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
* 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 fosteraward.com
& 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
COIMBINATION of FUNCTIONING HANDSOME HEALTHY Vizslas is a crime. Today with the
AKC Hunt Test, those ideals ARE being practiced on & growing every day. Field
Trialers need to give credit where credit is due......to 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 fosteraward.com 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."