The Hungarian Vizsla is a unique breed in and of itself. It sports a sleek, golden rust-colored coat and is known for its intelligence and love of people. One of the smallest pointer-retriever breeds, the Vizsla is highly valued as a skilled hunting companion due to its loyalty and expertise in the field.
Vizslas are not only treasured by hunters. They are also valued as beloved family companions. Their gentle disposition and happy-go-lucky attitude make them a joy to be around and they easily make friends wherever they go. This elegant breed is not quite as common as others, and they are often confused with breeds similar in appearance, especially the Weimaraner.
What are the differences between a Vizsla and a Weimaraner? Coat color is a big difference, with Vizslas being a Golden Rust/Red color and the Weimaraner being a Silver/Gray color. Both breeds are highly intelligent, excellent hunters, affectionate companions, and similar in appearance with their sleek, muscular bodies. Vizslas are shorter, weigh less, and are generally an easier breed to handle due to their lack of aggression.
Taking a closer look at the two breeds will give you a better understanding of their similarities as well as their differences in height, weight, temperament, appearance, and background. Both breeds are outstanding hunters and family pets and are worth becoming familiar with.
Comparing The Similarities And Differences
The Vizsla male, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards, should be 22 – 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 55 – 60 pounds. Females are slightly smaller with a shoulder height of 21 – 23 inches and a weight between 45 – 55 pounds.
The Weimaraner is a somewhat larger breed. As per AKC standards, males should be 25 – 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 70 – 90 pounds. The females should be 23 – 25 inches tall and weigh 55 – 75 pounds.
Vizslas and Weimaraners have similar, though not identical personalities. Both breeds are very intelligent and can get themselves into trouble easily when not routinely challenged mentally. They both have high levels of energy and love to be involved with their families.
Weimaraners can be a bit more difficult to handle than Vizslas. Weimaraners are more prone to aggression, stubbornness, and shyness and tend to possess an “I’m better than you” outlook, while Vizslas are famous for their eager-to-please attitude.
While the Vizsla and Weimaraner both sport short, dense, solid-colored coats, and have similar grooming requirements and shedding characteristics, the similarities end there.
The Vizsla’s coat is a lovely, golden rust color. Although variations of this color such as red or gold do exist in the breed, they are not recognized by the AKC. This is a self-colored breed, meaning that the eyes, lips, nose, toenails, eye rims, and footpads should all blend in with the color of the coat.
The Weimaraner, on the other hand, has three recognized colors: gray, silver-gray, and blue. It is interesting to note that while blue individuals are indeed recognized by the AKC, they would be disqualified in the conformation ring. They are, however, able to compete in all other AKC events.
Weimaraners, commonly nicknamed “gray ghosts,” are not self-colored. For example, a small white spot on the chest is permissible and not counted as a fault. The eyes should be gray, blue-gray, or amber and may or may not blend in with the coat.
Another interesting note about the coats of the two breeds is that each breed has another variety of coat. There is the wire-haired Vizsla, which was only recently recognized by the AKC, and there is the long-haired Weimaraner, who is recognized by almost all organizations except the AKC.
Both Vizslas and Weimaraners are sleek, lean, and muscular dogs that are truly quite similar in appearance.
In addition to the differences in size and coat color, Vizslas and Weimaraners do have other slight differences. The Vizsla is smaller boned, but longer in body than the Weimaraner. The Weimaraner’s head is rounder and blockier than the Vizsla’s is.
Why Are They Commonly Compared?
Vizslas and Weimaraners are so frequently compared due to their long list of similarities. Not only are they very much alike as far as their appearance and temperament, but they both share a colorful hunting history and are still widely used as pointers and retrievers today.
The Vizsla’s roots can be traced back to the days of the Magyar tribes who settled in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) way back in the eighth century. Many historians of the breed believe that the Vizsla was often teamed with a falcon when hunting.
It wasn’t long before this versatile hunting dog became a symbol of nobility in Hungary. Surviving near extinction twice, the breed made a comeback and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1960.
The Weimaraner comes from Germany with a recorded history dating back to 1897. This beautifully colored breed was also popular with royalty and due its larger size, was used to hunt big game animals such as bear, deer, and boar.
When large game numbers began to diminish, the Weimaraner became skilled at hunting foxes, rabbits, and fowl. The breed made its way to America in the late 1920s and gained AKC recognition in 1943.
Is There A Vizsla-Weimaraner Mix Breed?
The Vizsla and Weimaraner have indeed been crossbred to produce a mixed breed known as either a Vizmaraner or a Weisla. The adorable puppies can be gray, sable, brindle, cinnamon brown, or fawn in color and inherit traits from both of their parents.
Although not recognized by the AKC, the Vizmaraner is steadily gaining popularity and is certainly a trending breed. The rich, deep coat colors that appear in this mixed breed are indeed attractive as are the unusual eye colors that tend to show up.
What Other Breeds Are Similar To The Vizsla?
Similar in appearance, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is often confused with the Vizsla. Also referred to as an African Lion Hound, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a couple of inches taller than a Vizsla and weighs up to 25 pounds more, but has wheaten coloring as opposed the Vizsla’s golden rust color.
Looking very much like a Vizsla, the Redbone Coonhound is famous for its skill in hunting raccoon. This breed is also taller and heavier than the Vizsla and has a lovely, deep red coat. A pair of Redbone Coonhounds were the stars of the classic book Where the Red Fern Grows.
Are Vizsla good family dogs?
Yes. Vizslas were bred to both hunt and be family pets. They are naturally gentle with children and delight in playing with the family no matter what the activity may be. Known for being protective of those they love, a Vizsla is both a trustworthy watchdog and loyal friend to all family members.
We know a lot about family and dogs. Vizslas are such a good candidate for your active family that we did an entire article on it. You’ll learn more about why we recommend Vizslas for your family there.
Why are Vizslas called velcro dogs?
Vizslas have an intense need to be as close as possible to their owners, following them like a shadow wherever they go. Often needing actual physical contact, Vizslas will lean against legs and climb into laps to get the touch that they crave. They love to stick close to their owners like velcro.
A Brief Synopsis
Hungarian Vizslas are often confused with Weimaraners because they share so many of the same traits and are similar in coat type, build, temperament and size. However, Vizslas are noticeably shorter and weigh less than Weimaraners. Their color differs as well with Vizslas having golden rust coats and Weimaraners sporting gray, silver-gray, or blue coats.
Both Vizslas and Weimaraners are highly energetic and quite intelligent and therefore require lots of daily exercise and mental stimulation. They are both skilled hunters, highly valued for their pointing and retrieving expertise.
Weimaraners have been known to be slightly aggressive at times and can be a bit on the stubborn side. Vizslas, on the other hand, are famously gentle and usually have a happy-go-lucky disposition.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Redbone Coonhound are often mistaken for Vizslas and vice versa. Both breeds do indeed resemble the Vizsla, though both are taller, heavier, and have different coloring.