Vizsla Breed

Hungarian Vizsla vs Weimaraner – Breeds Compared

Written By: Rachel

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Do you know the similarities and differences between the Hungarian Vizsla vs Weimaraner dog breeds?

With a similar elegant appearance and purpose as hunting dogs, Vizslas are often confused for the Silver Ghost, aka the Weimaraner. But they are two distinct breeds and different in many ways.

So if you want to know more about the difference between Vizsla and Weimaraner dogs read on. We take an in depth look at the Weimaraner vs Vizsla temperament, appearance, exercise needs and more.


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


Hungarian Vizsla vs Weimaraner Breed Comparison

BreedVizslaWeimaraner
GroupSportingSporting
AKC Popularity32nd40th
OriginHungaryGermany
HealthVery GoodGood
Lifespan12-14 years10-13 years
Prey DriveHighHigh
EnergyVery HighVery High
Family FriendlyYesYes

The Hungarian Vizsla and Weimaraner both hail from Europe where they were bred by the aristocracy for hunting. The Vizsla was bred in Hungary, the Weimaraner in Germany.

Both breeds are friendly, loyal, sensitive and high energy dogs. They are also very people focused thanks to their breeding as a close working hunting dog.

With an effortless and graceful gait, smooth short coat, large floppy ears and lean and muscular bodies they are also beautiful and distinct looking dogs.

Thanks to their hunting bloodlines they tend to have a high prey drive and need early socialisation to behave around cats, chickens and other small pets.

Neither are particularly independent dogs and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Both also need plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation each day to keep them busy and happy.

Despite their many similarities, there are some differences too. So in the following sections we cover more specific characteristics of each breed:

  • Appearance
  • Temperament
  • Exercise Needs
  • Grooming
  • Trainability
  • Health
  • Suitability As A Family Dog

We’ll take a look at each of these areas to compare the Vizsla vs Weimaraner so you can determine which is the right dog breed for you!

Vizsla and weimaraner purebred dogs standing facing camera.

Weimaraner vs Vizsla Appearance

AppearanceVizslaWeimaraner
ColorGolden RustGrey
CoatShort SingleShort Single
SizeMediumLarge
Height (in)22-24 (male)
21-23 (female)
25-27 (male)
23-25 (female)
Weight (lb)55-60 (male)
44-55 (female)
70-90 (male)
55-75 (female)

These elegant gundogs are without doubt two of the most sleek and aristocratic looking dogs.

Both dogs have a lean and muscular athletic body in a single solid color.

Combined with a short, almost velvety coat, and their large floppy ears, they certainly attract plenty of attention for their appearance.

Their single coat of short hair means both breeds can feel the cold more than their double coated dog friends. But the benefit of their wash and wear coat is it sheds less and is so quick and easy to keep clean.

Vizslas and Weimaraners are born with long thin tails but the Breed Standards for both recommend tail docking in countries where docking is legal.

Weimaraner tails are docked to a shorter length of 6 inches whereas the vizsla tail is docked one third.

There are two features that differentiate the Weimaraner from the Vizsla in terms of appearance – their size and color.

Size

Vizslas are on the whole a medium sized dog, with an average height of 21-24 inches (52.5 – 60 cm).

In comparison, Weimaraners are large dogs, and have an average height of 23-27 inches (57.5 – 67.5 cm). Despite their athletic build, Weims are also significantly heavier than the Vizsla.

When you stand an adult Vizsla and Weimaraner alongside each other the difference in size is noticeable and significant.

Their size difference is often a considerable factor in choosing between the two breeds.

Color

The other obvious difference is their color. But strangely this is also the most common point of confusion between the breeds.

Plenty of Weimaraner owners have been asked about their “grey Vizsla” as have Vizsla owners about their “brown Weimaraner”!

Their similar short coat and large ears may be the reason people get confused, but color is a point of distinction between the two breeds.

Both breeds are a single solid color with very little variation accepted as part of their breed standards.

The Hungarian Vizsla Breed Standard defines their color as “golden rust in varying shades” and is similar in color to the Rhodesian Ridgeback and Redbone Coonhound.

Vizslas are unique because they are self-colored, which means their nose, toe nails, lips, eyes and eye rims all match the color of their coat.

In comparison the Weimaraner Breed Standard defines their color as gray with shades from mouse grey to silver grey.

Known as the Gray Ghost, the standard specifically disqualifies black and blue Weimaraner colors. Their eyes can be “shades of light amber, gray or blue-gray”.

Grey weimaraner and golden rust vizsla running alongside each other.

Weimaraner vs Vizsla Temperament

TemperamentVizslaWeimaraner
PersonalityGentle, loving, eager to pleaseFriendly, fearless, loving
IntelligenceVery SmartVery Smart
SensitivityVery SensitiveVery Sensitive
AffectionateVery AffectionateAffectionate
BarkingAverageAverage
Guard DogNoNo

When you compare the Vizsla vs Weimaraner temperament, there are some similarities and also a few key differences.

The Vizsla is a sensitive, sociable and friendly dog who loves to be a central part of the family. They are intelligent, gentle and amiable dogs.

The Weimaraner is also a friendly, intelligent and sensitive dog. Good natured and loving they are also loyal and protective.

What is also similar is their desire to be with their humans. Both are people focused dogs who prefer to spend time close to you.

Neither dog is suitable as an outside dog and while you may not want them sleeping in your bed, they do need to sleep inside.

The Vizsla is perhaps more commonly known as a Velcro dog, but the Weim is similarly velcro in personality.

Both dogs will be your shadow at home, want to know what is in the shopping bags you brought home and expect to join you on every outing.

Temperament Differences

Despite the similarities, there are some differences when comparing the Weimaraner vs Vizsla temperament.

The first difference is the degree of “velcro”. Vizslas on the whole tend to be more affectionate and cuddly than Weimaraners.

Vizslas will take every opportunity to sit on you whereas the Weimaraner (while still enjoying a cuddle) will also be happy being near or next to you.

The other difference is that while both dogs would be considered “needy” in terms of craving human attention and affection, Weimaraners can be more neurotic than Vizslas.

This may be a result of poor breeding matches over the years, but owners of Weimaraners and Vizslas often make the comment that their Weims tend to be more restless, anxious and difficult to leave alone than their Vizslas.

This is something future Weimaraner owners should check carefully when looking for good breeders as the neurotic Weimaraner temperament is a common reason for re-homing adult Weimaraners.

Weims also tend to be more independent minded than the Hungarian Vizslas so may need more convincing when training.

They tend to be more aloof with strangers than the social butterfly Vizslas and take a little more time to warm up.

Finally while both breeds can make good watchdogs, the Weimaraner have a more protective streak than Vizslas. They can be more domineering and even aggressive if not trained and shown their place in the family structure.

Vizsla vs weimaraner dog breeds.

Vizsla vs Weimaraner Exercise Needs

Exercise is one area where there really is no difference between Vizsla vs Weimaraner needs.

Both are very high energy sporting dog breeds who need daily high intensity exercise off leash to burn off all that inbuilt energy!

At least 60-90 minutes of daily exercise is recommended for both breeds once they are fully grown.

If they don’t get enough exercise, both breeds can turn to destructive behaviors like chewing, barking and whining.

But don’t worry if you don’t have a large yard – they only want to be out there for any length of time if you are with them. Instead what they need is access to wide open spaces to run and play off lead.

Weimars and Vizslas can outlast most dogs at the park playing fetch, make good running partners (once over 2 years old), may love to swim and love nothing more than a long hike through the woods with you.

They also both benefit from plenty of mental stimulation through games, scent work, tricks and training.

In terms of hunting, a Weimaraner dog may have more stamina out in the field thanks to their size and historical breeding as large game hunters, but the Vizsla tend to be faster and more agile than the Weimars.

Vizsla and weimaraner dogs with balls.

Vizsla And Weimaraner Grooming

GroomingVizslaWeimaraner
SheddingLowLow
MaintenanceLowLow
DroolingLowLow
NailsDarkLight to Dark
Doggy SmellLittle to noneLittle to none

Grooming for Vizslas and Weimaraners is very similar and their low maintenance coat is considered one of their best features.

They both have a single short and smooth coat which is super easy to maintain with minimal grooming required.

A regular brush with a rubber curry brush is still recommended to reduce the impact of shedding in the home (yes, both these dog breeds shed).

The short coat and no undercoat means the shed hair is not as noticeable, especially compared to other breeds like Labradors.

Neither dog has a strong doggy smell and unless they have had a particularly muddy walk or rolled in something gross, regular bathing is not required.

A quick rub down with a damp cloth is usually enough to remove any dirt on their coat.

Regular nail trimming is necessary and not always easy with either breed.

Weimaraner vs Vizsla Trainability

Vizslas and Weimaraners are smart dogs. Their high level of intelligence and people focus means they are both willing to learn and they learn quickly.

Weimaraners and Vizslas are also sensitive and learn best with a firm but gentle approach to training. You will need to start training right away as good and bad habits are learned quickly with these breeds.

Both can resort to destructive behavior if bored and untrained so training is a key requirement for the physical and mental health of both breeds.

The Vizsla and Weimaraner also need active and ongoing socialisation from an early age to offset any predisposition in the breeds to separation anxiety.

If looking for differences, while both breeds are considered obedient and trainable, the Vizsla is perhaps more biddable – meaning they are more eager to please their humans.

On the other hand the Weimaraner can be more independent thinking and willful than the Vizsla.

As a result the independent minded Weimaraner can be more of a challenge to train, but with consistency they can both be trained to be well mannered companion or hunting dogs.

Vizsla vs Weimaraner Health Comparison

The Weimaraner and Vizsla breeds are both relatively healthy, with some known issues to look out and test for if breeding.

The average lifespan of a Vizsla tends to be longer than the life expectancy of a Weimaraner, but not by much.

Both Vizslas and Weims should be tested for hip dysplasia and have eyes tested before breeding.

The VCA and WCA also recommend both Vizslas and Weimaraners be tested for Autoimmune Thyroiditis, a thyroid disease that affects metabolism and hormone balance.

In addition to these tests, Weimaraner dogs should complete a Cardiac Evaluation and require DNA and genetic testing for Hyperuricosuria (HUU), Hypomyelination (HYM) and Spinal Dysraphism (SD).

Both dogs have a higher risk of bloat than other dog breeds thanks to their deep chests, and skin allergies or reactions are not uncommon.

Vizsla and weimaraner puppies.

Vizsla Or Weimaraner As A Family Pet

Both the Vizsla and Weimaraner are great family pets. They are kid-friendly, loving, trainable and enjoy spending time with their humans.

If you lead an active outdoor family lifestyle and want a dog to part of that lifestyle, either the Hungarian Vizsla or Weimaraner is a great choice.

Both breeds are wonderful hiking, biking or running buddies.

However as the Weim and Vizsla are very high energy, it can be challenging to find the time to exercise them enough if you have a new baby or toddler.

For this reason they may be better suited to families with older children or experienced dog owners.

You should also take the larger Weimaraner size into account if you live in an apartment or have a baby or young toddlers.

Their larger size can feel overwhelming for younger kids not accustomed to large dogs and they need more space than a Vizsla!

If your family isn’t that active, you all spend a lot of time at work or you don’t like to get outdoors much, neither a Vizsla or Weimaraner is a good choice.

Weimaraner vs Hungarian Vizsla – Which Is The Right Dog For You?

Many long time Weimaraner and Vizsla owners have owned both dogs in their life.

Thanks to their similar breeding purpose as hunting dogs, their low maintenance coat and high energy, they tend to attract a similar type of owner.

Future owners should be guided by the size and temperament differences to choose between the breeds, which are otherwise similar in many ways.

And if you are still undecided, here are some more Vizsla dog breed comparison guides for you:

More Vizsla Breed Guides

Or, browse all the Vizsla breed guides here.

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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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