428 — The Versatile, Velcro Vizsla: Hunting Dog of the Magyar


The Versatile, Velcro Vizsla: Hunting Dog of the Magyar

Vizsla enthusiasts Kathy Rust, Ashley Uffman and Vizsla Club of America President Melissa Lembke join host Laura Reeves for a conversation about this medium sized, short coated versatile hunting dog.

From the Vizsla Club of America website:

“The Hungarian or Magyar Vizsla … is mentioned in the very early times in Hungarian history, while his exact origin is lost in the midst of ancient European history. It is known that the ancestors of the present Vizsla were the trusted and favorite hunting dogs of the Magyar tribes who lived in the Carpathian basin in the Eighth Century. Primitive stone etchings over a thousand years old show the Magyar hunter with his falcon and his Vizsla.

Companion dogs of the early warlords and barons, Vizsla blood was preserved pure for centuries by the land owning aristocracy who guarded them jealously and continued to develop the the hunting ability of these “yellow-pointers,” the golden rust coloration from tip to tail. Records of letters and writings show the high esteem in which the Vizsla has always been held through the centuries.

The Vizsla survived the Turkish occupation (1526-1696), the Hungarian Civil War (1848-49), World War I, World War II and the Russian Occupation. However, the breed suffered a decline in the late 19th century, and the true Vizsla was close to being extinct. A careful search of Hungary and 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.”

“We can do just about anything with this breed,” Uffman said. “We hunt waterfowl, you know, ducks, geese. Also Upland birds: quail, chukar, pheasants … they have webbed feet. They love to swim and they’re just built for it.”

Three Dog Night

“… originally the term came because they like to burrow underneath the covers,” Lembke said. “They like to be covered up. In the past, when it got so cold out that they needed three dogs to keep them warm they called it A 3 dog night. So what I love about the Vizsla is that they are constantly trying to steal the covers. They want to burrow … under the covers, right on top of you, touching you  … they are a furnace. If you think of the castles way back in 1300-1400, they had no heat, so literally they helped keep the kids warm under the covers.”

“A great Vizsla owner is the person that wants that dog to be part of their lives every minute of the day,” Rust said. “They’re called the Velcro Vizsla for a reason. When you stop and you’re sitting in the house, they’re touching you, they’re sitting in your lap or cuddling with you. When you get up to go to the bathroom, there there to watch you to make sure that everything’s fine. They want to have that continuous companionship … I think that’s due to the fact that they were bred to be very close to their people.”



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