Showsight Presents the Vizsla

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!

248 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2018

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