The Hungarian Vizsla

By: Emily Kubick

On any given day at the Clubhouse, you are most likely going to notice a beautiful golden goddess. She is either running laps playing her butt off or draped across one of the Beast Masters’ laps. This goddess is known as Scout and she is a beautiful Hungarian Vizsla.

The Vizsla is a lean medium sized dog with a classic golden-rust colored coat. Very energetic, loyal, intelligent, and highly affectionate. One source described them as the “velcro” dog. If you have ever had the pleasure to cuddle with one, velcro is the perfect word. These dogs make fantastic hunting/sporting dogs. Although classified with other pointer breeds, they also make excellent retrievers. This multi talented skill makes them excellent hunting dogs. They can have a sensitive temperament, so it is important to train with a gentle, but firm hand. Like many hunting dogs, but not all, their short coat allows for easy and fast grooming. Allowing them to frolic in all the grassy and muddy areas they desire, with an easy clean up for their humans. They do not have an undercoat, but they shed. Don’t worry though, because I heard that a few golden fur clumps clinging onto your new black pants are the “it” look.

As mentioned above, the Vizsla is categorized as a Sporting Breed, aka “gun dogs.” Sporting breeds, in general, require a good amount of both mental and physical stimulation. Vizsla’s can chill out, don’t get me wrong. They are sensitive and sweet, but they need and thrive on adventure. They were built to run around all day in search of waterfowl, not to walk around the block twice a day. On average they should be given the chance to exercise or run for at least 1 to 2 hours a day, not including boring slow potty break walks.

As it is with most breeds, their exact origin is unknown. There are early records linking the breed to early Hungarians, known as Magyars. Researches actually discovered stone etchings of a Magyar, a falcon, and his Vizsla. From the breed’s beginning, it seems that the Vizsla has been a very special companion of man. The breed is first mentioned in 1357 in the Vienna Chronicle, a manuscript of early Hungarian codes and laws. A Vizsla is pictured in a section on falconry revering them for their hunting abilities. They are so badass they made it in a manuscript; How cool is that!?

The Vizsla was held in such high esteem by early “warlords and barons”, their bloodlines were kept as pure as possible. These aristocrats were actually somewhat possessive and limited breeding to only fellow aristocrats. They valued the breed so highly, that they acted like small children unwilling to share their toy. “Obsession” with the breed, is to put it lightly.

To clarify, at the time, Hungary wasn’t just Hungary. Hungary was known as the Greater Hungarian Kingdom, including both Czechoslovakia and Hungary. As far as records show, the Vizsla bloodline was kept pure through many centuries and many wars. It wasn’t until after World War II, when the Russians invaded, that things changed. Among taking many other things, the Russians took some Vizslas with them and put an end to the aristocratic power over the breed. This caused a great decrease in the Vizsla population in Hungary. Thankfully, the love of the pedigree helped in the rise of the breed again.

Although the original Vizsla hails from Hungary, there are now several recognized bloodlines. These bloodlines were created based on hunting style as well as certain desired characteristics. Bloodlines are found in Romania, Austria, Slovakia, and Serbia. When it comes to “looks”, a dog’s lineage is extremely important for pedigree and showing. Most Czech and Hungarian breeders, however, value hunting/field abilities compared to show quality. To selectively breed “exceptional” hunting Vizslas, looks are the least of their concerns. They are bred based on the best of the fully trained male and females. Functionality over appearance.

To summarize, the Hungarian or Magyar Vizsla is a golden pure(-ish) beauty with a very noble past. The Vizsla is honored for its pure bloodline, exceptional hunting abilities, and overall awesomeness. They are still commonly used as sporting and hunting dogs alongside other pointer breeds and retrievers. They also make wonderful companion/family dogs when cared for and trained correctly. They must be kept mentally and physically stimulated.

I was already extremely impressed with the breed to begin with and have fallen in love with our own Vizsla, Scout. Learning their history and their “purpose” opened up a whole new appreciation for the breed. Beautiful and badass. The perfect combo.

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