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A medium sized dog of distinguished appearance, muscular and lithe, the Vizsla is affectionate and lively. One of the distinctive characteristics is the russet gold colour with brown eyes, nose and nails. They were bred as a multi-purpose gundog to hunt, point and retrieve fur or feather from land or water.

The Hungarian Vizsla is the national dog of Hungary. Its early origins are very hard to trace but its history probably began in the ninth century when the warring Magyar tribes migrated from the Steppes of Asia and eventually settled in the Carpathian basin, known today as Hungary. It is believed that, through the centuries, the Vizsla we know today was fashioned from the hunting/herding dogs which the Magyar brought with them.

For centuries the Vizsla was owned by the sporting nobility of Hungary and before firearms were introduced in the 1700's, was used to scent and search for birds which were then either caught by falcons or netted. Subsequently a gundog, with all-round ability, who could work on fur or feather, was required by the nobility of the day to work the plains of Hungary with their varying vegetation of thick crop cover, tall grasslands and cornfields. The dog needed to be fast and in possession of a good nose which would enable it to work the giant hare and to point the various gamebirds and wildfowl. The Vizsla was also used to hunt deer, wild boar and wolf, all of which it was expected to hold at bay. This was usually done using several dogs working together. In short, a dog of above average ability was necessary and, in the Vizsla, the Hungarians had such a dog.

In the 20th Century, two world wars and the Russian invasion of Hungary almost spelled disaster for the Vizsla. After the first world war, there were only about a dozen dogs which became the basis of all registered Vizslas in Hungary. During the Russian occupation many nationals fled taking their dogs with them and thus the breed became established in Europe and the West. The first Vizsla was imported into the USA in the 1930's and into the UK. in the 1950's. The first Vizsla came to Australia from the UK. in 1973. Victoria saw its first Vizsla, bred from the first two imports, in 1975.

Today the breed is growing in strength with an affiliated club which holds field trials, shows and members outings.

The Hungarian Vizsla is a distinguished looking dog of aristocratic appearance with a powerful build and graceful movement. The short, smooth coat requires little care and comes in varying shades of russet gold. The Vizsla does require exercise as it is an active dog but, above all, it needs human companionship. It is not a dog to be 'left' in the backyard as it can become destructive if bored. It is happiest when fully involved in family activities.

A splendid companion and alert watchdog, the Hungarian Vizsla responds well to obedience training because of its great desire to please. It learns very quickly. Being a bird dog, it loves retrieving and will, of its own accord carry objects around in its mouth. The Vizsla is also a natural swimmer and takes to water easily. Once confident in the water it will even dive to retrieve objects. An easy going, demonstratively affectionate dog, it manages well with children and is a practical size for most homes.

The Vizsla is an extremely adaptable dog and overseas has been used as a guard dog and even as a movie star. Here in Australia we have some very talented Vizslas who have had roles on Television and advertising work in numerous commercials.

Size: Height at withers - Dogs: 57 - 64 cm, Bitches: 53 - 60 cm
Weight: 20 - 30 kg

Further Information
  Books - Hungarian Vizsla Pet Love

Last Update: 13/05/07 20:24 Views: 6385

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