The Vizsla is a medium-sized hunter known for its aristocratic air, taut muscles, short coat, and attractive reddish-brown color. It possesses attributes of both pointers and retrievers, and is often compared to or mistaken for the larger, bluish-grey Weimaraner. Though smaller than most versatile breeds, the Vizsla's athletic build gives it a unique grace that's most apparent when it can expend its abundant energy via hunting, running, or other forms of activity.
Among other traits, a Vizsla can be distinguished by its self-colored nose, i.e. one that blends with its coat color. Its ears are long, thin, and silky. Its eyes and nails are self-colored. A strong, well-proportioned body with a moderately broad and deep chest is a Vizsla standard. A short back, lean and muscular head with hound-like face, and short coat without an undercoat are a few other defining characteristics of the Vizsla (the Wire-Haired Vizsla, which has a heavier coat, is a separate breed).
The Vizsla is a very fine "dual dog," affectionate, loyal, and loving in the home and durable, agile, and attentive in the field.
Color & Coat
The Vizsla's color is one of its most distinctive traits. It can vary from cinnamon to copper to rusty gold, but is often simply described as reddish-brown. (As mentioned above, its eyes, nose, and nails are also self-colored.) The American Kennel Club (AKC) Vizsla breed standard accepts the saddle-like appearance of lighter shadings on the shoulders and sides of the neck. White on the toes and forechest is also permissible. However, pale yellow and solid dark mahogany coats are considered faulty.
Vizsla grooming is relatively easy thanks to their short and smooth coats. Their coats are dense and lie close to the body due to the absence of a woolly undercoat. This thin coat is advantageous in warm weather but offers little protection in winter. It also makes Vizslas less inclined to go barreling through rough cover when on the hunt. The Vizsla's warm color and streamlined appearance make it a truly handsome and noble-looking dog.
The Vizsla has a long tail dock compared with most pointers, which helps give it a sleek and agile appearance. Docking the tail to two-thirds its original length is standard (in comparison, the tails of German Shorthaired Pointers are docked to one-third their initial length). Though some pet owners oppose the practice of docking, it can help to prevent more painful and long-lasting injuries. In Vizslas, the final third of the tail is thin and whip-like and prone to damage, particularly in dual dogs. The AKC breed standard specifies that a docked tail is preferred. The Vizsla carries its tail horizontally.
As a medium-sized dog, the Vizsla's breed standard calls for a relatively narrow size range: 22 to 24 inches at the withers (the highest point between the shoulder blades) for males and 21 to 23 inches for females. Of course there are Vizsla dogs that exceed or fail to meet these standards, but the standard is a good indication of typical size. The AKC disqualifies dogs that are more than 1 1/2 inches over or under the size standard.
As for weight, male Vizslas generally weigh anywhere from 45 to 65 pounds or more. Female Vizslas are slightly lighter, weighing from 40 to 55 pounds in most cases.