Dog Breed profiles

Hungarian Vizsla Breed Profile

Hungarian Vizsla fact file

KC Group: Gundog
Size: Large
Height: 53 - 64cm 
Weight: 20 - 30kg
Average lifespan: Over 10 years
Good with children?: Seek breeder advice
Exercise requirement: Lots
Good guard dogs?: Would bark
Moulting level: Low
Grooming: Little
Colours: Golden sand to russet, never dark brown or pale yellow. Small white marks on chest and feet are acceptable.
Jogging partner: Yes

Health

Generally considered a healthy breed but some hereditary conditions are known, including:

  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Entropion.
  • Atopy.

Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint is, or has become, unstable; the condition varies in degrees of severity.

Epilepsy is a brain disorder which causes fits.

Entropion is a condition which causes the eyelid to roll inwards and rub against the cornea. If left untreated it can cause various other eye problems, and in severe cases results in blindness.

Atopy is an allergic skin disease; the skin becomes inflamed, causing severe itching.

Over recent years, although still very rare, there have been increased cases of polymyositis (muscle inflammation). Onset of the condition usually starts in adolescence. Signs of the disease include problems with swallowing — both food and water; excessive drooling; and muscle wastage around the head. Responsible

Vizsla breeders include a fact sheet on the disease in their puppy packs to inform about the condition and help new puppy owners to recognise symptoms early.

Health tests

The Hungarian Vizsla is listed under the Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association hip dysplasia scheme. The average hip score in the Hungarian Vizsla is 12 (each hip is scored individually and the two figures added together to give the dog’s final hip score).

Breeders are strongly encouraged to only breed from dogs with scores well below this figure. A breeder should be able to provide documentation proving that this has been done. It is advised that you don’t buy from a breeder who can’t do this. It is also recommended, but not compulsory, that dogs are elbow, heart, and eye tested.

Temperament

  • Often described as flawless in temperament.
  • Gentle mannered and demonstrably affectionate — you may find that your Vizsla will want to hold your hand or wrist in his mouth.
  • Loyal and sensitive.

Lifestyle

  • The Vizsla is a working breed and this must be taken into consideration.
  • He has incredible stamina and rarely tires — he will work for eight hours solid in all weathers if required.
  • He will thrive as a member of an active family.
  • Your Vizsla will need at least an hour’s free running a day.
  • A bored Vizsla left home alone will lead to trouble — he will fi nd something to do, whether that be rearranging your furniture or cupboards, or using his nose to scent out some of your valuables.
  • He will live in harmony with other animals and children if introduced to them early.

Trainability

  • The Vizsla is exceptionally intelligent and highly trainable — he has an overwhelming desire to please.
  • Training must start from puppyhood and be firm and consistent, but gentle — he is a sensitive soul.
  • He likes to think about things so may not respond immediately — be patient.

General care

  • A weekly rub with a chamois cloth will leave his coat gleaming.
  • Exercise must be gentle and kept to a minimum when your Vizsla is a puppy to protect his fragile growing bones.
  • A deep, warm bed is essential for your Vizsla, and he will appreciate a space to call his own such as a giant crate.
  • Trim your Vizsla’s nails weekly. He has thick pads, which means his nails don’t always touch the ground, and therefore don’t wear down naturally.

Pros

  • Fantastic temperament.
  • Highly intelligent and trainable.

Cons

  • The Vizsla has above-average exercise needs.
  • Some hereditary issues.

Did you know?

  • Vizslas have an unusually long puppyhood and can remain puppy-like up to three years of age. This can be tough going when your pup is fully grown.
  • The Vizsla is an HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) breed. He has great versatility, with the nose of a Bloodhound, pointing talents of a pointer or setter, and retrieving ability of a retriever.
  • Centuries ago the Vizsla was restricted to the nobility and the breed retains that aristocratic air today.
  • Enthusiasts call Vizslas ‘Velcro dogs’ — they want to stick by their owners’ sides.