Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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A charismatic dog, the Vizmaraner has inherited the charm and loyalty of the Vizsla and intelligence and courage of the Weimaraner. Tall and lean, with their piercing eyes and serious expression, this designer dog belongs in a beauty pageant. Their short coat is remarkably silky – perhaps a ruse they have developed over time to encourage owners to stroke and cuddle them (one of their favourite past-times)!

The Vizmaraner loves nothing more than to be roaming free outside and they are keen hunting dogs who respond well to training. With quite intensive exercise requirements, this breed would not be right for everyone.

About & History

While the Vizsla and the Weimaraner are two entirely different breeds, they do share many of the same traits and, in many ways, a Vizsla looks like a shorter Weimaraner with a russet gold rather than a grey/blue coat. The two breeds were likely mated for the first time in the later part of the 20th century, during which time there was a growing international trend for hybridisation of purebred dogs. Both breeds have been traditionally used as hunters and were used mainly by the aristocracy and higher classes.

The Vizsla

The Vizsla is most-respected for its ability to be an adaptable and multi-purpose hunter – a role it has fulfilled for hundreds of years – likely since as far back as the 13th century. As well as being used as pointing gun dogs, Vizslas are also efficient retrievers.

Developed within Hungary, this breed was a popular hunting companion in its native land. During the Second World War, the breed numbers plunged and the Vizsla came worrying close to extinction. In recent years, however, the breed has enjoyed a sort of revival and are an increasingly popular pet dog.

The Weimaraner

It is possible that the Weimaraner descended from the now extinct Chien Gris, though this has been difficult to prove. While certainly a breed of ancient origins, the modern day Weimaraner only came to be in around the 1800s, within Weimar in central Germany. Initially, this tall and rangy dog was utilised to hunt large prey, including deer and boar.

Over time though, the demand for this type of hunting decreased and the dog was more often used in the pursuit of smaller prey within their German homeland. The nobility appreciated the Weimaraner for its hunting ability but also for its elegant look and sociable nature. Kept within family homes rather than kennels, this breed has always been a friendly and devoted companion animal.


A lean and well-proportioned dog, the Vizmaraner was built for being active. Their skull is medium in width and their muzzle is slightly shorter than their skull. Their eyes may be a deep brown, amber, green or a piercing blue. Their ears are inevitably pendulous and often long and quite thin. Their upper lips are loose and droop slightly, adding to their dignified expression. Their neck is well-muscled and should not have a dewlap. Interestingly, as both parents have webbed feet, this trait can be expected. Their tail is slim, of medium length, and may curl towards the head when held high.

When fully grown, the adult Vizmaraner will weigh from 20 to 32kg. A large breed, they will reach heights of 53-64cm at the withers. The fur of the Vizmaraner is short but dense and soft to the touch. It may be the classic grey colour of the Weimaraner or the russet colour of the Vizsla or an entirely different colour altogether. Many breed members actually have a brown colour fur that is unlike the coat of either parent.

Character & Temperament

A high-octane pet, the Vizmaraner has a lot to offer. They approach life in an energetic and playful way and never like to miss out on any action. While confident when in the great outdoors and social with most, some breed members can have a tendency to become over-dependent on their owner. This sort of dependence can develop into behavioural issues and a severe separation anxiety if not dealt with promptly.

Most Vizmaraners bond closely with the entire family, particularly the children with whom they are gentle and patient. Due to their sheer size, all interactions should be monitored in case of accidental injuries. If introduced from a young age, this breed adapts well to living with other dogs. When it comes to smaller animals, the Vizmaraner cannot be expected to cohabit peacefully with them, as they have a naturally high prey drive.

Depending on their breeding, some individuals will be more work-oriented and highly strung than others, and these dogs will require more intensive training and exercise. If under-stimulated, it would not be unexpected for these breed members to become destructive within the home and to howl non-stop.


For a novice trainer, the Vizmaraner can be an incredibly rewarding breed. They respond well to positive reinforcement training and are exceptionally fast learners who are eager to please. Some will be overly sensitive and will benefit from a gentle approach. Reprimanding these dogs may result in fear or hostility.

Repetitive training sessions should be avoided, as this is a breed who picks things up after one or two tries. Their intelligence means that they like to be kept on their toes and enjoy participating in a variety of activities and regularly learning new things.


By educating ourselves on the health conditions to which the Vizmaraner is more predisposed, we can monitor for these conditions within the population and aim to reduce their prevalence by breeding responsibly. Owners should always source their dog from a reputable source – ideally from a breeder that carries out routine screening tests.

Hip Dysplasia

It has been known for a long-time that hip dysplasia can be genetic, meaning that affected animals should not be bred from. Not only can hip dysplasia cause an odd gait and muscle wastage, it also results in a dog that is in chronic pain in later life. Other factors can contribute to the development of hip dysplasia, including diet and exercise in early life.


Unexplained seizures can be attributed to epilepsy. While some dogs may only suffer from a handful of short fits during their lifetime, others may experience seizures much more frequently than this. Unless the epilepsy is very mild, dogs will be managed on medication that is taken daily.


A thyroid gland that is underactive may result in a dog that is sluggish, gaining weight and has a poor-quality coat. Blood tests will reveal a thyroid hormone level that is sub-optimal. Thyroid hormone is supplemented in tablet form and most dogs respond very well to treatment.

Gastric Torsion

Gastric torsion is also known as GDV (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus). An animal experiencing gastric torsion will be suddenly very unwell. They may try to vomit and retch, whine and will have a visibly distended abdomen. On x-rays, a vet will see a stomach that is grossly enlarged and twisted over.

The issue is corrected with a surgery. As a dog that has experienced a torsion is liable to experiencing the same issue again, some vets will perform a procedure called a ‘gastropexy’, whereby the stomach is tacked down, preventing it from twisting in the future.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The exercise requirements of the Vizmaraner can be very high and owners need to be committed. As well as having access to fenced-in gardens or dog parks, the Vizmaraner should be brought on a walk, hike or jog that lasts about one hour each day. On top of this, they just love to play and will never say no to a game of fetch or Frisbee.

If an owner can indulge their hunting instincts, they will be more content and well-balanced dogs. Scenting trials exist internationally and can be a super activity for those owners that are not actively involved in hunting but own a dog that was bred to be a hunter.


The very short coat of the Vizmaraner will never get matted or tangled but should be brushed once a week to help the oils spread along the fur shafts and to remove the dead fur. Lacking any undercoat, these dogs do not shed very much. Owners should check and clean their ears every one to two weeks.

Particularly in older breed members, or those not walked on hard surfaces, the claws of the Vizmaraner can become long and thick. Trimming them every six to eight weeks will prevent overgrowth and keep your dog comfortable.

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