Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.


The Vizsla, occasionally referred to as the Hungarian Pointer or the Hungarie Vizsla, is a hunting dog originating from Central Europe. Sleek and slim yet muscular in appearance, this dog requires plenty of physical exercise and human affection. 

Physical Characteristics 

The Vizsla has certain physical characteristics that distinguish it from other dogs, such as its lightweight and muscular body and its short, smooth rust-colored coat. The Vizsla covers ground stealthily and elegantly; its gait, meanwhile, is quick, enabling the dog to run and at very high speeds. 

Personality and Temperament 

The Vizsla loves spending time outdoors and its temperament may vary. You are just as likely to see a timid Vizsla as an over-active or stubborn one. However, most are full of energy, warm, sensitive, and gentle. The Vizsla loves hunting birds and has an innate instinct to target them.  


The Vizsla is social in nature and loves human companionship. It needs a soft bed to sleep and rest upon at the end of the day, but beware: a lack of exercise can cause a Vizsla to become restless. And although it can survive outdoors in temperate weather, the Vizsla should be kept inside when it is frigid outside. The occasional combing is enough to free this dog of its dead hair. 


The Vizsla, which has a lifespan of 10 to 14 years, may suffer from hypothyroidism, dwarfism, persistent right aortic arch, tricuspid valve dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). It is also prone to minor health concerns like lymphosarcoma and canine hip dysplasia, or major issues such as epilepsy. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip and thyroid tests on the dog. 

History and Background 

Many experts believe the Vizsla descended from the hunting and companion dogs of the Magyars, a people that settled what is now Hungary more than a thousand years ago. These hunters were in search of a breed capable of pointing out game and retrieving them in thick bushes.  

By the mid-1700s, the Vizsla earned the respect of the warlords and business elite. And though the breed did see a decline in numbers by the end of the 1800s century, it did see a resurgence of popularity in the 20th century. The Vizsla would finally receive official recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1960. Today the breed is not only popular as a hunting dog, but as a show-dog and pet, too.  

Vizsla dogs earned wide recognition among the warlords and business class by the mid 1700s. They faced a great deal of decline by the end of the nineteenth century, but fortunately, proper breeding helped to revive their numbers.

Comments  1

Leave Comment
  • Muscular
    04/30/2014 03:41pm

    This breed is beautiful, and strong. My dog walks me. I have recently been trying the Cesar Millan System, but haven't gained much ground. I know it is because I am not doing tt correctly.

    These dogs are a special breed, no doubt. They are loving, and like to be where ever you are (hence, "the velcro dog").
    But to strong, and as the article says, stubborn.
    My Vizsla is intelligent, but not in the same way my Schnauzer is. My Vizsla is not a movie watcher, she will look around the TV, under, over, etc... but never at it. Vizsla's are dog, dogs. This breed is not for anyone who isn't patient, or kind, and as bad as they shed, they are not outdoor dogs, they love to be inside. Mine has her own bed, which is placed next to my side of the bed, at night, and she loves her blankets, even when it is warm. She is canine Linus


Transylvanian Hound

The Transylvanian Hound is a rare breed that was introduced over 1,000 years ago as a cross between a...


Volpino Italiano

Similar in size and appearance to the Pomeranian, the Volpino Italiano is a much rarer breed. Developed...