It is well-known that the vizsla is a hunting dog; more precisely an
„all round / HPR hunting dog”, that is a useful helper of its
handler in all the „above ground” types of hunting.
Because of its excellent characteristics and versatility, it is
successful in great many other areas of life and dog sport.
About the work of the
all round hunting dog
„Hound is the hunter
without a dog”, say the old and the saying is true. (It is in fact
impossible to translate, the meaning is: the hunter is (nearly)
nothing without its dog). It is not accidental, that man, with his
vestigial sense organs, needs the help of the dog and technology to
be efficient in hunting. Anyone who is familiar with the behaviour
of game knows exactly that it is squatting in its hiding place so
that one may even step on it while searching; but the
„antenna-nosed” dog finds and indicates even the game hiding
start at the beginning. The work of the hunting dog is divided into
two basic phases. The first is the work done before shooting, the
second is the work after shooting, that is the collection of the
Work before shooting
is very diverse. It depends on what kind of game we wish to prey. In
the case of hunting for small game, the task of the dog is to
search the chosen area through to the smallest detail and indicate
from far away the presence of any game to the hunter. This is the
so-called „hunting in the field” according to the jargon of vizsla
trials. The good vizsla – following the scents spreading in the air,
depending on the circumstances (e. g. temperature, humidity,
strength of wind, terrain conditions) – may sense and indicate to
its handler the presence of the game from even 150 metres, and point
it when reaching appropriate distance. When the game stirs – jumps
out or flies up – the task of the hunter is to decide quickly and
precisely if shooting is possible or not. Meanwhile, the vizsla must
stay in place and leave the part of preying to the hunter.
If the hunter has shot
the game, the task of the dog is to collect it by all means. This is
already the second phase of vizsla-work, the work after shooting.
If the properly shot game stays within the range of shooting, it is
easy for the dog to find, retrieve and – sitting – present it to the
master. In these cases, the vizsla works with so-called air-scent,
that is it searches perceiving the scents spreading in the air.
The situation is
different with wounded game. In this case, our vizsla follows the
tracks of the fleeing game, until it manages to „catch” and properly
retrieve it to its handler. Often, tracking might go on for hundreds
of metres. In this case, the vizsla searches for and follows the
scents remaining on the ground and vegetation, with technical term,
it works with ground-scent. In vizsla trials, this is the so-called
vizsla that works well, there cannot be missed or lost game. This is
not only a question of economy; sportsmanship also requires not
leaving the shot game to its fate.
the case of hunting big game, a good dog should never disturb
the hunter during stalking or while on watch. During stalking it
walks stealthily behind its handler, advances without noise
following his movements. If the hunter is on a raised hide, his
vizsla sits beside or under the hide, and stays there under all
circumstances, it does not move. (At trials this is the task called
„behaviour in shooting post”.) If the dog spots the game sooner than
the hunter (armed with all the accomplishments of technology), then
it indicates the game’s whereabouts by looking towards it in
silence. During stalking, a situation might arise when the dog
cannot follow the hunter. At these times, the hunter orders the dog
to „stay down” in a safe place where it waits for him, without
leaving its place.
However, after shooting
the vizsla often has to work again: it has to follow the
blood-track of the wounded big-game. In general, Hungarian
vizslas also work efficiently on tracks 3-12 hours old; on tracks
older than this only very good (and well-trained) dogs are of use.
(Originally, this is the task of blood-hounds.)
In hunting water-game,
a good vizsla is an almost indispensable help! A really good hunting
dog has to solve the following tasks during duck hunting:
finding ducks fallen to the ground, using air-scent or tracking
finding ducks fallen on open water with air-scent (if the dog
sees the fall of the duck its task is a simple „deep-water
finding wounded duck which usually falls or descends to open
water and from there flees to the reeds. Now the dog has to
follow the swimming trail of the bird, the so-called waterspoor.
it has to find ducks fallen into the reeds with the systematic
searching through of the reeds, since scents do not spread as
far in the thick as on open terrain.
it has to search through the reeds along the water-bank and rouse
the ducks hiding their, so that the hunter may shoot (strictly
observing the rules of hunter-ethics).
The characteristics of the work of THE WIRECOATED HUNGARIAN VIZSLA
are almost completely identical to those of its short-haired cousin.
Hunting in thick reeds or forest, the more heavily built, robust
wirecoated ones with their coats giving greater protection, are
definitely more persevering and less vulnerable. They tolerate cold
and consequently cold water more. However in the heat of the summer
they are quicker to look for the relieving shade of bushes and
point the game hiding in the field less willingly.
The so-called „All-round vizsla trials” evolved in Central-Europe
(leaning on Moravian and German traditions) to „simulate” these
practical hunting situations, tasks and to measure the dogs
performance in them comparatively. (A trial is All-round if the dog
has to perform in all types of above-ground hunting work, that is in
field, forest and water alike.) Field and water trials are of
relatively new origins, having been established in Hungary in the
last twenty years; these suit especially the personality of the
Hungarian Vizsla and present day Hungarian hunting reality. Here the
field and water phases of the utility trial are present.
The following characteristics are needed in order to perform the
hunting tasks of the utility hunting dog on a high level:
ability and its use
Strong tendency to
point, figurative pointing
Good retrieving skills
Fine but firm hold
of the retrieved object (apport)
Great passion for
Good control and
Good tracking ability
Keenness of water
These are the abilities we expect from a Hungarian vizsla.