Hungarian vizsla breed: the most outstanding hunter of our country

László Enikő

2023. May 2 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

The Hungarian Vizsla is one of the most popular Hungarian dog breeds. His elegant, athletic build, majestic appearance and kindness also captivate foreigners.


The best hunter of the Hungarians. Whether it’s a small, large or water prey, none of these are a barrier to the Vizsla. He is also a great companion, a family dog, a real energy booster. He can run for hours and then loves to lie on his owner’s lap for a cuddle. His excellent smell never deceives.


Its history was written together with the Hungarians. The Hungarians arrived in the Pannonian Basin with yellow and brown dogs, sometimes spotted. Images from the 1100s show that they look similar to the Vizsla. The first written records date back to the 14th century, when the word vizsla is first mentioned in the codexes. During the Turkish occupation, this ancestor was mixed with the yellow Vizsla of the Turks, and this is how the present colour was formed. A 18. century, with the spread of firearms, the Hungarian Vizsla became more and more popular. It is excellent at finding the game it has shot and then bringing it to its owner. Thanks to its excellent qualities, systematic breeding was started.

Hungarian Shorthaired Vizsla

After 1848, hunting permits could only be obtained from the Austrian authorities, so the breeding of Hungarian Vizsla declined, along with hunting. In 1920, however, they started to be traced, registered and bred again. In 1935, the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) officially recognized as a breed. In the 1960s, it became a popular dog again, and the 1971 World Hunt Exhibition brought him fame – many admired the proud hunter of the Hungarians.

It is important to note that a distinction is made between the Hungarian Short-haired Vizsla and the Hungarian Wire-haired Vizsla. Although they have many features in common, they are officially considered two different species. The wirehaired version has a short history. Breeding only started in the 1930s and was recognised by the FCI in 1966. The hunters wanted a dog that was just like their faithful companion, the Short-haired Vizsla, but better able to withstand the cold and winter weather. Wirehair is a great choice, but it is interesting that this version is less popular.

Hungarian Wire-haired Vizsla.

Breed standard

The Hungarian Short-haired Vizsla’s colour is various shades of russet gold and dark sandy gold, any deviation is considered a fault. Its fur is silky to the touch. The Wire-haired Vizsla is also similar in colour, but its fur is coarse, rough and water-repellent. The average height of a Short-haired Vizsla is 52-61 cm and its weight is 19-24 kg. The Wire-haired one is slightly stockier than him, weighing 20-27 kg and measuring 54-62 cm. Their heads are lean, their skulls slightly convex. Their ears are large, hanging down in a rounded V shape. Their eyes may be blue when they are puppies, but they always turn brown later. The movement of the Vizsla is energetic, elegant and light. Their tails are long. Their life expectancy is long compared to large dogs, 12-15 years.


Both varieties of the Hungarian Vizsla have excellent character. They are a nice, well socialized dogs. They love to be close to their owner, enjoy being petted and pampered, and then it’s time to play, which they are always ready for. It is a very active, athletic breed, loves to move, play ball and chase. Their stamina and work ethic impress many. A friendly and loyal companion. Dedicated to hunting, smart and purposeful.

Ideal environment

A house with garden is ideal for them. As they require a lot of space and exercise, it is worth spending two hours a day tiring them, not only physically but also mentally. They are highly intelligent breeds, but their training should be consistent and firm. If you get their attention, they can concentrate for a long time, which makes them suitable for dog sports. Both types are great for active people who don’t like to sit still for long. They are very adaptable and get on well with children.

Hungarian Short-haired Vizsla puppy.


None of the breeds require special care. The Hungarian Shorthair is shedding, so it’s a good idea to comb it through with a brushing glove. Clean their ears and eyes regularly! 3-4 baths a year is plenty for them. The Hungarian Short-haired Vizsla is considered by many to have no distinctive doggy smell and is a very clean breed.

Common health problems

The Hungarian Vizsla is considered a healthy breed. However, they can also develop hip dysplasia, which is typical of athletic, large dogs. Heart failure and allergies may also occur. It’s worth buying from the right breeder to avoid genetic diseases.

dog breed dog breeds Hungarian dog breed Hungarian vizsla hunting dogs large dog

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