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Posts Tagged ‘Vizsla’

The Velcro Dog – Vizsla

Monday, July 29th, 2013

The Vizsla, classified in the sporting group, is a breed well known for its golden-rust color, its combination of pointer and retriever behavior, and its unique position as both a sporting and companion dog.

A brief history of the Vizsla

vizslaEarly forms of the Vizsla breed were known to be the favorite hunting dogs of the early Magyar tribes who once lived in the Carpathian Basin. There are stone etchings and other simple paintings depicting early Vizslas which are dated to around 900 AD; the first written reference to the breed is dated 1357. The breed was developed and kept by the aristocracy, who developed the breed’s hunting abilities while guarding them carefully. The breed survived many near-extinctions; including declining numbers during the Turkish occupation of Hungary in 1526-16969, the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-1849, both world wars, and the Russian occupation of Hungary. During many of these time periods, the breeds were crossed with various pointers, such as English Pointers and German Shorthair Pointers, which led to the near extinction of the Vizsla line.

After World War II ended, however, the breed was exported to the United States and the United Kingdom, where it’s popular grew immensely. Today the Vizsla is among the top 50 most popular breeds in the United Kingdom, and it is estimated that about 1,000 new Vizsla are registered with the Kennel Club of Great Britain each year.

Characteristics

Vizslas are a medium sized breed, which typically reach about 21 to 25 inches in height at the shoulders and weigh, as adults, between 40 and 66 lbs. Female Vizslas are usually smaller, both in size and weight, than males. Their coats are golden-rust in color at the most basic level, although some Vizslas exhibit small patterns of white on their neck or chest in addition to saddle markings in chestnut or brown.

The breed is high energy but loyal, affectionate, caring and gentle. Unlike some dogs in the sporting group, the Vizsla is considered to be both an excellent sporting dog and an excellent family companion. They often form close bonds with their owners, their family, and even strangers whom they deem worthy of their affection. Some owners teasingly refer to their dogs as “Velcro,” because of how attached they can be to people.

As a hunting dog, the Vizsla is unique because it is not only a great pointer, but a great retriever as well. The breed can retrieve on land and in water. Although they are excellent hunting dogs, they are considered sensitive and gentle and require soft training and gentle correction instead of harsh training or strong harsh corrections.

Did you know? Trivia

  • The pure Vizsla line was almost extinct at the end of World War I.
  • Vizslas have a unique ‘trotting’ run which leads many people to compare them to horses.
  • Vizslas become very attached to their owners—they often enjoy burrowing into the covers with their owners at night to stay by them when they sleep.
  • Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary, owned two Vizslas.