The Official Standard for a breed is a document which describes the ideal Vizsla
Breed Standard and appearance of that breed. AKC official breed standards are
written by the parent breed clubs as guides for breeders to select outstanding
specimens of their particular breed in order to improve breeding stock and/or
performance. New owners can also benefit from knowledge of the breed standard in
evaluating their selection of a dog. AKC judges rely on breed standards in the judging
process and seek to find specimens that most closely conform to the standard. The
standards are published by the AKC and are the basis for breed education at all
levels, novice to expert.
That of a medium-sized, short-coated, hunting dog of distinguished appearance and
bearing. Robust but rather lightly built, the coat is an attractive shaded golden rust.
Originating in Hungary, the Vizsla was bred to work in field, forest and water. Agile and
energetic, this is a versatile dog of power, drive and endurance in the field yet a
tractable and affectionate companion in the home. It is strongly emphasized that field
conditioned coats, as well as brawny or sinewy muscular condition and honorable
scars indicating a working and hunting dog are never to be penalized in this dog. The
requisite instincts and abilities to maintain a "dual dog" are always to be fostered and
appreciated, never depreciated.
Lean and muscular. Skull moderately wide between the ears with a median line down
the forehead. Stop between skull and foreface is moderate. Foreface or muzzle is of
equal length or slightly shorter than skull when viewed in profile, should taper
gradually from stop to tip of nose. Muzzle square and deep. It should not turn up as in
a "dish" face nor should it turn down. Whiskers serve a functional purpose; their
removal is permitted but not preferred. Nostrils slightly open. Nose self-colored. Any
other color is faulty. A partially or completely black nose is a disqualification. Freckles
due to aging or sun exposure are not to be faulted. Ears, thin, silky and proportionately
long, with rounded-leather ends, set fairly low and hanging close to cheeks. Jaws are
strong with well developed white teeth meeting in a scissors bite. Eyes medium in
size and depth of setting, their surrounding tissue covering the whites. Color of the iris
should blend with the color of the coat. Yellow or any other color is faulty. Prominent
pop eyes are faulty. Lower eyelids should neither turn in nor out since both conditions
allow seeds and dust to irritate the eye. Lips cover the jaws completely but are neither
loose nor pendulous.
Neck and Body
Neck strong, smooth and muscular, moderately long, arched and devoid of dewlap,
broadening nicely into shoulders which are moderately laid back. This is mandatory to
maintain balance with the moderately angulated hindquarters. Body is strong and well
proportioned. Withers high. While the Vizsla may appear square, when measured
from point of breastbone to point of buttocks and from the highest point over the
shoulder blades to the ground, the Vizsla is slightly longer than tall. A proper
proportion of leg length to body length is essential to the desired overall balance of the
Vizsla. The Vizsla should not appear long and low or tall and leggy. Backline firm with
a slight rise over a short and well muscled loin. The croup is gently rounded to the set
on of the tail and is not steep, sunken or flat. When moving at a trot, a properly built
Vizsla maintains a steady, level backline. Chest moderately broad and deep reaching
down to the elbows. Ribs well-sprung and carried well back; underline exhibiting a
slight tuck-up beneath the loin. Tail set just below the level of the croup, thicker at the
root and docked one-third off. Ideally, it should reach to the back of the stifle joint and
when moving it should be carried at or near the horizontal, not vertically or curled over
the back, nor between the legs. A docked tail is preferred.
Shoulder blades proportionately long and wide sloping moderately back and fairly
close at the top. Upper arm is about equal in length to the shoulder blade in order to
allow for good extension. Forelegs straight and muscular with elbows close. Feet
cat-like, round and compact with toes close. Nails brown and short. Pads thick and
tough. The removal of dewclaws, if any, on front and rear feet, is strongly
recommended, in order to avoid injury when running in the field.
Hind legs have well developed thighs with moderately angulated stifles and hocks in
balance with the moderately laid back shoulders. They must be straight as viewed
from behind. Too much angulation at the hocks is as faulty as too little. The hocks are
let down and parallel to each other.
Short, smooth, dense and close-lying, without woolly undercoat. A distinctly long coat
is a disqualification.
Golden rust in varying shades. Lighter shadings over the sides of the neck and
shoulders giving the appearance of a "saddle" are common. Solid dark mahogany
and pale yellow are faulty. White on the forechest, preferably as small as possible,
and white on the toes are permissible. Solid white extending above the toes or white
anywhere else on the dog except the forechest is a disqualification. When viewing the
dog from the front, white markings on the forechest must be confined to an area from
the top of the sternum to a point between the elbows when the dog is standing
naturally. White extending on the shoulders or neck is a disqualification. White due to
aging or scarring must not be faulted. The Vizsla is self-colored, with the color of the
eyes, eye-rims, lips, nose, toenails and pads of feet blending with the color of the coat.
Far reaching, light footed, graceful and smooth. When moving at a fast trot, a properly
built dog single tracks.
The ideal male is 22 to 24 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades. The
ideal female is 21 to 23 inches. Because the Vizsla is meant to be a medium-sized
hunter, any dog measuring more than 1 1/2 inches over or under these limits must be
A natural hunter endowed with a good nose and above-average ability to take training.
Lively, gentle-mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive though fearless with
a well developed protective instinct. Shyness, timidity or nervousness should be
The foregoing describes the ideal Vizsla. Any deviation from this ideal must be
penalized to the extent of the deviation. Deviations that impact performance and
function should be considered more serious than those that affect only appearance.
Partially or completely black nose. Solid white extending above the toes or white
anywhere else on the dog except the forechest. White extending on the shoulders or
neck. A distinctly long coat. Any male over 25 ½ inches, or under 20 ½ inches and any
female over 24 ½ inches or under 19 ½ inches at the highest point over the shoulder
Approved January 13, 2009
Effective April 1, 2009
The Vizsla Standard