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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Vizsla


Origin: Hungary

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: 21-24 inches (53-61 cm) (Male)

Weight: 40-60 pounds (18-27 kg) (Male)

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Male height: 
21-24 inches (53-61 cm)
Male weight: 
40-60 pounds (18-27 kg)
Smooth, dense and fine.
Solid golden rust in different shadings, occasionally with small amounts of white on the chest and toes.

The Magyars were the people who inhabited the kingdom of Hungary in the 2nd century C.E., and because this breed retains their name with its name in Europe, it can be assumed that the Vizsla (which means "pointer" in Hungarian) dates to this time. The ancient Transylvanian Hound and what was once known as the Turkish Yellow Dog may have contributed to the modern Vizsla, and the German Shorthaired Pointer and Pointer most certainly have. The Vizsla is most associated with the Puszta area in Hungary, a central area with diverse agriculture and a variety of game. It is here that the Magyars hunted with dogs and falcons.

The Vizsla suffered greatly between the two Great Wars, and much of the modern breed is based on dogs taken out of Hungary by owners emigrating to other countries. Owning a Vizsla was considered a bastion of aristocracy, something that was not favored by the Russians who took control of Hungary after WWII.

When the Vizsla made it to the United States in the middle of the 20th century, hunters were impressed with his hunting prowess, particularly his stamina in hot weather. He is an "all-rounder", searching diligently, not ranging too far, and marking and retrieving from land and water. Not only does he have a friendly disposition, but he is easy to keep as a family companion, too.

Graceful and aristocratic, the energetic Vizsla is a multi-purpose dog who is the ideal sporting dog and also an excellent family pet. Affectionate and handsome, loyal and caring, he forms strong bonds with his owners. When properly socialized, the Vizsla is highly sociable and demonstrative and is sure to draw attention wherever he goes.
At home: 
Vizslas are best with active families who can satisfy their energy needs. These dogs love to be with their people, and if left alone for too long, their naturally energetic nature may lead them to indulge in destructive behaviors. A fenced yard in which to romp and play is essential. Their single coat makes them unsuitable for cold weather.
Vizslas are energetic, athletic dogs who thrive on exercise, preferring to be allowed to hunt over large areas. Without regular opportunities to hunt, they require several vigorous walks a day. They make great jogging or biking companions.
The athletic Vizsla is a hardy eater whose weight should be monitored. He needs the energy that food gives him, but of course he needs to be kept in shape. A high-quality, age-appropriate diet is best. Feed twice a day as an adult.
A Vizsla was the first breed to earn an American Kennel Club (AKC) Triple Championship title, combining top performances in show, field and obedience - proof that he is certainly a multitalented and trainable animal. That said, he is a high-energy dog who is easily distracted, and he must be trained by someone who is persistent and patient and who uses reward-based and creative ways to keep him focused. Giving this dog enough exercise is critical to being able to train him properly.
When raised properly, a Vizsla is excellent with children and other dogs and animals - although he shouldn't be trusted with small animals that could be considered game.
The average life span of the Vizsla is 12 to 15 years. Health problems of the breed include epilepsy; eye disorders; hip dysplasia; skin diseases; and von Willebrand disease.
Fun fact: 

Vizslas also come in a wirehaired variety, which features a bristly short coat with a longer beard and eyebrows. This type is very popular in Hungary because the wirehaired coat can better withstand winter weather. However, it has not yet been recognized by the AKC.

Grooming blurb: 
The Vizsla's short, smooth coat is very easy to keep clean - simply rub all over with a hound glove to loosen dead hairs and stimulate the skin, and brush with a soft brush.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.