Search Menu
  • Temperament: Gentle, Loyal, Trainable
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 157 of 194
  • Height: 23-25 inches (male), 21.5-23 inches (female)
  • Weight: 55-65 pounds (male), 45-55 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Wirehaired Vizsla standing in three-quarter view facing forward
Wirehaired Vizsla head and neck facing left
Wirehaired Vizsla sitting facing forward
Wirehaired Vizsla coat detail

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a distinguished, versatile hunting dog of medium size, bred for substance and a dense wire coat. Balanced in size and proportion, the Wirehaired Vizsla is robust and lean. Movement is powerful yet graceful with far reaching drive enabling the breed to hunt in all elements and cover any terrain encountered by the walking hunter. The breed possesses an excellent nose for hunting and tracking feather and fur on land and in water, as well as a natural point and retrieve. The breed’s most distinguishing features are its weather resistant dense wire coat and its facial furnishings, specifically its beard and eyebrows. Natural appearance is essential to breed type, therefore the Wirehaired Vizsla is to be shown with limited stripping and should not be penalized for being shown in working condition:

sinewy,
well muscled
with honorable scars.

HEAD

The Wirehaired Vizsla’s head is in proportion to the body, moderate and well muscled.
The expression should be lively, clever, and is enhanced by the eyebrows and beard.
Eyes are slightly oval, of medium size with well fitting eyelids, giving the Wirehaired Vizsla an intelligent and lively expression. Iris color is as dark as possible and blends harmoniously with the coat color. Yellow eyes are a serious fault. Eye rim color should blend with the coat color, but freckles from sun or age are not to be faulted. Lower eye rims should neither turn in nor out.
Ears are set at a medium height, moderate in length, hanging close to the cheeks and ending in a rounded V shape.

BODY

The neck is in balance with the body and head, medium in length, muscular and slightly arched. Skin on the neck and body is tight fitting, there is no dewlap. The shoulders are strong and muscular.
The topline is straight, well muscled and solid, falling into a slightly rounded, well muscled croup, which is moderate in length. The chest is deep, moderately broad, and well muscled. The depth of the chest is slightly less than half the height at the shoulders and sets at the elbow when seen from the side. The forechest is well developed. The ribs are moderately sprung and carried well back. The underline is graceful with a moderate tuck-up. The loin is tight, well muscled and straight or slightly arched.
The tail is set just below the level of the croup. The tail is thick at its base then tapers and carries a dense coat. The preferred tail is docked by one-quarter of its length; natural tails will not be penalized. A natural tail reaches down to the hock joint and is carried straight or slightly saber-like. When moving, the tail is carried near the horizontal, not curled over the back or carried between the legs.

FOREQUARTERS

The forequarters are well muscled with strong, sufficient bone and balance. From the front, legs are straight, from the side they are placed well under the body. Shoulders are well laid back, showing fluidity when moving. The upper arm is well muscled, about equal to the shoulder in length and well angulated at its attachment to the shoulder, in order to allow for good extension. The elbows lie close to the body; pasterns are short, sinewy and only very slightly sloping. Preferably, dewclaws are removed from the front legs to avoid injury in the field, but a dog with natural dewclaws is not to be penalized. The feet are cat-like, but slightly oval and always parallel. Pads are thick and tough; nails are self colored and short.

COAT

The Wirehaired Vizsla’s coat makes this breed unique. Close lying, a length of approximately 1 inch, the dense wiry coat should not hide the outline of the body. Functionally the coat should protect against weather and injury with a dense undercoat and wiry outer coat. The lower legs and underside of the chest and belly are covered with shorter, softer, thinner coat. Coat on the head and ears is close fitting and shorter. Pronounced eyebrows highlight the stop. Expression is enhanced not only by eyebrows, but also by a strong, harsh beard, approximately 1 inch in length, formed from both sides of the muzzle. On both sides of the neck the coat forms V shaped brushes. Lacking undercoat or coat brushes on the back of the front legs should be penalized, as is any deviation in coat texture or excessive length of the coat. The Wirehaired Vizsla should be exhibited almost in his natural state, nothing more in the way of stripping being needed than a tidying up. A clipped coat is faulty.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters are straight and parallel with well developed thighs when viewed from behind. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the forequarters. The legs have strong, sufficient bone and balance, with thighs that are well muscled and long. The stifle is well angulated. The hocks are strong, well let down, short and straight as viewed from behind. Rear dewclaws are a disqualification. Feet are as in the Forequarters section.

1
2
3
4
5
6
wirehaired vizsla illustration

About the Wirehaired Vizsla

WVs are close relatives of Vizslas but a distinctly separate breed. The key distinguishing feature is coat type. Unlike the sleek Vizsla, WVs have a dense wiry coat, with a shaggy beard and eyebrows setting off a bright, lively expression.

Both Vizsla breeds are classified as medium-sized, but an ideal WV will stand a shade taller and be a bit heavier than his smooth-coat cousin. The two breeds share the same striking red coloring (golden-rust), with a nose and eyes that smartly complement the coat.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Wirehaired Vizsla

Find a Puppy: Wirehaired Vizsla

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Wirehaired Vizsla Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

All high-energy sporting breeds require a nutrient-dense diet when they are working. This food is very different from the food they will need as a puppy, or as a sedentary pet, or at various other stages of life. WVs are very food oriented, so if you choose to give your dog treats as an aid in their training, do so in moderation. Never feed any dog cooked bones or fatty table scraps. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.

GROOMING

The Wirehaired Vizsla is somewhat of a “wash and wear” kind of dog, requiring only minimal grooming to maintain them in good condition. Wiping them down with a damp cloth is usually sufficient in between baths. Using a grooming mitt or shedding knife on their coat during shedding season can help keep down the amount of hair they shed in your home. Toenails should be trimmed every four weeks. Most people find it easiest to do this while the dog is in a tub for his or her monthly bath. A dental care regimen should be begun at an early age to avoid issues later in life.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Seasonal

EXERCISE

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a high-energy dog who needs a lot of exercise. They love being around their people and are happiest doing things together. This makes the breed a great candidate as a canine partner for owners who love to hike, bicycle, or jog. It is imperative that they have opportunities to run freely—preferably in a securely fenced area, as their hunting instinct is very strong, and the dog will not be able to resist the urge to pursue prey.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

The Wirehaired Vizsla is lively, happy, and eager to please. They have a lot of energy and are very smart but get bored easily. This can sometimes make training a bit difficult, and you must work to keep training sessions fun, interesting, and not too long. They need a light but firm and consistent hand in discipline; a Wirehaired Vizsla needs structure and boundaries. He has a soft temperament, however, and harsh words or physical punishment should be avoided. They have a strong bond with their families and can develop separation anxiety without proper conditioning.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Alert/Responsive

HEALTH

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a generally healthy breed. They are susceptible to a few genetic health issues that affect many other breeds as well. The most common screenings for WVs include tests for hyperuricosuria (susceptibility to kidney and bladder stones), elbow and hip dysplasia, subaortic stenosis, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Responsible breeders health-test all breeding stock.’

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Wirehaired Vizsla
Wirehaired Vizsla
Wirehaired Vizsla
Wirehaired Vizsla
Wirehaired Vizsla
Wirehaired Vizsla

History

The origins of dogs developed in the 20th century are much better documented than older breeds, so we know in detail of how WVs were created in the 1930s. But here’s the short version: Hungarian hunters and falconers wanted a dog with the same drive and versatility of their beloved Vizslas, but with a sturdier frame and a denser coat, the better to work on punishing terrain and in cold weather. They achieved this by judicious crosses of Vizslas and German Wirehaired Pointers.

Did You Know?

The Wirehaired Vizsla is AKC's 180th breed.
The Hungarian Vizsla Klub held the first field tests exclusively for Wirehaired Vizslas in 1976 and a total of 26 dogs were entered.
At the January 2008 Board Meeting three new breeds were added to the Foundation Stock Service Program - the Eurasier, Jindo and Wirehaired Vizsla.
The Wiredhaired Vizsla has been assigned the Sporting Group designation.
The first three-generation Wirehaired Vizsla ever to be shown was Dia de Selle, on June 6, 1943 in Hungary.
The first Wirehaired Vizsla registered in Navhda #wv-000001 was Palotasmenti Jutka (female), owned by Sandor Arany who also got the first UT prize, a prize 2 in 1986.
At the April 2013 board meeting the Wirehaired Vizsla club of America became the official parent club for the Wirehaired Vizsla. The Wirehaired Vizsla became eligible for AKC registration, June 1, 2014 and was eligible to compete in the Sporting Group, effective July 2, 2014.
The first Wirehaired Vizslas in North America were imported to Canada in the early 1970's by Manitoba sportsman Wesley Basler.
The idea for a Wirehaired Vizsla breed came from Hungarian hunters and falconers who wanted a dog able to withstand hunting in the harsh winter conditions of northern Hungary.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a distinguished, versatile hunting dog of medium size, bred for substance and a dense wire coat. Balanced in size and proportion, the Wirehaired Vizsla is robust and lean. Movement is powerful yet graceful with far reaching drive enabling the breed to hunt in all elements and cover any terrain encountered by the walking hunter. The breed possesses an excellent nose for hunting and tracking feather and fur on land and in water, as well as a natural point and retrieve. The breed’s most distinguishing features are its weather resistant dense wire coat and its facial furnishings, specifically its beard and eyebrows. Natural appearance is essential to breed type, therefore the Wirehaired Vizsla is to be shown with limited stripping and should not be penalized for being shown in working condition:

sinewy,
well muscled
with honorable scars.

HEAD

The Wirehaired Vizsla’s head is in proportion to the body, moderate and well muscled.
The expression should be lively, clever, and is enhanced by the eyebrows and beard.
Eyes are slightly oval, of medium size with well fitting eyelids, giving the Wirehaired Vizsla an intelligent and lively expression. Iris color is as dark as possible and blends harmoniously with the coat color. Yellow eyes are a serious fault. Eye rim color should blend with the coat color, but freckles from sun or age are not to be faulted. Lower eye rims should neither turn in nor out.
Ears are set at a medium height, moderate in length, hanging close to the cheeks and ending in a rounded V shape.

BODY

The neck is in balance with the body and head, medium in length, muscular and slightly arched. Skin on the neck and body is tight fitting, there is no dewlap. The shoulders are strong and muscular.
The topline is straight, well muscled and solid, falling into a slightly rounded, well muscled croup, which is moderate in length. The chest is deep, moderately broad, and well muscled. The depth of the chest is slightly less than half the height at the shoulders and sets at the elbow when seen from the side. The forechest is well developed. The ribs are moderately sprung and carried well back. The underline is graceful with a moderate tuck-up. The loin is tight, well muscled and straight or slightly arched.
The tail is set just below the level of the croup. The tail is thick at its base then tapers and carries a dense coat. The preferred tail is docked by one-quarter of its length; natural tails will not be penalized. A natural tail reaches down to the hock joint and is carried straight or slightly saber-like. When moving, the tail is carried near the horizontal, not curled over the back or carried between the legs.

FOREQUARTERS

The forequarters are well muscled with strong, sufficient bone and balance. From the front, legs are straight, from the side they are placed well under the body. Shoulders are well laid back, showing fluidity when moving. The upper arm is well muscled, about equal to the shoulder in length and well angulated at its attachment to the shoulder, in order to allow for good extension. The elbows lie close to the body; pasterns are short, sinewy and only very slightly sloping. Preferably, dewclaws are removed from the front legs to avoid injury in the field, but a dog with natural dewclaws is not to be penalized. The feet are cat-like, but slightly oval and always parallel. Pads are thick and tough; nails are self colored and short.

COAT

The Wirehaired Vizsla’s coat makes this breed unique. Close lying, a length of approximately 1 inch, the dense wiry coat should not hide the outline of the body. Functionally the coat should protect against weather and injury with a dense undercoat and wiry outer coat. The lower legs and underside of the chest and belly are covered with shorter, softer, thinner coat. Coat on the head and ears is close fitting and shorter. Pronounced eyebrows highlight the stop. Expression is enhanced not only by eyebrows, but also by a strong, harsh beard, approximately 1 inch in length, formed from both sides of the muzzle. On both sides of the neck the coat forms V shaped brushes. Lacking undercoat or coat brushes on the back of the front legs should be penalized, as is any deviation in coat texture or excessive length of the coat. The Wirehaired Vizsla should be exhibited almost in his natural state, nothing more in the way of stripping being needed than a tidying up. A clipped coat is faulty.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters are straight and parallel with well developed thighs when viewed from behind. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the forequarters. The legs have strong, sufficient bone and balance, with thighs that are well muscled and long. The stifle is well angulated. The hocks are strong, well let down, short and straight as viewed from behind. Rear dewclaws are a disqualification. Feet are as in the Forequarters section.

1
2
3
4
5
6
wirehaired vizsla illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
GOLDEN RUST Check Mark For Standard Color 098
GOLDEN 093
RED 140
RED GOLDEN 153
RUST 161
RUST GOLDEN 163
SANDY YELLOW 169

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
WHITE MARKINGS 014