History of the Hungarian Vizsla

What I've written below is a very potted history of the Hungarian Vizsla...if you'd like a more detailed account please click on the Hungarian Vizsla Society - History link. And if you'd like even more information why not get a copy of, what I consider to be the Vizsla bible...Gay Gottlieb's book: "The Hungarian Vizsla" - ISBN number 185279104-7.

A Story History

The Vizsla was already known in early Hungarian history. The ancestors of the present Vizsla were the trusted & favorite hunting dogs of the Magyar tribes who lived in the Carpathian Basin in the 10th century. Primitive stone etchings over a thousand years old show the Magyar hunter with his falcon & his Vizsla.

The first written reference to the Vizsla dog breed has been recorded in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle prepared on order of King Lajos the Great (Louis the Great) by the Carmelite Friars in 1357.

Companion dogs of the early warlords & barons, Vizsla blood was preserved pure for centuries by the land-owning aristocracy who guarded them jealously & continued to develop the hunting ability of these "yellow-pointers". Records of letters and writings show the high esteem in which the Vizsla was held.

The Vizsla survived the Turkish occupation (1526–1696), the Hungarian Revolution (1848–49), World War I, World War II & the Russian Occupation. However, Vizslas faced & survived several near-extinctions in their history, including being overrun by English Pointers & German Shorthair Pointers in the 1800s & again to near-extinction after World War II. A careful search of Hungary & a poll of Hungarian sportsmen revealed only about a dozen Vizslas of the true type still alive in the country. From that minimum stock, the breed rose to prominence once again. The various "strains" of the Vizsla have become somewhat distinctive as individuals bred stock that suited their hunting style. The Austria-Hungary Empire extended its influence over a large area for many years, but following its collapse in 1918, owners of Vizslas found themselves living in Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy, & Poland, as well as Austria & Hungary.

The Vizsla was used in development of other breeds, most notably the Weimaraner, Wire-haired Vizsla and German Shorthair Pointer breeds. There is much conjecture about those same breeds, along with other pointer breeds, being used to reestablish the Vizsla breed at the end of 19th century. In either case the striking resemblance among the three breeds is indisputable.