Breed Information

The Hungarian Vizsla is a medium sized, elegant gun dog of noble appearance with a distinctive short russet gold coat.  They were originally bred as a multi-purpose gundog to hunt, point and retrieve fur or feather from land or water.

TEMPERAMENT
Vizslas are demonstrably affectionate dogs and make splendid companions.  They are happiest when fully involved in family activities and are best suited to someone who enjoys a sporty active lifestyle.  They may be initially wary of strangers but are not usually aggressive and watch rather than guard.  Vizslas are usually alert and will bark when a visitor arrives or something strange occurs in their backyard.

They have HIGH energy and require LOTS of exercise when adults.

Vizslas can make excellent hunting companions and display considerable ability hunting ducks, quail, pheasant, rabbits, hares and foxes.  A Vizsla is also likely to demonstrate its natural instincts by pointing, stalking and retrieving in its home environment and when out in the park or countryside.

Being gundogs, Vizslas love retrieving and enjoy carrying objects around in their mouths.  They are also natural swimmers and once confident in the water enjoy swimming and diving for objects.

CHARACTERISTICS
The Breed Standard describes the Vizsla as a versatile gun dog that must be able to work in the field, forest and water and have the following typical qualities.

  • He must have an excellent nose, firmness on the point, be excellent at retrieving and have the determination to remain on the scent even when swimming, which he manifestly enjoys.
  • He copes with difficult terrain as well as extreme weather conditions when working.
  • Because of his easy going nature and his adaptability, he can easily be kept as a companion dog in the house.
  • His outstanding willingness to keep contact with his master while working is one of the essential qualities.
  • He cannot bear rough treatment and must be neither aggressive nor shy.

Vizslas come in various shades of Russet Gold and Dark Sandy Gold.  The ear leathers may be a little dark, otherwise uniform in colour.  He has an intelligent and lively expression.  The brown eyes harmonise with the coat colour, as dark as possible preferred.  His rather light, dry, lean structure embodies the harmony of beauty and strength.

VERSATILE
Few Vizslas have the opprotunity to hunt these days, however they deserve the opportunity to utilise their natural instincts and willingness to work and may do so by training and competing in the many disciplines available to their owners.

Vizslas perform enthusiastically in Conformation (showing), Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Tracking, Retrieving, Utility Gundog, and Endurance and many have gained titles and excelled in these disciplines.

Some Vizslas have taken part in Pets as Therapy programs and visited hospitals and other institutions where their understanding and sensitivity to the needs of elderly and frail humans is clearly visible.

GROOMING
Vizslas are often described as "wash 'n wear" dogs because they require very little maintenance to keep them looking good.  Their coat is short and they don't have a doggy smell.  Because of their short coat minimal grooming is required,  just an occasional brushing.  Mud and dirt falls off easily when dry.  Vizslas also clean themselves regularly alot like a cat.  Toe nails need regular trimming.  They do shed.

COMPATIABILITY  WITH CHILDREN
Can you have Vizslas and children? Yes but you have to always remember to never leave them unsupervised.If you are going to have any type of dog around children, you need to be prepared to be vigilant.  If you don't want to watch children and dogs, wait until the kids are older to get a dog. Always remember children are chaotic and unpredictable - they push parents beyond breaking point.  You are asking a dog to cope and they don't speak human.

If you have children under seven and a Vizsla you need to protect the dog from the children. We suggest that Vizslas are a great dog to have with children over seven.  They are great for running and playing with a child who is past the screaming tantrum stage and who can think about the dog's feelings.

HEALTH
The Hungarian Vizsla is generally a healthy breed.  Cases of idiopathic epilepsy (seizures with no known cause), heart problems and hip dysplasia have occurred in some Vizslas from time to time.  The Australian National Kennel Council has not designated any diseases in the Vizsla as hereditary that require all breed stock to be tested before breeding, but the diseases mentioned above have been identified as hereditary in other breeds of dogs.  A suitable and accessbile test must be available before a disease can be designated as hereditary.  The Hungarian Vizsla Club of NSW conducts a periodic health survey of the breed which we encourage our members to support.  Full details of the results of previous surveys can be found at their website (www.vizsla.org.au).

ORIGINS OF THE BREED
The Vizsla is the national dog of Hungary.  Its early origins are hard to trace but its history probably began in the ninth century when the warring Magyar tribes migrated from the Steppes of Asia and eventually settled in the Carpathian Basin, known today as Hungary.  It is believed that, over the centuries, the Vizslas we know today evolved from the hunting/herding dogs that the Magyars brought with them.

For centuries the Vizsla was owned by the sporting nobility of Hungary and used to scent and search for birds that were then either caught by falcons or netted. After the introduction of firearms during the 1700's the nobility of the day required a gundog with an all round ability to work on fur and feather, on the plains of Hungary with their varying vegetation of thick crop cover, tall grasslands and cornfields.  The dogs needed to be fast and have good noses which would enable them to work the giant hare and point the various game birds and wildfowl.  The Vizsla was also used to hunt deer, wild boar and wolf, all of which it was expected to hold at bay.  This work was usually performed using several dogs working together.  A dog of above ability was necessary and the Hungarian Vizsla was such a dog.

During the 20th century, two world wars and the Russian invasion of Hungary decimated the Vizsla population.  After the First World War about a dozen dogs remained and these became the basis of all registered Vizslas in Hungary.  During the Russian occupation, many nationals fled taking their Vizslas with them and thus the breed became established in Europe and the West.

PUPPIES
Vizslas can be quite unruly as puppies and need kind but firm control.  If left alone for long periods of time they can become very bored and destructive.  They respond well to a strong master-dog relationship, however they are also sensitive and do not tolerate harsh handling methods.  We strongly recommend that you take your Vizsla to "Puppy School" followed by basic obedience training at your local obedience club.

Vizslas like most medium to large breeds of dog, reach puberty from about 7-10 months of age.  75-90% of their height and weight has been reached and they will finish growing and filling out during the next 12 months.  Like teenage humans, they have a change in attitiude and may try to indicate that they are no longer a puppy and attempt to assert themselves.

Young puppies should NOT BE OVER EXERCISED. 


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