Breed History

The following information is from Vizsla Canada
The Vizsla breed lays a strong claim to being one of the oldest documented sporting dogs in the world. The Magyar tribes which wandered the Russian Steppes and lived in the Carpathian basin during the eighth century, were known to hunt extensively when not breeding cattle. An anonymous scribe of Hungarian King Adelbert III (1235 – 1270) wrote about the history and wanderings of the Magyars, including their use of the yellow pointing dogs called the “Vizsla”. Early illustrations of this dog appear in chronicles written by Carmelite Friars in 1357. Other Hungarian documented references to the Vizsla appear in the 1500’s.

There is little doubt that the basic Vizsla was crossbred throughout the centuries with other breeds, including hounds. The Magyars apparently always took such crosses back to the basic Vizsla because hound noses are black and the true Vizsla nose is brown or flesh coloured. Even today, the resemblance of the Vizsla is closer to the lighter wild dogs of the Russian Steppes in colour and quality of coat.

The Vizslas were companion dogs of the early warlords and barons and kings. Their blood was preserved pure for centuries by the land owning aristocracy and held in high esteem by their owners.

The Vizsla has survived the Turkish occupation, the Hungarian Civil Wars, World Wars I and II, and the Russian occupancy. Late in the 19th century, the Vizsla suffered a decline and during the Second World War, came close to becoming extinct. In 1945, when the Russian occupation forces invaded Hungary, many of the wealthy aristocrats were forced to flee their beloved land. Several were able to smuggle their Vizslas and pedigree records out of the country. These owners fled to various parts of Europe and North America with their dogs and from this small, remaining Vizsla stock are descended our present day dogs. Some of these Hungarians came to Canada and the United States in the early 1950’s and brought their dogs with them.


2008 was an anniversary year for Vizslas in Canada as it was 50 years ago that the Smooth coat was recognized and 30 years ago that the Wire-haired was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club.


In Canada, the first three Vizslas were brought in by Mr. Ben Jones of St. Catharines, Ontario in 1955. A sportsman from Hamilton, Ontario, Ed McCoy, had one of the first Vizslas, Gay V Schloss Loosdorf, registered in the Field Dog Stud Book in 1953. His activity in the field generated interest in the Vizsla and solidly established it in south-western Ontario. It was a gentleman from Quebec named A.G. Gerle (Puszta Kennels Reg’d), however, who successfully had the breed recognized by the CKC in 1958, an event which pre-dates American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition. Mr. Gerle’s dogs, Agres Z Povazia (male) and Lyska Z Tattier (female), imported from Czechoslovakia, were the first two Vizslas to be shown as a recognized breed in North America on April 27, 1958 at Ladies Kennel Club Show in Montreal, Quebec under JudgeRobert McCandless of New Yor, NY. Mr. Gerle’s Vizsla, CH. Agres Z Povazia, became the first Vizsla to take Best of Breed and was also the first Canadian show champion on record. CH Lyska Z Tattier became the second bench champion on record.

The first Vizsla to earn a Companion Dog (CD) title was Kedves V Hunt bred by Joan Hunt and owned by Magaret H. Meminger. Her title was earned by her owners in 1961.

Only one Canadian bred/owned dog has ever taken the prestigious Best of Breed at a Vizsla Club of America national specialty show: Can./Am. CH. Count Jonish Mignotte, owned by Elizabeth Mignotte of Exeter, Ontario in 1967.

The first Vizsla to earn the title of Agility Trial Champion of Canada (ATCHC) is Rusty Betyar, “Jake” owned by Barbara Anderson of Vernon, BC. The title was earned in 1999.

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