Vizsla Guide

Sporting Dog Breeds

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The vizsla is lightly built but muscular, giving it speed and endurance in the field. Its gait is light, graceful, smooth and ground-covering. Its short smooth coat is dense, providing some protection from the elements. The golden rust color is a hallmark of the breed.

Bred to be a close-working gun dog, the vizsla has the energy to range all day. It is a true hunter at heart, a talented pointer and always on the lookout for bird scent. It can become frustrated and destructive if not given adequate exercise. Most can be stubborn, some can be timid and others can be overly excitable. It is gentle, affectionate and sensitive, and can be protective. The vizsla makes a good companion for an active owner who spends a lot of time outdoors.


FAMILY gundog, pointer, versatile hunting dog



ORIGINAL FUNCTION pointing, falconry, trailing

TODAY'S FUNCTION pointing, pointing field trials

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 22-24 Weight: 45-65

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 21-23 Weight: 45-65

OTHER NAME Hungarian vizsla, Magyar vizsla, Hungarian pointer, Drotszoru Magyar vizsla

Energy level Medium energy

Exercise needs Medium

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly

Ease of training Moderately easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Low maintenance

Cold tolerance Low tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

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The vizsla needs a lot of strenuous exercise every day. This is an active breed that cannot be expected to meet its energy requirements with a short walk or within a small yard. It needs to be jogged or allowed to run in a large enclosed area. Otherwise, its needs are minimal. Its coat requires little care except an occasional brushing to remove dead hair. It can live outside in warm climates, given adequate shelter, but should sleep indoors on cold nights. It needs a soft bed.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: hemophilia A, CMO, CHD
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: (hip)
• Life span: 10 – 14 years
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The vizsla's forebears may have included breeds that the Magyars collected as they swarmed across Europe before settling in Hungary over a thousand years ago. Writings on falconry from the Middle Ages describe dogs of vizsla type. The Hungarian plains were rich in game, and hunters wanted a fast but close-working dog that could not only point and retrieve birds but trail mammals over thick ground cover. The breed was unquestionably established by the 18th century, having found special favor with barons and warlords of the time. By the end of the 19th century, however, the breed had greatly declined in numbers. It was revived through the discovery and careful breeding of about a dozen good specimens. World War II spread the vizsla throughout the world. Hungarians fleeing Russian occupation took their pointing dogs to various other countries, including America, where their handsome appearance and exceptional hunting abilities were soon appreciated. AKC recognition came in 1960. Once again, the vizsla quickly gained admirers, and the breed is now regularly seen in the field, show ring and home. It is also sometimes called the Hungarian vizsla or Hungarian pointer.
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