Hungarian Vizsla Dogs: Breed Guide

The Hungarian Vizsla, also called the Hungarian pointer, is a medium-sized hunting dog developed in Hungary from the Pannonian Hound and the Turkish Yellow Pointer. This pet boasts of high stamina and alertness, making them good biking and jogging companions.

Since Vizslas are highly affectionate, they bond with owners quickly and hate to be left alone. If you are an active household, this is the breed you need for a family dog.

This is a Hungarian vizsla breed guide that will help you understand the qualities of the dogs, their history, what they require and how to live them.

Origin

This is one of the dog breeds dating back to ancient times. Remains of the dog and a Magyar hunter with his falcon were found in the Carpathian stone carvings and estimated to be around1000 years old. This breed was developed to be a hunting and companion dog by the Hungarians. The breed had grown intensively in Hungary by the 13th century.

The breed almost became extinct after world war two and if it were not for few dedicated dog breeders and keepers, the Vizsla could not be existing now. Vizslas found their way to other parts of the world through smuggling.

This breed was introduced in the UK in the 1950s. The American kennel club recognized the Vizsla in its 15th breed in 1960. Popular hybrids that have been derived from the Hungarian Vizsla with the common being the Labrala, a crossbreed with Labrador retriever. 

Characteristics

Size- The Vizslas are medium-sized dogs with the males featuring a body height of 22- 24 inches while standing and the females a height of 21-23 inches.

Weight – This is a light-built breed that features bigger males than females. A fully mature Vizsla weighs about 20-30kgs.

Appearance- Hungarian Vizslas are sleek and lightly coated with an attractive golden rush shade. The dogs have long ears and light eyes and nose.

Feeding

Hungarian pointers are good eaters since they are always active. The diet, however, depends on the dog’s age. Young and medium-aged Vizsla, may require at least 5 cups of food every day. The dog breed also requires clean water at all times.

This dog also does well on both the raw diet and high-grade dog food. Although dog food comes with feeding guidelines, it is good to feed your Hungarian Vizslas at least twice in a day.

Since Vizslas have a relatively higher energy requirement, they require high-calorie foods in their diet. The meals should, therefore, include high amounts of wheat, poultry, barley, beef, and pork. This dog breed is also prone to obesity, hence you need to watch the weight of your Vizslas before deciding on the amount of high-calorie food you will give them.

TRAINING

Hungarian Vizslas are sensitive hence need firm training. You should, however, avoid harsh treatment as these are not the type of dogs that will tolerate that. Provided that the training is fun and rewarding, the dogs are ready to learn new things.

Focus on positive training while including play, praise and food rewards. You should keep at bay distractors such as scent, sounds and exciting sights that may interrupt the dog during training.

Exercise Requirement

Vizslas get bored and distracted if they lack significant exercise for several days. Due to this reason, this breed is only for people who are ready to spend ample time exercising and playing with their dogs daily.

Land or water retrieve games, brisk walks around the neighborhood and a romp in the household yard are enjoyable exercise activities for a Hungarian Vizsla. Since the Vizsla is a chewy dog, you need to provide them with several chew toys. Frequent exercise also helps keep your dog in the best bodyweight shape and weight.

Care And Grooming

Hungarian Vizsla dogs groom themselves regularly, hence they have low grooming and maintenance requirements. The light golden coat, however, requires brushing to remove dead hair at least once in a week. Their nails grow faster than other dog breeds and hence need to be trimmed regularly to maintain them in the required shape and size. 

Baths for Vizlas are occasional since these dogs are relatively clean due to their greasy and dense coat. You should also examine their eyes, ears and mouth for defects and, if any, notify your veterinary immediately.

These grooming activities should start as early as the puppy stage to make it easier for future sessions that may even require veterinary examination.

Health Conditions That Affect Vizslas

1. Canine Hip Dysplasia

This is a genetic disease that makes the thighbone of the dog not fit perfectly to the hip joint. A Vizsla with hip Dysplasia is always in discomfort due to the pain and lameness the condition causes to the rear legs. Leg Injuries and high calories diets worsen this condition.

Since this is a hereditary disease, it is crucial to make sure that the parent dogs to a puppy are tested before you buy them. It is also recommended not to breed the dogs suffering from this condition.

2. Epilepsy

This condition affects the look and the behavior of the pointers as it causes a burst in the brain electrolytic activity of the dog’s brain. The causes of this condition are liver and kidney diseases, head injury, brain cancer and food poisoning.

This disease is managed rather than cured but your Hungarian Vizsla can still live a healthy life with this condition when under medication.

3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a disease that is characterized by the loss of photoreceptors of the dog’s eyes, eventually causing blindness. Since this is not a condition you will fail to recognize, it is better to put your Vizsla under medication before it suffers from blindness. However, if blindness occurs, it is advisable to have the dog’s eyes checked at least once annually by a veterinary.

4. Lymphosarcoma

This is a cancerous disease that affects the dog’s body parts, including the spleen, liver, bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract. The condition is likely to affect Vizslas aged between 6-9 years. The cancer is diagnosed through a biopsy of the affected tissues and staging of other tissues. The condition is treated with chemotherapy.

5. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism in Vizlas is the inflammation or shrinkage of the thyroid gland compromising its normal function of producing thyroid hormones. The symptoms of this condition include reduced activity, fur thinning, excess scaling and inability to tolerate cold.

The disease mainly affects medium-sized Vizslas. Hypothyroidism medication features an oral replacement hormone that is given to the dog in its entire life. 

6. Cataracts

This is a disease that causes the eye lens of the dog to turn cloudy and opaque. Although cataracts will not affect the eyesight of the Vizsla in its early stages, the condition may cause full loss of vision if it progresses. It is therefore advisable to check any cloudiness in your Hungarian pointer during a grooming session. Cataracts are treated with invasive methods such as high precision surgery. 

Although these conditions may affect Hungarian Vizslas, the dogs are said to be relatively healthier than other dogs. These breeds have an average lifespan of 15 years. 

Breeding

You should wait for a minimum of 2 years from birth to breed your Hungarian Vizsla. Before breeding, you should examine the medical conditions stated above and make sure that the mate you want to breed with is healthy.

You should, however, consult your local kennel clubs as they have the most updated information about breeding this dog breed. You should also go to agricultural shows and events to help you see how other people reproduce their Hungarian pointers. 

To avoid the hustle involved in breeding, it is better to buy Vizsla puppies and raise them in a manner that will suit your pet requirements. The Hungarian Vizsla puppies are also full of energy and should be subjected to the same treatment as adult Vizslas. You should engage your veterinary when buying your puppies to help you select the best.

Social Behavior

If you are looking for a watchdog for your children, the Hungarian pointer is the right dog for you. The dog can play with your children for hours without tiring. Although this may be a little too much for toddlers, it is the perfect solution for older kids. As happens to other dogs, you should never leave you Hungarian Vizsla with children unsupervised. You should also train your children not to disturb the Vizsla when at sleep on when it feeds.

Vizslas also interact well with other pets such as cats and other dog breeds. This makes it easy to keep other pets in the household stress-free. The Vizslas should, however, not be trusted with smaller pets such as hamsters and rabbits as many have the hunting trait. As long these dogs are properly socialized, they also get along well with strangers. This dog breed gets easily attached to the owner and is very protective and affectionate.

Housing

Due to their highly dynamic nature, it is advisable to keep Hungarian pointers outdoors where there is plenty of yard space to play in. As with other dog breeds, Vizslas also require clean housing with enough ventilation. If you want to keep your Vizsla close to you, you should have enough indoor space for its accommodation.

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