of New Zealand

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 aristocratic clown!

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 has.

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 sporting abilities.

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.

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