There's have been many programs regarding the plight of pedigree dogs being bred in the UK or with the changes in law being imported illegally from Eastern Europe.

Sadly the Hungarian Vizsla is not immune and we see the same issue in this breed as in many other breeds of dog.

Buying your puppy is the biggest commitment you will make this is to be your family member for the next 12-16 years you need to get this right , the expression act in haste repent at leisure has never been more apt.

So where do you start?

  • Recommendation from another owner or breeder

Once you have the details of a breeder you can move to the next stage , I am afraid despite sourcing their details from a reputable source you must still make checks .

1. The mother of the litter is owned by them and can be seen prior to committing to have a puppy.

2.The mother has been hip scored and has a suitable score- the breed mean score is currently 12 personally I wouldn't consider offspring of a dog with any more than 10 on any hip and if the score exceeds the mean score the breeder should have researched the lines and paired her with a dog with better hip scores with his lineage.

3. The puppies will be registered with the UK Kennel club- I don't know a single reputable breeder who breeds unregistered puppies.

4. The puppies will be raised in a home environment - where puppies are born is a contentious subject with some breeders believing puppies should be born and remain in the home till homing others feel its ok to be born in kennels,

Personally where they are born and raised is less of an issue as how much interaction they receive I've met puppies who are technically in the home (in a bedroom) and don't get any interaction so may as well be locked away outside.

Puppies regardless of where they sleep should spend daily time within the home and with the family getting used to the sights and sounds of everyday life.

5. Age of homing - the recommended age for puppies to be homed is 8 weeks some breeders will let them go at 7 week's but never take a puppy before then they need the interaction with litter mates over that time to learn vital skills such as bite inhibition.

6. Cost - In recent months this has become and issue now the average puppy will cost you between £1200 and £1500 dependant on geographic location and intended use of supply and what is included with your puppy for example some breeders, microchip, vaccinate , vet check or tattoo others do not.

7. on-going support- The Vizsla is not an easy breed and a good breeder will make themselves available to you by phone or email to have a chat about any issues you may be having, they will also offer to take your dog back for rehoming should something life changing happen meaning you were unable to keep you dog.

So we have been through how to do it right here's a little about what can happen if you do it wrong!

Buying from a puppy farmer

Firstly it is unlikely your puppies parents will have been health tested so you are increasing your risk of health conditions such as hip dysplasia as you simply don't know the hip status of mum and dad.

puppy farmers don't tend to research pedigrees so wont have considered things such as autoimmune disorders, and epilepsy and could have inadvertently but together two dogs known to be carrying this strongly in their bloodlines.

puppy farmed puppies are reared in the cheapest way possible to maximise profit so its likely your puppy would have had a low quality diet and not received basic necessary care such as parasite control these things can affect growth and health of a puppy.

Socialisation is also important you can never turn the clock back dogs who are not correctly socialised and exposed to the correct environment during the first 12 weeks of life can bear those scars for life they may be nervous or aggressive.

Buying a illegally imported puppy

the change in quarantine laws on the 1st of January 2012 there has been a dramatic increase in dogs of all breeds being imported to the UK, The Vizsla is no exception

We are now seeing adverts on the free ads for what appear to be cheap Vizsla puppies in the UK the people selling these puppies are in the UK and they are importing to fill orders.

The puppies on these adverts are often 8-14 weeks of age which means without question they have been illegally imported to the UK

The Law states-

Puppies can be imported on the PETS passport procedure without quarantine the procedure is as follows.

1. A puppy must be microchipped with an ISO compatible microchip

2. A puppy must be vaccinated for Rabies the minimum age for vaccination is 12 weeks of age.

3. Following vaccination you must wait 21 days

4. 24hrs to 120hrs before entry to the UK the puppy must be treated by veterinarian for Tapeworm.

All the above should be documented in a pets passport and each entry signed and stamped with the official stamp.

Puppies that have followed the correct procedure for entry to the UK can enter from 16 weeks of age onwards.

You may be asking yourself if it really makes a difference if a puppy has entered legally or not heres some points to consider-

1. Puppies vaccinated against rabies under 12 weeks will most likely not be immune to rabies and if they have been exposed to the virus could be infected.

2. If you are found to have knowingly bought a puppy that has been bought into the UK illegally YOU have broken the law.

3. If DEFRA is notified that the puppy you own is illegally imported they WILL impound your puppy into quarantine this is stressful and very expensive suddenly your cheap puppy may be costing you hundreds and hundreds of pounds more than you anticipated

A final point is it illegal to import puppies for resale without the correct licensing and commercial importers are required to fulfil additional criteria.

Further details can be found on the DEFRA website

Now we have dealt with the Law lets talk about the moral and practical implications of buying a puppy in this way-

You will have never seen the parents of this puppy so how can you guarantee the puppy is purebred? Or that the parents were healthy and good natured.


You have never met the breeder so how do you know the puppies have been correctly reared, and socialised, 8-12 weeks is a vital socialisation window how can you be sure your puppies needs were met?

Finally do you really want to fund this trade in puppies? Promoting commercial farming of puppies in Europe for the sole purpose of being sold in the UK.

Dont forget however nice the person you are buying from may seem they have imported these dogs for resale .

Not all breeders in Europe are behaving this way there are many many well respected kennels who are legally exporting puppies to the UK, they are easy to identify-

Responsible breeders in the EU are no different to the UK, they will want to discuss your requirements and they will normal expect you to pre book a puppy from a litter and will keep the puppy with them till he or she can travel at 16 weeks plus the cost of your puppy will reflect the extra work the breeder will be doing over those sixteen weeks.

A responsible breeder will be concerned where the puppy is going, they will ask lots of questions and they will be happy for you to ask questions and visit them in Europe .

They will be active in hunting or showing their dogs and have a kennel name (prefix) registered with the Kennel club of their country.

There puppies will be registered as pedigree and they will supply you with an official export pedigree issued by the kennel club of their country.

They will most likely not be advertising on the free ads !


What can you do to help?

If you want to help if you are offered a puppy who appears to be illegally imported obtain an address where the puppies can be viewed and then notify Defra 08459 33 55 77

If you see an advertisement for such puppies again report the advert to Defra.

If you have not seen it already please do watch the dispatches program that was shown on channel four highlighting this issue in all dog breeds