Showsight Presents the Vizsla

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

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2017 • 261

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