The athletic, loyal and sensitive Hungarian Vizsla is a European gundog with ambiguous roots. With descendants tracing back over a thousand years, the breed is known today as a loving companion, who needs plenty of exercise and a plethora of attention.
Where I'm From
A hunting companion for early Hungarian settlers over a thousand years ago, is a popular theory behind the Vizsla’s origins. When it comes down to it, as is the case with many dog breeds, it is extremely hard to nail down the exact beginnings of this ginger canine.
What is known from etchings and historical documents, is that a breed similar in appearance to the Vizsla, was used as a hunting companion by these Hungarian settlers, known as the Magyar. How close this iteration was to the breed of today, is up for debate.
In more recent history, the Vizsla, similar to other breeds, was almost decimated by the two world wars, where they were utilised as messenger dogs. Post World War II, the breed was finally standardized after being introduced to the United States in the 1950’s.
Today, the dog isn’t used as much for their pointing and retrieving, but their companionable nature hasn’t been lost, seen now as an affectionate member of the family.
What I Look Like
A difference between the Vizsla and other canines is the limited variety in appearance. Before they were standardised, colour variations could be found if you looked hard enough, since however, there is really only one look. The beautiful golden rust that the Vizsla is synonymous for is accompanied by an eye colour that can be found in various shades of brown.
A short and shiny coat is most common, however, in an effort to create hunting companions who can weather colder conditions, a wirehaired variation has recently been developed.
How I Act
Energetic, affectionate, intelligent and sensitive really sums the Hungarian Vizsla up.
Extremely high energy, these guys require at least an hour of exercise everyday. Whether you break that into multiple sessions, or one long play, you will find that without an outlet for the Vizsla to exert itself, you will end up with a vocal and possibly destructive dog. When exercised correctly, you won’t find a more loyal, loving and dependable companion than this Hungarian hero.
Highly intelligent, the Vizsla is capable of being trained from an early age, which is recommended if you want to raise a manageable mate. When it comes to training, always use positive reinforcement and plenty of praise. Ruling with an iron fist will get you absolutely nowhere with this sensitive soul.
As with any breed, early socialisation will turn your Vizsla into a social butterfly amongst humans, felines and canine pals. This friendly nature will develop into unrivaled affection towards devoted owners, including kids.
Looking After Me
Disregarding their thirst for exercise, the Vizsla is a fairly low maintenance dog. They eat as much as you would expect from a medium sized pooch and their weight is fairly manageable due to their lean frame.
Grooming wise, their short coat requires a weekly brush and wipe down to remove any stray hairs. Nails will need a trim occasionally, just keep an ear out for the click clack on floorboards to know when. As is the case with most breeds, if you start the grooming regime at a young age and make it a positive experience for them, they will learn to embrace rather than dread this activity.
Am I the pet for you?
Big yards, active families, gentle trainers and affectionate owners are the perfect mix for the Hungarian Vizsla. If you intend to leave your dog alone for hours on end, if you train with rough methods, or if you have a heart as cold as ice, look for another breed. If you can accommodate all that they require, you’ll have a best friend for life, or at least a dog’s life.
- Great with kids
- A fantastic exercise buddy
- Very affectionate
- Easy to groom
- Highly trainable
- Needs plenty of exercise
- Can become bored if left by themselves for too long
- Will become withdrawn if harshly disciplined
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