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For those who think the Vizsla was not intended to specialize in being bird dogs….


The fourth category of hunting dog is the bird dog. These are agile dog which hunt with their noses only and never give sound while hunting. This is our Hungarian Vizslas. It is interesting that even the name, In Hungarian denotes curiosity, inquisitiveness, examination (vizsgalnil, to examine) Thus it is this breed which has been bred and used for hunting ever since the migration of the tribes. Bela Hadik


For those who find it resentful for the breed to be a Gentleman’s Hunter


During the baroque era, after the invention of gunpowder and the shotgun, the pointing instinct in the dogs was further developed by selective breeding. What strains may have been injected no one can tell, but even if this was done the breeders always returned to the original form of the dog in America today. Before then game for the kitchen was trapped or noosed by paid trappers. It was during the eighteenth century that hunting and shooting became a gentlemen’s sport


These three gentlemen organized the first Vizsla show and field trial on the property of Count Vilmos Festetics in Toponar in the fall of 1922. After the successful trial they founded the Hungarian Vizsla Association and laid down the Stud Book. For foundation stock they first picked three females, Lidi, Kati and Borcsa and one stud: Rupp (This latter incidently belonged to count Steven Szechenyi of Kalmancsa, my wife’s uncle. We know that latter on they found three or four more Vizslas which they deemed worthy of registration in the stud book. All registered Hungarian Vizslas thus descend from these seven or eight dogs.



Final Paragraph of VIZSLA NEWS Hadik Letter


"From this summary it becomes apparent that twice within a reasonably short period, 1918 and 1944, a certain amount of inbreeding has become necessary to maintain the Vizsla breed. All Vizslas are therefore already fairly closely related, which fact causes me to strongly oppose any further inbreeding." Count Bela Hadik


About Old Yeller


The most powerful argument of the ancient origin of the Vizsla is his color. Scientific research by Dr Anghi Csaba Geyza, professor of the Veterinary College of Budapest, 1936, proved that the original European ancient large mammals were all one color. He does not mention the pictures found in the palace of King Matyas (the Just) at Vizsegrad.


Links about Dr Anghi Csaba Geyza who worked at the Budapest zoo for 35 years and was very involved with Magyar herding breeds.


Fox & Hen House


The role of Zoltan Hamvay and Julius Barczy is somewhat confusing in this article. Hamvay and Barczy kept the first nearly complete Vizsla stud book. "History of The Vizsla" by Mihalyi Kende. Comments made by the Canadian Breeder (Hungarian Emigrant) of Bakony Kennels from the fifties.


Kende left out the most influential Vizsla breeders after 1917 (I don’t want to touch on this problem or the reason that lie behind it)


He does not mention that if the breed committee in Hungary, on its outward appearance, registers a Vizsla, the Vizsla will be registered in the “B” studbook


He begins


I was prompted to write this article because I read a statement sent by Mr Hunt, the former Secretary of the Vizsla Club of America, that one of the States now independent, but formerly part of Hungary was claiming to have been the originating country of the Vizsla breed.


Mr Hunt asked me because the first Hungarian Vizsla to be imported into the USA in 1938 by Mr Pulitzer, came from me. My research was stimulated by the fact that as early as 1917 I had a Vizsla and had a continued interest in the breed, especially since 1932. My hunting dogs have always been Hungarian Vizslas and they have given me many pleasant and enjoyable hours. I considered it my duty therefore to protect one of our national treasures from expropriation and keep it where it belongs in the People’s Democracy Economy. In my research I used the Archives in the National Record Office, the National Szechonyi Library, as well as the Nimrod Hunting News and articles in the Foxhound.

The third picture gives an illustration of falconry. We have only to take a look at the striking falcon and its quarry, all the figures and their gestures are natural and perfectly drawn. In this picture we can see the third sort of hunting dog of our ancestors. Although the artist pictures a dog generally similar is a hound, the smaller size and shorter tail imply a different kind of dog. By itself the tail length of a dog on an initial illustration would not seem very much to base such a big conclusion. In the two previous pictures, however, the tail of the buckhound shows such familiarity, that it seems probable that the artist would have painted this one like the others if he hadn’t wished to depict another breed. It is this dog which is the ancestor of the Hungarian Vizsla of today. It seems likely that the ancient Hungarians selected from their buckhounds certain dogs who stopped immediately they found game. This halt was developed and became of longer duration. They bred these hounds that were trained to stop on finding game and as the ability was passed down to succeeding generations. It is also possible that in this breeding the bird or falcon hound became smaller than his ancestors.

The hounds depicted in these initial pictures are all shorthaired and in the main yellow colored. The bird hound is white. This does not rule out the possibility that the bird dog was bred from the hounds, but probably later, in need of new blood, the bird dog was returned to the root, the buckhound, and so the yellow color returned. This may be a reason for the white mark which still appears in the present day Vizsla, on the chest and on the paws/ (Kende comments on old 1200 tapestry.


The Word, The City, The Breed


During my research I have been unable to find a date when the word “vizsla” was first used, but for the origin of the word vizsla the linguistic professor Joseph Budenz in his Hungarian Ugrian comparative dictionary writes “The word vizsla originates from a place name and has very likely Finno-=Ugrian origins. (Compare with the Mordvin, old stem of northern Russian word vezensz, to ask, search or hunt after. Coloman (Koloman) Szily in his language form dictionary says the root of the word “visa” means to trek, search for, like the word “vizslat” and “vizslal” This was arrived at in the Sixteenth-Seventeenth Century, originally it was an adjective, i.e. huntdog, searching dog. dlb


Earliest documented Magyar field trialing?


In 1881 the Field Trial Union for Vizslas was established in Hungary. In 1882 they held the first vizsla field trial in the Danube Island Monostor, near Budapest. In this trial the English purebreds and the common vizslas had competed in separate groups. Among the vizslas was a yellow male “Boy” who was first in his group. In 1883 the field trial was again held at Monostor Island, but the number of competing vizslas was one quarter, very small. Thereafter a big press battle arose, and the majority of Hungarian hunters admitted that the field trial was not an adequate replica of actual island hunting conditions. In 1886 the Field Trial Union for vizslas was disbanded through lack of interest. In the same year, a field trial was organized for utility vizslas in Szecheny county Vas and here a light yellow bitch named Linda, proprietor John Tulok, beat the male pointer called Lord of Hanes, who was handled by the English trainer Darwing.


The Lion And The Lamb
A great deal of credit for this revival of the Hungarian vizsla must be given to Koloman Kittenberger, the famous African hunter, and proprietor of the Hunting magazine NIMROD, who placed his paper at the disposal of the vizsla breed and demonstrated with the perpetual Hungarian disposal of the vizsla breed and demonstrated with the perpetual Hungarian vizsla champions “Champ” Szikra” and “Szidi” that the Hungarian vizsla is a worthy helpmate for hunting big as well as small game and that he was first class as an eradicator or beasts of prey. Another great pioneer was Professor Andreas Feliz, a well-known dog lover, who taught us to train the vizsla by persuasion rather than force
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