Friday, June 29, 2012

Interactive Breeder Directory Goes Live at VCA

young man with Down syndrome holds vizsla puppy
We not only checked out the kennel but also referrals made by owners of puppies from the breeder.
Baby Natasha with our son, Andy
Today the Vizsla Club of America announced the good news that their VCA Breeder Directory has now gone live.  The interactive directory listings are paid classifieds from VCA members  who have been in the club for a minimum of two years. As a member of the VCA, the advertiser agrees to abide by the Code of Ethics ( adopted by the Vizsla Club of America. 

Breeders wishing to be included may find the forms in the next issue of the Vizsla News. They are also  posted on under resources>useful forms:
NOTE: there are VCA membership requirements for posting

Next up for the VCA is to complete the stud directory and litter listing. 

Dogs and kennels advertised in the Breeders Directory elsewhere do not constitute an endorsement by the Vizsla Club of America. Nor does the club hold any responsibility or liability for any claim arising in connection with any alleged or actual violation of the VCA’s Code of Ethics by advertisers in any VCA print or electronic publication or by other members of the VCA. 

For further information or issues related tot he directory visit the website or contact VCA via email (

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On the mend and moving up in the world

Happy to say that Natasha is recovering well from her minor operation this last Tuesday to remove a tumor growing on the top of her mid-right flank. It will take about two weeks before we get official word back from the biopsy. In the meantime we keep our fingers crossed.
vizsla with benigne skin tumor on back
Tumor compared to a 1 CLP coin

It hasn't slowed her down a bit, though, which has been a challenge as we try to keep her from popping her three stitches. Unfortunately we had to pull her from this weekend's show to give her stitches a chance to heal. But keeping our spirits high was finding her listing in the Cinofilia Sudamericana Catologo Chile (Chilean Catalogue) for the June 23 show.  Located under Group 7 we found in black and white:

Categoria: Campeón Joven Hembra 
478 CH.JCHI. NATASHA ROSE CAN D'IJUMA KCC 381146 Nacido el 22/08/2011
Propietario(s) JORGE MARTINEZ .

And to think I was proud of my little group of letters (Ed.D.)! I think she has me beat! 

With luck she will be healed and ready to go to Argentina in July. The good thing is the left side facing the judge looks wonderful. Hopefully our talented handler will show that side to her benefit.  The competition will be stiff I'm told.  We will be pitting our 10 month old against four other young dogs with great titles including Argentina's champion. This is when Jorge reminds me we got her first for hunting- the showing is just the icing on the cake, a time filler while she develops her skills in the field. 

One could hope nonetheless.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A tumor, we wait with hope

Vizsla with only three dogs on point
Photo from Gun Dog Magazine,  August 2012 issue 

As we get ready for Natasha's operation tomorrow to remove a curious tumor-like growth on her back for biopsy this story gives me great strength and hope. With any luck Natasha Rose's growth will be nothing and she will be in fine show shape by July when we hope to have her in her first international show. 

We have subscribed to the Gun Dog magazine and are thrilled to learn that our first copy to arrive in Chile by August will have Bart the wonder dog on its cover:
Vizsla on cover of Gun Dog

I encourage you all to read the article online and order your copy of the magazine available on news stands July 3.

Learn more about Cancer and lymphoma for your vizsla here:

Click on the type of cancer for more information
Bladder Cancer

Vizsla owners can help by participating in research 

Canine Comparative Oncology and Genomics Consortium (CCOGC) 

The CCOGC collects tissues and fluids from dogs with specific cancer types following strict SOPs.  These procedures ensure all samples are of high quality and can be used consistently across multiple research projects.  The samples are assessable to any research project with scientific merit.  You can learn more about CCOGC and find a collection site near you at the CCOGC website.

Clinical Trials

If your dog has recently been diagnosed with a disease, there may be a clinical trial in your area investigating a treatment for that disease.  Enrolling in a clinical trial brings with it a commitment to follow through on therapies and testing. The benefits can include access to cutting edge medicine and the chance to help future generations of dogs. Resources for finding clinical trials.

Request for Cheek Swab Samples from the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium
Below is a request for Vizsla cheek swab samples from the Canine Hereditary Cancer 
Consortium (CHCC). This cancer study includes Vizslas and is focused on Lymphoma 
and Melanoma. The CHCC also needs healthy non-affected Vizsla cheek swab samples 
to be controls. Samples submitted by VCA members would greatly assist this study. 
Please read the information from Dr. Roe Froman DVM below. Dr. Froman is also the 
Health Chairman for the Clumber Spaniel Club of America.
Dr. Froman has also been able to access the Vizsla Lymphoma samples sent to the 
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) DNA Repository that were obtained years ago 
through efforts of the Magyar Vizsla Society and its members. Dr Froman has found 
Vizsla Lymphoma samples to be very useful in this study. 
I would like to thank the vizsla owners who generously submitted their Vizslas’ blood 
samples to the Magyar Vizsla Society, some as long as almost 15 years ago. It is very 
gratifying to see that cancer researchers are now finally utilizing these Lymphoma 
samples. I would also like to thank the Magyar Vizsla Society and its past membership as 
well as Sue Boggs who was the past liaison for Vizsla owners to submit their paperwork 
and information. Hopefully, these Vizslas affected by Lymphoma years ago are now able 
to help future Vizslas and other breeds as well. Again, thank you to the Vizsla owners 
who believed in this project long before we had CHIC and Canine DNA Data Banks. 
To assist this important research, please share this information with Regional Clubs to be 
posted on their web sites and newsletters. Also, please support the CHIC DNA 
Repository. More information regarding CHIC’s DNA Repository is available at:
Thank you,
Lynda Ruffini
Vizsla Club of America
Chair, Health Committee
Request for Cheek Swab samples for the CHCC 
The CHCC (Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium) is an unprecedented alliance of 
researchers, veterinarians, physicians and dog owners who are taking advantage of new 
genetic resources and technologies to learn how the DNA of dogs affected with cancer 
varies from that of the DNA of healthy, unaffected dogs.  No dogs are kept for research; 
we use only samples from dogs with naturally occurring disease.  This research is funded 
by the National Cancer Institute as well as by corporate sponsorship.
Vizslas are currently included in two of our studies:  melanoma and lymphoma.  Samples 
from affected dogs stored at the CHIC repository have been utilized, along with samples 
submitted by Vizsla owners directly from their affected dogs.  All samples are strictly 
confidential; no identifying information about dogs or owners is ever released or 
published. We also need samples from healthy Vizslas who do NOT have either melanoma or 
lymphoma, to serve as controls.  We will be happy to send buccal (cheek brush) DNA 
collection kits at owners’ request.  The kits are very user friendly, easy to do at home, and 
include prepaid return mailers.  
To participate in the study, please email the following information to Dr. Roe Froman 
Owner’s name:
Names of your pure bred vizslas available for cheek swab sampling
Your participation is needed to help us develop new genetic screens, diagnostic tests, and 
treatments for canine cancers, as well as helping us to gain insight into the biology of 
human disease.  Your help will be greatly appreciated. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

On the Road to Fame and Fortune: Traveling to International Dog Shows

For individuals leaving their home country to show their dogs internationally the first step is to make sure you are familiar with the visa process and the importation restrictions (if any) of dogs. You need to determine if your dog requires specific vaccinations or a health check within a specified period of time by a qualified veterinarian and is micro-chipped. Most likely there will be a stack of formal papers requiring formal signatures and lots of important stamps.  

For participants in shows who wish to visit the USA and who are not USA citizens visa information can be found here

Then of course you will need to be certain that your dog has the appropriate kennel for flying and is ticketed in a timely fashion as many airlines limit the number of animals on board public carriers. 

The next and most important concern is to keep the dog healthy and in good show condition, ready for the flight and the show upon landing. As I write this section we nervously wait for tomorrow's doctor visit to see if Natasha will require surgery to remove a wart-like tumor that seemed to spring up just to plague our first attempt at an international showing in her homeland in Argentina. Unfortunately, flight tickets have had to be pre-purchased, regrets given by our handler to other dogs who also wished to attend, and now at nearly the eleventh hour we cross our fingers and hope for a small miracle with  fast healing and a replenishing of any fur shaved for the procedure. Yes the hobby of raising and showing dogs is at best break even proposition at and a gamble at worst while you always must be ready to face cutting your losses.

Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders

Man holding vizsla puppy
Jorge receives 2 month old Natasha Rose at the hotel 
Were these same proposed regulations in effect in the USA, I would have had to make different arrangements with the breeder when I received Samson, my Maltese and internationally, when we received Natasha Rose.

The breeder from whom I purchased Sammy lives in West Virginia, while I lived in Northern Virginia. A friend of hers and frequent purchaser (the woman owned three dogs from her kennel) offered to help the owner out by bringing down Sammy and his brothers and sisters to be sold from her home, which was only a few minutes away rather than a full day's drive. I had been in constant and frequent contact with the breeder, had seen the puppies now adult dogs from the kennel.  With the proposed regs in place the breeder would now have to be classified as a retail store,  or I would have to go all the way to West Virginia to pick up the puppy there.

And while this is a USA regulation, we faced the same situation with Natasha Rose when we met with the breeder in Buenas Aires, Argentina along with his entire family (pregnant wife and three children). But because we met at a location convenient for us (a hotel) and not at the breeders home were we in the USA he would then be obligated to be classified as a retail breeder, or we would have had to extend our time in Argentina longer to make the trip up north to his home.

Reposted from the American Kennel Club:

The American Kennel Club has created the Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) new proposed regulations which would create harsh and unintended consequences for responsible small and hobby breeders in this country.

Please join us by signing the Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition before July 16 when the public comment period to the Animal Care Division of the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service ends. The petition, along with AKC’s comments on the proposed rule change, will be sent to the USDA.

Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders — Petition

We join with the American Kennel Club to express our concerns about the harsh and unintended consequences that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed regulations (RIN 0579-AD57) to redefine “retail pet store” would have on responsible small and hobby breeders.  Currently, responsible small and hobby breeders across this country provide Americans with healthy, well-socialized, loving family companions.

Under the proposed regulations, breeders or others who sell a puppy sight unseen, by any means including online, by mail or by telephone, would now be regulated in accordance with USDA standards, if you own more than four "breeding females" of any of the listed species, including dogs and cats. The effect of these proposed regulations would be to take away the public’s opportunity to obtain puppies from those breeders, who in many cases have dedicated their lives to breeding for health, breed type and temperament.

As the leader and expert in breeding and maintaining dogs for more than a century, the AKC supports responsible breeders and dog owners through its educational and inspections programs. As the only purebred dog registry with a care and conditions of dogs policy – which we have recently enhanced to create a comprehensive policy for the welfare of all dogs – more than 55,000 inspections have been conducted since 2000. We know through experience that regardless of the number of dogs owned or the manner in which breeders interact with potential puppy buyers, a “one size fits all” breeder regulation is unfair and unenforceable.

We sign this petition in order to alert the USDA that a “one size fits all breeders” type of regulation is not in the best interest of dogs and/or consumers in this country. We stand in support of the AKC’s comments to the USDA in opposition to the proposed regulations as written.  In so doing, we demonstrate our commitment to the continued breeding of dogs by responsible small and hobby breeders throughout this country.

Visions of Vizslas

Gundog Training a Hungarian VizslaVizsla Welpevizsla IIVizsla BuzzVizsla DeltaLúa...  2008
BRACO HÚNGARO O VIZSLAKiko y Mambo (2)KikoKiko (2)Kiko y MamboPromesas de Terciopelo
Visions of Vizslas, a gallery on Flickr.
So many really beautiful V's romping, posing, being their naturally gorgeous, regal, energetic, and sporting selves.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Venezuelan Rescue Team Helps Thousands of Dogs and Cats

by , June 6, 2012, 11:20 pm 
 Venezuelan Rescue Team Helps Thousands of Dogs and Cats

For every place of darkness, there are also points of light and we at the Harmony Fund take great pleasure in introducing you to rescuers who illuminate this great big planet of ours.  Today we’re talking with Sol Martínez, Founder of Red de Apoyo Canino, a Venezuelan charity that is quilting together the compassion of neighbors, veterinarians and community groups in a united effort to soften the lives of dogs and cats among them.

Red de Apoyo Canino works with local teams to help organize free or low-cost spay/neuter days in a multi-step process that begins with training the veterinarians themselves to provide safe, high volume, low-cost surgical sterilization of dogs and cats. To date, the group is responsible for altering more than 6,000 pets and strays, which not only greatly improves the lives of those animals, but prevents a direct escalation of the population in generations that would undoubtedly exceed a half million, even by the most conservative estimates.

An Uphill Battle With Incredible Rewards
“The Venezuelan Association of Veterinarians were opposed to this idea in the beginning because they complain that by offering low costs services, we are taking clients from them,” Sol Martínez explains.  “But we are starting to see a shift in their attitude and some are starting to offer low cost spay/neuter services in their private practices.”

Responsible pet ownership takes on a different shape here in Venezuela where pets typically wander freely. Abandonment is an epidemic that Red de Apoyo Canino is trying to stop.
“Dogs come and go as they please, with females getting pregnant every time they get in heat,” Sol explains. ”The fact that they can get shelter and food makes these dogs strong enough to reproduce. (They eat rice, pasta and leftover chicken skin, bones, animal fat and whatever they can get from the trash cans.) Usually the first and second time there is a pregnancy, the puppies get placed among friends and neighbors. After that the puppies are usually abandoned in a landfill or dumped into the streets to fend by themselves.”
A Growing Source of Light for Dogs and Cats
Regardless of the low income, about half of the population vaccinate and deworm their pets and care for minor (and not so minor) injuries with what they have on hand, which can be very basic stuff most of the time.

“They cannot afford spay/neuter procedures and that is why they happily take their pets when the Red de Apoyo Canino offers this service in their communities at a very low costs and for free on many occasions,” Sol said. “After spaying the female pets (males are infrequently sterilized for cultural reasons), they keep them instead of dumping them on the streets when they get pregnant.”

Red de Apoyo Canino regularly conducts humane education programs which not only help to educate pet guardians, but also drum up volunteers to help expand the roll out of their services to other communities. However there is no public funding, and here in Venezuela, donations to animal welfare are not the norm. So today we’re raising funds for the animals here with the hopes of spaying/neutering large numbers to prevent more mothers and pups from being driven away from their homes and dumped to fend for themselves. Every gift, every dollar is an invaluable and powerful source of fuel in this effort. Donations may be made here and will be automatically restricted to Red de Apoyo Canino.

Inspired to be retired just like Jack Sharkey

Clergyman Harry Emerson Fosdick is credited for saying ~  "Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to."  As Jorge and I begin our adventures with our Vizsla, Natasha Rose, we have now included in discussions of our eventual retirement a dream of becoming even more involved with the breeding, showing and field and trial training/competition. In my researching on the topic I came across the incredible Jack Sharkey of Rapidan Vizslas and his dogs, Chartay, AKC's first quintuple Champion and hall of famer, Hunter, Huntly, and Lady Brinkley. Yup, when I grow up and slow down I want to be just like Jack! And to think, he lives in northern Virginia where we we had our home prior to moving to Chile.

Jack's website includes many articles on the accomplishments of his dogs and his retirement to dog raising, training and handling.  In 2006 he also wrote and published Winning Ways -- Training your Pointing-Breed for Hunting and Competition (Read a review of the book here). I can't wait for our copy to make its way here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

AKC Board minutes reference pointing breeds

The Board convened on Monday, May 7, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. All Directors were present except for
Dr. Garvin, Mr. Gladstone, and Dr. Battaglia. Dr. Garvin participated via teleconference. Also 
present were the Executive Secretary, the Chief Operating Officer and the Assistant Executive 
Secretary. To read the full minutes of the board go to:

Several changes made affect pointing breeds:

National Walking Gun Dog Championship For Pointing Breed Trials 
The Board VOTED to approve an annual AKC Pointing Breed National Walking Gun Dog 
Championship event. The purpose is to acknowledge and encourage the trend that is occurring 
in Pointing Breed field trials toward more foot handled Gun Dog stakes. The winner of this event 
would be awarded the prefix title “AKC National Walking Gun Dog Champion of 20__.” 

Use of Blank Guns in Pointing Breed Field Trials and Hunting Tests 
The Board VOTED to change Procedure 1-G of Standard Procedures in the Field Trial Rules 
and Standard Procedures for Pointing Breeds and Chapter 3, Section 7. Blank Guns, in the 
Regulations for AKC Hunting Tests for Pointing Breeds (changes underlined below).  

Procedure 1
1– G Blank Guns.  In any stake, except in puppy or derby stakes, a blank
cartridge must be fired by the handler over any dog on point after the game has
been flushed. Handlers should be aware of the potentially harmful impact the
repeated discharge of a blank gun can have on the hearing of people, dogs and
horses. The following Regulations apply to the use of blank guns/ammunition.
  Blank pistols used to fire a blank cartridge must have a solid barrel incapable of
discharging live ammunition. All calibers up to .32 are acceptable. Blank pistols
that fire shotgun 209 primers are also acceptable. .22 caliber “acorn” crimps shall
not be used. For .22 caliber blanks produced for other purposes (not specifically
for blank pistols), handlers should be guided by the recommendation of the
manufacturer with regard to the safety of their use in blank pistols.
  .410 gauge shotguns with blank shells may be permitted if specified in the
premium list. No shotgun larger than .410 gauge is allowed. Shotguns must be
fired skyward and away from the direction of the gallery and judges.
Section 7. Blank Guns. Only blank pistols may be used by handlers in Pointing
Breed Hunting Tests. Blank pistols used to fire a blank cartridge must have a
solid barrel incapable of discharging live ammunition. Handlers should be aware
of the potentially harmful impact the repeated discharge of a blank pistol can
have on the hearing of people, dogs and horses. The following Regulations apply
to the use of blank guns/ammunition.
 .22 caliber (6mm) blanks are preferred but all calibers up to .32 are acceptable.
Blank pistols that fire shotgun 209 primers are also acceptable. .22 caliber Bd. Pg. 5
May 7-8, 2012

“acorn” crimps may be used. For .22 caliber blanks produced for other purposes
(not specifically for blank pistols), handlers should be  guided by the
recommendation of the manufacturer with regard to the safety of their use in
blank pistols.
 Promiscuous firing of guns or blank pistols on the grounds is prohibited.
Handlers in Hunting Tests shall fire one blank and no more for each flush of one
or more birds provided the bird is not being shot at by official gunners.
  Handlers should not hold the blank pistol against their body when firing as there
is a discharge of gases which may burn or otherwise harm.
  The handler must shoot within the time that would be required to kill a bird at
natural shotgun range. Any deliberate delay in shooting must be severely
These changes place an upper limit on the caliber of blank guns that are allowed at Pointing 
Breed field events, address the uses of new types of ammunition, and caution handlers on the 
potentially harmful impact that firing a blank gun can have on the hearing of humans, dogs and 
horses. This is effective June 1, 2012.

Pointing Breed Grand Field Champion Title 
The Board VOTED to amend the Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedures for Pointing Breeds 
Chapter 14, to create two new Pointing Breed Field Trial titles – the Grand Field Champion and 
the Grand Amateur Field Champion. Points toward these titles must be earned in one hour 
stakes. A dog must have previously earned its Field Champion or Amateur Field Champion title 
before it can earn points toward the Grand titles. This is effective January 1, 2014. 

Pointing Breed Field Trials - Roading a Dog Behind the Gallery 
The Board VOTED to amend the Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedures for Pointing Breeds 
Procedure 6 Running and Handling - to allow “roading” at Pointing Breed Field Trials that are 
longer than three days. “Roading” will be allowed at the host club’s discretion and under 
conditions specified in the Pointing Breed Field Trial Standard Procedures. This is effective 
June 1, 2012

Gun Dog magazine announces Vizsla as lead story

We have subscribed to Gun Dog and still await the arrival of our first issue. Hopefully we will get the August issue as our first one:

From Gun Dog's Facebook page:
We know you've been patiently waiting for the August 2012 issue, so we thought we'd give you a sneak peak, seeing as it arrived on our desks yesterday afternoon.

The Eyes Have It: How to Clean Your Dog's Eyes

Natasha Rose and brother Porcyon spend the day in the field

The Eyes Have It: How to Clean Your Dog's Eyes is an excellent article from this month's issue of Gun Dog Magazine describing how to keep your bird dog's eyes in tip top shape after a day in the field and grasses. In an earlier blog post, Hunting & road trip survival with your dog,  I mentioned handy items to have on hand when taking your Vizsla on a hunt or a simple romp in fields. Dave Carty suggests to add a supply of cotton swabs, some sterile saline solution or some other kind of commercial eye wash and a tube of over-the-counter eye lubricant.

 If after a day in the field your dog is pawing her eyes or is squinting, it is a good indication there may be debris in the pocket between the bottom of the eyeball and the lower eyelid. Follow these simple steps wash out the eyes. You may need the assistance of a friend to keep your dog still or to squirt the wash into his eyes.

  1.  Place your dog where it is easy to work with her (e.g.  on the tailgate).
  2.  Pull apart her eyelids with your thumb and forefinger and examine the pocket between the bottom of the eyeball and the lower eyelid.
  3. Take a dry cotton swab and gently swipe the pocket from one end to the other, twisting the swab  a half turn to pick up any possible debris.
  4. Do the same with the other eye.
  5. Flush out the eyes by pulling apart her eyelid, and with the assistance of a friend, place a healthy squirt of saline solution in each eye.
  6.  Put a couple drops of an over-the-counter eye lubricant into the eyes if your dog is still squinting or she is pawing at them. 
  7. Consider making an appointment as soon as possible if the problem persists.