COAT AND COLOR OF THE Wirehaired Vizsla
BY PEG ROGINSKI
T he quotes that follow are from the AKC Official Breed Standard of the Wirehaired Vizsla: “ COAT: The Wirehaired Vizsla’s coat makes this breed unique. Close lying, a length of approximately 1 inch, the dense wiry coat should not hide the outline of the body. Functionally the coat should protect against weather and injury with a dense undercoat and wiry outer coat. The lower legs and underside of the chest and belly are covered with shorter, softer, thinner coat. Coat on the head and ears is close fitting and shorter. Pronounced eyebrows highlight the stop. Expression is enhanced not only by eyebrows, but also by a strong, harsh beard, approximately 1 inch in length, formed from both sides of the muzzle. On both sides of the neck the coat forms V shaped brushes. Lacking undercoat or coat brushes of the back of the front legs should be penalized, as is any deviation in coat texture or excessive length of coat. The Wirehaired Vizsla should be exhibited almost in his natural state, nothing more in the way of stripping being needed than a tidying up. A clipped coat is faulty.” The Wirehaired Vizsla is a double-coated breed, the main pur- pose of the coat is for protection. The top coat should be dense and coarse, tight-fitting, and relatively short—approximately 1 inch. The dense undercoat is a must, not only for protection from harsh weather and underbrush, but it is water-repellent for the cold water retrieves of ducks and geese. The origin of the breed was a quest to have the hunt and char- acter of the Vizsla in a sturdier wire-coated dog. In Hungary, the winters are very harsh (along with difficult terrain). The hunters wanted a coat that would repel burrs and water alike, one that could keep the dog warm with a thick undercoat, but a coat that did not hide the outline of the body. This has been quite a chal- lenge for breeders across the board. With the Wirehaired Vizsla being a fairly “new” breed, originating in the 1930s, and the fact that the Wirehaired Vizsla is ever so slowly rising in popularity, the gene pool has not been one to get consistency in coat—for most. The Wirehaired Vizsla standard states that lacking undercoat or brushes of the back of the front legs should be penalized . There has been many a discussion on what is meant by brushes on the back of the front legs. These brushes are formed when thick/harsh coat that is growing in the opposite direction meet, forming a hard, brush-like appearance. This is indicative of a correct coat as far as texture is concerned. On the other hand, if the back of the front legs has softer/longer coat that is more like feathering than brushes, this shows that the coat is softer than what we are striving for. This can also be said of the facial furnishings. A dog with pronounced eyebrows and a strong, harsh beard approximately 1 inch long usu- ally has a body coat to match; harsh and relatively short.
Photo supplied by Lies van Essen.
Photo supplied by Denise Doll-Keifer.
Photos are examples of the different color varieties with tight harsh top coat & undercoat. Photo supplied by Daniel Glasser, Noah Rowell & Belinda Perry.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2021 | 317
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