Are Vizslas Smart Dogs?

By John Martin - November 19, 2021

Vizsla closeup

Vizslas are a Hungarian breed, and the meaning of their name is “searcher.” They are mostly fearless and has an excellent nose. Vizslas are gentle and very affectionate. However, they do have powerful instincts that make them protective.

They are very intelligent and have great hunting instincts as well. Since they thrive in outdoor areas, they can grasp certain activities pretty well through training.

Personality of Vizslas

Vizslas are always full of energy. They easily get bored and might also get pretty destructive during that time. They do well if there are enough attention and exercise for them. They are generally well-socialized if trained properly and can tolerate other animals.

Moreover, they do need a lot of interaction. They always need to be active and are quite friendly with strangers as well. They might be a bit sometimes threatened and act out rather aggressively.

They are often known as “velcro” due to their characteristic affectionate trait. They do not like getting neglected. Due to that reason, they do pretty well with their owners.

They develop special bonds with their owners and are a great companion to them. Since they need a lot of attention and affection, they are loyal to children and others who give them the same.

A Smart Dog Breed

Vizslas are a hunter breed, and they are excellent pointers. Along with that, they are good retrievers as well. Even though they are quite sensitive, they can be well trained and do best both inland and water.

Vizslas has a natural instinct to retrieve and perform well if trained properly. If the owner trains the Vizslas properly with some sort of authority, then it is more likely for them to guard more.

Since they are very intelligent dogs, mentally stimulating them at a young age will make them even smarter.

Vizslas used to be owned by the noblemen of Hungary, and that’s why their breed was considered elite. The history of this breed is such that it used to be a great companion of the Lords in Hungary.

They used to be very efficient in hunting along with their protective instincts. They are smart enough to even use their nose and smelling instincts to find the prey and are efficient in catching them as well.

Vizslas are really good pointers, and that is what makes them a very smart breed. They can also look out for scents, especially of birds. Moreover, they can do more than what they’ve trained to do.

Sometimes this breed tends to learn certain activities even if it has been shown only once. Considering how they are good with their owners, they tend to obey them almost 85% of the time.

Animal psychology

Most psychologists and behaviorists argue that it is impossible to focus only on one aspect to rate their intelligence. There are many ranges and classifications of intelligence, and it is the same for dogs as well.

Their interpersonal abilities, innate abilities, adaptive, all need to be considered before figuring out whether they are smart enough or not.

Even though sometimes it largely depends on the exposure and the training that the dog gets. However, some dogs tend to have instinctual abilities that make them a bit more superior than other breeds.

According to Stanley Coren, there are numerous aspects of a breed’s intelligence, and he wanted to check some of them. He conducted research on different breed’s obedience. His book, The Intelligence of Dogs, had the results of the same. The research was concluded by classifying breeds into six tiers.

Vizslas came under the second tier due to their excellent working abilities. They can also learn commands if it is repeated quite often. Moreover, they tend to obey 85 percent of the time.

Coren also mentioned how that particular conclusion of his could vary as well. The reason being, training is an integral part, and it also enhances the dog’s abilities. Training can make them incredibly sharp and efficient.

As for Vizslas, they are born intelligent, and they have intense spatial and motor abilities making them good hunters. This ability of theirs gets enhanced even more with proper training. This is why it is considered very important.

Temperament of Vizslas

Hungarian Vizslas are generally sensitive and very affectionate at the same time. They tend to be very loyal to their owners.

This breed is also very gentle-mannered, which makes them safe around children as well. However, if they are unhappy or bored, they might cry and whine. Since this breed can adapt quite well in outdoor settings, having an owner who likes the same will make them extremely happy.

This breed also tends to engage in destructive behavior, especially when they don’t move around quite often or when they are bored. Since they are full of energy all the time, they make good rescue dogs as well.

Related: Are Vizslas Good Family Dogs?

Other Different Abilities

Hungarian Vizslas are known for trotting, and this makes people compare them to horses. They are always supposed to be busy and moving around. Due to this reason, this breed is able to perform various activities.

Since they easily get bored, training this breed makes them smarter. They are able to do more things than their instinctual abilities. Since this breed is also very well mannered, it makes them smarter. They tend to think highly of their owners and go out of their ways to please them.

Their smartness is seen especially when the owner is trying to train them. Since their adaptive abilities (being able to grasp concepts pretty quickly) are excellent, they work on it in order to make their owners happy.

They also learn certain activities faster in order to be able to protect the owner. As mentioned above, their interpersonal abilities also shine through. They are quite friendly to all unless they feel threatened.

Even though this breed is a bit sensitive at times and has separation anxieties, they are fearless when they need to be. The Hungarian Vizslas are smart enough to know who their master is, and obeying their commands will always be as fast as lightning.

They immediately understand the needs of the owner and moves around to help them. They never seem to give up on certain tasks and achieve what they need to, no matter how long it takes.

Related: How Long Can a Vizsla Be Left Alone?


The Vizslas has a very lean and lightly built body. They also have a short coat with defined muscles. Most of the time, their eye color blends perfectly well with their coat color.

The coat of this breed is generally rusted golden in color and has different shades to it as well. However, there may be some variations of the coat color on their backs.

Since their coats are generally small, they don’t have undercoats as well. This is one of the reasons why they can clean themselves and doesn’t require a bath too often. They do not have any sort of “dog smell” as well. Regardless of them having a short coat, they do shed. 

They may have white patches on their necks, which isn’t preferred. Their ears are usually floppy and big, along with a reddish nose.

Their tail is preferably docked, but in some countries, doing so is considered illegal, including the UK. They generally mature in a few years, but physically they become fully grown in six months. 

Size and Health 

The average height for females is 60cm and for males is 68. At the same time, the average weight is 30kg for males and 25 for females. This breed is quite medium-sized, but due to its body structure, it is mistaken for another breed quite often. 

Their lifespan is 12-14 years, and their average lifespan could be around nine and a half years. Even though they are perfectly well suited for outdoor activities, it isn’t as ideal for them to live outdoors since they don’t have an undercoat.

Vizslas are more likely to suffer from canine epilepsy, dwarfism, cancer, and lymphosarcoma. This breed can also easily suffer from food and skin allergies. 


This breed seems to have a history with the Magyar tribes. During the 10th century, there have been many resemblances of a Vizslas seen. They were seen to be hunters and good companions of the Magyar tribes. Later, the nobles of Hungary adopted this breed. 

At the end of World War 1, this breed was on the path of getting extinct. The owners tried to protect them and especially when the Hungarians fled to different countries. Since the beginning, they are smart hunters and good companions, which is why they are still considered a sporting breed. 

Summing up

Vizslas are good breeds that possess great abilities for outdoor activities. They are able to efficiently hunt down animals and birds too. Learning commands is a lot easier for them, and pleasing their owners and being with them is also what they prefer the most.

Due to their instinctual abilities, they are able to cope well both on land and water. Though they can’t live outside due to their coat, they are able to hunt and move around out in the open.

Not doing so leads them to destructive behavior. All in all, they are not only instinctually brilliant, but training makes them even smarter.