Vizsla Dogs – The Breed Standard

What Are Vizsla Dogs Like?

Vizsla dogs fall into the medium-sized range when speaking of their size relative to other dog breeds. A male can be 22 to 26 inches in height and weigh 45 to 60 pounds. Females are usually 20 to 24 inches tall and weigh 40 to 55 pounds.

From nose to tail and top to bottom, here is a brief description of what the average Vizsla looks like.

A Vizsla has a strong body that is slightly longer than it is tall. It has a muscular head which is wide between the ears. The Vizsla’s muzzle tapers from the stop to the nose, which is flesh-colored unlike its coat. There is no dewlap on a Vizsla’s neck. Its teeth come together in a scissor-like bite. The dog’s long ears hang close to its cheeks and have rounded tips. The tail is thick close to the body. It is often docked to 2/3 its original length.

The front legs are straight, and it’s feet resemble those of a cat. The dewclaws (those higher on the leg away from the paw) are normally removed. You should keep a Vizsla’s nails trimmed.

A Vizsla has a short, smooth coat that is tight to its body. It is usually a rusty-gold color. This coat is quite easy to keep in top condition. As an owner, you should use a firm bristle brush to keep it clean. You should also dry shampoo a Vizsla occasionally. Bathing with a mild soap is suggested only when absolutely necessary. Vizsla dogs are average shedders.

Vizslas are more prone to hip dysplasia than other dog breeds.

Do Vizslas Make Good Family Dogs?

As to temperament, the Vizsla is a gentle, loving, and expressive dog. It is quite powerful and extremely trainable. It needs daily mental stimulation under a patient and calm, yet firm hand. If your Vizsla does not recognize you as the one in authority, it will soon become stubborn and difficult to manage. You need to be your Vizsla’s “pack leader” at all times.

A Vizsla is very reliable with children, especially the energetic type. They can play together for hours. Vizslas adapt to family life rather quickly. They tend to be good with most other animals. An owner should accustom them well to various people, places, noises, and such.

Obedience training is very important for your Vizsla. They need enough exercise to prevent actions like excitably prancing around you. Without proper training, a Vizsla may become difficult to handle and control. Vizsla dogs are wonderful, but they’re not for everyone.

Do Vizslas Make Good Hunting Dogs?

Vizslas have many talents. In fact, they are noted for their hunting abilities. The are good at tracking, pointing, retrieving, guarding and competitive obedience. The Vizsla makes an excellent hunting dog and are often bred as such.

They have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. A Vizsla is a working dog with a great amount of stamina. It makes a great running, walking, jogging and bike riding companion. A Vizsla dog needs plenty of opportunity to run under supervision but on its own (no leash) in a safe area. Using one for hunting can provide one such opportunity.

Where Did Vizslas Come From?

You can see Vizslas on etchings that date back to the 10th century. They originally came from Hungary where they were bred by the Magyars, who used them as hunting dogs.

Experts believe they descended from several types of pointers, the Transylvanian Hound, and the (extinct) Turkish yellow dog. The word “vizsla” means “retriever” in Hungarian. Vizslas worked as hunters in those early days. Their excellent noses and boundless energy led them to excel at catching game.

The Vizsla breed almost became extinct after World War II. When the Russians took control of Hungary, many feared that they would cease to exist. To save the breed, native Hungarians smuggled Vizslas to Austria and even to America.

The Vizsla of today has two cousins, one with hard wirehair known as the Wirehaired Vizsla and the other the longhaired Vizsla, which is relatively rare. The longhaired Vizslas are not registered anywhere. There are some found in parts of Europe.

Which Organizations Recognize the Vizsla Breed?

Following is a list of organizations the recognize Vizslas.