With a reputation as a self cleaning and low maintenance dog breed, you may be asking yourself the question do vizslas need grooming?
Or perhaps you are a new Hungarian vizsla owner and want to know the ins and outs of grooming a vizsla to keep their coat and skin in top condition.
Well in this article we cover everything you need to know about vizsla grooming – from what’s required, how often you need to groom a vizsla and the best gear to use for both shorthaired and wirehaired vizslas.
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Vizsla owner. I’m not a qualified dog trainer, Vet or dog behaviourist.
Do Vizslas Need Grooming?
Yes grooming a vizsla is necessary to keep their coat and nails in great condition. But thankfully the effort required is significantly less than for other dog breeds and you can do it all yourself.
How much grooming you need to do will depend on:
- Where you take your vizsla outdoors
- What your vizsla likes to do on walks
- The type of coat they have.
Shorthaired vizslas have a smooth flat coat and don’t tend to have a doggy smell. Their coat is considered low maintenance (and a big plus) but a regular quick brush and nail trimming are still essential.
On the other hand, wirehaired vizslas need more frequent brushing and stripping to keep their coarse wirehair coat looking good.
Plus if your walks are muddy or your vizsla likes to roll in poo or smelly puddles you will be bathing them more frequently than other vizslas.
So now we have established the need for vizsla grooming, let’s take a look at the equipment you will need to groom a vizsla.
Essential Gear For Grooming A Vizsla
To ensure you are well prepared to groom your pup, listed below is the essential gear you will need at home.
Consider where you will groom your vizsla. While it is easier on your back to groom them up on a table, if you have a squirmy puppy or a reluctant dog it can be dangerous to have them up on a table.
A safe place on the ground outside, in the garage or laundry are suitable spaces.
When washing a vizsla we recommend bathing them inside in the shower or in a bath.
They get cold easily mostly due to their thin coat and lack of undercoat and don’t tend to enjoy a hose down outside.
The best brush to use for a shorthaired vizsla is a soft rubber brush, glove or horse brush.
Remember you aren’t collecting or un-matting their hair – you are simply loosening it from their coat.
For a wirehaired vizsla you will need a shedding comb or slicker brush to untangle and smooth their coat and a stripping tool to strip the dead wirehair from their coat.
Nail clippers are essential for keeping vizsla nails short.
The best options are a set of good quality manual nail clippers or an electric nail grinder (like a Dremel) if they can tolerate the noise and sensation.
Don’t over do it with dog shampoos and conditioners.
Vizslas have a thin short coat and no undercoat, and they often tend to have sensitive skin.
The best dog shampoo to use is one that is hypoallergenic and/or soap free.
Any towel and wash cloth will do the job, but a large absorbent towel will get them dry in next to no time.
There is no need to use a shammy or mega-absorbent towel as they don’t hold as much water in their coat as long haired dogs.
A non-slip mat is essential for the bath and handy to use in the shower too.
Not only does it ensure you and pup don’t slip, it protects the base of your shower/bath from scratches.
How To Groom A Vizsla
Now you have all the gear, what vizsla dog grooming is required? We show you how to groom a vizsla in 5 easy steps below.
You should begin a grooming routine soon after bringing home a new puppy.
Brush Their Coat
- Frequency: Weekly
- Best Tool (shorthair): Rubber curry mitt or brush
- Best Tool (wirehair): Shedding comb and stripping knife
Many people think vizslas are hypoallergenic and don’t shed, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Vizslas shed throughout the year in addition to heavier shedding in Spring and Autumn. As a result they need a regular quick brush to keep their coat in healthy condition.
Regular brushing can also help reduce the impact of their shedding in your home.
Using a rubber brush or mitt, lightly brush in the direction of the hair.
Work your way gently from neck down to tail, then the chest and down their legs. Brushing will loosen the dead hair.
If there is a lot of hair sitting on top of their coat afterwards, rub them down with a damp cloth or glove to remove all the hair that has been brushed out.
Tip: If your vizsla regularly runs through tall grass or bushes they may not need to be brushed as often as the long grass tends to help strip them of loose hair.
- Frequency: Every 2-4 weeks
- Best Tool: Heavy duty nail clippers or nail grinder
Vizsla nails are fast growing, dark brown and don’t easily wear down.
Vizslas have thick foot pads and their nails don’t always get worn down through pavement walking.
Unfortunately many vizslas don’t like having their nails clipped. Plus if you haven’t started clipping their nails when they are puppies you will need to train them to let you trim their nails.
So, with plenty of treats on hand, trim a small amount off all 4 sides of each nail (sides, bottom and top) including the dewclaw nail.
Be careful not to cut the quick!
If your vizsla’s nails are too long you will need to repeat this process every week until the the quick has shrunk back and you can shorten their nails further.
Once short, maintain every 2-4 weeks.
Clean Their Ears
- Frequency: Dependent on water activity
- Best Tool: Dog ear wipes
If your vizsla doesn’t like to swim, you will only need to check their ears on a monthly basis.
A quick wipe with dog ear wipes is the easiest way to keep them clean.
Regular ear handling is also good training for when they go to the vet.
On the other hand if they often swim in lakes, rivers or ponds you should clean and dry your dog’s ears after each swim.
The gorgeous floppy vizsla ears can prevent the inside of their ears drying out properly which can result in nasty ear infections.
- Frequency: Every 3 months
- Best Tool: Hypoallergenic dog shampoo
Thanks to their short smooth coat, vizslas don’t need to be bathed very often.
They don’t tend to get anything caught in their coat and dirt drops off easily. You also don’t want to strip their coat of the natural oils so a bath every 3 months is plenty.
For muddy walks a quick rinse in the shower and towel dry is often all that is needed.
However, if your vizsla likes to:
- Roll in smelly things like poo
- Lay down in muddy puddles
- Swim in ponds or the ocean
you will need to bathe them more often so they don’t put their smelly dirty body all over your couch or bed.
To bathe them, use a non slip mat in the bath and shower and give them a quick brush before washing.
Wet their coat well and use a small amount of hypoallergenic shampoo to wash all over, being careful to avoid ears, nose mouth and eyes.
Rinse off well with fresh warm water and towel dry. You can dry them off with a hairdryer if they like it!
Tip: Always use warm water when washing a vizsla. They don’t have an undercoat and get cold easily. Avoid using a hose with cold water outside.
- Frequency: Monthly
- Best Tool: Raw Marrow Bones
The health of your dogs teeth is important. Feeding them good quality raw and dry food, weekly raw bones and dental treats can help keep their teeth clean.
A regular inspection of their teeth and gums also helps train them to be handled around the mouth to make vet trips easier.
Wirehaired Vizsla Grooming Tips
Unlike their short haired cousins, Hungarian wirehaired vizslas have quite a different coat.
They can have a coarse short or medium length coat and also have an undercoat which needs to be stripped regularly.
The frequency of grooming will depend on whether they have a short coarse coat or medium to long wire coat.
It is a good idea to brush them at least once a week to remove any burrs, detangle their hair and strip the dead wirehair out.
You can strip with your fingers or with a stripping tool like a stripping knife or Furminator.
Tip: It is easier to strip the dead hair before a bath as the natural oils make the hair easier to grip and tug.
If don’t want to strip their hair yourself, find a groomer who knows how to groom a wirehaired dog and is prepared to strip their coat (not cut it).
Can You Shave A Wirehaired Vizsla?
You should never cut or shave a wirehaired vizsla’s coat.
When cut or shaved, their coat tends to become thick, soft and curly much like a labradoodle.
Do Vizslas Like Being Groomed?
Vizslas don’t tend to enjoy being groomed but their level of tolerance really depends on how early you start grooming them.
Regular handling of their feet, body, face and mouth will help them get used to being groomed.
Some vizslas love getting in the shower, but most don’t naturally enjoy getting their nails clipped or ears checked.
Above all, the best approach is to remain calm, be consistent (and persistent) and use plenty of treats to reward them when grooming.
Do I Need A Professional Groomer?
You don’t need to pay for a professional for Hungarian vizsla grooming. They are one of the best wash and wear breeds and are pretty low maintenance. It’s one cost of vizsla ownership you shouldn’t have to worry about!
However, if you are struggling to clip their nails or keep a wirehair vizsla groomed it is worth finding a professional groomer who has experience with vizslas to help.
Hungarian Vizsla Grooming FAQS
Are Vizslas Self Cleaning?
Vizslas are known as a low maintenance self cleaning dog thanks to their habit of licking their coat and paws much like a cat does. Their short coat and regular self cleaning habit means they don’t tend to have a doggy odour.
How Often Should You Wash A Vizsla
A full bath every 3 months is all that is required for most vizslas as their short coat does not get matted or hold much dirt. However a quick rinse may be needed after a muddy walk, and if they love to roll in smelly things -well more regular washing is required!
Before You Go
I hope that answers all your vizsla grooming questions.
Read our vizsla brush reviews to help you choose the right brush for your vizsla.
And for an in-depth guide to cutting your vizsla’s nails, read this.
More Vizsla Care Guides
Or, browse all the vizsla care articles here.
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