Monday, September 28, 2009

Male Vizslas around a female during "that time"

Put one young female just out of heat,
three under two-year-old intact males together on an off-leash walk and then mix in about ten other Vizslas of different ages. What do you get?

One interesting walk.

Young adolescent male Vizslas are excess energy all balled up in short red fur.

Add to the hormone soap the intoxicating scent of the female just out of heat and you get a lot of what is called "posturing" which is just before the "fight". There must have been 20 short "posturing" sessions as we all walked along between the three male dogs. A quick "knock it off" would get the dogs to move along. Interesting that it was always only two males and never all three at a time.

Bailey got his first introduction to a female just out of heat yesterday. He would NOT leave the poor girl alone. Finally I had to leash him up and take him into some fields away from the group.

Later in the water, a young male the same age (about 15-months-old) and Bailey did a "stand off" about 25 feet out in water . Two red statues in water chest deep.

There they stood. Every muscle tight as piano wire. Their tails standing straight up and their heads posed right next to each other. Solid they stayed, even as we tried to call the dogs back in by yelling at them to come.

Finally after about a minute, Bailey broke off and came about half way back to shore with the other male right behind. Then all of a sudden, Bailey turned and the two dog's teenage pent-up testosterone took over. The fight lasted maybe 1o seconds before we broke it up. One slightly bloody ear later it was over.

Both dogs were placed on leash and we walked them back to shore. We then headed back to the cars on on different trails taking Bailey away from the intoxicating smell.

Bailey is testing adulthood. He is testing me now. These are interesting times in raising an intact male. Never done this before. Casar tells that during this age dogs are "given up" to shelters. That cute puppy is no longer cute nor a puppy any more when the "true dog" comes out in them.

Bailey never did try to mount the female, for which I was grateful, but the poor girl's ears sure were wet from all the licking he did.

So here is another part of learning how to deal with this highly spirited, bright and strong-willed male hunting dog.

I know this stage will pass. In the meantime, Bailey will have to KNOW that I am the Alpha male. He may stay on leash a lot more over the next few months. His training will be tougher and commands stronger.

And yes, I did order our nice new training collar with a 1/2 mile range. Should arrive any day.

In my opinion, all teenage boys (including human ones that date our daughters) should wear one.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Athletic Vizslas

The Vizsla is a very athletic dog! Like a young person talented in sports, we should encourage our charges to find their abilities. The above dog does long distance dock dive competitions. He is a member of team red dog. The U.S. Marines tell their recruits to "be all you can be." We can do the same with our Vizslas.

There are many folks around the world that strive to the highest level of accomplishment for their Vizslas. I have had the opportunity to met a few of them. They love and respect their dogs and the bond is very close.
Here is a story earlier this week on the Yahoo group Vizsla FT. This was from Lee Dosier about a young man named Cory :
"Then to have a 13-year-old kid train and handle the dog to his qualifying score is even more surreal. He is the youngest handler to get a "Prize 1 Utility Dog" and now he is the youngest handler to get the "Versatile Champion" with a perfect score of 200 points. Think about that, no car or driver's license to go train when you want. You need to bum rides for you and your dog.

While the folks are very good people, they have a life to live and work and chores to do, so Cory's time was very limited. But he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt and made no excuses, just went when he had the opportunity. This was also his first hunting dog so that is even more entertaining. I think we can all learn something from this guy. He is a rare kid, especially these days. "

EncourageItalic kids and friends to get out and do more with these athletes. The time out in nature does the humans good as well.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What "Vizsla Rescue" is about

Went to my first Northern California Vizsla Club Rescue group picnic yesterday in Vacaville, California. This event took place out in the country and the dogs had a wonderful time.
Bailey wanted to get close to Jack, one of the dogs needing a foster home, by standing over his back. We had some very happy dogs in the group.

Going to dog shows, it is common to see the booths for most breeds also have a booth for "rescue."

People who have this compassion for the breed and the well-being of those Vizslas that end up homeless have my sincere respect.

The Vizsla is a lucky breed to have such dedicated owners. I have friends who have fostered Vizslas for years. Also another friend who gets nothing but rescued Vizslas. Special people who love these special dogs.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Vizsla's personality helps in hard times

Over the years I have lived with many dogs. Growing up, my folks had Miniature Poodles. Not exactly Lassie for a young boy. Then there was a period for me from about 10 until 22 that I was dogless.

My wife and I have had a stray Lab mix, a couple pound Springer Spaniels, and a couple Cocker Spaniels.

Our last dog was a "puppy mill" Cocker named Houston. Our youngest daughter fell in love with this little 8-week-old ball of blond fur in the pet store at the mall. She was just starting kindergarten. Houston lived with us until that same daughter went off to college.

After 25 years of dogs, we needed a break.

Fast forward seven years to the summer of 2007, when both daughters got married.

After the weddings we found ourselves looking for a dog.

We did our homework this time studying breeds. This time we wanted to know as much as we could about the pup that would live with us for 12 or more years.

We got Chloe first, and then 10 months later, we got Bailey. Both from small family breeders whose intention was to create the best Vizslas possible from good, stable, and healthy parents.

Sunrise's Bona Fida Chloe and Highlander's Bailey's Wildest Dream are those creations.

We had never gotten our dogs like this before. The dog pound or mall pet store was the norm. What a difference!

These Vizslas have a character that I have never felt with another breed.
The closeness to us they want and the desire to please their masters has made owning these two dogs a different experience.
Almost every moment I am around these wonderful creatures I count as special times.

We, as owners, also had to get to that place in our lives where we could give our dogs the love and attention they needed to thrive.

As a friend pointed out, "Vizslas are not a pet but a lifestyle".
I couldn't agree more.

Now we have a new addition to the bigger family.
Slowly we are introducing this next generation to the wonderful world of dogs.

Our family just lost a family member this week from complications of old age. These are the hard times.

A long walk with Chloe and Bailey in the hills and valleys helps ease the pain and gets me out in nature where I can see that life goes on.

My trusting dogs by my side, or in the case of Bailey, in the general vicinity.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Introducing Bailey to the training collar

During yesterday's "break" training up in Cotati, Bailey got introduced to the training collar (shock collar).

During the "green break training" period, Bailey is not to chase the flushed bird.

This is our fourth session on break training and it is coming along, but Bailey still has a strong desire to go after the flushed bird and retrieve it back to me.

This is what Bailey thought of the idea of the training collar.

The boy has tough skin.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mountain bike trails again with Vizslas

Mountain biking with my dogs is becoming one of my favorite activities now that the weather has gotten cooler.

Seven miles of riding along the ridges and valleys of Briones Regional Park over a couple hours this morning is helping get the dogs and me in good condition for hunting season.

Some down hill runs really make Bailey and Chloe run all out. The four pictures taken rolling down a gentle slope. Some of the up slopes really gets my heart and lungs working.

Joining Chloe, Bailey, and me was John Connelly. John is here in the Bay Area for a few months on business.
John hails from the New Forest area of England and has had to leave his beloved Radar, his two-year-old male Vizsla, back home. Joining us gives him his Vizsla fix.

As I sit here writting this, Bailey and Chloe are sound asleep.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pheasant Hunting with Anna the Vizsla

The upland game bird season approches with fall.

When I got Chloe and then Bailey I pictured myself on a cool November morning in a field very much like the one shown on this You Tube clip.

Chloe is not a bird hunter. She will find and retrieve a bright green tennis ball with complete abandon.

Now Bailey, on the other hand, is going to be great.

I went out last year and got my CZ - USA 20 gauge over and under shotgun.

Took the Hunter safety program at the Sportmen's Rifle Range in Concord, California.

Went to the range and have killed many dozen orange clay flying discs.

Purchased my 2009/2010 California Resident Hunting License for $41.20 and added the $8.00 Upland Game Bird Stamp.

I have never been a hunter. I have always honored those who hunt upland game birds. Most do so with an immense respect for the land and the wildlife.

I will strive to become the hunter that can be "one with his environment".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How a Vizsla ages

After all these years I was under the understanding that dogs age about seven human years to every calendar year.

A chart that shows how pets age faster than people gave me a new understanding of how our dogs age.

The curve is actually quite different.

So Chloe is now a 26-month-old which equals about 25 in human years.

Bailey who is 14 months equals 17 years old in human years. Now I know why he is "testing" me. I remember those days.

So that chart shows a 50 pound dog aging as follows:

1 year = 15

2 years = 24

3 years = 29

4 years = 34

5 years = 39

6 years = 42

7 years = 46

8 years = 50

9 years = 55

10 years = 60

11 years = 65

12 years = 69

a 15-year-old Vizsla would equal a human of 84-years-old.

They grow up so fast!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

For a thin active Vizsla

Newest update with pictures posted December 2010

A Vizsla ,with its muscular athletic build will show over and under weight conditions quite markedly.
Chloe, our female, has always been a bit heavy while Bailey has always been on the thin side and during the months we were doing a lot of training and going to field trials he has gotten down right skinny.

Michelle Rochester, a breeder of fine Vizslas , ( )
gave me the following recipe for weight gain. They are called " Satin Balls"

3 pounds hamburger

3 cups oatmeal

1/3 box Total cereal

1/3 jar wheat germ

4 large eggs

1/3 cup safflower oil

1/3 cup blackstrap molassas

3 packets of Knox gelatin

Mix all ingredients well and form into "meatballs". Feed as needed to add weight. Store them in ziplock bags in freezer.

They will put weight on a dog rather quickly!

Adjust the amount according to your dog's progress.

Meant to be fed raw.

I store six 1 1/2 inch "meatballs" in a sandwich size ziplock and put them in the refrigerator from the freezer one bag at a time. I use them as treats for Bailey and give him a couple a day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Do Vizslas like water?

Vizslas love the water, if they are introduced to water early in life. Chloe and Bailey will jump in and swim like fish.

When we were looking to get a dog after 7 years of being without one, a key requirement in the dog was that he or she had to love the water as much as we do.

We found that in our Vizslas. We often watch our two dogs jump into a pond, river, ocean, or lake and enjoy a swim, just for the sake of swimming.