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Vizsla dog breed profile

Vizslas are no couch potatoes.

Whether your dog is a purebred vizsla, or a vizsla mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're looking to adopt a vizsla and want to do a bit of research first — we can help with that.

The vizsla dog lineage begins in Hungary. Here, the pups learned to help their humans hunt game and fowl, says Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian Dr. Aliya McCullough. But this dog breed is more than a hunting companion. Active families and outdoor enthusiasts usually find that vizslas greatly benefit from their lifestyle. Does this sound like your dog or the dog for you? Read on to learn more about this affectionate dog breed.

What do vizslas look like? 

Female vizsla dogs are medium-sized dogs weighing between 44 to 55 pounds. Their male counterparts are larger (up to 65 pounds) and are considered a large dog breed. They have a slender but muscular build, floppy ears and a distinctive red coat.

RELATED: Hound dog breed profile

Are vizsla dogs good with other pets and children?

The vizsla is a gentle dog that usually loves being on the go with their human companions. They’re intelligent and high-energy and can easily become bored without something to do. Some people call vizslas Velcro pups because they’ll eagerly follow their humans from room to room.

While true for any dog breed, early socialization and training are especially key to promoting a happy home with a vizsla dog living with other dogs or children. But along with a playful, affectionate personality comes innate prey drive.  So, you may want to monitor vizslas around smaller pets like rabbits, rodents and feline friends. 

Vizslas love to have a job to do or an activity to keep them busy. This dog breed is typically trained as watchdogs, guide dogs, drug-detection dogs, therapy dogs and search-and-rescue dogs.

Do vizslas need a lot of exercise? 

This breed makes great companions for many reasons, especially if you enjoy spending time outdoors with your pup. 

“Leash walks alone are generally not enough for a vizsla,” Dr. McCullough says. “Pet parents should plan to engage them in energetic off-leash play sessions or to have them as their jogging partner.”

However, don’t bring your vizsla puppy on your long-distance runs (or even jogs) until they’re at least 18 to 24 months old or with approval from your veterinarian. While they’re young, their skeletons aren’t fully mature and the stress or force of running can cause long-term damage to their joints and bones, Dr. McCullough explains.

Vizslas also benefit from obedience competitions, agility courses, scent work and tracking activities to burn off all that excess energy. They’re usually up for a game of fetch, too, given their retrieving roots

What health issues do vizslas face?

All pets are at risk for developing health issues, but some specific conditions are known to affect vizslas.

Talk to your veterinarian about how the prevention and care of the following common health issues in vizsla dogs:

As with any newly adopted pup, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian soon after they arrive home. By following your veterinarian’s recommendations for preventative care like routine vaccinations and parasite control, your vizsla can live a long and healthy life.  

Adopting a vizsla

“Pet parents can prepare for having a vizsla by talking to their veterinarian, other vizsla pet parents and vizsla rescue groups,” Dr. McCullough says. Before bringing your vizsla pup home, ensure that you have all the necessary supplies and the time to socialize and exercise with them properly.

Are you interested in adopting a vizsla, vizsla puppy, vizsla mix or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend.

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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