VIZSLA.jpg
Breed Group Group 11: Gun Dog Breeds
Sub-group 11-A: Pointing Dogs
Origin Country Hungary
Weight Males: 44-66 pounds. Females: 44-66 pounds.
Height Males: 22-25 inches. Females: 21-24 inches.
Other Name(s) Hungarian Shorthaired Pointing Dog, Hungarian Vizsla, Magyar Vizsla, Rough-Coated variety: Drotszoru Magyar Vizsla, Rovidszoru Magyar Vizsla, Smooth-Coated variety: Hungarian Pointer
Breed Type Pure
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Vizsla

Breed Group Group 11: Gun Dog Breeds
Sub-group 11-A: Pointing Dogs
Origin Country Hungary
Weight Males: 44-66 pounds. Females: 44-66 pounds.
Height Males: 22-25 inches. Females: 21-24 inches.
Other Name(s) Hungarian Shorthaired Pointing Dog, Hungarian Vizsla, Magyar Vizsla, Rough-Coated variety: Drotszoru Magyar Vizsla, Rovidszoru Magyar Vizsla, Smooth-Coated variety: Hungarian Pointer
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The Vizsla’s ancestors are believed to have come into the Carpathian Basin with ancient nomadic Hungarian tribes. Vizslas are likely descendants of the extinct Turkish Yellow Dog and the Transylvanian Hound, with some German and English Pointer mixed in later on. These dogs were renowned for centuries for their ability to hunt in the varying and rugged terrain. Evidence of these dogs has been found in illustrations dating back to the 1300s. Their popularity as hunting dogs eventually caught the eye of Hungarian aristocracy, and the breed became closely associated with royalty. Pointing competitions were found as early as the 1800s, with the Vizsla dogs excelling at the sport.

The sleek coat of the Vizsla was excellent for open terrain and hot climates, however, hunters found it problematic in thickets and thorns, as well as inclement weather. In an effort to get a more durable coat on the dogs, two smooth-coated females were bred to a German Wirehaired Pointer. The resulting offspring were the start of the wirehaired breed, which produced dogs that were capable of hunting in virtually all terrain with the same persistence and stamina as their smooth-coated brethren.

The breed’s popularity continued to grow until World War II, which decimated dog breeds and landraces all over Europe. Making matters worse, Russia gained control of Hungary after the war, which further hampered the continuation of the breed in its own country of origin. However, thanks in part to the popularity of these dogs before the war, many specimens were exported throughout Europe before the effects of the war came to Hungary. Enthusiasts were able to rebuild the breed, mainly from exported stock. Eventually the Vizsla made his way to the United States in the mid-twentieth century, and his hunting abilities, temperament, and endurance did not fail to impress. His popularity continues to grow today as a hunting partner and a family companion.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, muscular, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, with well-developed temporalis muscle, giving the head a somewhat domed or arched appearance in profile. The median furrow is accentuated by the temporalis muscles as well. The superciliary ridges and occiput are moderately to well-developed. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to diamond in shape, and hazel, amber, or medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed. Eye whites should not be exposed.
Ears: Moderately large in size, without appearing pendulous or houndish. The length should equal 3/4 of the total head length. They are broad throughout and rounded at the tips. They are set on level with the eyes, and fairly well-back on the skull. The leathers are soft and thin, with inner the edge hanging closely to the head.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full and broad. It is square and deep throughout, ending rather bluntly. It is never pointed. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is level and straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened. Sunspots or freckling from aging are not faults.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage, it is powerfully muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed.
Body: Deep and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set slightly low, or neither high or low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually approximately at the level of the topline, but never tucked or carried up over the back. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked fairly long. The natural tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight or gently curved. Docked tails are surgically cut to 1/3 of the original length.
Movement: Elastic, animated, effortless, efficient, and energetic, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Vizsla is a true working dog, with high energy and high drive. When placed into a family situation that allows him to exercise his energy and drives, he is known to be an even-tempered, lively, and loyal companion. They are exceptionally eager to please and prefer to work close to their people, whether it is in the field or at home. They are gifted with scenting and excel in many disciplines outside of hunting, as well, including search and rescue and even obedience. Due to their high drives, instincts, and energy levels, early obedience training and regular physical, sensory, and mental exercise is essential. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 11: Gun Dog Breeds

Proportions: Off-square with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The length-to-height ratio is approximately 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, muscular, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, with well-developed temporalis muscle, giving the head a somewhat domed or arched appearance in profile. The median furrow is accentuated by the temporalis muscles as well. The superciliary ridges and occiput are moderately to well-developed. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Intelligent, lively, noble, and happy.
Stop: The stop is moderate.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 1:1 and 3:2, with the topskull being equal to, or just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis may be parallel or slightly convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full and broad. It is square and deep throughout, ending rather bluntly. It is never pointed. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is level and straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are fairly clean and fit rather well over the teeth and jaws. They should be sufficient in depth to give the muzzle its squared appearance, without appearing pendulous or hanging below the lower plane of the jaw.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened. Sunspots or freckling from aging are not faults.
Cheeks: The cheeks are well-developed and powerfully muscled, never appearing flat or chiseled.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to diamond in shape, and hazel, amber, or medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed. Eye whites should not be exposed.
Ears: Moderately large in size, without appearing pendulous or houndish. The length should equal 3/4 of the total head length. They are broad throughout and rounded at the tips. They are set on level with the eyes, and fairly well-back on the skull. The leathers are soft and thin, with inner the edge hanging closely to the head.

Body and Tail

General Description: Deep and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage, it is powerfully muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed.
Topline: Level or slightly (almost imperceptibly) sloped from prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is short, taut, flat and level or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Gently sloped.
Underline: Moderate tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set slightly low, or neither high or low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually approximately at the level of the topline, but never tucked or carried up over the back. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked fairly long. The natural tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight or gently curved. Docked tails are surgically cut to 1/3 of the original length.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are long and approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The distance from the withers to the brisket may be equal to, or just less than, the distance from the elbows to the ground.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are long, equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Vizsla comes in three coat varieties: the standard smooth coat, the standard wirehaired, and the nonstandard long-haired.
Smooth-coat variety: The coat is short, dense, smooth, close to the body throughout. The texture is hard to the touch throughout the body, but finer and softer on the face and ears. It is glossy and without undercoat. No fringe or feather permissible.
Wire-coat variety: The coat is a protective double coat. It is as harsh, wiry, and rough as possible. It should be dense throughout. It should never obstruct the outline of the body. The face exhibits prominent “eyebrows,” as well as a beard, and moustache. The dog should be shown in a natural coat, clipping is prohibited.
Longhaired variety: short on the face, forehead, and front of the forelimbs and hindlimbs. The coat is longer on the neck, ears, rear of the forelimbs and hindlimbs, feet, and tail, forming well-developed fringe and furnishings. Undercoats may or may not be present. The coat may be flat, slightly wavy, or rough to the touch.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Vizsla breed: the standard color and the nonstandard color.

Standard coat color variety: Any shade of golden red, ranging from rust, medium gold, golden rust, russet gold, and sandy gold (semmelgelb). Ears often appear darker, but otherwise, the dog is uniformly colored. Some appear to have lighter shadings on the neck and behind the forequarters, with darker shadings in the pattern of a saddle (known as the esterhazy saddle), or a dark stripe down the back (called a king stripe) which are equally permissible. A small amount of white on the chest or toes is permissible.

Nonstandard coat color variety: Deep red, mahogany, brown, liver, yellow or cream. Large amounts of white or roan markings.

Movement

Elastic, animated, effortless, efficient, and energetic, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Vizsla is a true working dog, with high energy and high drive. When placed into a family situation that allows him to exercise his energy and drives, he is known to be an even-tempered, lively, and loyal companion. They are exceptionally eager to please and prefer to work close to their people, whether it is in the field or at home. They are gifted with scenting and excel in many disciplines outside of hunting, as well, including search and rescue and even obedience. Due to their high drives, instincts, and energy levels, early obedience training and regular physical, sensory, and mental exercise is essential. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.