The Wirehaired Vizsla, also called the WHV, is a Hungarian sporting dog who earned the reputation of being a good bird finder, easily trainable, efficient hunter, retrieves naturally and tenderly, takes readily to waterfowl retrieving in all but extreme conditions, and has even established their worth in falconry. Although these medium-sized dogs are lively, gentle-mannered, demonstrably sensitive, and affectionate, they are also recklessly fearless and possess a well-developed protective instinct. In addition, WHV is firm on point, an exceptional retriever, and is determined to remain on the scent even when swimming. In all respects, the Wirehaired Vizsla has charm in abundance.
WHV is a close relative of the smooth-coated Vizsla but is a bit harder, largely thanks to its thick, protective coat. The overall appearance of a WHV embodies the qualities of a multi-purpose pointing hound, working ability, endurance, and an easily satisfied nature. These versatile dogs can compete in different activities, such as tracking, agility, dock diving, obedience, and rallying. Also, they excel at therapy work if adequately trained and are aware of their boundaries. If you are looking for a versatile dog who is loyal, gentle, and tempered and who joins you on all your outdoor adventures, this is the ideal addition to your family.
Table of Contents
Wirehaired Vizsla Overview
The Wirehaired Vizslas are skillful hunters with natural point and retrieving skills. With golden rust from head to toe, this versatile hunting breed has a muscular and graceful build. Gentle and calm around the house, WHV likes swimming, running, and upbeat play. These Hungarians have a dense, wiry coat, shaggy eyebrows, and a beard setting off a bright, lively expression. They are highly loyal companions and protect you with an extraordinary guard dog and watchdog ability. Also, their intelligence and high energy help them respond well to training. WHV adore children and are great playmates, primarily when raised with them. Apartment dwellers and those who leave the house for long hours daily may find difficulty meeting the Wirehaired Vizsla’s physical and mental needs. But you’ll have a devoted, lifelong companion if you can provide plenty of patience, attention, and space to move.
Male and female WHV can differ significantly in size. Females are smaller and can weigh between 45 to 55 pounds. Whereas males weigh more, averaging between 55 to 65 pounds. Likewise, females are shorter and can be between 21 to 23 inches tall, while males are usually 23 to 25 inches tall. Like other hounds, females tend to mature mentally faster than their counterparts but are slower to mature physically.
Wirehaired Vizsla Pros and Cons
|Loyal and affectionate||He needs lots of enrichment and exercise|
|Low maintenance grooming||High prey drive|
|Intelligent and eager to please||Prone to separation anxiety|
Wirehaired Vizsla Basic Information
- Name: Wirehaired Vizsla
- Origin: Hungary
- Group: Sporting
- Size: Medium
- Height: 23 – 25 inches (male), 21.5 – 23 inches (female)
- Weight: 55 – 65 pounds (male), 45 – 55 pounds (female)
- Coat: Short, thick, wiry
- Color: Golden rust, red, yellow
- Energy: High
- Activities: Walking, hiking, playing fetch, agility, companion dogs, guard dogs, conformation, obedience, herding.
- Barking Level: Occasional
- Shedding Level: Occasional
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Litter Size: 1 – 8 puppies
- Other Names: Wires, Hungarian Wire-haired Pointing Dog, Drotzoru Magyar Vizsla, WHV.
- Life Span: 12 – 14 years
History of Wirehaired Vizsla
The Wirehaired Vizsla is an entirely separate breed from its more commonly recognized smooth-coated cousin, the Vizsla, which was developed in the 1930s. Initially, a Vizsla was crossed with a German Wirehaired Pointer dog to produce a breed with the exact traits of the Hungarian Vizsla, but with a denser coat and a more substantial structure. WHV breeds were used extensively in their native Hungary, surrounding countries, and the UK in hunting and retrieving activities, including falconry. This breed works equally well on land and in water and is known to be calm and steady workers.
- In 1966, the Federation Cynologique Internationale officially recognized the Wirehaired Vizsla as a dog breed.
- The first WHV was imported into the US in the early 1970s.
- The Canadian Kennel Club recognized the WHV as a breed in 1978.
- The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association recognized the WHV in 1986.
- In 2006, the United Kennel Club and in 2013, the American Kennel Club officially allowed the Hungarian WHV into the Sporting Group.
Wirehaired Vizsla Highlights
- WHV breeds originated to be a crossbreed: Even though Wirehaired Vizslas are considered purebred breeds today, they were created by crossing a Vizsla and a German Wirehaired Pointer to give them a coat that was best suited for the cold Hungarian winters.
- WHV makes excellent hunting dogs and is highly trainable.
- They are affectionate to their family members and are good with children. They usually get along with other dogs.
- WHV dogs are playful and fun to be around.
- These dogs are open to outsiders but still make moderately good watchdogs.
- WHV is a moderate shedder and drooler.
Wirehaired Vizsla Personality
Wirehaired Vizslas are medium-sized, muscular, high-energy breeds with a surprisingly soft side with love and tolerance, making them ideal human companions. However, these breeds are territorial, making them perfect guard dogs. WHV breeds excel not only in herding but also in law enforcement and protection; obedience, sledding, tracking, agility, search and rescue; drug, bomb, and gas detection; and therapy assistance to ill, disabled, or older people. Also, they are fearless defenders of their human families, though their prey drive makes them poor mates for cats or small dogs.
|Kid-friendly||Medium to high|
|Dog-friendly||Low to medium|
|Good for apartment living||Low|
|Good for new owners||Medium|
|Tolerates being alone||Medium|
|Cold tolerance||Medium to high|
|Heat tolerance||Medium to high|
Wirehaired Vizsla Physical Features
Head: The head is well-muscled, moderate, and proportion to the body. They have medium-sized, slightly oval eyes, V-shaped ears hanging close to the cheeks, moderate stop, slightly shorter blunt muzzles, a broad nose, strong teeth with teeth aligned in a scissors bite, and a clever, lively expression.
Neck, Topline, and Body: The neck is balanced with a medium-length, muscular, and slightly arched neck balanced with the head and body, strong shoulders, solid, straight, well-muscled topline, slightly rounded croup, deep chest, well-developed forechest, moderately sprung ribs, relatively tucked-up underline, and a tight loin.
Tail: The tail is thick and strong at the base, set just below the croup level. The tail will reach down to the hock joint and is carried linear or slightly saber-like.
Forequarters: The forequarters are athletic and well-muscled with balanced, healthy, and sufficient bone. These breeds have straight legs with well-laid-back shoulders, muscular upper arms, short, sinewy, slightly sloping pasterns, and cat-like feet but parallel and slightly oval. Their pads are tough and thick with short and self-colored nails.
Hindquarters: Powerful, straight, parallel hindquarters with well-developed thighs, well-angulated stifle, and strong hocks.
Coat: The coat should be dense and wiry with a dense undercoat and wiry outer coat.
Color: The perfect coat color is golden rust in varying shades. Brown, red, or yellow colors are faulty.
Gait: The movement is smooth, exhibiting a facility of movement rather than a hard-driving action.
Disqualification (AKC Standards)
- Male dogs over 12 months of age measuring over 26 inches or under 22 inches, and females over 12 months of age over 24 inches or under 20½ inches.
- Partial or completely black nose.
- Under or overshot bite.
- More than two missing teeth.
- Rear dewclaws.
- White extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the forechest and throat.
- More than 2 inches of white in any direction on the throat and forechest
Wirehaired Vizsla Temperament
High energetic, caring, loyal, gentle-mannered, and highly affectionate, Wirehaired Vizslas are natural hunters, pointers, and retrievers. They love the water, are eager to learn, and thrive on interaction with their human family. However, a combination of intelligence and high energy can lead to them being detrimental if they don’t get enough regular mental and physical stimulation. Like the Vizsla breed, the WHV responds best to positive training without harsh commands or strong physical correction. As a true sporting instinct, these breeds need the opportunity to run around outdoors and play. On the downside, they undergo separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods.
This versatile breed can be a guardian to their human family, including children, and will protect them with all their power. Early socialization is necessary to ensure they are more welcoming to meet strangers. Always remember WHV was initially bred for hunting and still has a strong prey drive. So, if you are getting a Wirehaired Vizsla puppy, find them chasing smaller animals around the home.
Wirehaired Vizsla Training
Early socialization is vital for Wirehaired Vizslas, but it’s even more essential considering their powerful body and strong-willed personality. Despite their intelligence, WHV may tend to be stubborn during training. Patience, constant training, positive reinforcement, and treats will help your pet learn things quickly. Excluding physical training, they also need mental stimulation, or they can become aggressive and moody. They bark to alert you if guests or strangers stop by your home. Thus, they are excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. Here are some training exercises for your WHV:
- Socialization with other pets and people
- Barking training
- Housebreaking and potty training
- Basic obedience training
- Crate training
- Walk on a leash
Here are a few dog interactive toys and products that you can use while training:
|Easy to train||High|
|Prey drive||Low to medium|
|Barking and Howling tendencies||Low|
Wirehaired Vizsla Exercise Needs
Wirehaired Vizslas are highly energetic hunting dogs that need a secured high fence due to their exceptional hunting instincts. As they are athlete dogs, you can fulfill their exercise needs with daily walks and activities such as playing fetch and frisbee. These versatile dogs need at least 80 minutes of exercise daily, but two hours or more is ideal. In addition, they can be your jogging and hiking companions.
An idle WHV can end up showing undesirable or harmful behavior. Therefore, engaging them physically and mentally is necessary to keep them happy. Remember, these breeds would need a home with a large area and a strongly fenced yard to play. If you live in an apartment, take them outdoors to exert their energy.
Exercising Wirehaired Vizsla is crucial mainly for three reasons:
- To keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
- To avoid any other destructive behavior.
- To keep them away from obesity.
You can meet your WHV’s daily exercise requirements by:
Here are a few puzzles and dog toys to keep your pet engaged:
Exercise Needs Overview
Wirehaired Vizsla Grooming
Wirehaired Vizslas are non-hypoallergenic, low-maintenance dogs with short and wiry coats. Their grooming routine includes brushing their coats frequently during warmer months. In addition, trim their nails once a month, brush their teeth regularly, and clean their ears and eyes. Always make sure to dry their ears well after swimming.
Here are a few products and equipment to meet your Wirehaired Vizsla grooming needs:
|Easy to groom||High|
|Amount of shedding||Low to medium|
Wirehaired Vizsla Health
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a healthy breed with few congenital problems. So, it is necessary to maintain good health care and routine vet check-ups.
|General Health||Medium to high|
|Weight gain tendencies||Medium to high|
Sebaceous Adenitis is a challenging genetic disease generally misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism, asthma, or other ailments. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous gland, which protects the coat. The sebaceous gland becomes inflamed, resulting in the dog’s death. Baldness, rough, scaly skin on the dog’s head, neck, and back are all signs of this disease. Secondary skin infections and skin swelling might occur in severe instances.
Hyperuricosuria. Affected hounds are at high risk of getting kidney and bladder stones.
Hip dysplasia: When the thigh bones do not fit into your pet’s hip joint’s pelvic socket, it results in hip dysplasia, a heritable condition.
Elbow dysplasia occurs due to the malalignment of the elbow joint, which leads to chronic rubbing. This causes abnormal pressure at the joint, resulting in severe osteoarthritis.
- Mild to moderate pain
- Lameness in the forelimbs
Subaortic stenosis. A narrowing in the heart causes a slowing of blood flow.
Eye Diseases: WHV can be prone to these eye diseases:
- Corneal damage
- Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Eyelid mass
- Cherry eye
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative eye condition that causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of your pet’s eyes. It can be detected earlier. A very later stage is blindness. Canines with this disorder can survive for several years since they have other senses to compensate.
Entropion: The lower lid folds inward towards the eye resulting in chronic eye irritation.
Hypothyroidism: A condition in which a dog’s metabolism is slowed due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. Symptoms are:
- Gaining weight
- Reluctance to work out
- Hair Loss
Ectropion: A condition in which the eyelid rolls outward, causing irritation, dryness, and damage to the eyeball and conjunctiva (the tissues surrounding the eye). The treatment for this disease is surgical.
Epilepsy is the most prevalent neurological disease in canines, concerning about 0.75 percent of the population. Epilepsy is a broad name for disorders characterized by repeated, uncontrollable seizures caused by a brain defect.
Spay or Neuter: In spay, the uterus or ovaries in females is removed, and in neuter, the testicles of the males are removed. It is done to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer.
Recommended Health Tests
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Wirehaired Vizsla Diet and Nutrition
Wirehaired Vizslas are high-energy sporting dogs that require 2 cups of high-quality food daily. According to the vet’s guidance, you can split their meal time into two. Several commercial kibbles are protein-rich, but consider supplementing them with high-quality lean meat and canned dog food. Each dog breed is distinctive, and the correct amount and food quality depend on age, weight, activity level, health, and more. Frequently, provide your dog with clean and fresh water.
Here are the foods and supplements to meet your WHV’s nutrition needs:
Wirehaired Vizsla Living Condition
WHV dogs require the following living requirements to lead a happy and healthy life:
- A fenced backyard and ample space to run around.
- A routine exercise regime.
- These breeds may exhibit chewing and digging traits. So, equip them with toys to keep them occupied.
- If you live in an apartment, ensure enough time for their physical and mental exertion.
Did You Know?
- The WHV is AKC’s 180th breed.
- The Hungarian Vizsla Klub held the first field tests exclusively for WHV breeds in 1976, and 26 dogs were entered.
- The first WHV registered in Navhda #wv-000001 was a female dog Palotasmenti Jutka, owned by Sandor Arany, who also got the first UT prize in 1986.
- Dia de Selle was the first three-generation WHV ever shown on June 6, 1943, in Hungary.
- Three new breeds were added to the Foundation Stock Service Program in 2008, the Eurasier, Jindo, and Wirehaired Vizsla.
Wirehaired Vizsla Club Recognition
- ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
- ACR = American Canine Registry
- AKC = American Kennel Club
- APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
- ARBA = American Rare Breed Association
- CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
- CKC = Continental Kennel Club
- DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
- FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
- NAVHDA = North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association
- NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
- NKC = National Kennel Club
- UKC = United Kennel Club
Adding a Wirehaired Vizsla to Your Family
Things to remember before adding a Wirehaired Vizsla to your family
Getting a Wirehaired Vizsla puppy from a reliable and reputed breeder who can provide you with health certificates, vaccination, and gene testing would be best.
Cost of a Wirehaired Vizsla
A Wirehaired Vizsla costs $1000 to $2500, not including miscellaneous expenses.