Also known as the Vizslador or the Labrala, the Vizsla Lab mix is a mix of two fun-loving, high energy dogs.
But is this a great companion for those who like to be active and social?
Or are you better off sticking with one of the parent breeds?
Where Does the Vizsla Lab Mix Come From?
There is not a great deal of information as to how the Vizslador originally came about.
But there is plenty of information about their ancestors.
By learning about the Vizsla and the Labrador we will gain insight into what we can expect from a mix of the two.
The Vizsla is a Hungarian hunting dog, “Vizsla” meaning “pointer” in Hungarian.
The breed has a long history, and in ancient times it was used to hunt Falcons.
It was long the dog of choice for Hungarian nobility.
Around the time of the World Wars, the Vizsla’s numbers declined, almost to the point of extinction.
A few dogs were taken to the US, and from there the breed was revived.
Aside from being a popular pet, these days it is used by the Transport Security Administration for search and rescue operations, and can also be a seeing-eye dog.
The Labrador had its origins in Newfoundland, Canada.
Fishermen took these dogs on boats with them to help haul in their catch.
Their skills along with their eagerness to please caught the eye of an English sportsman.
So, he brought some of these dogs back to England.
He started breeding them, and the Labrador we have come to know today started to take shape.
Fast forward to today, and the Lab has been the most popular dog in the US for more than 20 years running.
They are also used extensively as service dogs, law enforcement and military dogs, as well as hunting dogs.
Purebred vs Mutt – Which is better?
Advocates of mixed breeds voice concerns that inbreeding and exaggeration of certain physical characteristics in purebreds can result in dogs with health problems.
Advocates of purebred dogs claim that their lineage equals reliability.
Mixed or purebred breeders alike have the responsibility to encourage traits that improve the dog’s health, even if that results in a divergence from the “standard” or does not follow a fad.
Fun Facts About the Vizsla Lab Mix
- The Vizsla was the first breed to ever be the AKC triple champion. Another Vizsla then went on to be the first ever quintuple champion in AKC history.
- Endal the Labrador came to be known as the most decorated dog in history after he saved the life of his owner by placing him in the recovery position, pulling out his phone, covering him with a blanket and alerting those nearby. If you would like to know more about this moving story, you can find out more about it here.
Vizsla Lab Mix Appearance
We cannot state exactly how a Vizslador will look as it is a mixed breed.
We can have a look at the parent breeds, however, and get some clues.
The Vizsla is dignified and sleek, with a short coat that is a golden rusty color. The coat is short, but it does shed.
It has long, velvety ears, a classic “hound dog” face, and attentive eyes.
While it is robust and athletic, it is quite fine in build. A medium-sized dog, it stands between 22 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weighs anywhere from 44 to 60 pounds.
The Labrador is much the same height as the Vizsla, standing between 21.5 and 24.5 at the shoulder.
However, they are a stockier, heavier set dog and weigh anywhere from 55 to 80 pounds.
Labs also have a short coat, but it is a double coat and sheds.
The Labrador comes in 3 colors: Yellow, Chocolate, and Black.
The Labrador is famed for its kind friendly eyes and sweet face.
A mix of these two breeds would probably not exceed 24 inches in height.
Their coat will be short but will shed.
Both are handsome dogs, so the combination is sure to be a pleasing-looking pooch.
Vizsla Lab Mix Temperament
The Vizsla is a high energy dog which loves to work.
They need loads of exercise, so if you are an active, outdoors person, a Vizsla would love to join in on your adventures.
Their hunting background belies just how soft natured and sensitive they are.
It could be said they need just as many cuddles as they need hours of exercise!
Don’t be surprised if your Vizsla becomes your canine-shaped shadow as you go about your business at home.
They also have the tendency to be a little skittish, so they need plenty of socialization.
The American Vizsla Club also kindly warns prospective owners that a Vizsla could be a puppy up until they are around 4 years of age.
The Lab shares some similarities in temperament, being active, fun loving and kind.
However, they are generally more laid back, and less needy than the Vizsla.
They too will be a kid for a while – they may grow up a little faster than the Vizsla but are still renowned for their extended puppyhood.
The long and short of it is this: don’t expect a mix of these two to mature quickly.
Training Your Vizsla Lab Mix
Both breeds are trainable, but their delayed maturity means you will need a bit of patience in the early years.
There is loads of helpful information out there on how to train a Labrador, seeing they are such a popular breed.
You can find a whole lot of helpful resources for Labradors here.
One of the most important things to remember about this mix is that the Vizsla side of the family could bring with it some skittishness.
It is vital to thoroughly socialize your dog when it is small to make them more comfortable in a variety of settings.
You can read more about socialization here.
Vizsla Lab Mix Health
The Vizsla is a generally healthy dog that can live up to 15 years.
They can suffer from hip dysplasia, eye problems, epilepsy, and thyroid issues.
A health survey of Vizslas carried out in 2008 also found that cancer was a commonly reported illness amongst the breed.
Labradors can also suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia.
This is a condition both parent breeds have in common, so you should be extra careful to check that the parents of your pup did not have joint problems.
Labs are also known to suffer from heart disorders, hereditary myopathy (or muscle weakness).
And a condition called Exercise Induced Collapse, although this tends to affect younger dogs.
Labs are a deep-chested breed, so bloat is also a concern.
If your pooch takes after the Lab side of the family, familiarize yourself with the condition, as it is a medical emergency which needs to be treated fast.
A Labrador’s average lifespan is 12 years.
Do Vizsla Lab Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
This mix can make a great family dog.
Just make sure you have the time and energy to put into socialization, training, and exercise as they will need plenty of stimulation, particularly in their younger years.
Rescuing a Vizsla Lab mix
A great option if you are not ready for the onslaught of a puppy for the next 4 years is to rescue an older dog.
It is also a great way to give a dog a second chance.
Usually, a change in the owners’ circumstances has led to the dog having to go to the shelter.
However, bear in mind that at times the dog may be for rescue because they had some problems.
Health issues or behaviors that the previous owner could not cope with, or worse still, they had been neglected or mistreated.
Make sure you get a thorough history of the dog before you take them home.
Ensure you have the right environment to give them the care and attention they need.
Finding a Vizsla Lab Mix Puppy
Mix breeds are rapidly gaining in popularity.
This can be a good thing for the general health of dogs on the one hand, but it can also open the way for unscrupulous individuals to make a quick buck off the back of mass-produced pups.
If you decide you would like a Vizslador pup, then please do not buy one online or from a pet shop.
Sadly, these dogs are usually bred in cruel puppy farms.
The dogs kept in these farms are kept in terrible conditions, often with untreated medical issues and injuries.
In order to make sure your puppy and its parents have been treated kindly and fairly, it is important you visit the place they are bred.
Meet the breeder and at the very least, meet the mother dog along with her litter.
If you would like some advice on how to find a happy, healthy puppy, check out our puppy search guide, which is full of helpful information.
Raising A Vizsla Lab Mix Puppy
First thing’s first, you will be keen to potty train your pup.
If you would like some helpful information, have a look at our comprehensive guide here.
You can also find great information about crate training here.
While it is important to socialize any puppy, the Vizsla side of this mix makes socialization even more important if you don’t want to be left with a nervous, skittish dog.
If you would like to learn more about socialization, and how to do it in the ideal timeframe from 8-16 weeks of age, you can read all about it here.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Vizsla Lab Mix
- Slow to mature and will take time and patience to train.
- Will shed fur. Even though the Vizsla has a smooth, sleek coat, they still shed!
- Very high energy. Will need a lot of exercise.
- Kind, friendly and affectionate temperament.
- Eager to please their humans, despite their immaturity in the younger years.
- Intelligent, can be trained as assistance dogs.
Similar Vizsla Lab Mixes and Breeds
If you like the sound of the Vizsla Lab mix but would still like to see what other options are out there, here are a few mixes that are similar:
Vizsla Lab Mix Rescues
Here is a list of rescues for the parent breeds.
If you know of any other rescue organizations, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.
Is A Vizsla Lab Mix Right for Me?
These dogs can make great family pets. But there are some things you need to consider:
They will have a lot of energy to burn – you will need plenty of time to dedicate to exercise.
Vizsladors are eager to please, but they will mature slowly. Training will require patience.
If your Vizslador takes after their Vizsla parent, they could be clingy and sensitive. They will require socialization, time, and love.
If you are confident your home ticks all the boxes, you will have a loyal, enthusiastic, and loving friend in a Vizsla Labrador mix.
References and Further Reading
- The Vizsla Club of America Inc.
- Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club Inc.
- Mouland, B., “Disabled officer bids farewell to remarkable labrador who saved his marriage and his life” The Daily Mail.
- Gibbons, T.A., Ruffini, L., & Rieger, R.H. (2009). “The 2008 Vizsla Health Survey.” West Chester, PA: West Chester Statistics Institute
- RSPCA Australia
- Beuchat, C., “The myth of hybrid vigor in dogs…is a myth” The Institute of Canine Biology.
- O’Neil, D.G., et al “Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England.” Veterinary Journal, 1997