At Addenhund Hungarian Vizslas, I breed selectively and for a purpose, striving always for versatility, excellent temperament, hunting ability, and good health and structure. Every breeding is a carefully considered one.
Having had dogs all my life, as companions and hunting partners, I came to the vizsla breed with purpose in mind: hunting, truffle detection and companionship. I sought a dog with inherent ability to scent, find, indicate, track and retrieve game. I wanted a dog versatile enough for close deer stalking in the bush, open country shooting, upland game, waterfowl and whatever else caught our interest. I needed a dog with a good nose and biddable enough to train to detect truffles. I also sought a lively affectionate companion, fun but also sensible enough to take anywhere. I was lucky. I found the Hungarian Vizsla and, after much searching, I got my boy Kugar, the best dog ever!
Breeding at Addenhund Hungarian Vizslas also has purpose in mind: hunting and companionship. As a hunter myself, I place huge value on the natural hunting ability of the true Hungarian pointing dog, the Magyar Vizsla. I want to maintain that ability, the refinement of nose, the keenness, the toughness in the field, the endurance, the agility, the versatility. I seek to achieve this firstly through careful selection of my own dogs for their natural ability, actively hunting them and always being open to learn more about what makes a great hunting dog. My foundation bitches each have their natural strengths with hunting, whether it be perserverance to handle days in the bush, excellence of nose, swimming ability, keenness and intution regarding birds and their habits, or some other ability. I carefully research potential sires, for their own hunting ability and track record as well as that of their ancestors, and for how they complement my bitches. I look for good genetics, and import semen where it can benefit my programme and the wider NZ genetic pool. There is always variation within a litter of pups, and while I will expose all pups to a range of hunting stimuli, such as wings on a string, deer skins and ducks, the litter will be thoroughly assessed so that those with highest natural ability can be selected for hunting homes.
Companionship is the other essential purpose. Regardless of whether these dogs hunt or not, whether they compete at agility or field trials, whether they are therapy dogs or family pets, all of them will be companions to someone. They will be companions first and foremost. They will spend their entire lives in relationship with humans, hopefully responsible loving ones. They will likely also be required to handle all sorts of situations in their lives, different people and activities. So, temperament is key. I aim to breed dogs of excellent temperament, lively, intelligent, biddable, affectionate and stable. I will not breed from a bitch or sire with poor temperament, and I research this aspect of potential sires. My own bitches live with me in my home, hang out with my friends and their children, go to cafes, play with strangers on the beach, visit people with development needs for weekly canine therapy, travel with me for holidays, protect our home and welcome visitors. My puppies come from loving and stable parents, and all will go through a programme of positive exposure to all sorts of 'life stuff', enabling them to develop as confident well-socialised individuals, ready for a new home to live out their lives.
I have come to breeding as a 'mature adult' myself, waiting until I had the knowledge, time and resources to do it properly, including investing in the importation of semen from quality international bloodlines. I am a responsible preservation breeder and take breeding seriously for the continuance of the wonderful vizsla characteristics, and the provision of lifelong companions and possibly hunting partners for other people. I am fortunate to have a very knowledgeable mentor in the breed. I am dedicated to continually developing my knowledge and spend time researching on topics such as canine genetics, health, pedigrees and animal behaviour. Addenhund Hungarian Vizslas is registered with DogsNZ / NZ Kennel Club, and I follow the Breeders' Code of Ethics.
My dogs, and any dogs that may become part of my breeding programme, have their hips and elbows xrayed and scored through the most robust programmes available and only those that meet a good standard are used. Each dog is also examined by a canine opthamologist for eye health. Also, DNA samples are sent to be tested for Cerebella Ataxia. I am aware of other potential health issues and do my utmost to avoid or minimise their likelihood. I investigate the co-efficient of inbreeding for any potential mating, and aim to keep this low by using different bloodlines and importing from other countries where it will benefit the breed here.
The structure or conformation of a dog is also important: to the health and wellbeing of the individual dog, to support its ability to hunt and perform in other activities, and to maintain the original function of the breed. The breed standards were written to provide guidance on the form and function of the dog to select only those that met the standard for breeding, to ensure the breed is fit for function. The original purpose of dog shows were to bring potential breeding stock together under the eye of independent experts to assess whether such dogs met the standard and were worthy of breeding. To this end, I now also show dogs. All of my dogs have their conformation titles and have been certified by multiple judges (including international) as being "worthy of the title of champion". Not all sires in my breeding programme will necessarily have this title, as there are many good dogs out there who simply may not have had the opportunity to gain a title, but their conformation is still important. It is important to breed dogs that are functional, to standard and sound. A vizsla should be moderate, not too heavily boned, short level back, deep chest, slight tuck up, straight legs when viewed from the rear, moderate angulation, cat-like feet and well-muscled. Here is the full Breed Standard.