Country of Origin Vizslas Rotating Header Image

To Tell the Truth

Will the REAL Vizsla Stand Up?

In this section we’ll take a look at some Vizslas. Knowledge of this data is crucial for understanding what a European bloodline Hungarian Vizsla is, how it differs from other Vizsla strains and for easily spotting typical and atypical Vizslas in the future.

It is hoped, little by little,  that a better educated public and consumer will demand more true to type Vizslas, putting pressure on responsible breeders to breed closer to the Hungarian standard as it is an indisputable fact that the Vizsla is a Hungarian dog breed—always has been and always will be!

COLOR

French-roll yellow or baguette, is the true color of the Hungarian Vizsla. In the original, official Hungarian breed standard the color is “zsemlesarga es annak kulonbozo aranyalatai”, which in correct English means, “French-roll yellow and its different shades”.  The “russet gold” found in English translations is due to an error in translating the Hungarian phrase to English.zsemle2

Hungarian french rolls

Hungarian french rolls

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HEAD, EXPRESSION AND TEMPERAMENT

The head and expression of a Hungarian Vizsla is as significant as its temperament. All three go hand in hand in the overall impression the dog makes.

Vizslas have a very unique beautiful head. At rest, their exceptionally intelligent eyes  gaze  directly at you  in an adoringly kind manner. Their eyes can have a beautiful, sparkling “beloved” quality about them that is hard to describe or see in photos. Once you have personally experienced looking into the eyes of a true to type Hungarian Vizsla, you will never forget it, as it is unmistakable!  Having experienced it, you will have certainty and will always be able to  recognize  that special “look” in a Vizsla’s eyes from then on out. When this look is present in a vizsla, you will know this dog inherited “the vizsla temperament”.

<insert photo>Atypical <insert photo>Typical
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SIZE

Hungarian Vizslas are slightly taller and have a heavier bone structure than many other strains of Vizslas.  Average males range from 24-25  1/2 inches, females 22  1/2 to 24 inches.  Most females are approximately 23 inches tall.  The average adult male weighs approximately 62 lbs and the female 47 lbs.  For some reason, the majority of dog breeds in the USA are more diminutive  than their counterparts in Europe.  Some reasons commonly given justifying smaller vizslas in the USA are, “pet owners want smaller dogs” and vizsla hunters in North America  “only hunt upland birds”.   The fact that the average male USA Weimaraner (categorized as a large breed) measure 24-25 inches tall while in Europe they range from 25 to 26 1/2 inches tall might also be a contributing factor to the gradual downsizing of vizsla height  by breeders in the USA over the years,  because,  since the Vizsla is categorized as a medium sized hunting dog, it simply MUST be indisputably smaller than the USA Weimaraner.

REAR ANGULATION

The angles of the hind legs are moderate, medium, never extreme like other continental gun dogs.

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TAIL SET AND CARRIAGE

Tail set is lower than other gun dogs and is carried at or near horizontal when moving, or sabre like. Never over the back and never carried upright or at a sharp more than 45 degree angle.

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BONE AND SUBSTANCE

The Hungarian vizsla is an elegant but strong dog.  Not as strong or as hefty as a Rottweiler, nor as slight as a Whippet or Greyhound. Some observers, having  been acclimated and conditioned to overly small and thin boned Vizslas over the course of many years, have been known to remark that “Hungarian” style Vizslas are too “houndy”.  The Hungarian Vizsla MUST have enough substance and strength to be able to retrieve a 16 lb fox or a water logged goose from a pond without drowning!  Per the breed standard, he is an all around, gun dog capable of hunting and retrieving fur and feather, not just upland birds.

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EXAMPLES OF VIZSLAS

Atypical Females Typical Females
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Atypical Males Typical Males
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TYPICAL HUNTING ABILITY

Marianne Gyárfás, long time FCI field trial Judge for gundog breeds, had this to say about the Hungarian Vizsla’s hunting style:

Speed

“It is not the actual speed that counts but continuity and the desire to find the game. The one that is faster has better chances to find, but also to make mistakes.”  The Hungarian Vizsla has an average speed compared to other continental gun dogs.

The Style of Quartering

“The best way is an even, snake movement because the Vizsla can find game with this style in the shortest time, using the least energy and making the least number of mistakes. How wide should it be? It is not the distance that counts but the usefulness of its performance. It depends on the relief of the terrain and on the flora. How far ahead should it go? It depends on its scent, on the wind and flora. The main point is that it should not miss any game, but should not run unnecessarily.”

Mistakes

“It goes too far ahead, it turns downwind, it circles, it runs without system. The most important is to judge whether the Vizsla runs or quarters only at the commands of its master or it hunts. It is important to see its permanent desire to find the game.”

 

Unlike other continental gundogs,  he has an average hunting  speed and typically does NOT range further than 200-300 yards from his master, thus making him the ideal gundog for the foot hunter.

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