Vizsla Information

Overview

Known for combining the best characteristics of both pointer and retriever, the Vizsla is a medium-sized hunting dog that is known for its muscular strength and determined drive. With a lively temperament and above-average intelligence for training, the Vizsla makes a wonderful companion for active families and is currently ranked as the 34th most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club. Read on to find a full breed description on the Vizsla to determine whether this well-mannered sporting dog is the right match for your lifestyle.

Vizsla
Basic Info
NameVizsla
Other Name Hungarian Vizsla, Hungarian Pointer, Magyar Vizsla
OriginHungary
Size Type Medium Dog Breeds
Breed Group Hunting Dog Breeds
Life Span Average 12 to 15 years
TemperamentAffectionate, Energetic, Gentle, Quiet, Loyal
Height21 to 24 inches
Weight50 to 65 pounds
Colors Golden, Rust, Golden Rust, Red, Red Golden
Puppy PriceAverage $700 - $1200 USD

Vizsla

Physical description

Body Type

As one of the smallest of the pointing breeds with a strong body that is longer than tall, the Vizsla has a slightly domed lean and muscular head with a noticeable medial line on the forehead. Either the same length or shorter than the skull, the dogs’ muzzle gently tapers from the pronounced stop to the reddish or flesh-colored nose that blends well with the coat color. The medium-sized eyes are slightly slanted and the long silky thin ears hang beside the cheeks with rounded tips.

Despite the fact that docking is now illegal in many parts of the world, the thick tail has been traditionally docked to two-thirds of its original length. The Vizsla has a strong neck that tapers down to the smooth and straight front legs with its intriguingly cat-like feet. The male Vizsla is typically between 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder height with a weight ranging from 45 to 60 pounds, but females are slightly smaller at 20 to 24 inches and weighing between 40 to 55 pounds in adulthood.

Color

Perhaps one of the most beloved physical features of the Vizsla, this breed usually possesses a solid golden-rust coat color with various shadings of lighter and darker colors. While the coat may range from copper brown to russet gold or dark sandy gold, the breed standard indicates that solid dark mahogany red and pale yellow are unacceptable.

Coat

With short and smooth hairs, the coat of the Vizsla is dense and close-lying to stay tight to the entire body without any feathering. Since the dogs only have a single layer of hair and do not have the common undercoat of other breeds, they are completely unsuitable for being kept outside for long lengths of time.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  No

Grooming

Due to its short-haired coat, many prospective owners are happy to known that the minimal grooming requirements indicate that it will be relatively easy to keep the coat in peak condition. Since these dogs are average shedders, it may be necessary to brush the Vizsla with a firm bristle brush to remove dead hairs that would otherwise end up clinging quite stubbornly onto furniture during the seasonal changes.

As self-cleaning dogs that have little noticeable “doggie odor,” the Vizsla do not need to be bathed frequently. However, after a few forays into lakes or rivers, the dogs will develop a slight aroma from being wet and can be given a quick bath with mild soap only when absolutely necessary. In addition, regular ear cleaning, tooth brushing, and nail trimming are essential for keeping the Vizsla healthy and happy.

History

Often referred to as the “walking gentleman’s shooting dog,” the Vizsla is believed to have originated with the Magyar tribesmen who used them as hunting companions when migrating from central Asia to settle in what is now known as Hungary. Thought to have been descended from the mixed breeding of several pointers, the Transylvanian Hound, and the now-extinct Turkish Yellow Dog, the Vizsla worked as hunters with their superb sense of smell and endless energy helping them to excel at catching upland game, including rabbit and waterfowl.

With the breed taking a large hit and nearly becoming extinct as the Russians took control of Hungary in World War II, a few brave native Hungarians smuggled some of the dogs to Austria and later America in an effort to save the Vizsla. As interest and dedication began to increase, the breed slowly grew in popularity in their new homes and the Vizsla was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club by 1960.

Temperament

Highly keen and trainable with above-average intelligence, the Vizsla is often described as being gentle, loving, expressive, patient, reliable, and energetic. Requiring an experienced owner with a strong authority to avoid negative behaviors and stubbornness, the breed loves to play with children for hours on end, but may be a bit too excitable for small toddlers. The Vizsla is able to adapt quickly to family life by being good with other canines and cats.

Since the dogs can become overly eager, excited, stressed, and high-strung with buildup energy, it is important that the dogs are provided significant physical and mental stimulation daily. With its enormous amounts of stamina, the dogs can make excellent jogging, biking, and rollerblading companions with plenty of endurance for long runs. As a result, the Vizsla is not suitable for apartment living and needs to have at least an average-sized yard.


Interesting Vizsla Facts

  • As one of the national symbols of Hungary, the Vizsla was crucial in the development of other similar breeds, including the Weimaraner, Wire-Haired Vizsla, and the German Shorthair Pointer.
  • With approximately 1,000 Vizsla puppies being registered with the Kennel Club of Great Britain annually, this breed is one of the top 50 most popular. In fact, the Best in Show award at Crufts in 2010 was given to a Vizsla named “Hungargunn Bear It’n Mind.”
  • According to Dog DNA and the San Francisco Chronicle, the beloved children’s character Clifford the Big Red Dog was modeled after the rust-colored Vizsla.