The Vizsla is regarded as the national dog of Hungary, and has been a prominent part of sporting life in that country for roughly 150 years. They were first recognized as a distinct breed outside of their home country by the FCI in Europe in 1935 — and it appears that individual dogs began to arrive in the United States soon afterwards and that their owners were successful in field trials against Pointers and Setters at that time, too.
The true miracle of the breed is not the fantasy that it has somehow been around for centuries, but that thanks to the dedication of Hungarian patriots (and with explicit help from the government), the breed has survived two World Wars. Despite the Cold War, Vizslas began to be imported to the United States specifically for establishing a breeding population in 1950, while the first six-generation pedigree was registered with the American Field Field Dog Stud Book in late 1954.
The Vizsla is a medium-sized pointing dog with a short-haired, self-colored golden-rust coat — although they are often referred to affectionately as ‘red dogs.’ Generally known for their intelligence and bond with their owners, as a versatile continental breed, they are also expected to retrieve game shot for them. As with other pointing dog breeds, there are numerous different lines that offer a variety of hunting styles — from foot hunting dogs to hard-running, horseback field trial dogs.
For additional information on the Vizsla, visit The National Vizsla Association.
— Andrew Campbell, photo: Justin Hess