Magyar Vizsla – Hunting Dogs with Hungarian Roots

There are two varieties of Hungarian pointing dogs: the short-haired Rovidszoru Magyar vizsla has been internationally known since the mid-20th century. In the 1930s, the Wirehaired German Pointer was crossbred to breed a more robust type of Magyar Vizlar, the Drotszoru magyar vizsla. Here you can find out what distinguishes the two breeds from each other and in which areas of work they are used:

Comparison of Short-Haired and Wire-Haired Hungarian Pointers

Although wire-haired and short-haired Magyar Vizsla dogs are similar in many respects, they can be distinguished from one another at first glance. For both breeds, males should ideally measure 58-64cm at the withers and females should be 54-60cm. Males weigh between 20 and 29 kilograms, bitches weigh between 18 and 25 kilograms (short-haired). The wire-haired Magyar Vizsla is more robust and heavier, but still appears gaunt – large males weigh 70 pounds or more.

  • To the FCI breed standard for short-haired Hungarian pointers.
  • To the FCI breed standard for wire-haired Hungarian pointers.

Characteristics of the Hungarian Pointing Dogs in detail

  • The breed descriptions of Wirehaired Pointer and Shorthaired Pointer are similar in detail. The only difference: when describing the wire-haired type, it is noted that it is said to be “more robust” than the short-haired Hungarian Pointer.
  • The moderately broad skull shows a slight forehead furrow and is typical of Bracken. The muzzle is about half the length of the head and the bridge of the nose is straight. It hardly tapers towards the tip (blunt). The lips are tight and the cheeks are clearly pronounced.
  • Due to the oval and straight eyes, the facial expression appears intelligent and attentive. The eye color should be as dark as possible.
  • The well-developed nose is only very rarely black. In most dogs, it is the same color as the coat.
  • The lop ears are set far back and rather in the middle. They end in a rounded V-shape. They are slightly longer in the Short-Haired Hungarian Pointer than in the Wire-Haired Hungarian Pointer.
  • No loose throat skin (dewlap) grows on the medium-length neck. The neck is very muscular and slightly arched.
  • The body is slightly longer than it is tall, with a strong chest and strong, straight back. Loins and croup are rather broad and muscular.
  • The forelegs are straight and placed well under the upper body. Arms and thighs are long and sinewy. The gait is described as a “space-covering trot”.
  • The strong tail tapers slightly towards the tip. It is low on and may not be docked in Germany. Abroad, it is often shortened by a quarter.

The hair coat of the Hungarian Pointing Dog

Rovidszoru magyar vizsla – Short-Haired Hungarian Pointer

  • No undercoat.
  • The hair is short, smooth lying, and harsh.
  • It only grows a little longer on the tail.
  • Bread yellow in various shades are the only permitted coat color for the breed.
  • The ears maybe a little darker, and small white markings on the chest and paws are allowed.

Drotszoru magyar vizsla – Wirehaired Hungarian Pointer

  • Dense undercoat (stock hair).
  • Wiry guard hair, 2 to 3 cm long.
  • Longer hair on the eyebrows and muzzle (mustache).
  • In the case of the Wirehaired Pointer, only different shades of bread yellow are desired as coat colors.
  • The hair on the head and ears is usually slightly shorter and darker than on the body. Small white markings on the chest and paws are also allowed.

Differences between similar breeds

  • Weimaraners are similar to the short-haired Magyar Vizslas, but they are larger and more powerful. Also, Weimaraners are bred exclusively to be silver or silver-grey.
  • German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers are also more heavily built and bred in other color variations.
  • The Vizsla can also be easily distinguished from the English Pointer by its typical coloring.
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks share a similar coloration and Bracken-like head but are significantly larger and broader than the agile Viszlas.

The History of the Magyar Viszlas: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Race

The oldest Hungarian records of short-haired Magyar Vizslas date back to the 14th century. According to some sources, ancestors of the breed were introduced to Hungary from Asia as early as the 9th century. The yellow pointer was long isolated in the Hungarian upper class and only traded within the Hungarian nobility. An official breeding club was not founded until 1920.

An endangered species

The breed was on the brink of extinction on several occasions, and after the end of the Second World War, there were only 12 purebreds left in Hungary. Today, the slender pointer is popular in many countries; it is most commonly held in the USA, Serbia, Austria, and Romania.

Progenitor for new hunting dog breeds

Many modern gun dog breeds such as the Weimaraner, German Shorthaired Pointer, or Hungarian Wirehaired Pointer are the result of crosses between shorthaired Viszlas and larger gundogs. For example, the Wirehaired Magyar Vizsla was first bred in the 1930s from the short-haired Magyar Vizsla dog and the German Wirehaired Pointer.

The Essence of the Magyar Vizsla Breeds

If you compare the nature of the short-haired and the wire-haired Magyar Vizsla, one difference is particularly noticeable: Hungary’s short-haired pointing dogs are made for working in warm climates and are very sensitive to the cold due to their single-layered fur. When the weather is bad, it is difficult for them to be persuaded to go for long walks. The wire-haired Hungarian pointer it’s completely different: With its water-repellent stick hair, it can work in the water and on land in any weather without feeling uncomfortable.

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