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The dog breed is still an insider tip among hunters and forest rangers, because the Hungarian Magyar Vizsla, also known as the short-haired Hungarian pointer, is considered easy to train and friendly. But its popularity is constantly increasing, and not only in hunting circles. Because the docile Magyar Viszal has an ideal size, is not too big and not too small and all in all uncomplicated. The FCI classified the Magyar Vizsla in Group 7: Pointers, Section 1 Continental Pointers with a working test (field and water test). He is listed under the number 57.

Vizsla Dog Breed Information

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Size: 48-65cm
Weight: 18-30kg
FCI group: 7: pointing dogs
Section: 1: Continental Pointers
Country of origin: Hungary
Colours: gold, red, red-gold, rust, gold-rust, dark bun yellow
Life expectancy: 12-15 years
Suitable as: hunting, family and guard dog
Sports: dummy training, flyball
Personality: Calm, Loyal, Affectionate, Energetic, Gentle
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling potential: low
Thickness of hair: rather low
Maintenance effort: low
Coat Structure: Shorthair: Short, dense, coarse, hard Wirehair: Wirehaired, close fitting, strong, dense and lackluster
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes
Social: yes

Origin and breed history

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The history of the Magyar Vizsla began in the steppes of Asia. In the early Middle Ages, the itinerant horsemen of the Magyars settled on the plain between the crescent-shaped Carpathian mountain range in present-day Hungary. For hunting, they used small pointer dogs, the ancestors of today’s Magyar Vizsla. Guide dogs sniff out game, but do not scare it away once they have spotted it. They remain motionless and raise one foreleg to show the hunter which way the game is heading. The yellowish-brown color of the dogs was ideal for hunting in the steppes.

In the course of the Middle Ages, the dog spread throughout Europe through trade and politics and enjoyed increasing popularity. The Magyar Vizsla were deliberately bred as early as the 17th century. Dogs of this breed were ideal for hunting waterfowl, pheasants, partridges and fallow deer. Unfortunately, in the 19th century, the Hungarian hounds were more and more replaced by the modern English hounds, such as the pointers, and breeding declined. The short-haired Hungarian pointer was becoming rarer and threatened with extinction. With an appeal in 1916, dedicated lovers tried to revive the breed, which they succeeded in doing. They crossed other breeds, such as the English Pointer or the German Shorthaired Pointer.

The breed was recognized by the FCI as early as 1936 and included in the list. Crossing the German Wirehaired Pointer resulted in the wirehaired variant of the Magyar Vizsla, which was recognized as an independent breed by the FCI in 1956. With the end of the Second World War and the erection of the Iron Curtain, breeding collapsed again, so that the pointing dog is only known to enthusiasts and in hunting circles. In Germany, in 1977 the association of Hungarian hunting dogs was founded, which also includes the Magyar Vizsla.

Nature & temperament of the Magyar Vizsla

The Hungarian Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting dog through and through. And yet he is a sensitive person who immediately notices when the atmosphere in his family is not right. He is closely tied to his family, he would like to be there with them everywhere and follow his mistress or master at every turn. When socialized well, he is a friendly, happy dog who is also great with children.

In his home he gets along with everyone and everyone. It should not be overlooked that he is an intelligent hunting dog that is used to thinking and acting independently. His hunting instinct is strong and his willingness to perform is high. He learns easily and the curious dog wants to learn and be kept busy both physically and mentally.

Is the Magyar Vizsla a family dog?

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The Magyar Vizsla is primarily a hunting dog, a working dog that likes to be kept busy. When exercised and well socialized, he will also make an ideal family pet. It can help that older children take him to dog sports to keep him busy and bond.

Appearance of the Magyar Vizsla

The medium-sized Magyar Vizsla is slim, elegant and athletic. Lovers like to refer to him as “beautiful as a statue”. His stature is reminiscent of a greyhound. Bitches are between 53 cm and 57 cm tall, males between 56 cm and 61 cm, with a weight between 20 kg and 30 kg.

The back is straight. The head looks noble and the snout is elongated. The nostrils of the Magyar Vizsla Shorthair are wide. With them he is an excellent tracker. The dark eyes look awake into the world. The ears are V-shaped and drooping. The fur is short, dense and without an undercoat. It is the color of sand or fresh bread, each in different shades. Small white spots on the chest and legs are allowed by the breed standard.

When is a Magyar Vizsla fully grown?

A Magyar Vizsla is fully grown at around one year old.

Upbringing and keeping of the Magyar Vizsla – this is important to note

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Basically, the Magyar Vizsla is easy to train because it is intelligent and learns easily. Nevertheless, one should not underestimate the upbringing of the Magyar Vizsla and see it as child’s play. He needs a loving but consistent upbringing. Training this sensitive, stress-prone dog with harshness is not appropriate, but usually not necessary. When training, you should above all rely on mutual trust, because the self-confident dog wants to be a partner. Going to a dog school is always a good decision. The training not only helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly in the upbringing. The dog is well socialized in the puppy group and the dog school, learns how to deal with other dogs and the joint training strengthens the bond between man and dog.

A Magyar Vizsla is attached to his human and he absolutely needs the connection to his family. A life in a kennel would be the worst thing that could happen to him. The Magyar Vizsla feels most comfortable in a house with a secure garden. The Hungarian dog is not suitable for life in the big city or in a small apartment.

How much does a Magyar Vizsla cost?

The price for a Magyar Vizsla from a reputable breeder is between $1,500.00 and $1,800.00. In addition, there are ongoing costs for food, dog tax, insurance, and veterinary costs, if necessary, for the annual routine check-up and vaccinations, as well as for treatment after accidents or the like.

Nutrition of the dog

Whether as a helper in the hunt or as a dog trainer: the active Magyar Vizsla needs balanced food tailored to its needs with a high protein content and good carbohydrates. Like all dogs, he is happy about a bone and raw meat from time to time. The Hungarian breed is well suited to BARF, i.e. putting together the feed from raw meat, fruit and vegetables and healthy fats.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

Magyar Vizslas are considered robust and healthy. The only known hereditary disease is Vizsla myositis, a weakening of the bite muscles that leads to difficulty swallowing. But the breeding regulations are strict and a reputable breeder will only place puppies with healthy parents. Unfortunately, puppies are repeatedly sold by multipliers who offer the puppies at a lower price. The animals then often suffer from dysplasia, tumors or epilepsy.

However, a puppy from a reputable breeder can live to be 14 to 16 years old with good care and good health.

How old do Magyar Vizsla get?

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Magyar Vizsla is between 12 and 14 years old.

Care of the Magyar Vizsla

Caring for the pointing dog is easy, but should not be neglected. The coat should be brushed regularly. If the Magyar Vizsla likes to rummage through tall grass or bushes, it needs to be checked regularly for ticks or other vermin. The ears also need to be checked and cleaned regularly. Dirt collects far too easily under the lop ears, which can quickly lead to inflammation.

Magyar Vizsla – activities and training

When it comes to hunting, the Magyar Vizsla is a consummate professional. Dogs of this breed are pointing dogs that want and need to work. If the dog is not challenged in his home, he will quickly show behavioral problems. Fortunately, he is not only satisfied with the hunt. He loves track work and is also in good hands when it comes to mantrailing. He is also well suited as a rescue dog. the pointing dog loves the water and training as a water rescue dog suits him well. Sensitive as he is, he can also be used as a therapy dog or, for example, visit people in retirement homes.

But he will also enjoy other types of dog sports. Whether dummy training, where the dummy can land in the water, agility, flyball, dog dancing, dog frisbee or another sport, the active dog will be enthusiastic. Because the most important thing for him is that he is with his people and does something with them.

Good to know: Peculiarities of the Magyar Vizsla

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The popularity of the breed is not only growing steadily in Germany, but worldwide. There are now 21 Magyar Vizsla Clubs in the United States. Some Magyar Vizslas have managed to become stars on the internet and Instagram. For example, the Magyar Vizsla lady Ruby, who goes on mountain bike tours in Great Britain with her master and reports on them, is well known.

How long do Magyar Vizsla grow?

Magyar Vizsla usually grow 12 months.

Disadvantages of the Magyar Vizsla

What pleases one person may cause difficulties for another. The strong hunting drive of the Magyar Vizsla is of course ideal and desirable for hunters. For everyone else, however, this means that they can only let their dog run free if they are absolutely sure of it. And that requires a lot of educational work. The leash requirement should be taken very seriously here if the Hungarian dog is not yet hearing 100 percent.

Is the Magyar Vizsla right for me?

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A Magyar Vizsla is best kept in the hands of a ranger or hunter with gun dog experience. However, the Hungarian pointer is also suitable for active people who have a lot of time for their dog and want to do a lot with them. When it comes to education, his people must be and be able to remain consistent. Above all, they should see the dog as a partner in sports and games. He doesn’t want to be a dog that just follows orders. He wants to spend a lot of time with his people and would like to be with them all the time. This dog breed should not be left alone for long. The Shorthaired Hungarian Pointing Dog is therefore not suitable for working people, unless it has the opportunity to accompany its owner to work, for example as an office dog.

The Hungarian pointing dog will not feel comfortable in the city. He wants to be able to move in the great outdoors. However, it is imperative that he is well trained and comes back on command if you want to let him off leash. The hunting instinct is strong and it often happens that the dog forgets everything it has learned when it sees game, which unfortunately can have bad consequences. In the worst case, the poaching dog is shot. A home with a secure yard where the pointing dog can run around safely is best suited for a Magyar Vizsla.

Above all, before purchasing a puppy, you should be aware that you will be responsible for a living being for 14 to 16 years. A short-haired Hungarian Pointer has a comparatively long lifespan for a dog.