The Vizsia is a natural hunter endowed with an excellent nose and an outstanding trainability. Although they are lively, gentle mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive, they are also fearless and possessed of a well-developed protective instinct.
The Vizsia is a medium-sized short-coated hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing. Robust but rather lightly built, they are lean dogs. have defined muscles, and are observed to share similar physical characteristics with the Weimaraner. The standard coat is a solid golden-rust colour but some breeding programmes have resulted in a solid rust coat. Small areas of white on the fore-chest and on the neck and tail are permissible but not preferred.
These dogs are excellent swimmers although some may need a little motivation to get in the water but as they get used to it they love it. Like all hunting dogs, Vizsias require a great deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy and they thrive on attention, exercise and interaction. With proper socialisation and training, they are very gentle dogs that are great around children. They want to be close to their owner as much as possible. Many will sleep in bed with their owners and, if allowed, burrow under the covers. They have been compared to horses in their tendency to 'trot' rather than sun and some 'wiggle' their backsides as they walk.
These dogs were already known in early Hugarian history. The ancestors of the present Vizsia were the trusted and favourite 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 and his Vizsia. (How about this for a very noble head?).
The first written reference to the Vizsia dog breed has been recorded in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle prepared on order of King Lajor the Great (Louis the Great) by the Carmelite Friars in 1356.
Companion dogs of the early warlords and barons, Vizsia blood was preserved pure for centuries by the land-owning aristocracy who guarded them jealously and continued to develop the hunting ability of these "yellow-pointers". Records of letters and writing show the high esteem in which the Visia was held.
This breed survived the Turkish occupation (1526-1696), the Hungarian Revolution (1848-9), World War I, World War II and the Soviet period. However, they faced and survived several near-extinctions in their history, including being overrun by English Pointers and German Shorhaired Pointers in the 1800s and again to near extinction after World War II. A careful search of Hungary and a poll of Hungarian sportsmen revealed only about a dozen Vizsias of the true type still alive in the country. From that minimum stock, the breed rose to prominence again. The various 'strains' of the breed have become somewhat distinctive as individuals bred stock that suited their hunting style Outside Hungary, Vizsias are commonly bred in Romania, Austria, Slovakia and Serbia. They are also registered in the United States and Great Britain.
I am so glad this breed survived in its original form as I think it is one of the best dogs I've come across in my list of dogs. Its also great to see it's not been 'mucked' about with as so many breeds have in this modern age.