The Vizsla is a dog breed originating inn Hungary. The Hungarian or Magyar Vizsla are sporting dogs and loyal companions, in addition to being the smallest of the all-round pointer-retriever breeds. The Vizsla’s medium size is one of the breed’s most appealing characteristics as a hunter of fowl and upland game, and through the centuries the Vizsla has held a rare position among sporting dogs – that of household companion and family dog.
The Vizsla is a natural hunter endowed with an excellent nose and an outstanding trainability. Although they are lively, gentle mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive, they are also fearless and possessed of a well-developed protective instinct.
The Vizsla is a medium-sized dog, and fanciers feel that large dogs are undesirable. The average height and weight:
- Height: 22–25 in (56–64 cm)
- Weight: 45–66 lb (20–30 kg)
- Height: 21–24 in (53–61 cm)
- Weight: 40–55 lb (18–25 kg)
The American breed standard calls for the tail to be docked to two-thirds of its original length. Breed standards in countries where docking is banned do not require this (UK breed standard, for example). The Vizsla holds its tail horizontal to the ground and wags it vigorously while charging through rough scrub and undergrowth.
The docked tail of the Vizsla is significantly longer than that of other dogs with traditionally docked tails such as the Weimaraner, Doberman, Boxer, and Australian Shepherd. Since the tail is docked when the puppy is less than three days old, this longer dock can result in some variation in tail length among Vizsla dogs from different breeding programs.
Vizslas are very high energy, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring, and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, children and even strangers. Often they are referred to as “velcro” dogs because of their loyalty and affection. Vizslas will cry or whine when they feel neglected or are otherwise unhappy. Some will bark at strangers if they feel that they are invading the “pack” space. They are very good guard dogs when trained.
They are natural hunters with an excellent ability to take training. Not only are they great pointers, but they are excellent retrievers as well. They will retrieve on land and in the water, making the most of their natural instincts. However, they must be trained gently and without harsh commands or strong physical correction, as they have sensitive temperaments and can be easily damaged if trained too harshly. However the owner must show quiet authority in training, otherwise the dog is likely to take over the training session.
Vizslas are excellent swimmers. Some may need a little motivation to get in the water but as they get used to it they will love it. Like all hunting dogs, Vizslas require a great deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy.
The Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise, and interaction. With proper socialization and training, Vizslas are very gentle dogs that are great around children. The Vizsla wants to be close to its owner as much as possible. Many Vizslas will sleep in bed with their owners and, if allowed, burrow under the covers. Vizslas have been compared to horses in their tendency to “trot” rather than run and some “wiggle” their backsides as they walk.
Vizslas are excellent swimmers.
A Vizsla Club of America survey puts the average lifespan of the Vizsla at 9.15 years. The Vizsla is considered to be a robust dog, but some localized breeding programs using a small number of dogs have led to heritable illnesses in some offspring, including: is very rare but remotely possible.
- Hip Displasia
- Canine Epilepsy
- Cancer (Lipoma, Mast Cell Tumors, Hemangiosarcoma, Lymphoma)
- Sebaceous adenitis.
Responsible breeders do not select dogs for breeding if they have such inherent problems. Vizslas can also suffer from hypothyroidism, dwarfism, persistent right aortic arch, tricuspid valve dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy. Major risks include epilepsy and lymphosarcoma. Vizslas can also be prone to skin and food allergies.
Unlike many other dogs, Vizslas do not have an undercoat. They are therefore not recommended for outdoor living unless accommodations are made to keep them warm. They should be housed indoors with the family to ensure a healthy, happy dog.
The Vizsla was already known in early Hungarian history. The ancestors of the present Vizsla were the trusted and favorite hunting dogs of the Magyar tribes who lived in the Carpathian Basin in the 10th century. Primitive stone etchings over a thousand years old show the Magyar hunter with his falcon and his Vizsla.
The first written reference to Vizsla dog breed has been recorded in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle prepared on order of King Lajos the Great (Louis the Great) by the Carmelite Friars in 1357.
Companion dogs of the early warlords and barons, Vizsla blood was preserved pure for centuries by the land-owning aristocracy who guarded them jealously and continued to develop the hunting ability of these “yellow-pointers”. Records of letters and writings show the high esteem in which the Vizsla was held.
The Vizsla survived the Turkish occupation (1526–1696), the Hungarian Revolution (1848–49), World War I, World War II and the Soviet Period. However, Vizslas faced and survived several near-extinctions in their history, including being overrun by English Pointers and German Shorthair Pointers in the 1800s (Boggs, 2000:19) and again to near-extinction after World War II. A careful search of Hungary and a poll of Hungarian sportsmen revealed only about a dozen Vizslas of the true type still alive in the country. From that minimum stock, the breed rose to prominence once again. The various “strains” of the Vizsla have become somewhat distinctive as individuals bred stock that suited their hunting style. Outside Hungary, vizslas are commonly bred in Romania, Austria, Slovakia, and Serbia.
The Vizsla started arriving in the United States at the close of World War II. As interest in and devotion to the breed began to increase, owners formed the Vizsla Club of America in order to gain AKC recognition. As a result of registering foundation stock with the AKC Vizsla owners were able to obtain official recognition on November 25, 1960, as the Vizsla became the 115th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The Vizsla was used in development of other breeds, most notably the Wiemaraner, Wire-haired Vizsla, and German Shorthair Pointer breeds. There is much conjecture about those same breeds, along with other pointer breeds, being used to reestablish the Vizsla breed at the end of 19th century.
||The Yugoslavia Kennel Club offered to give temporary registration to Vizslas at a local dog show so as to register future blood lines since many of the dogs in Yugoslavia and behind the Iron Curtain were pure bred, but without registration papers.
The American Kennel Club recognized Vizsla as the 115th breed on November 25, 1960.
Information from: wikipedia.com