The Hungarian or Magyar Vizsla represents one of the best in sporting dogs and loyal companions and has a strong claim to being one of the smallest of the all-round pointer-retriever breeds. His size is one of the Vizsla's most attractive characteristics and through the centuries he has held a unique position for a sporting dog -- that of household companion and family dog. The Vizsla is not content to be "put in the kennel with the dogs" after the hunt and only reaches his fullest capacity when he is a member of the family he serves. The name "Vizsla" in Hungarian means, "pointer."
The Vizsla is mentioned in the very early times in Hungarian history while his exact origin is lost in the midst of ancient European history. It is known that the ancestors of the present Vizsla were the trusted and favorite hunting dogs of the Magyar tribes which lived in the Carpathian basin in the Eighth Century. Primitive stone etchings over a thousand years old show the Magyar hunter with his falcon and his Vizsla. The Vizsla probably descended from two ancient breeds: the Transylvanian hound, and the Turkish yellow dog (now extinct).
Companion dogs of the early warlords and barons, Vizsla blood was preserved pure for centuries by the land owning aristocracy who guarded them jealously and continued to develop the the hunting ability of these "yellow-pointers" - the golden-rust coloration from tip to tail. Records of letters and writings show the high esteem in which the Vizsla has always been held through the centuries.
The Vizsla survived the Turkish occupation (1526-1696), the Hungarian Civil War (1848-49), World War I, World War II and the Russian Occupation. After World War II, the breed was nearly extinct. Hungarians saved some individuals and built the breed up again. When Russians took control of Hungary, the native Hungarians feared all the Vizsla would be killed by the Russians, because owning a Vizsla was a symbol of aristocracy. Some devotees smuggled Vizslas out into Austria and to other countries, including America. However, the breed suffered a decline in the late 19th Century and the true Vizsla was close to being extinct. A careful search of Hungary and a poll of Hungarian sportsmen revealed only about a dozen Vizslas of the true type still alive in the country. From that minimum stock, the breed rose to prominence once again. In more recent times, the blood of the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Pointer has been added to the Vizsla. The various "strains" of the Vizsla have become somewhat distinctive as individuals bred stock that suited their hunting style. The Austria-Hungary Empire extended its influence over a large area for many years, but with frequent border changes Hungary was reduced to a mere shadow of its former self. As a result, owners of Vizslas suddenly found themselves living in Czechoslovakia, Rumania, the former Yugoslavia, Italy, Germany, Poland or Russia.
The Vizsla started arriving in the United States at the close of World War II. As interest in and devotion to the breed began to increase, owners formed the Vizsla Club of America in order to gain AKC recognition. As a result of registering foundation stock with the AKC, Vizsla owners were able to obtain official recognition in 1960 and the Vizsla became the 115th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Vizsla is a fine retriever with an excellent nose, and is a good small game and bird hunter and pointer - even on marshy terrain. They have also been successful obedience competitors. The breed's gentle, friendly disposition makes them well-suited to their role as a family companion dog.
The Vizsla is a sleek, muscular, medium-sized hunting dog with a beautiful rusty-gold colored short coat. The front legs are straight. The head is lean, chiseled and aristocratic, with a long tapering muzzle. The muzzle is neither pointed like a Dachshund nor square like an English Pointer. The slightly domed skull is broad between the ears and has a line up the middle of the forehead. The round-tipped ears are pendant and rather long. The neck is muscular, without dewlap. Its musculature is well developed over the entire body. The tail is docked to 2/3 its original length. The eye color blends in with the coat color and the nose is brown. It has a developed jaw, porcelain-white teeth and a distinguished, robust, elastic gait. The hair is short, abundant, and tight to the whole body. The coat can be solid golden rust in different shadings. In some standards, solid dark mahogany red and pale yellow are faulty, and any noticeable area of black in the coat is a serious fault.
Loving, demonstrative and gentle, the Vizsla is somewhat willful and distractible, but smart and trainable. This breed needs a patient, firm hand. They are reliable with children, loving all the play they can get. Maybe to too energetic and excitable for very young toddlers, excellent for energetic kids. Able to adapt quickly to family life, and are generally good with other dogs. Energetic and athletic, the Vizsla must receive sufficient exercise or they may become destructive or neurotic. Socialize this dog well and get him accustomed to noises at an early age. It is very important to obedience train your Vizsla. They can get overly eager, prancing around you in sheer excitement. This breed is highly trainable and very willing to please; if you can get it to understand exactly what it is you want of them. If you do not train this breed they may become difficult to handle and control. Look for breed lines that are not high-strung or shy. Vizsla are known as chewers. This breed is not for everyone. If you want a calm dog do not choose a Vizsla. They have many talents such as: tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdog and competitive obedience. The Vizsla is a hunting dog and may be good with cats they are raised with, but should not be trusted with animals such as hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs etc. This information is important for Vizsla breeders and people looking for vizsla puppies for sale