Weimaraners and Vizslas are hunting dog breeds that have adapted to hunting small game, even though they were bred to hunt large game like boars and bears.
The Vizsla originated in Holland, while the Weinheimer is a German hunting dog. Both breeds make great duck hunting dogs, but, partly because of their large size, they may not fare as well with rabbit hunting.
Trained hunting dogs make excellent partners in the woods, but choosing the right breed can be daunting. You must decide if you want a hunting dog that will live apart from the family, outside—or a dog that will be part of your family, sharing your home and your family’s activities.
Depending on your hunting needs, there is a dog hunting breed that will work well for you. Vizslas and Weinheimers need to be part of your family. They will not thrive in a kennel outdoors, separated from their human Pack. In return, they will reward you with companionship and loyalty!
Hunting Dog Breeds for Families
In addition to Weimaraners and Vizslas, there are a number of other hunting dog breeds that are popular.
Retrievers and pointers are popular, perhaps because of their pleasant personalities, obedience and intelligence. Even if people don’t hunt, they often choose retrievers for their families.
If you are a waterfowl hunter looking for hunting dog breeds that love the water, you’ll find that retrievers and pointers also are devoted to their families, in addition to being great duck and geese hunters.
If you like to hunt for birds on land, consider Golden Retrievers or Labradors. And for flushing game birds, consider a setter or a spaniel. Setters are good family dogs, and spaniels are quite intelligent, affectionate and they have good field sense.
Family Dogs that Love Hunting
In addition to being good hunters, both Weimaraners and Vizslas make great family dogs.
Vizslas become attached to a person or a family readily. And, even weighing in at 65 pounds, they love to climb into laps–for cuddles. The Vizsla is a clingy breed, very vocal, and wholly involved in their owner’s life–pretty much 24/7.
And Vizslas do love to chew. If you decide to get a Vizsla, and you intend to use her for duck or bird hunting, you may have to work on soft-mouthing the game. And you should make sure you have plenty of appropriate toys, so that your dog won’t be tempted to chew on your things.
The Weimaraner hunting dog breed is a little larger than a Vizsla. Weimaraners are intelligent, happy and affectionate. This dog breed can get bored with the same routine, so you will need to vary your hunting training exercises, so your dog stays interested.
With Weimaraners, it is important that you show strong leadership. In return, Weinheimers will reward you with loyalty, protection of your family, and strength and courage.
Both the Vizsla and the Weinheimer require plenty of exercise and space. These hunting dog breeds should be exercised daily, and need a place to run.
How to Tell Weimaraners and Vizslas Apart
Weimaraners and Vizslas are often mistaken for each other. But there are differences.
- Origin – Weimaraners originally were German hunting dogs, from Germany. Vizslas originated in Hungary.
- Hunting – Both Vizslas and Weimaraners can be used as duck hunting dogs, bird hunting dogs or for rabbit hunting. However, the Weimaraner is a little large for rabbit hunting.
- Body shapes – Both dog breeds have very similar body shapes.
- Color – One key to telling these two breeds apart is fur color. A Weimaraner’s coat is silver gray, while the Vizsla is a golden rust color.
- Size – Both dogs are large dogs. However, the Vizsla is a little smaller in stature than the Weimaraner.
- Temperament – Both the Weinheimer and the Vizsla are a bit headstrong, and they both benefit from strong leadership and plenty of activity. Both Weims and Vizslas become better hunters when they have a close relationship with their master.
- Firmness in training – Both dog breeds require a firm but gentle approach to training. Weimaraners and Vizslas love to please their owners, especially when the owner takes a firm stand as the leader of the pack.
If you are looking for hunting dog breeds that will become part of your family, either the Vizsla or the Weimaraner should fit the bill. These hunting dog breeds are meant to be part of the family—in the house with you. And neither will thrive, if they are housed outdoors.
Both of these hunting dog breeds will be true, loyal companions and terrific family dogs, in addition to being incredible hunters in the field.
If you are looking for information about how to train a hunting dog, you need to Game Dog by Richard A. Wolters is a good dog training resource.