Vizsla Vs. Weimaraner (Breed Comparison)

Key takeaway

Vizslas and Weimaraners are often mistaken for one another because they’re similar in appearance and personality. While they’re both hunting breeds, they were bred centuries apart. Both can make great companion pets for pet parents willing to properly train and ensure enough time for daily physical and mental exercise.

If you're looking for a high-energy dog that's intelligent and loves to play, you might consider the Weimaraner vs. Vizsla. While these two breeds look similar, there are a few key differences. However, both were bred for hunting and require exercise and mental stimulation daily. Wondering which breed is right for you and your family? Keep reading to find out. 

Vizsla

The Vizsla is a sporting breed from Hungary with a history that spans over 1,000 years and was restricted to the nobility.1 Originally bred as hunting dogs to find and retrieve game, the breed continued to develop and was recognized and prized as a field dog by the Thirteenth Century.1 In general, Vizslas are hunting dogs that are great companions, forming tight bonds with humans, so they don't like being left alone. They excel at sports and activities and enjoy being outdoors.2 

Overview

Vizslas are an ancient breed used for hunting, so they have tons of energy and love to play. The first Vizsla arrived in the US in the 1950s when one became the AKC's first quintuple champion.3 Vizslas are considered a large breed and can live up to 12 to 15 years. Vizsla colors are most commonly golden rust or red with no markings.2

Size

Vizslas are tall dogs that can grow up to 22-24 inches in height, with females a few inches shorter. Males can weigh between 55-60 pounds, while females typically weigh 44-55 pounds.2 

Personality

Vizslas are sporting dogs bred for hunting, so they are trainable yet highly energetic. They're intelligent dogs that enjoy having a job and require regular exercise and mental stimulation for their overall health and happiness. High-energy breeds like the Vizsla like to spend their time being active. Still, since they're highly trainable, as long as you're willing to provide them with the necessary mental and physical stimulation, they make great companion dogs. 

It's important to note that these dogs require both physical and mental stimulation, so a daily walk might not be enough for them. Instead, you should give them mental stimulation in the form of a job that requires decision-making, problem-solving, and concentration.2 Activities like agility training, hunting, and indoor games can ensure a Vizsla gets all the mental stimulation they need. 

Vizslas are very affectionate with family and great with young children. They also do well with other dogs as long as they've been properly socialized and trained. 

Health

In general, Vizslas are healthy breeds with a lifespan of up to 15 years, but cancers are a concern with all dog breeds. Vizslas are predisposed to hip, thyroid, and eye problems.2 Additionally, as any dog ages, they're at risk of developing arthritis and joint problems. Arthritis in your pet depends on their overall health and exercise routine., but as your dog ages, you should watch for signs of joint pain. 

Care 

Vizslas are easy dogs to care for because they're easy to train and have short coats. However, they're full of energy, so you'll need to make time for physical and mental exercise throughout the day. These dogs should be fed high-quality food appropriate for their life stage since they vary considerably in caloric needs depending on their age.2

  • Grooming: Vizslas have short coats, so they're not heavy shedders. However, depending on their daily activities, they still require regular grooming and bathing. Toenails should be kept short with a clipper or grinding tool, and ears should be checked regularly for dirt, irritation, or signs of infection.2 Regular dental cleaning is also recommended for good oral health and hygiene. 
  • Training: Vizslas should be trained as soon as possible since they're a highly intelligent breed and can be stubborn. Good communication is key between a pet parent and Vizsla. Untrained Vizslas are prone to trouble-making, especially if they don't have something to do with their time and excess energy. Luckily, they love training, which can serve as good mental stimulation.2 Early socialization is key for these dogs to ensure they have the confidence to play with and meet other dogs.
  • Exercise: Since Vizslas are sporting and active hunting dogs, they need physical and mental stimulation. In general, Vizslas should get at least 30 minutes of activity every day, but some dogs may need more than that, depending on their age or energy levels. For example, puppies need more physical activity to reduce their energy. In addition to physical exercise in the form of runs or walks, mental exercise is important, so training and other activities should be part of their daily routine.2 Once a Vizsla is trained, they can engage in several activities that can benefit their health while reducing energy levels, such as hunting tests, agility training, scent work, and tracking.2

Weimaraner 

Often mistaken for a Vizsla, the Weimaraner has a similar appearance and personality. The Weimaraner is a hunting dog known for its friendliness and beauty. They enjoy physical activity and spending time with their humans, making them great companion animals. They differ in appearance from the Vizsla in their coat, which is silvery-gray instead of red, making them often mistaken as gray Vizsla dogs. The Weimaraner is a German dog that's just as intelligent as the Vizsla and can be a great family pet.2

Overview

The Weimaraner was originally developed around 1810, 300 years after the Vizsla was an established and recorded breed.1 This breed is known for its blue, gray, and silver-gray coloring and short, smooth coat. These dogs love attention and activities. As a high-energy breed, they're ideal for experienced pet parents who can ensure these dogs get enough physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. Luckily, they're easy to train and devoted to their family. 

Size

Male Weimaraners can grow up to 25 to 27 inches tall and weigh between 70 and 90 pounds. Meanwhile, females grow up to 23 to 25 inches and weigh 55 to 75 pounds, making them larger than Vizslas.4 

Personality

Weimaraners are highly trainable and eager to please. Since they were bred as hunting dogs, they're intelligent and like to have a job. Of course, since they were bred for chasing, running, and hunting, they have tons of energy, so you'll need to find ways to keep them busy and active. Weimaraners are purpose-bred dogs that require activities that work their minds. They're not couch potatoes that are happy napping the day away, so they need a healthy mix of physical and mental activities daily, otherwise they can be prone to anxiety.4

Health

Weimaraners are generally healthy dogs with lifespans of up to 13 years. This active breed can easily get cuts, sprains, and pulls because they love to run and jump. They're also heavy chewers, which can cause gum or mouth injury if they're chewing on bones, sticks, or anything else.4 Weimaraners are predisposed to gastric torsion or bloat, a life-threatening condition in which the stomach twists and closes, so you should discuss the symptoms with your vet to allow you to easily recognize them. Symptoms of gastric torsion include:

  • Bloating or distended abdomen
  • Anxiety
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Drooling
  • Pain in the abdomen5

Care 

Apart from their non-stop playfulness, Weimaraners are fairly easy to care for. However, they need daily exercise and activities to keep them busy and prevent destructive behavior and anxiety. Since Wienamerers have such high exercise requirements, they're good eaters, so feeding your puppy a premium, high-quality diet is key to ensuring their health and wellness. In addition, your pup's sleep schedule will change as they age, but most will nap frequently and have tons of energy throughout the day. 

  • Grooming: Grooming is easy with Weimaraners because they have a short coat and no undercoat. Your main task as a pet parent will be to keep their nails short to keep them comfortable and prevent them from getting hurt while running around. Nails that grow out too long can easily get snagged or split, causing pain. Their short coat should also be brushed regularly, and their ears checked and cleaned to prevent infections.4
  • Training: Weimaraners are intelligent dogs, so they learn quickly. Depending on their training, this can be a good or a bad thing. Since they're quick learners, they can easily pick up either good or bad behaviors. For example, if your Weimaraner learns it's okay to beg for food, they'll continue begging for it. Luckily, they can easily learn good behaviors, so it's important to get started with obedience and/or clicker training as soon as possible. Early socialization is also key to ensuring they get along with other dogs and strangers.4 
  • Exercise: Weimaraners have high energy levels and need exercise throughout the day. While walking your dog is fine to help them burn off their energy, they typically need more vigorous exercise or longer walks.4 Weimaraners love to run, but you can also teach them how to run alongside you as you ride a bike. Since these dogs are active, they do well in a home with active pet parents that enjoy nature. 

Are The Vizsla & Weimaraner Related?

The Vizsla and Weimaraner are close cousins and share similar interests in hunting. They are similar in appearance, and both have high energy. However, they were developed in different countries. Vizslas are Hungarian dogs, while Weimaraners are German; one did not come from the other.1 Of course, through cross-breeding, there is a Vizsla Weimaraner mix called the Vizmaraner. 

Even though these dogs come from different countries, they have similar appearances and personalities. For example, both breeds are considered medium to large with short coats. They're also similar in size. However, the Vizsla is smaller by a few inches. 

They're also similar in temperament and are known for their intelligence and energetic playfulness. Because they're intelligent, they're easily trainable and make great companions. But unfortunately, they're both prone to anxiety because they love spending time with their pet parents, and anxiety can lead to undesirable behaviors such as vocalization and destruction. 

Both breeds are highly active and need activity to keep them happy and healthy. These dogs are not happy as couch potatoes and need an active family since they love running, jumping, playing, and hunting. Additionally, since they have high energy levels, they need training to help them learn desirable behaviors. Obedience training and socialization are key early on in the life of the Vizsla and Weimaraner because they can prevent destructive behavior and make the dogs comfortable around strangers and other pets. 

Another similarity between these breeds is that they're both considered healthy. A Weimaraner's lifespan is shorter. However, the lifespan of individual dogs varies depending on several factors like health and lifestyle. 

Vizsla & Weimaraner Differences

While Vizslas and Weimaraners are often confused with one another, they have some differences. However, they are more similar than they are different. A few differences between these breeds include:

  • Different Colors: Both breeds have short coats, but they're different in color. The Vizsla's coat is golden rust, red, or sandy yellow, while the Weinamerer's coat is gray or blue. 
  • Size & Weight: As mentioned above, Vizsla's are slightly shorter than Weimaraners. In addition, Weimaraners weigh up to 90 pounds, while Vizslas only weigh up to 60 pounds. 
  • Lifespan: Vizsla's live slightly longer than Weimaraners on average. The average lifespan of a Weimaraner is 10 -13 years while the lifespan of a Vizsla is 12-15 years. 

FAQs

Which is bigger, a Vizsla or Weimaraner?

The Weimaraner is slightly larger than the Vizsla in size and weight. The Vizsla is a few inches shorter and only weighs up to 60 pounds, while the Weimaraner can weigh up to 90 pounds. 

Which is better, a Vizsla or Weimaraner?

Vizsla and Weimaraner are great dogs, but which is better for you depends on your preferences. They're more similar than they are different; both require lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation, so neither is a great choice for first-time pet owners. In addition, the Weimaraner is much larger, so they may not be suited for your home, depending on its size. Overall, they have similar personalities and require lots of activities or a job and regular training. 

Are Weimaraners barkers? 

Weimaraners are not very vocal dogs, but it depends on the individual dogs.4 Some dogs bark more than others, but this breed isn't known to bark at everything. Instead, they may bark to alert you of danger or when they spot another animal in the yard. They may also bark to communicate with other dogs. 

Will my Vizsla protect me?

Vizslas love their families and can become protective if they sense imminent danger. Otherwise, when properly trained, they're very welcoming to strangers, especially in the home. But, of course, just like any other dog, some Vizslas might become territorial without proper training. 

Weimaraner standing behind tall grass

Final Notes

If you're an experienced dog owner looking for a fun-loving, loyal breed, consider either the Vizsla or Weimaraner. Both breeds are similar in appearance and personality and only really differ in their size and coat coloring. Unfortunately, since these breeds were bred to hunt, they have important exercise and mental stimulation requirements, so they're not the best dogs for first-time pet parents. However, if you can dedicate your time to training and ensuring your dog gets the daily activity they need, either breed could make a great addition to your family. 

References

  1. “All about the Vizsla.” Hungarian Vizsla Society, https://www.vizsla.org.uk/all-about-the-vizsla.html.

  2. Kriss, Randa. “Vizsla Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/vizsla/.

  3. “Breed History.” Vizsla Club of America, 21 Apr. 2022, https://vcaweb.org/about-vizslas/vizsla-breed-history/.

  4. Kriss, Randa. “Weimaraner Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/weimaraner/.

  5. “Bloat.” The Kennel Club, https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health-and-dog-care/health/health-and-care/a-z-of-health-and-care-issues/bloat/.