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Wirehaired German Pointer Or Wirehaired Vizsla, Which Is Best For You

There are quite a few wire-haired dog breeds around, with some dogs being small in size, others medium in size and some dogs are massive with the Scottish Deerhound being one of them. If you are thinking about getting a wirehaired dog and would like to know a little more about two breeds, namely the Wirehaired Germain Pointer and the Wirehaired Vizsla, both of which are medium sized dogs, this article compares the two breeds which might help you make up your mind.

Germain Wirehaired Pointer origins

The German Wirehaired Pointer has always been highly prized for their hunting abilities specifically in harsh and challenging conditions. The breed was developed by using Pudelpointers, Deutscher Stichelhaars and Deutscher Kurzhaars as well as other "griffon" breeds. They first appeared on the scene in the 1800s when hunters needed outgoing, robust dogs that were capable of working in more challenging conditions.

Hungarian Vizsla origins

The Hungarian Vizsla is thought to have first been developed centuries ago, although there are those who think the breed is a lot younger having been developed in the twentieth century. They too have always been highly prized for their hunting abilities in their native Hungary.

Germain Wirehaired Pointer Temperament

The GWP is a handsome, kind, loyal and outgoing dog that forms very strong ties with their owners. Intelligent, active and devoted are just some of the traits associated with the GWP. They also boast having a lot of stamina which means they will work for hours with no trouble at all. Having web feet, the GWP is an excellent swimmer being just at home in the water as they are on land.

They are better suited to people who live in the country and who lead active, outdoor lives and who would like an energetic canine companion at their side. Dogs need to be well socialised from a young age and their training has to begin early too so that dogs grow into well balanced mature dogs that understand their place in the pack and what is expected of them. A GWP is a good choice of family pet for first time owners thanks to their kind, loyal and loving natures.

Vizsla Temperament

The Hungarian Vizsla is renowned for being an extremely affectionate dog and one that enjoys being in a family environment. Lively, loyal and gentle is a great way to describe these handsome dogs. Being so energetic and intelligent, Vizslas need to be kept busy both physically and mentally for them to be truly happy, well-balanced dogs. They are a great choice for novice owners because Vizslas are so amenable and therefore easy to train. With this said, they are also better suited to families who lead active, outdoor lives and would like a canine companion who would be able to keep pace with them at their side.  Vizsla don't like to be left to their own devices for any length of time so they are best suited to households where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out.

German Wirehaired Pointer Shedding

Being wirehaired, German Wirehaired Pointers are low shedders

Hungarian Vizsla Shedding

The Vizsla too has a wirehaired coat and therefore are minimum shedders too.

German Wirehaired Pointer Training

Germain Wirehaired Pointers are intelligent and as such they are quick learners, but there is a downside to this because a smart dog is just as quick to pick up the bad habits as they are the good. With this said, in the right hands and with the right training methods, a GWP learns things fast and enjoys the one to one attention they are given when they are being trained. One thing worth noting is that some German Wirehaired Pointers can be a little wilful at times and therefore benefit from being taken to obedience classes.

Hungarian Vizsla Training

The Hungarian Vizsla is a highly intelligent dog and as such they are easy to train providing their training begins early and is consistent throughout their lives. However, Vizslas are known to be quite sensitive by nature and as such they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction, but they do answer very well to positive reinforcement.

Germain Wirehaired Pointer Exercise

Being an active, high energy dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer needs to be kept busy both mentally and physically. As such, they need a minimum of 2 hours exercise a day and more if possible with loads of "off the lead" time in a safe and secure environment.


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Hungarian Vizsla Exercise

Hungarian Vizslas are also high energy, active dogs that need loads of mental stimulation and physical exercise for them to be truly happy, well balanced dogs. They too need anything from 1 to 2 hours exercise a day and again with as much off the lead time as possible in a safe and secure environment.

Germain Wirehaired Pointer Children and Pets

Germain Wirehaired Pointers have a real affinity with children being gentle around them. They are also known to get on well with other dogs providing they have been well socialised from a young enough age. They also get on well with a cat they have grown up with, but would soon see off any other cats they come across. GWPs should not be trusted around smaller pets and animals just to be on the safe side.

Hungarian Vizsla Children and Pets

Vizslas too are known to be good around children and really enjoy playing all sorts of interactive outdoor games with them. Providing a Vizsla has been well socialised from a young enough age, they generally get on well with other dogs and they will happily share their home with a cat. However, a Vizsla would think nothing of chasing off any cats they don't know. Care should be taken when they are around smaller pets and animals thanks to their higher prey drive.

Germain Wirehaired Pointer Coat

The GWP boasts having a dense, harsh close lying top coat and a softer, thick undercoat. Their endearing traits are their bushy eyebrows and full beards which add a lot of character to their looks.

Germain Wirehaired Pointer Coat colours

The accepted GWP breed colours include the following:

  • Liver and white
  • Black and white
  • Solid liver
  • Solid black

Vizsla Coat

The Hungarian Vizsla has a very straight, short, dense and smooth coat which has a greasy feel to it. They can have small white patches on their feet and chests which adds to their endearing looks but which is less desirable under the breed standard.

Vizsla Coat colours

The accepted breed colours are as follows:

  • Russet/gold

Germain Wirehaired Pointer health

  • German Wirehaired Pointers are considered robust dogs although they are prone to suffer from a few health concerns which are as follows:
  • Hip dysplasia - Breeders should have stud dogs hip scored
  • von Willebrand's disease - Test available
  • Bloat

Vizsla health

Vizslas too are known to be healthy and robust dogs, but they are prone to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are as follows:

  • Hip dysplasia - DNA test available
  • Skin issues
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Dwarfism

Germain Wirehaired Pointer life expectancy

The average life span of a German Wirehaired Pointer is between 9 and 12 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

Vizsla life expectancy

The average life span of a Hungarian Vizsla is between 9 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.


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