Origin and Purpose
The Vizsla (pronounced as if spelled VIZH-LA) originated in Hungary, where various records indicate its history as going back many centuries. It was the companion hunting dog of the early warlords and landed aristocracy who used it for general-purpose hunting. It was known in Hungary as the “yellow” pointer. In North America it is used primarily as an upland bird dog, where its excellent scenting and retrieving characteristics have been widely acclaimed. It is a strong swimmer and also retrieves well from water.
The Vizsla is a short-haired, medium-sized sporting dog. It conveys the impression of an alert, muscular, well-balanced animal with a distinctive and aristocratic appearance.
The Vizsla is intelligent, calm, obedient, and easy to train. It is a sensitive dog that becomes attached to its owner and develops a strong but not overly aggressive protective instinct. In the field, the Vizsla is an eager, happy hunter that is at home on land and in the water.
The standard size for the Vizsla, measured at the withers, is 23 inches ( 58 cm ) for males and 22 inches (56 cm) for females. A dog of good bone and substance in this size range should weigh from 50- 65 lb . (22-29 kg). A bitch weighs about 10 lb . ( 4.536 kg ) less. The length to height ratio should be approximately 1:1.
Coat and Colour
The hair of the Vizsla should be short and dense and should lie close to the skin. Each hair should be thick and elastic and the coat should have a glossy sheen.
The correct colour is a golden-rust, sometimes described as the golden colour of a bread crust. In some strains slightly lighter or darker shades may predominate. A white mark on the chest under 2 inches ( 5 cm ) in diameter is permissible but not desirable.
The Skull should be lean and muscular, with a median line down the forehead. The topline of the skull should be straight. The skull tends to be comparatively narrow in relation to its length, with that of the male being slightly wider. The occiput is slightly visible. The stop should be slight and sloping rather than abrupt.
- Muzzle: The muzzle should be approximately the same length as the skull. It should narrow, end squarely, and have clean straight lines.
- Mouth: The jaws should be strong with well-developed teeth meeting in a scissor-like or even bite. The lips should be smooth and well developed and cover the teeth tightly. The lips extend in a level line for 3/4 the length of the muzzle.
- Eyes: They should be almond shaped, bright and intelligent in appearance. The colour is in harmony with or darker than the colour of the coat; they should be moderately deep set. The eyelids close neatly and cleanly with no overlap. The nictitating membrane should not be overly exposed.
- Ears: The ears should be thin, silky and moderately tapered with rounded ends. They should just meet under the jaw, or reach to the corner of the mouth, but should not extend as far as the canine teeth. They should be set about 1/2 inch ( 1 cm ) below the level of the skull and hang close to the cheeks.
The neck should be of medium length in proportion to the body. It must be well muscled, with a definite arch at the nape and widened to blend smoothly into the forequarters. The skin of the neck should be smooth and tight.
- Shoulders: The shoulder blade should be of medium length and must be held tightly in place. The angle formed by the shoulder blade (scapula) and the humerus should be approximately 90 degrees. The musculature should be firm, smooth and clearly defined.
- Upper-arm (humerus): The bone structure should be heavy, smooth and well covered by strong, firm muscles. The skin should be firm, pliable and smooth. The upper-arm should be equal in length to the shoulder blade (scapula).
- Lower-arm (radius and ulna): Strong big bones with good muscles. The legs should be straight whether viewed from the front or side. The angle at the elbow joint should be approximately 135 degrees.
- Pastern: The angle that the pastern makes with the lower leg should be nearly straight (about 175-180 degrees).
- Paws: The paws should be cat-like with tightly closed toes and big rough pads. The feet should be webbed. The nails should be short, firm and well curved, and their colour should be similar to that of the eyes, nose and coat. Dewclaws should be removed.
- Topline: The topline should be broad and smooth and slightly arched over the loin and croup to the base of the tail; there is a slight depression at the juncture of the withers and the back.
- Chest: The chest should be deep, reaching down to the elbows and moderately broad. A cross-section of the chest is oval with well-sprung ribs, narrowing between the elbows to permit free and easy leg movement. Width of the chest between the forelegs is at least 6 inches ( 15 cm ) for a male and 5 inches ( 13 cm ) for a bitch.
- Loin: The loin should be broad, strong and well muscled.
- Croup: The croup should be heavily muscled and smoothly rounded to the base of the tail.
- Abdomen: The abdomen should be trim and neat with a moderate tuck-up.
- Hip bone (pelvis): This is the framework that forms the basic support for the hind legs. The pelvic bones should be wide and strong. The musculature attaching to these bones should be very well developed to give strength to the hindquarters.
- Upper thigh (femur): This bone should be heavy, straight, round and smooth. Muscle attachments should be very powerful, broad and evenly distributed. The angle at the hip joint should be 90 degrees.
- Lower thigh (tibia and fibula): The lower thigh should be well muscled and the bones should be longer than the femur. The angle at the stifle joint should be from 110-120 degrees.
- Hocks: The angle at the hock joint should be from 125-130 degrees.
- Paws: Same as the front.
The tail-set is lower than on the other continental pointing breeds. In motion it is carried outstretched, at or above the horizontal level. A portion is docked, approximately 1/3, so that the tip of the shortened tail is level with the juncture of the upper and lower thigh. It should be thicker at the base than at the tip.
Viewed from the front, the dog’s legs should appear to swing forward in a free and easy manner, with no tendency for the feet to cross over or swing wide. Viewed from the rear, the gait should be true-tracking. The topline is level when the dog is in motion, while the head is carried high and the tail “flags” constantly at the proper level.
- Very nervous dogs should be heavily penalized.
- Very dark or very light coloured coat.
- Hare feet.
- Light yellow, green, blue or “pop” eyes.
- Dogs 10 lb . ( 4.536 kg ) over or under the standard weight.
- Dewclaws not removed.
- Roached, hollow or camel backs.
- Too steep a croup.
- Undershot or overshot bites.
- A dog 2 inches ( 5 cm ) or more over or under the standard height.
- White markings over 2 inches ( 5 cm ) on the chest or white markings anywhere other than the chest.