Breed Spotlight – Vizsla

Hailing from Hungary, the sleek, rust colored Vizsla is a hunting dog through and through. The modern Vizsla breed has a fascinating and rather horrifying origin story.

These beautiful hunting dogs are descended from the dogs of the Magyars. These people descended into Western Europe from the steppes of Russia in the mid 800s and ravaged Europe for half a century. They overran Western Europe on horseback and their red hunting dogs were bred for speed and stamina. They finally settled in what eventually became Hungary.

Hungarian nobles as well as warlords refined the breed and the modern Vizsla became not only a swift and efficient hunting dog, but one that could do just about anything. 

In 1950, the very first Vizsla that entered America did so because he was sumggled out with the assistance of an employee of the U.S. State Department and generations of American dog lovers have come to revere the breed.

In 2000, a Vizsla named Chartay made AKC history, becoming the first dog to earn championships in five different sports. 

You might think that a hunting dog would not make a great family dog, but you would be wrong! Yes, they are full of energy but are also affectionate and loyal companions. These dogs were bred to work closely alongside humans as hunting partners and this heritage carries over to having the breed bond tightly with their owners. Vizslas love to be with their people, and dislike being left alone.

Because they have an athlete’s build and great stamina, they make wonderful hiking and running companions as well.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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