Vizsla vs Pharaoh Hound: What’s the Difference?

The Vizsla and the Pharaoh Hound are two purebred dogs with high intelligence rank. The Vizsla is a very smart dog breed while the Pharaoh Hound also has great intelligence.  

vizsla vs pharaoh hound
Vizsla vs Pharaoh Hound: What’s the Difference?

Although of different origins, these two dogs share things in common. They are both trainable, playful, affectionate, and sociable. So, if you had to choose one of these purebreds, which would you choose? The Vizsla or the Pharaoh Hound?  

In this Vizsla vs. Pharaoh Hound comparison article, we will analyze the distinct characteristics, behavior, and challenges of taking in both dogs as a pet, companions or hunting allies. In the end, we will present our researched data in a table for easy referencing that will help you in making the right adoption or acquisition.  

The Pharaoh Hound – a Noble hunter from Malta 

Characteristics of the Pharaoh Hound  

The Pharaoh’s dog owes its name to its silhouette, as it is visually reminiscent of the representations of the Egyptian god known as Anubis.  

It has big erect ears, a long neck, with a slim, greyhound-like physique. The males can reach a height at the withers of 63 cm, bitches up to 61 cm.  

The short coat is shiny and rust-brown-white markings can be seen on some parts of the body (toes, blaze, chest). The Hound does not have black skin pigments, which means that the eyes, the nose, and the insides of the ears are also flesh-colored. Its long tail can reach below its ankle. 

 It is a versatile hunter that primarily hunts by sight. It can get loud: a pharaoh hound draws the attention of conspecifics to prey by typical barking. It also hunts with a “soft mouth”, which means that it can bring the prey alive to the human hunter.  

Origin of the Pharaoh Hound

A theory about the dogs is that they came to Malta through the Phoenicians during ancient times. It would thus descend from the ancient dogs of the Tesem type, which visually resembled depictions of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead. Also, skeletal findings of similar Egyptian dogs, around 5000 years old, testify to an extremely long history.  

Character of the Pharaoh Hound 

In spite of its proud look, the Vizsla can be very affectionate. If the dog can be made to let off some steam, it is a calm and charming four-legged friend who loves to play and cuddle with its people. It is vigilant and distant towards strangers. The breed usually gets along very well with fellow dogs. So, it can be included in a dog pack.  

Warning: some Pharaoh dogs bark a lot.  

Training of the Pharaoh Hound

An empathetic upbringing with consistency is important with the Pharaoh Hound. Empathetic is based on the fact that this breed can be headstrong. It takes an experience level with dogs to strike the fine line between strictness and tolerance that does justice to the special character of the pharaoh dog.  

If you’re too tough, this proud four-legged friend will withdraw into itself and become insensitive to training. If you are not consistent and clear with the rules, it will be dancing on your nose after a couple of weeks! However, Pharaoh’s dogs are and will remain passionate hunting dogs. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to start training it as a puppy.  

Health of the Pharaoh Hound 

By buying a pharaoh dog from a good breeder, there is a high probability that you will have a four-legged friend who is devoid of troubling genetic diseases. The pharaoh dog is considered robust, health-wise. Genetic diseases are not common to them. Healthy Pharaoh Dogs can live to be 12-14 years old. 

Caring for the Pharaoh Hound 

The short coat of the Pharaoh Hound is very easy to care for. Occasional grooming with a dog massage glove removes loose hair. This will also strengthen the bond between your four-legged companion and you. You can always brush out the dirt once it has dried. 

Otherwise, dampen a washcloth and clean the dog with water. Check their ears regularly for dirt. Then use an appropriate dog ear cleaner if necessary. Also, check the claws regularly and have them pruned appropriately. You can treat your dog to a pedicure with claw pliers to prevent possible injuries from getting caught.

Related Reading: Vizsla vs Plott Hound: What’s the Difference?

Vizsla – the Hungarian Pointer   

The Hungarian Pointer or Vizsla originates as its name suggests from Hungary. It originates from a cross between the hunting dog of Turkish origin and the Hungarian hound dog. The presence of Sloughi blood has also been demonstrated by studies. 

It was previously a dog of the Hungarian nobility. Moreover, today, this dog is part of the history of Hungary. People who own this dog are exempt from the dog tax, introduced in 2011 in Hungary. Today, it is a good hunting dog but also an excellent companion dog. 

Physical characteristics of the Vizsla/Hungarian Pointer 

There are 2 types of Hungarian Pointer: the best known is the Hungarian Shorthaired Pointer and the lesser-known Hungarian Wirehaired Pointer. Only the type of hair changes but the other characteristics remain similar, in particular its character. 

  • The Hungarian Shorthaired Pointer is a medium-sized dog with a short, silky coat  
  • The Wire-haired Hungarian Pointer has a wire coat. 

The coat can be of different shades of golden wheat, ranging from fawn to sand. Its ears are medium in size, set high, and drooping to the sides of its head. Its tail is low and carried slightly saber-shaped when the dog is active. 

Its height at the withers varies between 54 and 64 cm depending on the sex. Its weight is between 20 and 30kg depending on its size and gender. 

Character of the Hungarian Pointer 

The Vizsla is a dynamic dog that is very affectionate and playful. It is faithful and loyal to its masters and is delicate with children. The breed is still an excellent hunting dog with a strong predatory instinct. It generally gets along well with its peers and other domestic animals if it gets socialized for around 2 months. 

The Vizsla is a hunting dog that is very easy to train. It loves to make its owner(s) proud and enjoys learning new things. 

The Vizsla is a dog that is very close to its owners, but it can however endure periods of solitude easily if occupancy games are offered. 

The breed is an active dog that enjoys doing sports such as agility, canicross, or -mountain biking with its masters. Track activities are a good way to stimulate the dog’s flair and strengthen your bond. It is a balanced dog that is suitable as a “first dog” for responsible and dynamic owners. 

If the periods of absence are prolonged, or the pointer dog has not been sufficiently stimulated mentally and physically, it can develop behavioral disorders due to anxiety or boredom. These can include barking or, worse, destroying things.  

Like many dogs with a highly developed nose and a strong predatory instinct, the Vizsla can turn out to be runaways. A well-fenced plot is therefore imperative. It is also a breed of dog that barks regularly, but good training can limit the problem to avoid disturbing your neighbors. 

Health problems of the Vizsla 

The Vizsla is a robust dog that is prone to hip dysplasia and eye defects. It easily gets overweight if it does not exercise enough. And this can cause other health problems, especially in the joints. Its life expectancy is around 12 years. 

Caring for the Vizsla 

The Hungarian Shorthaired Pointer does not have an undercoat, which makes brushing easier. Brushing once a week is more than enough to maintain the beauty of the hair. However, during the molts, brushing must be done daily because there is more hair loss. 

The Wire-haired Vizsla, on the other hand, only needs brushing once or twice a week. Which is ultimately not much more maintenance than with the Hungarian Longhaired Pointer.  

Their eyes and ears should be monitored and cleaned regularly to avoid the appearance of possible infections. 

Comparison Table: Vizsla vs. Pharaoh Hound 

Names Vizsla Pharaoh Hound 
Breed Type Purebred Purebred 
Origin Hungary Malta 
Price $800 to $1200 $1800 to $2000 
Size of dog Large Medium 
Fur Fine, Dense, Coarse, Short, Hard, No Undercoat Shiny 
Grooming Minimal Minimal 
Shedding Level Moderate None to minimal  
Intelligence level Very smart Smart  
Friendliness Stranger-friendly, kids-friendly, averagely friendly to cats and other dogs, not office-friendly, elderly-friendly Stranger friendly, kids friendly, not friendly to cats, friendly to other dogs, not office-friendly, elderly-friendly 
Trainability Easy to train Easy to train  
Life expectancy 10 to 14 years  12 to 14 years  
Exercise needs  Requires a lot Requires moderate exercise 
Drooling Minimal Minimal  
vizsla vs pharaoh hound
Vizsla vs Pharaoh Hound


As you can see, the Vizsla and the Pharaoh Hound share a lot of similarities. They are both very intelligent and require minimal care and exercise.

The Pharaoh Hound tends to live longer but they both have a range of 10 to 14 years. However, while the Pharaoh Hound is not prone to serious health issues, the Vizsla often has problems with cancer, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia.  

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.