Vizsla: Breed of the Week
Photographs by Natalie Siebers
Many years ago a friend of mine found himself foster parent to nine Vizsla puppies. He was able to find wonderful homes for all but one, the smallest. I scooped her up (literally, she was that small!), and delivered her to my sister in Virginia where she grew into a beautiful dog named Luci.
Luci was true to the breed. Vizslas are gentle, loving loyal dogs, whose capacity to learn is amazing.
According to the Dog Breed Info Center, the Vizsla is believed to be a descendant of the Transylvania Hound and the Turkish Yellow Dog, with several breeds of Pointer mixed in. They are speedy runners, bred to hunt waterfowl and rabbit. Vizslas need to exercise daily; they are not suitable for idle owners and may not be the best breed for apartment dwellers, unless you yourself are very active.
Vizslas are a monochromatic golden rust color except for the nose, which is flesh-colored. They are medium-sized dogs, with males topping out at about 25 inches at the withers and weighing about 60 pounds; the females are a bit smaller. Their short coat requires little more than brushing a few times a month.
They are great working dogs. They score “Excellent” when it comes to understanding new commands. They obey first commands about 85% of the time according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior. That means it takes about five to ten repetitions for them to learn new commands.
And, as my Facebook friend and owner of Vizsla Ginger, Mark Davila says, they bond very closely with their owners:
If you’re looking for a personal stalker, the Vizsla is for you! Vizslas personify the idea of a canine companion being a member of the family. Similar to other companion breeds like the Weimaraner and German Shorthaired Pointer, Vizslas are happiest when in the company of their humans. If allowed, they will maintain almost constant physical contact with members of their packs. Unlike some companion breeds that identify a [single] member of the family-pack as their preferred human, the Vizsla is more likely to identify all family members as theirs, and hence do best with families who would welcome that attachment style.”
Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 did a wonderful piece on this delightful breed. Follow this link to learn more. And click here to visit the American Kennel Club’s page on the breed. And here’s a link to the Vizsla Club of America. They can make great Urban Dogs, just make sure you keep them active and engaged. A bored Vizsla is an unhappy Vizsla!
And just because you can never look at too many puppy pics, here is one last one! For more pictures by Natalie Siebers, visit her website.