THE VIZSLA

The Vizsla, also known as the Hungarian Vizsla, originated from Hungary. In fact, ancestors can be traced all the way back to the 10th century, where they were the favorite hunting dogs of the Magyar tribes that lived in the Pannonian Basin. Regarded as ideal sporting dogs, the ancient Vizsla lines were kept pure for centuries.

Brief History

The Vizsla became more refined as a breed over centuries when the Hungarian nobles modernized them. They became well-known as an agile, all-purpose hunting dog. However, this breed narrowly avoided extinction after World War 1. The first of this breed was imported to the U.S in the 1950’s after being smuggled out of communist Hungary. They participate in many canine sporting activities today, and make good hunting and companion dogs.

Physical Features

This is a medium-sized, lean and muscular dog. This breed has a deep tapering muzzle and carries a narrow, powerful head. Vizslas typically have brown eyes, a brown nose and ears that are rounded at the tips. Their coats are short and smooth, and their tails are also docked. Some may have white markings on the chest and toes. The wire-haired Vizsla is more common in Europe, but can also be found in the U.S.

Average Height:

21-24 inches

Average Weight:

50-65 pounds

Life Expectancy:

12-14 years

Temperament

This good-natured dog is a good addition to any home with children. They’re an energetic and agile breed that has endurance, power and drive. They’re affectionate and gentle with family members. The Vizsla needs plenty of daily exercise, including frequent off-leash hikes, trips to the dog park and organized canine sporting activities.

This breed was bred to be a hunting dog, but also make good jogging partners. That said, young dogs should not run long distances until they reach 18 to 24 months of age. Older dogs must stay active, and need to have a job. An active family that enjoys being outdoors and partaking in lots of sports is a good match for this breed.

Special Needs

The Vizsla needs plenty of positive training starting at puppyhood. This breed is very intelligent, sometimes stubborn, and extremely active. It’s important to start a good positive training schedule with your puppy early on. An untrained dog can be hyperactive and rambunctious. This breed needs plenty of attention combined with exercise.

Possible Health Concerns

This breed may be susceptible to the following:

  • Cancer. Treatments for canine cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
  • Eye Disorders affecting the Vizsla include entropion. Entropion is the turning in of the edges of the eyelid, so that the eyelashes rub against the eye surface. It is one of the most common eyelid defects in dogs.
  • Hip Dysplasia is a hereditary condition that affects this breed. HD is an abnormal development of the hip joint in medium and large dog breeds. It is generally characterized by a loose joint, and then degenerative joint disease. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional factors, and hereditary factors all come in to play with hip dysplasia. Consult with your veterinarian for expert advice.
  • Epilepsy is a brain disorder marked by sudden bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This results in recurrent seizures.

Exercise

Vizslas need daily exercise with plenty off-leash runs. This breed enjoys routine and benefits mentally from all the positive attention it receives during training. They also enjoy dog sports like agility, rally, obedience, dock diving, barn hunts, scent work, tracking and lure coursing.

This breed needs plenty of mental stimulation. Pet parents will need to combine dog training classes into their weekly schedule. Vizslas are good running companions and excellent hunting dogs.

Nutrition

Consult with your veterinarian as to the best dog food for your Vizsla. Every dog is different, and some brands will be better suited for certain dogs. When it comes to dog foods, understanding your pet’s current health and nutritional needs is paramount. And always remember to ask your veterinarian for advice before changing your dog’s diet.

Grooming

The Vizsla has a short coat that hardly sheds. Daily brushing with a rubber mitt or medium bristle brush will aid in removing loose hair and in keeping their coats healthy. Nails need to be trimmed regularly, with twice yearly trips for dental cleanings at the veterinarian. Ears should be checked for wax, dirt and signs of irritation.

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