JUDGING THE WIREHAIRED VIZSLA
By Peg Roginski
B reeders, exhibitors and spectators will not envy the job of the judges when it comes to this breed. Th is being a fair- ly rare breed, as a judge, you won’t be seeing a large number of them at any one show for a while, and it will be di ffi cult to grasp the standard’s de fi nitions regarding the following speci fi c areas. When judging the Wirehaired Vizsla, the thought that they are a Vizsla with a wire coat needs to be the farthest thing from your mind. Just as the German Shorthair Pointer and a German Wire- haired Pointer are two distinct breeds, so are the Vizsla and the Wirehaired Vizsla. Photo courtesy of Lies van Essen, Netherlands.
Th e Wirehaired Vizsla originated back in the 1930’s from a combination of breeds. Th ey lost momentum, like so many Euro- pean breeds during the war, but have made a strong comeback overseas. Th e Wirehaired Vizsla was bred as an all-purpose hunting companion; their coats need to withstand the harsh terrain and the icy waters for hunting all fur and feather. We have seen in this breed that a correct coat, or just the wire coat without any undercoat may not develop until the dog is closer to 3-4 years old. While what looks like a good harsh coat with a lot of under- coat can in a few years have the undercoat grow longer and hide the wire coat. Th is is a challenge for both breeders and judges.
I am starting with the coat as it is what makes this breed unique from the Vizsla and the German Wirehaired Pointer, the two original breeds used in the formation of the Wirehaired Vizsla. Because there were a few other breeds used to bring in the versatility of the Wirehaired Vizsla, di ff erent coat textures and colors were also introduced into the gene pool. It is not uncommon to get the range of a pin coat to full wooly coats in the same litter. Th e Wirehaired Vizsla is to be self-col- ored just as the Vizsla but exhibit the hard, close laying wire coat coupled with a dense undercoat just as the German Wirehaired Pointers. One of the main di ff erences in the coat from the German Wirehaired
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