AKC Sporting Group


Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Vizsla is a Hungarian hunting dog, probably descended from the dogs of the Magyars, the Transylvanian hound, Turkish yellow dog (now extinct), and several types of pointer. After World War I, the breed was nearly extinct. Hungarians saved some individuals and built the breed up again. After World War II, when Russians took control of Hungary, the native Hungarians feared all the Vizslas would be killed by the Russians, because owning a Vizsla was a symbol of aristocracy. Some devotees smuggled Vizslas out into Austria and to other countries, including America. The name Vizsla, in Hungarian, means “pointer.” The Vizsla is a fine retriever with an excellent nose, and is a good small game and bird hunter and pointer, even on marshy terrain. He has also been a successful obedience competitor. The breed’s gentle, friendly disposition makes him well-suited to his role as a family companion dog.


The Vizsla is a sleek, muscular, medium-sized hunting dog with a beautiful, rusty gold, short coat. The head is lean, chiseled, and aristocratic, with a moderate stop. The muzzle is square and deep, with a brown nose. The skull is fairly broad between the ears and has a line up the middle of the forehead. The eye color blends with the coat color. The round tipped ears are pendant and rather long, thin, and silky. The front legs are straight. The tail is docked to two-thirds its original length. The coat is golden rust. A little white on the chest and toes is permitted.

Key Facts

  • Height:  22 to 24 in. (male); 21 to 23 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  Averages 50 lbs.
  • Availability:  May take some effort to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdog, agility, and competitive obedience


Known as a chewer. Beware of hip dysplasia; buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip dysplasia clearance. There is also a wirehaired variety of Vizsla.


Loving, demonstrative, and gentle. Has a protective instinct. Somewhat willful and distractible, but smart and trainable—this breed needs a patient, firm hand. Energetic and athletic, the Vizsla must receive sufficient exercise or he may become destructive or neurotic. Socialize this dog well, and get him used to noises at an early age. Look for breed lines that are not high-strung or shy.


  • Children:  Good with children
  • Friendliness:  Loves everyone
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Needs people a lot
  • Dominance:  Low
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Friendly with other dogs
  • Noise:  Average barker
  • Indoors:  Moderately active indoors
  • Owner:  Not recommended for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Docking:  The tail is customarily docked
  • Exercise:  Vigorous daily exercise needed
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Not recommended for apartments
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with at least an average-sized yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Longevity:  Moderately long-lived (12 to 15 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Vizsla Breed Standard

Vizsla Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Vizsla

Vizsla Gifts