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Vizslas are legitimately regarded as ‘dual-dogs’ – as high-energy hunting dogs and loving, domestic companions. Towards the beginning of his classic book, The Vizsla, Clif Boggs writes: “Vizslas lead owners on paths they never before dreamed they would follow.” They are highly intelligent, which means they will take to training of any kind with enthusiasm – however, they are also generally more sensitive and require the same from any trainer. Currently, the only AKC quintuple champion ever crowned – in show, obedience, agility, and both amateur and open field trials – is a vizsla, Jack Sharkey’s Legacy de Chartay.
Nevertheless, as Rita Martinez wrote in The Vizsla News, anticipating how to channel a vizsla’s mind and body is something that every prospective owner should think about seriously and honestly before taking one in. The formal AKC breed standard for the Vizsla can be found here. First and foremost, the Vizsla is a medium-sized, short-haired hunting dog – also occasionally referred to as a Hungarian pointer. The VCCNE’s first president, Count Bela Hadik, believed that the genetic origins of the vizsla were as old as the Magyar peoples who originally settled in what is now Hungary in the late 9thC. There are certainly a number of documents from the 16thC that refer to the dog used for hunting quail specifically as a vizsla. Nevertheless, both World Wars saw the numbers of vizslas drop dramatically and, in many ways, it was the importation of the first vizslas to the United States by Frank Tallman in 1950 that genuinely ensured the breed’s survival. One of the first major features on the vizsla in America appeared in the November 1954 issue of Field & Stream (click here to read it). The vizsla continues to thrive in its homeland although there are now several kennels that have used American stud dogs to ensure the strength and diversity of their gene pool, too.
The image on this page was printed in the March 1959 issue of Outdoor Life and conveys the mystique the vizsla had 50 years ago. In fact, the kennel’s owner, Dr. Osborn, authored one of the pioneering studies in using X-rays to detect and predict hip dysplasia – and also bred the first vizsla AKC Field Champion, Brok Selle, in 1964.
Celebrating Over 50 years