What to expect from the Hungarian Vizsla Breed.

The Hungarian Vizsla is a versatile and energetic breed known for its friendly and affectionate nature. They are often described as gentle, loyal, and highly trainable. Vizslas are active dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation to thrive. They have a strong hunting instinct and excel in activities like field trials, agility, and obedience competitions. Additionally, Vizslas are good with children and get along well with other dogs, making them a popular choice for families. Their short, dense coat is usually a reddish-gold color, and they have a distinctive sleek appearance. An added advantage is that they don’t shed as much hair as compared to other breeds, which makes them suitable to sleep on couches, beds, or even your lap (which these “velcro-dogs” will certainly love!) Female Vizslas tend to be more petite and weigh between 20-24kg, while male Vizslas often weigh between 28-32kg.

The Origins of the Hungarian Vizsla.

Dating back to the 10th century, Vizslas are prominently featured in ancient etchings. Originating from Hungary, these dogs were meticulously bred by the Magyars, who employed them as skilled hunting companions. Their ancestry is believed to stem from various pointers, including the Transylvanian hound, and the now-extinct Turkish yellow dog. The name "Vizsla" itself translates to "pointer" in the Hungarian language, indicative of their exceptional pointing abilities.

With a history rooted in hunting, Vizslas demonstrated their prowess in the field, driven by their remarkable noses and boundless energy. Excelling at capturing upland game like waterfowl and rabbits, they proved to be invaluable assets for hunters.

Unfortunately, after World War II, the breed faced the risk of extinction. The emergence of Soviet control over Hungary created a dire situation, and the survival of Vizslas was in jeopardy. Fearing their disappearance, passionate native Hungarians undertook a daring mission to safeguard the breed's future. By clandestinely transporting some of these dogs to America and Austria, they sought to preserve the lineage and revive the Vizsla's legacy.

Thanks to the unwavering dedication and courage of these individuals, the Vizsla breed was preserved, and it continues to thrive as a cherished and admired canine companion with its noble history and exceptional hunting heritage.

The Temperament of the Hungarian Vizsla.

The Vizsla is an affectionate and expressive breed, known for its gentle nature and love for companionship. This highly trainable dog thrives on pleasing its owner and requires daily mental stimulation to stay content. When handled with patience, calmness, and a firm approach, they respond exceptionally well.

They have a reliable and playful demeanor with children, making them great playmates. However, their exuberant energy may be a bit too much for very young toddlers if not properly exercised daily. Nonetheless, they are excellent companions for energetic kids.

Quick to adapt to family life, Vizslas generally get along well with other dogs and can integrate seamlessly into a multi-pet household. With their athletic nature, they crave ample exercise, making apartment living unsuitable for them. They make fantastic companions for activities like cycling, trail running, and horse riding.

Vizslas boast a diverse range of talents, excelling in tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdog duties, and competitive obedience. As hunting dogs, they may get along with cats they are raised with, but caution is advised with smaller animals like hamsters, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

Establishing yourself as the pack leader is crucial to prevent negative behaviors such as furniture guarding, food possessiveness, or toy aggression. By providing consistent leadership and positive reinforcement, you can foster a well-mannered and balanced Vizsla that thrives in a loving and harmonious home environment.

Futaki Horns of the Hungarian Vizlsa.

Smooth-coated Vizslas possess a distinctive feature that sets them apart from other pointing breeds - small appendages or 'horns' along the upper front edge of their ear flaps. In Hungarian, these horns are known as 'szarv' (plural 'szarvas'). Historically, Vizslas from the Futaki line, bred by Count and Countess Bela Hadik, were believed to exhibit these ear decorations more prominently and frequently than dogs from other lines, earning them the label 'Futaki horns' in North America.

These horns can appear on one ear or both, in singular or multiple occurrences, with sizes ranging from barely noticeable bumps to folds of skin up to an inch in length. Despite their unique appearance, the horns have no adverse effects on the dog's health or abilities. In the past, there was a belief that dogs with horns had superior hunting skills compared to those without, but such notions have been debunked in modern times.

The origin of these ear 'horns' can be traced back to the development of the Vizsla itself, influenced by the Hungarian greyhound or Agar, one of the early greyhound breeds. In the 19th century, breeders introduced Agar blood to enhance the Vizsla's speed, drive, and ability to hunt both fur and feather game. This infusion of Agar blood had three unintended effects on the Vizsla breed.

Firstly, it reinforced the Vizsla's signature 'sarga' or solid golden rust color, as the yellow-dun hue of the Agar contributed to the Vizsla's appearance. Secondly, the Agar influence led to a unique topline and rear suspension/angulation in the Vizsla, distinct from other European pointing breeds. The 'sprung' topline and less angulated rear allowed the Vizsla to utilize its back and hind legs for propulsion similarly to a greyhound, thanks to the Agar lineage. Lastly, the Agar passed on the distinctive 'szarvas' or horns, a common feature in that breed, which became a notable characteristic of the Vizsla.

This fascinating history and the distinctive traits of the Smooth-coated Vizsla, including the 'Futaki horns,' contribute to the breed's unique charm and captivating allure for enthusiasts and admirers worldwide.

General Health of the Hungarian Vizsla.

As dedicated breeders, we prioritise the responsible and ethical testing of our dogs involved in the breeding program to detect any potential hereditary diseases or conditions that may impact their health. We firmly believe that heredity plays a significant role, and it is our duty to take every reasonable measure to safeguard the well-being of our dogs.

Any dogs displaying symptoms of hereditary conditions are promptly removed from the breeding program, ensuring that only healthy and genetically sound dogs are included.

In line with our commitment to quality, our imported dogs undergo rigorous testing for superb hip and elbow scores. For our local breeding lines, we perform routine hip and elbow testing for dysplasia every second generation, guaranteeing a high standard of health.

Despite our best efforts to maintain disease-free breeding stock, we recognize that Hungarian Vizslas, like any purebred dogs, may still be susceptible to common ailments such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cancer, allergies, and other conditions.

Our paramount focus remains on responsible breeding practices and striving to produce healthy and happy Hungarian Vizslas, while acknowledging the complexities of genetic inheritance.

Optimal Nutrition of the Hungarian Vizsla.

Feed your Hungarian Vizsla pups high-quality puppy food for at least a year, ideally even longer – investing in the best quality you can afford pays off in their well-being. Provide meals twice or three times a day, allowing unlimited access during feeding times, then remove the food. Avoid restricting their food intake, as these active pups burn a lot of calories and need nourishment to thrive.

To keep their interest in meals, consider adding a dash of full cream milk, a raw egg, or sardines - we personally recommend Lucky Star in tomato sauce. Alternatively, you can include a spoonful of tinned puppy food. For top-notch nutrition, consider brands like Hills, Nutribyte, Field and Forest, Montego Karoo, Meradog, or any other premium quality brand. Nutribyte Endurance is highly recommended for active adult dogs.

Raw food is an emerging trend and a great option to explore. At Roxstar, we cook rice, mix in vegetables, raw eggs (one per dog), and raw sardines as a special treat a few times a week - our Vizslas adore it! They also love munching on raw vegetables, so we always keep a free supply of carrots and sweet potatoes for them to enjoy during the day.

Prioritizing the finest nutrition for your Hungarian Vizsla ensures their vibrant health and happiness - a foundation for lifelong companionship and joy.

General Care of the Hungarian Vizsla.

Beds & Crates:

Having more than one bed for your Vizsla is advisable, and consider providing a raised bed, such as their own couch or one elevated off the floor. Vizslas have a tendency to enjoy sleeping on things, so a raised bed can be especially appealing to them. Additionally, Vizslas can develop a fondness for crates and may willingly retreat to their crate when seeking some alone time. While it is common in Europe for dogs to sleep in crates, it is not necessary in larger houses and gardens. However, crate usage remains a matter of preference.

Regardless of whether you use a crate or not, it's crucial not to keep your dog locked up in it. An open-door policy with occasional short crate closures is a healthier approach. You may find that your Vizsla ends up on your bed anyway, as their playful and affectionate nature often draws them to cozy spots with their favorite humans!

Potty Training:

Potty training your puppy should be relatively smooth when they come home, as they will already have some understanding due to their early upbringing. Expect a few accidents during the initial days while they get accustomed to their new surroundings. To facilitate potty training, feed them near the door leading outside and take them for a walk after meals until they've done their business. Offering praise when they do their toilet outside reinforces positive behavior.

In case of accidents indoors, it's best to ignore the mishap, clean it up without any fuss, and refrain from saying anything. However, always remember to praise and reward them when they successfully potty outside. During the night, they may need to be taken outside once or twice until they learn to sleep through without any issues. Consistency and positive reinforcement will play key roles in helping your puppy master their potty training.

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