Vizsla vs Pointer: Which one is the best for your next pup? Find out in this no-paws-barred comparison!
Both Vizslas and Pointers are popular choices of dogs among pet lovers. But which one is the best for you?
According to AKC, the Vizslas are ranked 31st, and the Pointers are ranked 114th on the most popular dog breeds list.
If you are confused between the two dog breeds and not sure which one would be better suitable for you, then you are in just the right place. Let’s have a look at the differences and similarities between the Vizsla and the Pointer.
History: Vizsla vs Pointer
Vizslas are sometimes known as Hungarian pointers with a history dating back to 1357.
The aftermath of world war one and two almost led this breed to extinction. Vizslas somehow managed to survive and made their way to America in the 1950s.
At first, they had a different appearance than what you see today with different colors. The distinctive appearance of the Vizslas that you see today has taken a lot of work from breeders.
While the history of pointer dogs is not entirely clear, they are believed to be descended from Spain. Spanish pointers were brought to England and were used to strengthen the pointing instinct of the British dogs.
How a Pointer looks in modern-day was achieved through cross-breeding with setter, foxhound, bloodhound, and greyhounds. The mention of a pointer dog in American history is documented during the 1860s.
Physical Traits: Vizsla vs Pointer
Vizslas have a medium built with a lean and muscular body. They have a short golden rust color coat which makes them not suitable to live in cold weather.
They have a distinctive appearance with a uniform color all over their body. Even the nose, eyes, and nails of Vizslas are the same color as their coat. Their floppy ears and beautiful eyes give them a soft appearance which makes them ideal for the home.
The English pointers have a bi-colored coat of liver, black or orange, with a white background. Tri-color pointers do exist but are not that common.
Pointers have short and fine haired-coat which don’t shed much and is easy to maintain. But because of their fine coat, they don’t perform well in cold climates.
Pointers have a signature stance with an aligned body from their nose to tail.
Size: Vizsla vs Pointer
Vizsla has a lean and muscular build. They are medium-sized dogs with a full-grown male having a height of 22 to 24 inches and a female having a height of 21 to 23 inches.
They have a weight range of 40 to 65 lbs, with the female having less weight than males.
Pointers are medium-sized dogs with a light build. A full-grown pointer will have 25 to 28 inches height for a male and 23 to 26 inches for a female. A male pointer will weigh about 55 to 75 lbs, and a female will weigh around 45 to 65 lbs.
Lifespan: Vizsla vs Pointer
A healthy Vizsla has a lifespan of 12-15 years.
A healthy English pointer has a lifespan of 12-17 years.
Nutritional Requirements: Vizsla vs Pointer
Vizslas need about three to four cups of high-quality dog food every day. For a highly active dog, you may need to feed them even more. However, the feeding should be scheduled and not more than twice a day.
Whether your Vizsla is overweight or not, you can check by feeling their ribs. If you can’t feel their ribs upon placing your hands on his back, then you need to feed them less and exercise more.
Pointers generally need two to three cups of dry dog food per day. But if you train and exercise your Pointer vigorously, they would need more energy and thus require more food. Their feeding routine should be twice a day and not leave food in their bowl all the time.
In the case of an overweight dog, you can not feel their ribs when touching. It would help if you make them exercise more and decrease their food quantity.
Temperament: Vizsla vs Pointer
The Vizslas are affectionate and gentle and form a great bond with their humans. They are highly dependent on their owners and suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for a longer time. Vizslas are velcro dogs and need to be around people all the time.
They fare well with other pets and are not aggressive, and like to please their humans. But, if not correctly trained from a young age, they may become uncomfortable in new situations.
They are not excellent watchdogs because of their friendliness, even towards strangers, but they can be very protective of their owners. However, they are a great dog to have in the house if you have kids with their gentle nature.
English pointers are hunting dogs and thus have an independent nature. Before they listen to your commands, they need to understand why you want them to do something, making them a stubborn breed.
If a pointer is trained to be a hunting dog, getting them adapted into home living might not be possible. You would need to teach them from a young age to become accustomed to living in a house around family and kids.
They are very loyal dogs and great around kids if trained. They are not watchdogs but will announce if a stranger approaches.
Health: Vizsla vs Pointer
Vizslas are a healthy dog breed and do not have any specific health issues related to their species. However, they suffer from health issues common to all dog breeds.
Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, cancer, and PRA are common health issues found in Vizslas.
Ensure that your breeder has all the health certificates of the parents before choosing a Vizsla puppy from them.
In general, pointers are a healthy dog breed. But there are specific health issues common to all dog breeds, and pointers are prone to them.
Hip dysplasia, skin cysts, epilepsy, cataracts, cherry eyes, PRA are some of the common health issues that your Pointer may or may not suffer from. They are also prone to different food allergies, inhalant allergies, or contact allergies.
Before buying a pointer puppy from a breeder, check for the health clearance of the puppy’s parents that will help minimize the chances of your puppy inheriting any of the said diseases.
Exercise: Vizsla vs Pointer
With very high levels of energy, Vizslas need a lot of exercise. When they are puppies, you should let them play independently and train them for proper behavior.
They don’t cope well in confined spaces and need large open spaces to play freely. Let them out in a fenced yard and have them run around to spend their energy correctly.
Two half-hour exercise sessions are essential for a grown-up Vizsla, or they would become challenging to handle. Games like fetch or running would be best for them.
English pointers are highly active dogs and need a lot of exercise every day. A pointer puppy doesn’t need to exercise hard, and you should let them play on their own with some obedience training.
Once they have grown up to become adult-only, then you need to exercise them hard. Let a pointer dog play inside a fenced yard as they can wander around for miles if they smell prey.
At least an hour of exercise is necessary for a pointer dog, and just walking doesn’t help. You would need to take a Pointer for a run or play some high-activity dog games with them.
Training: Vizsla vs Pointer
Vizslas are highly active dogs and can become destructive if not trained properly. They like to chew on things, and you would need to provide them with lots of chew toys or chew on furniture or other expensive items.
They are velcro dogs and are always ready to please their owners. This trait makes them easy dogs to train.
Be gentle while training a Vizsla as they respond to treats and praises well. It would be best to teach them from an early age to have a better responding adult dog.
English pointers are an intelligent dog breed with a very sharp mind. You would need to train them from a young age, or they can become challenging to handle. Since they are hunting dogs, they have a mind of their own and won’t listen to you sometimes, and that’s fine. You need to be consistent with them throughout their training.
Training and having proper space to play is essential for a pointer dog, or else they can use your house and other things as a source of entertainment and get destructive.
Maintenance: Vizsla vs Pointer
With a short and light coat, Vizslas don’t shed much and require very light maintenance. Brushing once or twice a week is enough. Their coats are self-cleaning and don’t require much care. However, you can wipe them off with a damp cloth.
You would need to trim their nails once or twice a month as long nails make it uncomfortable for dogs to walk. Keep checking for any infections on their bodies and inside their mouth and ears to spot any health issues early.
The English Pointer has a short coat that doesn’t need much maintenance. Pointer’s shed lightly and requires a thorough brushing once a week to remove the loose hairs and dirt accumulated inside the coat.
Start this cleaning process early when your Pointer is a puppy and make the experience positive with treats and praises to help your dog get used to the process.
Check for any infection or rashes during your weekly grooming session; this will help you know about any health issues your Pointer might have. Check their ears and wipe with a damp cotton cloth.
You would need to brush your Pointer’s teeth once or twice a week to maintain good teeth health. Nail trimming of your Pointer is also essential if it doesn’t wear down naturally.
Both Vizslas and Pointers are great dogs with low maintenance. But they also are highly active and need proper exercise. They are quite similar to one another in some terms and drastically different in others.
I hope this article helps you decide between the two dog breeds and if you want more information, let me know through comments. If you find this information beneficial, do consider sharing it with your friends and family.