Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Wirehaired Vizsla Dog Breed Guide: Pictures, Info, Traits, Care, & More

Wirehaired Vizsla Dog Breed Guide: Pictures, Info, Traits, Care, & More

wirehaired vizsla dog in water

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a sporting dog that originated in Hungary. They are cousins of a breed known as Vizsla, but their name comes from their dense, wiry coats. This coat is the distinguishing feature between the two breeds, and longer hair around the face creates the appearance of a beard. This, combined with the breed-standard coat color called Golden Rust, is very striking and creates a physically beautiful dog with an amazing personality to match.

Breed Overview


21-25 inches


45-65 pounds


12-14 years


Golden, red, rust, yellow

Suitable for:

Active families, families with small children


Active and energetic, affectionate and gentle, loyal, highly trainable

If you’re looking for a dog that is loyal, even-tempered, gentle, and can join you on all of your outdoor adventures, then this is the dog for you. Wirehaired Vizslas are very energetic dogs who love to run and swim. But, they have a calm and loving presence about them as well. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about owning one of these special dogs in this guide.

Wirehaired Vizsla Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Wirehaired Vizsla Puppies

Puppies are a big commitment that will last for the lifetime of the dog. That’s why it is important to know what you’re getting into before you decide to purchase one. If you’re thinking about getting a Wirehaired Vizsla puppy, you should be prepared to spend a lot of time playing with and exercising it. These are very energetic dogs who need a lot of stimulation and socialization in order to thrive, so they’re great for active families who love spending time outdoors.

When getting a Wirehaired Vizsla puppy, it is very important that you start training them from an early age. Due to their high energy levels, their personality and activity levels can quickly become too much, especially for inexperienced dog owners. Providing them with early socialization and training can help shape their overall personality as they grow into mature adult dogs.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Wirehaired Vizsla

Wirehaired Vizsla
Image By: Colin Seddon, Shutterstock

The interesting thing about the temperament of a Wirehaired Vizsla is that it all depends on how well they are trained. For example, these dogs love to play and have a very upbeat attitude. They will run, jump, and play whenever they have the chance. With that being said, their energy level can be a bit much for some people. However, if they are properly trained, they can be very calm and relaxed, especially in an indoor setting.

The good news about Wirehaired Vizslas is that they are very easy to train. This is because they are very intelligent and tend to be more driven to succeed than other dog breeds. What’s even better is that they thrive off of mental stimulation, and what better way to provide that to them than through daily training to help keep their mind sharp. An experienced dog owner should have no trouble training them to exhibit desirable behaviors in certain settings.

However, it is important to remember that Wirehaired Vizslas are considered to be sporting dogs. That means that even though you can train Wirehaired Vizslas to settle down when he is indoors, they still need the opportunity to be able to run around outdoors and play.  These dogs can get bored easily and without proper stimulation, they may chew on and tear up things around your house.

The bottom line is that Wirehaired Vizslas can make a great companion for someone who is willing to give them the care and attention that they deserve. If you can do that, you’ll find that they have an overall pleasant and enjoyable temperament and can provide a great source of entertainment for you and your home.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Wirehaired Vizslas make amazing family dogs. They are highly affectionate, so they truly thrive in a home where there are lots of people who can love, play with, and care for them. Even for families that are very busy and have a lot going on, Wirehaired Vizslas make great pets to have.

The reason why this is the case is that although they can be very energetic, these dogs know how to behave indoors once they are trained and tend to save their playfulness for an outdoor environment. This means that they will be very calm and gentle around the house, and won’t get in the way or distract you from work, studying, or household chores.

What’s even better about having a Wirehaired Vizsla is that they are one of the best breeds to have around children, especially small ones. An energetic kid is perfect for this energetic dog. Your Wirehaired Vizsla will love to run around and play in the yard with your children.

Wirehaired Vizslas also don’t have any aggressive tendencies so they shouldn’t pose any harm to small children. Even if they are someone energetic around kids, they are very easy to train as far as how they should act around children. For example, you can train them not to jump on a kid in order to prevent the kid from falling down.

However, it is also important to teach your children how to behave around dogs. Even the most gentle-natured dogs can nip and bite if they feel threatened and provoked. You should always supervise your children and dog when they are around each other, in order to prevent any accidents that could happen to either a child or a dog.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Wirehaired Vizslas are usually fine around other larger pets, especially dogs as long as they are properly socialized. Other dogs can provide a Wirehaired Vizsla with socialization and entertainment. This can help keep him mentally stimulated and have something else he can play with, especially while you’re busy or out of the house.

Wirehaired Vizslas are generally fine around cats too, but they may have a little too much energy than what a cat would like them to have. But since they are bred to be hunting dogs, it’s a good idea to watch small pets, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and even rabbits, around a Wirehaired Vizsla. These animals may not be seen as pets, or you may find your dog trying to play with them if the animals are kept out of their cages.divider-dog

Things to Know When Owning a Wirehaired Vizsla:

The temperament and general personality of a Wirehaired Vizsla are not the only things you need to know when deciding whether or not to get one. You also need to know how to care for them in order to keep them at their happiest and healthiest. Here are some things you need to know in order to care for your dog properly.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Wirehaired Vizslas are purebred dogs and benefit best from high-quality dog food in order to keep them at their healthiest and ensure that they live a long and happy life. Any food that you feed your dog should have a real, meat-based protein as the main ingredient. This is important for keeping your dog’s muscles in good shape so that he can continue to run around and play.

It’s also important to note that Wirehaired Vizslas love food and will eat whatever you put in front of them. You will need to feed the proper portions to keep your dog from becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to other health problems in the long run.

Wirehaired Vizslas are medium-sized dogs, and in general, an adult should only eat around one to two cups of food per day. This amount of food should be divided into two feedings to keep your dog from eating too much at one time. A puppy or senior Wirehaired Vizsla may require more or less food, so it is important to consult with your veterinarian about how much food is appropriate for your dog’s age.

Exercise 🐕

Due to their high energy levels and playful nature, exercise is crucial to maintaining a Wirehaired Vizsla’s physical and mental health. These dogs need a minimum of 80 minutes of exercise per day, but two hours or more is ideal.

But what’s great about these dogs is that they are happy doing any kind of physical activity so it’s not like you have to give them the same type of exercise every day. Going for a walk, a hike, or playing at the park are great ways to provide your dog with physical activity. You can also play fetch in the yard.

If you work and only have time to exercise with your dog once per day, it is important that you have a fenced-in yard so that he can stay outside to get some exercise in. You don’t want to let a Wirehaired Vizsla roam freely, because they are likely to chase animals and can easily get lost.

Training 🎾

Due to their high energy levels, training your Wirehaired Vizsla is essential. Luckily, they are easy to train and eager to learn. This is due to their high level of intelligence and being eager to please their owners. If you don’t train them starting when they are puppies, they can easily get out of your control. However, it is easy to reverse unwanted behaviors with training as well.

Having experience with dogs is a huge plus when training a Wirehaired Vizsla. They need training sessions that are short, fun, and interesting for them, otherwise, they can get bored easily. Be careful not to scold or punish your dog for not following commands during training, as this can make them reluctant to continue. Be firm but gentle, and provide plenty of praise in order to help your dog be successful. You can always reach out to a professional trainer if you need help.

Grooming ✂️

Due to the short, wiry nature of their coat, Wirehaired Vizslas don’t require a lot of grooming. That’s a good thing considering that these adventurous dogs will get dirty. You should only have to bathe them once every four to six weeks. Otherwise, you can simply brush them in between baths to remove dirt from their fur.

Wirehaired Vizslas will likely shed during the warmer months. They may require more frequent brushing with a wire brush in order to remove some of that loose hair. It’s also a good idea to trim their nails about once a month. This will keep their nails from getting too long as well as keep you from getting scratched when they inevitably jump on you out of excitement. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly can also help prevent dental issues as they age.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Wirehaired Vizslas are generally very healthy dogs, considering their active nature that can help to keep them healthy. However, there are some health conditions that you should have your veterinarian regularly screen for.

These dogs can be prone to kidney and bladder stones, which can be serious if the stones are large and go untreated. Genetic conditions such as subaortic stenosis can also affect Wirehaired Vizslas, which can cause them to have a shorter lifespan. Hip dysplasia can also be devastating for active dogs like the Wirehaired Vizsla.

Yearly eye examinations should also be performed to catch and treat any conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. Although these conditions aren’t serious and your dog can live with them, they can cause a loss of vision, especially in older dogs.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Kidney stones
  • Subaortic stenosis

Male vs Female

Male and female Wirehaired Vizslas can differ greatly in size. Females tend to be smaller and can weigh between 45 and 55 pounds. Males weigh more, averaging between 55 and 65 pounds. Females are also shorter and can be between 21 and 23 pounds, while males are usually 23 to 25 inches tall.

The personality of a male versus female Wirehaired Vizsla is not that different. Like other dog breeds, the females tend to mentally mature faster than males but are slower to physically mature. The males are just the opposite and tend to be physically mature before they are mentally mature. But when it comes to their overall temperament, you will notice very little difference.

Whether you get a male or female, it is a good idea to have your dog neutered or spayed. Although these dogs are very easy to train and are non-aggressive, they may still exhibit unwanted behaviors that are associated with breeding, such as marking. Having your dog spayed or neutered can help to cut down on unwanted behaviors.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Wirehaired Vizsla

1. Wirehaired Vizslas Originated To Be a Crossbreed

Although these dogs are considered purebred today, the breed was created by crossing a Vizsla and a German Wirehaired Pointer. The cross was done to give the dog a coat that was better suited for the cold Hungarian winters.

2. They Make Excellent Hunting Dogs

Due to their drive, trainability, and active nature, Wirehaired Vizslas were bred in Hungary to be hunting dogs just like their cousin, the Vizsla.

3. They Aren’t Very Well Known

Wirehaired Vizslas have only been around since the 1930s, which isn’t a long time compared to other dog breeds. Their popularity has also declined in recent years, and they now rank 167 out of 200 dog breeds that are registered by the American Kennel Club.


Final Thoughts

Although they aren’t the most popular dog breed, Wirehaired Vizslas are definitely one-of-a-kind. By owning a Wirehaired Vizsla, you’ll have a unique and beautiful dog that not many people have the privilege of owning. They require lots of exercise and mental stimulation, so they’ll enjoy going with you on all of your outdoor adventures. They’re also very family-oriented and will make a great addition to your family and home. If you can give these dogs the care that they deserve, you’ll see how energetic and fun-loving they are, while also being gentle and affectionate toward the people they love.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Shakarrigrafie, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets