This article will help if you plan to bring a Vizsla home as your pet and want to gather more information about it.
This article will give you all the information about Vizsla, including Breed Information, history, temperament, health, grooming needs, and more. We have even included pictures of the Vizsla, so you understand their physical appearance better.
Let’s take a sneak peek!
|Vizsla Dog Breed Information:|
|Dog Breed Group:||Gundogs, Pointers|
|Temperament:||Curious, intelligent, loyal, alert, affectionate|
|Alternate names and nicknames:||Hungarian Pointer|
|Tendency to Bark or Howl:|
|Health and Grooming:|
|Amount Of Shedding:|
Breed Information About Vizsla
The Vizsla is a medium-sized Hungarian breed with an elegant appearance and athletic build. These dogs are lean, light-footed, and have been a hunter’s companion for ages.
Besides their working lineage, these dogs are perfect companion pets as well. They love to follow their owners wherever they go. When it comes to popularity, these dogs rank pretty high. In the American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Dogs List 2022, the Vizsla ranked 33rd.
These dogs already have celebrity status since many famous people own them. American political commentator Dana Perino, known for her role as a White House Press Secretary, had three Vizslas – Henry, Percy, and Jasper. American comedian Andrew Lynch owned Stella, a service dog, who was also a Vizsla. American baseball pitcher Mark Buehrle had three Vizslas – Duke, Diesel, and Drake. The list is endless.
History of the Vizsla
The Vizslas are descendants of the hunting breeds which the Magyars, who settled in Hungary 1000 years ago, had used. The Illustrated Vienna Chronicle bears Vizsla’s earliest records. Like their horses, the Magyars also wanted their dogs to be tough, agile, and extremely fast on their foot. These attributes can perfectly be seen in the Vizsla of modern times. The warlords and nobles used these dogs for hunting hares and game birds. With their efforts, the Vizsla was refined over the years to develop into an efficient retrieving and pointing breed.
The Vizslas witnessed and sailed through several catastrophes. These included the Turkish occupation of Hungary, the Hungarian Revolution, and the two devastating World Wars. During the First World War, these dogs were used for delivering messages.
After the Second World War, their numbers reduced drastically. It put them at risk of extinction. Post this, only a dozen Vizslas existed in Hungary. However, with careful breeding, their numbers began rising. Besides their place of origin, the Vizsla was common in Serbia, Austria, Romania, and Slovakia.
The Vizsla reached the United States in 1950 with the efforts of an employee of the U.S. State Department. The dogs then were way too different than the present-day Vizsla in appearance. They had bony skulls, and longer muzzles, in contrast to today’s dogs.
The American Kennel Club recognized the Vizsla as its 115th breed on the 25th of November, 1960. The Vizsla Club of America, initially named Magyar Vizsla Club, developed in the first half of the 1950s. It went on to become AKC’s parent club for the breed.
The breed is equally popular in the United Kingdom. Each year the Kennel Club of Britain recognizes around 4520 puppies. The Hungarian Vizsla Society and the Hungarian Breed Club are the two prominent Vizsla clubs in Britain.
More About the Vizsla
Versatile is the word best to describe the Vizsla in short. It does not just qualify for the stature of a hard-working breed. It even lives up to one’s expectation of a gentle-mannered family dog.
Did you know? A Vizsla named Chartay achieved a remarkable feat in the history of AKC. It went on to win championships in five different sports. Hungargunn Bear It’n Mind, a Vizsla, won the Best in Show in 2010 bat Crufts. So, let’s read on to learn about this breed’s physical appearance and temperamental features.
Agile, athletic, energetic – that’s what makes the Vizsla. Its striking personality is reflected in its appearance as well. One look at the Vizsla, and you’ll come across a lean, lightly-build, and moderately tall hunting breed.
They may not be heavy, but they are muscular indeed. These dogs even have a lean, muscular heads and a skull of moderate width. A trait that takes its cute and loving expression to another level is its ears.
The Vizsla’s low-set ears appear long, thin, and silky, close to their cheek. They have medium-sized eyes, with the whites barely visible. Their eye color is mostly golden, though, in the young Vizslas, it may vary from green to yellow, gray to blue.
The Vizsla’s nose should appear reddish, complementing the color of its coat. As per the AKC’s breed standards, a nose that is partially or completely black stands disqualified. They even have moderately long, arched, and muscular necks, while their body is well-proportioned. Their chest is deep and moderately broad, reaching to their elbow.
As per the breed standards of the American Kennel Club, the Vizsla’s tail must be docked to 2/3rd of the tail’s original length. However, the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) and the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) opposes docking done for cosmetic purposes. The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom, however, permits a natural or a docked tail.
Despite being docked, a Vizsla’s tail seems longer than breeds like Boxer, Doberman, and Weimaraner, which traditionally have had their tails docked.
Because of their lean, muscular build, the Vizsla is mistaken for Rhodesian Ridgeback, Redbone Coonhound, and Weimaraner. However, the Vizsla is leaner and more muscular than the breeds mentioned above. At the same time, it’s smaller.
Vizslas are medium-sized, with the males measuring 21 to 24 inches and weighing around 55 to 60 pounds. The females are comparatively smaller, measuring 21 to 23 inches. They weigh around 44-55 pounds.
Personality and Temperament
These dogs are energetic, alert, and active at work. At home, they are just the reverse, affectionate, loyal, and closely bonded to their owner. They are velcro dogs since they enjoy following suit wherever their masters or near one go. These dogs always prefer living in the company of their loved ones and can’t stand separation. So closely bonded they are with their owners that these dogs even prefer sleeping with their masters in their beds at night.
If you wish to keep it out of your room for the night, you won’t be able to. It will whine and bark to the extent of disturbing your sleep. When left alone for prolonged periods, these dogs can get destructive.
When trained, the Vizsla could excel as efficient watchdogs and guard dogs. They lack that reservedness or wariness towards strangers seen in most other breeds. However, they bark at strangers when they feel their personal space is being intruded on.
The American Kennel Club mentions that it has a lifespan of 12-15 years. A 2008 survey by the Vizsla Club of America states that this breed has a longevity of 9.15 years.
They are robust. But improper breeding could result in these dogs contracting heritable illnesses. A responsible breeder should always screen their stock for certain conditions. These include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye conditions, ear infections, and seasonal allergies. Here is a detailed explanation of some of the conditions the Vizsla may likely suffer from.
This condition is mostly inherited. The symptoms emerge when they are six months to three years old. If your dog is about to have an epilepsy attack, it will drool excessively. It may even show stiffness, make jerking movements, and collapse.
The Vizsla is a tall breed more susceptible to hip dysplasia. If your dog has this condition, it will become visible when he is around 1-2 years old. He will have problems moving and will mostly prefer to remain in a sitting or lying posture.
Cancer is one of the causes of fatality in dogs. The Vizsla is at risk of suffering from cancer. While some are treatable through surgeries, a few can be managed through chemotherapy. The sooner the cancer is treated, the better it’s for your dog’s well-being.
The commonest kind of cancer these dogs can be afflicted with is lymphoma. Dogs will have enlarged lymph nodes on their neck, behind their jaws, and knees. They will even be lethargic, have a lessened appetite, and show restlessness. As the condition worsens, they may have a fever and breathing difficulties.
Hemangiosarcoma is another aggressive form of cancer. It mostly affects big dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd. The Vizsla also isn’t an exception in this regard. The symptoms aren’t visible until the tumor ruptures. This results in internal bleeding.
The tumor occurs in the spleen. But it may occur in other organs as well. After the rupture, other signs would show up. These include an enlarged abdomen, unwillingness to eat, and increased lethargy.
Some common eye conditions in the Vizsla are glaucoma, cataracts, entropion, and distichiasis. When suffering from glaucoma, the Vizsla could have watery eyes, appear squinted, and even bulge in severe cases. In the case of cataracts that older Vizslas mostly suffer from, one could notice a change in the pupil’s eye color, shape, and size. They would even need help in going to areas that are dimly lit. Distichia is a painful condition where the eyes become red and inflamed. In entropion, the eyelid begins rolling inwards and, in most cases, has to be corrected by surgery. Your dog may constantly be rubbing and pawing his eyes.
This condition is common in short-haired dogs. Common signs include patchy hair loss, giving the dog’s skin a moth-eaten look. Their skin would have white scales which won’t easily flake off.
The Vizsla was bred for hunting. So it is quite evident that they need ample exercise. It would help them remain physically and mentally active. You should give your dog 30-45 minutes of daily physical activity divided into two halves. In its workout list, you may include daily walks, run, and sufficient playtime within a fenced yard.
Keeping in mind the athletic dogs they are, the Vizslas would make for perfect jogging companions. However, remember that younger dogs should only be made to run for a short time until they are 18-24 months old. Their hunting past makes overcoming their chasing instinct difficult for the Vizslas. So, when taking them out, always remember to take the leash. However, it would be best to give them plenty of off-leash time. It can be either in your home or inside a well-fenced yard.
Make sure to trim your Vizslas nails once or twice a month. How would you know your dog’s nails have gotten long? Well, you could hear the clicking sound as they walked. You should check your dog’s ears and eyes weekly for infection and redness. Clean their ears with a vet-approved ear solution. This way, you could lessen problems like wax build-up and other ear infections.
A high-quality dry dog food that could be either homemade or store-bought would be appropriate to meet your Vizsla’s nutritional requirements. While puppies would need around 4-5 cups of dry dog food each day, it should be around 3-4 cups for adult dogs. Some of them may become overweight.
So, it’s important to check your dog’s calorie consumption. Treats are important for training, but ensure you give only a little of it to your dog lest it could trigger obesity in them. Make sure you provide clean and fresh water in their bowls from time to time.
Coat Color And Grooming
As per the breed standards, Vizsla’s coat can be of varying colors. These include golden, red, rust, red golden, golden rust, rust golden, and sandy yellow. Markings of white on their tail, neck, and fore-chest are permissible.
According to the AKC breed standards, their coats should be smooth, dense, short, and close-fitting. They lack a wooly undercoat. However, a long coat is considered a disqualification.
Brush their coat using a rubber curry brush at least once a week. It would help keep the coat clean and also remove mats and tangles. Start brushing gently from next to the tail and then move on their chest and legs. You can even give them a rub down using a moist cloth. However, if your Vizsla has gotten dirty, bathe it in lukewarm water using a vet-approved soap.
It would help if you considered bathing them once every three months. Bathing them too often can take the natural oils off their coat.
Children And Other Pets
The caring and affectionate dogs that they are, Vizslas, share a great rapport with the family’s kids. However, these energetic dogs are boisterous. So they could knock the little ones when playing with the baby. Parental supervision is needed when it comes to their interaction with smaller kids, particularly those below six years of age. With older kids, the Vizsla excels as their perfect playmate.
If socialized well, these dogs would get along well with other dogs and cats. However, they shouldn’t be kept in the same household as birds. The Vizsla was bred as bird dogs. So they would get super excited about seeing their feathered friends. The dogs would end up chasing them.
The Vizsla is intelligent, obedient, and keen on learning. However, that doesn’t mean training them is a mere cakewalk. These dogs get distracted easily by any new scent, sight, or sound. With their sharp brains, they would figure out umpteen ways to land themselves in trouble. When untrained, living with a Vizsla becomes increasingly impossible. So start training from the time you get the puppies home.
When you train your dog on socialization, he gets the confidence to enjoy the various activities around him. You can even consider sending your dog to an obedience class. It would help him get acquainted with commands such as ‘Stop,’ ‘Wait,’ ‘Down,’ or ‘Sit .’Upon learning these commands, your dog will become more disciplined as he grows.
Vizslas aren’t used to living alone, which could trigger separation anxiety. So, make them get used to staying in a crate for at least some time in the day. Do this as early as possible, when they are 8-12 weeks old. It would help them to stay without you for at least a certain time of the day. However, ensure you give your Vizsla quality time even if it is crate trained.
They are versatile and would fare well in several events. These include conformation, field trails, obedience rallies, dock diving, barn hunts, scent work, and lure coursing. Remember, your Vizsla always needs a job, without which he would land himself in some mess.
If you don’t mind a dog who stays glued to you most of the time, the Vizsla would be a perfect choice. You only need to give it most of your time and a job. That’s it! Your Vizsla will stay happy, and so will you.
These dogs shed all year round, but not heavily, all because of their short and smooth coat.
These dogs will do well in apartments if given plenty of physical activities and proper mental stimulation.
Yes, the Vizslas fit the bill of a good family dog because of their loving, gentle, loyal, and obedient nature. They get along well with almost everyone in the family, from adults to kids and even seniors.
When purchased from a breeder with a considerable reputation, it would cost around $1000. The average range is between $500-$1700.
Hi, I’m Walter,
I live in Oklahoma City, USA, and have extensive dog caring and grooming expertise. In addition, I provide dog training tips and tricks through my blogs in Canine Weekly. I have a Dog Behavior and Training diploma and have previously worked as a Dog Trainer at ROC Animal Training and Behavior and Tip Top K9 of OKC Dog Training.
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