American Vizslas vs European Vizslas What’s the Difference

The Vizslas have gone through a series of metamorphoses in history. The latest transformation applies to the Vizsla breeds which were imported into the United States in the 1950s.

Following decades of adaptation to a new continent, the present breeds in America now differ a bit from the real European breeds, known as the Hungarian Vizslas or the Hungarian pointers.

So how does the European Vizsla differ from the American Vizsla?

In this American Vizslas vs European Vizslas comparison article, we will see how the American breeds now compare with the European ones.

We’ll analyze the characteristics and character of the European Vizslas, how the American Vizslas came about, and compare both types in a table chart.

The European Vizslas

The real Vizslas are those which originated from Europe; Hungary specifically. Like all Vizslas from their origin, the European Vizslas are versatile hunting and retrieving dogs.

They are now increasingly becoming a part of human households as companion pets.

The Different types of the European Vizslas

Until the crossing of the Vizsla with the German pointers, which gave birth to the Vizsla wirehaired, the Vizslas were always shorthaired. So what are the differences between both?

Known respectively as Drotzsurö Magyar vizsla and Rövidszurö Magyar vizsla, the short-haired and wire-haired varieties are recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) as two independent breeds, which means that dogs of both varieties cannot be crossed with each other.

The Hungarian Wirehaired Pointer was obtained with crosses between the Shorthaired and the Drahthaar, the german wirehaired pointer. It has a very small number of copies.

Hungary registered with the FCI in 2008 a total of 26,196 puppies, of which only about 300 were wire-haired vizslas.

It is a robust dog, covered with short and hard hair like that of goats, which forms a beard on the chin and bushy and matted eyebrows.

On the trunk, the length of the hair is two to four centimeters. It is well attached to the body, providing magnificent protection against weeds and bad weather.

The shorthaired Vizslas however have a short, dense, and beautiful coat with golden wheat color.

Origins and history of the European Vizslas

According to Hungarian specialists, this dog is the result of the crosses of the ancient dog of the Magyar tribes, with a Turkish hunting dog with a yellow coat and the Hungarian hound, which was formed in the 16th century.

This dog survived the Russian and Turkish occupations, 1848 to 1849 Hungarian civil war, the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Russian occupation. It can therefore be said that the Hungarian pointer is a true survivor.

Its cradle is the agricultural area of ​​central Hungary, a great plain characterized by wide meadows called puszta, which is an ideal habitat for species such as partridges, pheasants, hares, and rabbits.

The vizsla is mentioned in the early period of Hungarian history; Etchings over a thousand years old show Magyar hunters with their hawks and vizslas dogs. These dogs were the favorites of the Magyar tribes that inhabited the Carpathian basins in the 10th century.

The earliest known representation is an engraving from the Codex Albensis, one of the oldest Hungarian music books, dated between 1100 and 1120. The breed remained fairly well preserved for centuries as a hunting companion for the noble classes.

The term vizsla used to refer to this dog began to be used by hunters in Vienna around the 18th century.

It received the blood of the Weimaraner and the German shorthaired pointer from the 19th century. The first breed club was founded in Hungary in 1924. The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1935.

The physical appearance of the European Vizslas

The Hungarian Vizslas, at the withers in males, measure from 58 to 64 centimeters, and in females from 54 to 60 centimeters.

In the variety of short hair, their hairs are short and bushy, rustic, and hard to the touch. The ones with hard wire hair, their hairs are strong, dense, and dull. The outer layer is two to three centimeters long. The inner fleece is dense, and thick, and repels water.

The Vizslas in all varieties are available in various colors. They have different shades of yellow. However, red, brownish or very light colors are not desirable.

Some may have a small white spot on the chest or throat. The diameter of the spot does not usually exceed five centimeters.

Their ears are usually thin and rest on the cheek. The length of the ears is approximately three-quarters of the length of the head.

The skill is moderately broad and gently domed. The supraorbital arches are moderately developed.

Their eyes are gently oval and of medium size. The eyelids are well adherent to the eyeball. The color is brown and harmonizes with the color of the coat.

They have a wide and well-developed nose, with well open nostrils. The color of the truffle harmonizes with the color of the hair.

Their chests are deep and broad, with a moderately developed, well-drawn, and muscular forechest. The sternum pushes back as far back as possible and there are moderately arched ribs.

Viewed from the back, the hinds look straight and parallel with good angulations and strong bones.

Character of the European Vizslas

Very intelligent and with a lively temperament, the Vizslas are easy to train. It is a midpoint between the German pointer and the English pointer, being faster than the first and a better collector than the second.

It does not tolerate rude handling or training, as it can lead to aggressive or shy behaviors.

The vizsla is a complete dog for hunting hair and feathers in different terrains. It is a true specialist hunting birds in relatively clean, not very rugged, and fairly flat terrain.

Tail docking must be done during the first weeks of life. The nutritional needs, calculated as a maintenance ratio, are 1,450 to 1,550 kcal for males. Daily, and for females from 1,300 to 1,400.

This golden blond dog is one of the most interesting European show dogs. The Magyar vizsla, in its two varieties of short hair and wire hair, is a resistant and strong sample dog, with a lot of hunting instinct and a good sense of smell, but with a limited capacity to cover ground, which has slowed its expansion in Europe western.

The American Vizslas

The American Vizslas are the descendants of the Vizsla which originated from Hungary. And how did they get to America and how does it now differentiate from the European variants?

Origin and history of the American Vizslas

The importation of the European Vizsla breed to the United States began in the 1950s. It was admitted to the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1960. In the sixties, the Hungarian pointer was an unknown breed outside its country of origin.

The registration in 1960 of the “Rex Z Arpadvar” in the AKC genealogical records under the number SA-63201 marked the beginning of its spread in America.

The Magyar Vizsla Club was founded in the early 1950s but had to change its name to the current Vizsla Club of America to gain awareness of the breed by the AKC.

In 1987, a vizsla won the Triple American Championship (beauty, work or field trial, and obedience championships) for the first time, a special AKC trophy that very few individuals get.

Character of the European Vizslas

The American vizslas are similar to the European Pointing Dogs in character. In the style of German dogs, it is a good herding and hunting dog, which can stalk large cattle. It is listed by the American Kernel Club as a dog that can herd and protect livestock.

Despite its speed, this hunting dog, tends to hunt close, not to separate much from the hunter. It works quite well in the water.

In comparison with other pointers, we can say that it is much faster than the German Pointer and that it charges significantly better than the English Pointer, being as manageable in training as an English Setter.

American Vizslas vs European Vizslas Comparison Table

American Vizslas  European Vizsla
Temperament Gentle, affectionate, and energetic gentle-mannered, loyal, energetic, caring, and affectionate
Height  Male adults: 22 to 24 inches Female adults: 21 to 23 inches Male adults: 22 to 25 inches Female adults: 21 to 24 inches
Weight  Male adults: 25 to 27 kg Female adults: 20 to 25 kg Male adults: 20 to 30 kg Female adults: 18 to 25 kg
Type of dog Sporting and herding dog Hunting and companion dog
Life expectancy 12 to 14 years 12 to 15 years
American Vizslas vs European Vizslas Comparison Table 


American Vizslas have a lower life span than their European variants because of the activities they are used for.

The American Vizslas are used for sporting, livestock herding, and other practical and physical activities, which reduce their life span as they are usually prone to hip dysplasia, a condition that hinders their mobility.

The American Vizslas are a little bit shorter than the European ones but the former are usually weightier, most likely because of pet obesity in the US. About 55.8 percent of dogs are said to be obese, according to the AKC.

American Vizslas are also less inclined to water activities. The European variants make more water retrievals than the American types.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.