The Vizsla is a medium-sized short-coated dog, with rust colored fur, lean muscular legs, and have similar characteristics to the Weinmaraner. This breed is driven to hunt but is also gentle, sensitive, and loyal to their family. Vizslas are the smallest of the pointer-retriever breeds and sometimes mistaken for other breeds or a mix of other breeds.
The first written reference to Vizsla dog breed has been recorded in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle prepared on order of King Lajos the Great (Louis the Great) by the Carmelite Friars in 1357. There are etchings that depict the Vizslas dating back to the 10th century. They originate from Hungary and were used as hunting dogs. Vizslas were companion dogs for warlords and barons. The breed survived many wars, revolutions, and occupations by waring cultures throughout the centuries. They faced extinction in the 1800s when English Pointers and German Shorthair Pointers were becoming numerous and again after World War Two.
The Vizsla started arriving in the United States at the close of World War II and the Vizslas Club of America was formed shortly after. The breed gained AKC recognition on November 25, 1960, as the 115th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The coat is always a solid rust or gold color that can vary in shades. It can be described as copper, brown, or sandy. Sometimes there may some white on the forehead and chest. Their fur is smooth, dense, lies close to the skin, and does not have an undercoat. This means, Vizslas can get cold and are not suited to be outside for long periods of time during the winter months.
Vizslas are self-cleaning dogs and will often shake and lick off dirt from their fur. They don’t need to be bathed often and often do not smell as strongly as other dogs. Even a wet Vizsla does not have that “wet dog” smell that is usually as strong as their relatives.
Their tails are sometimes docked to two-thirds of its original length. The remainder of the tail is strong, and the vizsla holds its tail horizontal to the ground and wags it vigorously while charging through rough scrub and undergrowth. Without docking the tail, the tail can break and split because of how thin and whip-like it becomes at the tip.
Vizslas are very high energy, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring, and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children, and are referred to as “velcro” dogs. They are quiet dogs, only barking if necessary or provoked. The Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise, and interaction. It is highly intelligent, and enjoys being challenged and stimulated, both mentally and physically.
Vizslas are very gentle dogs that are great around children. The Vizsla wants to be close to its owner as much of the time as possible. Many Vizslas will sleep in bed with their owners and, may burrow under the covers. They may tend to have separation anxiety if left alone a lot or not given the amount of attention and stimulation that they need.