Various breeds are often mistaken for Vizslas and Vizslas are often mistaken for other breeds. Redbone Coonhounds, Weimaraners and Rhodesian Ridgebacks are some of the most commonly confused breeds. Vizslas are also mistaken for Red Nose Pitbulls, Red Fox Labs and Hounds. On rare occasions Vizslas have even been mistaken for Dachshunds, the little weiner dogs. It is important to look at many features of a dog before determining it is a Vizsla or a Vizsla mix. Common indicators of a Vizsla include a red nose, red leather around the eyes, and a red coat. Be careful, however, as some of these features are common in a number of other breeds. For instance, Red Nose Pitbulls can look very similar to a Vizsla. They have a red nose and a red coat and sometimes have eyes similar to a Vizsla but the ears and body shape are generally completely different. Some hounds look very similar to a Vizsla but the ear shape and size are different and the body style is different. Use the photos and explanations below to help you properly identify a Vizsla.
Here are some ways to identify a Vizsla:
The body structure of a Vizsla is very similar in appearance to a Weimaranar, a Redbone Coonhound and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Weimaranars and Rhodesian Ridgebacks are typically a bit larger than Vizslas and Redbones. Vizslas have also been confused with Red Fox Labs although the coat is much thicker and there is flagging on the tail and legs.
Dachshund. Notice the length of the legs, which, in addition to the black nose, is usually a good indication it is not a Vizsla.
The head of the Vizsla is strong. The occipital bone is generally very prominent where it is not prominent at all in other breeds.
This is probably the easiest way to identify a Vizsla and the easiest way to misidentify a Vizsla. A Vizsla will always have a reddish colored nose that blends with the coat color. If it is black, brown, or any other color, it isn’t a Vizsla. If it has black around the nose or the eyes, it isn’t a Vizsla, at least not a pure Vizsla. Be careful – other features must be carefully looked at – not just the nose color.
Vizslas sometimes have variations in their coat color along their back (saddle-type marks), but they do not have a ridge, like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. The only times Vizslas have a ridge-like raised stripe of hair down their back is when their hackles are up, but even then the hair points upward, not backward.
The whites of a Vizslas eyes barely show. Also, Vizslas usually have golden colored eyes, but this does vary a bit. When Vizslas are young, they may have green, yellow, grey, or blue colored eyes. Also, the color of the leather around the eyes should be red – the same as the coat color. If the eye leather is dark or black it is not a purebred Vizsla, and may not be a Vizsla at all. Very pale or white around the eyes on an otherwise obvious Vizsla may indicate a health issue.
10 week old Vizsla puppy. This is the same dog at about 5 months and at about 1.5 years of age (and a bit blurrier…)
Most Vizslas have a docked tail (usually done to protect the dog when hunting). They are usually left with 2/3 – 3/4 of the length of the natural tail. The tail should not have hair flagging as one finds with Brittanys or Collies and the like. The hair on the tail is short as it is on the body.
The ears should start slightly below the crown and are longer than they are wider. The bottom of the ears are rounded. The ear leather is generally thin. Vizsla ears are never cropped as you may find on a Red Nose Pitbull and the ears on a purebred Vizsla don’t lay back as they do on the dog in the right picture below.