message of the following section is
Do not take anything a
breeder says at face value.
No Vizsla Pedigree nor Breeder is perfect, but you as a buyer need to
determine what your standards are and what you want in a
Vizsla and then do your homework to ensure you get what you
Shows, Championship, Titles
breeders today know that just a championship title is not
enough to justify a dog's use in a breeding program [and]
acknowledge that absence of faults does not guarantee
presence of virtues, and it is virtues they are seeking in
their gene pool." "The Judge's Eye", Dorothy
Macdonald, AKC Gazette, Jan 2004.
good show dog or good hunting dog is not necessarily a good
dog - there could be temperament or health problems that are
not readily apparent and not disclosed by the owners.
may use unsportsman-like or illegal handling techniques
which may improve their dogs ring presence and frequently is
at the expense of distracting other handler's dogs.
Examples are throwing bait, double handling, pushing ahead
of or crowding out other handlers or blocking from the
judge's sight other dogs. Chatting excessively with
judges gives the appearance of favoritism and unfair
Vizsla that cannot finish its Show Championship likely has
one or more significant faults in departure from the Vizsla
Standard which addresses structure, size, appearance and
(to a lesser degree) temperament. A Vizsla never shown
in conformation is of unknown quality - beware!
Mediocre and faulty dogs can earn Championships given enough
time and persistent owners/handlers.
breeders distort their Vizsla's show ring accomplishments are to display "Best of Breed"
photos of their Vizslas won at shows with only one Vizsla
entered at which no Championship points were awarded.
The dog photographed may not have ANY championship
points. Or to list all placements in classes at shows
where the dog did not win and no championship points were
earned. Or to send their dogs with professional
handlers to states whose Point
Schedules are very low to win majors more easily (e.g. a
3 point win in ND/SD/MT is 1 point in WI!) To viewers unfamiliar with dog shows, it may
Show Championship does not guarantee conformation to the Vizsla
Standard for many reasons like dogs can grow out of
standard, handlers can successfully hide some faults, judges
didn't look close enough to discover the fault or weren't
familiar enough with the breed standard, dogs with faulty
temperaments can be taught to "hold it together"
for the short amount of time in the ring and be kept away
from other dogs and people outside the ring, etc.
Show Championship or Hunting title is not a license for
breeding. Factors such as temperament, trainability, health
(in the dog and its pedigree and progeny), and true conformation
need to be given serious consideration as
from "Better Breeding", AKC Gazette, Patricia V.
May 2004: "Some exhibitors...have resident
studs whose credentials are inflated far beyond their
contribution to the breed's gene pool. This is
achieved by mating numbers of bitches to this rather
ordinary sire, getting the majority of the resulting progeny
in the show ring with skilled handlers and accumulating
championship titles. Soon the kennel houses ROM sires
and dams, giving it superficial but credible celebrity which
far surpasses the quality of the actual dogs to those who do
not know better."
Oct 2004: "Dogs that have compromised
psyches and lack correct character for their breed are
detrimental to the gene pool. No matter how beautiful an
animal is, with a poor temperament, it does not belong in
the gene pool."
opinionated or judgmental statements which favor one venue
over another as the most (or only) honorable pursuit or
whose Vizslas are more worthy breeding stock does the
following: Alienates and offends. Serves oneself
and one's kennel. Perpetuates animosity between
venues. Divides the breed instead of fosters
working together for the betterment of the breed.
"Vizslas that don't <whatever> or
don't have titles in <whatever> should not be
"Anyone can earn <some title that they don't
"I don't think a Vizsla with a title in
<whatever> should be bred if it doesn't
"If it doesn't hunt, is it a Vizsla?"
"If you want a dog but you don't want to hunt, get a
persistent owner/breeder along with a good handler can
finish almost any Vizsla to its Championship (even some with
significant faults) to legitimize the dog's use for
breeding. The better the Vizsla, the fewer shows it
takes to earn a Championship. Some earn their
Championships in 20 or fewer shows, others are shown in many
shows over the course of multiple years.
breeders breed dogs with known faults who
cannot be finished in the show ring or breed dogs with
Championships that are barely deserved or who have
significant faults that were successfully disguised. This does the
breed a disservice. Conversely, some owners/ breeders
may easily finish a dog to its Championship (other titles
too) and then discover some significant fault and have the
dog neutered/spayed. This is in the best interest of
a mediocre dog or to a mediocre dog is a sign of a mediocre
breeder and perpetuates mediocrity in the breed. From Despair Inc.:
"MEDIOCRITY - It takes a lot less time and most
people won't notice the difference until it's too late."
"IRRESPONSIBILITY - No single raindrop believes it
is to blame for the flood."
breeders who have had histories of producing puppies with
hip dysplasia display their dogs' OFA Certificates all over
their web pages but don't divulge the problems with puppies
they've produced. Even if a dog does not have bad hips
itself, it can pass it onto offspring.
of people breeding dogs with no titles - their motives may
be questionable and the health, temperament and trainability
of the puppies will be unpredictable.
both the male and female are owned by the breeder, be
cautious that they are being bred to avoid paying a stud fee
- they may not make a complementary breeding pair.
the right thing requires a breeder to have the sense to know
what that is and the integrity to carry it out.
Breeders who do the wrong thing are great at justifying and
legitimizing their actions with some of the following:
breeder has done worse things than what I am doing or bred
worse dogs than what I am breeding."
may not be right, but it isn't all that wrong because
take full responsibility for the results of my action"
(aka wrong decision).
breeders and puppy buyers with low or no standards, bad decisions
are not seen as wrong and possibly considered "business as
usual". To breeders and puppy buyers with high
standards, the same action may be seen as deplorable and
harmful to the breed and the individual dogs and puppies as
breeders lack objectivity altogether and only acknowledge the
good and block out the bad
and ugly. These are the
most dangerous because others who don't know what to look
for can be misled into believing what they're doing is
Owners of 2 females found out
that the sire's dam threw 2 epileptic dogs. In
addition, the sire developed aggression (rage) problems and
had to be put down. One
owner immediately gave up her plans to breed her female, had
her spayed and bought another female puppy from different
lines. The owner of the other female had just bred a
litter before hearing the news (bred to a male with immune
issues himself and thyroid problems & epilepsy in the
line) and also planned on spaying her female. However,
the puppies started doing well in the show ring and guess
what? A repeat breeding is planned. Really.
the use of EXCUSES like
"Accidental breeding" - especially when
repeated - it may be 1) a
cover for a breeder's inbreeding experiment, 2) a ruse for
breeding a dog with known problems that is otherwise
unethical to breed or 3) worse yet, a
way to raise money to support expensive show/trial expenses.
Vizsla's fault was caused by an accident" - breeders
may falsely represent the source of problems that would
otherwise make the dog an unworthy breeding candidate by
saying that something externally happened (e.g. hit by a car
or was bit or fell). If it is true, the breeder should
have vet bills to prove it and will gladly supply them.
Excuses do the breed and puppy buyers a disservice.
who lack objectivity of their Vizslas resort to breeding
their inferior breeding stock to each other because no other
reputable breeder would ever breed to their female nor use
their male as stud so they have no other choice. This
is apparent when the female has never been bred to a male
outside of their kennel nor the male ever been requested at
stud by any other breeder. Another example is breeding
to a male far away who has never seen your bitch, only knows
what the bitch's owners tell them and see the likely
very hard-won titles that the breeder feels is a license for
breeding. Worse yet is the breeder
who buys a Vizsla puppy with the specific purpose of
breeding it to their current Vizsla who no other breeder is
interested in but whom THEY know is worthy of propagating.
Regarding reputable breeding practices, don't judge a breeder on what they CLAIM they do, judge them on what they actually
The CLAIM: They "selectively" breed.
The TRUTH: They select all their in-tact Vizslas and breed them.
The CLAIM: They breed high-quality
TRUTH 1: They may suffer from breeder blindness and are not objective judges of their breeding stock and therefore haplessly breed their inferior
Vizslas who may have significant conformation, temperament,
health, &/or performance/trainability problems in their
dogs or its pedigree.
TRUTH 2: They actually breed to make money but certainly aren't going to say THAT.
TRUTH 3: Their definition of "high-quality" is in their own best interest and not universal to the breed.
The CLAIM: They breed to improve their breeding stock.
The TRUTH: Their breeding stock is so bad, breeding to anything is an improvement.
The CLAIM: Their Vizslas have so much to offer the breed.
The TRUTH: Pedigrees may include epilepsy,
thyroid conditions, compromised immune system, temperament
problems, bad bites, all conditions that are hereditary.
The TRUTH: Breeder quote: "Most people who see the pedigrees of the
sire and dam in this breeding will turn and run the other
way because of the rage issues and epilepsy in both sides of
the pedigree. But the
first litter turned out so nice [in the show ring], we're
going to do a repeat breeding." OMG
breeders and stud dog owners have bred dogs with one
or more of the following: biting histories; epileptic
siblings or parents; out of standard;
dogs whose parents have thrown hip dysplasia; excessively
people- submissive yet dog- aggressive temperament, dogs with
prevalent thyroid problems in the pedigree.
"Frequent Breeders" in the Midwest now charge
$1200-1500 for mediocre Vizsla puppies and place them at 6 weeks of age. Selling points used are "You can breed this puppy and someday charge $1500 for
your puppies too!" and "They're worth that much because one of their parents has a title."
Reputable breeders are concerned about attracting Puppy Mills
and strive to keep puppy prices reasonable to keep off the Puppy Mills' radar.
are some quotes from "Frequent Breeders":
"She hasn't been in season for 14 months - I'm going
to have to get rid of her." (if you don't get it, it is
because she isn't having puppies often enough.)
"I kept these 2 females because their grandma produced
10-12 puppies in a litter. I don't want females from
lines that only produce 5-7 pups a litter, isn't worth my
"You know what <Frequent Breeder> calls people
who lose a Vizsla early in life due to health problems or
accidents? Repeat buyers."
going to breed my bitch again to see if the first litter
with lots of problems was a fluke or not."
bad breeders make pretty web sites with catchy URLs and join local and National Vizsla clubs to give
the appearance of them being reputable but are not active
nor follow ethical breeder practices.
breeders are active in clubs and have accomplished dogs and
appear reputable but upon further research, can be found to
have questionable breeding practices and judgment.
pedigree or individual dog is perfect - but a breeder should endeavor to
eliminate propagating significant breed-degrading imperfections (hip
epilepsy, bad temperaments, disqualifying coats, not
conforming to the breed standard, bad bites, etc.) and
minimize other less severe imperfections (poor angulation,
topline or tailset; gay tail; weak hocks; etc.)
a breeding standpoint, it is far better to use an average,
but good, male that is from top breeding stock than a
top-winning dog from only an average or below-average line."
Marion Coffman, "Versatile Vizsla"
dog's pedigree tells you what the dog OUGHT to be, the show
rings shows you what the dog SEEMS to be, the offspring
proves what the dog really IS." From the
Connie Gerstner-Miller & Gloria Kerr "Handling to
order to become a breeder of quality dogs, you must also
become an objective, knowledgeable judge of your own
"Sometimes when you make a mating where the sire is
strong in areas where the bitch is weak and the dam is
strong where the sire is weak, you end up with the worst of
all worlds - a combination of both parents' cumulative
"There are times in the continuing evolution and
development of the breed when exaggerated animals have value
for the breeding program. Usually it is a sire who is
extreme in an area where the breed itself is
lacking." Patricia V. Trotter, "Better
Breeding - AKC Gazette, pp 18-19, Mar 2006.
Bred-By-Exhibitor class should be the showcase for the
exceptional, not a dumping ground for token entries..."
"The dog is the easiest creature in the world to love,
and the most difficult creature in the world for its devoted
owner to fault."
"Egalitarianism has permeated our shows so that some
budding breeders come to believe that all champions are
created equal....It results in breeding mediocre stock,
retaining this stock to show and breed from, thereby
assuring the breeder is trapped in a breeding program with
lesser animals....not all dogs who win at dog shows belong
in the gene pool...a relatively fault-free representative of
the breed without strong virtues may win because he's better
than the rest on that day, yet not belong in the pedigrees
of the future."
Patricia V. Trotter, "Better Breeding",AKC
Gazette, pp 14-15, Jan 2006.
quality. Don't be tempted by the champions
"numbers" game. Aim for better than the
"Know and respect your limits in time, space, emotional
and financial resources." Bobbie Kolehouse,
"On All Fronts", AKC Gazette, pp 10-11, Jun 2005.
Stud whose dam was an excellent Brood Bitch will be more
likely to produce better than a Stud from an average or
below average Brood Bitch.
top-winning dogs may have significant faults that breeders
in close geographic proximity know about. Before
breeding to a male far away, see how many breeders in the
immediate area are using the dog at stud and talk to
breeders in the stud dog's area and ask them if they would
breed to the dog you're considering.
Young breeding stock could
have health problems that have not yet surfaced.
puppy is only as strong as its pedigree and the combination
of all WEAKNESSES in addition to strengths of both parents.
"proven" breeding stock can have significant
faults that the owners fail to reveal to the mate's owner
and therefore may be unknowingly propagated. Real
examples are epilepsy, overbites, underbites,
poor temperaments, droopy eyes, bad hips, immune problems,
of a young male being used excessively for breeding - it is
too early to determine if he throws any negative traits and
indicates the owners may not be very discriminating
regarding to whom they will breed.
the genetic vitality of a breed must take priority over
phenotypic breeding. Acquiring championships does not
justify the proliferation of immune-compromised animals..."
Leslie Crane Rugg, "Coping with Thyroid Disease",
AKC Gazette, Aug 2003.
Note: In my opinion, this also holds true for
a dog may have OFA
EXCELLENT hips, if bad hips are in the
pedigree, s/he will be as likely to throw bad hips as
his/her dysplastic sibling. Look beyond the OFA
rating of the sire and dam for pedigrees free of hip dysplasia. This holds true for all
heritable traits. Note: OFA is a closed registry
and only publishes dysplastic results with the
permission of the dog's owner, so you must rely on the
openness and honesty of breeders to find out about hip
dysplasia in their lines. Read
recommends the dogs be anesthetized during the X-ray to get
as accurate a position as possible for a good reading.
But an X-ray taken with the dog fully conscious has a better
chance of getting a better OFA rating. Some breeders
will seek out vets that will take X-rays of their dogs
without anesthesia in the hopes of bumping up their rating.
procedure is a more accurate form of hip screening. The
hip-extended view (used by OFA) was found to mask the
underlying true joint laxity which the 3 X-rays taken for
the PennHIP procedure cannot mask. It is a more
scientific, objective and accurate procedure than OFA.
every puppy in the litter will inherit all it's parents'
traits. For example, there will usually be "pet
quality" puppies in a litter sired by two
Champions. However, don't expect to pay less for a
non-conformation puppy since all littermates have the same
pedigree and health history and performance potential which
are even more important traits to people who do not want to
Vizsla is a high energy sporting breed. Vizslas from strong
hunting lines (look for FC, AFC, NFC titles) tend to be even
higher energy and more independent, traits which are
desirable for tirelessly searching for birds in the field
for long periods. Many times breeders who breed strong
hunting lines claim their dogs are calm in the home (which
can happen), but many of them keep their Vizslas in outdoor
kennels until advanced in age &/or send them off to
professional trainers &/or keep breeding them so they're
often pregnant, so how would they know?
one word which describes a border-trained Vizsla?
if you "just want a pet", don't you desire some of
the traits that titles are indicative of? Isn't health
history just as important to you? Don't you want an
easily trained dog? Don't you want to know the
disposition of the puppy too? Then why would you
settle for a puppy mill or backyard breeder any more than
someone wanting a competition Vizsla?
you "just want a pet" and think that because you
won't breed it the quality of the pedigree doesn't matter,
then you support the degradation of the breed. Your
breeder breeding "just a pet" poor Vizsla specimens also sells to people
who want a Vizsla "just to breed" (regardless of
conformation and health and temperament and trainability)
and who will propagate traits that degrade the Vizsla as a
Ad in the Mukwonago, WI newspaper, 12/8/04:
VIZSLA Pups - AKC, hunt, pet, show. Champion
line. Ready now for Christmas! (920)
822-XXXX. [Pulaski, WI]
No Vizslas owned by this breeder come up in K9INFO.COM so we
know their Vizslas do NOT have ANY titles and do NOT
have OFA-certified hips. A reputable breeder will
NEVER 1) take an ad out in the newspaper to sell puppies, 2)
encourage people to buy any pet for a CHRISTMAS present (the
AKC has an ad campaign against this irresponsible backyard
breeder practice), 3) breed a dog without having it's hips
OFA'd along with other health checks, 4) breed a Vizsla who
does not meet the AKC Vizsla
Standard nor have any proven
performance accomplishments nor indicators of temperament.
excerpt sent by Wisc Vizsla breeders (with
a hidden agenda of looking for a stud and selling puppies
out of their 2 planned 2005 litters):
"We breed [our 5 y/o female] once a year and plan
to breed [her 1-1/2 y/o daughter next year]. We don't
show or hunt our dogs but simply love the breed and
everything about them. We breed because we love these dogs as if they were our own children...We are actively "shopping" for a stud dog...If you have a stud or know someone who does, we'd like to talk to you to see if our dogs are
compatible. We're happy to do the breeding here...We anticipate a litter from
[our 5 y/o female]...and another from [her 1-1/2 y/o
daughter next year]. We have started a waiting list..."
Even though the web site states "Both <dam>
and <sire>'s hips are OFA Certified" and their
AKC Registered Names are shown on their pedigrees, both
parents of one litter ARE NOT REGISTERED in the OFA
database! The sire of the other litter has OFA FAIR
hips. None have been evaluated
objectively in any way to demonstrate conformation to the Vizsla
standard nor any performance strengths. The younger
female's pedigree includes 1 show champion and 2 with
hunting titles out of 30 ancestors. They demonstrate
their love "as if they were our own
children" by forcing their Vizsla bitches to
become Vizsla breeding machines their entire lives to line
the pockets of their "loving" owners. They
bred their older bitch twice in seven months and she
had 3 litters by age 5 and another is on the way. At
eight years of age, here's what they say about this bitch:
"...has produced four litters and though we could breed
a couple more times with her we've decided against so she
can simply enjoy the rest of her life..." Because
she sure hasn't had a chance so far, that's for sure! Ironically, they copied text from the CWVC Website (without
permission) that warns people to only buy puppies from
breeders who OFA their breeding stock...and they do NOT.
puppy buyers pose as "the perfect buyers" and then
sell the dog at a profit for use in research or torture the
dog (cats too) due to their mental illness.
man who ran a puppy mill would steal rare dogs and then keep
them in inhumane conditions and breed them. To feed
his animals he purchased diseased farm animals from local
farmers and fed them the meat. (Minnesota)
co-worker of mine bought a Vizsla from a breeder whose dogs
had no titles but were from well-known hunting lines in the
Midwest. This Vizsla bit its owner and the owner's
sister and mother (requiring stitches). They
hired behaviorists but nothing helped. The breeder
would not take the dog back and Rescue groups will not take
dogs with biting histories. A nearby hunting kennel said they would
buy the dog to use it as breeding stock (even knowing its
biting history!), but when they saw the outdoor kennel the
Vizsla would be kept in, the owners decided instead to have the
Vizsla put down.
breeders say they take back puppies they've bred (sign of a
reputable breeder), but then kill them
because they assume something is wrong with the puppy or has
been irreparably damaged by the owners and don't want to
take the time to evaluate, train and find it a new
home. To them, it is less work to just to kill it and then
have more easy-to-sell puppies.
DNA profiling, prominent Vizsla breeders active in Field
Trialing would cross-breed Vizslas to
Pointers in hopes of getting a dog that hunts like a Pointer
but looks like a Vizsla so it would beat Vizslas and other
breeds (GSPs, Pointers) in Field
Trials. If a puppy in the litter looked like a Pointer
and not a Vizsla, it was killed.
breeder had an elderly couple come to pick out one of
their four remaining Vizsla puppies. When the couple
couldn't make up their mind and offered to buy all four, the
breeder agreed! The couple's children report that the
dogs are untrained, out of control and the house is a mess,
yet the couple refuse to give any of them up.
know breeders in this area (WI, IL) who breed Vizslas with
biting histories, epilepsy in their lines, who have charged
aggressively at people on multiple occasions unprovoked,
with overly submissive
personalities (chronic submissive urination), excessive suspicious
and aloof personalities, compromised immune systems (have
thyroid problems in their lines &/or had demodectic mange), bad hips (one
SW Wisc breeder would not return the calls of 2 puppy buyers whose puppies
he bred had developed severe hip dysplasia by age
2 and this same breeder would not allow a different
potential puppy buyer to visit his kennel in
family went to a web site devoted to selling puppies on the
internet and purchased a Vizsla
puppy at a bargain price from a Puppy Mill in Iowa and got a
Vizsla puppy with ringworm all over its body and ended up
making a long drive back to Iowa to return it to the Puppy
Mill. The next day, the Vizsla puppy with ringworm was
listed again for sale on the web site.
of puppy.com, can you believe what you see? First,
what reputable breeder is going to sell puppies to people
who they haven't even had a conversation with? Don't
they care where their puppies go? How will they
support the buyer after the sale? And have you seen
all the faults? White above the toe's knuckles, dark
noses, ugly heads, coats too light. Notice that few of
the litters are born to Vizslas with their
Championships? And some SAY they have Championships or
are from Champion lines-
buyer beware, that may mean there's 1 Champion in the 30
ancestors in a 3-generation pedigree. Notice the repeating kennel name that
people are so proud to display as in their Vizsla's
lines? That kennel must be pumping out tons of Vizsla
puppies themselves to have so many mentions. And
apparently they are telling their puppy buyers to breed all
the puppies they can too. The thing
that worries me most is what you CANNOT tell from photos -
the TEMPERAMENT of the sire and dam and puppy and the HEALTH
of the ancestors and the puppies (see story above - are they
going to advertise "Puppy is full of
ringworm!") If you want a bargain puppy, buy a
Vizsla puppy on puppy.com and you WILL get what you pay for
and what you deserve for supporting backyard breeders, puppy
mills, and the degradation of the breed.