You’re not the only one if you get confused between a Vizsla and a Weimaraner. The truth is that both breeds look very similar. In fact, the Weimaraner is often considered the elder sibling in the two breeds. But they are, in fact, two distinct breeds.
In this article, you will learn about the many differences and similarities between the Vizsla and the Weimaraner. You will surely not get muddled between the two dog breeds in the future.
History of Both Dog Breeds
Have you ever heard the Weimaraner being described as aristocratic and the Vizsla as distinguished? The dog breeds are treated with such respect because they are ancient breeds that date back to the first century.
Both the breeds were refined to be the perfect hunting dogs by noblemen. They have similar breeding and growing histories. However, both the breeds originated from two different countries and have no genetic relationship with one another. Let us look into the individual histories of the two breeds.
The origin of the Vizsla dates back to 890 AD. This breed was closely refined by the Hungarian Magyar Tribe that migrated to the Carpathian Basic from Asia. Initially, the Vizsla was used for hunting birds by scent, but as the breed developed, they began hunting pheasant, quail, and partridge.
The Vizsla is oftentimes known as the Hungarian Pointer because he was bred with German and English Pointer in the 1880s. However, the continuous breeding was interrupted by the Second World War at the beginning of the 20th century.
Not only is Vizsla a hunting dog, but he was also used as a spy dog in the World War. He was used to delivering messages, and his importance was such that his existence was kept as a secret by the Hungarians.
After the World War ended, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in the 1950s. This recognition came because he won five sports championships and became American Kennel Club’s first quintuple champion.
Due to his appearance, the Vizsla is often confused with red-coat Labradors and Rhodesian Ridgebacks, along with Weimaraner.
The Weimaraner is a newly originated breed that dates back to the 19th century. However, the breed is considered to be ancient because of its descendants from the now-extinct St. Hubertus Brachen. The St. Hubertus Brachen is now extinct, but he was the first hunting dog in 650 AD.
Weimaraner gets his name from the small-town Weimar in Germany where he comes from. He was refined to become a powerful hunting dog. Resultingly was bred with the bloodhound, English Pointer, German Pointer, and even the blue Great Dane.
Initially, Weimaraner was intended to be able to hunt wolves, wild boars, and bears. However, with time, they became smaller in size and started hunting smaller animals.
Due to his athletic abilities, Weimaraner was kept as a German secret until the 1920s. However, the portraits of Willian Wegman made the breed extremely popular and gained him American Kennel Club recognition.
Other than being confused with the Vizsla, the Weimaraner is confused with silver Labradors. They are also known as Silver Ghosts due to their slender body and short silver coat.
Vizsla vs. Weimaraner – Appearance
When you want to recognize a dog’s breed, the first distinguishing factor is the appearance. There is no doubt that the Vizsla and the Weimaraner look very similar. However, once you get to know the differences, they are hard to unsee.
Both the dogs are medium-sized. However, the Vizsla is smaller in comparison to the Weimaraner. This is why Vizsla is often confused as the younger sibling.
Male Vizsla’s heights vary between 22 and 24 inches, and they generally weigh anywhere between 25 and 35kgs. Female Vizsla’s measurements vary between 21 and 23 inches, and they weigh between 20 and 29kgs.
The average height of a male Weimaraner is between 25 and 27 inches, and the average eight is between 30 and 40 kgs. On the other hand, a female Weimaraner’s average height is between 23 and 25 inches, and weight is between 25 and 35 kgs.
It is important to note that the Vizsla is longer than the Weimaraner. He generally has a muscular yet leaner built-in comparison to the Weimaraner.
Both the Vizsla and the Weimaraner have short and solid-colored coats. However, some long-haired Weimaraner dogs do exist in Europe. It is only the color that differentiates between the two breeds.
The Weimaraner’s coat colors vary from mouse-gray to silver-gray. On the other hand, The Vizsla’s coat varies between the different shades of golden rust. Vizsla’s coats are uniform throughout, unlike the Weimaraner, whose coats’ shades tend to get lighter on their ears and head.
Snout and Eyes
A great thing about these breeds is that their eyes and snouts match with their coat’s color. The Vizsla has brown eyes and a brown nose, while the Weimaraner has blue eyes with a gray nose. The Vizsla’s nostrils are slightly open as compared to the aristocratic close nostrils of the Weimaraner.
You can also find Weimaraner dogs who have amber or gray eyes. Another defining characteristic of the Weimaraner is that when they get excited, their eyes can appear black. This happens because their pupils dilate to their full-size.
The ears of both the breeds look precisely the same. They both have long ears that stick close to their cheeks. However, Vizsla’s ears are set lower on the head than Weimaraner’s high set ears. Both Vizsla and Weimaraner’s ears are triangular shaped and are very droopy and large.
The body structure of both the breeds is more or less the same till the hindquarters. Both the breeds have clean and long necks that do not have any dewlap.
The Vizsla’s chest reaches the elbow and is pretty broad. However, the Weimaraner’s chest is well-developed and deep as the brisket extends to the elbow. The Vizsla has a non-sloping topline at his short back. The topline of the Weimaraner’s moderate back is set in a straight line.
Vizslas generally have moderately laid back, long, and sloping shoulder blades with straight muscular legs. The Weimaraner’s legs are straight too, but their shoulders are well laid back with a prominent prosternum.
Both the breeds require their tails to be docked. Vizsla dogs need their tails to be docked to one-third, while Weimaraner’s lighter tails must be docked by only six inches.
The Vizsla is generally light-footed. Their reach and drive are constant and done at moderate angles for far-reaching gait. They usually have a smooth and light pace.
The Weimaraner, too, has a smooth and effortless gait. A Weimaraner dog’s hind legs are always parallel to his front feet. Their pace confirms the confidence, strength, and endurance required by hunting dogs.
Vizsla vs Weimaraner – Temperament and Personality
Despite being hunting dogs, both Vizsla and Weimaraner are known to be Velcro dogs. They are likely to follow you wherever you go like a second shadow. If you leave either a Vizsla or a Weimaraner alone for too long, they might suffer from separation anxiety and depression.
Even though they’re supposed to be dangerous, they are both very loving breeds. They are suitable to be around babies. Both the breeds should live in families that can give them the most love and attention to fulfill the needs of the velcro dog in them.
Since both the breeds are hunting dogs, they tend to get very athletic. If not trained well, they tend to dog holes and jump over fences frequently.
Let us look at some distinct personality features of both breeds.
Vizsla dogs are not only smaller in size, but they are also easier to handle than Weimaraner dogs. They love to stick close to humans and are incredibly affectionate. If left alone for too long, not only do they run a high risk of suffering from separation anxiety, but they also tend to foster destructive behavior.
Vizsla dogs are generally susceptible and gentle. They do have a stubborn side to their personality, but it is not a problem since they tend to get over it quickly. However, walking them might get a little difficult if they see a small animal like a rat running on the street. Therefore, you should only let them off the leash when it is safe to do so.
With early socialization, Vizslas tend to get energetic and develop a lot better through training. They are reasonably easy to train since they are brilliant. Even though they learn things quickly, they tend to be too shy to show their learning eagerly. Vizslas do well with the maximum companionship that they can get.
Their playful personalities make it easy to entertain them. They do well with chew toys and physical activity stimulating toys.
Since the Vizsla is a hunting breed, they have a lot of energy and quick-sightedness. Therefore, they are always curious and hyperactive for the need of constant physical and mental stimulation. The Vizsla is considered to be a good choice for a novice dog owner since they are not too assertive. They are happy to submit to their humans.
Out of the two breeds in comparison, Weimaraner is definitely much more difficult to handle. If first-time dog owners adopt them, they are going to cause too much trouble to be funny. Weimaraner dogs generally have an assertive personality along with a tendency to develop bad habits quickly.
Regardless of their confident gait and stubborn personality, the Weimaraner breed is very affectionate. They, too, tend to develop bad habits mostly when they are not around their humans. They are not as prone as Vizslas to get depression and separation anxiety, but they also tend to face those issues.
Weimaraner dogs tend to have a very strong hunting drive. So much so that they might kill something as small as a mouse, yet something as big as a cat. Therefore, it is not generally to take a Weimaraner off the leash when he is not inside the house.
To let go of the extra energy they have, Weimaraner dogs tend to chew a lot. Many people do not like this. The unfortunate thing is that their chewing habits can lead them to injure their mouths as they chew on something unsuitable.
It is easy to train Weimaraner dogs since they are extremely intelligent. They necessarily require early socialization since, without it, they tend to become very aggressive.
Weimaraner dogs are no doubt much more difficult to handle than Vizsla dogs since they like to assert their dominance. Novice dog owners should not consider them.
Vizsla vs Weimaraner – Grooming
While both the breeds are easy to groom, the Weimaraner is much easier to groom than the Vizslas. They both are easy to groom, however. Both the dogs tend to lay and roll around in stinky mud. However, even that doesn’t pose too much a problem. The Weimaraner’s coat is so smooth that it tends to dust off all the dirt itself. At the same time, the Vizsla’s brown coat masks most of the dirt.
Due to their short coats, both do not require de-shedding. Vizslas require brushing once a week and bathing every six to eight weeks. However, you can pay even lesser time in grooming a Weimaraner.
Due to their drooping ears, it is ideal for checking their ears at least once a week. You must also frequently check their eyes for any difference in coloration.
Related: Do Vizslas Shed?
Vizsla vs Weimaraner – Health
Both the Vizsla and the Weimaraner are extremely healthy dogs and their athletic backgrounds. They tend to require a lot of exercise and suffer if they do not get enough physical stimulation. They both have similar potential health issues. However, when we talk about their lifespan, Vizslas live a year longer than Weimaraner dogs.
Vizslas tend to face issues such as hip displacement, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism. Weimaraner dogs, on the other hand, can get elbow and hip displacement.
You need to take special care of both the breed’s eyes since they are sensitive to allergies. They are prone to getting progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to discomfort and even blindness.
Vizsla vs Weimaraner – Training
Both Weimaraner and Vizsla dogs require extensive training. You must not only teach them basic commands and tricks but also discipline them well. This is because of three reasons.
They tend to have destructive mannerisms that require to be curbed.
As hunting dogs, they tend to run behind and kill small animals. This might lead them to harm the other pets that you have or running away from you to hunt.
Since they are Velcro dogs, they get very anxious ad jealous easily. With proper training, you can help them manage their emotions.
As discussed earlier, both the Vizsla and the Weimaraner tend to be very intelligent. Therefore, they are well receptive to training and positive reinforcements. However, the Weimaraner’s aggressive and dominant tendency can make their training a little tricky. The Vizsla’s training, on the other hand, is easier due to their submissive nature.
Weimaraner dogs need to get into early socialization and get used to their trainer from early childhood. Accepting a person as their pack leader is the only way in which a Weimaraner will take orders from someone, and getting to that stature requires a lifelong commitment.
Vizslas tend to require a lot of positive reinforcing and affectionate rewards. Even though Vizslas tend to get stubborn at times, too, they are well-receptive towards training and general physical and mental stimulation.
Both the breeds Vizsla and Weimaraner, are so similar that it is natural to get confused between the two. It is important to note that the breeds have such similarities even though they have no genetic connection to one another. The most defining difference between the breeds is the color of their coat. Their size and temperaments vary at a minor level as well.