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Vizsla vs. Labrador: The Key Differences (With Pictures)

Vizsla vs. Labrador: The Key Differences (With Pictures)

Both the Vizsla and the Labrador Retriever are popular hunting dogs and household pets. However, they have different personalities and temperaments that should be considered before you decide which breed is the right pet or hunting companion for you. The best way is to compare the two breeds to one another head-on!


Visual Differences

Vizsla vs Labrador - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – Cole Wyland, Unsplash | Right – Vika Dubrovskaya, Shutterstock

At a Glance

  • Average height (adult): 21–25 inches

  • Average weight (adult): 40–65 pounds

  • Lifespan: 12–15 years

  • Exercise: 2+ hours a day

  • Grooming needs: Easy

  • Family-friendly: Sometimes

  • Other pet-friendly: Sometimes

  • Trainability: High

Labrador Retriever
  • Average height (adult): 22–24 inches

  • Average weight (adult): 55–80 pounds

  • Lifespan: 10–12 years

  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day

  • Grooming needs: Moderate

  • Family-friendly: Yes

  • Other pet-friendly: Often

  • Trainability: High


Vizsla Overview

vizsla puppy dog lying down with brown background
Image Credit: Ivanova N, Shutterstock

The Vizsla is a strong dog that was originally bred as a sporting breed. Their ancestors are thought to have been imported into Hungary over 1,000 years ago. They are excellent hunters that can perform well as both pointers and retrievers, which is similar to the Labrador. The breed was developed on the open plains of Hungary, which resulted in a hardy dog that is agile and cautious.

Personality / Character

The typical Vizsla has an outgoing personality and high energy levels that make them seem ready to go no matter what’s happening. These happy-go-lucky dogs do not like being left alone for long periods and need physical and mental stimulation each day to stay happy and healthy. Vizslas tend to be people-oriented and playful, which makes them a joy to spend time with. They are also boisterous by nature, which can be a problem when they’re around young children, as accidents and injuries are possible.

elderly woman hugging a Vizsla puppy
Image Credit: Henriet Haan, Pixabay


Training is extremely important for a Vizsla. These smart yet strong dogs need direction, so obedience training should start as soon as they are brought home for the first time. Without obedience training, these dogs can become overbearing and hard to manage, especially in social situations. Socialization should also begin right away to ensure that aggression does not develop toward strangers and other animals.

This breed does extremely well on the agility course and can be trained to compete in the sport. Also, Vizslas are great candidates as hunting dogs, and training for the job should be as easy as obedience training.


Vizslas are not pets for the weary, as they have plenty of energy and require at least 2 hours of exercise each day to stay healthy, happy, and mentally satisfied. These dogs should receive long daily walks around the neighborhood and through parks. They also enjoy rigorous hikes, camping adventures, time at the dog park, and running alongside a bike rider or jogger as other forms of exercise. Without proper exercise, the average Vizsla is bound to become bored, destructive, and even depressed.

Magyar Vizsla male is running towards the camera
Image Credit: Bianca Pinkernell, Shutterstock

Suitable For:

The Vizsla is a great pet for singles, hunters, and families with older children. Their abundance of energy and vigorous personality can result in accidents and injuries when they spend time around younger kids. These dogs can get along well with other animals in their household, but they should be exposed to these animals while still puppies for the best results.

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Labrador Retriever Overview

labrador retriever puppy playing toy
Image Credit: NotarYES, Shutterstock

St. John’s Water Dogs were imported from Europe into Britain sometime in the 1930s, and the breed was then used to reproduce with British hunting dogs to create the breed that we know as the Labrador Retriever today. These dogs have broad chests, agile legs, and short coats that protect them from rain, snow, and sun. Labrador Retrievers are natural hunting dogs, just like Vizslas. They love the water and enjoy spending as much time with their human companions as possible.

Personality / Character

The Labrador Retriever typically maintains a cheerful disposition and animated personality. This breed has plenty of stamina, which makes them the perfect play pal for kids. Labradors are known for their high intelligence and curious personality, and they like to keep busy with activities and adventures. These social dogs don’t mind meeting new people and tend to follow their companions around the house when they don’t have anything better to do. They also happen to be great snuggle partners when it’s time to curl up on the couch for movie time.

man holding his labrador dog and smiling at sunset
Image Credit: Maksym Azovtsev, Shutterstock


Like the Vizsla, the Labrador Retriever requires obedience training to maintain a happy, healthy, and structured life. These dogs can start obedience training as early as 8 weeks old and should quickly pick up commands like “come,” “sit,” and “stay.” Labradors can also learn how to participate in agility courses, though they are not as agile as Vizslas are. Training a Lab for hunting is a popular pastime for those who enjoy the sport. When it comes to training, the Labrador Retriever and Vizsla are extremely similar.


Labrador Retrievers are active, but not quite as much as Vizslas are. Therefore, they don’t need as much daily exercise for health and happiness. An hour of exercise each day can be enough. The bulk of a Labrador’s exercise should be in the form of vigorous walks, but swimming is another option to consider because the breed tends to love water. These dogs also enjoy hiking, playing fetch, and spending time at the dog park.

woman playing with labrador dog in park
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Suitable For:

Labrador Retrievers are great family pets for households of almost all shapes and sizes. They get along well with kids of all ages, and they do great in single-adult households. They can live in either apartment or house settings but need daily access to outdoor spaces for fun and exercise. They can also get along well with other pets in the household, and they love to meet new dogs while out in public settings.


Which Breed Is Right for You?

Choosing between the Vizsla and the Labrador Retriever comes down to your lifestyle, your household circumstances, and the type of companion that you’re looking for. If you’re highly active and want a dog to spend time with while adventuring outdoors, the Vizsla might be the right dog breed for you. If you’re looking for a family-oriented dog that’s more lowkey, consider the Labrador Retriever. Both are great options for hunters!

Featured Image Credit: Top – Vizslafotozas, Pixabay | Bottom – Henry Ravenscroft, Unsplash

The post Vizsla vs. Labrador: The Key Differences (With Pictures) appeared first on Pet Keen.

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