Showsight Presents the Vizsla

vizsla Q&A 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! LR: It just depends on the area and the entry. In the past, I judged many nice dogs. Recently, I just did a specialty and the entry was amazing—a lot of depth of quality. But at some shows with smaller entries, the dogs are not as good. 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. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? GA: I feel some new judges are pointing to too large and longer, a bit too Hound-like or too refined—there is a happy medium. 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: New judges can misunderstand the function/purpose of the breed. This is why the breed needs correct move- ment, 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. LR: This is a lightly built dog, but is still strong and athletic. So sometimes that balance of “not too much” vs. “so fine that it could not do the job” is tricky. Another thing I see are dogs in very hard working condition. They are very slim and hard muscled—these dogs should not be penal- ized. It is wonderful that the owners are continuing to do what the dogs were created to do. 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 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. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? GA: I find the Vizsla a very stable breed mentally, very happy and a joy to judge! When you have the proper eye, expression and balance, it is a joy to look at. 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 having my hands on dogs that can work in the morning and come into the show ring in the afternoon, all the while

“I FIND THE VIZSLA A VERY STABLE BREED MENTALLY, VERY HAPPY AND A JOY TO JUDGE!”

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

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