Below are some general questions and answers. .
Q: Why did you decide to start a kennel and educational website for 100% Hungarian Bloodline Vizslas?
A: Because none existed in the USA in 2001 when I was in the market for my first Vizsla. Had a website and kennel like Country of Origin Vizslas been in existence back then, I would have gotten “educated” enough and would never have purchased my first Vizsla (American). It had also been quite apparent to me for some time since the purchase of my first Vizsla, that my dog differed greatly in appearance from the photos I would see online of Hungarian Vizslas in Europe. The difference was so great, that to me they appeared to be different breeds altogether, despite the fact that my dog’s AKC registration document declared she was a Vizsla. As my education progressed, I learned that the differences went beyond mere appearance.
Q: What is the Mission Statement of C-of-O?
A: Our mission is to promote, protect, preserve, perpetuate and increase the population of the Hungarian Bloodline Vizsla breed in the Western Hemisphere, as envisioned and intended by its originators in its country of origin: Hungary. Additionally, we wish to make full blooded Hungarian Vizslas available to puppy buyers in the USA and elsewhere who want European style Vizslas and who would prefer to not have to import from abroad.
Q: In a nutshell…What is C-of-O’s Breeding Philosophy?
A: Our unique breeding program, consists of a line of Hungarian Vizslas unlike any other in the USA. Working closely with world renown Hungarian kennels in designing our breeding program, we breed soundly constructed dogs with steady temperaments, good health and natural hunting ability who are true to type Hungarian Vizslas. Un-tampered, they are the original, “multipurpose ” Hungarian Vizsla, NOT limited to hunting just upland birds! We strive to produce the best possible pets for active families that ALSO have the capacity to be superb weekend hunting companions for the foot hunter. Should we have no current puppy availability and the prospective buyer does not want to be on a waiting list, we can furnish a referral to our trusted affiliated Master Breeder kennels abroad or to other select breeders in the USA who are now starting to breed Euro Hungarian bloodlines.
Q: What about tail docking?
A: We support the American Veterinary Medical Association’s position on docking tails.
Natural tails are functional, elegant and look beautiful. Vizslas use them for balance and to express many emotions. Since natural tails on our Vizslas look absolutely gorgeous and have not in our personal experience been a hindrance in the field or in our households, we personally have elected to do as our breeder counterparts in Europe and elsewhere in the world have, and NOT dock tails (or remove dew claws) on the puppies we personally intend to keep in our kennel. However, we do recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances where a prospective owner might require a tail be docked, therefore, we have addressed tail docking as well as dew claw removal options in our Puppy Inquiry Form
Q: Is there a purpose for dew claws?
A: We personally do not amputate the “fifth toe” on the front paws the puppies we intend to keep in our kennel. Dew claws on the fronts are not removed from any breed in Europe. There is a purpose for dew claws. Please watch this video.
Q: As a breeder, are you very active on the AKC show circuit campaigning your dogs?
A: After years of experience and careful observation, I have concluded that the AKC show scene is not my cup of tea. The Vizsla is a ‘Hungarian’ breed, always has been and always will be. The majority of AKC judges have little or no International Show judging experience, therefore, are not qualified to competently judge what constitutes a true to type Vizsla. We believe AKC conformation shows are a flawed system that has caused much damage to many breeds in the USA. We are not alone in this opinion. Additionally, AKC shows are very expensive, political and fraught with unethical and unfair practices, rendering them unreliable and of little true value to the serious breeder intent on preserving their breed standard. There is no “perfect” dog but IF you truly know and fully understand your standard AND can remain objective enough to not be blindsided by your own kennel blindness, you don’t need an AKC judge’s stamp of approval to know you have a quality dog that should be bred to preserve and improve the breed. Fancy titles look good and breeders love to brag about them on the home page of their websites, but they are meaningless unless the dog truly fits the breed standard. Know the breed standard, then LOOK at the dog!
Q: Should I insist on seeing proof of OFA certification of puppy parents as a minimum before purchasing a puppy?
A: Absolutely. To not do so, is akin to playing a game of Russian Roulette without first checking to see how many bullets are in the chamber! If purchasing a non European bloodline Vizsla pup, I’d certainly ask for a lot more proof of health clearances than OFA Certification. Health clearances are important to have, but are still no 100% guarantee your pup will prove to be free of all genetic diseases during his lifetime. As with people, there is no guarantee of excellent health. But, taken as a whole, it is our opinion that European bloodlines are generally healthier than AKC ones. Please click on Hungarian Vizsla Health link on the bottom footer of our Home Page for health information.
Q: What about Backyard Breeders and Puppy Mills?
A: We assume you already know better than to purchase a puppy from puppy mill supplied Pet Stores, else you would not be here. Backyard Breeders on the other hand, are not quite as obvious and are everywhere, down the street, in your home town and all over the world, including Europe. Most Backyard Breeders do not participate in conformation, natural ability field testing or do health clearances. Your best defense against backyard breeders is to always ask to see proof of at least OFA Certification ruling out hip dysplasia.
Q: How important is Temperament testing?
A: The ATTS conducts Temperament Tests several times a year for the purpose of determining whether a dog would be suitable for service work training. This is a recognized third party testing organization. Their motto is: “A sound mind in a sound body.” Any breeder can have his breeding stock evaluated for temperament by the ATTS. Per the breed standard, a Vizsla should be neither shy nor aggressive. And because temperament in dogs, is hereditary and passed from one generation to another, breeding stock should be evaluated prior to breeding. Your new puppy is going to be a member of your family. His temperament is key to how successful and enjoyable your next 12-14 years with him will be. It is important that you ask for proof of temperament testing. Many breeders go to extra ordinary lengths and expense to get conformation Championships but not Temperament Test Certification on their breeding stock. Getting temperament certification is quick, easy and inexpensive. In our opinion there is no reason why a breeder would not want to get this certification, unless there was doubt his breeding stock would pass.
Q: Is it true some Vizslas in the USA and elsewhere have the reputation for being nervous, high strung, scared, neurotic and recently even vicious?
A: In our opinion, YES… thus, the importance of Temperment Testing of puppy parents or a Hungarian pedigree. Many Vizsla bloodlines lines have become quite distorted from the original Hungarian Vizslas as they have been bred specifically and exclusively for field and/or field trial competition without any real regard for temperament nor suitability as a family companion dog. If you are a non-hunter family, it would be a good ideal to avoid field lines, even some Dual Champion lines altogether as being inappropriate as pets, even for active families. If approaching a show line breeder for a puppy, as well as the usual health clearances, it would also be a good idea to confirm that both parents at least have a Junior Hunter title, or better yet have had NAVHDA Natural Ability Testing, as this will reduce the chances you will get a puppy with watered down or no hunting instincts. Remember, a Vizsla is not a true Vizsla if it has lost its natural hunting instincts through faulty breeding practices.
Q: What color is a Vizsla?
A: The correct color of the Hungarian Vizsla is best described as “French roll yellow”, “bread crust” or “Baguette” color and its various shadings, not too dark, not too light. When shopping for a puppy….if the parents are quite dark, suggesting “red” or brown, please be responsible and walk away, do not buy the puppy as you will be an accomplice in doing the breed a disservice. Keep searching, there are breeders who are breeding correct colored Vizslas…, just be patient, even if it means getting on a waiting list. In our opinion, the ONLY hunting dog that is supposed to be red is the Irish Setter.
Q: How suitable is a Vizsla as a companion or family dog?
A: Well bred Hungarian Vizslas are a beautiful, cheerful, loving breed making them ideal pets for families with children, provided they are trained properly and get sufficient exercise. Early training and regular exercise is crucial for a harmonious family relationship. Vizslas are also extremely affectionate and thrive on and crave human interaction! They are called “the velcro dog” for a reason. They are great with older children (ages 7 and upward), as younger children could easily be knocked down by the Vizsla’s exuberant nature. Contrary to common belief, Vizslas DO shed, but not as much as other hunting short haired breeds such as German Shorthair Pointers or Labrador Retrievers. A short daily session of brushing with a brush suitable for a short haired breed will greatly reduce dog hair in the house from shedding. If any family member has allergies to dog dander, they WILL be affected by a Vizsla living in the household! Surprisingly, they do not have any unpleasant “doggy” odor provided they are bathed on occasion.
Q: The Vizsla as a Gundog, please explain and what will this mean to me if I am not into hunting?
A: GUNDOG: The English translation of the Hungarian word “vizsla” (pronounced VEESH-la), is “seeker”/”pointer” interchangeably. A dog who has no interest in hunting or who will not seek and point, does not fit the definition of a Vizsla. He MUST possess a natural hunting instinct and drive to be a true to type Vizsla.
Compared to other continental pointing breeds such as the English Pointer or the German Shorthaired Pointer, the original Hungarian Vizsla hunts at a persistent gallop, keeping in contact with his master, per the breed standard, yet in the end, does the same job. He does not have the reputation for running at breakneck speeds and disappearing out of sight. There is no need for a GPS tracking device on his collar, he will keep in contact with you. The Hungarian Vizsla was bred for this specific style of hunting, which is DIFFERENT from other Gundogs. Sadly in many parts of the world, this niche hunting style is under assault, thanks to many breeders “throwing out the breed standard” and catering instead to the desires of field trial enthusiasts bent on competing with pointers and setters or those who want to hunt on vehicles or on horseback instead of on foot.
FAMILY PET: If kept as a family pet only, the Vizsla will show his true colors by finding and pointing at birds, squirrels, lizards or even chasing dragonflies whenever possible! The stronger his natural hunting instinct, the stronger will be his interest in critters. He is a retriever as well as a pointer, so he will instinctive carry his toys in his mouth (sometimes more than one!) when he greets you and when he is happy and can make a nuisance of himself at times in this respect :). He is an intelligent breed and likes to have something to do. This breed wants to be in very close proximity to humans, thus he has earned the name “velcro” dog. He would be miserable in a kennel, crate or backyard for hours and hours upon end and would develop behavioral problems if treated in this fashion.
Q: Beside food and clean water, shelter, medical attention, love and human companionship, what other needs does a Hungarian Vizsla have?
A: NEED FOR EXERCISE AND MENTAL STIMULATION: Well bred Hungarian Vizslas may need about 20 minutes of vigorous exercise a day to drain some of their energy if they have been sedentary for most of the day. But, including the dog in the activities of active children in the household may very well be all the exercise and mental stimulation a Vizsla will need. They are especially suited to a family where an adult is at home during the day and who could fit the dog in with daily activities for body and mind stimulation throughout the day. Ideally, hunt training and hunting would be their ideal activity, but that is not always possible in this day and age. There are other avenues that would work, well within the daily or weekly routines of an active family such as brisk walks, playing with children, jogging, trips to dog parks, playing catch and fetch with a ball or frisbee, obedience training, and/or some free off leash running in a larger safe fenced area or even use of a treadmill. Each dog has his individual exercise needs, some need less, others need more. Performance sports such as agility or flyball are very popular with Vizslas and they excel at it. As the dog matures, his exercise needs decrease accordingly. You should count on at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise daily for a Vizsla that is NOT from an exclusive field line. V’s from solely field lines may need considerably more exercise. Country of Origin Vizslas are from a combination of field and show bloodlines.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Too much strenuous exercise can have a negative effect on young puppies. Take care that puppies have less vigorous exercise while they are developing during the first year as they could sustain injuries to hips and joints during the crucial first year of development as they have not yet developed the muscular structure needed to stabilize their bone structure. Np forced exercise such as hours long walks or long sessions on a treadmill. Puppies should also not be allowed to get overweight as this too would put stress on bone and joint development. Feed non-rich, or large breed puppy food during the first year for proper bone and joint development as well as a daily dietary supplement of glucosamine/chondroitin, MSM and hyaluronic acid such as Dasuquin or as advised by a Veterinarian. Please see more important information regarding what you can do to help your puppy develop properly in the Puppy Growth section of the Puppies tab.
NEED FOR OBEDIENCE TRAINING: The Vizsla is a very intelligent dog and he WILL try to rule you if allowed. Therefore, obedience training as well as discipline, boundaries and limitations must be started in early puppyhood and consistently applied at home as well as in class to establish the correct master/dog relationship, otherwise behavior and disobedience problems may arise.
NEED TO BE PROPERLY SOCIALIZED AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME: It is a breeder’s responsibility to do their best to socialize the pup as much as possible in the small window they have and to match each puppy to his new home as best they can based on the adoptive family’s lifestyle, composition and experience and the personalities of the puppies in the litter they have to work with. Puppies should be picked up from the breeder ideally at the end of the 7th week or beginning of the 8th. Remaining in the company of litter mates or mother past 8 weeks is detrimental to optimal puppy development and special living arrangements need to be made if pup can not be taken home by the beginning of the 8th week. It is the new owner’s responsibility to immediately continue the socialization process where the breeder left off and to commence the obedience training steps necessary for proper integration into his human family life. To be properly socialized puppies need to be exposed to all situations they will encounter in life from week 8 thru 4 months period of their life at least (car rides, loud noises, vet office, leash training, walking on busy city streets, playing with children and other dogs, etc.). Please consult with your veterinarian as to when and where it is proper to social the pup bearing in mind that he has only received his first set of shots when he leaves the breeder. Care must be taken as the pup is at risk until he is fully immunized, which is 2 weeks past the time he received his last puppy shot. Your Vet will advise. Each pup is born with his unique individual “personality” and all need proper socialization and training, they are NOT born with it. A well bred, properly socialized and trained Hungarian Vizsla should not be aggressive, overly shy or unfriendly towards people, dogs or social situations and he should be obedient and know that his owner is his Master and pack leader. When integrating a new pup to a home that already has other dogs in the household, special one on one attention and time away from the other household dogs MUST be shared with the pup so that he bonds MORE with his human family members instead of the other household dogs. This is necessary for optimum development of a family pet and working dog. ALL PUPS MUST VISIT A VET WITHIN 3 DAYS OF PURCHASE.
Q: What are some Vizsla health issues I should be aware of and what can I do as a pet owner ?
A: Refer to Puppy Growth page.