Life With Vizslas

19 Dogs Similar To Vizsla Dogs [In Different Ways]

Written By: Rachel

Published:

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The Hungarian vizsla dog breed is unique in many ways, but a common question is are there dogs similar to vizsla dogs? But similar in what way? Is it looks, purpose, temperament, energy, or some combination of all these attributes?

So if you are looking for a vizsla alternative or are interested to know about similar breeds, this guide is for you. I’ve found 19 dogs that share similar traits to the Hungarian pointer.

Included are dogs that look like vizslas, dogs similar to vizsla but smaller, high energy and hunting dog breeds like vizsla dogs and dogs similar to Hungarian vizslas in terms of temperament.


This article is based on research and personal experience as a Vizsla owner. I’m not a qualified dog trainer, Vet or dog behaviourist.


How To Find Dogs Similar To Vizsla

When people ask what dogs are similar to vizsla, they often have specific characteristics in mind.

Some people are looking for dog breeds that look like vizslas but have a lower energy level.

Others are looking for dogs with a similar temperament or energy level to Hungarian pointers but without their hunting bloodlines.

So in this guide I cover all the different characteristics you may want to compare so you can find vizsla alternatives that suit your lifestyle.

I have identified and grouped dogs based on the following similarities to vizslas:

  • Dogs that look like vizslas
  • Hunting dog breeds similar to vizslas
  • Dogs like vizsla in terms of temperament
  • Very high energy dogs like vizslas
  • Dogs similar to vizsla but smaller

But before we hop into the list, let’s quickly summarize the characteristics of the Hungarian vizsla with which we are comparing the other dog breeds.

Hungarian Vizsla Characteristics

  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Vizslas are high energy sporting dogs and versatile in the field – skilled at pointing, hunting and retrieving.

They are also affectionate and loving companion dogs, renowned for their gentle temperament, loyalty and intelligence.

Their striking golden rust coat is smooth and velvet to the touch and while it isn’t non-shedding, it is extremely low maintenance.

But there are pros and cons with the vizsla breed, which is why people often look for alternative dog breeds.

So let’s now take a look at dogs similar to vizslas.

Hungarian vizsla running through forest with stick.

Dogs That Look Like Vizsla

The most common question is what are the dogs that look like vizsla?

Here are 4 dog breeds commonly confused with Magyar vizslas due to their similar appearance.

Weimaraner

Weimaraner sporting dog with cropped tail standing on grass.
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

The Weimaraner is a dog similar to vizsla dogs in almost every way – not only in looks but in energy, purpose and temperament.

Larger in size and bred to hunt large game like deer, the Weimaraner is often called a “grey vizsla” thanks to their similar short smooth coat, large floppy ears and lean build.

In addition to their similar looks, Weimaraners also have a strong prey drive, gentle temperament and don’t really like to be left alone like the velcro vizsla.

Read our full comparison of the Vizsla vs Weimaraner dog breeds here

Similarities

  • Smooth coat
  • Very high energy
  • Strong prey drive
  • Similar temperament

Differences

  • Larger in size

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian ridgeback hound dog standing in field.
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Energy: Medium
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Of all the dogs on this list, I think the Rhodesian ridgeback is the one most often confused with my vizsla when out walking.

With a similar rust coat color, floppy ears and atheletic build, the two dog breeds are very similar in looks and both have a hunting purpose.

However the Rhodesian ridgeback has a unique stripe of backward growing hair on its back, a distinct black muzzle and is generally larger than a vizsla.

Their looks and prey drive are pretty much where the similarities end. The ridgeback’s temperament is far more independent and domineering than the vizsla.

Read our full comparison of the Hungarian Vizsla vs Rhodesian Ridgeback here.

Similarities

  • Coat and color
  • Hunting dog
  • Loyal

Differences

  • Larger size
  • Temperament
  • Lower energy level

Redbone Coonhound

Redbone coonhound dog sitting facing camera on white background.
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Energy: High
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The redbone coonhound is an American dog breed not commonly seen outside the Americas.

But it has to be one of the most closely aligned dog breeds to the vizsla in terms of looks, hunting pedigree and affectionate temperament.

Their hound instinct to follow a scent means they are more independent than the close-working vizsla, but they are stunning dog with many similarities.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance smooth coat
  • Hunting dog
  • Affectionate
  • High energy

Differences

  • Larger size
  • More independent

Red Nose Pitbull Terrier

Red nose pit bull terrier sitting in front of fence palings.
  • Breed Group: Terrier
  • Energy: Medium
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

The red nose pit bull is commonly mistaken for a vizsla thanks to their similar short and smooth coat color, brown nose and medium size.

However that is really where the similarities end when comparing with the vizsla.

Pitbulls tend to have a lower energy level, a more fearless temperament and stocky build.

Similarities

  • Smooth coat and color

Differences

  • Lower energy level
  • Temperament
  • Not a hunting dog

Vizsla Similar Breeds For Hunting

The next comparison is dogs like a vizsla in terms of hunting bloodlines.

These dogs all have a strong prey drive, were bred to point and/or retrieve feathered game and have similar high energy like the vizsla.

German Short Haired Pointer

German short haired pointer standing next to large tree.
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Perhaps the most closely related dog breed to the vizsla is the German Shorthaired Pointer, a.k.a the GSP.

Similar in hunting abilities and energy, they also share a similar temperament and are affectionate and eager to please.

The main difference between them is the emotional needs. The vizsla is more sensitive and more “needy” than the German short haired pointer.

The GSP on the other hand tends to be more independent both out in the field and in the home.

The GSP also has an undercoat, which may be better suited to colder climates.

Read our full comparison of the vizsla vs GSP here.

Similarities

  • Hunting breed
  • Very high energy
  • Affectionate temperament

Differences

  • Larger size
  • More independent
  • Thicker coat and build

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever sitting in autumn forest.
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Medium
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

While looking nothing like the Hungarian vizsla (but gorgeous nonetheless) the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is similar in almost every other way to the vizsla.

Intelligent, affectionate and full of energy, these dogs are great with kids and are the perfect companion for active or hunting families.

Similarities

  • Hunting breed
  • High energy
  • Gentle temperament
  • Similar size

Differences

  • Longer coat

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Wet Wirehaired pointing griffon dog standing next to water.
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Medium
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The wirehaired pointing griffon may look a little scruffy, but they are hardworking and intelligent hunting dogs just like vizslas.

They also demand plenty of emotional attention like vizslas and are loving companion dogs.

Their wiry double coat requires maintenance but they are fun outgoing dogs.

Similarities

  • Hunting dog
  • Very high energy
  • Needy temperament
  • Similar size

Differences

  • Wirehair longer coat

Brittany

Brown and white brittany dog running through field.
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Loved by many vizsla owners, the Brittany dog is a high energy gundog.

With a similar low maintenance coat, the Brittany is slightly smaller in size than a vizsla, but with similar energy.

Trainable, active and lovable, they are more independent and outgoing and less needy than vizslas.

Similarities

  • Coat and build
  • Hunting dog
  • Very high energy

Differences

  • Not as affectionate
  • Smaller size

Dogs Similar To Hungarian Vizsla – Temperament

So if it is the gentle and affectionate vizsla temperament you love, what dog breeds are like vizslas? Let’s take a look at a few alternative breeds.

Standard Poodle

Dark brown standard poodle standing in forest.
  • Breed Group: Non-sporting
  • Energy: High
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Long (non-shedding)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

The standard poodle may be an unexpected choice, but they carry many of the same personality characteristics vizsla owners love.

Highly intelligent and trainable, poodles are playful and loving family pets and great with kids.

Like vizslas, poodles don’t like to be left alone, can suffer from separation anxiety, and thrive in a positive training environment.

They are pretty active too, friendly and eager to please. Plus their low shedding coat is perfect for those looking for a hypoallergenic dog.

Similarities

  • High energy
  • Gentle temperament

Differences

  • Larger size
  • Longer coat
  • Not a hunting dog

Boxer

Brown boxer dog standing in park facing camera with head tilted to the side.
  • Breed Group: Working
  • Energy: High
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

With a similar smooth short coat and high energy, the Boxer has many physical characteristics of the vizsla.

Plus despite their larger size, Boxers are also known as intelligent, playful and affectionate dogs.

While they are more protective and fearless than vizslas, they share many of the loving temperament attributes of vizslas.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • High energy
  • Affectionate temperament

Differences

  • Larger size
  • More powerful
  • More drooling

Doberman Pinscher

Black and Tan Doberman Pinscher standing with undocked tail and uncropped ears.
  • Breed Group: Working
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

With a fearless and alert reputation you may be confused about how Dobermans are similar to vizslas.

But despite their protective nature and common use as a guard dog, they are highly intelligent and when socialised well, become loving and loyal pets with a reputation as “velcro dogs” much like vizslas.

In North America the breed standard specifies the ears are normally cropped and the tail docked shorter than the vizsla tail.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • High energy level
  • Loyal

Differences

  • Larger size
  • More aggressive

Great Dane

Grey great dane standing with leash on.
  • Breed Group: Working
  • Energy: Medium
  • Size: Very large
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 7-10 years

If their size doesn’t phase you, Great Danes have a very similar temperament to Hungarian vizslas.

Also known as gentle giants, Great Danes are intelligent, friendly, affectionate and eager to please.

While not as playful or needy as vizslas, they are a joy to be around.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • Gentle temperament

Differences

  • Larger size
  • Not a hunting dog
  • Lower energy

Labrador Retriever

Black and cream labrador retrievers sitting next to rock in forest.
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Medium
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Medium
  • Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

The number 1 most popular dog according to the American Kennel Club shares many of the best personality traits of the Hungarian vizsla.

Good with kids, cats and other dogs, playful and affectionate there are many reasons why everyone loves a lab.

Like vizslas they love to swim and play fetch but tend to have less energy and are more independent than vizslas.

Read our full comparison of the vizsla vs labrador here.

Similarities

  • Hunting dog
  • Gentle temperament

Differences

  • Longer coat
  • Lower energy level

Greyhound

White and brown Greyhound running on beach with ball in mouth.
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Energy: High
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

Bred to hunt at high speed, greyhounds are gentle and sensitive dogs.

With a similar (albeit larger) build to vizslas, their energy is fast and sharp but overall have less activity requirements than vizslas day to day.

Greyhounds love a cuddle as much as vizslas do, but are more independent overall.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • Gentle temperament
  • Hunting heritage

Differences

  • Larger size
  • Lower energy

High Energy Dogs Like Vizsla Dogs

Next we have the super high energy dogs that can match the vizsla at the park or in the field.

If you lead an active lifestyle and are looking for a dog to be by your side, these are good vizsla alternatives.

Whippet

Brown and white whippet standing with white background.
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Energy: High
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

With a short low maintenance coat and slightly smaller size, whippets are like a mini version of a vizsla with the same energy!

Whippets love a high intensity run or chase and most vizslas will struggle to keep up with them. Then, like a vizsla, they love nothing more than curling up on the couch for a snooze.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • High energy
  • Gentle temperament
  • Strong prey drive

Differences

  • Smaller size

Irish Setter

Two red irish setters standing looking at camera.
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Energy: Very high
  • Size: Large
  • Coat Length: Medium
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Irish Setters look nothing like vizslas, but they have the same boundless energy and hunting dog characteristics.

Outgoing and high-spirited, they are great with kids and love nothing more than a game of fetch.

Like a vizsla they need long daily walks and plenty of mental stimulation to keep them busy.

Similarities

  • Hunting dog
  • Very high energy
  • Sweet tempered

Differences

  • Larger size
  • Longer coat

Dogs Similar To Vizsla But Smaller

If you live in an apartment or just want a smaller dog with similar traits to the vizsla, here are a few dog breeds to consider.

Smooth Dachshund

Smooth brown dachshund standing with front paws on tree stump.
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Energy: Medium
  • Size: Small
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

With the same brown smooth short coat, the dachshund is a similar dog to vizsla but smaller. .

A bold hound dog with plenty of personality, they are bred to hunt.

Unlike vizslas, dachshunds are independent and can be stubborn and difficult to train, but their small size and spunky attitude has won many dog lovers over.

Like vizslas they have a friendly and playful personality but tend to be more distrustful of strangers and other dogs than vizslas.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • Hunting dog

Differences

  • Smaller size
  • Lower energy level
  • Temperament

Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhound running across grass.
  • Breed Group: Toy
  • Energy: Medium
  • Size: Small
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 14-15 years

Increasing in popularity in recent times is the tiny Italian Greyhound.

Like the larger greyhound they are playful, affectionate and gentle who love nothing more than a fast dash through the park.

Like vizslas they don’t like the cold and love to snuggle up in your lap when at home.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • Affectionate temperament

Differences

  • Smaller size
  • Not a hunting dog
  • Lower energy level

Basenji

Basenji african dog standing in long grass facing camera.
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Energy: High
  • Size: Small
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Life Expectancy: 13-14 years

Finally we have the Basenji. Also a member of the hound dog breed group Basenjis are known as the barkless dog, bred to hunt in Africa.

Smaller in stature than the vizsla, they are intelligent and athletic dogs with a short smooth coat.

Unlike the vizsla they tend to be more independent and a little aloof with strangers, but are still devoted to their human owners.

They will also groom themselves like a cat – just like the vizsla.

Similarities

  • Low maintenance coat
  • High energy

Differences

  • Smaller size
  • Independent

Did You Find A Vizsla Alternative?

I hope you found our list of dogs like vizslas interesting.

Did you find a dog breed you like in the list? Or are vizslas still your favorite dog breed? Let us know in the comments below!

More Life With Vizslas Articles

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About Rachel

Founder of It's a Vizsla, Rachel is a vizsla owner who loves to research and share practical tips to help other vizsla owners care for their fur babies. She loves getting outdoors and hanging out with her vizsla, Lottie.

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