The Vizsla is an affectionate and gentle gun dog with plenty of energy.
This athletic breed has the power to spend long days in the field. Males range from 22 to 24 inches high and weigh 55 to 60 pounds, while females range from 21 to 23 inches tall and weigh 44 to 55 pounds.
The dog has a lean body with a golden-rust coat, long ears, and lots of drive and endurance. If you are looking for a longer life expectancy for a dog, you will find that with a Vizsla, as they live 12 to 14 years.
Coat colors, markings, and care
The breed’s coat is short. He doesn’t have an undercoat, but he does shed.
The most common color is golden-rust, but the Vizsla’s colors could include golden, red, red golden, rust, rust golden and sandy yellow. He also has white markings.
Because the breed does not have an undercoat, care is easy. This breed requires occasional brushing – you should use a rubber grooming brush.
Frequently check the ears for wax build-up, dirt, or any other signs of irritation and regularly brush your dog’s teeth with dog toothpaste.
Because the Vizsla is a hunting dog, it needs plenty of mental and physical exercise. If you have this breed as a pet, you should have a large, fenced-in yard and be prepared to take him on plenty of walks and games such as fetch.
Because the breed can chase down game, provide opportunities for the Vizsla to run off-leash.
While some of those opportunities should include running hard, the Vizsla also makes a great jogging companion. However, because the dog’s growth plates do not fully close until 18 to 24 months, you should not let this breed run hard he is that age — preferably 24 months.
You should also be prepared to provide toys like puzzle toys that give the dog plenty of stimulating mental exercise, including constant training. Other mental and physical exercises that are fun for both the dog owner and the dog include field trials, agility, conformation, hunting tests, dock diving, tracking, scent work, lure coursing, and barn hunts.
Starting while the Vizsla is a puppy, provide consistent, positive training. Because this breed is very active and intelligent, your puppy is curious and can be manipulative.
Teaching good behavior and establishing reliable communication at a young age will make this active breed easier to handle. An untrained dog will get into all kinds of trouble.
In short, you have to give this breed a “job” to do every day. That should include training and at least a half-hour per day of activity such as fetch or jogging.
Because the Vizsla is a sensitive breed, you will also have to provide socialization throughout the dog’s life. Playdates with other dogs are an excellent way to provide not only socialization with other dogs, but it allows your dog to use up some of that excess energy.
This breed has few health concerns. Like with all breeds, cancer is a concern. You can mitigate the risk of cancer by feeding an all-natural diet and making sure you get a well-bred puppy.
Other health issues you might find with this breed include hip dysplasia, seasonal allergies, ear infections, eye disorders, and epilepsy. A careful breeder always screens his or her stock for these problems and removes dogs that show a propensity for these issues from his or her breeding program.
When purchasing a Vizsla, have a veterinarian do hip, thyroid, and ophthalmologist evaluations in addition to a general checkup.
If your Vizsla develops epilepsy, you have options to treat the condition. A study done by researchers at Colorado State University veterinary science school shows using CBD oil for dogs can reduce the number of seizures.
Breed clubs and rescues
You can find AKC breed clubs in every state, The Vizsla Club of America, Inc., and over 450 AKC rescue networks groups throughout the country, including:
- Northeast: CT Valle Vizsla Club Rescue and Long Island Vizsla Rescue
- Mid Atlantic: Conestoga Vizsla Club
- South Central: Midwest Vizsla Rescue
- Southeast: Tampa Bay Vizsla Club
- North Central: Iowa Nebraska Vizsla Rescue, Miami Valley Vizsla Club (Ohio), Buckeye Vizsla Rescue, Vizsla Club of Michigan and Twin Cities Vizsla Club
- Northwest: UT/ID Vizsla Rescue
- Southwest: Santa Barbara Vizsla Lovers Rescue, Vizsla Rescue Southern California, Colorado – Wyoming Rescue Group, and 2nd Chance Vizsla Rescue
Is the Vizsla a good choice for first-time owners?
If you have owned high-energy dogs before, you should have no problem with training a Vizsla to be the perfect companion, whether you want this breed as a pet or you plan on showing, doing sporting events, or preparing your dog to hunt with you.
If you have never owned a high-energy dog with high intelligence, be sure you do your research on the breed and make sure you can provide the physical and mental stimulation this dog needs.