Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Buck
Published: May 12, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Anna Pozzi
Share this post on:

Given the number of hunting dog breeds out there today, you may be wondering about all of the differences and similarities between the Vizsla vs German shorthaired pointer. What qualities do they share with one another besides a penchant for hunting game, and in what ways do these two fantastic dogs differ?

In this article, we will go over all of the differences between the Vizsla and the German shorthaired pointer. We will address their physical appearances so that you can learn how to tell them apart upon first glance. Additionally, we will discuss their ancestries, behaviors, and lifespans in case you are considering adopting either of these two breeds. Let’s get started!

Comparing Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer
The Vizsla is shorter than the German shorthaired pointer, though they both weigh a similar amount on average.

A-Z-Animals.com

4,871 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?
VizslaGerman Shorthaired Pointer
Size20-24 inches tall; 45-60 pounds21-25 inches tall; 45-60 pounds
AppearanceAthletic and muscular body covered in a short, shiny coat. Only comes in a unique rusty red color, and has large, floppy ears. Tail is thin and long, and their noses are also red in colorShort and shiny coat only found in solid black or brown, or a mixture of color and white. Often spotted, with floppy ears and a tail that points straight back when they find their mark. Barrel chested and long legged with webbed toes
AncestryOriginated in Hungary during the 800s AD; bred for hunting throughout the Hungarian wildernessOriginated in Germany during the 17th century; developed from many different breeds in an attempt to make the perfect bird dog
BehaviorVery friendly to humans and animals alike, though it does need to be kept entertained and active all day long. May get destructive if left alone Eager to please, highly trainable, and very active. Requires a lot of exercise and doesn’t like being left alone, but loves to relax with their family after a hard day’s work
Lifespan12-15 years12-14 years

Key Differences Between Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer
The Vizsla only comes in one distinct red color, while the German shorthaired pointer comes in black, brown, or white.

iStock.com/BranstonandTwiglet

There are a number of key differences between the Vizsla and the German shorthaired pointer. The Vizsla is shorter than the German shorthaired pointer, though they both weigh a similar amount on average. Additionally, the Vizsla only comes in one distinct red color, while the German shorthaired pointer comes in black, brown, or white. Finally, the German shorthaired pointer is a much newer breed of dog compared to the Vizsla.

Let’s go over all of these differences and more now!

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer: Size

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer
The Vizsla reaches 20-24 inches tall total, while the German shorthaired pointer reaches 21-25 inches tall.

iStock.com/Ksenia Raykova

While the Vizsla and the German shorthaired pointer weigh basically the same on average, depending on gender, there is a difference in the height of these two breeds. For example, the Vizsla reaches 20-24 inches tall total, while the German shorthaired pointer reaches 21-25 inches tall. As you can see, the differences are subtle and often overlap, but the German shorthaired pointer grows just slightly taller than the Vizsla!

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer: Appearance

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer
A potential physical difference that you can’t see just by looking at them is that the German shorthaired pointer has webbed feet, while the Vizsla does not.

iStock.com/slowmotiongli

While both the Vizsla and the German shorthaired pointer are built similarly, there are some key differences in their appearances that can help you tell them apart. For example, the Vizsla only comes in a solid, unique rusty red-brown color, while the German shorthaired pointer comes in black, white, brown, and spotted coats.

However, both of these dogs have short fur with large, floppy ears and long, narrow tails. They point out their prey or game when they see it, paw bent and tail straight. A potential physical difference that you can’t see just by looking at them is that the German shorthaired pointer has webbed feet, while the Vizsla does not.

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer: Ancestry and Breeding

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer
The German shorthaired pointer originated in Germany during the 17th century, while the Vizsla originated in Hungary as far back as 800 AD.

There are a few distinct differences in the breeding of the Vizsla versus the breeding of the German shorthaired pointer. For example, the German shorthaired pointer originated in Germany during the 17th century, while the Vizsla originated in Hungary as far back as 800 AD. This makes the Vizsla a much older dog breed compared to the German shorthaired pointer.

In addition, both of these breeds were created as bird and hunting dogs, though the Vizsla was bred with the Hungarian wilderness in mind, and the German shorthaired pointer was not. This may make the Vizsla a sturdier and more rugged hunting dog overall in comparison to the German shorthaired pointer, though both dogs are extremely capable breeds!

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer: Behavior

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer
Both breeds are highly trainable and eager to please, though the Vizsla needs to be entertained more than the German shorthaired pointer does.

iStock.com/BeeBuddy

In terms of behavior, there are many overlapping qualities between the German shorthaired pointer and the Vizsla. For example, both breeds are highly trainable and eager to please, though the Vizsla needs to be entertained more than the German shorthaired pointer does. At the end of a hard day’s work, a German shorthaired pointer wants nothing more than to relax with their family, while the Vizsla may still want more playtime.

However, both breeds require ample exercise before they feel tired. They may both exhibit destructive behaviors if left alone without being exercised properly, so keep this in mind if you are interested in adopting either of these two breeds.

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer: Lifespan

Vizsla vs German Shorthaired Pointer
The Vizsla lives slightly longer on average compared to the German shorthaired pointer.

shymar27/Shutterstock.com

A final difference between the Vizsla and the German shorthaired pointer is their lifespans. There is only a subtle difference between their average ages, though the Vizsla lives slightly longer on average compared to the German shorthaired pointer. For example, the German shorthaired pointer lives anywhere from 12-14 years, while the Vizsla lives a year longer on average, for a lifespan of 12-15 years.

Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?

How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
Xtra-Large

If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Kids
Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

Yes
No
How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
Share this post on:
About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.