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rec.pets.dogs: Vizslas Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/breeds/vizslas
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 05 Mar 1998

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   Lisa Clowdus []
   Copyright =A9 1998 by Lisa Clowdus
   Revision History:
     * Nov 1995, Vizsla mailing list updated
     * Feb 1998, Rewritten
Table of Contents

     * History
     * Description
     * Characteristics and Temperament
     * Health
     * Frequently Asked Questions
          + Are Vizslas hyper?
          + Can Vizslas jump fences?
          + Can a Vizsla live in an apartment?
          + Do Vizslas get along well with children, cats and other dogs?
          + Do Vizslas "mouth" a lot? Do they retrieve well?
          + Are there Vizsla rescue agencies?
     * Resources
          + On the Web
          + Books
          + Newsletters
          + Email List
          + Breed Clubs
          + Rescue
          + Other

   The Vizsla, or Hungarian Pointer, is thought to be one of the oldest
   sporting breeds - a hunter and companion to the Magyar (Hungarian)
   people. The Vizsla, whose name means alert and responsive, was prized
   by the land-owning aristocracy for its hunting abilities, its regal
   appearance, and its warm personality. The Vizsla's habitat was the
   Hungarian plains - a warm and fertile region where partridge and other
   game birds flourished. Between World War I and World War II, the
   Vizsla nearly became extinct. Hungarians who fled the Russian
   occupation in 1945 smuggled their beloved dogs out of the country. The
   Vizsla first appeared in the United States in the early 1950s and was
   admitted to AKC registry in 1960.

   The Standard is the physical "blueprint" of the breed. It describes
   the physical appearance and other desired qualities of the breed
   otherwise known as type. Some characteristics, such as size, coat
   quality, and movement, are based on the original (or current) function
   for the dog. Other characteristics are more cosmetic such as eye
   color; but taken together they set this breed apart from all others.
   The Standard describes an ideal representative of the breed. No
   individual dog is perfect, but the Standard provides an ideal for the
   breeder to strive towards. Because of copyright concerns over the
   collection of all the Standards at any single site storing all the
   FAQs, AKC Standards are not typically included in the Breed FAQs. The
   reader is referred to the publications at the end of this document or
   to the National Breed Club or to the AKC for a copy of the Standard.
Characteristics and Temperament

   Vizslas are very friendly, affectionate, loyal dogs that make
   wonderful family pets and hunting dogs. They need to be treated like a
   member of the family, preferring to sleep inside and being close to
   their people. Most Vizslas are lap dogs - with males weighing 55 to 65
   pounds and females 45 to 55 pounds - be prepared! They do not make
   good "kennel" dogs. They should be active, but not hyper. They require
   daily exercise and will get into mischief if bored. Vizslas are very
   easy to train, being both intelligent and eager to please. They are
   sensitive and should not be severely disciplined, but are not "soft."
   Vizslas love warmth and are frequently found basking in the sun.
   Vizslas are outstanding hunters and will both point and retrieve. They
   have very sensitive noses, good eyesight and a natural enthusiasm for
   the hunt. It's fantastic to watch a Vizsla lock up on point - it's
   hard to find words to express their grace, beauty and intensity. Field
   trials are a large part of most Vizsla club's activity schedules.
   Although Vizslas are primarily known for their skill in hunting upland
   game birds such as pheasant, quail and grouse, they are also used for
   hunting waterfowl and even small fur animals. Most Vizslas are strong
   swimmers and should be introduced to water when they're young.
   Vizslas have beautiful, soft, rust-colored coats that require very
   little maintenance. They do shed, which especially shows up against
   black clothes. They're clean dogs and have very little odor. There is
   a wirehaired Vizsla, more common in Europe, but rare in the United
   States and not recognized by the AKC.
   Vizslas are commonly known by their owners as "velcro-dogs". They are
   very touch-oriented and prefer to be in contact with their people at
   all times. They will accompany their people everywhere, including into
   the bathroom and shower. If you do not appreciate constant canine
   companionship, the Vizsla is not the dog for you.

   In general, Vizslas are an extremely healthy breed and it is common
   for them to have a life span of over 14 years.
   Some Vizslas are prone to skin and/or food allergies. They can be
   sensitive to anesthesia used during surgeries and it is recommended
   that owners consult their veterinarian regarding the use of a special
   anesthesia, such as isofluorine gas, during surgery. Vizslas may be
   sensitive to other drugs as well, consult your veterinarian for more
   Vizslas are susceptible to hip dysplasia, although careful breeding
   has kept this problem to a minimum in the breed. All Vizslas that are
   going to be bred should be x-rayed and certified clear of hip
   dysplasia by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). X-rays must
   be taken after the age of 24 months, when a definitive diagnosis can
   be made. If you are purchasing a puppy, make sure that both parents
   have been OFA certified.
   Less common genetic diseases in Vizslas include hemophilia, von
   Willebrand's Disease, tail defects, and epilepsy.
Frequently Asked Questions

  Are Vizslas hyper?
   As in any active sporting breed, Vizslas are energetic and
   enthusiastic. However, the Vizsla should not be hyper. Good breeders
   take care to breed for a good disposition, intelligence and
   personality - as well as conformation and hunting skills. Vizslas do
   require daily exercise, which should include running, not just
   walking, and they should have companionship and toys so that they do
   not become bored. A bored Vizsla can become a destructive Vizsla.
  Can Vizslas jump fences?
   Vizslas are extremely agile and can easily clear fences over six feet
   (and some Vizslas may be even more "talented"). They do require a
   securely fenced yard. Usually, a Vizsla will not jump high fences to
   leave his yard unless he is bored or lonely.
  Can a Vizsla live in an apartment?
   Vizslas can live in any environment if they have enough exercise, a
   warm, dry place to stay, and love and attention.
  Do Vizslas get along well with children, cats and other dogs?
   Like most dogs, Vizslas who are well socialized will get along very
   well with children, cats, and other dogs. They love affection and
   companionship. In general, the more people and animals that are around
   them, the happier they are.
  Do Vizslas "mouth" a lot? Do they retrieve well?
   Many Vizslas are known for their "mouthing." They are very
   soft-mouthed and like to gently hold a hand in their mouth. Many like
   to carry articles of clothing and shoes around, like a retriever. Most
   Vizslas love to retrieve.
  Are there Vizsla rescue agencies?
   Yes, almost every Vizsla Club has a rescue committee. Please check for
   Breed Clubs using the Resources below to contact a club nearest you.

  On the Web
   Check out the website for all types of
   Vizsla information, including Vizsla Club contacts world-wide,
   photographs, owner profiles, articles on health, humor and training,
   Vizslas of Merit (title-holders in hunting, conformation, obedience,
   agility, tracking, canine good citizen, etc.), discussion groups, the
   Vizsla Listserv, links to other Vizsla sites and much more. From the
   main page, select Vizsla Home Page for a detailed list of information.
   Coffman, Marion. _Versatile Vizsla_. Illustrated, 272 pages, 1992.
   $34.95. ISBN 0-931866-54-5. Alpine Publications Inc.
   Gottlieb, Gay. _The Complete Vizsla_. Illustrated, 160 pages, 1992.
   $25.00. ISBN 0-87605-377-0. Howell Book House.
   The _Vizsla News_, published bimonthly by the Vizsla Club of America.
   Get information on membership and subscription rates via under Vizsla Home Page, select Clubs then Vizsla
   Club of America.
   Many local and regional Vizsla Clubs publish regular newsletters -
   contact clubs for information.
  Email List
   There is a very active Vizsla Listserv, with over 500 members
   world-wide, including everyone from new owners to people interested in
   learning about the breed to people with decades of Vizsla experience.
   Subjects include Vizsla characteristics, behavior, health, training,
   hunting, showing, obedience, humor, rescue and more. Both serious and
   light-hearted discussion is encouraged. The list may have 50 or more
   messages daily and there is a digest option available if you choose to
   receive one consolidated e-mail message per day. In order to
   subscribe, send a message in the following format:
   In the body of the message include:
     subscribe vizsla
   The server gets your e-mail address from the system when it is sent.
   You will receive a welcome message with information about the list,
   how to receive the digest version and send messages. You can also
   subscribe to the Vizsla Listserv online via by
   selecting Vizsla Listserv and following the instructions.
  Breed Clubs
   Check out the website then go to the Vizsla
   Home Page and select Clubs to find an updated list of Vizsla Clubs
   world-wide. There are also links to clubs and organizations, such as
   the American Kennel Club, which list specific Vizsla standards for
   their country.
   Check out the website then go to the Vizsla
   Home Page and select Clubs or select Rescue to get contact information
   on Vizslas needing rescue in your area. Also, the Vizsla Listserv is a
   wonderful resource to find Vizslas needing homes all over the world or
   to offer your services to assist in Vizsla rescue.
   If you need more Vizsla information or do not have access to the
   world-wide web, feel free to contact me directly at
    Vizsla FAQ
    Lisa Clowdus,

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