Longhaired Hungarian Vizslas?

There is none. At least not purebred.

Once upon a time there was a very special, beautiful, yellow, shorthaired Hungarian allround gundog, the Hungarian Vizsla.

Does it sound like a fairy tale? It is not. Not a fairy tale. But if we don’t watch out it can be.

I presume we all know the story of the Hungarian Vizsla. How the breed came from Asia to Europe with the Hungarians. The first written historic descriptions are from as far back as the 1500-ies of that very special, allround gundog with the yellow colour, smooth, short hair, exceptional intelligence, almost human eyes, soft mouth when retrieving, exceptional nose, tirelessness, will to please, and love for all creatures, specially people.

We all know, I suppose, that in the beginning of the 1900-ies hunters came up with the idea of making a new breed out of the Vizsla, a wired haired gundog. So they mixed the wired haired German Pointer (and Irish Setter) into the Vizsla. After decades of breeding there was a new breed, the wired haired Hungarian Vizsla, accepted and recognized by the FCI.

End of history. And it should most certainly end here.

But all of sudden in the 1980-ies longhaired mongrel dogs, often darker, reddish in colour, called Hungarian Vizsla, started to appear. Registered with FCI pedigree as purebred shorthaired Hungarian Vizslas. And there are people who buy this. That those longhaired dogs are purebred shorthaired Hungarian Vizslas. People who rejoice about their amazing, exclusive, very special, fluffy longhaired Vizslas, praising the breeder for this “enormous favour”, that they were given the chance to buy these dogs, these “unbelievably exquisite” dogs, as the breeder informed them. And they are aiming to breed them too. Unknowing people who actually really believe there is something that is longhaired shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla. Inspite of the fact that there is an official standard for the breed and in that standard it is clearly stated about the coat of the shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla “The hair lies flat, close to the body; it is short, and rough feeling. The belly is slightly haired. At the ears, the hair is shorter and more silky”.

Longhaired Vizsla is as faulty as longhaired Boxer, or Great Dane or Dalmatian or any other shorthaired breed. Shorthaired breeds have short hair, that’s why they are called shorthaired. If some breeder would try to lurk longhaired Boxer puppies on buyers he would be a laughing stock all over the world. So how come some breeders of Hungarian Vizsla succeed to deceive some people? Well, that I don’t know, but I do know how those longhaired dogs became to appear.

It is actually very simple. And very sad. Somee Hungarian breeders in the end of the 1970-ies wanted to make the shorthaired Hungarian Vizslas better. Get their eyes darker, but most of all make them to a more hot tempered gundog. Thus changing the original temperament, the very special temperament you can’t find in any other gundog, of this old breed. So they mixed Irish Setter males into their breeding stock, giving the puppies false pedigree with another father in it, a Hungarian Vizsla. And everything went smoothly. Except the few witnesses - who applauded the breeders and kept silent for many years - nobody suspected anything. Until the longhaired dogs started to appear in litters after two good shorthaired parents. It is not only the hair that is different, of course. Even the temperament is different. It often resembles to the Irish Setter. Vizslas were famous all around the world for never running away, never killing anything. That was what made them so special, above their looks of course, different to all other gundogs.    

This longhaired gene is a tricky thing. Both parents have to carry longhair genes to get longhaired puppies. Many generations later too. If only one of the parents is carrier of the longhair gene, no puppy will be longhair but all the puppies are carriers of longhair without anybody knowing it. Until they are mated to another longhair gene carrier, and suddenly there are longhaired puppies in a shorthaired Vizsla litter. Then one will know that both those parents, their siblings and every puppy in that litter and after those parents carry the longhaired gene, they have Irish Setter in their blood. They are mongrels. And they should not have a pedigree. They can be lovely familypets, good working dogs, but they are no Hungarian Vizslas.

Of course it hurts every responsible breeder, every one who cares the least about the Hungarian Vizsla.

There are several ways to handle this.

It depends on what one want to achieve, if one want to achieve anything at all. It costs to achieve something.

One can keep silent. One can ignore to get pedigrees for the longhaired puppies in a litter, but get pedigrees to the others, who are genetically just as much longhairs as all their siblings even if they look fine. One can give those longhaired ones away as pets. Their siblings will spread the longhairs anyway.

One can boast about the exquisite longhaired Vizslas, get pedigree for them, sell them with clever marketing and keep on contaminating the world with longhaired Vizslas.

But for those who care about the shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla, really care, there is but one way. No reputation, no money, no nothing can be considered in order to save the shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla. For those who care, the only way is to go out and tell about the longhaired puppies one got, make the parents’ name known and withdraw parents, their siblings and all their offsprings, progenies from breeding. No pedigrees to litters, whole litters, where longhaired puppies occure. And honesty. Warning the whole Vizsla society about the longhairs. Publishing their names and thus helping the breed to get purified from those mongrels.

There is knowledge about which dogs and lines carry the longhair gene. Eliminating those from breeding one could quickly get rid of this problem.

All of us, each one of us, must be aware of the fact that if we use a Vizsla in breeding we don’t just breed with that individual, but with all his/her lines, genes. If you know about a Vizsla who has longhaired siblings, who’s father or mother has had longhaired puppies, you must be aware of that that this Vizsla too is carrier of Irish Setter blood. And if you use him/her, even if he/she is ever so beautiful and good working, you will contribute to contaminate the breed with longhaires, increasing the number of mongrel dogs among the purebred Hungarian Vizslas.

It is our choice if the fairy tale would be just a fairy tail in a couple of years, where no purebred shorthaired Hungarian Vizslas exist anymore or if we start saving the breed we all claim to love and cherish.

Who I am? I am a 53 years old Hungarian woman, who lived my whole life with Vizslas, for Vizslas. A Hungarian, who is hurt and ashamed to admit what my fellow countrymen did to the breed, but does it anyway, because I want even my grandchildren to be able to enjoy the true shorthaired Hungarian Vizsla. A Hungarian who is also very proud of and happy for those of my fellow countrymen who still breed purebred shorthaired Hungarian Vizslas. Because there are many more serious, responsible breeders in Hungary then those who are not. Responsible breeders who would never cheat, never deceive and swindle people by selling them longhaired Vizslas with pedigree and as purebred Vizslas.