Saturday, June 19, 2010

White on Vizsla - Part Two

George Oren - Vizsla FT (Yahoo group) June 26, 2010

"The persistent objection to the occurrence of " white " on the coats of the Vizsla will only hasten the demise of our breed's excellent gun dog potential.

Those who breed only for the color of the coat, length of back, tail set etc. for excellence in the show ring and who do not pay attention to the Vizsla's original attributes are dooming this dog to the fate that occurred in the Golden Retriever and Irish Setter. Qualities such as bidability, "great nose",

athletic conformation, desire etc. must be regarded as the primary concern if we are interested in improving the Vizsla as a premier gun dog.

The Dual Vizsla is ideal.

However. the Dual dog's littermate (with "too much white") may well be the better gun dog. I would (and have) breed to the better gun dog. You do produce more conformation champions from hunting stock than field champions from show stock.

Also from my experience of over 42 years of attempting to provide myself with quality hunting Vizslas, I have developed the impression that the field dog is generally more healthy and free of genetic diseases such as epilepsy, allergies, "autoimmune disorders and tumors than the conformation bred dog.

The VCA with its arbitrary and discriminatory requirement of inspection on the line only perpetuates the misguided notion to some that only the dog without white (or very little white) is a "pure " Vizsla and therefore acceptable for breeding.

The VCA is limiting the exposure of a great many superb Vizslas by this action. A littermate of the NFC may well be a better dog but did not qualify.

Why is it not the line inspection required for obedience and agility?

It is said by some that it is because there is or has been " crossbreeding ".

To my knowledge there has not been any solid conformation of this.

But if crossbreeding has occurred, one only needs to look at the second generation's conformation-not the color.

Better yet, DNA analysis will without fail identify the parents of the dog.

DNA will not identify the breed!!

DNA cannot tell the difference between canine species.

My only objection to white on a Vizsla is that they are more difficult to see in a snowstorm.

Reply to "White on Vizslas" by

Diana Boggs - Vizsla Talk (Yahoo Group) June 20, 2010

  Please keep in mind what Vizsla people knew about the breed when Osborn wrote

his words in 1955 which was virtually nothing. Hunt had just completed a year of

intense letter writing with Mihalye Kende (who had yet to write his dozen or so

glorious historical articles) that had to be translated to & from & NO time to

print it so Osborn had more information at his hands after, not before he wrote

his article. Odds are very good that as historians behind him would discover the

more they thought right, the more they thought not right. That was due to MANY

problems, not World Wars withstanding.

Regarding Osborn's Words.....

* He says "at this time", he does not say "from now & forever more".

* the description Osborn gives does not indicate that white he describes is

DQ. In fact what he describes is acceptable even today.

* Regarding the keeping of white, I would point out what Osborn did with

"alleged white on an unacceptable place on the body" to counter the perhaps

mistaken assumption that Osborn would have deliberately bred unacceptable DQ

white by his "whitey" talk. Initially after he imported his first two Vizslas,

he mentions in another article about not white, but the thought of white that he

found unacceptable. Osborn states that one of them had what looked like surgical

scars from removing white from the body. When the possibility of what would

become clear DQ white was the issue, Osborn got rid of that dog & its "white".

* It is not known what Osborn did with his culls. He surely had them.

* It is an unconscionable fact of the fifties that Vizslas were bred in as

high of numbers possible, in order to get the necessary 500 3-generation

pedigrees. To my knowledge only the Hunts destroyed dogs who were ill-bred or

had a "known at that time" hereditary fault.

* Nor did Osborn know much "at that time" about the 1920 recreation details

when the breed had to be reconstructed because of the mass cross breeding by the

two guys who held the new studbooks (grin). That is more information that Kende

would supply in the future.

* Nor did Osborn know there were two studbooks created in 1920 & they were

closed 1936-1938.

* Osborn appears to have assumed that breeding of the Vizslas was never

interrupted, that the English Pointer & Irish Setter were there all along to

crossbreed to. That never happened until the very late 1800's & certainly not

for a thousand years henceforth. They did however back then crossbreed with

every thing under the sun including Herding breeds previous to 1920.

Throughout our time, crossbreeding was done for many different reasons.

* Osborn also heard that the Hungarians introduced the Pointer every ten

generations. That likely never happened since in 30 years you can't have ten

generations, let alone times that many. Nor could the ten generation theory

happen between 1920 & 1936 when the studbooks were closing. That sounds like a

nice Hungarian telling you the dog isn't purebred but because he bred it, it is


* The problem with the color in 1920 was the color was too light. Have found

in text they thought that so because of the crossbreeding with the English

Pointer first introduced in 1880. What I think might have happened here, but no

idea how to debunk or establish my theory, but I think they thought that white

mixed up with colors just like paint & believed that breeding a white dog to a

red dog would make a yellow dog.

* That thought pattern might have been due to the fact that there was

European Pointers before there was the English Pointers & almost every European

Pointer breed is solid darker colors, (that I have found so far) If my theory

has legs, then that explains a link from Sweden that translates the original

Hungarian Standard accurately as having "correct" color as a yellowish/golden

color. Then too, that would explain why very very light Vizsla puppies would be

turning up into the sixties. (There is a photo of GY Mari with pups in an early

VN. It mentions these buff puppies as not abnormal occurences in purebred Vizsla

litters because of the crossbreeding before 1920).(Gy means Champion or CH)

* The Hungarians did indeed try to breed out the white, the reason they

couldn't do so may not have been so because white can't be bred out, but because

WWI & WWII made that impossible, & no theory could be proven or not. There just

never was enough time once studbooks had been established.

* Dog fanciers of the time followed two theories, one had to do with the

shape of the head determining what a dog could do & the other was eugenics, also

determined to not be accurate by today's standards. If you go to

& click on their articles, breeding theories of the times & why bird dogs were

affected is verily explained. There are two very long pages. Click on just about

any link to get there & then scroll, because not all of the really good articles

have connectable links so you can get there.

* ALL of the breed wardens from Hungary all said to try to breed the white

out. That is what the Hungarians wanted. Osborn was simply stating to not toss

dogs out of the genepool because of white because of the temporary low numbers &

lack of genetic diversity "AT THAT TIME" (Osborn's words, not mine).

* At the time that Osborn wrote there were less than 200 Vizslas in the USA.

* People forget that Osborn pioneered OFA & using OFA;'d dogs to breed. What

do you think he would do if the dog was dysplastic & too much white? Or wasn't

dysplastic, but had some other inherited medical condition & too much white?

* Me thinks that people read what they want to see, in words that Osborn had

no idea would be so heavily scrutinized over fifty years later or he might have

done things differently.

* Osborn's judgment of the GSP, etc was not on the money. The GSP has been

crossbred with the Pointer since it was first imported to the US, according to

breed expert Bede Maxwell, author of several GSP books.

* Osborn's remarks on the Pointer are not right on either. The Pointer also

comes in mostly solid dark/other colors. The English Pointer was crossbred with

Hounds with white to produce that breed. So it seems, they included white as

"their" difference to the other Pointer colored breeds. For a group of people

(United Kingdom) who never got into dog breeding until late in the skeins of

evolution, they certainly established themselves in the forefront of hunting


* Besides, Americans had already been breeding Vizslas with white. Look at

Sari, whose owners were prepared to drown puppies with more white than Sari when

born. Also note that Sari's white was in line for the breed Standard that she

competed against in Miscellaneous classes.

* Yes, some Vizslas in the fifties had white, but not in the numbers some

today would like you to think. I have a large collection of Vizsla photos from

40/50. They didn't have white stripes up their legs, on top of their heads, or

blending into the shoulder. I saw the dogs of the sixties. Sorry, but there just

wasn't that much white. I saw the dogs of the seventies. Sorry, but there just

wasn't that much white including inbred dogs. I saw the dogs of the eighties &

beyond & watched the numbers with too much white or oddly placed white steadily

rise. There is only one answer when that happens AND the field styled breed

silhouette changes. You don't slack off with the amount of white & then come

back growing up more white, more often as you go unless hinky things are in your

more recent backgrounds. As time proceeds the extensiveness & occurences of

crossbreeding from Hungary will diminish, not increase.

* It is a serious mistake to take to heart any of our breed historian

"records" or accountings. There are MANY discrepancies. Perhaps most cruel of

all to our historicans is that they didn't learn what they needed to know in the

order they needed to learn it so they would know. That assuredly happened to

Osborn, as well as John Straux, Marion Coffman & Clif Boggs. There are many

published so called "facts" of Vizsla history that are simply not likely true. I

say all of this "at this time" because tomorrow I may find something new that

substantiates earlier claims or denies them.

All that said, to go away by competition in field or show or breeding from the


AKC Hunt Test, those ideals ARE being practiced on & growing every day. Field

Trialers need to give credit where credit is AKC Hunt Tests, because

it is AKC Hunt Tests that are moving the median (not medium) line forward. Field

trials do not move the median line forward. Field trials separate from the

majority unless they bring them along too.

It is as big of a crime to build nothing but Vizsla show dogs who can't hunt as

it is to breed ugly, out of type Vizslas for the field. There MUST be a coming

together between the two for the breed to exist forever, which is why the breed

was created. One can not move forward without the other. Hungarian field trials

had breeding montra's that had teeth. If any Field Dog was found to not have

proper construction in meeting the Standard, those dogs were not only not

allowed to compete again, but would never be allowed to breed.

Breed improvement comes from the median line moving forward. There is nothing

that changes that. Just because a FTer thinks they have to keep upping the ante

to stay competitive in FTs is not as true as FTers like to insinuate. Articles

on the page point that out in detailing competition theories.

Because the breed is a utility breed first, the albatross of responsibility lies

on the field interested Vizsla owners to conduct themselves so that the show &

other interests feel comfortable about getting together. AKC Hunt Tests must be

respected as it is there that AKC FTing is most likely to find their next

competitor & it is in AKC Hunt Tests where the median line resides. Dethroning

JH & SH titles does not make FTs look appealing. Field eventing exists not

because of the dog, but the person, the person who makes the choices, educates &

provides opportunity. So what if that person has a dog that some would look

askance at. If their interest is engaged & they get educated, they will want a

different kind of a dog, on their next dog & their next even better dog.

I don't disagree that Osborn was a "Master Breeder" if such a thing ever truly

existed. If he is, his succession to that throne had more to do with his

breeding choices, choice of puppy placements & sound health values, with the

individuals he obtained, rather than the qualities they represented." 

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