The Hungarian Vizsla: is it the right breed for you? (2024)

Hungarian Vizsla summary:

  • Active dogs with a history of retrieving
  • Coat is short and reddish gold in colour
  • Hungarian Vizsla life expectancy = 10 - 14 years
  • Top speed of 40mph
  • Average size = 54 - 64 cm
  • Average weight = 20 - 30 kg
  • Estimated monthly cost = High
  • Exercise needs = High
  • Attention needs = Medium
  • Sociability = Medium

Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.

How much exercise does a Vizsla need?

Strong and energetic, Hungarian Vizslas needs a lot of exercise. They can become bored if they don’t get enough physical & mental stimulation. They’ll require at least 2 hours of exercise a day to ensure that their exercise needs are met.

If you and your family are keen on outdoor adventures and are looking for a four-legged friend to come along, a Vizsla could be the perfect companion for you.

They’ll happily join you on hikes and jogs, although they will require a bit of training before they get the hang of running with you. Vizslas also love to go for a doggy paddle, so be sure to take the right precautions before you let them go for a dip.

To keep them happy and healthy, take them to a secure environment where they can run off-lead, with lots of interesting things to see and sniff.

As with all breeds, be careful not to over-exercise them whilst they are still growing, as this can have long term effects on their joints. As well as outdoor activities, Vizslas need to stay mentally stimulated with training and puzzle games.

The Hungarian Vizsla: is it the right breed for you? (1)

Vizsla temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Vizslas are loyal, active dogs who need plenty of space to roam. Because of their size, they might not make the best pet if you have young children, because of the risk of knocking them over. They are better suited to households with adults and older children. As with all breeds, it’s recommended that children are supervised when playing with dogs.

They aren't ideally suited to apartment living and require a spacious environment because of their high energy levels. Houses with large gardens or immediate access to large green spaces are ideal living environments for Vizslas.

Whilst they are still so young and receptive, it's a good idea to introduce your Vizslas to other dogs, people and livestock as well as car travel and unfamiliar noises, such as traffic.

Vizslas love to spend time with people and love nothing more than a good pat on the head. They have been known to be quite noisy and barking can become a problem. Read our top tips on how to deal with barking.

Affectionate dogs that form strong bonds with their owners, Vizslas can be prone to developing separation anxiety. It’s good practice to leave them on their own for small periods during training so that they can get used to being by themselves.

Training: how to train a Vizsla

Vizslas are intelligent dogs who respond well to training because of their eagerness to please their owners.

Because of their size and strength, it’s important they are trained from an early age with plenty of positive reinforcement to stop them pulling on the lead or jumping up.

As is the case with all breeds, Vizslas will start to approach new experiences with caution when they are around 12 weeks old. Therefore, it’s really important for their development that they experience as many different situations as possible.

The Hungarian Vizsla: is it the right breed for you? (2)

Grooming: do Vizslas shed?

Vizslas are low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Thanks to their short coat, a quick brush once a week will suffice. You should only need to bathe your Vizslas when they get muddy or roll in something smelly.

Complete your Vizsla's grooming routine with regular tooth brushing, nail clips and ear checks.

Cost of owning a Vizsla

When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Vizsla, remember to take into account the following costs:

  • Food and diet specificfor breed
  • Veterinary care
  • Pet insurance
  • Kennels or dog sitters
  • Grooming costs
  • Dog toys and equipment
  • Preventative healthcare

As a rough guide, allow between £100and £150 a month to cover the ongoing costs of owning a Hungarian Vizsla. Our vets have drawn up this handy guide to save dog owners money.

Are Vizslas prone to any health problems?

Vizslas are prone to certain health problems, just like all breeds. This doesn’t mean your dog is guaranteed to contract any particular disease – it’s just something to bear in mind.

To keep your Vizsla as healthy as possible, monitor them closely and attend routine 6-month health checks with your vet. This will allow the vet to give your dog a thorough check-up and to pick up on minor (often symptomless) conditions before they have a chance to escalate into something worse.

Possible health complications for Vizsla Include:

  • Dental disease
  • Infections
  • Canine obesity
  • Allergies
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Hyperuricosuria (HUU) – a condition that affects wire-haired Vizslas where stones can form in the bladder, which requires surgery.

Before welcoming a new dog into your household, make sure you’re able to cover the costs of any routine or emergency medical treatment they may need. Pet insurance will help massively with this. Why not ask your vet about their recommended pet insurance policy?

The Hungarian Vizsla: is it the right breed for you? (3)

Vizsla dietary requirements

Your Vizsla will need a balanced diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It’s best to feed them complete dog food specially formulated for large breeds to ensure that they are getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients.

Growing pups may prefer 3-4 smaller servings during the day, rather than two larger meals. This can be reduced to two meals a day as your dog gets older.

The recommended portion size will depend on your individual dog. You’ll need to take into account their activity level, age and metabolism. To avoid weight gain, make sure your Vizsla has a healthy and balanced diet and gets plenty of exercise.

Are Vizslas suitable for first time owners?

Vizslas may not be the easiest companion, especially if you’re a first-time pet owner. They’re intelligent and large dogs that can quickly become a handful if they’re not properly stimulated and socialised.

They need lots of attention and exercise, so if you’re out of the house for most of the day, then they might not be the most suitable breed for you.

That said, if you lead an active outdoor lifestyle and are able to give them the time and attention they need, there’s no reason for a Vizsla not to be your ideal pet. If you have done your research beforehand, owning a Vizsla can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet. Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page.

The Hungarian Vizsla: is it the right breed for you? (4)

The Hungarian Vizsla: is it the right breed for you? (2024)


The Hungarian Vizsla: is it the right breed for you? ›

They need lots of attention and exercise, so if you're out of the house for most of the day, then they might not be the most suitable breed for you. That said, if you lead an active outdoor lifestyle and are able to give them the time and attention they need, there's no reason for a Vizsla not to be your ideal pet.

Is a Vizsla the right dog for me? ›

People who enjoy being out in nature and like walking, jogging, or running are good matches for this breed. Vizslas need many hours of off-leash running per week, which is often difficult to fit into the busy schedule. You'll have to be not only willing but eager to spend at least 7 hours per week exercising your dog.

Is a Hungarian Vizsla a good family dog? ›

Hungarian Vizslas are sociable and friendly dogs who can make great family pets, but unfortunately like many purebred dogs, they are prone to certain conditions.

Are Vizslas good house dogs? ›

More than most other breeds, Vizslas need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking. Providing enough socialization. Vizslas need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds.

What are the pros and cons of the Vizsla? ›

The Hungarian vizsla is highly valued for its eye-catching russet-gold coat, noble head, and aristocratic bearing. The vizsla is naturally lively and biddable, and it can become very attached to its owner. However, the vizsla dog breed can be wary of other people and dogs, meaning it requires careful training.

Do Vizslas attach to one person? ›

I don't typically see this as the case, although if one person is the main caretaker and trainer, it would be logical for the Vizsla to bond better with that person. It's typical of the breed, and my own dogs to love people and for them to gravitate towards people, even strangers if they seem friendly.

Do Vizslas calm down with age? ›

Hungarian Vizslas are energetic dogs with big personalities even as adults, but you should notice slightly calmer behaviour when they're around two years old.

Do Vizsla bark a lot? ›

Vizslas make good watchdogs and generally do not bark excessively. Well-socialized dogs are friendly to strangers, unless threatened. Vizslas may suffer separation anxiety and fear of loud noises such as thunderstorms.

Can Vizslas be left alone? ›

They are very sociable, attention seeking and loving animals who need frequent human contact to keep them happy. A Vizsla will not tolerate being left alone in the home for long periods, it will become bored and irritable and very likely become vocal and/or destructive in its frustration.

Do Vizslas like to cuddle? ›

They all think they're lap dogs, and they will love snuggle and cuddle. However, as much as female Vizslas love to be on your lap and under the desk or behind the chair with you, male Vizslas will love you so hard they'll be on top of your head.

Can Vizslas be aggressive? ›

What happens when clients don't listen. I've been training an Hungarian Vizsla puppy for a few months now. At the very first lesson, I advised the young owners that male Vizslas can be aggressive, headstrong and dominant dogs.

Are male or female Vizsla better? ›

Those who will keep their dog intact, perhaps for future breeding or just personal choice, may lean towards a male Vizsla. Intact males tend to be much easier to manage than females as they do not experience cycles, so care is the same all year round.

What is the lifespan of a Hungarian Vizsla? ›

The Vizsla dog breed is generally healthy and has an average lifespan of 10-14 years. That said, they are susceptible to some health issues. Pet parents can prevent these conditions by getting their puppy from a reputable Vizsla rescue or a breeder who responsibly tests their dogs.

Is a Vizsla a good first time dog? ›

Are Vizslas suitable for first time owners? Vizslas may not be the easiest companion, especially if you're a first-time pet owner. They're intelligent and large dogs that can quickly become a handful if they're not properly stimulated and socialised.

How do you decide if a dog is right for you? ›

Always consider the qualities and personality you want, before size and appearance. For example, a large shepherd-mix might do better than an energetic terrier in an apartment. Think about your lifestyle and habits and determine which breed is best suited to you.

Do Vizslas do well alone? ›

Vizslas are ideal for owners who want a medium-sized, active dog for hunting, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Vizslas do not do well left alone for long periods.

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