The Vizsla, a Hungarian breed of medium size is said to be a pointing and retrieving dog, besides being a loyal and dutiful family pet. Its natural hunting instincts, a strong sense of smell, teamed with a gentle and affectionate nature makes it a fantastic working and family dog.
|Other names||Hungarian Pointer, Magyar Vizsla, Hungarian Vizsla, Rovidszoru Magyar Vizsla|
|Coat||Short, close-lying, dense, smooth, devoid of any woolly undercoat|
|Color||Golden rust, red, golden, red golden, rust, rust golden, sandy yellow with markings of white|
|Average life expectancy (How long do they live)||12 to 15 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Medium|
|Height of a full grown Vizsla||Male: 22 to 25 inches; Female: 21 to 24 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Vizsla||Male: 45 to 65 lbs; Female: 40 to 55 lbs|
|Litter size||6 to 8 puppies|
|Behavioral characteristics||Gentle, affectionate, expressive, loving, caring, well-mannered, energetic|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Adapts well to cold and wet climates|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Moderately|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/ Information||FCI, CKC, AKC, ANKC, NZKC, KC (UK), UKC|
What does a Vizsla look like
Head: Muscular and lean
Muzzle: Square-shaped and deep
Ears: Silky, thin, low set, well-proportioned, hanging close to its cheeks
Eyes: Medium-sized and deeply set
Tail: Low set, at the level of its croup
History and Origin
The Vizsla is an ancient dog breed, and their ancestors were known to be the loyal and trusted hunting friends of the Magyar tribes dwelling in the Pannonian Basin during the 10th century. In due course of time, they became the desired pets of the warlords, barons and other members of the nobility of Hungary who went on to preserve them and even took initiatives of developing their hunting and pointing skills.
Gradually the Vizsla as seen in the modern times went on to develop as a swift and agile all-purpose dogs, capable of performing almost every task given to it.
However, there were several times when the Vizslas ran at the risk of being extinct, like during the events of the Turkish occupation of Hungary, Hungarian Revolution (1848), and the two World Wars. Their importance had even lessened in the 19th century when breeds like German Shorthaired Pointers and English Pointers came into being. Apart from its country of origin, these dogs were even bred in Austria, Slovakia, Romania, and Serbia.
Its importance and numbers only increased when introduced into the United States of America in 1950. The Vizsla Club of America was formed, and it gained AKC’s recognition in 1960.
Its popularity has spread to the United Kingdom too, with about 4500 puppies gaining registration annually by the United Kennel Club. Here, there are two clubs for this breed, the Hungarian Vizsla Society and the Hungarian Vizsla Club.
These dogs have been instrumental in the development of breeds like Wirehaired Vizsla, German Shorthaired Pointer, and the Weimaraner. However, there are even speculations that these breeds were put to use while developing the Vizsla during the latter half of the 19th century.
- Vizsla Staff – Vizsla x American Staffordshire Terrier
- Labralas – Vizsla x Labrador Retriever
- Transylvizsla Hound – Vizsla x Transylvanian Hound
- German Wirehaired Pointing Vizsla – Vizsla x German Wirehaired Pointer
Vizsla vs. Weimaraner
- Vizsla is smaller than Weimaraner.
- The Vizsla and Weimaraner have low and high set ears respectively.
Temperament and Personality
The Vizsla is a caring, gentle, well-mannered and affectionate dog, forming an intimate bond with the members of their household.
Because of their immense sense of attachment with the people whom they love, they have received the name “velcro dogs”., else They detest being left alone and would express their discontent by whining or crying they are generally happy and jovial.
They are shy at strangers and could even bark to show their displeasure on their territory being occupied, a trait which makes great guard dogs especially when trained to be so. Because of its inherent hunting instincts, it develops the pointing as well as retrieving habits from the time it is a year old.
Though these dogs have a friendly and caring demeanor towards kids, they are highly exuberant due to which parental supervision is needed when children below six are interacting with them.
These dogs even share a comfortable rapport with other canines as well as cats, however, keeping their chasing traits in mind, the Vizsla should never be trusted with smaller pets like gerbils, rabbits, and hamsters.
These hunting dogs are extremely active with high energy levels, requiring sufficient exercise for proper physical and mental stimulation. Schedule 30 minutes to 1 hour exercise time for them on a daily basis that should include brisk walk as well as ample playtime in a leashed or fenced yard. You can also take them along with you while going for a jog, though ensure not to make them run a lot until they are about 24 months of age.
Though these dogs do shed moderately, their short and sleek coat devoid of any undercoat makes grooming easy. Brushing them one or two times a week using a rubber curry brush or ones with fine bristles would be enough to maintain the shine and luster of the coat. Bathe it when it gets smelly or dirty using warm water and a good quality dog soap. Other hygiene needs include cleaning its eyes and ears, trimming its nails and brushing its teeth on a routine basis.
Though a healthy breed, some of the common problems faced by the Vizsla include canine epilepsy, hip dysplasia (though rare), dwarfism, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, and sebaceous adenitis.
Vizslas are intelligent dogs who are always eager-to-please their masters, hence training them would not be a task. However, they have a sensitive personality, hence harsh treatments would not go down well with them.
- Socialization training for the Vizsla puppies is a mandate so that they learn to mingle with people as well as pets in a friendly way. Acquaint them with a host of experiences to help them distinguish between the good and the bad, a foe and a friend.
- Obedience training especially commands like “No” and “Stop” would help them minimize destructive habits like barking without reason or chasing anything on the run.
- Crate training would help in minimizing their separation anxiety. Make sure the crate is comfortable enough stuffed with belongings they cherish the most. Initially keep the span short and lengthen it gradually. Never use the crate as confinement for punishment.
These dogs, being energetic and active, require good quality dry dog food with all the essential ingredients providing it adequate nutritional benefits. They are prone to food allergies, so observe your dog well since the time it is a puppy and any ingredient triggering allergic reactions like corn, wheat, dairy product, beef, lamb, chicken, soy and eggs should be avoided. As per the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult Vizsla weighing 55 pounds requires approximately 1409 kcal on a regular basis.
- Dana Perino, the former White House Press Secretary, had a Vizsla named Henry and got another one post its death which she called Jasper.
- Other well-known personalities who own a Vizsla are famous stand-up comedian Drew Lynch, and Mark Buehrle, former baseball player.
- Their agile nature makes it one of the world’s fastest running dogs.