Let's talk Vizslas

This active and adorable breed originally developed for hunting is often referred to as the “Velcro Vizsla”. That description is pretty apt. They may look dignified, even slightly aloof, with their long muzzles, outsize ears and rich russet-red coats, but these dogs are big softies. Sure, Vizslas need plenty of exercise, but when they’re at home, they love nothing more than to be where their people are: don’t be surprised when they literally follow you around the house.

Official name: Vizsla

Other names: Hungarian Short-Haired Pointer, Hungarian Vizsla

Origins: Hungary

Black and white portrait of a sitting Vizsla
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather?
 Shedding level
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* High Family Pet?* 

 Compatibility with other pets Very high
Can stay alone?* Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Vizsla
Male
58 - 64 cm Height
25 - 27 kg Weight
Female
54 - 60 cm Height
20 - 25 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 15 months
 Adult age  15 to 5 years
 Mature age  5 to 8 years
 Senior age  from 8 years

Vizsla caught mid-air bounding through a field

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Get to know the Vizsla

All you need to know about the breed

Originally bred in the Middle Ages in Hungary as hunting dogs, gentle and intelligent Vizslas thrive on human companionship – the close bond that developed between these working dogs and their early owners has certainly stood the test of time.

Modern-day Vizslas make the perfect companion for active and energetic dog owners looking for the same qualities in their canine. Once trained, Vizslas get on well with other dogs and with children, although like any other dog they shouldn’t be left without supervision.

Vizslas enjoy a mission: these people-pleasers usually enjoy obedience training as well as games of fetch or jogging with their owners (once they’re old enough that their joints are mature and won’t be harmed by it). All of these activities will contribute to the exercise the Vizsla needs to stay healthy and content.

When they’re not running, jumping, chasing, swimming, tracking, fetching … you get the point … these flame-haired beauties just want to be near you, their humans, preferably at all times. And, actually, not just near you, but actually leaning up against you if you don’t mind? Trust us, you won’t. The flip side of that closeness is that Vizslas do not get on well if they are left alone for too long – barking or chewing (of non-chewable items) may result.

Vizsla bounding over sand at the beach

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2 facts about Vizslas

1. Versatile Vizslas

Along with “Velcro” the other V-word associated with the Vizsla breed is versatility. They have many strings to their bows: therapy dog and guide dog roles highlight their close bond with humans. Those amazingly powerful noses have seen them work as bomb-detecting sniffer dogs and search-and-rescue dogs, including at Ground Zero after 9/11. They also excel in agility, obedience and field trials.

2. Vizsla Velocity

Not content with being a great all-rounder, the Vizsla breed is said to be among the world’s fastest dogs, with the ability to reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour (64 kilometres per hour). They rank fourth, only beaten by the Afghan Hound, the Saluki and the world’s fastest dog, the Greyhound.

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History of the breed

The Vizsla's history dates back more than a thousand years to the arrival of the Magyar people, who settled in what is now Hungary, and either brought hunting dogs with them or developed them from local breed. These became the ancestors of the modern-day Vizsla. One 10th century etching shows a smooth-coated dog alongside a Magyar huntsman: a close bond, even then.

The hunters in the Hungarian plains wanted a fast and versatile dog that would not stray too far from them and over the years, they developed just that. Vizslas could retrieve prey, track scent trails and “point” or stand motionless, showing their human companions where to search.

The Vizsla breed dwindled in number in the late 19th and early 20th century, before a concerted breeding campaign revived its fortunes. Paradoxically, the upheaval of World War II actually helped Vizslas become better known, as Hungarians fleeing the Russian occupation introduced the breed around the world. The American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1960.

Black and white portrait of a sitting Vizsla

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Vizslas

1. Ears

Large v-shaped ears hang close to the head.

2. Muzzle

Long muzzle gives an elegant bearing.

3. Body

Lean, muscular body with long legs.

4. Tail

Long straight or slightly sabre-shaped tail.

5. Coat

Short, dense coat in shades of russet and sandy gold.

Vizsla stood looking to the side with tongue out

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Vizsla
Vizsla sat eyes closed in front of a blue sky

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Caring for your Vizsla

Grooming, training and exercise tips

That beautiful sleek chestnut-coloured coat is certainly eye-catching, but it’s also easy to maintain. Vizslas just need a weekly groom to remove dead hairs and the occasional bath if they roll in something unmentionable. Keeping up with a playful and energetic Vizsla’s exercise needs will require rather more effort, although with this lovable breed, it certainly won’t be a chore. Daily walks, play sessions and importantly, regular chances to really let off steam by running around in a safely enclosed space will all contribute to their physical wellbeing. Consistent and positive training, beginning in puppyhood, will not only help your Vizsla fit in with the rest of the family, but also provide mental stimulation for this intelligent and eager-to-please dog. The good news is, your Vizsla is pretty much guaranteed to enjoy training: after all, it means one-on-one time with their human!

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All about Vizslas

When it comes to grooming, the answer is no: Vizlas only need a weekly groom and shed very little. But Vizslas are high maintenance in the sense that they need a lot of exercise. They are best suited to owners who already enjoy the outdoors.

Vizslas may resort to barking if left alone for long periods–these clingy canines are not OK with being separated from their pack. Even when their humans are around, Vizslas are known to be a “talkative” breed, with a repertoire of whines, yowls and growls allowing them to take part in the conversation in their own special way.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/