- When the Magyars swarmed across Europe in the Middle Ages, over a thousand years ago, they assimilated various dogs from around the continent. These dogs settled with them in Hungary and no doubt were the ancestors of the Vizsla. Hunters in the Hungarian plains wanted a dog that was fast but didn’t range too far away, that could both point and retrieve birds, and that could follow a scent trail, and they selected among these dogs for offspring that would meet their needs.
- Dogs of Vizsla type were described by the Middle Ages, although it’s not known if these were actually Vizslas.
- By the 1700s, the breed was definitely established.
- The breed suffered a massive decline during the late 1800s, but was brought back with careful breeding from the few good specimens that could be found.
- Hungarians fleeing Russian occupation during World War II often took their Vizslas with them, spreading the breed throughout the world.
- The AKC recognized the breed in 1960. The Vizsla is popular as a hunting companion, field trial competitor, pet, and show dog.
Vizsla Behavior Concerns
- Makes an energetic and attentive family member.
- Gentle and playful with children
- Good watchdog; can be protective.
- Loves to run and hunt.
- Sociable with strangers.
- Good with other dogs and pets.
- Can be overly excitable.
- Learns quickly, but easily distracted.
- Does best with a firm owner who can combine reward-based training with good control and leadership.
Vizsla Suggested Exercises
- Makes a fairly calm and alert housedog if given adequate exercise. If not given enough exercise, it can be overactive and destructive.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a long walk, or preferably, long jog. Vigorous games are also helpful.
- A well-fenced yard is essential.
- Hunting is the favored exercise. It also enjoys retrieving.
- This is not a breed for an inactive owner.
- Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
- Coat is short and sleek.
- It requires brushing once a week to remove dead hair, and occasional bathing.
- Shedding is average.
Suggested Vizsla Nutritional Needs
- Vizslas tend to stay in good weight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
>>> SEE ALSO: Know Your Pet