Origin and Purpose: The Vizsla (Smooth-Haired)
(pronounced as if spelled VIZH-LA) is of Hungarian origin, where
various records indicate its history as going back many centuries.
It was the companion hunting dog of the early warlords and landed
aristocracy who used it for general-purpose hunting. It was known in
Hungary as the “Yellow” Pointer. In North America it is used
primarily as an upland bird dog, where its excellent scenting and
retrieving characteristics have been widely acclaimed. It is a
strong swimmer and also retrieves well from water.
General Appearance: The Vizsla is a short-haired,
medium-sized sporting dog. It conveys the impression of an alert,
muscular, well-balanced animal with a distinctive and aristocratic
Temperament: The Vizsla is intelligent, calm,
obedient, and easy to train. It is a sensitive dog which becomes
attached to its owner and develops a strong but not overly
aggressive protective instinct. In the field, the Vizsla is an
eager, happy hunter which is at home on land and in the water.
Size: The standard size, measured at the withers,
for the Vizsla is 23 in. (58 cm) for males and 22 in. (56 cm.) for
females. A dog of good bone and substance in this size range shall
weight from 50-65 lb. (22 - 29 kg). A bitch weighs about 10 lb. (5
kg) less. The length to height ratio should be approximately 1:1.
Coat and Colour: The hair of the Vizsla should be
short and dense and lie close to the skin. Each hair should be thick
and elastic and the coat should have a glossy sheen. The correct
colour is a golden-rust, sometimes described as the golden colour of
a bread crust. In some strains slightly lighter or darker shades may
predominate. A white mark on the chest under 2 in. (5 cm) is
permissible but not desirable.
Head: Skull should convey an impression of being
lean and muscular, with a median line down the forehead. The topline
of the skull should be straight. The skull tends to be comparatively
narrow in relation to its length, with that of the male being
slightly wider. The occiput is slightly visible. The stop should be
slight and sloping rather than abrupt. Muzzle: the muzzle should be
approximately the same length as the skull. It should be narrow, end
squarely, and have clean straight lines. Mouth: the jaws should be
strong, and well-developed teeth meeting in a scissors or even bite.
The lips should be smooth and well developed and cover the teeth
tightly. The lips extend in a level line 3/4 of the length of the
muzzle. Eyes: they should be almond shaped, bright and intelligent
in appearance. The colour is in harmony with or darker than the
colour of the coat; they should be moderately deep set. The eyelids
close neatly and cleanly with no overlap. The nictitating membrane
should not be overly exposed. Ears: the ears should be thin, silky
and moderately tapered with rounded ends. They should just meet
under the jaw, or reach to the corner of the mouth, but should not
extend as far as the canine teeth. They should be set about 1/2 inch
(1 cm) below the level of the skull and hang close to the cheeks.
Neck: The neck should be of medium length in
proportion to the body, it must be well muscled, with a definite
arch at the nape and widened to blend smoothly into the
forequarters. The skin of the neck should be smooth and tight.
Forequarters Shoulders: The shoulder blade should
be of medium length and must be tightly held in place. The angle
formed by the shoulder blade (scapula) and the humerus should be
approximately 90 degrees. The musculature should be firm, smooth and
clearly defined. Upper-arm (humerus): The bone
structure should be heavy, smooth and well covered by strong firm
muscles. The skin should be firm, pliable and smooth. The upper-arm
should be equal in length to the shoulder blade (scapula). Lower-arm
(radius and ulna): Strong big bones with good muscles. The
legs should be straight whether viewed from the front or side. The
angle at the elbow joint should be approximately 135 degrees. Pasterns: The
angle that the pastern makes with the lower leg should be nearly
straight (about 175-180 degrees). Paws: The paws
should be cat-like with tightly closed toes and big rough pads. The
feet should be webbed. The nails should be short, firm and well
curved, and their colour should be similar to that of the eyes, nose
and coat. Dewclaws, if not removed, should be held
tightly against the leg.
Body: Topline: the topline should be broad and
smooth and is slightly arched over the loin and croup to the base of
the tail; there is a slight depression at the juncture of the
withers and the back. Chest: the chest should be
deep, reaching down to the elbows and moderately broad. A
cross-section of the chest is oval with well spring ribs, narrowing
between the elbows to permit free and easy leg movement. Width of
the chest between the forelegs is at least 6 in. (15 cm) for a male
and 5 in. (13 cm) for a bitch. Loin: it should be
broad, strong and well muscled. Croup: it should be
heavily muscled and smoothly rounded to the base of the tail. Abdomen: the
abdomen should be trim and neat with a moderate tuck-up.
Hindquarters: Hip bone (pelvis): this is the
framework which forms the basic support for the hind legs. These
pelvic bones should be wide and strong. The musculature attaching to
these bones should be very well developed and gives strength to the
hindquarters. Upper thigh (femur): this bone should
be heavy, straight, round, and smooth. Muscle attachments should be
very powerful, broad, and evenly distributed. The angle at the hip
joint should be 90 degrees. Lower thigh (tibia and fibula) should be
well muscled. These bones should be longer than the femur. The angle
at the stifle joint should be 110-120 degrees. Hocks: the angle at
the hock joint should be from 125 - 130 degrees. Paws: same as the
Tail: The tail is set below the level of the croup
and is moderately thick, tapering towards the end. It is well
covered by dense coat. An undocked tail reaches to the hock joint.
If the tail is docked, to reduce the chance of injury when hunting,
it should be docked by approximately 1/3, so that the tip is level
with the stifle joint.
The tail is straight or slightly curved. When the dog is in motion,
the tail is carried outstretched at or slightly above horizontal.
Gait: Viewed from the front, the dog’s legs should
appear to swing forward in a free and easy manner, with no tendency
for the feet to cross over or swing wide. Viewed from the rear the
gait should be true-tracking. The topline is level when dog is in
motion, while the head is carried high and the tail “flags”
constantly at the proper level.
1. Very nervous dogs should be heavily penalized.
2. Very dark or very light colour coat.
3. Hare feet.
4. Light yellow, green, blue or “Pop” eyes.
6. Dogs 10 lb. (4.536 kg) over or under the standard weight.
7. Roached, hollow or camel backs.
8. Too steep a croup.
9. Undershot or overshot bites.
1. A dog 2 in. (5 cm) or more over or under the standard height.
2. White markings over 2 in. (5 cm) on the chest or white markings
anywhere else other than the chest.