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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

New to the forums and new to the Vizsla breed!

On October 2 of this year my wife and I lost our beloved 8 yr. old
Weimaraner to a car in a freakish accident. We were crushed! He was one
of a kind!

We have owned many dogs over the years, all of them, pointing hunting
dogs; english setters, english pointers, and lastly Weimaraner. We have
never showed or trialed our dogs. They all have been self taught hunters and
family pets.

Our last friend (weim) came from a breeder who is very much into field
trial (and some show). He breeds both Weims and Vizsla. Pedigree on both
breeds are crazy thick with champions. We felt lucky to get our weim
because I wasn't a trialer. Our weim turned into the best friend and
hunting companion we have ever had. Naturally we contacted the same
breeder to see if he had any current litters of Weimaraner.

To keep story somewhat shorter, his favorite breed is the Vizsla. He has
a current litter available . The sire has very strong fc winnings
background, but tends to throw some white in his offspring. As I said,
breeder tends to lean towards trial vs. show in his breeding program.

Talking with him, he says he has the dog for me (vizsla we've already
decided). "He's the first one out, travels the furthest, interested,
observant, etc.. all the nice traits, and.. had neat markings"

Markings? "Yeh, he has a couple white feet, really unique and neat!"

He is the only male in the litter.

I don't want sound totally ignorant or passive. I have read about the
Vizsla "standards" and am aware of the "disqualification" of having white above
the toes (akc), no white on toes (ckc). Breeder says it is of no
concern. That I can still register him (with whom?).

I still have no pictures of him to see the extent. We are scheduled to
pick him up next weekend.

I have no question about the integrity of this puppy, his blood lines,
huntability, disposition, socialization, etc.. But, for some reason, I
can't get my head around the white feet (that i haven't seen).

I have scoured the web for white footed vizsla's, read rebuttal articles
on the breeds strict standards regarding white and the dangers of
trying to breed it out... bla bla bla. I look at beautiful pictures of all the
beautiful Vizslas out there and can't for some reason justify in my mind
getting a vizsla with white feet.

And, what if? We are empty nesters in our 50's, looking for new things
to branch out into. I do some photography and would love to get into
taking Vizsla pictures. A picture of a beautiful Vizsla with white feet
might not be too representative of the breed and sellable?! Also, what
if I do want to enter the dog into competition? I know show is
definitely out but, what of trials? And, what if my wife wants to get
into showing? Hmmm.

I know practically, those things probably won't happen, but getting this
pup would shut some doors.

We both know that once a puppy comes into our house all these concerns
will go by the wayside and we will be in another wonderful 14 year
(hopefully) relationship with a V!

So, I'm asking what you think? Does anyone have such a dog? How has it
been? What advice, experience can you offer?

PS There is a chance that he might have a female w/o white feet. We were
set on a male. The breeder knows what I want in disposition of a dog,
and "picked" the male as a match. And after our weim experience, I feel
lucky to have a chance at one of his Vizslas. ?!?
 

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First of all, I'm sorry to hear you lost your Weim. It's never easy losing a beloved family member!

Jasper came home with white markings. He has a little on his toes, and some (what I call) roan markings on his chest, as they're not solid white and have little red hairs mixed in. He is not a conformation quality dog (AKC). The toes are not a fault, but the roan markings on his chest are potentially too large, or at the least they are undesirable. I did not request a conformation quality dog.

Dogs with faults can still be registered--they are, after all, purebred. So you could still register a puppy with white toes. If the CKC considers them a fault, he could not be shown. He could be shown in the AKC conformation trials, given that the white spots are not too large. The idea behind conformation trials is that the judge is evaluating the breeding quality of your dog (thus the reason they must not be neutered/spayed). Given that white toes or a bit of white on the chest is permissible, a Vizsla cannot be disqualified for this. But if you were to go head-to-head with a Vizsla with no white markings, the other dog would probably win. So if you wanted to show for fun, and had no strong desire to win, as long as the white spots weren't so large as to disqualify your dog, you still could!

Faults or undesirable traits, as far as the breed standard go, will NOT hinder you from doing anything else with your dog, other than conformation. Vizslas with white toes can do hunt trials. They can do agility. They can do flyball. They can do pretty much whatever you want them to.

You seem to trust your breeder very much, which is a good thing. Bring your concerns up to him. Explain your situation--that there is a possibility you might want to do conformation with your dog in the future, and you're concerned about the presence and extent of the white on the toes. Be upfront and ask for pictures, or at least the opportunity to think about it once you've seen the pups in person.

Attached is a picture of Jasper's "white" foot. I've scoured all the other photos of him that I have, and only in the picture where I intentionally focused in on the white hairs could you see them. If you are worried about pictures (and I'm about to get a little silly here)...just keep those white feet out of the frame! Haha. In all seriousness, however, when I evaluate pet photography, to me it's less about how "perfect" the dog looks, and much more how well the photographer captured the personality of the animal.

Again, you seem to trust and value your breeder. Speak honestly with him about your concerns. He clearly has no issues with letting you adopt one of his pups, and I can't imagine bringing this up to him will make him decide you're not "worthy" of one of his dogs.

ETA: If, after discussing this with your breeder and observing the dog, you have any doubt at all, do NOT take one at this time. Wait until a puppy that better suits your possible needs comes along. If you have your heart set on a male, wait until another litter with more than one male pup to choose from is born. You don't want to start a 14+ year relationship with those kinds of doubts.
 

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You have done your research and know the pros & cons, so all that is left is priority. The most important thing for anyone, IMO, is purchasing from a very reputable breeder. You have/are doing that, but I would think twice about taking the unique markings. The only reason I say that is, because you are already 2nd guessing it. You want to be totally confident in your decision. If there is a chance you want to show or have permission to breed, markings outside of the standard will prevent that. Our female was purchased as a family companion 1st, companion hunter 2nd, but within weeks of owning her, we were already joking (with a tinge of seriousness ;)) how we would love to see Pumpkin with puppies. She has also inspired more interest in hunt tests etc. Our involvement with her and the breed has intensified differently than we had anticipated. My point is things change, and personally, I do not want to limit my options before I start. That being said, markings or lack of are not going to matter a hoot in the field! If a field trialer comments about your pup's nonconforming marks will bother you (I've seen it happen), then don't do it; however, if having a quality, solid best friend is priority, then who cares what type of markings your pup has? You can still register your pup even if you can't breed or be successful in the show ring. What is a tendency to throw white? A dog who is known to carry recessive or undesirable traits should not necessarily continue to breed (not saying that is the case here). Our Pumpkin is a big girl. A good bit bigger than her mom. She has topped out at 23 1/4" (hope she is done growing at 14.5m :-\) 21-22" is desireable with an allowance up to 24 for females. I keep remarking to my husband that Pumpkin better not get any taller! He says, "Who cares!" "Why are you worried about it?" The truth is I do care. Should I? No. We love her dearly; however, we paid a lot of money for her, and I want her/expect her to conform to standards. Shallow perhaps, but standards matter to me. We have adopted many dogs in our life, but when I purchase a breed, I expect it to fit the bill. Just my 2cents. BTW, is there a particular reason you are set on a male? Good luck with your decision! No matter what you decide, you will have a Vizsla with what sounds like great heritage. Enjoy :) P.S. I'm sorry to hear about your beloved Weim :'( Losing a friend is so hard.
 

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We have quite a few V's here in Oz with little bits of white. Ozkar's litter had several dogs with white splashes on their chests and a couple with little white sox. Ozkar had a touch of white on his feet and a touch on his chest. The feet are all Russet Gold now and there is only a small faint trace of white in his chest. Nothing which precludes him from being thrown in the ring.

However, in reality, just reading your post tells me that if you did do something with the new pup, it might be more trialing, hunting or perhaps agility more than the show ring. If they really are the most likely activities then I wouldn't worry too much about it.

One thing though, the breeder sounds like he has slotted you in for the most active dog in the litter. I have recently gathered from reading literature and discussions with a couple of local friends who hunt, they say a more relaxed dog can be a far more workable hunting companion than the fast paced highly driven dog. Just some food for thought.

Either way, I honestly wouldn't worry about a small marking. If he has blazing white socks which need sunnies to look at, then I might reconsider, but if it's just a small white splash, I wouldn't be perturbed. Ozkar my one year old boy has a "Cow Lick" (I hope it's the same term O/S as it is in Oz... Where the heir grows back against itself and causes a ridge like on a ridgeback's back.) Which runs from the back of his head, to his shoulder blades. So as RBD says, If we put him in the ring and there was another dog equally as good, the other dog would win as Ozkar has a cow lick. But, I think If we put him in the ring there would not be another dog as good looking and he's win anyway...... :)

If you expand the pic below, you can see his little Mohawk down the back of his neck.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Weimeraner...it must be so hard :(

As for the white markings on V's feet, I agree with kellygh. IMO, you are paying a considerable amount of money for a purebred V., and you want it to conform to standards even if you want your V. just as a family pet. Per AKC standards, white on paws disqualifies the dog from competition. When we got our Sophie, we were not sure if we wanted to show her or not. Even though we didn't breed or show her, we had the option to make that choice.

Good luck with whatever you decide. A true V. will be a great companion even with a little white on paws :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your input and responses! It is really nice to see
such interest and activity on a forum. The obvious enthusiasm you all
share speaks very higly of the breed and what your dogs mean to you!

I have been told by the breeder in a past conversation that the puppy
has a spot on the chest (don't know how large) and then two white feet.
I asked if they were white toes and was told that the whole feet were
white, one going up to dew claw?! So these are markings that won't grow
into roan markings I would guess.

I've called the breeder but have yet to make contact. I have not seen
any pictures of this puppy. Feeling anxious of course.

We are open to a female I guess. Our Weim was a male and that was our
first inclination. I am hoping that the breeder has a female w/o white markings.
I agree that we don't want to be limited as we get into the V breed!?

Ozkar, interesting point on a hunting companion. I've always liked
bigger running dogs if they were staunch on point. The weim wasn't that
way of course.. quartered pretty close to me which worked fine.

redbirddog, thanks for the links.. I'm familiar with your great blog and
I had already read those articles ;-) Nice resources!!

Thank you all for your input! I'll wait for contact with the breeder to
see what my options are. I'm still interested in anyones thoughts if you
have more or links to info. I'll keep you posted.
 

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redbirddog said:
hshan, A couple posts on my Vizsla blog that might help. I love my female but hunt with my male. Think of the German Shorthair Pointer. One of the best upland bird dog breeds there is. No one spends much time on how much brown or white there is.

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/06/white-markings-on-vizsla.html

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/06/more-hunt-or-less-white-what-would-you.html

Welcome to your red bird dog addiction.

RBD
Interesting you mention pointers RBD. I find that the pointer and the V's to be slightly different in the way they hunt. Certainly my V's tend to want to watch me and follow my lead as to where to look for prey. Then they will use their nose and eyes and go find it. But, my pointer is very much a dog that wants to be way ahead searching for the prey on her own. Totally different in the way they hunt. I always thought it was a pointer thing, but maybe it's a bitch/dog thing too?? It will be interesting to see how the two boys come along as they get older. I am researching tracking for next winter and have agreed to come along to a quail hunt to see how my dogs fare. I don't want to shoot anything myself (did enough killing on the farm as a kid), but don't mind if the dogs and I are utilised to find and flush. At least it will satisfy some of the hunting instinct in them.
 

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Ozkar said:
Interesting you mention pointers RBD. I find that the pointer and the V's to be slightly different in the way they hunt. Certainly my V's tend to want to watch me and follow my lead as to where to look for prey. Then they will use their nose and eyes and go find it. But, my pointer is very much a dog that wants to be way ahead searching for the prey on her own. Totally different in the way they hunt. I always thought it was a pointer thing, but maybe it's a bitch/dog thing too?? It will be interesting to see how the two boys come along as they get older. I am researching tracking for next winter and have agreed to come along to a quail hunt to see how my dogs fare. I don't want to shoot anything myself (did enough killing on the farm as a kid), but don't mind if the dogs and I are utilised to find and flush. At least it will satisfy some of the hunting instinct in them.
From my experience that is the difference between a Vizsla and GSP. The Vizsla wants to hunt close to its handler and look up for a bit of direction every now and then. The GSP is stronger and more independent so they travel out further. When we thought about a family pet we want to share our home with, and be able to walk trails "with" :) , the Vizsla was the winner for us.

One thing, I'm not sure what your experience is with hunting, so don't be insulted. I'm very new to the game myself.
It will be wise to do some 'gun breaking' on the dogs before their first hunt. It may go fine, but you may also scare the crap out of them with the blast of a 12ga as their intro to hunting.
I have a friend and another acquaintance with gun shy dogs. Both were caused by buddies telling buddies, to bring their dogs out for a hunt.

We have to be careful with our girl. She's been fine with a starters pistol while on birds, but certain noises at certain times get her to squirm for a moment. It's sort of strange because the same noise can have zero effect at other times.
I doubt it would happen while she's working, but we're not hunters and only do trials for her to use her natural instincts. I'd feel pretty rotten if I screwed it up on her by not taking the steps that I now know she needs.
 

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oops :)
back on topic:

I think white markings look great on V's, and have zero interest in confirmation shows. It would not change my decision at all, but if it is something you may want to pursue, then it is understandable why you want your money's worth.

As mentioned above, you cannot spay/neuter for confirmation dogs. Is that something you're ok with? Males need an outlet, and females will discharge twice a year.

Females are different than males. If you've never had one, I'd suggest choosing one not for the markings, but for the subtle differences between genders.
 

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I think the white markings you see on the occasional Vizsla are pretty! But I also like the solid-colored dogs just as well...

I can't show Willie because he came from the dog pound with no papers (obviously), and he's neutered. I can't hunt with Willie because he came to me gun shy (but I'm not a hunter anyway). Still, I think Willie is the greatest dog in the whole, wide world!

Be sure to make your decision early on, because once you see the Vizsla pup, you know you're going to fall in love, and you're gonna fall hard! ;D
 

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The following is only my opinion, not meant to offend anyone:

Pictures can be touched up easily - if photography is the intent. Small amounts of white on the chest and the occasional white hairs on toes are common (and even cute). White due to aging or scarring are common.
What's the big deal? Their whole head will turn whitish in their senior years.

I would not hesitate to go lesser known ethical breeders. Not all businesses are well advertised.

In any case I would look for breeders who include the dogs in their family. Those litters are better adjusted. I have seen Vizsla breeding pairs living in dog houses outside (not good, IMO). All dogs are human oriented but Vizsla dogs suffer a little more, IMO.
If it came down to choosing a dog with some white markings or one that was all cinnamon color I would take a hard look at the breeding pair's usual living conditions first. Living inside the human home would be the deciding factor. Breeding well adjusted Vizsla dogs is not an easy task.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No kidding on it being all over when you see the puppies ;-) I'm aware
of that problem.

I'm not in the least concerned with the socialization of this breeders
pups. They will have been around all kinds of other dogs, horses, cows,
cats, and a multitude of enthusiastic loving children of various ages.
When we picked up our Weim pup, some of the puppies were out in the
field with a couple of the kids "taking a walk" others were in the
house with a couple other kids playing. Definately not a kennel dog
situation which makes me happy. I know the pup will have been exposed
to all kinds of situations (some dangerous) and pecking order
establishments :)

But this pup will have two whole white feet not white flecks on his feet ?! Still
haven't heard from breeder. Guess I'll call again.
 

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I guess I'll put my two cents in and I don't mean to offend at all, but.....

The feet don't matter. In fact if you get this puppy, expect to get comments throughout his life about his adorable white socks. In fact I imagine you would love those little feet as he is truly unique!

If you feel like you'll think the little guy is less perfect or faulty because of the white, go ahead and when get ahold of the breeder, you'll see what he/she recommends. There is no shame in requesting a puppy with a solid coat. To me, the most important thing is the personality!! I started by reading books about the different kind of puppies: dominant, avoidant, insecure, etc. I am so grateful I got the secure happy go lucky little guy. It makes everything so much easier.

Our vizsla has a tiny bit of white on his chest, but nothing on his feet. Keep us updated. It is wonderful that you know and trust your breeder. We got our little Oso about a month ago now and we are Soooo glad we went with the vizsla breed!
 

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We all can attest to the wonderful traits of our breed. If you are concerned at all.....I would just wait and look around. There has to be other Vizsla breeders in your area. To me, it seems like the breeder is thinking ahead...knowing he may have a hard time selling the pup. We do not hunt or show our V, he is as happy as can be and my best friend so if mine had white feet, no big deal. It sounds like you are interested in doing those things so I would wait it out for the next litter or search for another reputable breeder. You will fall in love.....I always wanted a Weim and someone talked me into a Vizsla, said they were more lovey. I'm not sure about a Weim but my dog loves everyone in my household with such passion...he truly is in love with each and everyone of us. It's remarkable!! I am very sorry to hear about your Weim.....I cannot imagine and I wish you the best of luck in your V journey.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all again for your kind insights and advise. I did make
contact with my breeder and expressed my concerns as honestly as i could. It turns out that there is indeed a full colored male he would let me choose if i so desire.

Naturally we are relieved and thrilled. I feel guilty for being petty
or trivial over another being's "markings". We shall "see" this
weekend. I'll post a picture of the little guy we choose :)
 

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Could be the camera, I used my phone to take the picture, but it looks fairly close to his true colour. The first pictures his coat looks a bit lighter than the second.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hello,

This last Friday I travelled to pick up our new puppy. As it turned out there was a male with full uniform color that I was able to choose if I wanted. He was the one I chose and not just because of his coloring. We hit it off and liked his disposition.

So these last days I have had the fortune of not having to work and am full time babysitting. He is quite the handful and still nameless!

Here is a picture of him. I will post in the intro puppy when he gets a name. Just wanted to update here.
 

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