The Vizsla German Shepherd Mix is a unique combination of two beloved breeds. Both Vizslas and German Shepherds are known for being loyal to their owners and for their affectionate personalities.
Both breeds have high energy levels and make great working dogs. With this hybrid breed, you get the best qualities of both Vizslas and German Shepherds.
History Of The Vizsla German Shepherd Mix
If you want to understand this mixed breed, it is best to examine the history of both breeds that make up the Vizsla German Shepherd Mix.
The Vizsla is an old breed from Hungary that has been around for hundreds of years, while the German Shepherd is a fairly new breed from Germany.
History of the Vizsla
The Vizsla is an ancient and noble breed that traces its roots back to the ninth century. The ancestors of the modern Vizsla were brought to Hungary by the Magyar tribes and were developed to be fast and agile to hunt, point, and retrieve birds and rabbits.
These qualities and the Vizsla’s regal nature made them popular among the Hungarian nobility, and they soon became a symbol of the aristocracy.
The Vizsla survived countless wars and occupations but almost became extinct after World War II. The breed, however, made a comeback and started to become popular again in Central Europe.
When the Soviet Union occupied Hungary, many Vizsla lovers feared the breed’s extinction and began to smuggle them into other countries, including the United States, in 1950.
The Vizsla soon became a beloved hunting and service dog, and its popularity has continued to grow.
History of the German Shepherd
Though for years the German Shepherd has been one of the most common dogs in the United States, it is a reasonably new breed despite its popularity.
Developed in Germany in the nineteenth century by Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, the German Shepherd was bred to become the perfect herding dog.
Von Stephanitz wanted to develop the ideal dog to herd and protect sheep from the many types of shepherds found across different regions of Germany.
His goal led him to buy a pup at a dog show he named Horand von Grafrath and create the first German Shepherd kennel club.
German Shepherds soon spread throughout the world and became beloved for their intelligence, loyalty, strength, and beauty.
German Shepherds declined in popularity during World War I and World War II due to anti-German sentiment in the United States and throughout Europe.
This decline quickly reversed, and the breed became a favored family dog and a working dog for police and military around the world.
Physical Characteristics of the Vizsla German Shepherd Mix
While German Shepherds and Vizslas may look highly different at first glance, they do share some common physical traits.
Vizsla and German Shepherd Mixes are medium to large-sized dogs that are exceptionally fast and agile.
Vizslas and German Shepherds are a similar height, with German Shepherds only slightly taller. You can expect a male Vizsla German Shepherd Mix’s size to range from 22-26 inches tall, while a female mix’s height can be 21-24 inches tall.
While both breeds may be a similar size, German Shepherds are significantly heavier than Vizslas.
Male German Shepherds can typically weigh 65 to 90 pounds, while female German Shepherds weigh 50 to 70 pounds. Male Vizslas, meanwhile, weigh 55 to 60 pounds, and females Vizslas weigh 44 to 55 pounds.
Expect your hybrid pup to fall within these weight ranges, depending on which parent they favor.
Strength and Speed
Both German Shepherds and Vizslas were developed to be working dogs.
Vizsla’s were bred to hunt and retrieve birds and hares, while German Shepherds were developed to herd and guard sheep.
This history has led both breeds to be among the fastest in the world, with Vizsla’s having a speed of 40 mph and German Shepherd’s having a speed of 30 mph. Expect your Vizsla German Shepherd Mix to be strong and fast.
A Vizsla German Shepherd mix will require moderate grooming.
If your dog possesses a short-haired and smooth coat like its Vizsla parent, it will only need a little grooming every four to eight weeks as Vizslas are a low-maintenance breed.
If your pup inherits a coat more like a German Shepherd, it will require frequent brushing. You will also want to invest in an undercoat rake or de-shedding tool since German Shepherd’s have a double coat that sheds a lot.
To keep your hybrid pup clean and healthy, make sure to bathe and trim their nails once a month. You will also want to clean your dog’s ears weekly.
Vizsla German Shepherd mixes have affectionate temperaments and fierce loyalty to their owners. They make great family dogs and are known for being good pets for first-time dog owners due to their gentle nature and patience.
Both breeds also tend to get along well with children and other pets, though a German Shepherd may need a bit more socialization to ensure a healthy living environment with other animals.
While both breeds are friendly, German Shepherds can be more standoffish and guarded towards strangers, while Vizslas tend to be more outgoing with new people.
Since Vizslas have such a tight bond with their owners, they are prone to separation anxiety, and you should not leave them on their own for long periods of time.
To bring out the best attributes of both breeds in your Vizsla German Shepherd Mix, make sure to socialize your hybrid pup from an early age and expose them to different environments and people.
Like any breed, Vizsla German Shepherd Mixes can suffer from health issues. This hybrid pup is susceptible to diseases and sicknesses common to Vizslas and German Shepherds.
Vizslas are prone to bleeding disorders such as thrombocytopenia and Von Willebrand’s disease, a blood clotting disorder. This breed also can suffer from glaucoma and be at risk for cancers like hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.
German Shepherds, meanwhile, are prone to degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord and reduces mobility in the rear legs. German Shepherds can also have pancreatic enzyme insufficiency and autoimmune disease like lupus.
One issue to particularly look out for is bloat, a condition where your dog’s stomach cannot get rid of food and gases and twists.
Signs of bloat include restlessness, pacing, a swollen and painful abdomen, inability to vomit, rapid breathing, and excessive drooling.
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, it is crucial to bring them to the vet immediately as this condition is life-threatening and may require surgery if the stomach has twisted.
Both breeds are also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism.
Since your pup is a mix of a Vizsla and a German Shepherd, it is important to monitor them for any of these diseases and test them if they exhibit any symptoms. To help keep your dog healthy, feed them a well-balanced diet and make sure they get exercise daily.
It is also essential to bring your dog for yearly checkups so you can monitor them for any health problems.
Vizslas have an above-average life expectancy compared to other dogs and live 12 to 15 years.
German Shepherds, meanwhile, have a lower than average life expectancy and usually have a lifespan of 10 to 14 years,
Many dogs live past the average life expectancy of their breed. Sadly, no dog can live forever, but with a proper diet and yearly vet visits, you can do your best to make sure your pup is healthy and lives a long life.
Exercise and Training Requirements
While this breed mix is known for its friendly temperament, it is not for the sedentary owner.
Both Vizslas and German Shepherds have high energy levels and need a lot of exercise to keep them in shape.
Since they are both working breeds, they also need lots of mental stimulation to keep them occupied, so make sure you are prepared to take your Vizsla German Shepherd Mix on lots of walks and that they have plenty of playtime.
Since Vizsla German Shepherd Mixes have lots of energy and like to work, they thrive doing activities like agility and rally. They are intelligent and eager and willing to work, making them the perfect candidate for dog sports.
This dog breed is also very simple to train, and they will learn your commands quickly with the proper teaching and praise.
If these pups do not get the proper training and exercise, they can be prone to destructive behaviors like digging and chewing.
Both Vizslas and German Shepherds are also known to be barkers, and this behavior can be amplified if they are constantly bored, or their mind is not stimulated throughout the day.
Vizsla German Shepherd Mix Popularity And AKC Recognition
Despite their positive qualities, Vizsla German Shepherd Mixes are still relatively uncommon.
A search on Instagram shows only a few hundred posts for the #vizslagermanshepherdmix, and there do not appear to be any breeders specifically selling this type of dog. Instead, many Vizsla German Shepherd mixes seem to be rescued from shelters.
A Vizsla German Shepherd mix is currently not recognized by the American Kennel Club, and there are no plans for it to become an official breed in the future.
While you cannot register this breed with the AKC Purebred Registration, you can register your pup with the AKC Canine Partners Program. This program lets you compete with your dog in events like obedience, agility, and rally.
Vizsla German Shepherd mixes represent the best of both worlds. They exhibit the strength and loyalty of a German Shepherd while also possessing the friendly and affectionate temperament of a Vizsla.
This hybrid breed is intelligent, and a fast learner and will make a great pet to the right home.