epilepsy - Brain problem causing mild to severe seizures.
- Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
The Vizsla is generally considered a very healthy breed that can live 10-14 years.
Before finding a Vizsla breeder, make sure that this is a breed that will suit you and your lifestyle. If you can provide this dog with everything it needs, make sure to find a reputable and registered breeder that will provide you with a physically and mentally healthy dog. It is always better to pay a higher price than to have expensive Vet bills later.
Responsible breeders will breed dogs that don’t only look good but have great characters as well. You must find a good Vizsla breeder that can help you learn about this breed and make an informed choice about getting a dog with these characteristics.
Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. If you are unable to buy a dog, we advise you to search for local animal shelters because there is a chance you can find a Vizsla dog in it.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team