Frequently Asked Questions About Adding A
BEWARE OF CO-OWNERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
REQUIREMENTS THAT YOU MUST SHOW OR BREED YOUR VIZSLA
Is the vizsla the right breed for me?
Vizslas are very active and
energetic and require daily exercise. Vizslas also tend to be very needy and
want to be with you all the time. These same qualities that make Vizslas so
endearing to those who are devoted to them can drive some people crazy. This
breed is not right for you if you want a low-key dog who is content to lie down
in the back yard and not demand much from you. Vizslas who do not receive
sufficient exercise or attention can develop severe separation anxiety and
become very destructive. There are creative ways to make sure a Vizsla’s needs
are met, even if you work – day care, pet walkers, play groups – but it takes
planning and involves a serious commitment.
Especially in homes that are not dog experienced, we generally recommend that
the youngest child in the household be four years of age or older before you add
a puppy. Adding a vizsla puppy with a toddler is extremely difficult, and the
joy of raising and enjoying a vizsla puppy frequently turns into a burden when
trying to juggle a toddler and puppy – which is not good for anyone. Vizslas are
usually very accepting of newborn humans added to their existing families.
Vizslas raised with cats also usually do well with them.
Should I get a boy or a girl?
is no simple answer to this question, and it makes more sense to focus on the
personality and conformation of each individual puppy, rather than its gender. That
said, we are willing to make a few generalizations, noting that there are
exceptions to every statement. We think boys are just a bit more devoted and
needy; girls are a little bit more self-reliant and independent. Boys tend to be
larger (50 to 60 pounds) than girls (40 to 50 pounds). Boys in our experience
have been easier to housebreak than girls, but boys can also destroy shrubs and
mark in the house if not trained. For a variety of health and development
reasons, we feel very strongly that no puppy should be neutered or spayed prior
to reaching its maturity (i. e., a female will have had at least one heat; a
male will be lifting his leg).
do I get on your list for a puppy?
process starts with a questionnaire (we also send you a sample contract). Your
answers will enable us to help you decide if the breed is right for you, and
will help us in matching the right puppy to your family. After completion of the
questionnaire, we ask that you come meet us and our Vizslas to so that we can
make certain the breed is right for you. Families are welcome to visit the puppies as
frequently as they want after the puppies reach three weeks of age. We are
always willing to assist you in locating a breeder whether or not we are
breeding at the time. To obtain a questionnaire, contact us at
you require me to co-own my puppy with you?
We urge you to beware of co-ownerships. We are disturbed by a trend toward so
many breeders insisting upon a co-ownership arrangement for their puppies.
Instead of conveying full legal interest in a puppy to a prospective family,
some breeders require that they retain an ownership (and control) interest in
the puppy. In our opinion, except in certain arrangements between experienced
breeders, most co-ownership arrangements provide no benefit to you; they simply
give breeders a way to control you and can cause a myriad of legal problems. We
personally know two vizsla families that recently ended up in litigation due to
problems stemming from co-ownership arrangements. As stated by the American
Kennel Club, “It has been our experience that all too frequently, severe and
complicated problems result from disputes over conditional sale, conditional
stud and co-ownership contracts or any contract or agreement relating to
restrictions or limitations people try to place on the sale or breeding of a
Do I have to show or breed my puppy?
No. Unless you want to, you do not have to show or
breed your puppy, nor do you have to give us litters or puppies back down
Showing a puppy requires considerable expense and commitment on
your part - it can be a lot of fun if you want to do it, but it can be very
difficult if it is not your area of interest. Before agreeing to any such
requirement, make sure you understand with some specificity exactly what is
a vizsla is a huge responsibility and commitment, so please think long and hard before you agree
to any requirement that you breed your puppy, or any demand for puppies
back to a breeder. Again, these provisions are not in the best interest of you
or your puppy. Breeding involves a tremendous amount of research, time, money
and stress on you, and puts your female at some risk. Bitches can be lost in
whelp, and puppies can be born with problems. You are responsible for the
offspring that you produce. Breeding is best left in the hands of professionals
who have committed themselves to carrying the bloodlines forward. That said, we
(like most breeders) are thrilled to involve newcomers more actively in the
breed - twenty-seven years into vizslas, it is pretty clear to us that we need
breed guardians for the future, and nothing makes us happier than to help
mentor, coach and assist new vizsla devotees who want to
commit their energy to preservation of this wonderful breed. If you want to show
and breed, we are thrilled to help you in any way possible! but in our opinion no person or family seeking a companion puppy should
ever be coerced into these activities.
does it mean if you give me a limited registration?
limited registration means that your vizsla will be registered with the AKC, but
no litters produced by your vizsla are eligible for AKC registration. This type
of registration is appropriate for companion vizslas who are not going to be
shown and bred. It is like an AKC-sanctioned non-breeding agreement, without the
problems noted in the preceding section. A vizsla placed on a limited
registration is not eligible to compete in dog shows, but is eligible to be
entered in other AKC events (such as hunt tests, field trials, agility,
obedience and tracking events). If we give you a limited registration, we can
change that limited to a full registration if such a change
health clearances on breeding animals are required?
will note a disparity in health clearances amongst breeders. Many elective
clearances can be seen at
www.offa.org and http://www.vmdb.org.
At this point, the national parent club for the vizsla breed, the Vizsla Club of
America, Inc. requires only OFA hip clearances. However, elective clearances are
sometimes obtained by breeders – some common clearances include eye clearances (CERF),
cardiac clearances (OFA), thyroid clearances (OFA), sebaceous adenitis
evaluations, elbow clearances (OFA), Von Willebrand clearances, and Penn Hip
evaluations. We have historically done OFA clearances as required by the VCA; we
had not done other clearances because we had not had problems in those areas.
However, we have recently done some CERF clearances because of a couple of
problems - the difficulty with meaningful CERF clearances (and some of the
other clearances as well) is that they are only
valid for one year.
note that the fact that a breeder is doing more than the required OFA hip
clearance does not necessarily mean that the breeder has had problems. AKC has
recently developed a CHIC program for each breed encouraging breeders to do
certain breed specific tests on their breeding animals (for Vizslas, this now
involves testing hips (one time after age 2), eyes (each year), and thyroid (once a year
until age eight years), but once the first of each of these tests is done a CHIC
number is issued when test results are entered into the database satisfying each
breed specific requirement (i.e., OFA database) and when the owner of the dog
has released the results into the public domain - a CHIC number is not
rescinded if the recommended annual follow-up clearances are not performed.
Also of importance is that a
dog could fail all tests and be issued a CHIC number. “The
CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the
required breed specific tests were done and the results made publically
available.” Remember, the CHIC number is not rescinded
even if the recommended subsequent annual CERF and thyroid exams are not done.
Also, if the vizsla specific requirements are modified, existing CHIC numbers
are not revoked. Again, a CHIC number is issued to a vizsla who has completed
all the required tests at a given point in time. See CHF Links.
vizsla specific/optional tests
about purchasing my puppy on-line and having it shipped?
Absolutely NOT a good idea, and we never do it. Be careful. A fancy website does not equate
with a well-bred or well-raised puppy. We will not subject our puppies to the rigors of
being shipped as cargo
- it is our belief that the risk is too great and that shipping places an undue stress on such a young
life. You should always go see where your puppy was born and how the puppy
was raised - and meet the mom! All puppies we place must be picked up at the
appropriate age at our home in Connecticut. No exceptions. Because of the breed's growing popularity, sometimes it
does seem more difficult to get a well-bred puppy nearby as quickly as you may
want, but please be patient. You are adding a family member who will be
with you for a very long time - you may have to wait a few months, or drive the
little extra distance, or take that flight and bring the puppy back under
your airplane seat to give him/her the best possible start. Use common sense and
trust your judgment. One of
the advantages of working with a reputable breeder is that you are
entering a long-term relationship with someone that cares about you and your
puppy - working with a breeder you actually have a chance to meet provides you with the opportunity to see where the
puppies come from and how they are being raised, meet the puppy's mom,
etc. Some red flags we have noted when looking at some of the on-line
websites that are worth careful investigation: (1) Breeders who raise
more than two litters at the same time (having raised two litters at the same
time, we know how much work is involved to do even two litters right); (2) Breeders
marketing puppies from multiple breeds of dog at the same time; (3) Breeders
who accept PayPal and credit card payments; (4) Breeders who do not do health
screens on their breeding animals or veterinary exams on their puppies prior to
placement; (5) Breeders who keep an "on-site" stud dog
and use him to breed with all or most of their bitches; and (6) Breeders who
make no effort to utilize their expertise to match the right puppy personality
to family, but instead foist the selection process on to the families.
In evaluating these on-line sites, pay particular condition to the environment
in which the pups are being raised (is there access to family and external
stimulation? do the mom and puppies have adequate comfortable bedding? do the
conditions seem sanitary?), and be mindful of the relationship between the
puppies and mother dog to the Breeder (both should be drawn like magnets to the
humans in their lives). Also pay attention to whether the pups look healthy
(eyes should be clear; noses not running). All puppies are adorable, but
sadly some puppies are not given as good a start as they deserve - and this can
lead to problems down the road.
For tips on raising your new puppy, click on the “Puppy Raising” button.
Any other questions, feel free to contact us!