Best All-Around Gun Dogs: The Vizsla

Best All-Around Gun Dogs: The Vizsla

Gun dogs are those bred and kept for the purpose of hunting. A hunting dog can come from numerous breeds, but most of them fit into one of three categories — retrievers, pointers and flushers. If you are looking to acquire a pup for this purpose, there are four kinds of gun dogs for sale that you will likely find.


This category includes Golden and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, as well as a variety of Labradors. As the name clearly suggests, these breeds excel in retrieving game shot by hunters and can be taught to deliver it directly to their owner’s hand, if preferred. Retrievers are exceptional at being trained to bring back the birds in their mouth in a very gentle manner without biting too hard or causing any further damage. They are also used to flush fowl from a low perch to get them into the air.


Hungarian Vizslas are versatile hunting dogs that carry attributes from all three categories, making them one of the most popular breeds for the sport. Vizslas are ideal hunting dogs, and they also happen to be great family dogs. The Hungarian Vizsla hunting dog has roots that go as far back as the 10th century. These dogs would run alongside their masters, Magyar hunters, as they traveled by horseback.  Unlike other hunting dog breeds, were kept as companion dogs of the Hungarian aristocracy. Hunting is in their bloodline, and Vizslas continue to be the perfect gun dogs for several reasons. Vizslas are great hunters because of their speed and relatively small size that allows them to trail and retrieve prey in tight spaces. The Vizsla is a well-known Pointer dog in the Sporting group. Although medium sized dogs, they are the smallest breed in the all-round pointer-retriever groups. This is advantageous because the Vizsla can retrieve fowl and game in smaller places than larger hunting breeds. They also have pointer characteristics that aid in tracking prey, such as their long tails and noses. Vizslas signal their prey's location with the signature pointer pose — raising one leg and pointing their tail and nose in their prey's direction. Vizslas are natural hunters that can be trained to be all three types of gun dogs: pointers, flushers and retrievers. They are also competent swimmers and quiet, patient hunters, only barking when necessary. Vizslas can retrieve prey in water and on land. They also have excellent noses and superior tracking abilities. A Vizsla can track birds like ducks and pheasants, stalk deer, find rabbits, and flush out various vermin. They are also known for being completely silent while stalking prey. As a trained gun dog, a Vizsla will freeze when it detects game, assume the pointer position, stay motionless as the hunter shoots, and eagerly retrieve the prey. Vizslas are also built for running. They are lean, with short hair, strong muscles, and a well-defined musculature. They have high energy and stamina, and can chase prey for hours. They need plenty of exercise and attention, and want to be close to their owners.


Pointers can include breeds such as German Shorthair and Longhair Pointers, Canadian Pointers, and English Pointers. They were bred with keen instincts and can be used to encircle a hunting space to locate fowl. They are easily identified by the way they instantly freeze upon locating a target, and extend their long and lean bodies forward, with their noses pointing towards the game. When looking for quality gun dogs for sale, you might consider this breed if you want to start the training at a very young age. They are considered versatile hunting dogs and exhibit hunting qualities at just a few months old.


The extensive list of breeds in this group includes English Springer Spaniel, the French Spaniel, and the American Cocker Spaniel.  While they, too, can point, they excel at flushing fowl aggressively from their perches into the air. As with Retrievers, Spaniels are extremely good at bringing game back to the hunter with a soft jaw to ensure an undamaged carcass. Many of the hunting qualities of each of these four types of canines can often overlap, making their distinctions rather subtle at times. When choosing between various gun dogs, personal preference can play a large part into which category you are drawn towards and which will be the best fit for you and your particular hunting style.

Are Vizslas the Right Fit for You?

Every breed has characteristics that can predict compatibility with an individual’s or a family’s lifestyle. Vizslas have various characteristics that make them great hunting dogs, but there's more to consider when choosing the right companion for your situation. As avid runners, Vizslas have a lot of energy, meaning owners need to spend a significant amount of time exercising them.  Vizslas love to run and are beautiful to watch, so an ideal home has a large fenced yard. A jog on a leash or a long session of catch in a dog park could be an excellent substitute as long as you can deliver the activity in daily doses. Originally bred as an active field dog, the Vizsla should have at least an hour of vigorous exercise each day. Similarly, Vizslas become attached to their owners and want to be a part of their daily lives. A Vizsla will need lots of attention and may exhibit separation anxiety when left alone. Training can help to combat this issue. The Vizsla really needs to be part of family life and not left isolated in the yard or kennel. However, these dogs will often shadow you from room to room instead of relaxing quietly, content in knowing you’re nearby. This trait appeals very much to some, but others may not appreciate a dog always underfoot. Another factor to consider is that Vizslas mature at a slower rate than other breeds, reaching adulthood at the late age of three years. While they respond well to training, a longer development period means Vizslas undergo more behavioral changes than other dogs and are prone to distraction. Maintaining their good habits requires consistent work during development. Nonetheless, these dogs are very intelligent and trainable, but they can be distracted by scents, sounds and movement during training. In situations like this, remember that this breed’s gentle temperament responds to kind, consistent direction, not a heavy-handed approach. These beautiful dogs do best in households that can give them the exercise and companionship they require. In addition, puppy classes and early exposure to other environments, pets and humans can help greatly to foster a calm, confident dog. Before adding a Vizsla to your family, ask yourself if you have the time, patience and space needed to give it the exercise it needs.

Facts About Vizslas

Owning a dog comes with many wonderful benefits, including companionship, peacefulness and happiness. It also comes with great responsibility as you are the sole person to care, love, feed and maintain your dog. You have probably already done a little research on different dog breeds, and if you have determined that a Vizsla is right for you, here are a few facts about this great dog to help you ensure you're making the perfect choice:
  • The Vizsla breed originated in Hungary and is often known as a good and trusted hunting dog.
  • Vizlas are a medium-sized dog with short hair that is considered very robust.
  • Their coat is often a solid color, typically a golden-rust that comes in slight variations.
  • Most Vizsla dogs prefer to be kept indoors as it does not have an undercoat to keep it warm. Since the Vizsla does not have a woolly undercoat it should not be kept outside for long periods of time because it is especially susceptible to the cold.
  • The lack of an undercoat also means that the Vizsla does not cause severe allergies to humans as many dog breeds can.
  • A typical Vizsla dog has lots of energy, but is also gentle, loyal and extremely affectionate.
  • They rarely bark, only when necessary or as a warning when provoked.
  • The Vizsla takes to training very well and should be trained gently as they can become sullen rather quickly with a hard trainer.
A Vizsla makes a great companion dog and thrives on interaction and attention. If you feel you could be the right owner for this highly intelligent and gentle dog, then start researching quality breeders. You will want to find the right breeder that you trust and can work with you to find the perfect dog for your lifestyle. Consider talking to other owners of Vizslas to make sure it would be a good decision and will bring you the companionship you have been seeking.

Training Your Vizsla to Be a Hunting Companion

If you want to train your puppy to become a devoted hunting companion, then your work should begin right away. First, make sure that your puppy will be healthy by providing all necessary shots and medical appointments. Keep these current to protect your growing puppy from diseases. Next, remember to provide socialization for your puppy. Vizslas tend to need more exposure to sights, smells, sounds, and people than other dogs in order to feel confident in a wide variety of situations. These dogs can be protective but need consistent training to prevent them from becoming aggressive. Socialization training can begin at nine to ten weeks, as soon as the puppy is ready to leave its mother and the breeder. Another important step in Vizsla puppy training is to develop feelings of trust and affection between you and the puppy. You can do this by taking the puppy with you wherever you go. Hold off a bit when it comes to exposing the puppy to gunfire while he or she is young, but parades, ball games, and other areas where there is a great deal of stimulation can be appropriate. Help your puppy to feel comfortable as he or she begins to rely on you. Basic training can be started right away, whether you choose to use your own methods of teaching or work with a professional trainer. Look for a trainer who has experience training puppies to become hunters. The specific training geared toward hunters can be thrown off track by simple mistakes. It can also be very helpful to sign your puppy up with a local club for more Vizsla puppy training. The other puppy owners can share experiences and advice with you. You may also have access to reading material and access to advanced training techniques, such as videos. Training your Vizsla to be a great hunter begins right away and training will be most effective when it starts early and remains consistent throughout the adolescent years.

Finding the Right Breeder

If you're ready to spring for a Vizsla as your hunting and home companion, find one from a dependable breeder with a history of providing healthy, obedient puppies. Hunters can sort out the best breeders by asking for references from former clients or checking with veterinarians to confirm that they treat and train their Vizslas well. It's also important to ask the breeder for information on a dog's personal history and heritage to confirm it's in good health.

Vizsla Puppies From Golden Meadows Retrievers

At Golden Meadows Retrievers, we're proud to breed some of the healthiest, most obedient Vizslas hunters can find. We start potty, leash and crate training our new arrivals from an early age to prepare them for their forever homes. For more on availability and rates, call 805-532-2216 or submit an information request today.   Updated: 3/11/2022

Best All-Around Gun Dogs: The Vizsla

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