Hungarian Vizslas, sometimes called "Vizslas" or "Magyar Vizsla," are an ancient breed of pointers. Thousand-year old Magyar depictions of hunting include these medium-sized, lean, graceful dogs as hunting companions.
Once the prized dogs of Hungarian royalty, the Vizsla's natural ability as hunter, pointer and retriever was protected by careful breeding, until the the line became nearly extinct several times in the upheaval of the World Wars.
Eager to please and quick on the pick-up, well-trained Vizslas in the field have few equals. Able to both air-scent and ground-scent, a Vizsla can flush out quarry as well as point and retrieve, although its thin single coat would not offer much protection in cold water. More attached than most hunting dogs to their owners, Vizslas tend to hunt within short ranges.
The coat is a uniform russet, reddish-brown, or deep gold. The nose, paws and nails tend to follow this coloration as well. Lighter or white markings sometimes appear on the paws, around the eyes, and on the chest.
Vizslas have a single coat, short and silky in texture, lying close to the skin. This gives the dog a streamlined look, and adds to its regal and graceful appearance.
Vizslas are "dual" dogs, meaning, they are great both in the field and inside the home. They are emotionally needy dogs, always after affection and responding very well to lavish displays. They are good with people and children who appreciate their loving companionship and do not mind their constant need for human touch. They are a sensitive breed, though, and prone to destructive behavior when lonely. Bursts of puppy-like energy up to two years of age can offer fun and play; otherwise, this needs to be exercised out, as a hyperactive Vizsla can be a a lot of trouble indoors.
Highly intelligent and trainable, Vizslas will appreciate games and play, although streaks of stubbornness when house-training, as well as a tendency to be easily distracted, can show.
Sweet-natured and gentle, Vizslas are wonderful with children, who can be more hands-on when expressing affection. Vizslas will always look to be touched or petted, and will stay in areas where they can expect this, like the couch. They will contrive to get in their owners' lap or in their beds as often as possible, if not corrected.
A thin coat will require very minimal brushing, and Vizslas are a breed that develop very little "dog" smell even after a day outside. Bath only when necessary.
If to be taken out for hunting, it should be remembered that Vizslas are thin-coated and will not do well in cold bodies of water.
Vizslas do not do too well if housed outdoors. They prefer to be near their owners at all times. If they need to stay outside, they should have an small, snug area sufficiently insulated against cold weather.
Harsh or stringent training is counter-productive for this sensitive breed. But consistency in commands and firmness are needed, especially when young. Vizslas take some time to get used to crate training, and can sometimes follow what catches their interests instead of a given command. Patience and rewards, though, will usually help achieve desired behavior.
Socialization at an early age is best to help overcome this breed's timidity and shyness, especially with other dogs and animals.
Vizslas, especially young ones, need to be taken out for at least an hour each day. Their lean, athletic build is given to jumping and running, and their constant desire to be with their owner means this hour of play or exercise is an essential to their well-being. An owner with an active lifestyle would do very well with a Vizsla on long runs. A bored or under-exercised Vizsla can be destructive around the house.