Showsight Presents the Vizsla

VIZSLA

Let’s Talk Breed Education!

VIZSLA MEET THE BREED The Vizsla A thousand years ago, the Vizsla hunted with Magyar nomads before settling into an area that is now Hungary. Primi- tive stone etchings show

By Dane Mrazek

the tribal hunter with his falcon and his Vizsla. Centuries later, the Vizsla became the premier sporting dog and a lively a ff ec- tionate family member of the Hungarian Aristocrats. Today, photos hang within homes across the world illustrating extraor- dinary connections between the Vizsla and their families. The Vizsla Form Th e Vizsla was built to hunt vast upland fi elds with pro fi ciency and grace. Th ey are a medium-sized, short-haired sporting dog of rust-gold color that con- veys elegance and readiness. In structure, they appear balanced in both height and length. In motion, they glide e ff ortlessly over the ground with smooth movement. In the fi eld, they are swift and careful hunters with superb noses and exemplary pointing/retrieving skills. At home, they exhibit a demeanor that is gentle, sweet and sensitive.

The Vizsla Lifestyle Th e Vizsla is more than a dog—he is a lifestyle. Th e modern Vizsla will thrive as an active member of your family. Th ey are physically active and emotionally attentive dogs known for their “Velcro®”

quality. Th ey want to be outside with you and inside with you. Many Vizsla owners will admit that they no longer go to the bathroom alone! Your canine friend will gladly fi ll the role of hiking buddy, hunting partner, agility quali fi er

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or tracking expert. He is a superb athlete and supreme snuggler always looking for the next opportunity to curl up next to you on your couch at home. The Vizsla Choice Th e Vizsla is a great choice for someone wanting an athletic dog that will become a signi fi cant part of their life. Similarly, they are a poor choice for someone want- ing a dog that is expected to be content with a daily pat on the head and a walk around the block. Vizslas require signi fi - cant engagement on a daily basis. So, be warned, an unhappy Vizsla will produce an unhappy Vizsla owner. The Vizsla Family A Vizsla properly raised with children will be their best friend. Families with children should strongly consider their ability to commit to the requirements of this breed. Furthermore, parents should be careful to always manage the behav- ior of their children toward this sensitive breed that may not always tolerate improp- er behavior such as poking, prodding and hitting. The Vizsla Puppy A Vizsla puppy comes ready to be sculpted by caring hands. He is exuberant and eager to learn. He is smart but sensi- tive. He will take to positive training but can be ruined by a heavy hand. Th e Vizsla was designed to cover ground so it should come as no surprise that he will be energetic and ready to run. Be prepared to engage your puppy in fre- quent periods of on-leash and o ff -leash

activity. Regular physical exercise will help settle your Vizsla for a successful day. Regular mental exercise will help boost your connection with your puppy. Tricks and obedience skills will not only dazzle your friends but also teach your puppy to work for your attention and praise. Socialization is important for all dogs and Vizslas are no exception. Daily posi- tive experiences will help your puppy grow up to be a well-adjusted con fi dent dog that loves humans and dogs large and small. The Vizsla Health Vizslas are commonly very healthy with a life span of 12 or more years. Th e breed has some cases of hip dysplasia, cancer and epilepsy, but careful breeding has helped control these problems. All puppy buyers are encouraged to research the pedigrees of their prospective puppy to reduce the risk of these rare health issues. Puppy seekers are also encour- aged to fi nd a breeder who is breeding for the right reasons. Look for a breeder that loves this breed and strives for excellence in temperament, health, capability, and beauty. And, above all, avoid purchasing a puppy from a pet store, a puppy mill or a puppy farm. The Vizsla Versatility While the Vizsla was built to be a great hunting dog and a grand companion, the modern Vizsla has developed into a truly versatile dog. Th ey can compete success- fully in multiple AKC venues including conformation, obedience, agility, tracking, hunt tests and fi eld trials. Th is adaptability has extended their role into transportation

security, search-and-rescue, seeing-eye, and therapy programs. The Vizsla Club of America Th e Vizsla Club of America (VCA) is dedicated to the maintenance of the Vizsla breed. Our members are owners/ breeders who are committed to preserv- ing/enhancing the characteristics of this noble/classy sporting dog. Th e VCA spon- sors three national annual events that include: a National Gun Dog Champion- ship, a National Field Championship and a National Specialty including Conforma- tion, Agility and Obedience. Th e VCA has also established a “Code of Ethics” for its members de fi ning requirements for dog ownership, competitive sportsman- ship and breeding practices. To learn more about the VCA and regional Vizsla clubs, please visit www.vcaweb.org. BIO Dane Mrazek, Public Education Coor- dinator for the VCA and the owner of 7 ½ - year-old Vizsla “Bond” and 4 ½ -year-old Vizsla “Diamond” in Redwood City, CA.

Dane and Diamond after they acquired her Senior Hunter title in the fall of 2012 at a hunt test in Reno, NV. 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3 t

206 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2021

VIZSLA

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*AKC NOHS STATS 2021

**AKC STATS AS OF 9/30/21

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2021 | 207

JUDGING THE VIZSLA

By Patricia Folz Szikra Vizslas

T he Vizsla is a joyful creature with a charm- ing way of making a fool of itself and us. Th e breed is an intel- ligent, good worker who responds to kindness and can be ruined by a heavy hand. Th e Vizsla is a personal gun dog and companion and it is well suited for that purpose in size, character and silhouette—a short- haired dog of golden rust color, proud and lively, with an elegant and distin- guished appearance. Th is is not an easy breed to judge—subtle in the attributes that distinguish it from the other smooth coated pointers—it can be as di ffi cult to understand as it is to get your hands on a wiggly Vizsla puppy. Th is is a gentle and a ff ectionate breed with a well- developed protective instinct—they are

sensitive but cheerful; shyness and timidity should be penalized. Th e Vizsla is moderate in all aspects: size, angula- tion and overall substance. Th e silhouette of the Vizsla is a series of continuous curves—from the begin- ning of the nose to the end of the tail, your eye should never stop. Follow the arched neck down over the moderately laid back shoulders, past the ribcage, which is carried well back to the mus- cular fullness over the short loin, fol- lowing to the set on of the tail, which is slightly below the level of the croup. Th e tail should not o ff end the eye and is carried near the horizontal, in length it should reach to the bend of the stifle. A docked tail is preferred. Carriage, which is an extension of the structure, should be judged rather than length which is man-made. Th e outline should be of a

dog who appears square and is neither tall and leggy, nor long and low. Th e chest, moderately broad and reaching to the elbow, flows through the slight tuck up and on to the well-muscled thigh and moderately angulated rear. On exami- nation, the hand should move smooth- ly over the curves without feeling any abrupt changes in direction. Th e standard calls for a dog who is “robust but rather lightly built”, mean- ing it should be well muscled and have substance, while being an agile mover. Th e Vizsla should never seem slight nor heavy, but there should be some appre- ciable substance to the breed. It is the smallest of the smooth-coated point- ers, which is an important part of its breed character. Th e ideal size is 21-23 inches for bitches and 22-24 inches for dogs. Th ere is a disqualification in the

continued on page 288

“THE SILHOUETTE OF THE VIZSLA IS A SERIES OF CONTINUOUS CURVES— from the beginning of the nose to the end of the tail, your eye should never stop.”

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continued on page 269

standard for any dogs measuring less than 1 ½ inches under or more than 1 ½ inches over the ideal size. If in doubt, do not hesitate to measure—a good Vizsla temperament will not be disturbed by applying the wicket. In keeping with its function of a mul- tipurpose gun dog, the Vizsla’s gait is far reaching, light footed, graceful and smooth. Th e movement should be appro- priate to the moderate angulation and size of this breed. Th e Vizsla should have balanced reach and drive with no wasted or excessive motion. It is important that the dog cover plenty of ground while maintaining a steady topline. Restricted movement, a reflection of less than mod- erate angulation, is detrimental both to form and function and excessive move- ment is a misuse of energy. One of the most unique features of the Vizsla is its self-coloring—golden rust from head to toe with matching eye color. Th e dogs will often have lighter shadings on the sides of the neck and shoulders, with a darker saddle on the back. Solid dark mahogany as well as pale yellow are faulty. A black nose is a disqualification and black anywhere else is a serious fault. Solid white extend- ing above the toes or white anywhere except the forechest is a disqualification. Please note that freckles due to aging or sun exposure and white due to aging or injury are not faults. Th e lovely color is accented by the short, smooth coat. A distinctly long coat (setter-like in tex- ture) is a disqualification. Even though the head is addressed first in the standard, the primary impor- tance of the head is as a compliment to the outline of the Vizsla. Th e noble head must not be too heavy with exces- sive flew or dewlap, nor too small and snipey so that it disturbs the silhouette of the elegant Vizsla. It again is moder- ate in size and shape. Th e thin, fine ears are neither too low nor long—the dog will have a houndy appearance—nor too high and small—as they will spoil the gently rounded outline. When lifted gently, the ear will reach to the corner of the mouth. Th e ears, when alert, create a frame for the face. Eyes should have a

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442 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2021

VIZSLA

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SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2021 | 443

soft expression and be moderate in size and shape and blend well with the coat color. Th e muzzle is equal to or slightly shorter than the skull, it is neither down faced nor dish faced. Th e standard calls for a strong jaw with a scissors bite. Breeders do an excellent job of main- taining the multiple talents of this breed. In order to compete in National Field Trials, dogs must be certified by an AKC judge to be free of disqualifying faults. When judging, you may encounter a dog in field condition who could appear gaunt and have scars. A field conditioned dog, although thin, will have hard mus- cles, correct conformation and exhibit correct movement. Do not penalize field conditioning, as the hunting and working abilities of the Vizsla should be preserved. In this breed the field dog in silhouette, size and color is easily recog- nizable and exemplifies the dual dog in temperament and type. In the 9th century, the Magyar tribes settled in the Carpathian basin, in an area that was part of the Austro-Hungar- ian Empire and is now modern Hungary. Th ey brought with them a yellow dog that in both form and function clearly resembles the modern Vizsla. Histori- cally the Vizsla belonged to the nobility who developed the versatility of the dog for hunting, pointing and retrieving upland game birds, rabbits and water- fowl; tracking wounded game; falconry; and as a companion. The Vizsla has been on the brink of extinction many times, most recently after World War II, but each time the breed has been saved by passionate breeders and owners. Recognized in 1960 by the AKC, the Vizsla has thrived in the United States, becoming ever more versatile, main- taining its distinct silhouette, personal- ity and hunting abilities while adapting to present day. The Vizsla excels in agil- ity, obedience, dock diving and life in suburbia; hunts on the weekends and sleeps on the bed. Th e standard’s call for modera- tion reflects, not a call for a lack of any attribute, but rather that the writers have placed the standard in relation to like breeds and found that the Vizsla is t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3 

moderate by comparison to the other shorthaired pointers both in form and function. As such, exaggeration in any aspect is a departure from the standard which repeatedly calls for moderation. Unlike some of the other standards, the standard for the Vizsla gives a range of what is acceptable. Judging this breed well is the art of knowing the outer lim- its of what is acceptable and being able to reward dogs of varying style that all fall within those limits.

BIO In 1970, Patricia Folz purchased her first Vizsla, Katie, and did everything with her. Under the kennel prefix Szikra, they have produced four generations of winner’s dog at the Vizsla Club of America Nation- als—three from the bred-by-exhibitor class as well as going best of winners with their bitch, best of opposite sex and best of winners from the bred by exhibitor class. Th ey are looking forward to seeing the next generation in the ring and the field.

The recent revision of the breed stan- dard was a complicated task that Patri- cia was privileged to be a part of and she now finds herself on the committee to produce a quick reference guide and an illustrated standard as well as being Judges Education chairperson. She believes it is through careful study of the Vizsla and other breeds and the exchange of ideas and experi- ences that one comes to better under- stand the breed.

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THE VIZSLA

MARISSA CLARK A native of California, I realized my childhood dream, three years ago, by moving to Washington State. We live on Fox Island, which is an extension of Gig Harbor. I enjoy ANY outdoor activity. Being in the PNW, there are endless opportuni- ties to be with nature. This is where I find true peace and happiness. I also love theatre and anything involving animals. I have been involved in the sport for 45 years. Boy, I am dating myself! Our initial breed was Irish Setters. Then we decided to downsize to the English Cocker Spaniel. I have been judging since 2004. PLUIS DAVERN I live in North Monterey County, California and my whole life revolves around dogs and numerous dog activities includ- ing obedience, conformation, field events, agility and ther- apy work. I started off in obedience training in 1960; I’ve been breeding and showing since 1968, started handling in the 70s and judging in 2000. I have been breeding Vizslas since 2001. RICHARD HILDERMAN My wife and I live on a barrier island off the coast of North Caro- lina. Outside of dogs I spend a lot of time kayaking in the marshes. I am active in protecting the sea turtles and birds that nest on our island along with protecting the natural environment that surrounds the island. We got involved showing and breeding Vizslas in 1975. We no lon- ger breed or show dogs. I started my judging career in 1985 when I was approved just for Vizslas. BRITT E. JUNG DR. DANA MASSEY

in Weimaraners since 1950, showing since 1985 and judging since about 1998. KATHY RUST I live in Walcott, North Dakota, a rural community south of Fargo. I’m a Chief Master Sergeant in the North Dakota Air National Guard serving as the Domestic Operations Senior Enlisted Leader and also fill the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness position. I’ve been in dogs since the day I was born, growing up in a pet loving family. I started show- ing dogs over 35 years ago and have been judging for 13 years. WALTER SOMMERFELT 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Vizslas? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? BJ: When I first look at a class of Vizslas, I’m looking for the breed typical outline. That’s number one. Outline starts at the tip of the nose and goes to the tip of the tail and is largely what defines the breed. It includes the topline and the underline, fore chest, substance, and musculature. The Vizsla outline is clean and demonstrates athleti- cism without any excess; hence the word “moderate” describes many of the breed’s features. Second, I want to see if the dogs that appear to have the correct, balanced outline are able to maintain it when in motion and if they have the appropriate clean, balanced, and far reaching movement. Third, temperament. You can tell something about a dog’s temperament in the short time it’s in your ring. Vizslas should be joyful, friendly, and positively engaged with their handlers and the world around them. Fourth is substance. Substance encompasses bone as well as fill; I look for fore chest, rib spring, and devel- oped thigh muscles in proportion to the size of the dog. Fifth is front assembly because a good front is difficult to find. Many of these attributes overlap. For example, I can usually see a good front in a good outline and strong movement. When it comes down to making choices and weighing tradeoffs, I may reward a dog with a strong front that might be too long or a little bigger or smaller than desirable. WS: When judging the Vizsla I think of a medium size, gold- en rust-colored dog that is first and foremost symmetrical in its natural stance. It must be “robust, but lightly built”. For me that means substance without coarseness. Even though it is slightly longer than tall, the standard says it may appear square. A moderately broad chest reaching to the elbows with well sprung ribs. I believe the tail set is very important in this breed and often overlooked. It is to be set just below the level of the croup and carried at or near “horizontal”, not vertically or curled over the back S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2018 • 235

I live with my husband, Billy and dogs (Paula Deen, Suzie, Ballot, Dav, Betty Ann, George and Lloyds of London, a rescue Terrier). I’ve been

and of course it should never be down or between the legs when in movement. We are a single tracking breed that calls for a steady “level” topline when moving. It is important to remember this a versatile breed and as a natural hunter it must look like a dog that can be expect- ed to work out in the field under various conditions for a full day. A dog lacking the “robust” nature implied in the standard and lacking in bone, depth and width of chest will no doubt have a hard time doing the job for which it was bred. 2. What faults do you find hard to overlook? BJ: I love to find a typey dog with a beautiful head and eye. However, I’ll forgive or let go of my quest for a beautiful head and eye if the dog has the desired outline, move- ment, substance, and temperament. That said, I find it difficult to forgive a round, prominent, or yellow eye and a muzzle with a severely deficient under jaw. I find it dif- ficult to forgive shyness and difficult to forgive a weedy, fine-boned dog. All other things equal, I will put up a dog that is on the verge of being coarse over a dog that is lacking in substance. WS: When judging you have a mental image of what is the correct and ideal type for each breed. As we all know the perfect dog has yet to be bred. But as judges we can only try to choose from the exhibits standing and performing before us on any given day. Obviously you must address any of the breed disqualifica- tions. These are well described in the standard includ- ing the minimum and maximum heights for each sex. The only DQ that can be subject to interpretation in the Vizsla standard is the issue of white. Each judge must make his or her own determination in each case as to when is there “too much” and act accordingly. When it comes to shortcomings and hard to overlook faults I go back to the statement you can only judge what is in front of you on any given day. There are days when you have exceptional animals to choose from and priori- ties may be applied to a variety of attributes. On these days it is an exciting challenge to sort through and find those exhibits that truly meet the mental image you have for the breed and reward them. On the other hand you have days when an entire entry may not be up to par with what you are looking for and you make choices and trade offs based on your interpretation of the standard and your personal list of priorities. On these occasions it can appear to the person outside the ring that the judge is not consistent when in reality he or she is hopefully rewarding the exhibits in the ring that are closest to what they see as important virtues in the breed. 3. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? BJ: I think the dogs today are generally prettier than they were 30 years ago and less houndy or coarse. In some cases the pendulum swings a little too far in the other

direction where we see dogs that are very fine boned and snipey headed. The muzzle should be square and deep. We’re seeing a lot of muzzles that are severely lacking in under jaw. The gait is supposed to be far reaching; yet, many Vizslas display a severe restriction in the front when moving. WS: In reality all breeds seem to go through cycles. The biggest change I have seen in the breed over the past 40 years is how the increase in popularity has had an effect on the breeders and people involved in the breed. For the majority of the 70s and 80s the breed was a lower entry breed with almost all owner handlers that were truly involved in the concept of the “Dual Purpose” dogs. Many of the breeders, owners, and exhibitors competed in both the conformation ring as well as the field. This in my opinion created great camaraderie within the breed and was a great strength. As the popularity of the breed increased and the breed become more successful in the group and Best in Show area there seemed to be a shift with people becoming more involved with the show side of things, we also saw an increase of professional handlers exhibiting them. With this shift some people went toward a dog that they felt was pretty and fancy. We started to see a trend in lighter boned dogs, High tails became more common as did dogs longer in body. This created in my humble opinion a “generic” red show dog. The crafters of the breed and the original standard called for a “versatile” dog with the ability to work in the field, the forest, as well as water. An agile and energetic com- panion that had power and endurance in the field but was also a highly tractable and affectionate companion. To my interpretation they are a “Blue Collar” dog. I com- pare them to a blue collar factory worker. They show up every day, they punch the clock they work a full day in all types of conditions. They must have the body, bone, temperament and heart and lung capacity to do the job they have. They are moderate in size but sturdy in build. And much like the average worker at the end of the day they go home where they are a much loved and appreci- ated as well as a compatible member of the family. As breeders we need to pay attention to the standard. We have too many weak toplines, high tails and specimens lacking substance and proper proportions. 4. Is there anything Vizsla handlers do you wish they would not? BJ: I can’t think of much that handlers do in the ring that I wish they wouldn’t do. It’s what they don’t do outside the ring that I would urge them to consider. Don’t show dogs that haven’t been socialized and thus won’t present as happy, engaged companions. Don’t show dogs that are not in good condition. They should look like they’re sporting dogs. Handlers don’t always have control over what shows up ringside, but they do have control over what they choose to show and how they mentor their clients. This is pretty much a “what you see is what you get” breed and so the real work happens long before the day of the show.

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WS: In my opinion most handlers move the dogs too fast. The show ring is not a race, moving fast in many case throws the dog completely out of sorts. Also when stacked I don’t understand why you would hold the tail high like a beagle or a foxhound when the standard calls for a tail at “horizontal”. As to traits being rewarded. I see some dogs that lack breed type but are shown like Dobermans and are “very showy” winning over quality animals with the proper type, bone, top line, and tail set. The Vizsla breed is a very intelligent breed they are “thinkers”. Don’t expect to see “expression” with ears up for a piece of bait or a squeaky noise. They probably are thinking, ‘This is stupid, you want me to stand here and look animated for a piece of liver. What are you crazy? Now let me find a quail or a pheasant in the field and I will show you animated!’ 5. Have you participated in the field with Vizslas, and if so, how has that influenced your evaluation in the ring? Are there traits being rewarded in the ring that would be detrimental in the field? BJ: I have enormous respect and admiration for working dogs/canine athletes, and the people behind them. I’ve put Hunting titles on my dogs and co-owned and showed a Field champion. I wish more people participated in field activities just so they could appreciate the sporting dogs they have and experience seeing their dogs at work in their natural settings. Like so many dogs, Vizslas are the best companions when they’re given jobs. It upsets me to see judges reward timid dogs. The timid dog cannot be a good hunting companion. WS: We have participated in the field and have had the plea- sure of having bred a dual champion as well as numerous hunting titled dogs. Also having lived in the Memphis area for 20 years we have spent many days and hours on horseback at Ames Plantation in nearby Grand Junction, TN at the annual “American Field” bird dog National field trials. These are three hour braces held in February and they have two braces daily for several weeks until the final brace is run and the Champion is named. For anyone that breeds or judges sporting dogs it is a great opportunity to witness the pointing breeds truly at work in all types of conditions. The experience helps you to understand the need for substance, chest and lung capac- ity, endurance, temperament and tractability. 6. How do undocked tails affect your choices? BJ: Tail set and tail carriage are important, but being undocked doesn’t bother me. WS: The docking of tails is cosmetic. Although I prefer the ideal tail described in the standard. I would not allow an undocked tail if set and carried correctly to influence my decision. 7. Name a previously campaigned Vizsla that illus- trates your ideal type. BJ: Ch. Cariad’s Surfstone Szuka, “Szuka,” was a beautiful bitch and representative of the breed. She had substance but was feminine and floated when she moved.

GCh ElginCariad Dorratz Kind of Blue JH, “Miles,” is a dog that I think of when I’m trying to describe correct breed type. He has balanced, moderate angles and a clean outline with appropriate substance. WS: Over the years I have seen a large number of excellent examples of the breed. Some had great show careers but the majority completed their championships and spent great lives as the companions of their owners. But when I think of exceptional breed examples BIS Ch. Taunee Loki Santana shown by the Late Bobby Barlow and GHC Artisan Grouse Point Pink Panther JH shown more recently by Corrine Miklos come to mind as dogs that were outstanding in both type and proper substance. So many factors go into the success of a show dog’s career—timing, money, advertising, the handler, the area they compete in, the judges they are show under. For the average owner it is just not a expense they can handle or the lifestyle of a campaign is not what they want for their dog. Some of the best dogs I have seen were never campaigned by their owners.

8. Describe the breed in three words. MC: Medium robust hunter. PD: Moderate, balanced and moderate. RH: Playful, people pleasers. DM: Rust-colored, agile ancestral hunter. KR: Versatile, moderate and self-colored.

9. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? MC: Type, outline, symmetry, moderate, made of curves, balance front to rear angles, proportion, sound coming and going (want single tracking), first and second thigh, level topline with slightly rounded croup. No gay tails! Also would want correct ears, not Hound-like. Lastly, but certainly not least, good feet (that can take this Sporting Dog around the ring) with movement that is light footed and a far reaching stride so evident in a properly-made Vizsla. “Sporting dogs have to move!” PD: Lightly built, medium-sized, rust-colored hunting dog. RH: Fluid movement, width of back skull and muzzle, depth and width of fore chest and substance DM: 1) Correct size, 2) distinctive solid golden rust, 3) lean and muscular, 4) short back, 5) non-sloping topline, 6) slight rise over the loin that is a hallmark of the breed and 7) moderate angulation and balanced. KR: A distinctive silhouette, golden rust color, moderation, effortless side gait and a “Tigger” demeanor. 10. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? MC: I see many breeds becoming more exaggerated or extreme today, so it is not limited to the Vizsla. Regarding Vizslas, I believe they are losing the moderate, off square, level topline with bone/substance. I’d like to see better croups, shorter length of loin and less gay tails. I also see weedy dogs and some shy temperaments. It would be unfair to say Vizslas need better fronts, without stating that many breeds are struggling with this issue. I believe breeders are aware and making great attempts to fix this

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difficult, time consuming and multi-generational issue. At least I don’t see too many sweeping rears, with too much length of stifle that can be a by-product of a weaker front, or lay of shoulder. PD: There seem to be more and more exhibits with straight- er fronts, no depth of chest (cathedral fronts) and over angulated rears. I’m concerned about the numerous gay tails as well. While it is lightly built, it is a robust dog so should not exhibit lack of substance. DM: Rise over the loin too great, sloping topline and the size is too big. KR: As in many breeds, we need to improve our front assemblies and be careful that we are breeding for the correct topline, croup/pelvis angle and tail set. This is an “almost” square, moderate breed and we need to watch for too much length and over exaggeration. Remember, this a breed that is meant to hunt all day. 11. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? MC: The Vizslas of the past were a force within the Sport- ing Group. Today, I do not believe this is the case for the above-mentioned reasons. Most breeds go through change. Our breed standards are there for a reason and need to be read, studied and maintained. It saddens me when Parent Clubs vote changes to their standard to fit into what is currently being shown, rather than maintaining the standard, then breeding and showing dogs that fit within their standard. I see the same when breeding dogs, where many top-winning dogs are used in the whelping box, rather than take the dog to a worthy animal that may not be campaigned, but suits what is needed to better a breeding program generation after generation. I believe that the current situation in the sport where there are many shows, few remaining large scale breeders and some newer exhibitors who step in, do not find mentors to guide, teach and educate is mak- ing for less quality entries as a whole. This saddens me as I remember the “good old days” when as a family, we went to the show, I competed in Juniors, then competed in breed, stayed for the day, learned about other breeds and was always hungry for information to assist in better- ing our knowledge and abilities. To this day, we main- tain mentors! This is vital to quality and integrity of any breed. No one person knows all things. PD: The overall look of the Vizsla has become more stan- dardized, top lines are better than they once were as are the rears. However despite the emphasis on “moderate” in the standard, many exhibits do not reflect that. RH: This is a double edged question because I think there are aspects of the breed that have improved, but there are also areas where the breed has regressed. In terms of improvement, I think today’s Vizslas are more in line with the height limits outlined in the standard and the amount and location of white allowed. The Vizslas when I first started judging were much more fluid in their movement and had better head pieces and more overall substance.

DM: I see excellent specimens of Vizsla in the ring. There was a bitch out years ago “Calla.” She is the picture in my mind. It’s hard to find a “Calla” out there. If you have one sitting at home, please show her to me! KR: There are pockets of outstanding Vizslas in various regions and then there are areas in which we have declined. Consistency in style and type is hard to find. There are many dogs from the past that would be able to still consistently win in today’s ring. Breeders need to continue to review and study the past to establish a vision of what they want the future to look like. There are many dogs currently in the ring today that if bred cor- rectly could produce better than themselves and bring us back to where we need to be in relation to our standard. 12. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? MC: In my opinion this breed, like many requires a fairly large entry to find sound typey exhibits where, when judging, placements can be consistent. This is a moder- ate dog in every sense, with no harsh angles; but instead is made of curves to equal a balanced dog. Within the Sporting Group there are few breeds remaining where much focus is placed on the dual dog. Because the Vizsla is one such breed, I see much muscle mass behind the shoulder/withers that can appear to break up, or make a topline look dippy. I truly feel your hands must tell the story. Reward the dog that is in hard working condi- tion; keeping in mind he should be able to hunt all day! Proper movement is necessary. This breed should reach and drive with little effort… few steps and much ground gained. Because this breed has a “far reaching” gait, I like to give (much like the Brittany) the first 1 ⁄ 3 of the ring to the dog to get into his gait. This breed is difficult to see indoors in a small ring. They need space to spread out on the move. In a small ring, I will send the class around 1 ½ times, or separate them into smaller groups. PD: I feel that new judges compare the Vizsla to other short- coated pointing breeds—and they definitely are not. I think studying outlines can help this because the Vizsla has fewer exaggerations than the others. The head and expression are unique also. RH: The function/purpose of the breed. This is why the breed needs correct movement, head piece and substance. DM: Sometimes I think they want the Weimaraner, the Vizs- la and the German Shorthaired Pointer to be the same. I know I worked hard to get a picture of each breed in my mind--they are so different. That picture in my mind’s eye is so important to me every time I walk into the ring, no matter what breed. If I have the wrong picture in my mind—send me one. KR: Silhouette and correct topline both while standing and while moving. At first glance, the outline should appear more square than rectangle. The topline/backline is level from right behind the withers to the croup, not sloping. The rounding over the coup is barely perceptible and is broad muscling over the loin and top of pelvis. It is not the curvature of the spine as a result of a steep croup and tilted pelvis. You feel the strength and slight S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2018 • 243

rounding as your run your hand down the backline over the short, firm loin. The tail is set on only slightly below the croup. It should only be about a thumbs-width lower than the croup. If your eye is drawn to a noticeably rounded topline when viewing the silhouette or if you notice the tailset looks below the croup, it is too much. It is all very smooth, gentle, minimal curves felt by your hand more than seen. As stated in the standard, when moving at a trot, a properly built Vizsla maintains a steady, level backline. 13. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? MC: First, I truly love the breed. The breeders want their dogs in the field and many achieve their dual title. I think this is wonderful. I have had the pleasure of hav- ing my hands on dogs that can work in the morning and come into the show ring in the afternoon, all the while maintaining that beautiful breed type… not giving way to a generic field dog. I find head proportions are fairly consistent in the breed; good scissor bites and large white teeth. Feet are usually good, and I must say, I need a good foot on a Sporting or Working Dog! I would also comment that I do not see Vizslas that are vicious. With a large entry I am pleased to find some beautifully made dogs. I would also like to say the Vizsla exhibitors are fine folks, friendly, welcoming and kind to their dogs. PD: The Vizsla is an exceptionally devoted breed, liking nothing better than to curl up on someone’s lap and always ‘in touch’ . They are extremely intelligent and very easy to train. Their ability to live as house dogs, raise the children, guard the home then go out and hunt all day over every type of terrain coupled with their almost cat-like cleanliness makes them an exemplary companion. RH: I think it is extremely important to understand that this is a functional breed. I encourage all judges (especially aspiring judges) and breeders to attend Vizsla field trials, watch the dogs work and talk with field breeders/exhibi- tors. This will make the standard come alive and become more meaningful. BJ: I think some new judges are confused about the proper topline for a Vizsla. The rise over the loin is to be slight, the croup should be gently rounded, and the tail should be set just below the level of the croup. You’ll rarely see a Vizsla that has too flat of a topline and a tail that is set too high on the back. Remember that in motion, the backline should be level. So, please don’t seek out exaggerations of these attributes. KR: The Vizsla should exude the vision of strength, power and agility in a moderate package that has enough sub- stance to not appear weedy, but not too much to appear heavy or cumbersome. A Vizsla is balanced elegance that is in the appropriate condition to perform all day in the field. WS: The Vizsla and the Brittany are in my opinion the only two true dual-purpose pointing breeds with breeders actively trying to produce show dogs while still retaining the hunting ability for which they were bred. Breeders and judges must continue to pay attention to the standard

and not get caught up in the “generic” good moving and well shown specimen. They need to pay attention to substance, proportions, tail sets and carriage, soundness and temperament. 14. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? MC: I had to think on this one. I decided to give away one of our own mishaps. We had not used a tent we bought for quite a while, but decided to take it to shows as it was going to be hot and we planned to stay for the entire day. My folks and I arrived, unloaded and hauled across the show site in California, where the sun was already baking most of the exhibitors. If anyone has ever seen my family, you understand that each of the three has his or her own job. I am the mule, who hauls across the field. My mother is the master of set up. My father likes to potty the dogs and get armbands. I am truly convinced this is because he does not want to stick around and watch his daughter and wife argue about what goes where and who does what! It’s cheap and free entertainment to be sure! And so, we unwrapped the tent from its sheath, then proceed- ed to make utter idiots of ourselves as the two of us could not remember how to set the darn thing up. Where is the man who is peeing the dog? I am sure we gave a good many people laughs as they watched us try time and again. It was a lesson in humility for sure! In our defense, this was before the easy pop up tents of today. The tent was heavy and the legs were frozen. It would be fair to say we looked like the Three Stooges after Mr. Dog Walker came back and we were still unable to set it up. RH: I was showing my Vizsla in the group and on the initial go around when we passed the judging table my right arm picked up the judge’s purse and I was carrying it around the ring. Since this was a new experience I had to think quickly and somehow, without losing a step, I gracefully dropped the purse without spilling the con- tents. We even placed in the group! DM: We went to a hunt test in Iowa one day. My friend had her Vizsla from Betty Rozanik in the van and I had my Weims. The puppy Vizsla, Shannon, was about 6 months old. She pulled my new orange vest into the crate and had her way with it during the trip over from Omaha. Lat- er, in the field, my Weimaraner went on a strong point, I reached into my pocket for my pistol--nothing there! I looked up at the judge on horseback and said, “It’s gone.” He said, “Well, do something!” I yelled “BANG!” Hmm, maybe that wasn’t what he had in mind, more like go borrow one from the other handler or get the other handler to shoot. The puppy Vizsla had chewed a hole in the pocket and the gun had fallen out somewhere in the field. We failed. Boo! KR: One of my Vizslas, Earl, escape from his pen and track me all the way across a fairgrounds and join me in the ring as I was showing a Papillon. He moved right into position and gaited right around the ring, stopped and freestacked for the judge. After the shock of seeing him, all of us broke out laughing and the judge gave him a cursory exam as his rear was wiggling non-stop. It was a reminder that shows are really all about the dogs!

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THE VIZSLA: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS GREG ANDERSON RICHARD HILDERMAN

I just moved to Simi Valley, from San Diego. Outside of dogs, I eat, sleep, eat again sleep—actually I enjoy weight training, cooking and water skiing! Architecture is my passion. I’ve been in dogs my whole life, from kennel help to professional handler for 22 years and I’ve been judging for over 20 years. MARISSA CLARK

My wife and I live on a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina. Outside of dogs I spend a lot of time kayaking in the marshes. I am active in protecting the sea turtles and birds that nest on our island along with pro- tecting the natural environment that surrounds the island. We got involved showing and breeding Vizslas in 1975. We no longer breed or show dogs. I started my judging career in 1985 when I was approved just for Vizslas. DR. DANA MASSEY

A native of California, I realized my childhood dream, three years ago, by moving to Washington State. We live on Fox Island, which is an extension of Gig Harbor. I enjoy ANY outdoor activ- ity. Being in the PNW, there are endless opportunities to be with nature. This is where I find true peace and happiness. I also love theatre and anything involv- ing animals. I have been involved in the

I live with my husband, Billy and dogs (Paula Deen, Suzie, Ballot, Dav, Betty Ann, George and Lloyds of Lon- don, a rescue Terrier). I’ve been in Wei- maraners since 1950, showing since 1985 and judging since about 1998.

sport for 45 years. Boy, I am dating myself! Our initial breed was Irish Setters. Then we decided to downsize to the English Cocker Spaniel. I have been judging since 2004. PLUIS DAVERN I live in North Monterey County, California and my whole life revolves around dogs and numerous dog activities includ- ing obedience, conformation, field events, agility and therapy work. I started off in obedience training in 1960; I’ve been breeding and showing since 1968, started handling in the 70s and judging in 2000. I have been breeding Vizslas since 2001.

(Photo © Gay Glazbrook)

LINDA ROBEY

I live in High Ridge, Missouri, which is about 25 miles outside of St. Louis. I travel with my husband in our motorhome. I also shoot skeet and some trap and golf when I get a chance. Dogs take up much of my time. I’ve loved dogs all my life, so did my par- ents, so I have had dogs for as long as

260 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2017

I can remember. I started showing in obedience in the mid- 1970s, so around 38 years. I’ve been judging about 20 years. KATHY RUST I live in Walcott, North Dakota, a rural community south of Fargo. I'm a Chief Master Sergeant in the North Dakota Air National Guard serving as the Domestic Operations Senior Enlisted Leader and also fill the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness position. I've been in dogs since the day I was born, growing up in a pet loving family. I started show- ing dogs over 35 years ago and have been judging for 13 years.

difficult, time consuming and multi-generational issue. At least I don’t see too many sweeping rears, with too much length of stifle that can be a by-product of a weaker front, or lay of shoulder. PD: There seem to be more and more exhibits with straight- er fronts, no depth of chest (cathedral fronts) and over angulated rears. I’m concerned about the numerous gay tails as well. While it is lightly built, it is a robust dog so should not exhibit lack of substance. DM: Rise over the loin too great, sloping topline and the size is too big. LR: No, the breeders are doing a good job in not exagger- ating traits. But, I am seeing a number that appear too lightly built; plus, many straight fronts. KR: As in many breeds, we need to improve our front assemblies and be careful that we are breeding for the correct topline, croup/pelvis angle and tail set. This is an “almost” square, moderate breed and we need to watch for too much length and over exaggeration. Remember, this a breed that is meant to hunt all day. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? GA: They are about the same. MC: The Vizslas of the past were a force within the Sport- ing Group. Today, I do not believe this is the case for the above-mentioned reasons. Most breeds go through change. Our breed standards are there for a reason and need to be read, studied and maintained. It saddens me when Parent Clubs vote changes to their standard to fit into what is currently being shown, rather than maintaining the standard, then breeding and showing dogs that fit within their standard. I see the same when breeding dogs, where many top-winning dogs are used in the whelping box, rather than take the dog to a worthy animal that may not be campaigned, but suits what is needed to better a breeding program generation after generation. I believe that the current situation in the sport where there are many shows, few remaining large scale breeders and some newer exhibitors who step in, do not find mentors to guide, teach and educate is mak- ing for less quality entries as a whole. This saddens me as I remember the “good old days” when as a family, we went to the show, I competed in Juniors, then competed in breed, stayed for the day, learned about other breeds and was always hungry for information to assist in better- ing our knowledge and abilities. To this day, we main- tain mentors! This is vital to quality and integrity of any breed. No one person knows all things. PD: The overall look of the Vizsla has become more stan- dardized, top lines are better than they once were as are the rears. However despite the emphasis on “moderate” in the standard, many exhibits do not reflect that. RH: This is a double edged question because I think there are aspects of the breed that have improved, but there are also areas where the breed has regressed. In terms of improvement, I think today's Vizslas are more in line with the height limits outlined in the standard and the amount and location of white allowed. The Vizslas when I first started judging were much more fluid in

1. Describe the breed in three words. GA: Intelligence, elegant and agile. MC: Medium robust hunter. PD: Moderate, balanced and moderate. RH: Playful, people pleasers. DM: Rust-colored, agile ancestral hunter. LR: Functional, moderate and medium size. KR: Versatile, moderate and self-colored.

2. What are your "must have" traits in this breed? GA: sound movement, correct eye, balanced and proper size! MC: Type, outline, symmetry, moderate, made of curves, balance front to rear angles, proportion, sound coming and going (want single tracking), first and second thigh, level topline with slightly rounded croup. No gay tails! Also would want correct ears, not Hound-like. Lastly, but certainly not least, good feet (that can take this Sporting Dog around the ring) with movement that is light footed and a far reaching stride so evident in a properly-made Vizsla. “Sporting dogs have to move!” PD: Lightly built, medium-sized, rust-colored hunting dog. RH: Fluid movement, width of back skull and muzzle, depth and width of fore chest and substance DM: 1) Correct size, 2) distinctive solid golden rust, 3) lean and muscular, 4) short back, 5) non-sloping topline, 6) slight rise over the loin that is a hallmark of the breed and 7) moderate angulation and balanced. LR: Being a Sporting dog, he must appear to be able to work all day; so good movement, good feet and strong topline. Plus the Vizsla is light, but athletic and very moderate in every way. KR: A distinctive silhouette, golden rust color, moderation, effortless side gait and a “Tigger” demeanor. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? GA: Long in loin, over angulated and too big. MC: I see many breeds becoming more exaggerated or extreme today, so it is not limited to the Vizsla. Regarding Vizslas, I believe they are losing the moderate, off square, level topline with bone/substance. I’d like to see better croups, shorter length of loin and less gay tails. I also see weedy dogs and some shy temperaments. It would be unfair to say Vizslas need better fronts, without stating that many breeds are struggling with this issue. I believe breeders are aware and making great attempts to fix this

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