In Hungary in the 1930’s an all-round hunting dog that was more robust, in both coat and bone, than the smooth Hungarian Vizsla, was needed and to produce this hardier type a brown German Wirehaired Pointer was selected. The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla was the result of this cross, the aim of which was to produce dogs who could work in the harsh Hungarian winters and in dense undergrowth. It is thought, and is very possibly true, that other breeds including the Pudelpointer, Red Setter and even Bloodhound might have been used in past breeding, but there is no absolute proof. Whatever its history the breed today is one that is both loyal and intelligent, and a truly versatile gundog.
The Hungarians, before and during the second world war, worked their dogs solely for feeding themselves and their families, so the dog needed to work quite close to the gun, think of it as a ‘one man, one gun, one dog’ arrangement, and the last thing needed was a dog too far away, on point, to get to for the shot. This has resulted in the HWV being the dog who works closest to its handler, not ranging a great distance and has developed as a very close bond between man and dog.
As a shooting dog it will Hunt Point and Retrieve instinctively, will work on game birds (pheasant, grouse, partridge, snipe, woodcock), water fowling, rabbit and hare, fox, as well as deer stalking. It is just as happy on low lying sugar beet fields as it is on the high moors of Yorkshire and Scotland. It is also an ideal breed to work under a hawk. It is also known for its work in water, being a strong swimmer, is said to be able to follow a scent across moving water or up and down stream.
For a working gundog of this ability it will come as no surprise that the build, strength and conformation is crucial to its working ability. The breed standard is built around the attributes needed, the nose for scenting, the strong jaw and neck for carrying heavy retrieves, the gait and reach for quartering in all terrains, tight feet to prevent damage, even smooth ears so as not to get caught up in thorns.
The HWV can use its attributes in many other ways, its ‘Hunt, Point, Retrieve’ abilities also lends itself to many other activities. Today they can be found taking part in just about all working dog disciplines, such as tracking and scent work, mantrailing and rescue work. Take a look at the ‘Other Activities’ (under construction) working page for some inspiration. Take a look at the Kennel Club Events and Activities page for more information.
Training your HWV
For those of you who have an interest in understanding the breed, training or competing in Working Tests or Field Trials, the HWVA run training days, experience days, Working Tests and Field Trials.
Many other HPR breeds also put on similar events, and will usually welcome the HWV and their owners. All HPR Clubs have a website and advertise their regular or one-off training days. There are also many gundog clubs across the country who have regular or individual training days. There are many excellent private trainers available. It can also be a good idea to talk to your local obedience training club who may be able to help you find some local gundog training.
All events will be announced on the website and Facebook page first, keep a look out!
The HWVA Committee and the Working Secretary are always happy to help and advise in all aspects of working the Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org