As a Hungarian wirehaired vizsla wins the HPR Championship for a second year in a row, David Tomlinson looks at the breed's rise

The Hungarian wirehaired vizsla

HWVs are popular with shooters and are used for hawking, beating and everything in between

Hungarian wirehaired vizsla – a popular shooting dog

Why, then, have they become so popular as shooting dogs? There 
are a number of answers, some of 
them obvious. That wiry coat is 
a definite bonus when working 
in harsh conditions, so I know 
a number of vizsla enthusiasts who have switched over. There is no doubt, either, that they are intelligent dogs that learn quickly, while they seem to have a natural instinct to work closer to their handlers than most continental breeds. That might be regarded as a disadvantage if you want a dog to get out and hunt but they can do that, too, if you ask them.

They also seem exceptionally biddable, though I’m sure that 
there are exceptions. However, 
I recall watching a five-year-old 
HWV working in the beating line 
on a Yorkshire grouse moor. It was 
an impressive, steady hunter and 
clearly had been well trained — or so 
I thought. In fact, it hadn’t received any gundog training at all but had been rescued as a four-year-old and took to shooting so naturally you would have thought that it had been doing it since it was a puppy.

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  2. 2. Hungarian wirehaired vizsla - a popular shooting dog
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