- Best for experienced dog owners
- Good with children
- Good with other animals
- Medium size
- High exercise need
- Medium shedding
- Medium guard dog abilities
- Medium ease of training
The Vizsla (pronounced VEESH-la) is a Hungarian pointer-retriever. Stone etchings from over a thousand years ago have been found which depict a hunter with his faithful Vizsla hunting at his side. They were favorites of barons and warlords who prized the hunting abilities of this beautiful dog. In Hungary in the 1800s and again after World War II, the Vizsla as a breed came dangerously close to extinction and was brought back to prominence from only twelve purebreds in that country. The breed came to the U.S. shortly after World War II and was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1960. The Vizsla was used to develop the Weimaraner, the German Shorthair Pointer and the Wire-haired Vizsla.
With their family and friends, the Vizsla is affectionate, gentle and loving. They are very loyal protective dogs who tend to bond closely with their family, making them dependable home guardians. When raised properly they are usually a quiet well mannered breed. However, when ill raised they can be a hyperactive ball of destruction or even obsessive-compulsive. To be truly happy, this breed needs a lot of exercise, and even better, a job. They enjoy many of the organized canine sports and trials, such as agility, obedience, flyball, scent hurdles and hunting trials. They also make outstanding jogging, rollerblading and bicycling companions and enjoy swimming, hiking and hunting.
Vizslas are intelligent dogs that are fairly easy to train. However, they can be a little stubborn and easily distracted so training can take time. Owners need to be firm, yet patient. Positive reward focused training works best. As some Vizslas tend to be a little sensitive or excitable, socialization from an early age is very important to help them grow in to a calm confident adult.
Viszlas make a fine choice for an active family with children and other animals. However he is not well suited for apartment life and city dwellers that choose to add this active breed to their family will need to be dedicated. Vizslas need at least 2-3 hours of exercise daily. Some Vizslas can be hard to housetrain and some can be chewers.
Appearance and Grooming:
The Vizsla grows to a height of 21-25 inches and weigh between 40-66 pounds. They are fairly lean dogs, with defined musculature. They are a beautiful gold-rust color with some variations in the coat (but some breeders have created a solid coat color). White markings on the chest are possible but not ideal. Their coat is short, dense, and smooth, and needs only weekly brushing. Vizslas have reddish-colored eyes and noses that match their coats. They are minimal shedders. The Vizsla's tail is docked at two-thirds its original length, to protect it from breakage.
The Vizsla is an extremely robust breed with very few health problems. This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, skin allergies, food sensitivities, cancer, and canine epilepsy. Most of these ailments are the cause of irresponsible breeding. Perspective owners should buy from a breeder who offers puppies from OFA registered parents. Due to them not having a double coat, they do not do well in extremely cold weather. Their average lifespan is 12-15 years.