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Hungarian Vizsla Temperament: Versatile Gun Dog with a gregarious character

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Spectacularly coloured, the Hungarian Vizsla is a flash of the richest red when the sun hits their coat. But their coat is not the only eye-catching attribute of this versatile dog breed. They have a temperament to match their handsomeness, and the breed has many followers growing daily.


So, has the breed caught your eye, and you're wondering if the Hungarian Vizsla would fit your lifestyle? The following blog post will dive deeper into the temperament of this alert, intelligent, and energetic dog breed, so by the end, you will have a good idea of whether this dog will make it into your top five favourite dog list.


Spoiler alert: We might be biased, but think they will make the cut.



Table of Contents





Hungarian Vizsla Temperament
Vizslas are very mouthy dogs who love to chew on sticks and ropes. Leave your Vizsla alone and you might need new skirting boards.

Hungarian Vizsla History: Where are Hungarian Vizslas from?

As their name implies, the Hungarian Vizsla is native to Hungary. It was selectively bred for Hungarian nobility and esteemed as aristocratic companions for centuries.


Among the oldest gundog breeds globally, Vizslas have a storied history, often accompanying noblemen on prestigious hunting expeditions throughout the ages.


References to the name "vizsla" can be traced back to manuscripts from the 14th century, where depictions of dogs resembling the Hungarian Vizsla were present, though their exact origins remain elusive.


Historical evidence suggests that their ancestors were introduced to Hungary alongside tribes in the late 9th century. Depictions from the 14th century bear striking resemblance to the modern Hungarian Vizsla, often regarded as their direct ancestors.


Belonging to the category of HPR breeds (Hunt, Point, Retrieve), alongside German Pointers, Weimaraners, and Large Munsterlanders, Hungarian Vizslas are celebrated for their remarkable versatility, adeptness in various roles, and keen hunting instincts.


Throughout the centuries, Hungarian Vizslas earned a reputation as a prized hunting companion among the Hungarian aristocracy. Renowned for their keen sense of smell, agility, and boundless energy, Vizslas excelled in various hunting tasks, including tracking, pointing, and retrieving game birds such as pheasants and quails. Their versatility and adaptability made them indispensable assets for hunters navigating the diverse terrains of Hungary's forests and plains.



Due to their historical role in hunting alongside humans, Hungarian Vizslas possess a highly people-oriented temperament, displaying a strong desire to bond with their owners and a willingness to please.


The coat of a Vizsla can exhibit various shades of russet gold. Due to differences in coat genetics, both the shorthaired and wirehaired varieties are recognised as distinct breeds. Notably, Vizslas lack the gene for black colouration, ensuring that purebred Vizslas never display black coats.


This dog was close to extinction a few times in its breeding history. Due to the breed being reserved for aristocrats only, many hunters chose English Setters and German Shorthaired Pointers as their dogs, and soon the number of purebred Vizslas reduced dramatically. A group of breeders searched the land for Vizslas, and they were able to save the breed.


Despite facing challenges such as political tumults and wars, Hungarian Vizslas persisted through the centuries thanks to the dedication of devoted breed enthusiasts. Efforts to preserve the breed's purity and distinctive traits led to the establishment of breed standards and the formation of breed clubs in Hungary during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Today, Hungarian Vizslas continue to fascinate enthusiasts as beloved family pets, loyal companions, and skilled hunting partners. While their hunting instincts remain strong, they thrive in diverse roles, including therapy work, agility competitions, and search-and-rescue missions.


The Hungarian Vizsla was first registered with the UK Kennel Club in 1953. By the mid-1960s, the population of Vizslas in the UK had reached approximately 300, and by 1971, the breed was no longer classified as vulnerable. It experienced steady growth and popularity thereafter.


There was a notable surge in registrations for Vizslas in 2021. However, in 2022, registrations returned to standard levels, with 3,110 Hungarian Vizslas registered. The trend continued in 2023, with only 2,534 Vizslas registered, reflecting a decline compared to the previous year.

Total 2021

Total 2022

Q1 2023

Q2 2023

Q3 2023

Q4 2023

Total 2023

4,313

3,110

579

554

750

651

2534


In conclusion, the Hungarian Vizsla's history is a testament to the enduring bond between humans and dogs, shaped by centuries of collaboration, companionship, and mutual respect. From their origins in the ancient lands of Hungary to their present-day prominence on the global stage, Hungarian Vizslas embody the spirit of resilience, loyalty, and adventure.


As we celebrate their heritage, let us treasure these beautiful dogs and honour the legacy of the Hungarian Vizsla for generations to come. Let's now look at their temperament.

What is the Temperament of the Hungarian Vizsla?

They will keep you busy.


The Hungarian Vizsla is a faithful sporting dog, bred to follow a horse for hours and still energetically fulfil its duty. They embody intelligence, beauty, and grace while having a very people-orientated temperament. Even working in the field, they will constantly check where you are while still fulfilling their job.

Hungarian Vizsla Temperament
The Vizsla has a handsome head proudly held high in an aristocratic manner. Alert, intelligent and keen-eyed, nothing escapes them.

Vizslas have a very demanding activity level. They love to go for hikes, chase after birds, and jump into the water.


If you're an avid jogger or enjoy cycling outdoors, you've discovered the ideal companion dog for your active lifestyle.


To prevent the development of destructive behaviour tendencies, Hungarian Vizslas require daily mental and physical stimulation.


It's recommended that at least two hours of such activities be provided. Given their natural inclination to retrieve, Vizslas may exhibit chewing tendencies and be prone to mouthing behaviours.


Vizslas thoroughly enjoy using their sense of smell to explore their surroundings with their noses. By regularly changing your walking routes, you can provide stimulating experiences, keeping them engaged and satisfied with the wonder of new scents.


The Hungarian Vizsla is exceptionally intelligent and trainable, yet an untrained Vizsla can wreak havoc in your home, targeting prized possessions for chewing. Therefore, consistent training and adequate physical stimulation are essential. Given their strong food drive, Vizslas respond well to positive reinforcement and treats during training sessions.


Hungarian Vizsla Temperament

While not typically dominant, Hungarian Vizslas may occasionally challenge instructions or exhibit selective hearing when distracted by enticing scents. They have the hunting dog deeply engrained in them.


Success in training requires patience and consistency, particularly with Hungarian Vizslas, who boast an above-average learning ability among breeds and respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement techniques.


Hungarian Vizslas shine in agility training, showcasing their athleticism, speed, and impressive trainability. Their playful nature endures for years, making them eager participants in various activities like flyball, agility, obedience, or heelwork. They potentially could become your ultimate partner in crime.



Vizslas are very demonstrative in their affection. Although they love to be busy and have a job, their favourite place is near you or on you. Therefore, positive experiences with you will make them thrive. They are a "in your face" kind of dog with a very inquisitive nature.


Conversely, Vizslas are sensitive dogs, and harsh treatment can lead to timidity and anxiety. They thrive on human companionship and dislike being separated, so involving them in daily activities is essential. If this level of involvement isn't feasible due to your work calendar and social engagements, a Vizsla might not be the right choice.


Due to their sensitive disposition, Vizslas may exhibit shyness in unfamiliar social settings, highlighting the importance of early socialisation for their development. Introducing them to various situations with individuals of different ages fosters appropriate behaviour and enhances their confidence.


The demeanour of your Vizsla toward both humans and other dogs should ideally be confident and friendly. The manner in which you handle and manage your Vizsla significantly influences its temperament.


In general, Vizslas form strong bonds with people and thrive in human company. Proper socialisation ensures they become well-rounded canines, capable of navigating diverse environments with ease.



Let's now have a look at some common Hungarian Vizsla questions.


Are Hungarian Vizslas good family dogs?

Yes, Hungarian Vizslas are generally considered excellent family dogs. These pups are famous for their loyalty, affectionate nature, and gentle disposition, which makes them excellent companions for families of all sizes.


They're so loving that they're often called "velcro dogs" because they like to stick close to their human family members as much as possible. But don't let their cuddly nature fool you – Vizslas are also energetic and intelligent! They love to stay active and need plenty of activity and mental stimulation to keep them comfortable and healthy. That means they're perfect for families who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, running, and playing fetch.


It's important to note that Vizslas need consistent training and socialisation from an early age to channel their energy positively and avoid potential behaviour issues. They're also big fans of human interaction and may get anxious or destructive if left alone for too long. But with the proper care, training, and socialisation, Hungarian Vizslas can be a fantastic addition to your home and bring you joy and love for years.


Do Hungarian Vizslas have Separation Anxiety?

Yes, like many other breeds, Hungarian Vizslas do not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They are highly social dogs that form strong bonds with their human family members and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.


While they can tolerate being left alone for short periods, such as when their owners are at work (3 hours top) or running errands, it's essential to ensure that they receive enough mental stimulation and physical exercise before being left alone. Providing toys, puzzles, or interactive games can keep them entertained and mentally engaged while you're away.


It's also crucial to gradually accustom Vizslas to being alone from a young age through proper training and desensitisation techniques. This can help prevent separation anxiety and destructive behaviours when they're left alone.


Ideally, Vizslas thrive in households where someone is often present or where arrangements can be made for someone to check in on them regularly if their owners need to be away for an extended period.


Suppose you have a busy schedule or anticipate being away from home frequently. In that case, it may be worth considering whether a Hungarian Vizsla is the right breed for you or if you can arrange their care and companionship while you're away.



What is the difference between a Weimaraner and a Hungarian Vizsla?

Weimaraner and Vizslas in comparison next to each other. Weimaraner is grey-silver in colour and the Vizsla is a golden rust colour. Both dogs are looking happily into the camera while panting
The Weimaraner and the Vizsla have a very similar happy and energetic temperament.

Novice dog enthusiasts sometimes think the Viszla is just a silver-grey Weimaraner or the Weimaraner a rust-coloured Vizsla.


While they look similar due to their floppy ears, long muzzles and athletic build, they are separate breeds.


Temperament-wise, the Vizsla and Weimaraner a very similar as they were bred for the same purpose as an HPR breed.


A Weimaraner will only be different shades of grey, whilst the Vizsla will always bear the shades of red and rust.


Weimaraners are a bit taller, and their ears sit higher on their skull. The Vizsla is known to be a Velcro dog, always sticking with you like glue and eager to please.



6 Gift Ideas for Hungarian Vizsla Lovers

Looking to add a touch of elegance to your home decor? This Handmade Wire Vizsla on Driftwood is the perfect choice! This unique sculpture captures the grace of the Hungarian Vizsla breed and is sure to be a cherished addition for both Vizsla enthusiasts and art lovers. With great care and attention to detail, this stunning piece is crafted to perfection.

Hungarian Vizsla Temperament


Gift Idea for Hungarian Vizsla Lovers #2: Vizsla Mug

Add a touch of personalised charm to the morning routine of Hungarian Vizsla lovers with this customisable Vizsla Mug. Featuring a delightful Vizsla illustration that can be personalised with their pet's name, this mug is the perfect companion for enjoying their favourite beverage while celebrating their beloved canine companion's unique spirit.

Hungarian Vizsla Temperament

Gift Idea for Hungarian Vizsla Lovers #3: Outdoor Garden Hungarian Vizsla

Capture the spirit of the Hungarian Vizsla enthusiast's outdoor adventures with a rustic metal pointer featuring the iconic Hungarian Vizsla silhouette. This charming garden accessory is a heartfelt reminder of their beloved companion's loyal presence amidst nature's beauty.

Hungarian Vizsla Temperament

Gift Idea for Hungarian Vizsla Lovers #4: Vizsla Candle

Illuminate the senses of Hungarian Vizsla devotees with this captivating Vizsla Candle, delicately scented and elegantly designed to evoke the essence of the beloved breed. Crafted with care, this candle fills any room with a warm glow and a comforting aroma, creating a cosy atmosphere for moments of relaxation and reflection.

Hungarian Vizsla Temperament

Gift Idea for Hungarian Vizsla Lovers #5: Vizsla Glass Ornament

Want to make your Hungarian Vizsla lover friend's day? Get them a stunning Hungarian Vizsla Glass Ornament! This beautiful ornament is crafted to capture the breed's elegance and grace and is a perfect addition to their holiday decoration. It will add a touch of Vizsla-inspired sophistication to their space and make them smile every time they see it!

Hungarian Vizsla Temperament

Gift Idea for Hungarian Vizsla Lovers #6: Vizsla Keyring

Surprise the Hungarian Vizsla enthusiast in your life with a charming Hungarian Vizsla Keyring, a thoughtful accessory to showcase their love for the breed. Crafted with attention to detail, this keyring is a delightful gift that adds a touch of Vizsla charm to their everyday essentials.

Hungarian Vizsla Temperament


Hungarian Vizsla Temperament in a Nutshell

  • Considered one of the most energetic and people-orientated breeds

  • Vizslas can be a bit timid towards people they don't know

  • They need more than 2 hours of mental and physical stimulation a day

  • Can be destructive if they are left alone for several hours a day

  • Above-average trainability but requires dedication by the owner



Top 10 Female Hungarian Vizsla Names  




Top 10 Male Hungarian Vizsla Names  





Potential health issues in the Hungarian Vizsla breed

For numerous years, the Hungarian Vizsla has been renowned as a relatively healthy breed, owing to diligent breeding practices by reputable breeders who prioritize sound temperament, healthy bloodlines, and comprehensive health testing.


However, there have been emerging signs of specific health concerns. Ensuring the breeder's credibility within the community is imperative when acquiring a Vizsla. It's worth noting that the health issues mentioned below don't necessarily imply that your Vizsla will be affected by them.


Hip Dysplasia: an orthopaedic condition that can occur when the hip joint doesn't develop properly, leading to discomfort, lameness, and reduced mobility. While genetics predisposes dogs to Hip Dysplasia, environmental factors and proper management can help mitigate its impact and improve the quality of life for affected Vizslas.


Canine Epilepsy: Can lead to recurrent seizures of varying severity. While the exact cause remains unclear, genetic factors may play a role, necessitating diligent monitoring and potentially lifelong management to enhance the quality of life for affected dogs.


Cancers: Haemangiosarcoma, a common cancer in Hungarian Vizslas, affects the blood vessels and often manifests as tumours in organs like the spleen or heart. Additionally, Lymphoma, another prevalent cancer in this breed, involves the lymphatic system and may present as enlarged lymph nodes or other systemic symptoms.


Immune-mediated Diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues, leading to conditions like immune-mediated hemolytic anaemia or immune-mediated thrombocytopenia.


Glaucoma: a serious eye condition that can affect Hungarian Vizslas, causing increased pressure within the eye and potential vision loss if left untreated.


Vizsla Inflammatory Polymyopathy: is a rare autoimmune disorder that primarily affects Hungarian Vizslas, causing muscle weakness and atrophy. Veterinary care is crucial for diagnosing and managing VIP, often involving immunosuppressive therapy to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for affected dogs.


Keep your dog healthy with plenty of exercise, high-quality nutrition, and vaccinations. Reduce plastic and toxic intake through toys and accessories. Choose natural plant-based products to improve your dog's quality of life and reduce your carbon footprint.


Hungarian Vizsla Temperament

Hungarian Vizslas are very mouthy and like to chew on stuff. They will do well with our natural rope dog toys made from plant-based materials. The weight of the toy will also effectively tire them out. In addition, the linked article outlines the plastic and toxic dyes in dog products.


The more aware you are of the above diseases, the higher the chances you can catch them early and contact the vet immediately. Like with a child, be mindful of required vaccinations, risks and even hazards outside your home.



Hungarian Vizsla Fun Facts

Renowned for its athleticism, the Hungarian Vizsla showcases remarkable speed. It can reach up to 40mph in full sprint and trail only five mph behind the Greyhound, making it one of the fastest gundogs in the world.


Notably, Chartay, the first AKC Quintuple Champion, epitomised Vizsla's agility and versatility, excelling across all five disciplines of fieldwork, agility, conformation, and obedience. Chartay's achievements underscore the breed's versatile temperament, exceptional trainability, and remarkable adaptability, solidifying the Hungarian Vizsla's reputation as a multifaceted and accomplished canine athlete.


Is a Hungarian Vizsla the right dog breed for me?

After reading this, we hope you have the versatile Vizsla very high on your favourite dog breed list. They certainly are on our list.


Their energetic and intelligent temperament and loyal and loving attributes have won our hearts. If you are active and love plenty of outdoor adventures and training your dog, then the Vizsla is the right dog for you who will bond tightly with you.


If you're thinking about getting a Vizsla, there are a few things you should consider. Vizslas are super social dogs and really thrive on human companionship, so they need to be treated like a valued member of the family.


Many Vizsla owners say that these pups have a special place in their hearts and households. However, to make sure that your Vizsla is happy and well-behaved, it's important to set clear boundaries and make sure they understand their place in the family dynamic.


Although all dogs like to push boundaries, Vizslas, in particular, are clever and spirited and may get into mischief if they're left alone for too long. So, if you work long hours, a Vizsla might not be the best choice for you. But, if you do decide to get a Vizsla, investing time and effort into training and bonding with your pup during the early weeks and months is essential. Not only will it bring you joy to discover your pup's potential, but it will also create an unbreakable bond between you and your furry friend.





Owners voices

"To follow soon"

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Hungarian Vizsla Summary Info box

Size

Medium

Dog Size

56cm - 64cm

Dog Weight

20kg - 29kg

Bitch Size

53cm - 61cm

Bitch Weight

18kg - 25kg

Grooming

Low

Feeding Need

Medium

Tendency to drool

Low

Energy level

Very high

Tendency to bark

Low

Tendency to dig

Low

Attention need

High




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