Master Breeder by dlb
The phrase "Master Breeder" in the English language is more likely to be, than not,
what is called an oxymoron meaning contradictory term-phrase (exp. "deafening silence").
This is more true than not because of two reasons.
First, it takes at least 20 years of good research as well as follow through; to determine actual individual value through selected genetics.
Secondly, how can a TRUE "Master" exist if everyone is a "Master".
So what exactly IS a "Master Breeder" anyway?
Master Breeder was a European dog-breeding terminology & concept, thought by Magyar to have
been created by them, but was not. The phrase is most likely to have its ideology birth
AFTER Turkish 150 year (1525-1675) occupation when upon finding Magyars free,
their fervor for Nationality resulted in distinctive dog breeding, i.e. the Magyar Vizsla.
Previous to the Turkish occupation over all of Magyar, the word "Vizsla" meant "Pointing Dog" & inside of Hungary today, that translation is still true. Originally the word meant "seekers" & was applied first to peoples, not their dogs, ergo the city of "Vizsla" is more likely to not apply to pointing dog breeds in the beginning. It is more likely the city "Vizsla" was named for people and not the town being named because of a hunting dog breed. There are many breeds called "Vizsla"
inside Hungary, much the same that all French Pointing breeds are called "Bracque".
Only outside of Hungary is the word "Vizsla" always a Hungarian Vizsla.
It is inferred throughout certain literary interpretations that Magyar Pointing Dogs were yellow. Although it has been established by experts that yellow/red/brown is the originating dog color of Europe; it is not true that Magyar lands did not include dog breeds of other colors. It did & they came by many names like the Buck Hound, the Pannonian Hound, the Kopo, Turkish Hound, Hungarian Agar, German Vizsla. Many, if not all, are Vizsla ancestors. Other similarly constructed
Pointing breeds that could have held an influence in Magyar Vizsla breeding were the
Portugese Pointer, the Lemgo Pointer, the Hertha Pointer, to name just a few.
The Turkish occupational played a pivotal role and added to the language of Vizsla with
the Turkish plural bastardisation "Vizslak". I don't know about y'all,
but I don't find I mind being called Turkish bastards (wink).
After the Turkish Occupation is likely the true birth of the entirely self-colored "sarga" Vizsla (less & less black/brown/white). The Magyar were a unique peoples since 965 A.D. Their language & alphabet was totally unlike their surrounding Slovak, Austrian, Polish, German, Italian, Romanian. This unlikeness resulted in magyarisation which is making all things "magyar". This became a particularly heinous practice of doing to others what you hated most being done to you. And is the reason for the collapse of the Hungarian Empire, but not its language, alphabet and/or life style.
This period (after 1675) had its "Master Breeder" concept birth & Breed Warden theory as a part of socialism in a Feudal society. Dog & Horse breeding programs were controlled by the nobility or "educated" from 1675 to today. Dog breeding used the Adam Theorum (1-2 Estate away). It wasn't until 1848 that Hungarian peoples all had the right to hunt which further opened up some of the middle class to now be able to use hunting dog breeds as a part of life. Even so, Hungary was clearly the last to abandon the privilege of its aristocracy & had not WWI & WWII happened to end it for the Hungarians, those uniquely nationalistic Magyars would still be "magyar feudal style".
The ONLY Magyar feudal life style still used with the Vizsla is that today's "aristocracy" are the breeders of Vizslas. Yep, the "Educated" of olde & today are THE breeders. It's just that now we know there is no such thing in society as "Master Breeder" except for....one person. I think that man, that "Master Breeder" is more likely than not, to be Dr Ivan Osborn as we have had over fifty years to think about/evaluate/compare his & many of our past Breeder accomplishments.
The Master Breeder Concept would never work in the USA.
Below are just some of the many reasons this statement is accurate.
(1) The inability to accurately translate or if translated correctly is not applied as intended, but really is intended in order for the breed to survive regardless of where, when, how or why.
(2) The reality of going from a socialist way of life in a feudal remnant society
(low dog-owning AND low breed populace) to a capitalist way of life
(high numbered populace, combined with a greater need for genetic diversity
(3) The Magyar Vizsla was never in great numbers. The Magyar practice on focusing on the DOG in a socialist society (low populace) made most to all Continental breeders appearing successful in breeding idealogy because they had such small peer groups.
(4) The USA success of being able to breed outside of mainstream breeding to preserve desirable qualities from an individual with undesirable qualities & the opportunity to breed that undesired trait out. There are primarily two methods of breeding programs that weren't allowed by Magyar yesterday or today. That is breeding outside the Standard & breeding untitled specimens. The usage of these programs, so long as they are not mainstream breeding programs, allowed numbers
to help produce numbers which led to genetic diversity & the
resulting selective breeding programs could exist with greater success.
(5) The greatly higher (outside Magyar) numbers needed to begin genetic diversity in a land as physically large as the USA with vastly different & numerous new interests for the breed.(Hungary is about the size/population of Indiana according to Bela Hadik)
(6) The Magyar lifestyle was not unique. The breed was no more versatile than many of the other Continental breeds & individual practices were no different either. It was also NOT unique in Europe that the Hungarians prized in the breed most of all..."a versatile hunter". By 1950 the Vizsla was the last of the Continental breeds to be imported into the USA. All of them left their European dog breeding dogma behind & embraced the new world or they did not become all-breed successful.
(7) There was also that fear in the USA of the socialist societies that played a major role in US politics. Perhaps that fear surfaced in Vizslas as the FBI did investigate some of the original USA importers. McCarthyism (fear of socialism) was to figure prominently in USA society. Some potentially gifted families were tried to be and/or forced out of US Vizsla society because of it.
(8) The universal dog need to be genetically diverse, tested in ALL-BREED competition, for the breed to improve in word & deed whether they were being looked at, or how they were being utilized in that particular culture or generation.
(9 Ego of breeder (s) motivation and/or agendas with intense emotion. This is very likely a breed trait as in the kind of person that is attracted to the Vizsla regardless of
when, where, how or why they have a Vizsla.
Those are some preliminary items why the term "Master Breeder" is not a process to be used today. There are more reasons that "Master Breeder" is not a good idea
whether a society is socialist, capitalist, or whatever.
Further evidence of fallacy of the master breeder concept is firmly established in history of how the European dogs were exported. The USA already knew that European ways would not work
by the time the Vizsla hit the USA scene in 1950.
An example of that the Weimaraner springs first to mind. When it was exported to the US (previous to 1950) the Weimaraner was touted as THE "Wonder Dog". And it seriously was NOT a wonder dog. Fifties American sporting fanciers looked with heavy askance at similar Magyar claims for the Vizsla. During the fifties USA political turmoil raged during the fifties over "ethics" or the master breeder concept. Hard core Europeans believed in the "master breeder" concept & Americans wanted no part of it. The Weimaraner Club of America raged loudly at each other throughout the fifties over the fight to control USA breeder practices through the 3-Warden Breeding panel. Arthur Godfrey of TV fame (painted on his horse Goldie by Elisabeth Mihalyi) was instrumental in foiling the addition of an Ethics Code containing European Breed Warden principles. It did little good as today in the field the Weimaraner is distinctly on lower ladder rungs as a breed median.
Early in the fifties on the Vizsla side, Frank Tallman & Emmett Scanlan were both aware of the Weimaraner's Ethics dilemma. They too were concerned with Ethics for the new world Vizsla & submitted a Breeder Ethic Code at the very first meeting of the Magyar Vizsla Club of America (Jan 17, 1954). Frank Tallman had the original Code in hand as early as 1951.
What complicates this story is there were two Code of Ethics being passed around in the fifties. One Code had 3 less items than the original European Code. The first time I ever saw this document it was the copy that was minus 3 items. Below the copy was the typed statement (it looked like Tallman was more likely to have typed it) that said 3 items were removed because that would incite great anger from USA breeders & potential USA puppy buyers would not purchase Vizsla puppies.
This first document I saw made me really curious about what could those other three items possibly be, to be so heinous? It took about a year to find the original copy of Code of Ethics and of course the 3 breed Warden principle was one of those three items.
History is history. What works in a socialist country, particularly the last remnant of the feudal era is never likely to work well in any country, let alone a capitalistic country. It is my opinion that this is where Vizsla breeding changed forever by coming to USA capitalistic ideals. Plus there is that "magyar" quality of those Vizsla-obsessing USA breeders (wink)
believing they really were inventing THE wheel.
And in truth, they were. For the breed universally to survive with genetic healthy, well adapted in heart & hearth they had to remain with the new wave hard-headed & educated persons. To achieve a lasting, well-balanced & diverse success meant much higher physical numbers, a principle never before invested in.... for the Vizsla from Magyar.
So what was the REAL reason why "Master Breeder" would never work in the USA?
Because the focus once IN the United States & the need for higher dog numbers, became ABOUT the people, NOT the dogs. However many did & still do gather in people groups making it about the dog & not the people. It is this group of people who often unwittingly do the right thing for the wrong reasons It also seemed obvious to Americans that if the breed was not indigenous to the entire USA "educated (the new aristocracy) " the breed was more likely to become a fad, rather than a way of life. The focus had/has to be education & opportunities ON the people
because the breed already came/comes "trained AND educated".
Breeding good Vizslas, regardless of the society and/or generation lived in is more about involving & educating more people, then engaging the ones you want to keep in the breed. Engage them by educating them, by conjoining together in clubs that focused on health, temperament, field, show & versatile activities including fur/feather hunting experiences & competition tests forming mainstream breeding programs that also allowed breeding outside the Standard to exist. Focus on the people as selective breeding really is a people issue, not a dog issue.
Something else very different in Vizslas outside of Magyar songs was the way higher number of Vizsla individuals to "become" genetically healthy and diverse once outside the borders of Magyar. The failure of following societies who actively used Magyar breeding concepts only had themselves to blame for not understanding the old world Vizsla had to truly be "versatile" to survive.
Or the breed has always been rather good at doing what the owner desired
regardless of interest, country or century.
After nearly 50 years of thinking about Vizslas, I think it's ironic that there is a clear breed trait of arriving "trained & educated". The breed really has for over a Thousand Years survived because of their most intrinsic trait which is the belief of the owner that "Their Vizsla is THE best Vizsla". The dog breed just has to train its peoples as the "Vizsla" way of life WILL survive. Thank you, Magyar.
If there is something to learn from understanding dog AND people history, it is that all Vizsla owners AND dogs, regardless of the times, country or interest consider themselves to be a "Master Breeder or Master Vizsla".