Showsight Presents the Vizsla

vizsla Q&A 2. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I don’t think you can specifically point out shortcom- ings willing to forgive because I like to look at the total package. It may be slightly different in each line of dogs. Faults that are hard to overlook are lack of appropriate front assemblies and steep croups. 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? This is a breed that while light on their feet, they still must be robust. We must watch that the breed keeps its silhouette and unique topline without to becoming too flat or too steep through the croup. At the same time, a lovely breed example standing must also be able to move and hunt for hours at time. Many dogs from the 1980s & 1990s would do extremely well in the ring today. Breed- ers should go back and review our foundations dogs all the way back to the 1960s. We need to respect the past to maintain the future and make sound breeding decisions today. 4. Is there anything Vizsla handlers do you wish they would not? Take your time and train your dogs. Faster is not always better when moving. 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? One of the best things I ever did as a when I started in Vizslas was attend our National Field trials and ride the braces. I had the opportunity to ride with many of the master hallmark breeders and pick their brains about what they were looking for in a field dog. I watched them move and them went over them standing and took the time to educate my eye. Seeing a dog stacked in “field” condition often looks different than those in show condi- tion. Field dogs still can single track and have beautiful reaching side gait. Yes, there are definitely traits that are being rewarded in the ring that would hurt in the field: Poor feet, lack of chest depth and breadth. 6. How do undocked tails affect your choices? It doesn’t affect my decision at all. Appropriate carriage is necessary. I judged in Australia this past year and the full tails made no difference at all in my overall assessments. 7. Name a previously campaigned Vizsla that illus- trates your ideal type. Please include a photo and/ or explanation.

My ideal type was set with the dog that set my founda- tion: 7x BIS CH Russet Leather Caveat Calla. 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? When judging the Vizsla I think of a medium size, golden 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 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 shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? 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

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