ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Vizsla

Vizsla dog breed
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Known for their high energy and affectionate tendencies, the Vizsla is a very caring breed. Yet despite being active dogs, Vizslas are extremely warm-hearted. They love their owners dearly, easily getting attached to them. Though Vizslas were originally bred for hunting, they now enjoy all forms of physical activity and bonding with their owners.

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
TrainabilityHigh
Health and GroomingBelow Average
All Around FriendlinessHighest
Exercise NeedsHighest

Dog Breed Group:Sporting Dogs
Height:Generally 1 foot, 9 inches to 2 feet, 1 inch at the shoulder
Weight:Generally 40 to 60 pounds
Life Span:9 to 10 years

Originating from Hungary, the Vizsla was bred for hunting and retrieving. They feel a great deal of responsibility to take care of their owners. This spawned from the closeness ingrained in the breed. Due to their use as hunting dogs, they were trained to stay close to those who owned them. Thus the Vizsla are used to accompanying their owners everywhere and perhaps can be called one of the friendliest dog breeds.

Due to their constant need for affection, Vizslas are best for people who can spend a great deal of time with them. Otherwise they end up lonely and bored. This can result in destructive behavior such as excessive chewing and barking.

Nevertheless, they’re extremely diligent dogs. They love having a purpose and are great companions for people who need a loyal, furry friend.

Main Highlights
  • The Vizsla is one of the most affectionate breeds. They love company and get especially attached to their owners.
  • The breed excels at competing in dog sporting competitions, due to their high energy and usual willingness to listen to their owners.
  • They’re also great hunting dogs, especially because of their medium size. Their sense of smell is strong and, due to their history, rarely stray far from their owners.
  • Vizlas need a great deal of attention and tend to follow their owners everywhere. If a potential owner doesn’t want a pet to follow them around the house, it’s best to pick a different breed.
Breed History

The Vizsla was first bred in Hungary. They have been around for hundreds of years, originating from the Magyar tribespeople native to the area. Their goal in breeding the Vizsla was to create a smaller version of other pointer and retriever dogs who could hunt more discreetly.

The result was a medium-sized dog whose specialty was hunting and sport. They thus could be considered successful. Yet unlike most other dogs in its class, Vizslas turned out to be one of the most affectionate and loyal dog breeds. They were employed to be family dogs just as often as they were used to track down game.

Vizslas survived centuries of unrest in Eastern Europe. From the Turkish occupation in the sixteenth century to World Wars I and II, they endured as a loyal sporting breed. That being said, they went nearly extinct several times over. Yet despite most strains of Vizslas losing their status as purebreds, some breeders (usually those who used the breed primarily for hunting) have kept the Vizsla’s legacy going.

Although they have been local to Hungary and other parts of Europe for an extremely long time, the Vizsla has only recently been accepted into the American Kennel Club as a sporting breed. This occurred in 1960, a couple decades after World War II ended. Only after that war did Vizslas travel to other continents.

Size

The Vizsla is a medium-sized dog and is acclaimed for being one of the smallest pointer and retriever breeds. They stand at two feet and weigh about fifty pounds on average. Female Vizslas tend to be only a bit smaller than their male counterparts.

Personality and Character

The most notable characteristic of the Vizsla is how attached they get to humans. They feel it necessary to always be in the presence of their owners and to serve them diligently. They constantly follow their owners everywhere, never straying far.

Despite being considered one of the most dogged of dog breeds, the Vizsla is very trainable. They learn especially well when positive reinforcement is used. They’re a smart breed as well as an athletic one, and learn how to fetch and hunt especially well.

They’re considered family dogs because of their happy, loyal natures and love for attention. When they’re lonely, however, they turn to destructive behaviors. Excessive chewing is perhaps the most notable behavior. They can also be a noisy breed. They’re vocal and love expressing how they feel by whining and barking.

Vizslas are also extremely energetic. While this is considered a positive trait to some, others may see it as a hassle. Vizslas are far from lazy and love to go outside. That being said, since they treasure their owner’s company so much, they should not be outdoor dogs.

Health and Potential Problems

Vizslas are generally a healthy breed, though poor health of the parents and poor living conditions can lead to serious problems. They also need to keep active and be in the presence of others in order to stay healthy. It’s best to keep a look out of the following health conditions.

  • Cancer – Vizslas can sometimes develop cancer. The most frequent types ailing the breed are lipoma, lymphoma, and cell tumors.
  • Sebaceous Adenitis – This health problem is a skin condition caused by an autoimmune disease. The glands of hair follicles and skin are attacked by the dog’s own immune system. It can destroy the glands completely, leading to hair loss, light dandruff, lesions, and swelling in the face. This disease is rarely diagnosed and has no permanent cure. However, the process can be slowed through bathing them using certain shampoos or administering vitamins and drugs.
  • Epilepsy – Canine epilepsy are somewhat common to the Vizsla breed. This condition is characterized by seizures. Though there’s no cure for it, medication can be used to lessen the frequency of these seizures.
  • Hip Dysplasia – A frequent condition found in many breeds but very rarely in the Vizsla, characterized by a noticeable limp and sometimes inflammation near the hip joint. If an owner suspects their Vizsla may have hip dysplasia, they should take them to get an x-ray.
  • Thin Coat – The Vizsla has a thin, wiry coat. Because of their lack of fur, they should not live outdoors or in cold, cloudy climates.
Care Features

Vizslas are energetic dogs who require a lot of physical activity. They flourish in situations where they are frequently given the opportunity to exercise with their owners. After all, this breed is renowned for their energy and loyalty. They are thus great at activities such as hunting, retrieving, and swimming. However, it’s necessary for their development to live indoors and only go outside under their owner’s supervision.

They are one of the easier types of dog to train if done so at a young age. When it comes to training, it’s recommend their owner uses positive reinforcement instead of punishments. Loud noises and negative physical contact should be avoided when teaching a Vizsla. If not, they could develop trust issues.

This breed is extremely intelligent as well, making them exceptional companions. Therefore, if they aren’t trained properly during puppyhood, an adult Vizsla will end up developing negative habits. These can include excessive chewing and excessive barking.

Feeding Schedule

It’s important for Vizslas to eat a healthy diet for the entirety of their lives. For a grown Vizsla, three to four cups of dog food is optimal. However, it’s recommended that owners feed them only at two specific meal times, instead of leaving food out all day.

Most Vizslas do not need special food for health conditions, since their digestive system tends to work well. As a general rule, however, owners should look for dog food labeled as being for large breeds. This ensures the dog will not choke on their food.

Coat, Color and Grooming

A healthy Vizsla sheds very little and is very low maintenance in terms of grooming. They have short, smooth fur ideal for a sporting breed. Their coats tend to come only in shades of brown, but these colors can range from reddish-brown to a light chestnut shade.

The average Vizsla should be brushed weekly and bathed every few weeks. Another important trait to focus on when grooming are the breed’s ears. Vizslas can get ear infections if too much earwax and miscellaneous particles build up without being cleaned. Owners should check every so often to ensure their ears are clean.

Additionally, their nails grow very quickly and should be monitored for any damage. This could include overgrowth and splitting. The best way to prevent this from happening is to occasionally clip the Vizsla’s nails. If trimmed regularly, the dog’s paws will hurt less, their nails will stay healthy, and their surroundings will remain scratch-free.

Vizslas should also have their teeth brushed frequently to avoid bad breath, gum infections, and tooth decay.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

Despite being classified as a sporting dog, Vizslas make great pets for families. They are happiest when interacting with humans and are great for families with children. The breed truly loves nothing more than feeling like a member of the household. Vizslas also have a calming presence despite their energy, which makes them good therapy dogs too. That being said, Vizslas are a medium-large breed and should not be left alone with young children.

Vizslas tend to be friendly with other pets, but it’s best to introduce them when both are young. This allows time for the animals to get to know each other and bond. Otherwise, the Vizsla may feel like the other pet is a threat to their family and go into defensive mode. If introducing another animal to a household already owning a Vizsla, it’s best to introduce the two to each other at a gradual pace.

The Vizsla is a loyal, friendly breed whose love for their owners is above none else. Hailing from Hungary as sporting dogs, they love physical activity. They are a versatile breed in terms of what jobs they can handle; Vizslas make excellent show dogs just as often as they make excellent therapy dogs. This medium-sized dog is robust and require minimal grooming, yet still remains gorgeous because of their lean build. They make great family pets and will remain their owners’ companions for life.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

  • timothy smith

    The Hungarian Vizsla is an elegant and handsome dog that has a muscular physique but actually looks very graceful and elegant. This is a dog of medium size and known as clever and active.

  • The Vizsla is really a clever and very active breed that can contend with other dog breeds in its class. Owning one is something that will make you proud as a pet parent.

  • Christopher Mills

    I found man interesting breeds from Hungary. Vizsla is known as one of the most intelligent and gifted dog breeds. It not only endowed with many talents, but a spectacular appearance in combination with the elegance and grace of movement.

  • Mickey

    It is usually very calm and balanced dog, they rarely show aggression, towards the majority of people are friendly. Betrayed their masters and ready to defend them at any time. Brave and clever, they easily learn commands. But in the process of learning, in any case, can not be rude. It is possible to influence only through understanding and attentive to them.

  • It is true that this breed is one of the most appealing Hungarian dog breeds around. It is also a very effective dog breed to own if you don’t want to invest so much time in the grooming department.

  • It is indeed a very balanced and mild-mannered dog as the foundation of its temperament. However, it is true that how the dog was brought up affects its personality as an adult dog.

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