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 Settin Up @ The Field Bar
Hunting, All- Age, Shooting & Gun Dogs
(Photoshopped a dab from a dlb photo)
Unless one knew who THE greatest dog handler was; the neat, trim, gray-haired & ruddy cheeked man was John Rex Gates Jr, who with a quiet grace had just strode through the Bird Dog Cafe doors would have given none the alert with his quiet smiling & demeanor....that a Field Trial Hall of Famer had just gone by to sit for awhile with his friends.
John Rex, for that is what everyone calls him, doesn't study pedigrees, doesn't try to figure out owners, doesn't know nothin about breeding dogs & modestly calls himself...just a trainer of bird dogs.
The gentlemen in the dark corner all rise at least a bit as John Rex is warmly welcomed within their midst, for John Rex has mastered the National Championship in and out of retirement, in and out of the winningest handler ever. All this & he retired at the age of 45 years.
What is THE National one may ask? The National is a curious mix of All-Age qualifyers resulting in a Championship on Shooting Dog grounds. If intelligence is the supreme essence of the true All-Age dog, each National winner and Runner-Up must use intelligence like a champion to win the arduous 3 hour course. This National is so special it has its own bird dog standard, the Amesian, composed by Hobart Ames many, many years ago.
This fine day John Rex Gates Jr with his peer group
talked a bit about field trials. As bird-dog men are wont, they had a lot of good stuff to say. It kind of went like this.....


The superior hunting dog is one that excites constant admiration for the quality of his performance and does nothing to displease or annoy. (Harry Story and John O’Neall Jr)


“The exemplarary shooting dog displays an intense desire to find birds for his handler, and the ability to quickly and accurately by scent. He shows staunchness, intensity, positiveness and style on point and steadiness to wing and shot.” (Harry Story and John O’Neall Jr)


“Until a few years ago both all-age and shooting dogs were expected to exhibit the same amount of quality finish and manners on game, but shooting dogs were less wide, required less handling, little scouting except for discovery on point and were generally were expected to devote more time to hunting and less to heels. The all-age dog was still true to his purpose. He was and is to be bold to nearly a fault and to nail birds brilliantly while “Running off, …almost. Based on this essential distinction evolved our championships and other top stakes today.”  (Harry Story and John O’Neall Jr)


“What is being shown today in the shooting dog classification is a far cry from what was intended and what is desireable if the two classifications are to be truly maintained. More often than not, instead of that more comfortable dog that comes around on his own, is subservient to his handler, and looks into every inviting covert for game, we see in the winner’s circle a horizon buster who requires at least as much handling and scouting abilities as his All-Age brethren. Devotes more time to running and less to hunting and pales at the gills when compared with Parke Bringley’s eloquent standards. Like his counterpart in the late 1800’s, the shooting field trailer, whether he be judge, owner, handler or official has lost sight of the efficient bird hunt in favor of life in the fast lane of field trials and a manifest desire to emulate the All-Age bird dog.” (Harry Story and John O’Neall Jr)


“What is it that separates  this type of dog, which is so desirable to the average hunter, from the type of dog, so sought by the “lean breed” field trailer, this groups comprising the smallest percent of hunting enthusiasts. First, it is an unrelenting desire to find game, and the extreme physical courage to find it. Tremendous physical capacity, courage, independence, and intelligence highlight the qualities of the true all-age dog.” LScott Renick “All-Age vs Gun Dog”


“The object of field trials is the promotion and development of the high class bird dog. It is a means of enjoying the great out of door sport of bird hunting in the most aesthetic fashion. It aims to provide competition of the highes kind amoun bird dogs, to stimulate enthusiasts among owners, and to act as a practical guide of breeders by setting a high standard of performance.” Thomas Grayson “Judges and Judging, HUNTING DOG 1974, Editor Herm David, Gun Dog Editor, John Ingram)


“Good hunting dogs are divided into three classes: wise, medium and close ranging. It is not practicable to try to make a close-ranging dog out of either of the two other classes. You positively cannot make a wide ranging dog out of a close in hunting dog. (Er Shelley, “Bird Dog Training: Today and Tomorrow” 1921, pg 127.


“How many dogs should be hunted at a time ? Assuming the dogs are well broken and not hard to handl, always hunt three dogs at a time. Most horseback hunters have never considered  a close-in dog at all. To those who have never hunted a good close in dog with one or more wide-range dogs, my advice is to get a good one and try it. Often I have been exceedingly surprised at the end of the day to count more birds hunted by the close-in dog than have been pointed by the wider ranging dogs.” Er M Shelley “Bird Dog Traning: Today and Tomorrow, 1921)


“I contend that the only difference between the hunting GSP and the Field Trial GSP is…..1. The FT dog was required and was given many hours  of training (training that continues). The hunting dog did not require the many hours of training and never received it. 2. The Field Trial dog was conditioned to be in top physical shape because it was required. The hunting dog was not. 3. IF ? the hunting dog had been given the same amount of hours as the field trial dog, he will win Gun Dog events at field trials.” Don Markle “Here’s My Bag” GSP News May 1974


“I’ll wager a penny that ANY Amateur Field Champion Trialer against a “pure” hunter on any terrain, under any conditions, with any time limit…will put more shot game in the bag, every time out.” Don Markle “Here’s My Bag” GSP News May 1974


“The hypothesis presented in one recent article contends you must breed one kind of dog to another, that one must breed to the All-Age dogs to produce shooting dogs. This theory has been aired for many years but actual facts give it little credence. It would appear the infusion of the all-age dog into the shooting dog has had a negative effect. There is no telling how many years shooting dog performances have been set back the breeding of fine shooting dogs by those who have subscribed to this practice.” (Robert Wehle “Some Thoughts on Breeding Shooting Dogs” AMERICAN FIELD 1984)


“What I have found it difficult to accept in some of these articles is the implication that the all-age dog is a superior dog, whereas it might have been kinder to consider the all-age dog as merely different from the shooting dog, judged on a different standard and bred for a different performance. (Robert Wehle “Some Thoughts on Breeding Shooting Dogs” AMERICAN FIELD 1984)



Heaven know, I enjoy watching a fine all-age performance as I might enjoy a good horserace, but that doesn’t mean I want to ride that race horse to work bird dogs any more than I would enjoy hunting behind an All-Age dog. (Robert Wehle “Some Thoughts on Breeding Shooting Dogs” AMERICAN FIELD 1984)



“Just what does infusing the blond of all-age dogs into fine shooting dogs have to offer ? Once again, some of the important inherent qualities we are breeding for are hunt, nose, staunchness, disposition, intelligence, temperament, determination and biddability. Most of the all-age dogs that I am familiar with are not particularly endowed with these fine attributes in comparison to the fine shooting dog and in many cases, the contrary.” (Robert Wehle “Some Thoughts on Breeding Shooting Dogs” AMERICAN FIELD 1984)



“Introducing qualities that are not particularly appropriate to our standard, with specific reference to extreme range and determination at the expense of so many other important qualities, is digression, rather than progression towards our primary objective. If the new members of our sport are led to believe that shooting dogs come from all-age dogs, they may be a long time accomplishing their goal and become discouraged and then we have lost another important supporter of our sport. The All-Age image associated with field trial has turned away countless potential supporters of our sport and may well be responsible for splintering field trials into so many fragment today.” (Robert Wehle “Some Thoughts on Breeding Shooting Dogs” AMERICAN FIELD 1984)


Shooting dog stakes thirty years ago were truly shooting dog stakes. They now appear to be judged more often than not on all-age standards. The original field trials were held to compare the qualities, attributes and inherent instincts of shoot8ing dogs or actual hunting dogs. The hunting dog now, as then,m is still the backbone of bird dogdom. It is particularly amusing today to hear a neophyte judge comment that a particular dog did not please because he hunted too much.” (Robert Wehle “Some Thoughts on Breeding Shooting Dogs” AMERICAN FIELD 1984)


In short, I believe we should keep the shooting dog a shooting dog and keep their blood pure by breeding the best shooting dogs to be the best showing dogs. The epitome of a breeding program is to be able to produce a particular dog that nearly fulfills the standard and to be able to do this consistently, year after year, arfer year. Fortunately the perfect dog has not yet been produced, if it were, the quest would be ended. The great hunt over ! (Robert Wehle “Some Thoughts on Breeding Shooting Dogs” AMERICAN FIELD 1984)


“It is an old field trial axiom that: the QUALITY of the performance is of greater moment than the mere frequency of the occurrence. “ (Horace Lytle, “ How To Train Your Bird Dog” 1932 pg 170)


“For after it is all said and done, and all beliefs contrary to the point not withstanding, the IDEAL field trial dog is the gun dog of your dreams.” “Notice I said IDEAL.”” Not all field trial competitors fulfill the meaning of the word; hence not all field trial dogs make good hunting dogs.” (Horace Lytle, “ How To Train Your Bird Dog” 1932 pg 171)


“So if you ever hear anyone venture into the assumption/assertion that field trial winners are not as good as hunting dogs, then he has either told half of the story or he don’t know.” (Horace Lytle, “ How To Train Your Bird Dog” 1932 pg 171)


“It is never with the extremists-either end of the scale, show or field, that the hope of breed future can rest. Rather, it is with the far seeing who preserve a normal balance between working merit and physical quality, such as the Dual Champion worthily represented. In this connection, useful notice could be taken by those exposed to much brain-washing on the subject of speed for speed’s sweet sake, in the AKC Gazette, the breed columnist for Pointers writes sadly that Pointer people should be hanging their heads in shame when it comes to Dual Champions. Not a single one at this time’s writing.” (Bede Maxwell, “The New German Shorthaired Pointer” 1963 Howell Book House)


“The safe and solid, which is the firmly convinced majority of GSP breed opinion is well aware of the breed split in other sporting breeds brought about in past decades, of the impossibility of mending what was destroyed in the cleavage, the useful uniformity for inability to perform a day’s hunting or a stake in field trials. It is also one of the first visible sacrifices to “experimentation” in breeding and can be recognized generations later. Ringing the bell, telling the tale. (Bede Maxwell, “The New German Shorthaired Pointer” 1963 Howell Book House)


“There is somewhat a paradox in all-age judging , for if the dog is out of sight, the judge can not judge what he can’t see, and if the dog finds too much game, then he is not showing an all-age run to the judges.” BC Boggs “Succeeding with Pointing Dogs in Field Trials and Hunt Tests” 1989, Glenbrier Publishing Company)


“When I was in …… during…..this year, I was able to see some straight line screamers. I believe that I know an all-age kind of performance when I see it. But, some of these dogs made casts like the speed of a bullet, passing by edges and objectives as if they did not exist and went straight through lines as if they were not there. This kind of dog looked neither right nor left, nor did they show any interest in hunting. Still, this is not an all-age dog in my estimation. What do we really have here. Owners on ego trips ?” (BC Boggs “Who Needs An All-Age Dog” 1983, Vizsla Now)


“At a Midwest trial a Vizsla club(mid80’s) held an All-Age stake at their Vizsla only field trial. The all-age judges (six entries) awarded two placements and withheld the other two placements. Well, the first place dog was driven out with a whistle until finally found on point behind the officials. The pheasant ran off, the dog was sent on and slowed to a medium gun d9og for the next third and further shortened range on the last third of the course. No bird was flushed over the first place dog. The second place dog was sick and performed very poorly, but pointed some pheasants. The third and fourth places were withheld because they broke or chased.. The criteria there for an all-age stake. I heard people discuss was that the dog had to have PERFECT manners ! Nothing was said about an all-age run.” (BC Boggs, “Who Needs An All-Age Dog” Vizsla Now)


“Something is amiss! Now, the dogs I see placing in the west in all-age stakes are also the same dogs placing in the gun dog stakes, just like in the late 60’s. But, there was a difference then. Handlers walked in gun dog and handled from horseback in all-age stakes. And the range of the dogs was extended as a result for some dogs. Chances are there were a few borderline all-age dogs, then- I supposedly had one.” (BC Boggs, “Who Needs An All-Age Dog” Vizsla Now)


“In the April 7, 1990 copy of THE AMERICAN FIELD, I read where in the early 1900’s an all-age brace would cover two miles as compared to six miles in the same time period today. Times do change and trainers are getting more out of their dogs. But, most people in trials who I know have no real understanding of an all-age performance. Certainly, a true all-age owner/handler would not be so foolish as to enter his dog in a gun dog or shooting dog stake.” (BC Boggs, “Who Needs An All-Age Dog” Vizsla Now)


“The Weimaraner breed has always held “all-age” stakes for their dogs which for handlers is just another stake to enter and hope to place in. There may be an occasional all-age Weimaraner according to their way of thinking, but none could ever honestly finish his championship without padded entries in the stake. The same is probably true for Vizslas.” (BC Boggs, “Who Needs An All-Age Dog” Vizsla Now)


“But once the wins and placements are in the records of AKC it is sacrosanct. These dogs will be highly sought after for breeding. After all we are fed this idea from genetics or something that the best gun dogs come from the all-age contenders. THIS IN MY OPINION IS A MIS REPRESENTATION OF THE TRUTH. That is a popular misconception in my opinion.” (BC Boggs, “Who Needs An All-Age Dog” Vizsla Now)


“One often wonders how to judge a dog whose performance is seldom seen to judge. No matter, Allure, handled by Billy Morton and Country Express Doc handled by Andy Daugherty were off and running. It wasn’t difficult to judge a dog like Allure (Bess) who quickly established her as a pro, first class and established herself as an esthetic sense of love for a class dog. She hunted expertly and knew where to go to find game and how deep to dig into the edges. She worked forward for her handler with only a minimum of guidance and when asked to she corrected and responded immediately.” (Allure was the eventual winner) BC Boggs “The American Field The National Championship 1983” Vizsla Field, Editor Bill Fisher)


“Opinions about range of pointing dogs vary greatly; in fact, range is probably the most controversial subject. Even in field trials where, presumably, standards are set, there is a great difference of opinion as to how far a dog should range” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“Heredity is a big factor in the range of dogs. Environment plays a role in the final range a dog will have. Puppies allowed to run loose will develop into bigger running dogs (particularly those that run in groups and can self hunt together) Dogs allowed to run in open country with plenty of game will learn to hunt and rage boldly.” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“Speed and gait of the animal determines his range to the extent that a dog that is not physically able cannot run fast enough to range widely. Most dogs shorten their range to a marked degree when they become tired. Trainers often use this method to shorten dogs they are trying to finish on game.” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“Pointing dog fanciers, like other groups, have fads. At times the standard for All-Age is for tremendous range. Then the trend changes and judges look for shorter ranging dogs. I can not write on range without commenting on the excessive range of some handlers. It has increased to the point of ridiculousness. Coupled with the increase of speed for judges and gallery, field trial are getting poorer.” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“Range in shooting dogs stakes has increased  along with the speed, style and class of the dogs. The last twenty years has seen better and classier dogs. Competition is keen. Some winners of the thirties and forties could not succeed in today’s shooting dog competitions. The development and the search for excellence in shooting dogs has been a healthy addition to field trials. .” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“The growth of walking shooting dog stakes in the last few years indicates an interest in dogs with shorter range. Men owning top foot handled shooting dogs need and desire competition. The growth of this circuit has been phenomenal and it looks as if this growth will continue. This will give (American Field)field trailers three phases of competition with the only difference being range. The growth of all should be interesting to watch for the next few years.” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“Training is responsible for the final range of the finished dog. Even young dogs with extreme range must have direction. They must be taught to run to the front and handle to the trainer.” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“It has been my observation, in the last fifty years, that the consistent winners have been dogs with moderate range that hunt hard and point the most birds. (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“Range in shooting dog stakes has increased along with the speed, style, and class of dogs. (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“The growth of walking shooting dog stakes in the last few years indicates the desire of many for dogs with less range.” (Alvin Nitchman “A Discussion of Range in Pointing Dogs” AF 1981 page 751)


“The greatest single mistake a bird dog can make is not to hunt.” (Karoleigh Nitchman “Points To Ponder”)


“When I hear handlers yelling out “whoa whoa all the time while running their dogs. I feel like going up to them and asking “What in the hell do you say to him when you want him to stop”? (Karoleigh Nitchman “Points To Ponder”)


(I have to smile over this one ;) dlb

“It used to irritate the stew out of me when I’d voice an opinion about a training problem and hear Alvin sarcastically mouth that clever little remark I made. I finally learned to use it myself. Now I bait him, goad him into commenting on subjects that I am more knowledgeable, then when I disagree with him, I smugly return the epithet. Heh heh Petty ? Yes. Satisfying ? Extremely. (Karoleigh Nitchman “Points To Ponder”)


“You can win a field trial with any kind of a dog except a lost dog.” (Karoleigh Nitchman “Points To Ponder”)


“The conformation of a hunting dog is important for many reasons. There should be no reason why a hunting dog or even a trialing dog can’t also be pleasant to the eye. A handsome strong dog is a joy to watch, and that can be the best part of a good field day.” Emelise Baughman “The Form of Function” (1987)


“The truth is the “CH” title says nothing one way or the other about the working ability of that individual. It indicates only that the bearer is a good physical representative of the breed. A Champion may or may not be a hunter, just as a body builder may or may not be an athlete. “ (James B Spencer “Handsome is as Handsome Does” 1993”


“Have you ever heard ? “Hey this dog works just fine, but damn I wish he were a tad uglier”.” (James B Spencer “Handsome is as Handsome Does” 1993”


“The greater the pedigree depth, in whatever traits you seek, the greater your chances when you go to select a pup.” (James B Spencer “Handsome is as Handsome Does” 1993)


“The Brit alone has consistently produced a significant number of Dual Champions.” (James B Spencer “Handsome is as Handsome Does” 1993)


“Determining pedigree depth in pointing breeds for field ability may seem like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hydrant.” (James B Spencer “Handsome is as Handsome Does” 1993)


“They’re so easy to break and they know how to find game. It’s more than just a good nose. These dogs WANT to find birds more than most.” (Fred Rowan on Gunsmoke Pointers in 1993)


“knotheads are made, not born.” Richard A Wolters,


“It’s not unusual to hear hunters speak poorly of field trials. Many wrongly blame the sport for every run-off, covey-busting idiot that was ever whelped. In fact, if it wasn’t for organized field events, conscientious, discriminating breeders would have no way of evaluating or planning their breeding program, and we, in turn, would have no basis for selecting good hunting dogs.” (Bob West “An Objective Look at Field Events” 1991)


“Once you’ve taken the time to see for yourself, I think you’ll agree with those who believe that for a better, more productive hunting dog, your chances increase when choosing from proven breeding programs based on tested individuals. Please don’t knock these field events, they are proving grounds. Remember, all hunters are judged as one, so represent us well.” (Bob West “An Objective Look at Field Events” 1991)


“In 1864 there was a demand that sporting dogs should qualify for shows by a field test, to at least show those qualities for which they were valued. Beauty, it was said, was a criterion of worth.” Dr Braxton Sawyer “The Origin of Field Trials” Hunting Dog January 1971 page 19-13, Editor Herm David, Gun Dog Editor, John Ingram)


“Good hunting dogs come from sound working stock. If the sire and dam are field champions backed up by many generations of good field dogs, all the better.” (Bob Iler “Field Trial Breeding Improves our Dogs” GSP News April 1978 pg 23)


“The greater percentage of amateur and open gun dogs can be, and ARE HUNTED on foot during the hunting season. “ (Bob Iler “Field Trial Breeding Improves our Dogs” GSP News April 1978 pg 23)


“Kennel blindness is an affliction dog people suffer from in varying degrees. No one seems completely immune to it, but it affects is similar to racial prejudice to its symptoms. The disease begins in the ego and gradually extends to the eyes, nose, lips and brain eventually affecting the hearing also.” (“Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Kennel Blindness” GSP News Jan 1975 pg 32)


“There’s a column in a popular sports publication that has at the heading a horse with the rider on backwards. The title is “What’s going on here”? Through my years of being a part of field trials. I have been taught that the honor system we operate works by works to provide every dog, whoever the owner and whoever the handler, certain guarantees to win, the rest left up to his abilities. It guarantees a fair draw, and his performance a fair review by impartial, knowledgeable men, without coercion from anyone. If we are to survive another century as a sport and meet the demands of the times, these guarantees must be renewed, for they are eroding.” (John Rex Gates “Judges and Judging: A Personal View” Dec 1977)


“My experience has been with what the writers call are the major circuit All-Age stakes. That is the road my dad traveled and I have followed. I am writing about the part of the sport that I know and about which I am concerned. The major All-Age Championships are the yardstick for breeders. They are the greatest of honors.” (John Rex Gates “Judges and Judging: A Personal View” Dec 1977)


“It was considered an outrage for a handler, owner or club official to discuss any part of any performance. That applied everywhere, at the trial and afterwards. That seems to have changed. And it is a breach of honor guarantees.” (John Rex Gates “Judges and Judging: A Personal View” Dec 1977)


“I depend on a group of men who love bird dogs and the sport to support my operation, just like every other handler. These men, these owners, are entitled to equal treatment. No edge. Just equal.” (John Rex Gates “Judges and Judging: A Personal View” Dec 1977)


“I do not propose that we follow the precise course taken by any of the other pointing breeds. It would be foolish to want to make the Vizsla over in the image of the English Pointer, the German Shorthaired Pointer or any other specific breed because, if this were the case, it would be much simpler to go out and buy a dog of the breed that we were trying to emulate. We can, however, profit by the experience, both good and bad, of these other breeds and these lessons in establishing and achieving our own goal” (Richard Reinhardt “Where Are We Going”? Vizsla News, May 1965)


“Let us assume for the moment that this final goal for which we are reaching is a super gun dog with a range liberally suited for the foot hunter or attractive, driving dog that intelligently reaches out to the objectives, a nose that will allow him to locate accurately with out crowding his birds, stamina to withstand a hard day’s hunt and a biddable dog that is easily handled and trained. Immediately the average sportsmen, hunter with his good shooting dog will exclaim? “then why fool around with these field trials and these  and breed for those wild running All-Age ? First of all, it is a sport unto itself, a source of enjoyment to the participants, a means of extending the hunting limits, and it stimulates interest in bird dogs and bird dog training.  But, more important field trials provide, through friendly competition a means of comparing bird dogs in the field., thus giving proof (or disproof) to our breeding practices and theories.” (Richard Reinhardt “Where Are We Going”? Vizsla News, May 1965)


“Let us strive for the dual dog. Most of us have neither the time nor the money to exhibit extensively in both field and show, but when a particular dog meets with success in either endeavor, the owner has a responsibility to make some attempt to prove this dog in the other area before he is considered a “finished” Vizsla.” (Richard Reinhardt “Where Are We Going”? Vizsla News, May 1965)


“It should be remembered, and NEVER LOST SIGHT of, that Hobart Ames was always looking for the dog which displayed the highest possible utility. He expected and demanded that a dog who was to wear the crown of National Champion must not only handle kindly, but must prove that he was a gun dog of highest qualities throughout. Mr Ames would not permit the wild riding so common to many trials. The dog was supposed to be broken, therefore he could and must hold his game while he awaited the not too hurried arrival of the judges. The so-called “out on a limb” find of a wild running dog was not impressive to Mr Ames. He knew, from careful surveys, that there were plenty of birds on the courses and he expect the dog to serve his handler by intelligent application on the course. Those men who wished to ride wildly over the vastly different conduct, a conduct which Mr Ames established as a part of the pattern which has made this stake the most coveted prize in the realm of field trials. This does not imply that a purposeless potterer could hope to win then, or now. But it does mean unequivocally, that Mr Ames and his associate judges sought diligently for that dog which displayed supreme ability to serve his pleasure to all who matched him at his work.,” National Field Trial Champions by William F Brown and Nash Buckingham 1955


“Beware of the political person who uses the role of judging as a vehicle to project his image, and in the process becomes quite biased, favoring the handlers or owners that are most likely to influence a return assignment or invitation to judge another stake. This becomes such an injustice to the newcomers, and is the prime reason for broadening the base of the judge selection system of any club or field trial association. This one hand washing the other syndrome can have only detrimental effects.” Robert Wehle “On Judges and Judging” GSP News April1979


“Offering a dog at stud merely because it has won or placed in a Vizsla trial has little merit for the advancement of the breed since these trials to date are not what we are looking for in a high class shooting dog. It’s just a dog who is not as bad as the rest in a six, eight dog stake.” Paul Sabo “The Vizsla”


“I repeat, until the Vizsla can successfully compete with the contemporary Pointers and Setters as Shooting dogs on equal terms, he will just be a fad, or something different in the realm of bird dogs. In my opinion that pretty well sums up all European pointing breeds as dogs.” Paul Sabo “The Vizsla”


“A few years back while attending the Vizsla Club of America field trial at the Kildeer Plains Wildlife Refuge in Ohio, I listened with considerable skepticism as the editor of HUNTING DOG magazine that he could very clearly see the day when there would be two strains of Vizslas like there are two strains of Pointers, Setters.” Phil Brown “Where Now ? Brown Dog ? Hungarian Review


“An old friend and hunting companion with whom I’ve hunted for thirty years has a pat phrase he uses when anyone is waxing enthusiastically about a particular bird dog. It goes like this.”I never saw a dog or horse that did not have some holes in him if you started to look.” Having lived for sixty years following an avocation chasing bird dogs and falling from horses, I am convinced his sage wisdom has merit.” Paul Sabo “The Vizsla”


“On native game birds, the Vizsla should be able to go an hour, handled from horseback, before he will be accepted by the rank and file American upland bird hunter. This applies equally to all the European pointing breeds. One course trials with bird fields and released birds have their place and are a lot of good, clean fun, but they are artificial and phony as a three dollar bill when used to judge or evaluate quality or high grade bird dog work. As an example, the pen-reared bird never having to contend with the vicissitudes of a feral existence, has not learned even the rudiments of self protection or the native wiles of how to elude and confuse a pursuer (dog). One has only to observe this same dog on a planted bird and then on a native bird and note the lack-luster, uncertain point on the one, then the highly animated, intense posture on the other.” Paul Sabo “The Vizsla”


“Working with a few Vizslas these past few years, one comes to some fixed opinions on how these dogs “measure up” to the accepted American Standards in field deportment and behavior as shooting dogs. Speaking of the Vizslas I have worked with in the broadest and most general terms, here are the pros and cons, as I see them. The pro’s are: He has highly developed olfactory senses, good eye sight, marks dropped birds accurately and at good distances, will persevere in locating birds once he gets the scent in his nostrils, can be readily seen in autumn foliage, despite his sorrel coat which shines, trains easily, is an intelligent, sensible dog, eats well, adapts to indoor living as he is clean. Also, he is at home outdoors in a kennel in all kinds of weather, as he is generally a healthy animal. The con’s are: He comes in all sizes and shapes, mostly big, ugly and ungainly, in the field, he is too companionable with the handler if hunted alone, with a brace mate, he is inclined to trail, the large heavy specimens tire easily and are down to a trot or a walk after fifteen minutes, spends about half of their time puttering, is sensitive and timid, becomes shy if handled or spoken to harshly.” Paul Sabo “The Vizsla”


“Nobody ever said that if you have an All-Age dog, that he or she is a good All-Age dog, let alone a very good Vizsla.” Unknown


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