The Hungarian Short-Haired Pointing Dog, or Vizsla, has its origins in the hunting dogs of medieval times. References to the breed go back to the 1300s! Since then, the breed was nearly brought to extinction several times in the 1900s, but it was bred to greater numbers once a few animals were brought to America.
The Vizsla is an affectionate, warm and intelligent breed. In fact, it’s quite impossible to separate a Vizsla from its owner!
Appearance, Health and Hygiene
The Vizsla is a medium-sized game dog, wiry and lean. It usually grows to around 61-66 centimetres in height. Its coat is typically a rust colour.
The Vizsla is mostly a robust and hardy breed, but it can be susceptible to common health problems found in dogs. It is important to obtain a Vizsla through a reputable breeder who has provided health clearances for the pups.
A Vizsla requires little grooming and hygiene maintenance, requiring a weekly brush and the occasional clipping. The important thing is to establish an early grooming routine with the Vizsla as a puppy – especially with handling the paws – as this will make the process far easier once it grows.
The Vizsla is sweet, affectionate, lively and excitable. It will bond early and strongly with an owner. A Vizsla will stick like glue to its owner and become his or her shadow. It has an above-average intelligence and this, coupled with its eagerness to please, makes it a pleasure to train.
Due to its high energy, the breed can become hyperactive and destructive if it is under-stimulated or left to its own devices for too long. Care must be taken to provide the animal with satisfactory levels of mental and physical exercise.
Socialisation should start early to introduce the animal to a variety of sounds, sights and situations. An owner should be a calm, firm leader who establishes clear and consistent boundaries to ensure the pet is not confused and remains relaxed and secure. As this is a breed that bonds strongly an owner should be patient and should always give praise and attention. Harsh or overbearing discipline is not needed here.
A Vizsla can become highly strung without proper exercise, making it destructive and neurotic. It is important to exercise the dog with task-orientated activities suitable for any game breed.
Care must also be taken early on to ensure the Vizsla does not bark out of boredom or routine, as it is quite a verbal and communicative animal.
As a Pet
Obviously a breed this excitable will need a large yard and a great deal of exercise. Smaller pets like birds or rodents should be kept away. Vizslas are reputable chewers too, so a supply of toys and clear boundaries will help keep the shoes safe.
An active, patient and loyal household will be an ideal home for the Vizsla. Due to the energetic and excitable nature of the animal, very small children aren’t recommended to come into contact with it, but larger children (properly mindful of the animal’s boundaries) will adore playing with this pet – as will the Vizsla. In fact, a busy, positive household with many people for the Vizsla to interact and play with will kept it happily occupied. It definitely suits the outdoors and active type of person. In short, it’s a dog that loves life!