This beautiful breed is an adoring companion with a talent for pointing and retrieving. Learning how to breed Vizslas is a rewarding experience that can turn into a profitable business with the right knowledge. We’re here to provide you with the right information to turn that idea into a thriving profession.
This gorgeous breed can be a wonderful household pet or work alongside you identifying prey and retrieving it after a hunt. Unfortunately, there are a lot of health issues that come with this breed. Understanding possible health issues allows you to screen and produce the healthiest litter possible when breeding Vizslas.
The Background of Vizsla
A good place to start is for us to explain the interesting background of the Vizsla, why they were selectively bred, and their modern-day impact.
The first known record of Vizslas is in 1357 by the Carmelite friars on the order of King Louis of Hungary. This older breed is the classic Hungarian pointer and genetically contributed to many other breeds well known today. But it wasn’t always easy for this breed to survive. They initially went from strength to strength surviving two World Wars and multiple revolutions. They remained purebred throughout, according to records. However, they struggled when challenged for their pointer role by the German Short-haired Pointer and the English Pointer in the 1800s. And though they survived World War two, like many breeds, it was just barely. With poverty reigning and war dominant, breeding suffered as a result. But their numbers soon began to climb again, but how?
The breed was taken across to the United States of America shortly after World War 2 to add a new pointer/retriever breed to the breeding world. At this time hunting was insanely popular in America. More breeds were being shipped across to help with the different areas of this. They helped contribute towards the creation of multiple breeds including the Wirehaired Vizsla, Weimanarer, and even contributed towards their rival the German Short-haired Pointer. As the breed was so slim in numbers at this point, other pointer breeds contributed towards their re-population to create the modern-day Vizsla.
With an AKC popularity rank of 31 out of 195 breeds, it is clear America loves the Vizsla. Multiple celebrities own Vizslas which only draws more potential owners to their charm. Some of the celebrities, their roles, and their dog’s names include:
- Dana Perino, the former White House press secretary, owned two Vizslas, Henry and Jasper
- Sean Ellis, a British fashion photographer and filmmaker, dedicated a book called “Kubrick the dog” to his Vizsla Kubrick
- Drew Lynch, a Youtube comedian hosts a series called “Dog Vlog” with his service Vizsla Stella
- Mark Buehrle, an ex-baseball pitcher owns three Vizslas, Drake, Duke, and Diesel
- Kevin Love, a basketball player owns a Vizsla named Vestry
Uk popularity of the Vizsla has started to dwindle. It is wondered whether other pointing breeds are considered more desirable such as the German Long-haired Pointer. Furthermore, The German Long-haired pointer can be considered more suitable to the British environment than the Vizsla. They have a long coat for insulation with darker colors than the Vizsla for camouflage. The Vizsla’s short coat and bright red coloring may simply not appeal to as many British hunters and households. With little media advertising the Vizsla since the 2011 book Kubrick the dog, the Vizsla has slowly declined in numbers over there.
The general appearance of the Vizsla is a red, short-coated, medium dog. They are quite lean with a long snout and floppy ears. Their noses are typically brown or pink, with the AKC punishing any dogs without a complete light nose. Their eyes should match their coat and those that are lighter can be disqualified.
As the Vizsla breed is from the pointer class, their tail is usually curved upwards with fine fur on it. Their coloring is their most recognizable trait, although there are different colors of the Vizsla, it is always preferred to see their copper coat. They can range from darker to gold versions of red, but they all have that red undertone that Vizslas are loved for.
For breeders who are interested in producing a litter matching the breed standard, here are the subsections and their summarised requirements according to the AKC.
- General appearance: Distinguished, robust but lightly built
- Head: Lean and muscular. Medium eyes, silky but proportional ears
- Neck and body: Smooth, muscular, and moderately arched neck. As for their body, the Vizsla should not appear long and low, or tall and leggy
- Coat: Short, smooth, dense, and close-lying
- Forequarters: Straight and muscular with elbows close
- Hindquarters: Well developed thighs and straight when viewed from behind
These dogs truly are man’s best friend. They adore human companionship, interaction, and affection. They are also wonderful for owners who enjoy the outdoors and exercise. This breed loves to explore and with its high energy levels, it will have fun with any kind of exercise such as long walks. However, the combination of a dependant and high energy dog leads to one who can easily develop separation anxiety. This will lead to your dog feeling extreme unhappiness and frustration which can result in destructive behaviors. These may be urinating inside, barking excessively or chewing furniture. Therefore, we would not recommend owners who have long shifts, do not enjoy exercise and live in apartments to own this dog.
The perfect owner for a Vizsla is one who has the time, effort and patience to supply to a lovely family dog. They are a gentle breed so do well in households with children of all ages. Their high intelligence means they are easy to train and enjoy it. The whole family can get involved and this can help to create a stronger bond between all of you and your new pooch. This also helps to keep your Vizsla mentally stimulated which can minimize frustration. If you do have young children, just make sure that you still have the time to provide attention and exercise for your dog, as they can get jealous and clingy otherwise.
Health Concerns When Breeding Vizsla
Vizslas are known to have many different health concerns. Any breeder or owner must be aware of those that are more common so they can take their dog to the vet as soon as symptoms arise.
Hip Dysplasia is where a puppy in the womb does not form hip sockets correctly. The bone is not smooth and this causes friction and pain when the hip moves. If your Vizsla is displaying a limp, lethargy or does not want you to touch the area, be suspicious.
Mild cases of hip dysplasia are treated with painkillers, physiotherapy, and hydrotherapy. Painkillers should help your dog’s movement, reduce their pain and swelling. Hydrotherapy can help strengthen the muscles around the leg and socket to increase your dog’s movement and hip strength, physiotherapy plays the same role. More severe cases will require surgery where the socket is scraped to make it smooth for movement and to reduce your dog’s swelling and pain.
Canine epilepsy is where your dog has seizures, it is not completely understood what causes them, although they seem more frequent during times of stress of excitement. Although they are not pleasant to watch, our dogs are not in pain. They may feel confused and a little anxiety, but it is only us who feel the side effects.
There are different kinds of epilepsy a Vizsla may have. Going to your vet with a thorough description and even a video can help them conclude which kind. Treatments have side effects and are not always beneficial, so they are only given in specific or severe cases. The two most current medication to be used with dog epilepsy is Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide.
Cancer in dogs is an uncontrollable cell divide in a certain area. This can lead to masses internally and externally. finding these lumps is usually the best way to identify cancer. If you find a lump on your dog, take them to the vet, cancerous lumps are different from others in appearance and movement, check out our skin growth article if you are concerned. The earlier you catch cancer, the better the survival outcome there is for your dog. Cancer is one of the largest causes of death once your dog starts to reach old age. Regular health checks for lumps can allow you to tackle cancer before it becomes too serious to treat.
An inflammation of sebaceous glands, a gland that produces oil to the hair follicles, is known as sebaceous adenitis. There is a genetic element to a dog conducting this disease so be sure to screen them before breeding from them. Initially, a skin biopsy can be used to identify the inflammation, but after time the glands are too damaged to see.
When your dog still has evidence of inflammation, there is a possibility that treatment can save at least some of the glands. Monitor your dog for signs of dandruff, scaly skin, and hair loss as this can signify sebaceous adenitis. The treatment provided can be oral and topical depending on the severity of your dog’s condition. Consult your vet for the best form of treatment.
Low thyroid function is known as hypothyroidism, a disease where the thyroid does not produce enough thyroxine. It is a common problem seen in dogs and further searches around its cause must always be conducted by a vet.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fur loss, and skin thickening. Fur loss can occur over the body and usually, hair loss does not usually affect your dog’s head or legs. Furthermore, the skin thickening will start with light scaling and then thicken over time without treatment. Oral therapy is given in the form of hormone replacement for the rest of your dog’s life.
There are two different forms of medication your dog can be prescribed and this depends on your dog. The hair will regrow in just over a month once treated.
This can be defined as an undeveloped dog in certain physical areas. Usually, it is noticed by the dog’s short limbs, larger head, and long body. What many owners do not know is that a dog with dwarfism can be affected internally as well, for example, the dog may have undeveloped kidneys leading to renal failure.
Although there is a genetic influence behind dwarfism, it is also suspected to have influence from tumors and possible underdevelopment in the womb. Even if you feel positive that your dog has dwarfism, your vet requires to test it to see if there are any other influencing health issues. Usually, a growth hormone stimulation test is provided to confirm dwarfism in your dog.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Your dog’s eye is affected by progressive retinal atrophy and it leads to eventual blindness. The rods in the retina begin to die and the eye slowly becomes cloudy to the point of partial and then complete vision loss. Some vision can be saved using antioxidant supplementation in different diets.
The disease begins through a symptom of the eyes reflecting light at night, known as an ‘eye shine’. This progresses to the appearance of cataracts and then only worsens. There are blood tests that can be done to identify if your dog either has or is a carrier of progressive retinal atrophy. Avoid breeding a dog that is a carrier of this gene in order to avoid them passing it on.
Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia
Tricuspid valve dysplasia is a congenital heart defect where the tricuspid valve has not formed correctly. This can leads to a backflow of blood, an enlarged heart and eventual heart disease in more severe cases. As this is a condition your dog is born with, during their first puppy health check with the vets, they may be able to identify a heart murmur.
However, if it is initially mild, the issue may not be detected until an arrhythmia has developed. Medical therapy is implemented to try to improve the quality of the dog’s life, however, this condition will always exist to some extent.
How to Breed Vizsla
Dog breeding can be enjoyable and profitable if done correctly. Here we label some of the key aspects when it comes to breeding Vizsla dogs.
Choosing the Bitch and Stud
Initially, you will want to do a full health check on your potential stud and dam. This means examining them externally from head to tail to check for infection, injury or anything out of the ordinary. Next, you need to screen them both. Check for any current health issues and any hereditary diseases that either parent could pass along. Furthermore, are both parents registered to a kennel club. This ensures ethical breeding and allows you to register the future pups. Finally, you want to check their physical and behavioral characteristics to make sure a breed is being produced with the likely hood of your desired outcome.
The average litter size of a Vizsla is 6 to 7 pups but they are known to vary in litter sizes from average to large. However, there is no guarantee you will own a bitch that will produce large litter even with all the required health checks and tracing genetic lineage and past pregnancies. Therefore, you need to be prepared to substitute other methods to produce a viable income, such as stud services or using the breed standard of Vizsla puppies to gain a larger profit from the litters sold. Stud services can bring in money quite easily if your male is of the breed standard and is registered.
There are no direct problems you need to be aware of when birthing Vizslas. However, you do need to be aware of dog dystocia as it can happen to any bitch in birth. For example, a large puppy may be pushed out of the birth canal in an awkward position, leading to the mother struggling to push. This may call for an emergency vet to come and help, where occasionally she can reach into the female and aid with the birth. However, if the female is affected in the womb, then an emergency C-section may be the only solution.
In order to change a hobby of breeding Vizslas into a proper business, you need to know about your clientele. In this case, the clientele are Vizsla lovers and those interested in hunting for pointers/retrievers. The first group is relatively easy to pinpoint, try making a social media account targeted to Vizsla lovers and displaying pictures of the parents and puppies you have owned and sold. The more followers you have, the more the word will be spread. Try also contacting hunting groups to see if any advertise hunting dogs. With their dual role of retrieving and pointing, this dog can save someone money and make a brilliant companion.
A Vizsla can be sold for $1,000 – $2,200 depending on whether a dog is registered and how closely they resemble the breed standard physically. If you want to sell puppies for a higher price, make sure they closely resemble the breed standard and are all registered to a kennel club.
How to Breed Vizslas – FAQs
Finally, we have gathered the four most searched questions about Vizslas and answered for you. Now you can feel fully informed when breeding them and owning them.
Are Vizslas Good Family Dogs?
Vizslas are brilliant family dogs with their love for human attention and ease to create bonds with us. They are gentle and patient with children and will only resort to aggression when thoroughly provoked like any dog. Make sure to teach your dog and children boundaries to ensure both are respectful and kind towards one another. A puppy should not be allowed to jump up and chew fingers, but a child should not be allowed to sit on a dog or pull their ears. Teaching both mutual respect will allow for a wonderful relationship and the two to grow up together. Furthermore, Vizslas love to play and can keep children entertained for hours. If not with play, then training. Get your family involved in training to help with bonding and creating a well behaved furry companion.
Do Vizslas get Anxiety?
Vizslas can get anxiety but they are particularly susceptible to separation anxiety. High intelligence breeds with high energy can often suffer from anxiety when their needs are not being met. This means your dog requires daily physical and mental stimulation to keep them feeling calm and happy. If this is not provided, they will gradually become stressed and then progress to anxiety. Separation anxiety is created when a dog is left alone for too long or already has anxiety and it is amplified when you leave. Treatment can be recommended for both by a behaviorist or trainer to help your dog feel comfortable at home and not resort to destructive behavior.
How do I make sure my Vizsla is Healthy?
There are a few steps you can take to make sure your Vizsla is as healthy as possible. Regular health checks, vet visits when required, good nutrition, and proper exercise are just a few. To perform a proper health check, start from your dog’s face and work your way down to their tail checking for any physical abnormalities or pain. Vet visits can clarify any worries you have and perform tests you are not able to. Proper nutrition and exercise will ensure your dog is as healthy as can be, extra weight can lead to a strained heart, damage to the inner body and even difficulties in movement and breathing.
How do I Pick the Right Puppy Vizsla to buy in a Litter?
When choosing a puppy, a lot of it is about the heart and who you connect with. However, if you are concerned about behavioral and physical issues, choose a confident puppy that has minimal signs of fear or aggression. Confidence makes a pup eager to learn and easier to train. Furthermore, those that seem scared at the back can progress their behavior from fear to aggression, which is a much more worrying concern for an owner. Overall though, every dog is a good dog, some may just require a little more effort than others.