The Vizsla: A High-Energy Dog & Runner's Best Friend!

The Vizsla has the nickname of "Velcro dog."

Vizslas are social pooches who earned their nickname because they bond very strongly with their families and really hate being alone. The medium-sized watchdogs make for a great family pet, even though they are historically working dogs. They are an excellent retrievers and love to play and have a job. If you are interested in getting a Vizsla, you should consider their needs before taking the leap.

Breed History

Originally bred in Hungary to be hunting dogs, the Vizsla is a muscular dog with incredible stamina and endurance. They were first seen in etchings in the 10th century and have been bred by the Magyars. Sometimes called the Magyar Vizsla or the Hungarian pointer, these pups were used in World War I to deliver messages. The breed group almost did not survive after World War II, but they made it eventually becoming popular in the United States.

Medium in size, this dog has a short, silky coat that ranges from light golden to a deep auburn. It is the 33rd most popular dog breed in the American Kennel Club registry and was first recognized in 1960. According to the AKC breed standard, the gundogs are generally 21-24 inches tall and are very lean. The Vizsla was eventually bred with a German Shorthair Pointer to get the Wirehaired Vizsla.

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Health Problems & Lifespan of Vizslas

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Grooming needs are fairly low maintenance. This Hungarian hunting dog has a short, sleek, smooth coat with no undercoat. This shorthaired Vizsla dog just needs weekly brushing! Vizsla tends to be fairly healthy, but they do have some issues. According to the American Kennel Club:

"Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as such as seasonal allergies; eye disorders, including melanosis or entropion; hip dysplasia; epilepsy; and ear infections."

They also can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism, and lymphosarcoma. Their lifespan ranges from 12 to 14 years.

Diet & Activity Level 

A Vizsla benefits from high-quality dog food.  You can feed them dog food from the store, or you can make them homemade food. Younger pups are very active and need to eat multiple times a day, but as your Vizsla ages, they will need less food.

Vizsla is very smart and alert and benefits from lots of activity. A well-trained dog can excel in agility or in the field. Remember that Vizsla dogs are energetic dogs! They can be excellent running companions, and pet parents should consider field trials which is wonderful mental stimulation and physical exercise. Vizslas make great family dogs but need to be in an active household.

The high-energy pups benefit from spending a lot of time outdoors and need daily exercise of they will likely get bored. Nothing good ever comes from a bored dog. Therefore, training needs to be continuous to maintain good behavior. They also benefit from socialization with other dogs and humans.

How To Get A Vizsla of Your Own

If you are interested in getting a Vizsla of your own, there are a couple of ways to go. You can get a purebred by going through a reputable breeder. It is important to vet the breeder and the puppies for many reasons, including possible health problems.

So be sure to talk with a breeder or rescue group about any possible health problems. Their coat color is typically a golden rust color. When researching the Hungarian Vizsla or Vizsla puppies, there are many wonderful resources, including the Vizsla Club of America.

If you're interested in sporting dog breeds, consider the German Shorthaired Pointer, Weimaraner, Brittany, and Wirehaired Pointer.

What Else Should You Know About Vizslas?

  • These are happy-go-lucky dogs!
  • The dogs have a reputation for being velcro dogs. Given their energy level, these active dogs will exhibit barking or howling because of separation anxiety, which is common in this breed.
  • Trainability should be considered too when living with a Vizsla, as patience is key!

Do you have a Vizsla? Show us on our Wide Open Pets Instagram or use #WideOpenPets! 

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