Showsight Presents the Vizsla

vizsla Q&A

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? 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. 6. How do undocked tails affect your choices? Tail set and tail carriage are important, but being undocked doesn’t bother me. 7. Name a previously campaigned Vizsla that illus- trates your ideal type. 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.

musculature. The Vizsla outline is clean and demon- strates athleticism 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, bal- anced, 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 developed 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. 2. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? 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. 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? 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. 4. Is there anything Vizsla handlers do you wish they would not? 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.

GCh elginCariad Dorratz Kind of Blue Jh, “Miles”

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share? 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. KATHY RUST 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Vizslas? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? The ultimate hallmark of the breed is two parts—silhou- ette and color. When I’m judging I look for silhouette, side gait, topline, down and back and tail carriage.

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