Description & History

The Vizsla or Golden Pointer is the national dog of Hungary. The breed dates back to before 1000 AD and migrated with the Magyar tribes from the Steppes of Asia to the Carpathian Basin - now Hungary.

Today's dogs are descended from the Magyar hunting dogs and from the Turkish yellow dog which accompanied the invading Turkish armies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The name Vizsla comes from a small hamlet in the Danube valley. The Vizsla hunts, points and retrieves both wing and fur from land and water in all weathers.

Before big game declined, Vizsla were used in packs for hunting large animals. In the forests they would hunt deer, while in wooded and open country they hunted and retrieved hare and pheasant. Also they were used to find, point and retrieve waterfowl from rivers and river banks.

The breed became almost extinct as a result of two World Wars and the Russian invasion in 1956. The Vizsla is another of the breeds from continental Europe which came to Great Britain after the Second World War, arriving in 1953.

Primarily they are gundogs and therefore should lead an active outdoor life.

Rosamund Walters.

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