The Vizsla originated in Hungary and was used in falconry. Falconry involves training birds of prey for hunting purposes. The Vizsla hunted with the bird of prey to help capture birds, rabbits and other small mammals. There are writings dating back to the Middle ages which document falconry and the Vizsla. The breed is muscular, medium in size and has a beautiful rust colored coat which is a single coat with a slick-like appearance. The Vizsla is a high energy breed, enjoying exercise and activities with his owners. The Vizsla Club of America recommends a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes of vigorous daily exercise. The Vizsla requires very little grooming. Occasionally, he should be brushed with a bristle brush. The Vizsla should only be bathed when needed.
The name Vizsla is Hungarian for pointer. The Vizsla was the hunting dog of the nomadic Magyar tribe which lived during the 10th century. Ancient writings and primitive stone etchings confirm the Magyar hunted with falcons and the Vizsla. The Vizsla’s ancestors are believed to include the Transylvanian Hound and the Turkish Yellow Dog, which are both extinct breeds. The Vizsla breed was a companion and hunting dog to the nobles and aristocrats of Hungary. They were not available to the “common” people. When the use of guns became more popular, the Vizsla was used more as a retriever. The breed was almost extinct after World War 11. The Vizsla was associated with the aristocrats and nobles of Hungary. Therefore, when the Soviet army took control of Hungary, there was the fear that the breed would be all killed. To help save the breed some individuals smuggled the Vizsla out of Hungary into other European countries. The Vizsla came to North America in 1950. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1960. A Vizsla named Pete was part of the search-and-rescue teams after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York. Pete received the first Vizsla AKC Award for Canine Excellence for his rescue work. Vizslas are wonderful family pets and they also make excellent therapy dogs, service dogs and search-and-rescue dogs. They have acquired the nickname "Velcro Vizsla" because they are loving and literally attached to their owners.
The Vizsla has a noble appearance and is a well proportioned dog. His rust colored coat is short, smooth and dense. The Vizsla has no undercoat and should not be left outside during the winter months. His skin is tight fitting without folds. The breed is lean with defined and strong muscles. They are an athletic medium-sized dog. The head of the Vizsla has a chiseled look. The muzzle is long and square-shaped with a brown nose and strong jaws. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. His lips are tight fitting with no flews (pendulous flaps). The eyes of the Vizsla are brown, alert and very expressive. The ears are large, pendant in shape and hang down on the side of his face. The tail is usually docked to 2/3 length. Their paws are rounded, thick and webbed. The typical gait of a Vizsla is elegant with a light-footed trot.
Vizslas are very easy to groom; weekly brushing is sufficient. The Vizsla lacks an undercoat and sheds very little. This makes him a hypoallergenic breed. With no undercoat, he may need to wear a coat on winter walks and should not be left outside. Bathing is only necessary if they get dirty or muddy. The pendant ears should be check weekly for wax build-up, mites or redness. The ears should also be cleaned regularly with a veterinarian approved ear wash. His teeth should be brushed at least once per week to help prevent tartar buildup and gingivitis. Nails should be clipped monthly. The Vizsla is a very high energy dog and needs daily exercise. Dogs that are active need a high-grade, nutritious dog food. The first ingredient on the label should be a meat, not a grain or byproduct. Many Vizsla breeders recommend a raw diet and instead of one large meal the Vizsla should be fed twice a day. The Vizsla does better in a house which has a yard to run and play in. They thrive being close to people; therefore, he should not be housed outside.