"The Hungarian Vizsla"
by Jeno Dus
This was a brochure that Frank Tallman used to describe the newly imported vizsla breed to the general public. It was graciously sent to me by his daughter Meghan.
On October 7, 1950, there arrived at the airport in Kansas City, Missouri, air freight from overseas. A welcoming group on hand displayed great interest in two crates which were brought into the freight office, bearing in one an adult mother dog and in the smaller crate, two puppies, male and female, about two months old. The shipment originating in Rome, Italy, was of Sari and her two pups, first of the breed known as the Vizsla Hungarian Pointer to come to this country. The consignee, Frank J. Tallman, had a letter, lengthy, describing the background of the breed established in its native land for centuries, their ability and regard as a hunting dog and companion.
It was through the interest of Emmett A. Scanlan, Jr., a Kansas Citian attorney on the staff of the State Department, who had become aware of the ability of the Vizsla through acquaintance with displaced persons, Native Hungarians, few of whom had been able to escape from Communist Hungary and bring their Vizslas with them. So it was that Sari had been able to get into Italy with her mistress, and with the problem of her owners future at stake, it seemed to her that Mr. Scanlans appreciation of the ability and value of the dog was the best assurance that Sari would be priveleged to introduce the name, Vizsla, on arrival in America.
The first unofficial entry of a Vizsla was in February of 1951 at the Heart of America in Kansas City and the first official appearance was the International Show in Chicago when the American Kennel Club, after a period of time of 18 months, stated that the Vizsla could qualify under the Miscellaneous classification at an A.K.C. sanctioned show in the United States.
Later, Mr. Scanlan was able to acquire a male dog, Rex, procured from Yugoslavia after he had been taken across the border from his native Hungary. He was shipped from Rome and arrived in Kansas City, Missouri on July 14, 1951. From information accompanying him, he was then two years old. This dog showed excellent accomplishment as a field dog and also as a retriever, has an excellent nose, and is tireless in his hunting effort on both field and water.
Rex, later was bred with Sari and the first American born litter of Vizslas were whelped in April of 1952. Consisting of two males and four females, the litter well confirmed the breed standard which Hungary had sent to the American Kennel Club years previously. All the dogs of this first born litter are doing well with their owners in field work today.
Jeno Dus, the author, now resides in Hamburg, New York. As a native Hungarian, he is well known to his fellow-countrymen for his work as a Director and Breeder of the Vizsla Club of Hungary. Jeno Dus is probably the worlds authority on Vizslas.
Mr. Dus has done much to make the Vizslas in America bring the same enjoyment and pleasure that they brought to their masters abroad by their work both in field and in water.
He was a colonel in the Nationalists Hungarian Army and is a possessor of the Hungarian knightly order. Mr. Dus was glad to have opportuniy to come to the United States when Hungary was forced to capitulate to the Communists. A few other Hungarians and their Vizslas have been successful in a few instances in getting imported stock into this country. It is their hope that a Club of America owners valuing the Vizsla as it has been proven to them, and that the American Kennely Club and the American Field Publishing Company will soon grant complete endorsement to the breed standard.
In this writing Mr. Dus has had occasion to be in collaboration with known Hungarian Nobility and leaders who recognized and developed the Vizslas since 16th century to be most outstanding in its ability as an all around hunter.
Mr. Dus and others have emphasized that the Vizsla has been developed entirely on its own, and has no relationship in any way with German Weimaraner.
"The Hungarian Vizsla"
Amicable American promoters of the Hungarain Vizsla have asked me to describe the origin, breed marks, measurements, character and use of this peerless pointer.
In meeting readily this well-founded and honored call, I wish to acknowledge my admirable companions faithful services, as well as to introduce his outstanding qualities to a warmly welcoming American public of experts, breeders and friends. Yet this guide is not only for patrons of the well-derserving Vizsla cause, but also a devoted token of a stranded Hungarian newcomers gratitude for the high amount of good-will and profound understanding granted by generous American minds and hearts to him and to his favorite.
I, the old master, may well assure you, the new masters that the intent look radiating from the gleaming Vizsla eyes, expresses a pledge identical with mine: "I am loyal, honest and duty-bound."
Where the Hungarian Vizsla came from?
Along with the final descent of his Magyar masters, the origin of the yellow Vizsla is blurred by historical mist. There is no doubt, however, that his ancestors made their bears in the company of ancient Hungarian huntsmen across the great eastern steppes where until the 10th century the migration of the Asiatic tribes never came to an end. Primitively carved outlines of Magyar hunter, falcon and Vizsla in stones of old foggy times, in spite of the rudimentary handling, exhibit the characteristically curved lines of the Vizsla anatomy.
Outside Hungary, rust gold Vizslas are found in Turkey and Bulgaria. The people of these countries were in close contact with Hungarians for many centuries. We cannot trace, however, the ancestors of the Hungarian Vizsla in western countries.
Dr. Ferenc Korbas, an outstanding Vizsla breeder, expert and trainer, stated that during his explorations and researches in Turkey that the Vizsla breed found in this country is identical with the Hungarian breed.
Documents of private and public archives as well as drawings, paintings and sculptures amply confirm the natural conclusion that the Vizsla is a peculiar kind of Hungarian sporting dog, brought to the Carpathian girdled country in the year of the conquest, more than 1000 years ago.
The first written evidences for his existence originate from the 11th and 12th century. The early Magyars of the previous centuries as bearers of an Ancient (Sumerian) culture were excellent huntsman and thoroughly versed in raising cattle and sheep. It was simply indispensable for them to breed and use dogs and hounds too.
Hunting was also the training field for fighting, and fighting was the basic vocation of Hungarian lords and squires in those feudalistic centuries. Nothing was more natural than to stick to their old-bred hounds. Later the breeds spread as required by the various types of country sides. Big games of the mountainous Transylvania and North-Hungary called for deerhounds, the plain and rolling lands of Transdanubia and the river valleys abounded in small game and wild foul, so they needed and bred setters, retrievers and pointers.
Many of the written documents about the Vizsla breeds derive from the Turk occupation era in Hungary. (1526-1686). The name itself occurs chiefly in the correspondence between the Danubian provinces and the High Porta (Court of the Sultan in Istanbul) at the same time similar papers sent from Transylvania deal only with the "Kopo" (drive hound). This goes also for the letters exchanged by the aristocrats of that age. The spread of the Vizsla in those area has hardly changed since then until 1945.
A large scale exploration has been initiated by the Hungarian Vizsla Club to dig up as many papers as possible. By 1944 the bulk of the material was ready for publication but in consequence of the ensuing turbulent circumstances nothing became known about these precious sources and their use.
Thanks to the courtesy of Colonel Vertessy, the chairman of the Hungarian Vizsla Club, several facts have still remained in my recollection:
All this is to prove beyond doubt that the Hungarian Vizsla was bred and used by his Magyarmasters at a time when neither the Englis pointer nor the German Vorstehhund nor the Weimarian existed. So the theory attributing Weimarian blood to the Hungarian Vizsla collapses all the more because no reasonable motivation would explain such a strange assumption. It is well-known that this species in his appearance, abilities versatility and usefulness was never inferior to any other pointer breed; on the contrary his virtues have always been surpassing the qualities of those breeds involved.
The purity and singularity of the race, apart from the characteristic rust gold color of the coat is manifested by the fact that the specific breed-marks as found in the Vizsla, never occur in any other variety of the pointers.
Breed Characteristics of the Hungarian Vizsla
THE GENERAL APPEARANCE of a Hungarian Vizsla in repose suggests dignity and subtle vigor, with a gentle appeal though. His nobly shaped medium sized square body exhibits a fair balance of pose and ease in movement.
THE SKULL of the graceful, dry head, shows extremely developed muscles. The top is moderately wide and bisected lengthwise by a slight furrow. A distinct stop is not desirable: the skull is prolonged in a mild arch to the muzzle.
THE EARS are positively long, low set and by no means fleshy. They fall in graceful folds flat to the cheeks, their lower part is rounded, the fine skin is well clothed with silky hair.
THE EYES are full but not prominent, they are set neither too close, nor wide apart. The lids close tightly, the white of the eyeball is not visible. The yellow of the iris may be lighter or darker than the hair, yet too light shade is not desirable.
THE CHEEKS. The muzzle is straight, somewhat longer than the skull, moderately tapering, and never pointed. The nostrils are of medium width, the nose should be dark yellow but flesh color is not objectionable: only slate or black nose disqualifies. The flews cover tightly both the upper and lower jaws, they must not be loose and pendent.
THE TEETH. The china colored teeth are strong: overshot or underhung jaws represent grave defects.
THE NECK is of medium length and well muscled, it is gracefully sloping and broadening into the shoulders, its skin is fairly tight, never wrinkled.
THE SHOULDERS, powerful and elastic, lay back obliquely to the body.
THE CHEST. Not too broad but rather long, reaches down to the elbow. The distance from its top to bottom approximately equals the distance from the bottom to ground. Also the ribs behind the shoulders reach deep and well rounded.
THE LOINS, short and slightly arched, are tied firmly to the spine.
THE BODY is well muscled and proportional.
THE RUMP is proportionally long, broad and sloping.
THE BELLY is moderately large and tucked up.
THE FORE LEGS are straight with strong musculature, also the pasterns show no declination to either side. The angle, formed by the upper thigh and shoulder blade, is 110 degrees-120 degrees.
THE HIND LEGS are well muscled, and seen from the rear, straight. They are stretched backwards at an angle even in standing position.
THE TAIL is set low, slightly below the back level. Though cropping is prescribed to, to leave 2/3 of the length, complying with the general wish and usage, is mostly cut in half.
THE BACK is rather short, broad and muscular. Convex and concave curvature (Camel back or sway back) is objectionable.
THE COAT is silky, dense, the hair short; it lies close to the skin. Although there is no undercoat, the skin stands moisture and all kinds of weather well. Too thin and too short-haired coat (mouse coat) forbids eligibility for breeding.
THE COLOR of the coat varies from tan to yellow shades; sedge-yellow is characteristic of the breed. Dark brown and pale yellow colors are objectionable. Small white spots on breast or toes may occur, but the smaller they are, the bettersolid color is definitely preferred.
Scale of Points
Skull 10 Coat 10
Muzzle .15 Neck, breast, shoulders ..10
Eyes-ears .. 5 Legs 10
Body and belly 10 General Appearance 5
Feet and toes 10
In order to qualify the usefulness of the Hungarain Vizsla, we do well in comparing him with the best-known breeds in the pointer line.
The English pointer has an extremely speedy dash and excellent scent. He points firmly but retrieves poorly. Not a too many-sided breed.
The German pointer is more versatile: he has a fine scent, retrieves and brings well, but at a moderate speed.
The Hungarian Vizsla unites the good faculties of these two pointers. Never nervous, he is quick, has superb scent, is reliable in retrieving, bringing and trace keeping. A peerless all-purpose gun-dog.
Heighth 19 5/8"-24 1/8" (20 ½"-22 ½" desirable). Ideal weight 48-56 lbs.
By virtue of these facts, as the Hungarian Vizsla Clubs Registrar of long service, and as Senior Expert in breeding, I cannot help refusing all theories and efforts displayed by non-Hungarian publications, aiming at a distortedly different representation of the Hungarian Vizslas breeding and origin. Neither of Transylvania, nor Bulgarian, and by no means of Weimarian origin, he is a very very old, specially bred Hungarian pointer type.