The Hungarian Vizsla is a beautiful red-coated dog of the pointer type, which up until a couple of decades ago, was relatively unknown outside of their home country of Hungary. However, the breed today is ever growing in popularity worldwide and particularly here in the UK, thanks to their wonderful personalities, versatility and handsome appearance.
Originally used as a working dog to point for game, the breed has made the transition to a domestic pet with relative ease, and they remain excellent working dogs and can often be seen competing in canine sports too, such as obedience and agility.
All Hungarian Vizslas are of course distinct and individual in terms of their little quirks and temperaments, but nevertheless there remains several virtually universal personality traits of the breed too, which we will cover in more detail within this article. Read on to learn more!
The Hungarian Vizsla is a medium sized dog with a fairly lean, rangy build, and they are very keen on playing, socialising and having fun! But they are also very gentle, kind dogs that are excellent playmates for smaller dogs that will not fare well with rough play, and they instinctively moderate their behaviour to keep from scaring smaller dogs or children.
They are calm and gentle when correctly trained, and know when it is time to run around and mess about, and when they need to cool things down! They are renowned for being well mannered and polite, and are generally a pleasure to have around the home.
The Vizsla is one of the most affectionate of all dog breeds, and they form very strong bonds with their owners, trusting them and following their directions even throughout challenging or less than ideal circumstances. They like nothing more than being around their family, whether that means being included in trips and outings, or cuddling up on the sofa in the evening.
They are friendly and open in temperament, and easy to read, being a reliable dog in terms of showing what they mean and being predictable in behaviour. They are generally pleased to meet and say hello to newcomers and strangers, and will enjoy attention from passing dog lovers, but their hearts and deepest affections remain with the people who take care of them regularly.
The Hungarian Vizsla ranks 25th in the Coren scale of canine intelligence, out of a total of over 130 breeds of dog. This level of intelligence is higher than the norm, but does not place them in one of the top spots, which means that unlike some other breeds, the Vizsla is rarely described as being “too clever for their own good,” and apt to get into trouble!
They have a natural instinct for working and taking on the appropriate role asked of them, and are a good pick for taking part in canine sports such as agility, heelwork and flyball, as they love to learn and execute commands, as well as enjoying the time spent socialising with others.
The Vizsla’s working history, temperament and build are all ideal for a top level working dog, and the working history of the dog and their natural instincts ensures that they are an active, lively breed. They need a reasonably high amount of exercise with plenty of variety, including time on the lead and time playing off the lead, as well as socialising with others and playing games such as chase and catch.
They will need at least two reasonably long, brisk walks per day in order to keep fit and happy, as well as lots of toys and things to do when they need to be left on their own. They are generally perfectly willing to go walking in all sorts of weathers, and are not afraid of getting soggy or mucky when they are out!
The high intelligence of the Vizsla, combined with their loyalty and desire to please makes them one of the most rewarding dogs to train, as they will work hard and keep trying to learn new skills.
They can generally learn a new command with just a few repetitions, and can usually execute a wide range of complex and higher level commands with ease. They are also good at thinking ahead and problem solving, important traits for dogs that take part in canine sports.
They benefit from kind, calm positive reinforcement training, and they are sensitive, soulful dogs that will not thrive with harsh treatment or shouting.
The Hungarian Vizsla is an excellent choice of pet for people in all sorts of situations, including the first time dog owner, providing that they do plenty of research into the breed and are confident in their ability to fulfil all of their needs.