Wirehaired Vizsla Club
Celebrating 10 years of Protecting and Promoting the Wirehaired Vizsla
The Official AKC
Parent Club of the Wirehaired Vizsla
Vizsla means either "quick" or “pointer” in Hungarian, depending on the reference and context. The smooth-coated Magyar (pronounced mahd-yar) vizsla, or Hungarian pointer, is an ancient breed whose ancestors were hunters and companions of the Magyar tribes that swarmed over central
A New Breed of Dog
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a relatively new breed first developed in
Vasas was joined in the effort by Gresznarik Lazslo, who owned the de Selle kennel and had great experience breeding German wirehaired pointers. Together, they began by crossing two vizsla bitches with a solid brown German wirehaired pointer. The first individuals with three-generation pedigrees fulfilled the dream by inheriting the color and other characteristics of the vizsla while at the same time passing along the somewhat heavier bone structure and wiry multi-layered coat of the German wirehaired pointer.
Dia de Selle was the first WHV to be shown on June 6, 1943. Her pedigree:
Dia De Selle
sire: Csabai Lurko dam: Csabai Lidi
sire: Astor von Pottatal (GWP) x dam: Zsuzsi (V) Astor von Pottatal x dam: Csibi (V)
Dia had to withstand rigorous examination by expert judges and vizsla fanciers and was found acceptable by the established guidelines. She had the same body type as the vizsla, but her head, more like the German pointer, along with the softness of her overcoat and lack of density in the undercoat were cited as needing improvement. Nevertheless, she was the promising beginning and the club encouraged other breeders to work hard on developing the new breed. They also created a semi-official stud book to keep track of all the new individuals until the breed earned official recognition. Only after the evaluation of these documents could the standard and final approval for the new breed be set.
Even with difficulties in the beginning, registrations increased and by 1944, 60 WHV were registered. The development of the breed centered in certain geographical areas of Hungary, namely Csabai in Eszak-Magyarorszag (the northern part of Hungary) and de Selle in Felvidek (part of what is now Slovakia) and due to their pioneering devotion and success, other breeders from abroad joined in the efforts, notably the Haraska kennel from Austria and Povazia from Slovakia, but also Botond and others.
The Aftermath of War
WW II brought about the near extinction of both the Vizsla and Wirehaired Vizsla. The Csabai kennel was nationalized under the communist regime in Hungary, but Vasas Jozsef remained the leader, and even in those difficult times brought the breed closer to perfection. Almost all records were lost and information from the post-war period is sketchy at best, but those other kennels in E
Despite some disappointments the efforts continued and eventually, the Wirehaired Vizsla was recognized by the Ferderation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1966 as an independent Hungarian breed under Standard #239. In spite of the early struggle and later successes though, numbers of the new breed did not multiply as anticipated. Many of the WHV were in the hands of everday hunters who appreciated the many fine qualities of the breed, its devotion to the hunt, strong bond with people and love of water, but they never bothered much to show their dogs or popularize the breed outside their own circles. The Hungarian Vizsla Klub decided to hold hunting tests exclusively for WHV in order to attract more attention to the new breed. The first such test was held in 1976 with a total of 26 dogs entered and it was such a success that it was decided to hold such hunting tests for WHV every other year, but there was little growth in the number of entries for many years.
With the importation of Wirehaired Vizslas abroad, the breed eventaully began to catch on throughout
The Wirehaired Vizsla in North America
Although having been recognized in 1966 as the Wirehaired Vizsla in Europe by the FCI and accorded purebred status as such, and in Canada by the CKC in 1977, the Wirehaired Vizsla remained unrecognized in America as the result of a sort of "identity crisis" when Charles Newman** who had discovered the breed in his visits to Hungary in the 1960s, imported his first Wirehaired Vizslas in 1973, but called them "Uplanders" from the breed's origins in the upland region of northern Hungary. He and other early U.S. promoters believed the uplander name would help distinguish the breed from its smooth cousin, the Vizsla. They formed a club in Virginia with the aim of gaining support for "uplanders" among American sportsmen and applied for recognition with the Field Dog Stud Book and the American Kennel Club. However, there were far too few Wirehaired Vizslas in the country for recognition and also, because the Wirehaired Vizsla was recognized by that name everywhere else, the AKC refused to recognize the breed by the arbitrarily chosen designation of "versatile uplander". Further complicating the issue were some breeders who sought to circumvent the entire registration process and felt they could perpetuate the breed by conducting their own crossbreeding programs and calling them uplanders, rather than utilizing imported, purebred registered Wirehaired Vizsla breeding stock. This subverted the efforts made by those who had imported purebred European WHV stock and dogs known as uplanders were summarily dismissed as unregistereable by both the AKC and the Field Dog Stud Book. There was still very little known about the breed here in the US, the early efforts to promote them as "uplanders" died out and few records remain of them.
A few dedicated enthusiasts of the Wirehaired Vizsla in Canada and the U.S. persisted in their efforts to preserve the integrity of the purebred Wirehaired Vizsla through importing purebred registered European stock for their breeding programs and testing the dogs' versatile hunting ability. NAVHDA tested the first WHV in 1974 and formally recognized the breed in 1986. By 2003, a total of 181 Wirehaired Vizslas, including those in Canada, had been registered in NAVHDA since the breed's recognition and five new litters were registered. Despite the breed's rarity in the U.S., the Wirehaired Vizsla Club of America was formed that same year in response to the need for a breed rescue organization here. (For more information, see WHVCA Rescue.) By January 2006, over 350 Wirehaired Vizslas had been registered in NAVHDA and the breed was recognized as the Hungarian Wire-Haired Vizsla by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in America when some individuals applied on their own behalf for recognition.
Recent Major Advancements
The breed was recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) in 2007 and imported into Australia from the United Kingdom. The first litter was registered by the ANKC.
Also in 2007, the WHVCA membership voted a resounding majority in favor of applying for AKC's Foundation Stock Service (FSS) and the club's application was submitted in late October 2007. The FSS Committee approved the application and the Wirehaired Vizsla was admitted into AKC-FSS in January 2008. This milestone achievement was only possible after many years of endeavor and finally began the process of AKC recognition, bringing the Wirehaired Vizsla one step closer to recognition by the #1 national kennel club in America. In 2009, the breed became eligible to compete in AKC Companion and Performance Events (obedience/rally, agility, tracking and hunt tests) and a number of Wirehaired Vizslas have achieved their JH title.Our next big step occurs January 1, 2011, when the Wirehaired Vizsla advances to AKC's Miscellaneous Class.
The WHV is still a rare breed in the