Which Came First? (Not a Chicken or Egg Question)

Know how to irritate a Hungarian? (we mean besides hiding the Palinka or Unicum?) Suggest that the Weimaraner is older than the Vizsla.  Why the two breeds would even be in such a discussion is that in some circles, the Vizsla is not only considered the Hungarian counterpart to the Weimaraner, but according to Desmond Morris in his book, “Dogs,”some experts have suggested the Vizsla was created by crossing the Weimaraner with assorted Pointers as recently as the 20th century. Gasp.

Records don’t support this. These are two incredible breeds in their own right, but the Vizsla’s history can be traced back over a thousand years, and depictions of the breed found in artwork from that time support this.  Records suggest that the Vizsla played an important role as a falconer’s dog to the Magyars (or, more accurately, Magyarok). In fact, the first written mention of the Vizsla appeared in a codex scribed by Carmelite Friars, the “Illustrated Vienna Chronicle” written in 1357 on orders of King Louis the Great. The image of a Vizsla appears in the chapter dealing with falconry.

Some researchers believe it possible that the Mastiff and a type of Continental pointing dog were likely ancestors of the Weimaraner, while other cynologists think the Bloodhound, English Pointer, German Shorthaired Pointer, blue Great Dane, and the silver-gray Huehnerhund (or chicken dog) went into the breed’s development, the breed’s coloring coming from the latter two breeds. It may be a debate not resolved any time soon, but what most agree upon is that original Weimar Pointers appeared in the 19th century when modern breeding standards were developed, far later than the Vizsla’s first historical mention.

Photo via © Can Stock Photo / BrianGuest

 

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