Shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla - description


I’d like to introduce myself first.

So it will be more understandable why I in particular write about the Hungarian Vizsla.

My name is Katalin Poór. I was born and raised in Hungary, Budapest.

In my whole life, and this is now 55 years (2010) I have been living with shorthaired Hungarian Vizslas.  

The first Vizsla I remember is Belle, litter-sister to the famous film-Fickó, who is the star of two films (Cimborák: Hegyen-völgyön, Nádi szélben). Belle was a fantastic, wonderful Vizsla lady, who took care of that litte child I was back then with the patience and the love that was so typical for a Vizsla.

I got my first own Vizsla, Mátai Cudar, in 1967, when I was 12 years old.  

In my whole life I have been devoted to the shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla, the love of my life.

Vizsla for me is like air for others. The essentials of life.


Shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla

I want to start with something a Hungarian  Vizsla breeder wrote once, because I couldn’t express this better myself:


"The Hungarian Vizsla is outstanding among all the gundogs not only because of its exceptional intelligence, but also because its wonderful contactkeeping with people, and its will to serve and obey. The Vizsla learns almost by itself, absorbs knowledge, is happy if it hunts for me and with me. It is satisfied by a pat from me, always looks right into my eyes, seeking contact even with its eyes."



"A Vizsla is not a dog, it is a Vizsla."

                                                                Hungarian saying



The shorthaired yellow gundog of the Hungarian noblesse has been existing for many centuries. There are only legends about its origin and history, no facts. There are stories where one can read that the Sloughi was mixed into the original breed, but that is nonsense. What we do know is that the Hungarians’ shorthaired allround gundog came with the Magyars in the late 800-ies from the Ural mountains to the territory where Hungary lies to day and also that they were mixed with the yellow gundogs of the Turks, who occupied Hungary in the 1400-1500-ies.

The first written description of the Vizsla is from the 1500-ies.

The Hungarian Vizsla is the most all round gundog in the world and they are even the easiest handled ones. They work as well on the field as in the wood or in the water.

The Hungarian standard says about the colour that it is “zsemlesárga”, that means French-roll yellow. I want to point this out specificly, especially in these days when more and more brown or red dogs – called Hungarian Vizsla - appear in the market. Unfortunately the English translation of the standard is faulty about the colour. It says the colour of the Vizsla is  is “russet gold” which is not a correct translation of the Hungarian expression.

I also want to draw attention to the angles of the hind legs, they should be moderate, medium, not extreme, like for instance the German Sheperd’s, a fact that nowadays sadly many judges don’t know about or ignore.

So what are the disadvantages of the Vizsla? I start with this because that’s what most of the people always want to know.

According to my experience there are two things that can be annoying about the Vizsla. One is that when they like some one they love to jump up on people out of pure joy, the other is that they like food very much. I didn’t want to be rude and write that they steal everything they can. When a puppy jumps up on people most of them don’t mind it, but an adult Vizsla is about 60 centimeters big and weights about 25 kilos and not everybody is happy when a dog of that size jumps on them and tries to lick their face. Especially when the weather is muddy. To be honest I have met Vizslas who didn’t jump up on one, but I have never ever even tried to train my dogs against this bad habit. So I am useless to give advice about just that.

Vizslas, as retrieving dogs, love to carry things around when they are happy.

They like to take ones hand in their mouth. Their touch is so soft one barely notices it. I have been asked if that is a sign of aggression, but it is not. On the contrary. It is a sign of their love and devotion. As long as the touch is soft, of course.If the dog bites ones hand it is a completely different matter.

Why do I love Hungarian Vizsla so much?

Because they are stable, calm, kind, friendly, very easy to deal with and to live with, because they lack dominancy to people.

Because they are no hunting idiots, because they are no vehement guardian dogs but they defend their family with their life when necessary.

Because they seek in short distance and never run away, because they have extremely soft mouth when retrieving and because they love and protect everything smaller.

Because I feel secure and happy in their company.

Because they like to sleep in the bed, under the blanket, on the arm.

Because they are as wonderful family pets as hunting dogs.

Because they understand what one wants from a whisper. We in Hungary used to say that one doesn’t command a Vizsla, one asks him.

Naturally even a Vizsla can be ruined. Put it outside in a kennel all day long, throw it on its back to show him you are the master, dominate it, train it with forced retrieving, be hard and tough with it, these are some of the “methods” to get an insecure, unstable, scared Vizsla.

Not every brown or red dog with hanging ears is a true Vizsla, not even if it has a pedigree of Vizsla. Not every brown or red dog behaves like a true Vizsla should. But this is not the fault of the standard and description of the breed, these are only faulty dogs bred by that particular dog’s or those dogs’ breeder. That should not be accepted.

If we accept it we will lose that wonderful breed that the yellow Hungarian Vizsla is.