Information About Vizslas

By Mary K. Chelton

About the breed:
The Hungarian or Magyar Vizsla represents one of the best in sporting dogs and loyal companions and has a strong claim to being one of the smallest of the all-round pointer-retriever breeds. His size is one of the Vizsla's most attractive characteristics and through the centuries he has held a unique position for a sporting dog-that of household companion and family dog. The Vizsla is not content to be "put in the kennel with the dogs" after the hunt and only reaches his fullest capacity when he is a member of the family he serves. The Vizsla started arriving in the United States at the close of World War II. As interest in and devotion to the breed began to increase, owners formed the Vizsla Club of America in order to gain AKC recognition. As a result of registering foundation stock with the AKC, Vizsla owners were able to obtain official recognition in 1960
and the Vizsla became the 115th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Official Standard of the Vizsla Breed has been developed and adopted by the Vizsla Club of America and its members. This information should be used as a guideline for understanding and appreciating the breed.

Exercise needs:
Tired puppies are much less trouble than puppies who are full of the devil! Regular daily exercise, off the lead so your pup can tear around, will help a great deal in keeping your house and your life more puppy-proofed. BEWARE! Vizsla pups NEED this exercise-without it they will use your house as a race track and actively look for trouble! Start looking now for parks and fields where you can SAFELY run your pup in completely fenced areas with substantial acreage and no vehicles, and plan to train your pup to the COME command immediately. For the next few years you will be spending an hour a day minimum (!) tiring out your little darling, so find a variety of places to exercise off leash. You will be out, rain or shine, for at least one major off-leash run a day, SO BE WARNED!!! A small fenced-in backyard is insufficient space for a Vizsla to really stretch. In young puppies, moderation is advisable because of the risk of damaging growth plates in their legs. Adolescent puppies are another story!

It is difficult to raise a puppy when no one is home during the day, and housetraining becomes much more difficult. Puppies need a mid-day meal and to potty frequently. If your pup will be home for extended periods of time, you will need to have a plan for the pup's care such as using neighbors, friends, relatives, paid pet sitters or puppy day
care. Many breeders recommend crating your puppy when the pup is not being supervised for both the safety of the pup and your house; however, most agree that puppies should not be crated for more than a few hours at a time.

Training needs:
Vizslas are very smart and trainable, and eager to please. In fact, they need training to be good companions so all that mischievous energy gets properly channeled. They are sensitive dogs who usually do not respond well to harsh training methods, and since they mature slowly, they often have short attention spans and get bored easily
during training sessions when young. The rule of thumb is not to let a puppy do anything you wouldn't want a 45-65 lb. adult dog to do, and never to continue with a trainer whose methods make you uncomfortable. See the list of books at the end of these sheets for more information.

Vizslas and children:
Vizslas are generally very good with children; HOWEVER, NO YOUNG CHILD SHOULD BE LEFT UNSUPERVISED WITH ANY DOG, and all children should be taught how to interact with the dog. Puppies tend to mouth and bite small children, steal their toys and knock them down, and you and the children need to be learn how to handle these situations calmly. The immediate reaction of many children is to start screaming and running, which just exacerbates the problem. Children should also be taught that the puppy's crate is off limits; it is the puppy's safe haven.

Parents should be aware that, as pack animals, puppies may attempt to move up in the (family) pack, particularly over young children. Be alert for any challenge by your puppy against your child (e.g. a growl or grumble); if there is a challenge, the puppy should immediately be flipped on its back and scolded severely while the child stands over the puppy. If properly handled, there is rarely more than one such challenge. It is important to involve your children in the puppy's care (feeding, walking, and training). Be
constantly aware that your puppy must be taught that he or she is at the bottom of the pack (e.g. puppies who sleep in the adults' bedroom sometimes develop a sense that they are over the children in the home; children should be taught not to roll around on the ground in a subservient position to the puppy, etc.).

Velcro dogs:
Vizslas are NOT dogs that can just be left in a yard. They were bred to be affectionate house dogs as well as hunting and field dogs, and they want to be WITH their people. They will follow you from room to room, including the bathroom, sleep next to you or at your feet, etc. Left to their own devices without human companionship, they will
become lonely, bored and destructive. People who expect dogs to raise themselves by themselves will not like this breed.

Vizslas do shed, but unless you are allergic or obsessive, it sort of blends in with the decor. You can control this by rubbing the dog with a non-cotton sweater to pick up loose hairs.

Where to find reputable breeders:

Vizsla Club of America contacts: Florence Duggan at (908) 789-9774
or at

Questions to expect from breeders:

Questions to ask breeders:


Puppy prices:
Prices for Vizsla puppies vary. (On the East Coast between $800 and $1500). A higher price does not necessarily equate with better quality; many responsible breeders are working to keep prices reasonable in an effort to discourage puppy mill breeders. Ask the breeder of any litter you consider about the goals of their breeding program; ask why they paired the parents of this litter and about titles the parents have earned. Make sure that both parents have been cleared of hip dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) registry; get a copy of OFA numbers for both parents. When you acquire a puppy from a reputable breeder, you also acquire support throughout the lifetime of your puppy. Avoid purchasing a puppy from a breeder with whom you do not have good rapport, and avoid puppy mill, pet store, and Internet purchases.

Breed rescue and contacts:
For a variety of reasons, some people are not able to keep their Vizslas, and these dogs become available for re-homing. Sometimes they have had no prior training, or they have been abused and need major caring and rehabilitation. Rarely are they puppies. Potential rescue owners are screened as carefully as new puppy buyers, and because of
the unique needs and challenging demands of Vizslas, preference in rescue situations is.given to persons who have already raised a Vizsla and know what is involved. THIS IS NOT AN ALTERNATE ROUTE TO A CHEAPER DOG! Usually, prospective owners are asked to pay transportation charges for a dog and to make a contribution to breed rescue to further the work of rescue for other dogs.

Further sources of information

Books (borrow from your local library, buy in a bookstore; or buy
on the web from



VIZSDICTIONS-The addictions that come with owning (or being owned
by) Vizslas-showing, hunting, obedience, agility, field, etc.
VLICKING-The typical Vizsla greeting, more specifically defined as
the art of licking a person all over while jumping four feet off the
VLANKET-A covering composed of three or four Vizslas that keep you
warm by laying on top of you in all seasons. The warmth is measured
in VTU's (see below).
VIZALOPE-What your Vizsla turns into when released at the park.
VHINING-The noise heard when your Vizsla needs attention or t he
noise heard when your Vizsla knows your are on the way to the park.
VISZLITZU stands for the attack a Vizsla makes usually consisting
of a well-timed undercut to the back of the knees.
VMS stands for Vizsla Menstrual Syndrome, a bitch that goes into
heat on the first day of hunting season.
VTU-Vizsla Thermal Unit, the amount of heat generated by the dog,
on your side of the bed, in July
VIZSOSITY INDEX-A not arbitrary number agreed on by the family as
the maximum number of Vizslas per household.
VIZSCOUNT-The actual number of dogs, usually one more than the
vizsosity index.
VIZSLITORS are people that my Vizlsa thinks come to our house
solely to see her.
VSLOBBER is the greeting bestowed by my Vizlsa on said Vizslitor.
VIZSFUL thinking-the way our Vizsla can stare seemingly for hours
at whatever we are eating, thinking we are going to feed her from the
VIZELLO not to be confused with VIZSLAMORTIS, both afflictions seem
to be brought on by the same stimuli but manifest themselves quite
differently. Both happen when the leader asks the little red person
to stack (as in show training). VIZELLO is when they go completely
limp and roll on their backs and seem to acquire an extra 50lbs.
VIZSLAMORTIS happens under the same circumstances, however the
little red person deigns to stack but then locks every single bone in
their body thereby making it impossible for them to be stacked YOUR
VIZSLARIZED is what you are when you consider holes in the wall
board a normal part of raising a vizsla!
VIZSLARATION is a very close relative of irritation and aggravation
except it has a sense of humor.
VIZSLAPSED TIME-The time it takes for 1) your Vizsla to strike the
most beautiful pose or point you've ever seen; 2) you grab your
camera; 3) you begin to press down on the shutter button; 4) your
Vizsla yawns, closes his/her eyes, hunches his/her body in a stretch
and looks really goofy; and 5) voila-the picture is taken.
VFLOOR COVERINGS-The food crumbs, dirt, mud, grass, water and
unmentionables that are always on your carpets and floors - thanks to
your wonderful Vizsla(s).
VEXTRA SENSORY PERCEPTION-How a Vizsla knows that you're putting on
your "let's- go-for-a-walk-or-run" shoes or clothes; or the fact that
it's a weekend morning.
VIZLAMIC-the religion of loving Vizslas.
VORENSIC SCIENCE-the scientific study used to find proof of which
one of your Vizslas has committed a "crime."
VIZZA-The scraps of crust or pieces of meat saved from a pizza for
your Vizsla.
VIZSLA COLADA-The drink you've set down "only for a second" that
your Vizsla comes and slurps from.
VALLET-The elegant and graceful dance movements that only a Vizsla
can perform.
VALLISTIC-As in "gone Vallistic"; to describe the wild brain
cramps-induced bouncing off the walls behavior that only a Vizsla can
VIPLETS is when you can't have just two.
VIZRUPLETS are my four eleven month olds.
VIZSULY IMPAIRED-There's another breed of dog?
VIZSULY CHALLENGED-Eight or more Vizslas in the house!
INVIZSABLE-What they think they are when you want them to do
something and they'd rather do what you don't want them to do.
EXCLUSIVIZSLAISM-The frowned upon practice of owning only one vizsla.
INADVIZSLABLE-The unwise practice of driving with the dogs loose in the car.
LOW VIZABILITY-When your V decides that it would be fun to sit in
your lap while you are attempting to negotiate traffic.
NOVIZABILITY is what happens when the driver's side window is down
and your V decides that she would like to hang her head out the
window a bit.
HIGHVIZABILITY would be your V standing so that she can almost
climb onto the rear window shelf so that she can get a better look at
passing cars-or they her.
VIZPLACEMENT-When your little red head beats you to the recliner.
VIZSMEARS-The smudges on the inside of car windows where your V
presses her nose.
VADAR-The electromagnetic system that allows a sleeping vizsla on
the far end of the second floor to detect that you have just begun to
cut into an apple.
VOPPLER EFFECT-The ability of a vizsla to warp time and space to be
sitting politely at your feet, staring at the apple before you've
finished the first cut.


Vizslas are a wonderful breed, but they are not for everyone.
Take the time to research thoroughly before buying a puppy.
Take the time to find a responsible, concerned breeder.
You will find that it is time well spent.

Thanks to many friends on
VizslaTalk for help in preparing this handout.

By Mary K. Chelton, 35 Mercury Ave., East Patchogue, NY 11772, (631)
286-4255,   Owned and loved by two Vizslas.


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