Those who have closer acquaintance with several breeds of dog will have seen that breed-to-breed differences are great not only in their looks but in their inner nature as well.
The Hungarian Vizsla has been a faithful comrade of our predecessors through centuries. An ancient hunting dog, it has followed the changes in the circumstances and requirements of the hunt, smoothly adapting to them to become the presently known all-purpose gundog. Over centuries of selection, individuals have been sifted out unless they were attentive, good-natures, obedient, and endowed with proper combinative abilities, enthusiasm and readiness to perform their tasks – only those who had all these traits were suitable for their varied duties. Hungarians tend to grab the lighter end of work, and this tendency may have been present in selecting their dogs: they should not need much fuss and must obey readily or they can ‘pack up and scram.'
The chief personality traits of the Vizsla:
– First of all, they are adaptive . Our Vizslas can make their home and live a healthy life in a wide range of climates and conditions; given of course that their masters can provide the proper circumstances. Vizslas live in Sweden and Norway to Florida and South Africa. They positively like warm temperatures, but also withstand cold as long as they can move, i.e. work or walk. However, they cannot be kept outdoors in winter.
Their adaptive capacity works not only for climate. They can enjoy living in city flats or homes with gardens, among many people or in a small family – the key point is the proximity of man. I feel they could have a good time in hell granted that their masters were with them.
– A constant desire for human contact and cooperation. They like to be around humans whenever they can . Vizslas enjoy being useful and will do anything their masters want them to. (However, the one thing they dislike most heartily is boredom.) One could say they live for their masters – hence they are apt to learn and versatile. While at work, they willingly and constantly keep in touch with their master, aware of the presence of the guiding human and ready to obey even at the most heightened moments (e.g. when pointing or stalking game).
– A “touch-oriented” dog that explicitly demands stroking and petting, never getting their fill of it. They need the physical proximity of their master and humans in general, and will do anything to remain in actual touch; touching at least head to legs or resting a paw on shoes when they cannot do anything more.
– They make friends easily, like company, and enjoy the presence of other dogs and unfamiliar humans. They seem to think that the reason why guests visit a house is to pet him and satisfy his appetite for play. They also welcome the company of other dogs and are easy to keep as one of several.
However, they must not be underestimated as an opponent: they are jovial but not sheepish. One should not enter a house or reach into a car uninvited even if there is only a Vizsla there.
– They react very sensitively to any rough treatment , and may be bewildered or confused by harsh, violent ‘guiding' or yelling. Their master's anger or disappointment is a stronger negative motivation for them than physical discomfort or pain. They reflect the moods of their ‘man' like a mirror, and family quarrels make them dejected or testy. If they are raised and trained with too strong a hand and too many restrictions, they may well become uncertain and shy or lose their enthusiasm for work . A well-timed reward or encouragement helps more in training than threats and retribution.
– Although they have a ‘soft soul', they are quite resistant to physical stimuli and pain.
– Their definitely lovable nature comes with an animated temperament. They have an outstanding need for movement and running . An able-bodied Vizsla has extreme endurance and does not tire easily. They are not the kind of dog to lie around at home without exerting themselves. Especially at a younger age, their desire for physical activity builds up to an internal tension and anxiety (just like most other dogs and small children) that may burst out in mischief, tantrums and destructivity. The Vizsla is a dog for people who live a sporty, active life .
– They need constant activity while young ; if they are bored or left alone often, they will find activities for themselves which may not be to their masters' liking. They demand to be treated as partners and wish to participate in all activities of their masters, paying attention and being present at events. This characteristic ‘busybody' nature can sometimes make their company burdensome, but they are not overheated or uncontrollable, having an inborn tendency to accept and follow rules.
– They are natural born retrievers and fetchers . They like to hold something in their mouths and carry things. When greeting a new arrival, they will often bring them a ‘present:' a shoe, a toy, the doormat, or whatever happens to be in their reach.
– They must never be unreasonably aggressive to humans or other dogs . As a dog used in party hunts, this is of fundamental importance. A Vizsla with a sound nervous system will be fundamentally well disposed to all strange dogs and humans. This of course does not mean that he will not try to assert his rank among dogs, or actively defend himself, his pack or property (territory or prey).