The Vizsla, as described in the AKC standard, is a medium-sized short-coated hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing. Robust but rather lightly built; the coat is an attractive solid russet gold that ranges from a blond to a dark red. The tail is normally docked to two-thirds of the original length.
The breed comes in either of two coat types: smooth or wire-haired. The FCI, CKC, UKC, and the KC(UK) consider the smooth-haired and wire-haired as separate breeds. Male Vizslas typically weigh between 50 and 65 lb (25 to 29 kg) and are 22 to 24 in. tall at the withers, females 45 to 55 lb (20 to 25 kg) and are 21 to 23 in. tall
Vizslas are lively, gentle mannered, loyal and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners. They are natural hunters with an excellent ability to take training. Not only are they great pointers, but they are excellent retrievers as well.
Like all gun dogs, Vizslas require a good deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy. Thirty minutes to an hour of exercise daily in a large off-leash area is optimal. Vizslas are excellent swimmers and often swim in pools if one is available.
Vizslas love to fetch.The Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise, and interaction. It is highly intelligent, and enjoys being challenged and stimulated, both mentally and physically. Vizslas that are understimulated can easily become destructive or hyperactive. Understimulated Vizslas may also become gluttinous, stealing food off of countertops and tables. However, because Vizslas are so active they are unlikely to become overweight.
The Vizsla prefers to be close and interacting to its owner whenever possible. It is totally unsuited to being kept in a kennel, as it needs to be around its family as much as posible, and many Vizslas will sleep in bed with their owners if alowed.
The origin of the Vizsla can be traced back to very early times in Hungarian history. Ancestors of today's Vizsla were the hunting dogs used by the Magyar tribes living in the Carpathian Basin in the Eighth Century.
The first written reference to Vizsla dog breed has been recorded in "Illustrated Vienna Chronicle" prepared on order of King Lajos the Great (Louis the Great) by the Carmelite Friars in 1357 (Boggs, 2000:17).
Vizslas faced and survived several extinction in their history - from being overrun by English Pointers and German Shorthair Pointers in 1800s (Boggs, 2000:19) to near extinction after the WWII (Boggs, 2000:21).
The Vizsla was used in development of other breeds most notably Weimaraner and German Shorthair Pointer breed (Boggs, 2000:18). There is much conjencture about those same breeds along with other pointer breeds being used to reestablish the Vizsla breed at the end of 19th century. (Boggs, 2000:19). In either case the striking resemblence between the three breeds is indesputable.
Vizsla in US
Frank J. Tallman and Emmett A. Scanlan imported Vizsla Sari as the first Vizsla in the United States of America. Sari and her two pups (Tito and Shasta) were delivered by a TWA cargo plane to Kansas City via New York from Rome on October 7, 1950.
Sari was later bred with Vizsla Rex. The male Vizsla Rex del Gelsimino, born 8/1/49, was purchased for $75 in food, clothing, medicine, and other supplies thanks to an Belgrade's US Embasy employee M.M. Yevdjovich who provided the direct connection to the owner in Stapar, Serbia to Tallman's representative Harry R. Stritman. Rex understood German and Hungarian commands and the claim has been made of history dating back to 1730 altough never verified through a Serbian dog book in Yugoslavia. Rex was delivered by a TWA cargo plane to Kansas City via New York via Brussels from Belgrade on June 12, 1951.
There is a bit of controversy about Rex's official breeder. "The Yugoslavia Kennel Club offered to give temporary registration to Vizslas at a local dog show so as to register future blood lines since many of the dogs in Yugoslavia and behind the Iron Curtain were pure bred, but without registration papers. This causes me to wonder about the true breeder of Rex listed as Enrico Galeazzia, Rome, Italy."
The American Kennel Club recognized Vizsla as the 115th breed on November 25, 1960.
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