Wirehaired Vizsla Breed Magazine - Showsight


puppy kindergarten to obedience and do extremely well in Obedience and Rally competitions. Naturally athletic with lots of drive, they can also excel in Agility or Flyball. Th eir ultra-keen scenting abil- ity makes them a natural for Tracking and Scent Discrimination. Th ey are used for Search and Rescue in Europe and are beginning to make an appearance in SAR here in America. Th ey love the water, are strong swimmers and many take great delight in dock jumping. We even know some Wirehaired Vizslas that are expe- rienced canoeists and kayakers! Th ey are happy doing whatever their families like to do and just being a part of the family. Th ey also love cuddling up and being couch potatoes and sleeping with their people. Th e downside of the WV’s intelligence and bond with their people is that WV owners must be prepared to make their Wirehaired Vizsla a part of the family and give them plenty to do. It is not a breed that is content just hanging out in the back yard by itself all day, “being a dog” without the attention and interaction with the rest of the family. We do not call them “Vel- cro® dogs” for nothing. Th ey want to be in the same room with their people and right in the middle of things. Expect to go into the bathroom alone? Better shut the door, and just take it for granted that the dog will be waiting right there when the door is opened. In the fi eld, the Wirehaired Vizsla is a close working, methodical hunter, but not a “boot licker.” It doesn’t go running o ff into the next county, but works about 40-50 yards ahead and always knows where his hunting partner is. Mental exercise is as important for the WV as physical exercise and they need the interaction of learning with their owners. It is important to be able to set aside time every day for learning, whether it is tricks, yard games, obedience exercises or fi eld

work. But while training the Wirehaired Vizsla, it is very important not get car- ried away in repetitions or use any kind of harsh or sharp corrections. Th eir soft tem- perament can make them fold up and shut down under heavy hands or too intensive training. For a Wirehaired Vizsla, a verbal correction is as harsh as it ever needs to get and care should be taken to not use too sharp a tone of voice in making the correction. Th ey do not bounce back the way other breeds with harder tempera- ments do and can take a very long time to recover from anything they view as a bad experience. Th e key to success is to keep training fun and positive. In fi eld work, experience is the best teacher and some- times the sage advice for someone with a Wirehaired Vizsla is to quit training in the yard and just go hunt wild birds. With a soft voice and gentle hand in guiding a young puppy into a hunting dog, any- one with a Wirehaired Vizsla can have a skilled, versatile hunting companion for many years. Th e Wirehaired Vizsla has an average lifespan of 12-15 years. Although overall it is a relatively healthy breed, there are many diseases and conditions that can be found in practically every breed of dog and the WV is no exception. Screening for hip dysplasia and eye problems is recommended for all breeding dogs, and many breeders additionally test cardio, elbows, and thyroid. Probably the most common complaint is auto-immune related, most often allergies of some kind, but other auto-immune diseases have been noted as well. Allergies can be expressed as chronic ear infections, yeast infections, skin irritations or gastric upset/IBS and are sometimes relieved with a change in diet, particularly elimi- nating grains and glutens. Some kinds of cancer have been seen, but no particular

form of cancer is widespread or occurs with any frequency. Th e Wirehaired Vizsla has a small gene pool and care must be taken in breeding decisions to not create a genetic bottleneck with too many dogs too closely related to each other. Understanding the breed’s origins and history is an important key to fi guring out Wirehaired Vizsla pedigrees. Although the breed’s written history only dates back to the 1930’s, the breed arose from the remains of the Austria Hungary Empire and survived through wars, changing political boundar- ies and decades of con fl ict in the region. Th e idea of hunters and falconers there was to create a breed with the traits and quali- ties of the Magyar (Hungarian) Vizsla, but sturdier, with more bone, and a dense wiry coat to protect from the elements. With the fall of the Empire, those involved in the breed’s earliest development ended up in di ff erent countries, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. In 1943, Vasas Josef, who had the Csabai Vizsla kennel in Hun- gary, submitted an application to the Mag- yar Vizsla Klub, in which he outlined the ways to develop such a breed and asked the club to authorize their e ff orts and keep a registry of their foundation stock. It was a controversial proposal, but ultimately, the club approved with the recommen- dation to develop as many specimens as quickly possible and to exhibit them in shows and hunting competitions, with the club reserving the right to give future per- mission for more development only after examining the characteristics and abilities of those dogs. Vasas Josef was aided by Gresznarik Lazslo, from the De Selle kennel, who was greatly experienced in breeding German Wirehaired Pointers. Together, they crossed two Vizsla bitches with a solid brown Ger- man Wirehaired Pointer. Th e fi rst dogs

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