The earliest written references to the Vizsla, or "yellow pointer" as it was first known, occur in the 14th century, and from then on, the breed's history is fairly well documented. The tradition of selective breeding and limited ownership was continued by Hungarian nobleman down through the centuries, so that at no time were the dogs really plentiful. The dog's breeding was always jealously guarded, and for several centuries ownership was restricted to members of the landowning aristocracy. In fact the breed came close to dying out on several occasions and was almost obliterated by the two world wars. With the Russian occupation of Hungary in 1945, many Hungarian citizens fled to other countries, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Germany and Turkey. Among these individuals were Vizsla owners who took their dogs with them when they left Hungary; the descendants of these dogs formed the cornerstone of the breed in the United States, where they first appeared about 1950.
In 1960, the Vizsla became the 115th breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. The official breed standard was developed by the Vizsla Club of America and should be used as a guideline for understanding and appreciating this fabulous breed.
In the ensuing decades, the Vizsla has become reasonably well known as a member of the versatile or continental gun dog group. The continental gun dogs were originally bred as multi purpose hunting dogs. They were expected to find, point, and retrieve game birds; fetch waterfowl; and in many cases hunt both large and small game animals. The Vizsla was considered a walking gentleman’s hunting dog.
Like the other continental breeds the Vizsla's primary development in the United States has been as a bird dog. Progress within the breed has been noteworthy. The breed as a whole is much better than it was in the 1950s with more style and ground speed.
The Vizsla still remains one of the lesser-known Sporting Dogs. Vizsla fanciers are determined to preserve the breed's integrity and produce a dual dog -- a beautiful dog that hunts!! Conscientious caring breeders usually have waiting lists of prospective buyers and litters may be completely sold out even before the pups are born. Interested puppy buyers should steer away from dogs advertised in the newspaper and backyard breeders.
Vizslas are a sensitive breed thriving on human contact and having a tendency to mature rather slowly. Obviously, the more impatient individuals among us would probably be better served with another breed -- one which comes on more quickly and can stand up to a more rigorous training regime than the type advocated by the majority of Vizsla fanciers. But given the breed's handsome appearance, companionable temperament, and stylish performance in the field, the Vizsla still has plenty to recommend it to the sportsman looking for a distinctive and easy handling gun dog.