About the Versatile Hungarian Vizsla
Special thanks to Les Varga.
A V what?If you're a Vizsla owner than there is no doubt that you've heard these words before. If you're not a Vizsla owner sorry to hear it - but yes, the Vizsla is an actual breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Here is a bit of history on our beloved Vizsla followed by the breed standard taken from the AKC.
The Vizsla is somewhat new to the United States, but it has a long history in its native Hungary and the rest of Europe. Written accounts and drawings depicting and mentioning the Vizsla by name date back to the 12th and 13th century (Boggs 1982). Other accounts describe the Vizsla history beginning around the 9th century when the warring Magyar tribes migrated from the Steppes of Asia (Gottlieb 1999). These nomadic tribes and their hunting dogs settled in the Carpathian basin in what is now known as Hungary. For centuries the breed was owned by the sporting nobility of Hungary who used their dogs to scent and search for birds, which were either netted or caught by falcons, remember, the 20 gauge was not yet invented.
Until 1946 Hungary was a feudal state and a distinctive feature of the rural economy was the large number of estates owned by feudal lords. The Vizsla was often kept in private kennels of these powerful barons. These estates provided a varied set of hunting conditions for fur and feather so the versatile nature of the Vizsla began to take hold. To say the Vizsla was one of the first sporting dogs is an understatement.
The Vizsla survived the many political upheavals of the region over the next several hundred years. However, the breed was nearly wiped out when political rivals attempted to overthrow the rural aristocratic way of life. Many of the landed gentry escaped with their beloved Vizslas.
The breed was admitted in the AKC Stud Book in 1960. Today it's not uncommon to see a field scarred Vizsla in the show ring, or a conformation champion locked on point in a Field Trial or Hunt Test. The versatile nature is further exemplified by the fact that the only dog with five AKC championships is a Vizsla.
Breed Standard- Taken from the AKC website http://www.akc.org/breeds/recbreeds/vizsla.cfm
That of a medium-sized short-coated hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing. Robust but rather lightly built; the coat is an attractive solid golden rust. This is a dog of power and drive in the field yet a tractable and affectionate companion in the home. It is strongly emphasized that field conditioned coats, as well as brawny or sinewy muscular condition and honorable scars indicating a working and hunting dog are never to be penalized in this dog. The qualities that make a "dual dog" are always to be appreciated, not deprecated.
Lean and muscular. Skull moderately wide between the ears with a median line down the forehead. Stop between skull and foreface is moderate, not deep. Foreface or muzzle is of equal length or slightly shorter than skull when viewed in profile, should taper gradually from stop to tip of nose. Muzzle square and deep. It must not turn up as in a "dish" face nor should it turn down. Whiskers serve a functional purpose; their removal is permitted but not preferred. Nostrils slightly open. Nose brown. Any other color is faulty. A totally black nose is a disqualification. Ears, thin, silky and proportionately long, with rounded-leather ends, set fairly low and hanging close to cheeks. Jaws are strong with well developed white teeth meeting in a scissors bite. Eyes medium in size and depth of setting, their surrounding tissue covering the whites. Color of the iris should blend with the color of the coat. Yellow or any other color is faulty. Prominent pop-eyes are faulty. Lower eyelids should neither turn in nor out since both conditions allow seeds and dust to irritate the eye. Lips cover the jaws completely but are neither loose nor pendulous.
Neck and Body
Neck strong, smooth and muscular, moderately long, arched and devoid of dewlap, broadening nicely into shoulders which are moderately laid back. This is mandatory to maintain balance with the moderately angulated hindquarters. Body is strong and well proportioned. Back short. Withers high and the topline slightly rounded over the loin to the set on of the tail. Chest moderately broad and deep reaching down to the elbows. Ribs well-sprung; underline exhibiting a slight tuck-up beneath the loin. Tail set just below the level of the croup, thicker at the root and docked one-third off. Ideally, it should reach to the back of the stifle joint and be carried at or near the horizontal. An undocked tail is faulty.
Shoulder blades proportionately long and wide sloping moderately back and fairly close at the top. Forelegs straight and muscular with elbows close. Feet cat-like, round and compact with toes close. Nails brown and short. Pads thick and tough. Dewclaws, if any, to be removed on front and rear feet. Hare feet are faulty.
Hind legs have well developed thighs with moderately angulated stifles and hocks in balance with the moderately laid back shoulders. They must be straight as viewed from behind. Too much angulation at the hocks is as faulty as too little. The hocks are let down and parallel to each other.
Short, smooth, dense and close-lying, without woolly undercoat. A distinctly long coat is a disqualification.
Solid golden rust in different shadings. Solid dark mahogany red and pale yellow are faulty. White on the forechest, preferably as small as possible, and white on the toes are permissible. Solid white extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the forechest is a disqualification. When viewing the dog from the front, white markings on the forechest must be confined to an area from the top of the sternum to a point between the elbows when the dog is standing naturally. White extending on the shoulders or neck is a disqualification. White due to aging shall not be faulted. Any noticable area of black in the coat is a serious fault.
Far reaching, light footed, graceful and smooth. When moving at a fast trot, a properly built dog single tracks.
The ideal male is 22 to 24 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades. The ideal female is 21 to 23 inches. Because the Vizsla is meant to be a medium-sized hunter, any dog measuring more than 1½ inches over or under these limits must be disqualified.
A natural hunter endowed with a good nose and above-average ability to take training. Lively, gentle-mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive though fearless with a well developed protective instinct. Shyness, timidity or nervousness should be penalized.
Completely black nose.
Solid white extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the forechest.
White extending on the shoulders or neck.
A distinctly long coat.
Any male over 25½ inches, or under 20½ inches and any female over 24½ inches or under 19½ inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades.