Choosing a Vizsla

Choosing a Vizsla

The Hungarian vizsla, also referred to as the Hungarian pointer, Magyar vizsla, and the Drotszorn Magyar vizsla, was a favored breed of the early Hungarian nobility. An old and dignified breed, today's vizsla is an excellent representative of the first vizsla.

History and Origin

The Hungarian vizsla is considered an ancient breed. The exact date of origin and history are unknown, but writings and etchings of the breed indicate the dog (or one similar) is at least 1,000 years old

Vizslas were well matched to the type of weather conditions and game of the Hungarian plains. They were very popular as bird dogs and were used for hunting, pointing and falconry. They were also family companions.

After World War I, the vizsla had become almost extinct, but Hungarian immigrants brought the breed to North America in the 1930s. Today, the vizsla is a popular gun dog in Canada and elsewhere, but his primary role is that of a companion. The AKC first registered the vizsla in 1960.


The vizsla's rust or dark yellow colored hair coat can be smooth or wiry. His eyes are a deeper color than his fur. His body is stocky and well muscled. The vizsla's tail is usually docked to about 30 percent of the original length.

Vizslas have large heads with squared muzzles and large brown noses. The ears are thin, silky and long. Vizslas have a very distinguished look about them. The strong body and broad chest make for a confident stance.


The vizsla ranges in weight from 48 to 66 pounds. They stand between 22 and 25 inches at the shoulder.


Vizslas are trustworthy companions. They are loyal and gentle, but have lots of energy. They have a superior hunting ability, but are not good kennel dogs. They love to socialize with the family, and enjoy playing games or just hanging out on the couch.

Vizslas are exceptionally friendly. They take to children and guests, but love to be close to their owner.

When bored, vizslas love to dig. They also like to mouth everything they come into contact with. Be wary of leaving things lying around, your vizsla may cover it with slobber.

Home and Family Relations

Vizslas make wonderful family pets. They can live in apartments if they have daily exercise and lots of attention. They get along well with other animals and children.


Hungarian vizslas are ready to please. Their high intelligence makes them an easily trainable pet. They are great hunters; they love to point and retrieve. They excel in agility, field trials, and search and rescue.

Special Concerns

Vizslas do require daily exercise and entertainment; they will get destructive if bored.

These dogs have the ability to jump very high, so a fence that is at least 6 feet tall will be required to keep them in bounds.

Some vizslas are sensitive to some anesthetics and drugs. Always check with your veterinarian before beginning any new therapies with your vizsla.

Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the Vizsla is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

  • Gastric torsion (bloat) is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Allergies commonly cause itching and possibly ear infections.

    In addition, although these occur infrequently, the following disorders have also been reported:

  • Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that develops between the ages of 2-5 years.
  • Von Willebrand's Disease is a bleeding disorder that can result in excessive hemorrhaging.

    The vizsla is also prone to hemophilia.

    Life Span

    The average life span for a vizsla is approximately 14 to 15 years.

    We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.