Meet the Breed

Unstoppable: The Vizsla packs endless energy, expert hunting skills and undying devotion into its sleek, golden frame.

By Stephanie Horan |

Vizsla

The word Vizsla means "pointer” in Hungarian, but the golden-rust Vizsla is much more than just a hunting dog. This sleek and handsome athlete has boundless energy and an affectionate nature, making it an excellent family dog. Even with its clown-like temperament, the Vizsla excels at almost every activity it tries.

Hungary’s jewel
The ancestors of today’s Vizsla lived in Europe’s Carpathian basin centuries ago, where they hunted with the Magyar tribes of central Europe. In the 14th century, Hungarian aristocracy used Vizslas to hunt and as companions, and kept the dogs’ bloodlines pure. Hungary’s terrain was largely agricultural and pastoral, and the barons and warlords of the time developed the dogs to be high-class hunters with excellent noses and great speed, combining both pointing and retrieving skills.

The Vizsla survived the Turkish occupation (1526 to 1696), the Hungarian Civil War (1848 to 1849), and World Wars I and II. After World War II, few Vizslas remained in Hungary, and many feared the breed would become extinct during the Russian occupation (1945 to 1991). After all, Vizslas were primarily owned by Hungarian aristocracy. The dogs were smuggled to other countries, and some people who fled Soviet rule took their Vizslas with them. Dedicated owners preserved the breed using the handful of remaining dogs and helped promote the breed and increase the Vizsla numbers.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the June 2012 issue of DOG WORLD today, orsubscribeto receive the best dog articles, dog news, and dog information every month!


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