Vizsla In-Ring, Hands-On Examination
While some hands-on is required, the Vizsla does not need as thorough of a physical exam as that of a coated breed.
- To gain an overall impression of each dog, begin your assessment by viewing the dog standing in profile. The Vizsla is a medium-sized, short-coated hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing. Along with the golden-rust color, look for the sweeping line from the neck over the loin through the gently rounded croup with a proper tail set. The color, along with the gentle curves of the silhouette, is a breed hallmark. The dog in profile should have correct breed proportions. While the Vizsla may appear square, the dog should be slightly longer than tall. The chest should reach to the elbow. The dog should have balanced, moderate angles front and rear and should appear to be in good muscular condition.
- Approaching from the front, view the head, its oval shape, and expression. Consider the width of the chest, straightness of the front legs, and compact catlike feet. If white is apparent, ensure it is not disqualifying.
- Ask the handler to show the bite, and look for the preferred scissors bite. No other dentition evaluation is required.
- Examine the head. Notice the blunt wedge shape, slightly tapered muzzle, and eye color blending with that of the coat. The stop should be moderate. The skull should be moderately wide between the ears with a median line down the forehead. The back of the skull should be slightly arched but not domed.
- Moving to the side, gently lift the head slightly to look for white on the throat and neck. White should be contained only within the defined areas on the chest or toes. At no time should the dog be lifted off the ground while being examined for white.
- Continue your hands-on exam from the side by running your hands down the neck, ensuring it blends smoothly without disruption into the moderately laid-back shoulder. The withers should be set high. Check for approximately equal bone lengths of the scapula and humerus. You should be able to visually see the chest fill and depth.
- Run your hands from the neck across the high withers with the slight prominence of the scapula, feeling it blend into a level back. Moving on, feel the muscular fullness and slight rounding of the short loin, starting just after the last rib and concluding at the crest of the pelvis. This all rounds gently into the croup that is never steep or flat and ends with the tail set a thumb’s thickness below the level of the croup. Ideally, the tail should reach to the back of the stifle joint. It is not necessary to verify tail length. The dog should feel and appear to be in a strong, and robust condition. Do not penalize a dog in sinewy field condition.
- The hands-on exam is complete after checking for testicles. The remainder of the exam is completed visually.
- View the dog from behind, noticing the spring of rib, the slight narrowing at the short loin, broadening once again at the pelvis/croup. The thighs should be well developed. The hocks should be moderately angulated, and the connecting rear pasterns should be parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. Various lighter shades of coat color along the sides of the neck, shoulder, and withers area are noticeable from this angle, forming the Esterhazy Saddle. This is common for the breed.
- Step back to the side profile and once again view the overall picture the dog presents. Pay particular attention to the front and rear angles to ensure they are moderate and in balance with one another. The dog should appear within the prescribed height range as specified by sex. If in doubt, measure.