Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Water Retrieve is Special

The first day of hunting season out at Hastings Island is always special.
I take time after we take our first bird to give thanks for the bounty that nature gives us.
A pheasant is a wonderful bird that is great food.
A water retrieve holds a special place in bird hunter's hearts.  The drive of the dog to swim to the downed bird, no matter how far or tough it might be to get to.

And then with bird softly in his mouth to return it to the hunter.
Bailey returning with bird.

 The harvest today was four male roosters.  I had the club clean the breasts and thighs.  I have friends looking forward to this.  The have never tried pheasant before. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fog Dogs

Fog Dogs enjoying the cool Pacific fog as it rolled over the Las Trampas Wilderness area ridges from the west.

Winds blew at over 40 MPH on the ridges and drove me back down into the sunshine of the San Ramon Valley below.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pups grow up fast.

The Lily, Chloe and Bailey pack
July 4, 2011  Russian River camping
Spring 2012 Morro Bay camping

Summer 2013 Point Pinole hiking

Early Spring 2015 Mount Diablo Park hiking

Almost summer 2015 us leaving the house for a walk to the park after a rain

Monday, June 1, 2015

Las Trampas Late Spring 2015

Enjoying the late spring air and open fields and wooded trails of Las Trampas Wilderness Area.
At the lower elevations of the walk the foxtails were in the fields.  For the dogs to have the freedom to explore, they wore their "Outfox Field Guard" PPE.

Once up on the ridge the foxtails were much less common and the dogs were able to go "naked."

Dropping into Corduroy Hills Canyon 

the forest trail was steep and narrow.  The wildflowers were in bloom.  It was a wonderful 7 mile hike on a cool late spring Saturday morning.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Historical Vizsla Document

The above is the link to the rest of the document AND a link to the original Hungarian letter.

This document is the most important document
 of the modern history of the Hungarian Vizslas.
 At least to those who care about the history 
of the breed at all.

It was stored in Canada.  No one knew - 
after the end of the 1960-ies - what it was all
as it was written in Hungarian
 and put aside
 as one of the documents of no importance. 
Until 2010 - when by a pure chance -
 I was asked to tell what this letter was about.
 As soon as I've read it, I knew this
 was what 
we Hungarians always referred to as
 the "missing link"
 of the Hungarian Vizsla History, 
the link we
 Hungarians always talked about and
 regretted we didn't have. 

I realized immediately the utmost
 importance of this letter, 
as it identifies the old Hungarian Vizslas
 before and during 
World War II., the ancestors of our
 Hungarian Vizsla stock,
 we Hungarians thought were lost
 to us forever because
 all the approximately 700 pedigrees 
of Vizslas disappeared 
after the World War II. Some say the
 pedigrees were "saved"
 from the Russians, some say they
 were simply stolen. 
Up to today the pedigrees are lost 
and there is very
 - if any at all - hope they will ever
 be found, as the
 person who took them is no longer 
alive and he
 never revealed where the pedigrees were.

Therefore this is the most important
for all people seriously involved in
 Hungarian Vizsla
 as it identifies the ancestors of all 
Hungarian Vizslas today.
Mihály Kende was a very important person
 during and
 after World War II. within the Vizslas.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

History of the Vizsla from Hungarian Viewpoint

About the Hungarian Vizsla 

One of the first registrated Hungarian Vizslas called Witti.

The Hungarian vizsla is one of the ancient breeds of Hungarian dogs. It developed independently of all the other vizsla breeds, and its origin likely dates back to the Magyars conquering the Carpathian Basin at the end of the 9th century. Dogs coming here with the Hungarian tribes settling in the Carpathian Basin most likely mixed with hunting dogs of the Slav people living in this territory at that time. Those dogs used by the Slavs probably included the descendants of hunting dogs of the era when the Romans occupied what is now the Western part of Hungary.

It is likely that the populations that evolved this way were the ancestors of today’s Hungarian hunting dog breeds, that is, the Hungarian vizsla and the Transylvanian hound. This ancient type is nowadays called a Pannon hound.Separation among these breeds came about as a result of a selection caused by different uses, presumably during the 12th-14th centuries. The world “vizsla” appears in written material dating back to the 1300s. Early in the 16th century, people in mansion houses were involved in breeding vizsla – which is proven by several documents found in different archives. Therefore, we know that a vizsla type dog was used to hunt small game even before the time of Turkish occupation of Central Hungary in the 16th-17th centuries. During this Turkish occupation, the vizsla most probably also mixed with the Turks’ dogs, including the sloughi. The practical importance of the vizsla increased with the spreading of firearms in the 18th century. Of the ancient Hungarian noble families, many included passionate hunters, who also bred vizsla. Worth mentioning in this respect were the Zay, the Batthyány, the Nádasdy, and the Komlóssy families. In the 19thcentury, the Hungarian vizsla was widespread in northern Hungary (today southern Slovakia), Transdanubia, as well as in Szabolcs and Bihar counties in the East. Unfortunately, its number substantially decreased by the end of the century.The purposive, sports-like dog breeding saw prosperity in the 1860s Europe-wide. It was then that the English and German types of vizsla appeared in Hungary – to the detriment of the ancient Hungarian vizsla. The number of Hungarian vizsla was greatly reduced. In 1916, Tibor Thúróczi wrote an article in the Hungarian dog journal “Nimród” with the title “The old Hungarian yellow vizsla”. This article evoked a lot of response, with many people voicing their opinion in favour of the old Hungarian yellow vizsla. The movement was headed by Dr. Kálmán Polgár, Károly Bába and Béla Kerpely.  It was in 1920 that – under the auspices of the Hungarian Kennel Club – the Association of Hungarian Vizsla Breeders was formed, and operated as a section of the National Vizsla Club. 

A dog could get into the book of pedigree kept by the Hungarian Kennel Club only after judgement by a special commission, if that particular dog proved to be suitable by its look and at a hunting test. The first registered vizsla included Witti (see picture) Honvéd, Laura and Pax… 

Following an extensive debate, the standard was developed with the leadership of Loránd Morvay, Dr. Emil Raísits, Jenő Puntigám and Béla Kerpely, which was accepted by the National Vizsla Club in 1928. The FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale - World Canine Organisation) recognised this breed in 1936, and registered the standard under number 57.
The working features of the vizsla were characterised like this: ... the most obedient and teachable of all the vizsla types ... it follows instructions very well ... it is due to its unconditional obedience that it searches as wide of an area as we want... there is hardly a Hungarian vizsla that must be forced to retrieve ... with regard to tracking, considering its origin as a bloodhound, it is a real master. (Gyula Csizmadia ) The working conditions were set by the Competition Regulations and accepted in 1936.
The first large breeds were the Végvár, Gyöngyöspuszta and Kapos kennels. The famous vizsla trainers, who were also recognised abroad, like Endre Félix or Balázs Ötvös, did a lot for the popularisation of this breed. The creation of the breeding farm in Hévíz in 1937 produced a great boost in breeding. The owner of the farm was Duke György Festetics.
In 1936, the book of pedigree was closed. Therefore, only the pure blood descendants of dogs admitted into the book until that time were allowed into breeding. By the early 1940s, there were approximately five thousand thoroughbred Hungarian vizslas in the country.
Unfortunately, by the end of World War II, much of the Hungarian vizsla population was destroyed, a few of these dogs were taken to Western Europe or America. The original, central book of origin was also lost in fire, thus the origin of some of the remaining entities found was unknown. The National Vizsla Club re-launched the book of pedigree and began to reconstruct the breed. In this, great assistance was also provided by the state breeding farm established in Gödöllő, east of Budapest in 1947. In 1956, the Hungarian Kennel Club was recreated with the leadership of Mihály Kende, and it managed to settle its membership problems with the FCI in 1963. It was in 1966 that the FCI accepted the modification of the Hungarian vizsla standard.
In parallel with the improvement of the economic and political situation, in the seventies, the dog hobby began another development process that has not abated since. A perceivable change came about in the history of the Hungarian vizsla, as well. More and more hunting dog competitions of higher and higher standards were organised, and that had a favourable effect on breeding, too. Instead of the bulkier, bonier, skinny Hungarian vizslas with much tissue under the skin of the head, widespread after the War, it was the easy-build, dynamic Hungarian vizsla of galloping type similar to the ones dreamed up by Dr. Kálmán Polgár and his associates that came to the foreground, and which perfectly fulfil the hunting and competition requirements of our modern era.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Vizsla in the year 1435

Look to the little red dog lower left.  Seems to even be on point.

The Journey of the Magi
Artist: Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni) (Italian, Siena or Cortona ca. 1400–1450 Siena)
Date: ca. 1433–35
Medium: Tempera and gold on wood
Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (21.6 x 29.8 cm)

"This scene, by the leading painter of fifteenth-century Siena, shows the three magi journeying to Bethlehem to worship Christ. It is a fragment from a small altarpiece showing the Adoration of the Magi. Originally, the star was shown above the tiled roof of the stable. The fur-lined hat worn by the magus in pink was inspired by the visit to Siena in 1432 of King Sigismund of Hungary. The picture may date about 1433–35."

Monday, April 13, 2015

So Mean

 Planted (placed chukar - a smallish game bird) birds in the field for mostly young Vizslas in the Northern California Vizsla Club "Fun Field Days" event last Saturday morning.

One of the pups found a planted chukar and pounced.  Before he could grab the bird, it flew and landed on Tiffany's tailgate.  Tiffany was my fellow bird planter for the morning. 

Her poor dog was stuck in its crate and could only look longingly.

So mean of that bird.  After a  good laugh and a few quick pictures with my cell phone, we sent the temptress of a bird back into the air.

Great time watching Vizslas of all ages, but mostly pups, come across game birds for the first time.    This is what they were born to do.

And for my friend Pam Lambros and her pup, a great weekend. 
 Along with Fun Field Days the German Shorthair Club was having a field trial.
Olive had a great weekend. She took a first place in Open Puppy, a first place in Open Derby, and a second place in Amateur Puppy. This little pup is just such a fun girl. -  Pam

Saturday, March 21, 2015

OutFox head gear 2015

Diane, the creator and manufacturing company that makes the "Outfox" field guard, dropped off her new proto-type for me to test. 
So early this morning, my granddaughters and dogs headed up to the hills to give the new head gear a "field trial."
Chloe is wearing the last version from last year and Bailey the newest version.
My granddaughter enjoying the hills with the dogs.
These are a great investment in your dog's safety.
This new version holds on better and is tougher than earlier models.

But when Bailey and Chloe were playing keep away with a small ball they found, the hoods came off. 
The improvement in this hood is that the larger Vero straps hold better so the hood is not lost in the fields as easily as earlier versions.
All in all a very favorable review of the improvements.
Don't go into foxtail filled fields without them.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hangin' with the big dogs

At the top of Mount Mott
Max, a seven-month-old Golden Retriever, with his front paws on the park bench in Briones Regional Park.  This shot was taken an hour into our hike.  Max is a very sweet and smart dog.

Bailey and Chloe showed him, over our two-hour hike in these green hils, what being a hunting dog is all about.  They also gave him a view of what energy and stamina look like. 

"One day I'll be able to run with the big dogs"  is what I believe he thought.

Monday, January 26, 2015

No Trail up this Mountain

In my annual sabbatical into the Arizona desert around Quartzsite Bailey and Chloe join me for eight days living "off the grid".

Mountains behind the motor home to the right is Quartzsite Hill, and to the Left is a loose rock mountain with no name.
One day Bailey and Chloe joined me up Quartzsite Hill where this new American flag waved.  In the background was a tough son-of-a-gun mountain to climb.  But the next day we set off to climb it.
Picture from near the top of this tall mountain the next day.  There was NO trail up this mountain and I know why.  No one in their right mind would climb it.
This Mountain is 90% loose, sharp, and hard stone. It was a tough climb over this loose, sharp rock for both the dogs and me.  Behind Bailey's head, off in the distance, is Quartzsite Hill where the flag waved.  The hill looked like a pimple from this mountain looking down.

What you see in the above picture is the closest thing there was to a trail back down the mountain.  I must admit I was nervous as taking a wrong way down was not a healthy option.  I was sure out of my comfort zone.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

All The Money in The World...................

"All the money in the world can't buy this peace and simple happiness with two friends of man." - Ramon Garcia, Jr. 
Picture taken in the middle of Briones Regional Park at the top of Mount Mott 1/3/15.

A few of the shots taken during our 7 1/2 mile hike.  Even the coyotes were nice today.

These two healthy coyotes came charging down the hill after Bailey and Chloe.  My dogs paid them no mind and I gave out a "leave it" to my dogs and they happily moved along.  These two just stopped in this meadow and watched and even played a bit.  Two coyotes vs. two healthy Vizslas is not a battle smart coyotes want to take on.  Ramon asked me if the coyotes made me nervous.  I told him not so much any more, as I pulled out my Buck knife out of it's sheath.
The coyotes in Briones know Bailey and Chloe.  They should after the hundreds of miles we have hiked up here over the last five years.