The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla is a member of the gundog group. They were originally used for hunting and in falconry; today they are still used in falconry and as gundogs and companions.
The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla is an undemanding dog to feed with no special dietary requirements; they generally have a good appetite. If they are used as gundogs then they do need a higher protein diet suitable for working dogs.
The Wirehaired Vizsla a medium sized, solid coloured, active dog with a harsh, wiry coat. They have a distinctive moustache and hairy eyebrows. They have a noble and graceful appearance and give the impression of great stamina.
Dogs should measure between 58-62cms at the withers and bitches should ideally measure between 54-58cms at the withers. They weigh between 20-30kgs.
The exact origin of the Hungarian Vizsla is a bit of a mystery, some say their ancestors existed centuries ago and others say they were developed in the 20th century. There are some prints that date back about 1000 years that show Magyar hunters (early settlers in Hungary) with dogs and falcons. These dogs were very similar to the Vizsla of today. In fact they were often referred to as the ‘Yellow Turkish Hunting Dog’. When the Magyar hunters went to other countries they took their dogs with them, which led to crosses with other breeds thus improving their ability as hunters. This dog remained popular as an all round hunting dog, unfortunately it was almost wiped out by the two World Wars. It is believed that it only exists today because some were smuggled out during this time. Recent selective breeding developed the Hungarian Vizsla as an all round hunter, pointer and able to retrieve from both land and water. The wire haired variety was developed in the 1930’s, it is becoming more popular with hunters as it can withstand the colder climates and cold water better than the shorthaired variety.
The Vizsla is not an unduly difficult dog to train as long as there is consistency and firmness in the training. They are intelligent and eager to learn and to please. It should be remembered that this dog is sensitive and therefore training should be carried out in a gentle manner.
The head should be lean and distinguished with the skull being slightly longer than the muzzle. The skull is relatively broad between the ears and slightly rounded. The muzzle should taper and be square at the end. The nose should be brown. The lips should cover the jaws completely without being loose; the jaw should have a complete scissor bite. The eyes should be in a shade of rust to tone in with the coat, of medium size and slightly oval in shape. Their ears should be relatively long, medium set and hanging close to the head. The neck should be strong, muscular and slightly arched. The chest should be broad and deep with prominent breastbone. The front legs should be straight and muscular; back legs should be strong and appear straight when viewed from the back. The feet should be round and tight with well-arched toes, cat like in appearance. The tail should be carried horizontally and it is docked by one third. The coat should be harsh and wiry. The hair on the head should be short and harsh being longer on the muzzle, forming a beard. The eyebrows should be obvious. The hair on the ears should be fine and long. The body should have long hair and be shorter over the neck. The legs should have short and harsh hair
The Vizsla is an intelligent dog, which gets on well with children, and enjoys being outdoors; they are ideally suited to the country dwelling family. They do have an inbuilt desire to protect their family with which they are very affectionate and loyal. They should be socialised from an early age. In general the Vizsla likes to stay with the family and will not wander off too far. They will happily be both family and working dogs in one.