AKC Dog Breeds: Wirehaired Vizsla

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Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 21-25  inches  Weight: 40-60 pounds  Color: russet to golden sand

The Wirehaired Vizsla, like most modern breeds, was a product of selective breeding. In the 1930s, breeders realized the Vizslas with thicker coats were more protected from water which would give them a hunting advantage. Vasas Jozsef decided to cross a thick-coated Vizsla with a German Wirehaired Pointer. The Wirehaired Vizsla was the result. Hungarian Wirehaired Vizslas are known as excellent hunting dogs, and also have a level personality making them suited for families. The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla is a versatile, natural hunter endowed with an excellent nose and an above average trainability. Although they are lively, gentle mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive, they are also fearless and possessed of a well-developed protective instinct. The breed has a firmness on point, is an excellent retriever, and has the determination to remain on the scent even when swimming. The overall appearance embodies the qualities of a multi-purpose pointing dog, endurance, working ability and an easily satisfied nature. This is a dog of power and drive in the field, yet is a tractable and affectionate companion in the home.

General Appearance
The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla is a wire-coated hunting dog, with a distinguished appearance and bearing. They have a lean build and are very robust. The cheerful Wirehaired Vizsla is a medium to large breed dog. They have rough, dull, russet gold coats and water repellant undercoats. Their lovable faces and square heads are accentuated by their long, bearded muzzle (the beard is one difference between this breed and the traditional Vizsla) and powerful jaws. The breed should have a scissor, not a level, bite. Their eyes are medium sized eyes should be about the same shade as their coats, and the whites of their eyes should not be visible. A broad, muscular neck forms a bridge between their friendly faces and their well-muscled bodies designed for hunting. Their front legs should be short while their back legs are longer. Its robust chest is deep but not as deep as other hunting breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever. Many owners decide to dock their tails. Their feet should be small and round like a cat’s instead of long and narrow like a rabbit’s.


Wirehaired Vizslas are extremely gentle and intelligent. Like the Vizsla, Wirehaired Vizslas are very high energy, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring, and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children. They are quiet dogs, only barking if necessary or if they are provoked. They can be protective of their family but can also be high strung and wary of loud noises so early socialization is critical. They are very obedient and learn quickly. However, it is important to keep them occupied because they can quickly become bored and will resort to destructive chewing for entertainment. They can sometimes be stubborn when it comes to following commands. Because they are energetic dogs, they are perfect for hunting, agility, and tracking. However, without enough exercise they can become very hard to deal with. Otherwise, it is a loyal breed, cheerful, and affectionate breed. The breed would be best with an active family who has time to give it plenty of exercise and attention. Since the breed was designed for hunting, small animals might not be a good idea. Wirehaired Vizslas should not live in an apartment and need owners who are firm enough to combat the breed’s stubbornness.


Wirehaired Vizslas do not require much maintenance, so they are perfect for dog owners who have little time or money to spend on grooming. Their nails do need to stay trimmed, and they should be brushed occasionally. They shed some but not as much as many other breeds.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Wirehaired Vizsla is prone to hip dysplasia. Other potential risks are cancer, epilepsy, thyroid disorders, and von Willebrand’s disease. Wirehaired Vizslas have a life expectance of approximately 12 to 15 years.

Activity Level

With Wirehaired Vizslas, the main concern is giving them plenty of exercise because they were used for hunting, retrieving, and as pointers so if they are simply house dogs or companions they may become frustrated, destructive, and even neurotic. To prevent that, it is important to let them run in a secure area and to take them on long walks.


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Wirehaired Vizsla dog featured in dog encyclopedia
Wirehaired Vizsla profile on dog encyclopedia