Two Vizsla females (Zsuzsi and Csibi), both of whom combined excellent pedigrees with good working ability, were selected to breed with a totally liver colored German Wirehaired Pointer sire (Astor von Potat). Zsuzsi’s sire was known to have offspring with longer coats. The best of Zsuzsi’s and Csibi’s offspring were selected and bred together and Dia de Selle, the first WHV to be exhibited, was born. She had the same body as the shorthaired vizsla, but her head was the shape of the German Wirehaired Pointer. While her coat was not rough and thick enough, she was the promising beginning of the creation of the new breed.
Anecdotal history suggests the added infusion of Pudelpointer, Bloodhound and Irish Setter blood during the period of the WWII when many other Hungarian kennels became involved in the development of the breed. It has also previously, but incorrectly been suggested that the breed was created by backbreeding of smooth Vizsla's most heavily coated offspring (Gottlieb,idem).
The Wirehaired Vizsla was recognized in Europe by the FCI under the Hungarian standard in 1986. It is also recognized by the KC (UK). Introduced to North America in the 1970s, the WHV was first recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1977 and North American Hunting Dog Association in 1986. The breed was recognized by the UKC (United Kennel Club) in 2006. They are also recognized in North America by the ARBA (American Rare Breed Association), as well as American Field (Field Dog Stud Book) registries. The breed was admitted into AKC's Foundation Stock Service (FSS) in 2008. Effective Jan. 1, 2009, the Wirehaired Vizsla became eligible to compete in AKC Companion and Performance Events. As of January 1, 2011, the Wirehaired Vizsla was allowed to begin showing in conformation, in the AKC Miscellaneous Class. There are approximately 400-450 Wirehaired Vizslas in the US and between 2500 and 3000 worldwide. It was recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council in 2007.
They are natural hunters with an excellent ability to take training . Not only are they great pointers, but they are excellent retrievers, as well. They will retrieve on land and in the water, making the most of their natural instincts. However, they must be trained gently and without harsh or strong physical correction, as they have sensitive temperaments and can be easily damaged if trained too harshly (Gottlieb, 1992). Vizslas are excellent swimmers and often swim in pools if one is available. Like all gun dogs, Wirehairs require a good deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy. Thirty minutes to an hour of exercise daily in a large off-leash area is optimal (Coffman 1992).
The Wirehaired Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise, and interaction. It is highly intelligent, and enjoys being challenged and stimulated, both mentally and physically. Wires that do not get enough attention and exercise can easily become destructive or hyperactive. Under-stimulated Wires may also become depressed or engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as persistent licking (Coffman 1992). The Wirehaired Vizsla wants to be close to its owner as often as possible. Many Wires willingly sleep in bed with their owners if allowed, burrowing under the covers.
Originating in Hungary, the Wirehaired Vizsla was developed by hunters and falconers who desired a sturdy, versatile hunting dog able to withstand harsh winters in the field, forest and water. The Wirehaired Vizsla is a distinguished, versatile hunting dog of medium size, bred for substance and a dense wire coat. Balanced in size and proportion, the Wirehaired Vizsla is robust and lean. Movement is powerful yet graceful with far reaching drive enabling the breed to hunt in all elements and cover any terrain encountered by the walking hunter. The breed possesses an excellent nose for hunting and tracking feather and fur on land and in water, as well as a natural point and retrieve. The breeds most distinguishing features are its weather resistant dense wire coat and its facial furnishings, specifically its beard and eyebrows. Natural appearance is essential to breed type, therefore the Wirehaired Vizsla is to be shown with limited stripping and should not be penalized for being shown in working condition: sinewy, well muscled, with honorable scars. The Wirehaired Vizsla is intelligent, loyal, sensitive and biddable, but cannot tolerate harsh handling. Eager to learn, lively yet gentle, they are readily trainable for gun and falcon. The Wirehaired Vizsla is a tractable and affectionate companion in the home.
Size, Proportion, Substance
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a medium sized hunting dog, however overall symmetry and balance are more important than mere measurable size. The ideal male adult (over 12 months of age) is 23 to 25 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades. The ideal female adult (over 12 months of age) is 21.5 to 23 inches. Because the Wirehaired Vizsla is meant to be a medium-sized hunter, any dog measuring more than 1 inch over or under these limits must be disqualified (over 12 months of age). The body length from breastbone to buttocks slightly exceeds the height at the shoulders, as ten is to nine. The Wirehaired Vizsla body is well muscled and strong, with sufficient bone and substance.
The Wirehaired Vizslas head is in proportion to the body, moderate and well muscled. The expression should be lively, clever, and is enhanced by the eyebrows and beard. Eyes are slightly oval, of medium size with well fitting eyelids, giving the Wirehaired Vizsla an intelligent and lively expression. Iris color is as dark as possible and blends harmoniously with the coat color. Yellow eyes are a serious fault. Eye rim color should blend with the coat color, but freckles from sun or age are not to be faulted. Lower eye rims should neither turn in nor out. Ears are set at a medium height, moderate in length, hanging close to the cheeks and ending in a rounded V shape. The skull is well muscled, moderate in length, and slightly domed. A slight groove runs from the moderate occiput to the stop. The stop is moderate. The muzzle is slightly shorter than half the length of the head when viewed in profile. The muzzle is blunt, with a straight bridge that is parallel to the top of the skull and is well muscled with strong jaws. The nose is wide with nostrils well open. The nose color should blend with the coat color. Any black on the nose is a disqualification, but brown freckles, due to aging or sun exposure are not to be faulted. The bearded lips lay close to the jaw as tightly as possible. The jaw is strong with teeth aligned in a scissors bite. An over or undershot bite or more than two missing teeth is a disqualification.
Neck, Topline and Body
The neck is in balance with the body and head, medium in length, muscular and slightly arched. Skin on the neck and body is tight fitting, there is no dewlap. The shoulders are strong and muscular. The topline is straight, well muscled and solid, falling into a slightly rounded, well muscled croup, which is moderate in length. The chest is deep, moderately broad, and well muscled. The depth of the chest is slightly less than half the height at the shoulders and sets at the elbow when seen from the side. The forechest is well developed. The ribs are moderately sprung and carried well back. The underline is graceful with a moderate tuck-up. The loin is tight, well muscled and straight or slightly arched. The tail is set just below the level of the croup. The tail is thick at its base then tapers and carries a dense coat. The preferred tail is docked by one-quarter of its length; natural tails will not be penalized. A natural tail reaches down to the hock joint and is carried straight or slightly saber-like. When moving, the tail is carried near the horizontal, not curled over the back or carried between the legs.
The forequarters are well muscled with strong, sufficient bone and balance. From the front, legs are straight, from the side they are placed well under the body. Shoulders are well laid back, showing fluidity when moving. The upper arm is well muscled, about equal to the shoulder in length and well angulated at its attachment to the shoulder, in order to allow for good extension. The elbows lie close to the body; pasterns are short, sinewy and only very slightly sloping. Preferably, dewclaws are removed from the front legs to avoid injury in the field, but a dog with natural dewclaws is not to be penalized. The feet are cat like, but slightly oval and always parallel. Pads are thick and tough; nails are self colored and short.
The hindquarters are straight and parallel with well developed thighs when viewed from behind. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the forequarters. The legs have strong, sufficient bone and balance, with thighs that are well muscled and long. The stifle is well angulated. The hocks are strong, well let down, short and straight as viewed from behind. Rear dewclaws are a disqualification.Feet are as in the Forequarters section.
The Wirehaired Vizslas coat makes this breed unique. Close lying, a length of approximately 1 inch, the dense wiry coat should not hide the outline of the body. Functionally the coat should protect against weather and injury with a dense undercoat and wiry outer coat. The lower legs and underside of the chest and belly are covered with shorter, softer, thinner coat. Coat on the head and ears is close fitting and shorter. Pronounced eyebrows highlight the stop. Expression is enhanced not only by eyebrows, but also by a strong, harsh beard, approximately 1 inch in length, formed from both sides of the muzzle. On both sides of the neck the coat forms V shaped brushes. Lacking undercoat or coat brushes on the back of the front legs should be penalized, as is any deviation in coat texture or excessive length of the coat. The Wirehaired Vizsla should be exhibited almost in his natural state, nothing more in the way of stripping being needed than a tidying up. A clipped coat is faulty.
Golden rust in varying shades. Red, brown or yellow colors are faulty. The ears may be slightly darker than the body; otherwise the coat color is uniform. White on the forechest or throat, not more than 2 inches in diameter, as well as white on the toes is permissible and common. Solid white extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the forechest and throat is a disqualification.White due to aging or scars from hunting is not to be faulted. The Wirehaired Vizsla is self-colored, with the color of the eyes, eye-rims, lips, nose and toenails blending with the color of the coat.
The Wirehaired Vizsla should move in a light-footed, smooth trot. When seen from the side, the gait is dynamic yet graceful and there is a balance to the movement with far reaching drive. The topline remains level, the back firm. When working in the field his sound movement enhances his ability as a versatile hunting dog.
The Wirehaired Vizsla is self-confident, eager to learn, clever, sensitive and yet stubborn; affectionate and loyal with his owner, occasionally aloof with strangers and has a keen protective instinct. Shyness, nervousness or aggressiveness are faulty.
Dogs over 12 months of age measuring over 26 inches, or under 22 inches and bitches over 12 months of age over 24 inches or under 20 ½ inches.
Partial or completely black nose.
Under or overshot bite.
More than two missing teeth.
White extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the forechest and throat.
More than 2 inches of white in any direction on the forechest and throat.
Approved August 18, 2012