The rare Wirehaired Vizsla may share part of her name with her shorthaired cousin, but she is actually a completely separate breed. In 1930s Hungary, shorthaired Vizslas were bred with German Wirehaired Pointers, which resulted in a dog with the shape of the shorthaired Vizsla, but the heavier head and coat of the pointer, better suited for working in colder climates. Historical anecdotes indicate that there was additional crossing with Pudelpointers, Irish Setters and Bloodhounds around World War II, to strengthen the breed. Introduced to North America in the 1970s, there are between 400 and 450 Wirehaired Vizslas in the U.S. today, and approximately 2,500-3,000 worldwide.
The Wirehaired Vizsla has a reddish or rust-colored wiry coat with pronounced eyebrows and a long beard. “Vizsla” means either "quick" or “pointer” in Hungarian, and the Wirehaired Vizsla lives up to both of those, as well as excelling in retrieving.
Known for her calm, friendly, outgoing personality, she has a strong desire to please. Training should be gentle so as not to hurt her sensitive nature. Loving and sweet-tempered, she is often demonstratively affectionate with her family, including children. Because of her heritage as a working dog, she needs plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep her happy and healthy — and she especially loves to swim!
High energy aside, the Wirehaired Vizsla is prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect her health — not to mention your vacation fund. Some of the conditions and illnesses Wirehaired Vizslas are prone to include eye conditions such as entropion; joint conditions such as hip dysplasia; thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism; neurological problems such as epilepsy; skin conditions such as atopy; and bowel conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Wirehaired Vizsla inherits anything more than a sweet, gentle personality, you’re covered.