Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is the history of the Vizsla breed?
The Vizsla (VEE-shla) is also known as the Hungarian Vizsla. The Vizsla was originally developed by the Magyars over one thousand years ago, and retains many of those original breed traits. Some of those traits include the versatility to hunt all types of fur and feather game, yet still be a devoted personal companion.
There is not a huge division between the "show Vizsla" and the "field Vizsla" that you see in many of the sporting group breeds. Vizsla breeders today have worked very diligently to maintain the duality and versatility of the breed through carefully planned breeding programs. The pedigree of a well bred Vizsla will contain both Field and Show titles. In addition, many Vizslas will have agility and obedience titles! They are truly versatile!!!
2) What is the “standard” appearance of the Vizsla?
The general appearance of a Vizsla is that of a medium-sized short-coated hunting dog. The Vizsla is robust, but rather lightly built, with an attractive golden rust coat. As a sporting dog, the Vizsla has drive and power in the field, yet is a sweet, affectionate companion at home. The Vizsla's appearance should be strong, smooth, lean and muscular a regal looking dog with swift, smooth movement.
The ideal size for adult male Vizslas is between 22 and 24 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades. Females should be between 21 and 23 inches. Any Vizsla measuring more than 1 1/2 inches above or below these measurements is not within standard. The Vizsla will also have the tail docked 1/3 of the original length, leaving 2/3 intact, to prevent injuries while hunting.
The Vizsla's temperament should be lively, gentle-mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive though fearless with a well developed protective instinct.
For a more detailed description from the AKC, see our online article!
3) Are Vizslas “hyper”? What kind of exercise do they need?
Vizslas are a very high energy breed with a very high intelligence. This can turn to destructive behaviors if the puppy or dog is not given a "job". Mental engagement and a focus on training and learning are equally important to enough physical exercise. Vizslas need both. Vizslas love to participate in a variety of activity including: field trials, hunting tests, conformation (show), obedience, agility, tracking, search and rescue, therapy dogs, assistance dogs, and flyball. They are truly adaptable and flexible! The Vizsla breed also lays claim to the AKC's only Quintuple Champion out of any breed and has two out of the three Triple Champions in AKC history.
4) What about price? Why is there such a difference between the price of Vizsla puppies from different sources?
It is very important that you purchase your puppy through a reputable breeder. Pet shop puppies are bred in puppy mills and lack the proper socialization to become healthy lifelong companions. Puppies bred for internet sales or pet shops often do not cost as much for as puppies from a reputable breeder, but you are also not given a lifelong guarantee for genetic defects, a lifelong "no questions asked" return policy, the sire and dam are not tested for genetic defects (hip dysplasia, etc.), and they're usually not "proven" with any titles themselves. Even if you are “only interested in a family companion”, a happy, healthy puppy comes from a breeder that is focused on achieving four important areas in their breeding program: health, temperament, hunting ability, and conformation! Titles help to show a breeder's intent.
What are some of the activities that I might engage in with my Vizsla Dog?
Conformation or Show Dog shows offer both fun and challenging! The Vizsla can provide its owner with pride and happiness when your dogs wins at the show and eventually achieve the title of Champion! It can also be somewhat costly and frustrating when you don’t win! A single show is ONE judge's opinion on ONE day if the life of the Vizsla!
Obedience Vizslas are highly intelligent and quick to learn, so they make excellent obedience competition dogs. Many Vizsla puppies are awarded “best puppy in their class”! You might begin with achieving a CGC (Canine Good Citizen), follow this with an AKC “Rally Obedience” title. AKC also offers five increasingly difficult and meaningful titles to earn CD (Companion Dog), CDX (Companion Dog Excellent), UD (Utility Dog), UDX (Utility Dog Excellent), and OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion). A basic foundation of obedience provides the framework for success in many other venues!!!
Tracking Trials AKC also offers the titles of TD (Tracking Dog), TDX (Tracking Dog Excellent), and VST (Variable Surface Tracker); earning all three leads to the title CT (Champion Tracker). Because the Vizsla has excellent scenting ability, they do well in this activity. They have are successfully used for rescue work, and one Vizsla performed Search and Rescue at the World Trade Center.
Field Trials A Field Trial is a competition to determine the best and most spectacular hunting dog. They provide a great deal of enjoyment and challenge. There are three classes of competition puppy, derby and gun dog. Puppy requires mostly instinct, derbies must show experience and hold point, and gun dogs must be fully trained to hold point through the shot and also retrieve to hand any killed game. AKC offers the title of Field Champion and Amateur Field Champion for those few who can earn it.
Hunting Tests The American Kennel Club offers titles for pointing breed dogs demonstrating instinct and training at these levels: JH (Junior Hunter), SH (Senior Hunter) and MH (Master Hunter). Dogs at the JH level show instinct and some amount of training, the MH dog is a highly trained hunting dog, and the SH dog falls in between the two.
Agility Many Vizslas with their energy and athletic bodies, really excel in this popular activity. Titles are earned at various levels of difficulty such as Novice, Open and Excellent, through AKC and other organizations such as NADAC. There are some wonderful agility training clubs opportunities, and many dogs and owners spends super enjoyable years engaged in consummate learning and rarely compete!!!
Versatility Certificate The Vizsla Club of American (VCA) offers Versatility Certificates in Conformation (CC), Obedience (OC) and Field (FD) which require demonstration of excellence in the three major areas of show, field, and obedience. The ratings recognize the versatility of this breed, and a dog obtaining all three certificates may use VC after the registered name as an official title signifying that it has achieved the CC, FD, and OC.
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