Other names: Vizsla, Wirehaired Vizsla, Hungarian Pointer, Magyar Vizsla, Rövidszörü Magyar Vizsla, Drötzörü Magyar Vizsla
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The Hungarian Pointer exists in two varieties: the short-coated and the wire-haired Vizsla. The two breeds are distinct but possess the same working skills. They are versatile hunting dogs, employed in plains, woods and water. The Vizsla, as it is more commonly known, has an incredible sense of smell, is a great retriever and has a fair amount of social competence. In this, he is a premium choice for an assistant to any hunter. He is also an excellent companion dog that brings joy to both small and big ones alike, and that can adapt to many different lifestyles.
Key facts about the Hungarian Vizsla
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Affectionate Playful Intelligent Hunter
Origins and history
We know very little about his origins: he is perhaps the result of a cross between a Hungarian Hound (a short-legged Transylvanian or Pannonian Hound) and a ‘yellow’ hunting dog from Turkey. Recent studies have brought attention to the presence of Sloughi (Arabian Greyhound) blood in him too. The breed, more commonly called Vizsla, is believed to have been born in the 17th century, but has attained its current characteristics over the course of the 19th century, through cross-breeding with various foreign Pointer breeds.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 7 - Pointing Dogs
Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Hungarian Vizsla
Female : Between 21 and 24 in
Male : Between 23 and 25 in
Female : Between 40 and 77 lb
Male : Between 44 and 60 lb
Generally fawn or sand-coloured, the coat can be any shade of russet gold.
Type of coat
The coat is short.
The short-haired variety has a close-lying coat, coarse and hard to the touch, and lacks an undercoat.
The wire-haired variety has a coat that is commonly described as ‘wiry’, spread flat, dense and matte, with an abundant and water-repellent undercoat.
The eyes usually match the coat but should be as dark as possible.
The Hungarian Pointer is a very handsome, medium-sized dog, with a noble appearance and light bone structure, lean muscles and very resistant tendons. He has the physique of a genuine athlete, made to run. The head is narrow and the muzzle blunt, not pointy. The stop is moderate. The eyes are rather oval, and exude an intelligent expression. The ears are set slightly to the back and fold flat over the cheeks. The lips are thin and adherent. The limbs are straight and upright: the hind legs form quite an open angle. The tail is carried horizontally in short-haired varieties while it is carried quite low and curled over in the wire-haired variety. In addition to this, the wire-haired variety has a slightly more significant body mass.
Good to know
The wire-haired Vizsla is indeed a breed in its own right, created in 1930, but does nevertheless possess the same capacities and temperament as the short-haired Vizsla.
This pointing dog is very close to his social group and loyal to his master. He is just as happy outside while working at his master’s side, as he is in the warm comfort of his home. He can adapt to all lifestyles and appreciates the comforts of indoor living.
Always active and naturally cheerful, this pointer loves to play and enjoys strategy games in particular (intelligence-based games, treasure hunts, etc.).
Be careful not to play ‘fetch’ too often, as it reinforces the already pronounced retrieving instinct.
This active dog is far from being the little dog that spends his days snoozing on the couch.
However, rather balanced by nature, he can be calm and still, given that all his needs are satisfied as regularly as possible.
Like many work dogs, this Hungarian dog is very smart and knows how to best apply his skills to the tasks he is entrusted with. His intelligence is made evident by his remarkable versatility, and allows him to fulfil all of his master’s wishes.
This dog is known for his hunting skills, he is versatile and can adapt to all landscapes, even the most challenging ones. On plains, in the woods or water, he expresses his full potential with elegance, endurance and determination.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Never shy nor aggressive, the Vizsla welcomes guests in his home open-heartedly and is just as friendly with strangers encountered during walks. Having said this, being very attached to his social group, if he feels that his family is in danger, he can rapidly turn into a deterrent.
Hunting dogs are usually quite independent, but this certainly isn’t the case of the Hungarian Pointer, who would do anything to please his kin. He never tires of doing so, and remains very loyal to members of his social group, and to his master in particular.
Behaviour of the Hungarian Vizsla
If the Vizsla pup is taught to spend time alone at home from a young age, he can absolutely tolerate his owners’ absences, even once he becomes an adult.
Bear in mind however that this work dog requires a lot of stimulation, both in physical and mental terms, and can therefore get bored easily. Prolonged absences will not be tolerated.
Easy to train / obedience
The Vizsla is reputed as being particularly submissive and easy to train, and this is far from being hearsay. This work dog does indeed love to learn, and to please their master.
Therein, he is a very pleasant and cooperative companion, especially if his owner’s approach is coherent, good-willed and fair.
Brutality does not work with this sensitive dog, who digs his heels in at the faintest demonstration of violence, be it physical or psychological.
Like any respectable Pointer, this dog gets to bark easily, which can quickly become excessive if the Vizsla pup is not taught to channel his barking in other ways from a youngest possible age.
Tendency to run away
Even if it can be reined in through appropriate training, the Vizsla’s hunting instinct still remains very pronounced. This continental pointing dog will indeed hit the road in pursuit of an interesting trail whenever it is possible.