The Hungarian Vizsla is a medium to large Gundog. He has good stamina and is capable of working in all weathers – good at tracking, pointing and retrieving. He is a lively and intelligent dog whose natural skills and energy will need to be channelled into activities such as obedience training. He needs an owner who is energetic, firm and experienced at handling. Careful exercise up to 12 months is recommended as over exercicse can lead to joint problems in this long legged breed. Ideally, free running should not be allowed up to five months. The Vizsla breed club recommend 7.5 minutes exercise per month of age. Ideally he should live in a house with a garden, preferably adjacent to the open countryside. When mature he will need plenty of exercise every day. He has a short, coarse coat which is relatively easy to care for.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 5.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS173.92
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
Gastric dilatation volvulus (Bloat/torsion) (the stomach fills with air and can twist, causing severe pain and requiring urgent vet attention) Common in deep chested breeds.
- Hip dysplasia: (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability) breed mean score 12.0 (parents should be lower)
- Eye disease: Progessive retinal atrophy (PRA) (annual testing) (gradual loss of sight) (none recorded in the UK to date); Goniodysgenesis/Primary Glaucoma (G) (annual testing)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Cerebellar ataxia (an aggressive and progressive neurological condition affecting gait and co-ordination).
- Hyperuricosuria (HUU) (Wirehaired)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
- Bitches should not produce a litter under two years old
- Bitches should not produce more than one litter within a 12 month period
Hungarian Vizsla Club Health page:
Open Registry of Polymyositis Affected Vizslas:
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Atopic dermatitis (itchy skin disease due to allergy to environmental particles)
- Sebaceous adenitis (scaly skin disease)
- Polmyositis (difficulty swallowing and muscle wasting in young dogs) (autoimmune disease) Breed club research: www.hungarianvizslaclub.org.uk/Health.html
- Myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disease causing weakness) (autoimmune disease)
- Cancer: perianal gland tumors
- Haemophilia A (blood clotting disease)
- Entropion (inward growing eye lashes, causing irritation, pain and damage to the eye)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: