Other Activities which may be of interest
It is widely acknowledged that the Hungarian Wire- Haired Vizsla is a very intelligent dog, in some case, too intelligent for its own good. On becoming an owner of the breed, you may decide that you are not interested in either of the two main disciplines – working or showing, but would like to explore other activities in which to participate with your dog, as much to stimulate the terrific brain of the Wire as to get involved yourselves. Below are some suggestions that you may wish to explore further.
Agility involves a handler directing a dog round an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. The dog runs off- leash and the handler can not touch either the dog or any of the equipment. The handler must use voice, movement and body signals to get the dog round successfully. Each judge will set a different course using numbers to determine which way the course has to be taken and any faults are marked down and the fastest most accurate dog wins the class with the other being placed accordingly.
There are various course types but the two most standard course types are “Jumping” and “Agility”. Both can consist of hurdles; tunnels; tyres; long jumps; weave poles, with the “Agility” course having contact equipment made up of a dog walk; see- saw and A- frame. The contact equipment is so called as contact must be made by the dog on the way onto and off of the equipment in the marked areas. There are different levels that the dogs can enter and progress depending on their achievements. These vary depending on what type of shows you enter. There are several governing bodies that the competitions can be held under in addition to Independent shows. The Kennel Club has its rules and regulations on its website and most events are licensed by them.
One of the most helpful and informative websites is www.agilitynet.com where you can find an agility club/trainer; show diary and schedules; agility news and events; things for sale and lots more. Agility has seen a major increase in both organised shows and dogs entered over recent years. This is a fun sport for both dog and owner with different levels of ability and for young and old. Agility is again overseen by the Kennel Club and most events are licensed by them. As with showing dogs, there are Limit Shows, through Open and onto Championship shows, where dogs can become Agility Champions.
This is a much more focused discipline calling for a more controlled approach. Obedience involves training the dogs in disciplines to show the level of competence. Disciplines from the lower to the higher classes involve the same exercise, the level of difficulty being increased as the level of competency grows. Test exercises for obedience could include dog walking to heel both free and on lead, recall, scent discrimination, retrieve, dog sitting for a period of time, either with the handler in sight or out of sight. Again there is the opportunity to enter shows from Limited to Championship and to being able to own an Obedience Champion.
This is what was once described as a very hectic, energetic and enjoyable team activity. It involves teams of dogs, who are individually sent down a small hurdle course, towards a box, which when triggered by the dog, launches a ball into the air. The dog then is trained to catch this ball and return, over the hurdles to the handler. In team events, it is the team who completes the course in the fastest time, who wins the competition. Hungarian Wire- Haired Vizslas have become accomplished at this activity.
Originally based on the training work undertaken with Police dogs, Working Trials are now purely for sport. Almost any size of dog can compete in Working Trials especially the lower levels which are called ‘stakes’. However, due to the size of the equipment used, mainly larger dogs are more suitable especially in the ‘Agility Exercises’ Any breed of dog either pedigree or non- pedigree is eligible for entry into Working Trials, but they must all be registered with the Kennel Club. There are three main types of exercise involved in Working Trials;
Nose Work – Involves tracking and search.
Agility – To test its agility, the dog must clear three obstacles – a three foot hurdle, a six foot high wooden
scale and a nine foot long jump.
Control – The control exercises vary according to the stake. All stakes include heelwork, sending the dog away
and a stay.