The Vizsla Dog: An Active & Loyal Pup

A dog is man’s best friend, which couldn’t be more true of the loyal Vizsla pup. 

Although bred for hunting, hence its other name, ‘Hungarian Pointer,’ these treasured dogs love nothing more than spending time with their owners.

Portrait of purebred Vizsla dog

Affectionately named the ‘Velcro Vizsla,’ they are always stuck to your side.

Looking for a faithful companion? Let’s find out why the Vizsla could be a perfect fit for you.

Where did the Vizsla dog originate? 

Originating in Hungary as early as the 10th Century and referred to as the Hungarian Vizsla or fVizsla, this is a muscular and agile dog.

The Magyar tribes needed an athletic, energetic and competent hound to assist in their hunting, and the Vizsla is just that.

The two dog breeds, pointer, and retriever make a Vizsla. These hunting skills, as well as their loyalty, made them prized possessions among Hungarian noblemen and warlords.

A popular dog not only for its versatile hunting abilities but also its companionship.

The word Vizsla translates from Hungarian to ‘searcher’ or ‘tracker’ and is a perfectly apt description of this capable dog. These canines are excellent gundogs and are valuable sporting dogs on any hunting team.

Vizsla hunting dog with the hunter

Surviving World War I, the Vizsla almost became extinct in the late 19th Century and after World War ii.

Breeders revived the population, and they are now a popular dog breed worldwide, particularly in North America and Europe.

Vizslas are their own breed but are often incorrectly thought of as the cousin of the Weimaraner. They arrived in the United States around the 1950s, and the American Kennel Club recognized them in 1960.

Vizslas are no strangers to being part of some famous figures’ homes. Sean Ellis is an internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker and describes his Vizsla, Kubrick, as talented and handsome.

He even published a photography book named “Kubrick the Dog” in 2011 as an ode to his faithful friend.

Dana Perino, a famous Fox News reporter, also owns a treasured Vizsla, Jasper. Dana states that Jasper is the real star in the family and has also released a book called “Let me talk about Jasper…”

She shares stories of friends and family and how this dog brought them all together.

What does a Vizsla breed look like?

Vizsla’s are regal dogs with exquisite, sleek golden-rust colored short coats. Bred for hunting and running, this dog takes magnificent strides with its strong forequarters and hindquarters. 

Side view of purebred Vizsla dog

Vizsla’s eyes can change color from birth as they grow. Most commonly born with blues that start to change to a brown, matching their coat. They have silky ears that flop down and frame their faces.

According to the AKC, the Vizsla’s coat is a reddish color, and any other variety of this does not qualify. The eyes and nose are the same color as their rust coat, camouflaging them and enhancing their hunting skills.

Most Vizslas have docked tails and what remains is one-third of their short tail, reaching the back of the stifle joint.

This is necessary as their thin tails can easily be damaged on a hunt and can cause painful injuries to the Vizsla.

Check out this informative video that covers everything you need to know about a Vizsla:

Size: How big do Vizslas get?

Vizslas are medium-sized dogs, with the male reaching between 22-24 inches (56 – 60 cm) when fully grown and the female around 21-23 inches (53 – 56 cm).

Males only weigh about 55-60 pounds (25 – 27 kg), and females range from around 44-45 pounds (19 – 21 kg). 

This is one of the smallest versatile hunting dogs, and their sleek build is a testament to their agility and speed.

The age at which your Vizsla pup will stop growing will vary, but it’s safe to say that they reach full size by 2 years. Some people have reported growth stopping at an earlier age, as early as 8 months. 

With their high energy levels, the ideal living situation would be a house with a yard or space to let them burn off energy.

They can adapt to apartment living but are active dogs and do need daily exercise and mental stimulation. 

Panting Vizsla dog portrait

A Vizsla Dogs Golden Coat

The Vizsla has an extremely smooth coat; it is short but dense to protect while out hunting. 

Vizsla’s love to snuggle under the covers, which provides them with security and warmth. The Vizsla doesn’t have an undercoat, so they love the extra warmth, especially when snuggled up close to their owner.

According to the AKC, small white markings on the fore chest and toes of the coat are acceptable, but any other white markings mean the dog won’t be officially classified as a Vizsla. 

Temperament: Is a Vizsla a good family dog?

The Vizsla temperament is gentle and loving and can be sensitive.

They make for great family dogs, but you’ll need to train and socialize them from an early age as they can become very shy of strangers or new dogs if not integrated into unfamiliar situations at a young age.

Vizsla’s are easy-going and eager to please; they are great with children, playing games with them, and keeping each other entertained.

They have a loving and affectionate nature and are huge cuddlers. They love nothing more than being by their owners’ side. 

Couple in picnic with their Vizsla dog

Male Vizslas tend to be more clingy and need more attention and daily exercise; however, they bond and protect the whole family.

Females are more independent, but they tend to form a major bond with only one family member, being very protective of this particular person.

Bear this in mind when deciding on which sex Vizsla to bring home with you. Males tend to live better together when there is more than one Vizsla in the home. The tension between female Vizslas is quite common, especially if socialization doesn’t occur from an early age.

You don’t need to worry about your Vizsla around strangers or other dogs. They mingle well with other animals.

If introduced as a pup, they are delighted to have cats and other dogs in the home with them as they form a strong little clan.

However, given their instincts as hunting dogs, it’s not advised to keep small pets such as hamsters, rabbits, and small birds.

If these pets are left unattended in the yard, and the Vizsla spots them, things may not end well. 

Vizslas are not dangerous by nature but as with any dog, always be cautious when strange dogs, animals, or humans are being introduced.

They are protective of their families but very rarely get aggressive, and for the most part, Vizslas will always be welcoming and affectionate. 

Do Vizslas bark a lot?

Vizsla’s are watchdogs and can be quite vocal, barking and moaning occasionally. With the correct training from a young age, you can control this, so it is not disruptive. 

Excessive barking and moaning are very unusual and normally means that there is something else bothering your pup. Monitor this and if not rectified timeously, then seek advice from a vet.

As you now know, the Vizsla can be very clingy and loves the attention of its owner. This means that the Vizsla suffers from separation anxiety and hates being left alone or far from their family for long periods. 

Curious Vizsla dog close-up portrait

Vizsla dogs become very anxious when left alone, and this velcro pup should be in a home where there is always someone around. They will start to bark, howl, and whine when they feel anxious and miss their owners.

They may even go as far as to tear up cushions and couches in the house to try and deal with their anxiety. Therefore, we don’t advise leaving a Vizsla alone for more than a couple of hours or a full day.

If you really must, take them for a long run or walk in the morning before leaving. This will release some of their energy and keep their anxiety at bay. 

Vizslas are extremely intelligent dogs and have a high trainability level. They learn fast and respond well to a consistent and kind trainer that uses positive reinforcement.

Vizslas are sensitive dogs; never be harsh or forceful with them. This will either cause them to fear you or stop responding.

Start training your pup from the first day you get them, especially potty training, and you will start to see results very quickly. 

Train a Vizsla puppy to be alone using the crate method. You’ll need to introduce this at a young age, almost as soon as you take the puppy home.

This method helps the dog associate the crate with quiet-time and helps them deal with the anxiety of being alone.

Vizslas are not lazy dogs. They need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid them getting bored, which can happen very easily. When bored, they can also become destructive, so be sure to keep your pup stimulated. 

Vizslas are generally well-behaved off-leash. Given their desire to be close to their owners, it’s unlikely that they will run off too far. If taking them for long runs or hikes, they will enjoy being by your side.

If you are worried, ensure that you have trained them to come back when called, and they will almost always listen.

Vizsla dog hunting on the grassy hills

Vizslas are impressive dogs when it comes to physical activity, performing well in field trials. They are agile and can clear fences as tall as six feet.

They won’t usually do this unprovoked unless bored or left alone for very long.

They are extremely fast and are among the top 10 fastest dog breeds and reach top speeds of 40 mph! They also love to swim. Playing around in the water is one of their favorite activities. 

Vizslas are adaptable and highly trainable, meaning that they do make for good therapy dogs. They are loyal and can be both enthusiastic and calm when the need arises. 

How to take care of your Vizslas

Vizslas are only high maintenance in the sense that they will need regular exercise and hate being alone.

But if you don’t work long hours and are prepared to take your Vizsla on daily walks, they don’t need much else, other than lots of love.

With their short coats and high energy levels, Vizslas do prefer warmer weather. Their exercise usually keeps them warm.

But if it’s snowing excessively or the conditions are too harsh for them to be outside, it’s best to get your Vizsla a dog jacket to keep them warm.

Exercising your Vizsla dog

Vizslas can become hyperactive if not kept busy and stimulated. It’s best to exercise your energetic Vizsla twice a day. The amount of time and intensity of the exercise will increase as the dog matures. 

When they are puppies 15 minutes of casual walking twice a day is sufficient. By the time they are 9 months and older, they require about 45 minutes of strenuous exercise twice a day. 

Vizsla dog retrieving the rope toy on the field

Grooming Needs: Do Vizslas shed hair?

Vizslas are not hypoallergenic dogs, but they only shed moderately. They are a good option for someone with slight allergies. The wirehaired Vizsla is hypoallergenic and is the perfect pup for a family with allergies.

Hungarian Vizsla’s sleek short coats are easy to groom and keep well maintained. Engaging in weekly brushing with a rubber grooming brush will suffice.

You can’t cut their short coats, so brushing and bathing are the only grooming requirements.

Vizslas only need to be bathed if they are really dirty or rolled in something that doesn’t smell great. They are easy to bath in lukewarm water with top quality dog shampoo and thorough rinsing.

Keep their nails short, cutting them with clippers after their bath.

Vizsla dog food consumption

You’ll need to feed your Adult Vizsla twice a day, and they should be getting in about 1400 calories of food when fully grown.

Vizsla dog opening mouth wide open with the foods

Always keep in mind the amount of exercise they have done in a day and increase food intake slightly on days that they may have done more strenuous activities.

Premium dog food high in protein is great for Vizslas. Here are our top picks for Vizsla food:

Puppies need to be fed in smaller amounts about 3-4 times a day. They are still growing and should take in about 1100 calories a day initially, which should steadily increase until fully grown.

Protein-rich foods that assist with growth are your go-to for growing Vizsla pups, and here are our top picks:

Avoid feeding your Vizsla any human foods like chocolate, almonds, and ice cream. 

What diseases are Vizslas prone to?

Lazy Vizsla dog lying on the grass
Image source

Vizslas are active dogs and generally manage to stay in good health for most of their 10-14 year life span.

As with any animal, there are certain health problems that the Vizsla is prone to, with the most concerning being epilepsy.

Canine epilepsy is not uncommon amongst the Vizsla dog breed and causes seizures. You can manage this disease with medication, and your pup can live a happy, care-free life with very little issues.

If your canine does have a seizure, stay calm, and stay by his side until it is over. Then head straight to the vet, who may prescribe maintenance medication. 

Another common health problem, as is with many breeds, is hip dysplasia. This occurs when the ball and socket in the hip do not join together properly and can be very painful for dogs, especially the active Vizslas.

This is hereditary, so ask the breeder for the medical certificates and dog breed information to ensure the pup is clear. 

Hypothyroidism is another one of the health conditions seen in these canines and happens when the thyroid gland produces low hormone levels.

You can pick this up if your pup is starting to look obese, has low energy levels and eyelids begin to droop. Get a vet to check this out as soon as possible. If you see any of the signs, make an appointment. 

Cancer called Lymphosarcoma is common in dogs, and the Vizsla is not exempt from this. This can be treated with chemotherapy, and there is a high chance that your pup will go into remission and survive. 

Eye disorders are not uncommon in the Vizsla with progressive retinal atrophy occurring quite often. This disorder eventually causes blindness because of the deterioration of the eyes.

Don’t be too discouraged; most dogs can live a satisfying and happy life, even with the loss of sight.

It’s best to take your playful pup for regular eye, hip, and thyroid health screenings to prevent any of the above-mentioned health issues.

If you have any specific concerns, be sure to address these timeously with your vet to avoid future damage or problems.

How much does a Vizsla puppy cost?

Adorable Vizsla dog puppy

Owning this elegant pup doesn’t come with a cheap price tag. One of these puppies ranges from around $1500-$2200 USD depending on the breeder.

These dogs are so expensive because of their noble history, breed standard, and rarity as a common family dog. 

It’ll be hard to choose from the cute litter of between 6-8 puppies that become the best dogs, all guaranteed to be loyal companions.

When looking at Vizsla puppies, you want to make sure you are going to the right place. Here are some great options to considering purchasing from:

The best Vizsla breeders

When purchasing your Vizsla, it needs to be from a reputable breeder. Always ask for the parents’ medical certificates to ensure your pup’s health won’t be an issue.

Here’s a list of fantastic breeders to look into:

If you are unsure about a breeder or want more information on certain topics, you can always get in touch with the Vizsla Club of America. This organization will have valuable insights for you regarding your purchase.

Vizsla rescue and adoption

If budget is an issue, it’s always a good idea to look at adopting. Vizslas make for wonderful companions, and you won’t regret bringing one of these rescue dogs into your home. 

Check out these shelters and give one of these canines a forever home:

What dog looks like a Vizsla?

A couple of dogs look similar to the Vizsla and share a likeness in their natures and temperament. Here’s a short breakdown below so you don’t get confused.

Weimaraner VS Vizsla

These two canines look very similar and are often mistaken for being the same breed. Vizslas are ancient breeds, and the Weimaraner is relatively new for breed standards, originating in the 19th Century. 

Both energetic and highly loveable hunting dogs, you’ll be able to tell them apart by their coat color. The Weimaraner is only slightly larger than the Vizsla with a grey coat instead of the rust-colored Vizsla coat.

Check out this video that covers all similarities and differences of the Vizsla and Weimaraner:

German Shorthaired Pointer VS Vizsla

These beautiful dogs are almost identical when it comes to personality. High-energy, attention lovers that are eager to please.

Almost the same size, you’ll have to distinguish between these two dogs by their coats. The German Shorthaired Pointer has a distinct coat that is usually white with light and dark brown spots. 

German Shorthaired Pointer dog sitting near the sea
Majestic German Shorthaired Pointer dog sitting near the sea

Braque Du Bourbonnais VS Vizsla

These dogs are similar in that they are easy-going, great with children, and hate being alone.

The Braque Du Bourbonnais is also an ancient breed originating in France and has notably fewer health risks than the Vizsla. 

The two dogs look like cousins with similar height and weight, but the Braque Du Bourbonnais’s coat is white with light brown markings. 

Braque Du Bourbonnais dog hunting in the woods
Handsome Braque Du Bourbonnais dog up for hunting – Image source

Curious about Vizsla Mixes? 

Want to know more about the sheer beauty and uniqueness of a Vizsla mix? Here are the top Vizsla mixes and why it’ll be hard to say no to purchasing one.

Vizslador (Labrador retriever Vizsla mix)

Labrador Retriever Vizsla mix dog lying outside
Meet Paddy, a Labrador Retriever Vizsla mix dog – Image source

If you are looking for an excellent sporting and hunting dog, particularly retrieving, then this is the dog mix for you!

It’s hard to predict the coats’ exact color, but often, they come out a chocolate brown, making for an adorable new furry friend.

Weisla (Weimaraner Vizsla mix)

A shiny Weimaraner Vizsla mix dog
The beautiful and shiny Weimaraner Vizsla mix dog – Image source

Also known as the Vizmaraner, you won’t find a better mix of two dogs to create the perfect hunting companion. Well natured, gentle, and loving, this also makes for a great family dog.

The mix between silver and rust coats usually comes out with a dark rust color and is beautiful. 

Vizsla Pit (Pitbull Vizsla mix)

Pitbull Vizsla mix dog portrait
Meet the Pitbull Vizsla mix dog – Image source

Although not a very popular mix, the Vizsla Pit has made its way into many homes and stolen their hearts.

Resembling more of the terrier traits in appearance, it’s not easily confused with a Vizsla or one of the similar-looking breeds above. 

Who should get a Vizsla?

Vizslas are great dogs for first time owners, provided that you exercise them regularly and are up for a dog that will never leave your side.

If you are looking for a dog that will lie around and watch Netflix with you all day, then this is not the dog for you.

Excited Vizsla dog standing on the grass

You won’t find a pup more devoted to you than this one. If you can handle the energy and need some extra cuddles, then this pup is for you!

Do you own one of these loyal pups? Please comment below with your thoughts and experiences. We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

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