Breed of the Week: Vizsla

Welcome to today’s short-form podcast; up next in our breeds of the week, we are talking all about the Hungarian Vizsla. I’m your host Nicole Forto let’s dive into this breed. Vizsla’s are traced initially back to Hungary. They are classified in the “pointer” dog group. They are known for their slick physique, even temperament, and well-rounded ease in a family setting. These medium-sized dogs are great for any active owner. 

The first trace or reference to the Vizsla breed is within the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle, recorded in 1357 by King Louis I of Hungary. Vizsla’s have been recorded throughout Hungarian history, including during the Turkish occupation from 1526 – 1696, the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and even in World Wars I and II. In the 1800’s, the breed faced near extinction with the rise and overtaking of the popularity of the short-haired and wire-haired German pointers. It’s said that about a dozen “true type” Vizslas were found during that time and are believed to be the dogs that kept the breed alive and into prominence again today. Breeding of Vizsla began to happen outside of Hungary, with slight variations in appearance in Romania, Austria, Slovakia, and Serbia. 

After World War II ended, Vizsla’s started to gain popularity in the United States. They became officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1960 and marked the 115th recognized breed. Vizsla are medium-sized, short-coated dogs recognized for their golden rust-colored coats. They are lanky-looking at hunting dogs with more substance to their muscles than what appears at first glance. Interestingly, in the show ring Vizsla’s are not disqualified when they have scars or bulging muscle from hunting activities. They have an almost rectangular body with a slightly small slope from shoulders to hips, standing from twenty to twenty-four inches tall. Vizsla’s have cat-like feet, which are small with toes very close together. Vizsla are described as natural hunters with excellent smell and both a need and want to be trained and do training. 

Vizsla is a lively, energetic dog with an overwhelming affectionate and kind side. They love to work and love to be loved. Once bonds are created it is impossible to break. They can seem sensitive but are fiercely protective. With an instinct to point at their prey during hunting and even excel at retrieving skills as well. Vizsla is not a dog for a couch potato lifestyle; while they love to cuddle up on the couch, they do need and thrive from daily exercise and mental enrichment, even if you aren’t taking them on hunting adventures. When left to boredom, they are quick to chew and destroy things in their environment. 

Vizsla’s can be excellent jogging or biking buddies! With their above-average endurance, they can keep up with you. Ensuring training and activity happen daily for a minimum of thirty minutes helps them thrive. They were bred to be hunting dogs, after all, and had an extensive amount of energy to be used up. Vizslas are brilliant; therefore, training should start in puppyhood. They can be manipulative and stubborn, needing an assertive, calm direction and lots of praise when they follow through on what is asked of them. Vizslas have been seen in field trials, hunting tests, conformation style obedience and rally, agility, dock diving, barn hunting, scent work like search and rescue or tracking, and lure courses. 

Vizsla’s are an amazing well, well-rounded multi-purpose dog ready to be a part of any active family. Owning a Vizsla requires a big open heart and an active lifestyle for their needed exercise. We have trained several from brand new puppies to ones older working on problem behaviors, no matter the case they stay as one of the kindest and gentlest breeds you could find. Do you love Vizsla’s or know someone who does? Share this episode with them! We hope you are enjoying breed of the week, for Dog Works Radio I’m Nicole and I will catch you guys in the next episode. 




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