- AKC Group: Sporting
- Color and Coat: Solid rust colors in any shading, very pale yellow and very dark mahogany colors may be a fault in some registries. Black is considered a major fault. The hair is short and the dogs are have very light shedding.
- Life Span: The Viszla can live between eleven and fifteen years.
- Litter Size: The typical litter size is between six and eight puppies.
- Size: Males are generally between 22 and 26 inches (56-66 cm) tall and weigh between 45 and 60 pounds (20-27kg). Females are smaller in size, between 20 and 24 inches (51-61 cm) and weigh between 40-55 pounds (18-25kg).
- Living Area: The Vizsla is a high-energy dog. It is, as a result, not a city animal. It does not function well cooped up in a small apartment dwelling. A home with a large, well fenced yard is best suited for its needs.
About the Vizsla
The Vizsla is very muscular, sleek and very athletic looking medium sized dog that is used for hunting as well as a companion pet. They are very balanced in appearance and have a typical hunting dog alertness, energy and eagerness about them at all times. The Vizsla is always a beautifully coppery gold to rust color and has a shorter coat, although it is very dense and thick.
The Vizsla has a typical hunting dog's head with a wide, slightly dome forehead with a noticeable line or cleft up the center. The muzzle is long and tapering gently to a well formed brownish colored nose and mouth. The lips are tight to the well developed teeth, not noticeably loose or pendulous. The eyes are alert and intelligent looking and are blend with the color of the coat. An amber or yellowish eye color is typical in most Vizslas. The ears fold over close to the head and hang down the sides of the face. They are typically rather long and reach to approximately the line of the lower jaw.
The neck is strong and well formed, flowing into a strong back and well formed body area. These dogs have a moderately wide and deep chest and straight and powerful legs. The tail is typically docked to about two thirds of its natural length but may also be left natural. The feet are rounded and well formed.
The Viszla has a very energetic movement and has a naturally springy step. They are a very alert yet friendly dog, ready to wag their tail at everyone and join in a game with the family.
History of the Breed
The history of the Vizsla begins with the Magyar horde, a warlike, nomadic tribe, wandering all across Central Europe until settling in Hungary. A depiction of the breed first appears in the 10th century followed by closer renditions and a written reference in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle, a 14th century manuscript. The breed's survival was secured by the involvement of several barons. They liked the breed and admired its ability to hunt. Early breeders included the Batthyany, Nadasdy and Zay families. They and the land honed the Vizsla's hunting skills into a fine art, testing and perfecting the ability to scent, point and retrieve.
After World War I, concerned parties made a concerted effort to ensure the breed remained unique and survived the century. The Hungarian Kennel Club (MEOE) established strict breed standards. All seemed assured. World War II, however, eradicated much of the breed, destroying the studbook registry. A breeding colony had to be established.
The AKC admitted the breed into its registry in 1960. By 1971, the breed began, again, to receive serious international recognition. Since then, the Vizsla has become a recognized competitor at hunting trials and specialty shows as well as at various other dog shows worldwide.
The interbreeding to preserve the line results in a number of inherited health issues. While these conditions do not occur in all lines they can include:
Eye diseases and problems among Vizslas include Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Entropion, ectropion and Corneal dystrophy. ectropion, or loose eyelids, gives your dog a sagging-eyed look. With entropion, the hairy skin surrounding the eye acts as an irritant.
Stomach or digestive system difficulties include dysphagia-megaesophagus. A Vizlas with this condition struggles to swallow. There is also associated muscle wasting and excessive drooling.
Allergies to food and some plant life. Owners have noted the development of rashes on their dogs after romps through the woods. Sebaceous adenitis or inflamed skin glands are also common.