I. General provisions
1. Any Hungarian Vizsla aged 12 months or more that has passed the conformation test may be entered to the BHT. Although there is no upper age limit of the BHT, vizslas should be expected to pass the test as early as possible, at an age when inherited abilities are not yet screened by training (the age of 12 – 18 months is ideal). Also, any dog belonging to F. C. I. breed group 7 may be entered to the test , if the organisation responsible for the breeding recognises this test.
Territory and game needs:
- hunting field with covering suitable for the game to hide, but allowing free movement for the dog
- birds: pheasant, partridge or quail alive and freshly killed ones for retrieving
- hare, rabbit or fur dummy
- for the water test: open water with slightly sloping free bank, where the dog has to swim at least 5- 6 metres in deep water
Scoring: Every task is marked between 0-4. Each task has a multiplier, which expresses its importance from the point of view of breeding. The mark for each task is multiplied by the multiplier to give the points for that task. Dogs are qualified according to the total number of points scored during the test. If a dog is marked “ 0” for any task, it cannot receive a qualification.
Maximum total points: 100. The test is ‘completed' if the vizsla obtains 61-80 points (in Hungarian: ‘megfelelt'). It is ‘completed to merit' if the vizsla obtains 81 points or more (Hungarian term: ‘kiválóan megfelelt').
II. Description of the tasks:
Hunting in the field
If there are only few wild game in the field used in the test, bred birds are placed in the field in small crates before the beginning of the test (at least 15 minutes prior to the starting of the dogs). The crates should be covered with plants and branches so that the crates are not visible but the wind may move through them, enabling dogs to smell the birds. Each dog should have several possibilities to find game. The judges should not consider as a fault if the young vizsla starts to hunt and point only after having found the first bird.
Scenting ability (multiplier: 4):
It is evaluated on the basis of the complete duration of the hunting in the field task. It should be taken into account how and from what distance the dog indicates the presence of the game, the resting places and tracks; whether it is scenting the ground mostly or if it uses air scent as well (indicated by the carriage of the nose).
Quartering style (3):
It has to be kept in mind that the BHT is an ability test. Mature quartering is not a requirement, it is rather willingness, desire to find game, passion, head carriage and independence that should be judged. The work after the finding of the first game or resting-place should be taken into account more. Here, independence means that the dog hunts without continuous commands from the handler and it dares to move away from the handler. The work should show a tendency to quarter (to search in a snake-like pattern). It should be judged positively if the dog “looks into” the scents (follows them to the end), even if this results in the fragmentation of searching and some areas are not covered. Movement should also be taken into account: it should be characteristic of the breed, effortless, balanced and harmonious.
Indicating the presence of the game (acting birdy) and pointing (4):
Steady and staunch pointing is not a requirement; it is not a fault if the dog pops up when the bird stirs. The best mark may only be awarded if the dog indicates distinctly the perception of the bird and at least for a few seconds expressly points the scented game (without seeing it).
Stamina, speed (1):
The vizsla should hunt mostly in a proper gallop, but at least in a fast trot. It should work fluently and with passion even at the end of the time period. It should not be considered a fault if the dog stops at resting places or tracks to scent (and perhaps moves on only on the command of the handler); if it starts working intensively only after finding the first game (if the dog had shown interest and initiative in the first part of the work as well).
Retrieving test (allowed working time: 3 minutes for each game)
Task: the dog must pick up and retrieve the feather or fur game independently (without help from the handler). It is not sufficient if the dog takes the game only from the handler. It should be considered as the best execution of the task if the dog picks up and retrieves the game thrown away by the handler independently (without any help from the handler).
Game: freshly killed fur and feather game. (Before starting the test every dog should have the possibility to examine the game and try to retrieve it.) The handler may help the dog in any way (he may play with the dog or tease it with the game), but this should be taken into account during evaluation. Within the allowed time period several attempts may be made. If the dog refuses to take one of the game into its mouth, it may only be awarded a “ 1” mark.
Interest in the game (3):
The dog must show continuous and intense interest in the game. The vizsla may only be awarded a “ 1” mark if it turns away from the game after short scenting and is only willing to pick up the game and carry it for at least 3 metres after increased and repeated encouragement from the handler. The best mark may be awarded to if the dog shows express interest already at the sighting of the game and – after a short period of introduction and trying – runs to the thrown game and picks it up after a short search for hold. The dog should hold the whole game steadily in its mouth (not only holding it by the leg or the edge of the wing).
Style of holding and retrieving (2)
Best mark is awarded if the vizsla fetches both game without reluctance and holds the game gently and steadily (“with full mouth”). Adjusting the hold is not a fault. A retrieving distance of at least 3 metres is required.
Tendency to follow the trail (1):
After having finished the retrieving test the dog's handler lays a trail on the ground by dragging one of the game for abt. 30 metres . At the starting point he rubs the game to the ground and leaves a generous amount of fur or feather there. The dog should not see this.
The area used in the task should be chosen with great care in order to ensure the best scenting possibilities for the young dog (the terrain, the direction of the wind should be taken into account). The handler shows the starting point of the trail to his vizsla. From there the dog has to work out the trail on its own. The handler may accompany the dog, which may work on or off leash. It is not required to work out the trail precisely; the tendency to follow the trail, the interest and determination should be judged.
Time allowed: 5 minutes.
The vizsla has to retrieve from deep water an object chosen by the handler (any kind of dummy, game or a favourite toy). The handler – after a short (1 min.) warm-up on the water-bank – throws the object in the water so that the dog has to swim at least several metres to reach it. The dog may start retrieving immediately. After the successful retrieve (presentation is not required, it is sufficient if the dog brings the object to the water-bank) the handler has to throw the object back to the water immediately. When the dog is in the water for the second time, a shot is fired in the air (the gun should be at least 15 metres far from the dog). The dog should continue working. The handler may encourage the dog, give commands or throw something (for instance pebbles) near the object.
If the dog comes out of the water without retrieving after the shot, the handler may send it in again or repeat the task with another object. It is important that dog enters the water again.
If it is impossible to send the dog back to the water after the shot, it should receive “ 0” mark for ‘reaction to shooting' (4.1).
3.1 Keenness to work in water (3)
It should be taken into consideration how the dog enters the water (it is not an advantage if the dog jumps) and whether it enjoys being in the water. The style of swimming is not evaluated.
Best mark should be awarded if the dog – after a short consideration of the terrain – boldly enters the water and swims to the object.
Reaction to shooting (gun shyness) (1)
Reaction to shooting is tested during the hunting in the field and water work tasks. Best mark should be awarded if: in the task ‘hunting in the field', after the shots the dog – after a few seconds of orientation - continues working in the same tempo and eagerness; in the water test, if the dog continues working after the shot is fired (repeated command, directing throw is not a fault). If the dog goes back to the handler after the shots in the hunting in the field task and continues working reluctantly, after encouragement from the handler, it may only be awarded a ” 1” mark.
If the dog runs away or refuses to continue working it is to be judged as gun-shy and should be withdrawn from the BHT.
Eagerness to work, temperament (3)
Eagerness to work and temperament are to be judged during the whole test. The following points should be taken into consideration:
* The dog's behaviour with the judges and with unfamiliar people.
* The reaction of the dog to the presence of unfamiliar dogs and its behaviour around them. (Unjustified aggressivity is a severe fault.)
* The dog's relationship with its handler, its response to handling, trainability.
The dog should show express interest in the tasks, it should have a passion for hunting. In a young dog, a slightly hyperactive temperament that is difficult to control is a smaller fault than shy, tepid, nonchalant or aggressive behaviour.