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Vizsla

Friendly / Intelligent / Devoted

Working dogs are some of the most popular breeds, and the vizsla is no exception.

With a history of hunting and sportsmanship in Hungary and beyond, these slender, medium-sized animals are exceptionally intelligent, capable companions, and equally clingy.

So how do you know if a vizsla is right for you?

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Health Risk

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Personality

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Lifetime Care

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Considering the needs of your new dog and how they align with your own is an essential first step before choosing to add a vizsla, or any dog breed, to your family. Our Spot Pet Insurance dog breed guides are here to help with exactly that. We’re touching on a variety of topics, ranging from the vizsla’s history to common health conditions, and touching on temperament, training, exercise, grooming, adaptability, and more. Whether your family already includes a vizsla or you are considering one as a new addition, this is the guide for you. Let’s jump right in!

Where do vizslas come from?

Understanding the vizsla breed’s history goes a long way towards understanding your dog and why they act the way that they act. Everything from their energy and exercise needs to their temperament and clingy tendencies traces back to their history.

The vizsla dates back over a thousand years. One of the oldest records of vizsla is an etching that shows a Magyar hunter, vizsla at his side, and a falcon. The Magyar tribes brought their hunting dogs to Hungary, eventually leading to the vizsla breed we know today.

These AKC-recognized dogs are bred to be hunters and best friends to their masters. Pointing and retrieving were their primary purpose, sometimes among other tasks.

Historically, vizsla belonged mostly to sportsmen or aristocrats who enjoyed hunting and similar sports. Only recently have they become more tailored to domestic home life, although many vizslas do still have jobs as seeing-eye dogs, search and rescue dogs, or sniffers for security agencies.

While the breed is commonly called the Hungarian vizsla due to its origin, it is not exclusive to Hungary. It spread throughout eastern Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries and to the United States after World War II.

Average Sizes and Life Expentancy of The Breed

Height

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  • Males: 22-24 inches
  • Females: 21-23 inches

Weight

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  • Males: 55-60 pounds
  • Females: 44-55 pounds

Life Expectancy

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  • 10-14 years

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Female

What are the potential health conditions for a vizsla?

Common risks for this purebred breed include cancer, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and blood clotting disorders.

When buying from a breeder, you should ask for proof of health tests to show that your pup isn't inheriting any dangerous health conditions. Responsible breeding can keep the vizsla genetically stable for generations to come.

Health Risk

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Epilepsy

What is it?

Canine epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain, causing seizures.

Epilepsy could be inherited or developed later in life by brain problems or unknown causes, but overall it is one of the most common conditions affecting dogs of any breed.

Clinical signs:

  • Seizures, including:
  • Spasmic, involuntary movements
  • Limited awareness
  • Uncontrolled expulsion of urine, saliva, or feces
  • Twitching of the face
  • Abnormal chewing movements
  • Paddling limbs
  • Unusual fear or attention-seeking
  • Vomiting
  • Salivation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lowered awareness
  • Sudden loss or increase in muscle tone

Treatment:

  • AED (Anti-epileptic drugs), including
  • Phenobarbital
  • Potassium bromide
  • Levetiracetam 
  • Zonisamide 

Other risks:

  • There are still many unknowns when it comes to canine epilepsy. Research is ongoing.
  • Drugs prescribed can vary widely, as can costs.

Other potential health conditions:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lymphosarcoma

Average Vet Bill

$160

Spot Pays


90% = $144

80% = $128

70% = $112

Personality

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How well do vizslas get along with their owners?

Perhaps the strongest personality trait of most vizsla is their closeness to family. The breed’s nickname, "The Velcro Dog," is no surprise to anyone who has had a vizsla in their family before.

Are vizslas aggressive towards strangers?

Vizsla love to make new friends. Proper socialization at a young age is important for all dogs, but this breed tends to be very friendly from the get-go.

How well do vizslas adapt to new situations?

Vizsla can easily adapt to a diverse range of living spaces, from small apartments to large homes, with any size family. As long as you have access to sufficient outdoor space for your pup's exercise needs, it's easy to adapt the vizsla to your situation.

Adapting may be more difficult if your schedule involves leaving your pup home alone for long periods. The vizsla is very attention-needy and does not do well isolated for extended amounts of time.

This breed can also adapt to a range of temperatures, but their lack of undercoat can make them susceptible to cold weather. Have warm clothes ready for your vizsla if the temperature drops into the low 40s or lower. Temperate environments are the easiest for this breed.

Do vizslas make good guard dogs?

Vizslas are intelligent sporting dogs, but they aren’t instilled with a watchdog nature, nor does their physical build make them well-suited to guarding jobs.

Will a vizsla be a fun dog to have around?

Thanks to their affection and athleticism, vizsla can be incredibly fun for an owner who wants to have a close bond and lots of playtime with their dog.

From cuddling to commands and tricks, the vizsla just wants to be close with their family. 

Are vizslas good with children?

The friendly disposition of the vizsla extends to younger humans as well. These dogs are great with children, although you should never leave any breed unsupervised with kids.

How are vizslas with other dogs?

Vizslas get along with other dogs with ease, although introducing a cat may require more careful oversight — remember that these are hunting dogs at heart, after all.

Lifetime Care

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Coat:

Vizslas have a short, smooth coat with a single layer. It’s reminiscent of the coat of a Weimaraner. Coat colors include: Golden Golden Rust Red Red Golden Rust Rust Golden Sandy Yellow Markings can include: White Markings

Colors:

Hypoallergenic:

No

Grooming:

Daily brushing, occasional bath, regular nail trims

Training:

Easy to train.

Life Time Care Cost:

$21,445
Goldendoodle

Are vizsla hypoallergenic?

While vizsla shed less than many dogs, they are not truly hypoallergenic.

How often do vizslas have to be groomed?

Grooming needs for this breed are relatively low. Standard bathing and brushing suffices – approximately once monthly and once weekly, respectively.

Clean your dog’s ears regularly and keep their nails short. Dental cleaning needs are standard for a vizsla, as with other breeds.

What is the lifetime care cost of a vizsla?

$21,445

How to be the best pet parent for a vizsla?

Each dog breed has its own unique needs, quirks, and instincts. Understanding them is the best way to set yourself up for success in terms of pet parentage. 

Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we’re excited to go along that journey with you. You can read more informative guides on an array of topics on our Blogbowl.

How much does a vizsla dog or puppy cost?

Adoption fee from a reputable breeder (vizsla puppy): $500-1,700

Yearly care cost (first year): $3,985

Yearly care cost (following years): $1,455

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your vizsla 

Vizsla are highly intelligent dogs that are not only trainable but excited to train! 

Training for a vizsla is far more than ensuring good habits around the house. It's a core means of mental stimulation, bonding, and satisfying their attention needs. 

Use these tips to help your vizsla excel as you train them in different areas.

  1. Vizslas are eager to please and only slightly stubborn.
  2. This breed's sensitivity levels are high, so remain gentle but confident with your training. 
  3. Give your vizsla a chance to get comfortable with your daily routine; the breed is prone to some separation anxiety and may need a lot of time to get used to you coming and going.
  4. Positive reinforcement and gentle correction of wrong behavior should be enough, while intense correction (such as a raised voice or physical domination) should never be necessary.
  5. Incorporate games and mentally stimulating activities into training. Don’t be afraid to teach complex tricks and commands.
  6. Try agility or rally sports if you are up to it!

What types of foods should vizsla never eat?

Certain foods are toxic to dogs, even if humans can eat them without issue. You should always double-check before giving your vizsla a new food. In general, stick with dog food over human food.

  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Bones
  • Peaches
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Chewing Gum
  • Dairy Products
  • Avacado

Exercising tips to keep your vizsla staying fit and healthy

Vizslas have a high energy level, both physically and mentally. Enough exercise and play sessions are needed (an hour of daily exercise is recommended), while vizslas need more intense exercise occasionally.

Whether that be an off-leash sprinting session in a secure yard or an on-leash run or hike at your side, let your vizsla burn their energy. If a vizsla isn't given the stimulation and exercise they needs, destructive behaviors like chewing and digging are likely to occur.

Vizsla life stages

Puppy: 1 - 2 years

Adult Dog: 1 - 10 years

Senior: 10 years - end of life

Conclusion

A vizsla would be so excited to join your family, and we hope you are as excited about them as well! Whether you choose the vizsla or another breed, consider Spot Pet Insurance for your furry family too. Check out our FAQs to learn more, and get a quote today.

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