The National Pointer of Hungary, the Vizsla has taken America by storm.


Vizslas are one of the oldest sporting breeds; their ancestors hunted with the Magyar tribes back in the tenth century. Initially called "yellow pointers," they were valued for their ability to both trail mammals as well as point and retrieve birds.

The breed has twice been near extinction: first, in the late 1800s when they were crossed with other pointing breeds, and second, after World War II, when almost none were left in Hungary.

The first Vizslas came to America in 1950, where they gained attention as hunters and family dogs. Smart, playful and very energetic, Vizslas need to be entertained and challenged. Chews and toys are necessities.


Although they are far less at risk than most other larger breeds, Vizslas still have a small concern with bloat or gastric torsion, a condition in which the gases accumulate in the stomach and can't escape. The stomach may then twist, totally cutting off any ability for anything to leave the stomach. The dog's stomach enlarges as gases continue to accumulate, and the dog is restless and tries unsuccessfully to vomit. This is an extreme emergency that needs immediate veterinary attention to save the dog. Nobody knows exactly how to prevent it, but many veterinarians advocate feeding an anti-gas pill with every meal.

Vizsla coat care is easy. Brush weekly to remove dead hair, and wash as needed. A good all-purpose shampoo is fine for most Vizslas. If your dog is itchy, an avocado oil or oatmeal based shampoo can help alleviate the itchiness. If the color seems washed out, you may also opt to use a color-enhancing shampoo.

Check your Vizsla's ears weekly. Apply an ear cleanser any time the ears start to accumulate dark secretions. Some ear wax is healthy; a lot is not. If you must apply ear medication, use the ear cleanser first to remove thick secretions that would block the medication from reaching the surface of the canal.

Brush the teeth daily.

Clip the nails every two weeks or so using a heavy-duty dog nail clipper.

Vizsla are active dogs and don't like to slow down, even for old age. But sometimes age-related arthritic changes make it tough. Besides any intervention recommended by your veterinarian, a soft cushion to lie on and glucosamine chondroitin supplements added to the diet can help soothe aching joints, and keep him as young in body as he is in spirit.