The Hungarian Vizsla is a medium sized dog whose ancestors dates back as far as the 14th Century. Otherwise known as the Magyar Vizsla, it is one of the native dogs of Hungary, originally a sporting dog used as an all-around pointer-retriever. It is the smallest of all the all-round pointer-retrievers which makes it appealing as an excellent hunter of fowl and upland game. It is one of the natural hunters born with an excellent nose and an outstanding capability of being trained. It has a general appearance of a distinguished dog, robust but lightly built with visibly well-defined muscles covered by short, straight, dense, smooth and shiny coat that feels greasy to the touch. The Hungarian Vizsla is a russet gold coloured dog sometimes with small white markings on the chest and feet. A male Vizsla has an average height of 57 - 64cms while a female usually stands between 53 – 60cms from withers to ground. The ideal weight is between 20kg to 30kg with males on the heavier, bulkier side of the scale.
The Hungarian Vizsla’s ancestors were Magyar hunting dogs found in the Carpathian Basin during the 10th century. These dogs are depicted in centuries-old stone etchings found in Hungary showing the Magyar hunter with his Vizsla and his falcon. However, it was not until 1357 that the Vizsla was mentioned in writings by the Carmelite Friars. In its native country, the breed became a prized companion dog of the early nobility and aristocracy where it was protected and carefully guarded. Similar to the fate of other European dogs, the Vizsla suffered a tremendous loss to its population after the end of the Second World War. In fact, only about a dozen dogs remained after the war and from this minimum stock, the breed rose to prominence again. Besides Hungary, the Vizsla is also popular in Romania, Austria, Slovakia, and Serbia. In the United Kingdom today, the Hungarian Vizsla is one of the most popular breeds, making it into the top 50 with the total numbers continuing to rise steadily each year.
Owners of Hungarian Vizsla describe the breed as lively, intelligent and obedient. This intelligence and an attitude to always wanting to please its owner makes the Vizsla easily trained. It is also very affectionate and sensitive that it thrives on human companionship and praise. It is an adaptable hunter, able to hunt both fur and feather by pointing and retrieving from land and in water. The Hungarian Vizsla is gentle-mannered but don’t let this attitude fool you, as it can be fearless whenever the situation ask for it, plus it has an outstanding protective instinct which makes it a good watchdog. The Vizsla is a natural hunter, an outstanding pointer and an excellent retriever. It is also an excellent swimmer. As a puppy, it thrives on human attention and interaction. It can become bored and destructive if left alone for long periods of time.
Just like any other dog, a successful dog training usually starts when the dog is still a puppy who is eager to learn new things. Training the dog early on helps establishes good habits and behaviour and prevents the dog from being aggressive, easily bored which translates to unruly behaviours like chewing, barking, digging, jumping, and whining among others. The Hungarian Vizsla is a natural watchdog and can be easily trained as such because of its excellent protective instincts and impeccable sense of smell. Training the dog early also helps in controlling recreational barking for some breeds. The Vizsla can also be trained to excel in dog sports such as flyball, agility, obedience, and heelwork.s
The Hungarian Vizsla has a short flat coat that sheds all-year-round, even in winter. Constant brushing is required for the short coat to minimise hair fall while a shedding blade is advised to pull out the dead coat. Check the ears at least once a month for signs of infections and clean as necessary. Nails should be clipped once a month. Bathing is on an as-need basis because it can remove the coat’s natural moisturising oils.
The Hungarian Vizsla is a robust dog has an average lifespan of 9 to 10 years. There are a few medical issues associated with some dogs, among them are:
Like all hunting dogs that are used to working for several hours continuously, the Vizsla needs a great deal of exercise to remain physically healthy and mentally active. It is very active and needs a lot of mental stimulation especially when young. It is not a suitable pet to have for an owner how lives in an apartment or condominium. The Hungarian Vizsla is fairly active indoors even if it gets plenty of exercises outdoors.
Children and the Hungarian Vizsla can get along well if the dog is safely socialised from a very young age. The size of the Vizsla plus its speed and playfulness can easily knock children and elderly alike so the dog must be trained and socialised to behave when it is around children and the elderly. Conversely, children should be taught how to behave properly when they are around the dog. The Vizsla will do well with other dogs because it is a pack worker/hunter and will even get along well with cats if raised with them from puppyhood.