Vizsla Breed Standard
AKC MEET THE BREED: Vizsla
Originally from Hungary, the Vizsla is a medium-sized, short-coated hunting dog that is
essentially Pointer in type, although he combines characteristics of both pointer and retriever. An
attractive golden rust in color, this "dual" dog is popular in both the field and the show ring due to his power and drive while hunting and his trainability in the home.
A Look Back
The Vizsla’s ancestors were hunters and companions for the Magyar hordes, a tribe that settled
in what is now known as Hungary. A favorite of early barons, Vizslas are depicted in etchings as
far back as the 10th century. The agricultural terrain of Hungary created a dog of superior nose and high-class hunting ability well-suited to Hungarian climate and a variety of game, including upland game, rabbits and waterfowl. Nearly extinct by the end of the World Wars, the Vizsla gradually regained popularity and began to be imported into the United States in the 1950s.
Right Breed for You?
The Vizsla thrives as part of an active family that provides daily exercise. He is lively and
affectionate to his people, and possesses an above-average ability to take training. Although he
sheds, his short coat requires low daily maintenance
That of a medium-sized, short-coated, hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing.
Robust but rather lightly built, the coat is an attractive shaded golden rust. Originating in
Hungary, the Vizsla was bred to work in field, forest and water. Agile and energetic, this is a
versatile dog of power, drive and endurance in the field yet a tractable and affectionate
companion in the home. It is strongly emphasized that field conditioned coats, as well as brawny
or sinewy muscular condition and honorable scars indicating a working and hunting dog are never
to be penalized in this dog. The requisite instincts and abilities to maintain a "dual dog" are always to be fostered and appreciated, never deprecated.
Lean and muscular. Skull moderately wide between the ears with a median line down the
forehead. Stop between skull and foreface is moderate.Foreface or muzzle is of equal length or
slightly shorter than skull when viewed in profile, should taper gradually from stop to tip of nose.
Muzzle square and deep. It should not turn up as in a "dish" face nor should it turn down. Whiskers serve a functional purpose; their removal is permitted but not preferred. Nostrils slightly open. Nose self-colored. Any other color is faulty. A partially or completely black nose is a
disqualification. Freckles due to aging or sun exposure are not to be faulted. Ears, thin, silky and
proportionately long, with rounded-leather ends, set fairly low and hanging close to
cheeks. Jaws are strong with well developed white teeth meeting in a scissors bite. Eyes medium
in size and depth of setting, their surrounding tissue covering the whites. Color of the iris should
blend with the color of the coat. Yellow or any other color is faulty. Prominent pop eyes are faulty.
Lower eyelids should neither turn in nor out since both conditions allow seeds and dust to irritate
the eye. Lips cover the jaws completely but are neither loose nor pendulous.
Neck and Body
Neck strong, smooth and muscular, moderately long, arched and devoid of dewlap, broadening
nicely into shoulders which are moderately laid back. This is mandatory to maintain balance with
the moderately angulated hindquarters. Body is strong and well proportioned. Withers high. While
the Vizsla may appear square, when measured from point of breastbone to point of buttocks and
from the highest point over the shoulder blades to the ground, the Vizsla is slightly longer than
tall. A proper proportion of leg length to body length is essential to the desired overall balance of
the Vizsla. The Vizsla should not appear long and low or tall and leggy. Backline firm with a slight
rise over a short and well muscled loin. The croup is gently rounded to the set on of the tail and is
not steep, sunken or flat. When moving at a trot, a properly built Vizsla maintains a steady, level
backline. Chest moderately broad and deep reaching down to the elbows. Ribs well-sprung and
carried well back; underline exhibiting a slight tuck-up beneath the loin. Tail set just below the
level of the croup, thicker at the root and docked one-third off. Ideally, it should reach to the back
of the stifle joint and when moving it should be carried at or near the horizontal, not vertically or
curled over the back, nor between the legs. A docked tail is preferred.
Shoulder blades proportionately long and wide sloping moderately back and fairly close at the
top. Upper arm is about equal in length to the shoulder blade in order to allow for good
extension. Forelegs straight and muscular with elbows close. Feetcat-like, round and compact
with toes close. Nails brown and short. Pads thick and tough. The removal of dewclaws, if any, on
front and rear feet, is strongly recommended, in order to avoid injury when running in the field.
Hind legs have well developed thighs with moderately angulated stifles and hocks in balance with
the moderately laid back shoulders. They must be straight as viewed from behind. Too much
angulation at the hocks is as faulty as too little. The hocks are let down and parallel to each other.
Short, smooth, dense and close-lying, without woolly undercoat. A distinctly long coat is a
Golden rust in varying shades. Lighter shadings over the sides of the neck and shoulders
giving the appearance of a saddle common. Solid dark mahogany and pale yellow are faulty.
White on the forechest, preferably as small as possible, and white on the toes are
permissible. Solid white extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the
forechest is a disqualification. When viewing the dog from the front, white markings on the
forechest must be confined to an area from the top of the sternum to a point between the elbows
when the dog is standing naturally. White extending on the shoulders or neck is a
disqualification.White due to aging or scarring must not be faulted. The Vizsla is self-colored, with
the color of the eyes, eye-rims, lips, nose, toenails and pads of feet blending with the color of the
Far reaching, light footed, graceful and smooth. When moving at a fast trot, a properly built dog
The ideal male is 22 to 24 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades. The ideal female
is 21 to 23 inches. Because the Vizsla is meant to be a medium-sized hunter, any dog measuring
more than 1 ½ inches over or under these limits must be disqualified.
A natural hunter endowed with a good nose and above-average ability to take training. Lively,
gentle-mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive though fearless with a well developed
protective instinct. Shyness, timidity or nervousness should be penalized.
The foregoing describes the ideal Vizsla. Any deviation from this ideal must be penalized to the
extent of the deviation. Deviations that impact performance and function should be considered
more serious than those that affect only appearance.
Partially or completely black nose.
Solid white extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the forechest.
White extending on the shoulders or neck.
A distinctly long coat.
Any male over 25 ½ inches, or under 20 ½ inches and any female over 24 ½ inches or under 19
½ inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades.