The Hungarian Vizsla
What strange creatures are these?
The origins of the Hungarian Vizsla date back to the Turkish occupation of
the Carpathian Mountain region in the ninth century and are said to be a
mixture of several classic pointing dogs with various hounds (including
Bloodhound, Balkan Beagle, Greyhound and the ancient Foxhound) giving the
aristocracy an all round hunting, scenting, pointing, retrieving and family
dog. The dog continued improving in the hands of knowledgeable breeders
who were after high performance and excellence in the field. The Vizsla
name became common from the sixteenth century onwards.
First and foremost the Hungarian Vizsla will expect to be a member of the
family. They are good natured dogs that are very keen to please. They are
usually clean and can groom themselves in a similar way to a cat. This
breed is elegant and aristocratic in it's bearing but has a highly
developed sense of play and fun and can correctly be described as an
The breed is a very 'touchy' dog. By this I mean that your dog will want to
be touching you often and this will include both paws and mouth. The paws
are used to grab you around the legs, cuddle round the neck and sometimes
just to put one gently on your lap when you are sitting on a chair.
The mouth of the Hungarian Vizsla is an important communication tool. These
beautiful and versatile dogs will bark, whine, sing, talk and make a whole
range of vocal sounds (this is not to say that the Vizsla is a noisy dog
that will keep your neighbours awake, but rather a dog with a host of ways
that it uses to 'talk' to you). But when they are feeling very
affectionate the Vizsla will often gently take your hand or arm in their
mouth as they walk beside you or sit with (on) you. They also love soft
toys and many of them regularly are seen carrying their 'teddy bear'
wherever they wander.
The Hungarian Vizsla is bred to be a multi-purpose gundog and an integral
part of a family representing the best of sporting dog and loving, loyal
family member. They are one of the true 'Versatile' breeds. For hunting and
field work they are a hunting, pointing and retrieving dog. They can work
equally well on fur and feather and will work with all sizes of game up to
deer. The Vizsla is bred as a close ranging dog so they very rarely wander
and are very focused on their handlers position even when they are working.
The Vizsla can succeed in all areas as a total family, sport and working
dog. It can be spoiled and sleeping under the covers of the water bed one
minute and then will quite happily be taken out to work in the field, the
obedience ring, the agility circuit or whatever area of interest the owner
The Vizsla has an exceptional nose that has been compared to some of the
best tracking abilities across all breeds which adds to their hunting and
Game such as deer will be tracked with the nose until it is within sight at
which time the Vizsla will lock on point until released by the owner. If
the deer breaks the Vizsla will be more likely to chase only for a short
distance, whereby he will look back to the owner as if to say "Come on, it
went this way!". This way of hunting is a characteristic of the breed in
that anything the Vizsla does is in partnership with the owner as a team.
Where other breeds will give chase until exhausted, and run the risk of
getting lost to the owner, the Vizsla will always be aware of the owner as
the other member of the hunting team, preferring to hunt with the owner
rather than race off on it's own.
As well as their versatility in work, the Vizsla is bred to be a true
family dog - enjoying the company of both people and other animals. Their
devotion to their people means that they are usually very easy to train as
they have a high desire to please. They are very rarely aggressive but have
a good solid bark and stance that will make an intruder beware. And they
have been known to protect their beloved owners in dire need.
The medium size and short hair of the Hungarian Vizsla makes them an 'easy
care' option in the grooming area - although they benefit from a regular
rub down and often need their nails kept trimmed.
But Be Warned - It Will Not Suit Everyone
While the Hungarian Vizsla may be 'easy care' in grooming, it is the
extreme opposite in exercise and amusement. People can be unprepared for
the energy levels and intelligence of a Hungarian Vizsla. Also the need for
a Vizsla to be a full part of the family not always allowed for. If the
Vizsla is bored due to lack of work, exercise and/or time with the family,
you are likely to find them thinking up mischief of their own. This is not
a dog for someone who wants a part time' pet or hunter and is going to
kennel them or shut them outside and away from the family for the major
part of the day. Often referrred to as a Velcro Dog, they expect to be part
of the family and will not amuse or exercise themselves if left alone
outside. This dog is not for the sedentary owner and does require lots of
exercise and activities.
Ideally, because of their need for large amounts of exercise, Vizslak (the
plural for Vizsla) like to live somewhere with lots of space. But they will
be happy living in town as long as they are an integral part of the family
and are still getting good exercise and activities that stimulate their
intelligence and instincts.
A Hungarian Vizsla will expect to be part of the family including sharing
the house with it's family. Normally they interact very well with any other
animals in the house and most Vizslas seem to love children.