What do Vizsla Dogs Hunt?

What do vizsla dogs hunt? What are Vizslas bred to hunt?

Vizslas are extremely versatile hunting dogs. In the past, they have been used to hunt large game including wolves, boars and even bears!

These days they are used for hunting game such as:

  • Pheasants
  • Partridge
  • Duck
  • Geese
  • Quail
  • Rabbits
  • Deer

They can also flush vermin.

It should be noted the vizslas are not hunting and catching these themselves, merely tracking, pointing and flushing them for the hunters.

Are Vizslas a good hunting dog?

Yes, exemplary. If properly trained, the Vizsla is an exceptional gundog and is known as an HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) dog.

It has the potential to become highly skilled in all three areas. Vizslas are particularly renowned for their skill as bird dogs. They are excellent swimmers and so can retrieve prey from the water, as well as on land. 

Vizslas have a long and noble history to match their noble bearing. They have been used for centuries to hunt. They were bred and protected by the Hungarian nobility for hundreds of years.

This has ensured their pure bloodline. But before that, it is believed that they descended from dogs used by the Magyar tribes of Asia.

These tribes migrated from Asia to the Carpathian plains of Hungary about 1,000 years ago and brought their dogs with them.

The first known records of these Vizsla type ancestors relate to their use as falconry dogs. Hunting is definitely in their bloodline. 

Their lean musculature and stamina make them strong in the field. They are also exceptionally courageous dogs and will keep going under very tough conditions.

Vizslas are known to be completely silent when they are stalking and indeed rarely bark. They will bark as a warning, or if provoked and are hugely loyal to their handler.

They’re also terribly good at agility training, but that is a whole other article.

Do Vizslas hunt deer?

Yes, they can be used as deer dogs. Their primary task, as with all hunting dogs, is to help humans.

Vizslas do this by locating and or flushing out the deer.

They are bred to find the deer after it has been shot, or as stated, flush them out…NOT bred to kill the deer themselves.

This is an important distinction to make. 

What do vizsla dogs hunt - Vizsla dog standing in woods

How do you train a Vizsla to hunt?

This is a very broad question. As an owner, it is imperative that you realise this is a completely different skill set to your bog-standard obedience training.

Having said that though, you must actually start with obedience training from a young age, as this forms the building blocks of all other training.

Vizslas are intelligent and can start classes from 8 weeks old. A class once a week is not going to be enough though.

You must put time and effort into consistently training them at home too, as well as more regular classes if you are able to. 

Vizslas are affectionately known as the ‘velcro dog’ because they form such a strong bond with their owners.

This makes training them as hunting/working/gundogs easier and of course, makes them very loveable. 

Vizslas have what is known as a natural ‘prey drive’.

In other words, they want to track and retrieve things. Again, this is good, as this instinct makes them easier to train in the working skill set than some other dogs. 

It is always advisable to train when you are relaxed and not pushed for time etc.

It is also crucial at first to break the training down into very small chunks so that your Vizsla does not become bored, distracted or overwhelmed.

This site for gundog training gives some very useful tips and techniques: https://www.johnnorris.co.uk/blogs/news/5-effective-gundog-training-techniques-that-you-can-use-today

Do Vizslas point naturally?

Yes. Vizslas have a natural instinct to point and they can display this from a very young age.

If you would like to train your Vizsla to point, then you can utilise this instinct and make sure that your dog reaches his or her full potential. 

Why are Vizslas called Velcro dogs? Why are Vizslas so clingy?

Vizslas are renowned for their need to be close to their owners at all times. They are the ultimate, number 1 ‘velcro dog”. Literally stuck to you.

You may ask what has made them like this?

Well, the answer is that it’s in their breeding. They were originally bred as falconry dogs and needed to stick by their owners at all times – in order to not get in the way of the hunting bird.

They were also used to accompany hunters on horseback and flush game for them. For these reasons, the dogs needed to stay close to their owners and this is still very much a trait.

They were all bred, highly prized and heavily protected by the Hungarian nobility many years ago.

These things made them into the loving and incredibly loyal dogs they are today. 

Are there black Vizslas?

No, they are only ever tan. Having said this, the shade of their coat can be darker or lighter, but they are certainly never black or grey!

Please refer to dog coat genetics for a more in-depth explanation as to why!

Are Vizslas aggressive?

No. Vizslas are very gentle, loyal and sensitive dogs. They are renowned for their loving nature, but they are also super smart.

If you do not find an outlet for their energy and intellect, you may encounter issues. Although, they are more likely to chew things and wreck the house than become aggressive. 

Do Vizslas calm down?

Vizslas remain ’puppies’ for longer than a lot of other dogs. They are slow to mature and so will exhibit puppy type behaviour until around the age of 3 years.

They are highly intelligent and highly trainable dogs. The answer to if they will, ‘calm down’, is actually another question – ‘have you trained your dog properly?’ 

What do vizsla dogs hunt? – Summary

Vizslas are exceptional all-round dogs that also make fantastic family pets and natural hunters.

They will respond well to gun dog training, but you must dedicate the time and effort for this – should you want to use them for this purpose.

Give them solid and consistent training from a young age and if treated with care and respect – will give you many years of wonderful companionship. 

Here’s a Pin for future reference


Further reading

Interested in learning more? Why not try our ‘can my dog eat section’, where we look at what your dog can and can’t have. Find this here.