Vizslas are smooth, handsome, medium-sized dogs covered in short, golden brown coats. Their broad, clean-cut heads have tapered muzzles, brown noses and distinctive lines down the forehead. Their silky ears hang close to the cheek, and their eyes blend with their rusty-gold coat colors. They have long, muscular necks that slope down to broad shoulders, deep chests and short backs. Their tails, usually docked at the halfway mark, are carried horizontal. Overall, Vizslas have an aristocratic but hardy look.
Vizslas are gentle, energetic dogs that form strong bonds with their families. In fact, Vizslas have been known to follow their owners around the house… all day. They like to move about and play—sometimes at boisterous levels—but they easily adapt to family life and get along with everybody. They are especially good with children.
Though attached to their owners, Vizslas are generally friendly with other people and pets. They are alert to movements and sounds around the house, of course, but they don’t make the best watchdogs.
Vizsla owners can expect a certain amount of tomfoolery around the house. These canines have some quirky habits, like hopping onto laps, digging big holes in the yard and stealing snacks. Also, keep an eye on your favorite shoes: They are notorious chewers.
Vizslas need proper training from an early age. Without it, they can be timid, excitable and somewhat rambunctious. With firm, steady direction, Vizslas will be much easier to handle. They also thrive on attention: Make sure they get lots of quality “face time” and affection.
These dogs might be too big and active for apartment living. They could easily feel confined in small spaces. Ideally, Vizslas should have long, daily walks and the occasional opportunity to run off the leash. Without enough exercise, they can go a little batty. If you’re a jogger or hiker, take your Vizsla along—they have loads of stamina to keep you motivated.
A healthy Vizsla can live as long as 15 years. Generally healthy, some can develop hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hemophilia and skin allergies. The Vizsla’s sleek coat is very easy to groom, needing only the occasional brushing to keep its glossy sheen.
The Vizsla—also called the Hungarian Vizsla or Hungarian Pointer—descended from ancient hunting dogs owned by Magyars who settled in Hungary hundreds of years ago. The perfect hunting dog for Hungary’s agricultural lands, these dogs were quick, crafty and careful. They also had an excellent sense of smell. Recent crossbreeding with the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointer created the wiry and refined version we see today.