Vizsla: The Ultimate Guide


If the Vizsla is a breed that you are seriously considering, then there are some things that you should know first, both good and bad. This is something that we are going to explore in this article, to help to provide you with a better understanding of the breed and prepare you for a future of taking care of them.

Finding the right dog breed for you, your family, and your lifestyle is not an easy task, and it is going to require lots of research and patience. It is essential that you don’t rush your decisions and that you are as prepared as possible when you do decide on a breed of dog.

Vizsla

The Vizsla is a breed of dog that originally comes from Germany, and they are often described as lively, gentle, and affectionate, with an above-average learning ability.

These dogs typically have a strong desire to be around people as they love company, but they can also be quite manipulative at times. You can find out more about the breed in our ultimate guide to the Vizsla below.

Key Facts

Before we get into this article, there are some key facts about the Vizsla breed that you should be aware of first. We are going to explain more about their lifespan, exercise requirements, coat, and monthly costs below.

Average Lifespan

On average, the Vizsla breed will live for between 12 and 15 years. However, the oldest recorded Vizsla actually lived for 21 years, which is a really long time for a dog.

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

Vizsla dogs have a lot of energy, which is why they are going to require at least 2 hours of exercise every day. This will need to be split into more than one walk, and they will do best when they are allowed to run off the lead in a secure area.

These dogs also have a keen smell, so you should take them for at least one long walk a day somewhere interesting, so they can take in their surroundings.

As well as their 2 hours of daily exercise, your Vizsla dog will need lots of things to do so that they can keep their brains active. This could include activities like training and puzzle games.

These are very agile dogs that even do quite well at canine sports like agility. They are also known for their love of water, so you could even take them for a swim in a safe location to allow them to burn off some steam.

Coat Length

The Vizsla coat can come in four different coat variations, which are shorthaired smooth, wirehaired, longhaired wire haired and longhaired non-wired. In fact, 2 of these coat types are recognised as their own Vizsla breed.

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

You will need to be prepared to pay a minimum of $90 a month on caring for your Vizsla dog, and this will include the costs of things like food, insurance, essential items, treats, and so on.

The costs of owning a dog can easily add up, and you will need to ensure that you can afford the monthly total before you bring a dog home. It might be worth shopping around to find the best deals and creating a cost list of everything that you will need. You can then work this into your total monthly budget.

Appearance

Vizsla dogs have short, straight, dense, and smooth coats that feel greasy to the touch but look really shiny. Their backs are level, and they are well muscled in general.

They have moderately broad chests that are deep with prominent breast bones, and their shoulders are well laid and muscular, with their elbows straight and close to the body.

Their eyes are neither deep nor prominent, and they are medium in size, usually a shade darker in color than their coats. The eyes are also slightly oval in shape, and their eyelids fit tightly. Yellow or black eyes are undesirable in this breed. As well as all of this, they have moderately low set ears that are proportionately long.  

They have sound and strong white teeth with strong jaws, and their upper teeth closely overlap their lower teeth. Their heads are lean and noble, and their skulls are a little longer than the muzzle. Their noses are typically brown in colors.

Size

The Vizsla is classed as a medium to large breed of dog.

Average Height

Male Vizsla dogs will usually stand tall between 56 and 64 cm, whereas females are typically between 53 and 61 cm tall.

Average Weight

On average, male Vizsla will tend to weigh between 20 and 29 kg, but females are slightly smaller, weighing between 17 and 25 kg.

Temperament

The Vizsla is known for being a lively, gentle, and affectionate dog, and their intelligence puts them at an above average learning ability. These dogs have a strong desire to be around people, and they are known for being biddable. However, some Vizslas can be quite stubborn at times, and others may be over-excitable or shy. 

These are energetic and athletic dogs that can easily become bored and destructive if they are left to their own devices for too long. However, when they get the training, exercise, and companionship that they need, they can make wonderful furry companions.

However, just like any other dog, Vizslas will require early socialization, which is when you expose them to lots of different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they are still young. This will help to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Apartment Living

These dogs can do well in an apartment living situation as long as you are taking care of their needs.

If you do live in an apartment, it is really important to ensure that you are still providing your dog with enough daily exercise, and that they are still getting plenty of mental stimulation. They will pretty much do well wherever they are as long as you are there to keep them company.

Good for Novice Owners

Vizslas are dogs that respond really well to positive and reward-based training from an early age, as they are always really eager to please their owners. They are very clever dogs that will pick up new things very easily, and all of these things make them well-suited for novice owners.

You don’t need any previous dog-owning experience to bring a Vizsla into your home as long as you are prepared and have done your research.

Sensivity Level

Vizslas are quite sensitive in general, but especially when it comes to the tone of voice that you are using with them. They don’t respond well to harsh training, which is why positive reinforcement training is often preferred.

Tolerates Being Alone

Vizsla dogs are often referred to as velcro dogs, and this is because they stick to their humans like glue. These dogs hate to be left at home alone, and they much prefer to be in your company at all times. They can develop separation anxiety when they are left alone for too long, which often leads to destructive behavior.

Tolerates Cold Weather

These dogs can tolerate cold weather very well, and they are quite adept and agile in the snow. Of course, if they are simply left outside in cold weather, they will get cold. However, if they are moving around or playing, they will be fine.

Tolerates Hot Weather

Vizslas can tolerate hot weather, and they were actually originally bred for long working days in the field, so they know how to take the heat well. They have lean and muscular bodies and short and sleek coats, so they are likely to have incredible stamina, no matter what the weather is like.

Affectionate With Family

These dogs can be very affectionate towards their families, and they love to be in your company at all times. They will be likely to follow you around the house and lay down next to you to chill out. 

Kid-Friendly

The Vizsla is a loving dog that is very friendly towards and tolerant of children. However, their exuberance can become overwhelming for children that are younger than 6 years old.

As with any other dog, you will need to teach your children how to properly approach and touch them. You should also always supervise any interactions between dogs and children, so you can prevent any unwanted behavior from either side.

Is A Vizsla Dog Friendly?

Vizslas can get along well with other dogs, and they can even get along well with cats if they have been raised with them. However, they are not so fond of smaller pets, and they should never be trusted around them due to their strong hunting instincts. It is probably best not to get a Vizsla dog if you have other small animals in your home, as it may not end well.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Most of the time, Vizslas will be gentle, affectionate, and friendly dogs that make excellent pets. However, some Vizslas, though not all, can be a bit shy around strangers, but for the most part, they will get along with strangers well as long as they pay them enough attention.

Health And Grooming

Vizsla

Now that you are aware of all of the important things you should know about the temperament and personality of the Vizsla, it is time to take a look at their overall health and grooming requirements.

Shedding

Vizslas shed a normal amount. However, since their hair is so short, it is not as visible on furniture and clothing as the hair of some other breeds. They start to shed their lighter-colored winter coats in the spring which will typically reveal a richer color during the summer

Drooling

Even though Vizsla dogs don’t typically drool all of the time, there are some times when they will be more likely to drool. You will probably notice that they drool in anticipation of food, when they are excited or playing, or when they are in stressful situations.

It is also not uncommon for females to drool when they are coming into heat.

However, excessive drooling all the time can become a problem. Excessive saliva can cause many issues for some Vizslas. This is because when the salivary glands produce too much saliva, it can become hard for your vizsla to swallow it. This creates too much moisture, which can lead to  irritation and inflammation.

Grooming

Vizslas have a short, sleek coat with no undercoat, which means that they don’t require complicated grooming. These dogs do shed, but you’ll only need to brush them occasionally with a rubber grooming brush. Aside from this, you only really need to brush them when they are dirty or smelly.

General Health

Generally, Vizslas are healthy dogs. However, just like any other dog, there are some health conditions that they are at a higher risk of developing. We will leave a list of these conditions below for you to read.

Common Health Problems

Some of the most common health problems for Vizslas to experience are:

  • Epilepsy
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lymphosarcoma
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Potential For Weight Gain

The Vizsla breed is not likely to gain too much weight unless they are being overfed.

Trainability Of The Vizsla

Vizsla dogs are thought to be relatively easy to train, but the process is going to take some patience. They are known to be slow-developing dogs, and training might take a while for some Vizslas to pick up. Others will pick it up more easily, mastering commands in just a few days.

Easy To Train

Vizslas are lively dogs that love to be busy, and they are really clever. This makes it much easier to train in the right hands, as they love to be involved in everything that goes on at home.

Intelligence

Vizslas are very intelligent dogs, but this can often be both a blessing and a curse. It can be a great thing in their training, as it allows them to pick up new tricks and commands quickly and easily.

However, it does also mean that they can get bored of their training very quickly if you are at all repetitive. This is why it is so important to try and keep their training exciting and new, so you can keep their attention for longer.

Potential to Bite

While they are not likely to bite people, they are more likely to bite things around your house if they become bored. This is why it is really important to keep them entertained throughout the day by giving them things to do. They can also bite or nip if they are over-excited or over-stimulated, which is something to be mindful of. 

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

This is a breed of dog that is very vocal, and they will bark, whine, howl, and grunt in order to communicate. However, excessive barking is usually an indication that your dog is either unhappy or improperly trained, and this is something that needs to be addressed.

Vizsla History

Vizsla dogs are also sometimes known as the Hungarian Pointer, and it is likely that they descend from hunting dogs that were used by the Magyars. These people settled in Hungary more than 1000 years ago. These dogs would have been used by nobles and warlords to hunt game birds and hares. Eventually, the dogs were developed to both point and retrieve.

The Vizsla became a distinct breed by the 19th and early 20th century, and they had excellent senses of smell. They worked closely with their handlers. During the First World War, these dogs were used to deliver messages.

After the War, and following on from World War II, the breed was almost extinguished. However, they managed to survive and were imported into the United States in the early 1950s.

The Vizsla Club of America was formed not long after in 1954, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1960. Breeders have worked tirelessly to standardize the distinctive Vizsla appearance that you see today.

Today, the Vizsla is a beloved companion that can usually be found carrying out a variety of tasks. Some of these dogs even worked at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The breed is moderately popular today. 

Costs

In comparison to some other large dogs, the Vizsla is relatively inexpensive. If you are going to a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay around $1000 for a Vizsla puppy. Although, top quality Vizslas can cost between $1500 and $2000.

Vizsla Fun Facts

  • A Vizsla’s top speed when running is 40 mph
  • Vizsla eyes are blue when they first open as puppies
  • Vizslas are extremely sensitive dogs
  • Vizslas are excellent swimmers and love the water
  • Wirehaired Vizslas are considered a separate breed

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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