Copyright 2013, VCCNE. All Rights Reserved.
As an AKC-licensed club, the VCCNE is committed to providing a range of events for members to participate in with their dogs. These include hunt tests, specialty shows, versatility testing, field trials, fun days, hunts, and workshops on a variety of other activities and topics. To learn more or find training classes near you visit: AKC, Canine Performance Events (CPE), United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA)
How to find other clubs' events?
The AKC maintains an Event Search page that allows you to search by state and by type of event. Occasionally, a club's event may not be listed yet because there is paperwork pending with the AKC so do check back frequently.
What is a hunt test?
A hunt test is an opportunity for you and your dog to assess your training and handling skills in a simulated hunting situation. As the AKC’s website states: “These tests were designed to showcase what a dog and hunter may be required to do in a normal day's hunt. They were set up to measure dogs against a set standard as opposed to a competition between dogs.” The history of the AKC Hunt Test program can be found here, while a number of useful articles can be found here. The complete set of rules, regulations, and expectations can be found here. A lot of participants find the three levels of testing – the Junior, Senior, and Master Hunter – useful guides for training as they work on developing and polishing skills that will set them and their dog apart. For those considering entering their first Junior Hunter hunt test, here are some useful tips courtesy of the Rio Salado Vizsla Club.
What is a specialty show?
A specialty show is a conformation show for a single breed of dogs, in this case for vizslas only. The AKC describes conformation shows as follows: “Dog shows (conformation events) are intended to evaluate breeding stock. The size of these events ranges from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows, featuring a specific breed. The dog's conformation (overall appearance and structure), an indication of the dog's ability to produce quality puppies, is judged”. The complete rules and regulations pertaining to showing dogs, including how a dog can claim a show Champion title, can be found here.
What is versatility testing?
Within the AKC, the Vizsla Club of America (VCA) offers vizsla owners the opportunity to have their dogs’ ‘versatility’ assessed and evaluated. Versatility in this sense means a dog’s demonstrated ability as a good-looking, well-mannered hunting dog. To achieve a Versatility Certificate (VC), a dog must pass three times under three different judges in each of the three areas: Conformation, Obedience, and Field. The complete rules and regulations can be found here on the VCA’s website. While the AKC does not formally recognize the VC title, it does allow it to be used in litter advertising.
What is a field trial?
Like conformation shows, field trials are often regarded as one of the principal ways to evaluate potential breeding stock – and like conformation shows, they are competitive in nature. However, the emphasis is less on the quantity of birds found, but how well the dog hunts handles the birds that it does find. As Horace Lytle wrote in his classic book How to Win Field Trials (1950): “The purpose of the whole thing is to find the greatest possible amount of game in the shortest possible time with the utmost of grace and rhythm in every action that takes place.” There are separate divisions for amateurs and professionals, and there are very often also different stakes for handling from foot (‘walking stakes’) or from horseback. The complete rules and regulations can be found here. For those contemplating entering a trial for the first time, here are some suggestions and words of advice from Joan Heimbach, Field Trial Committee Chair of the Connecticut Valley Vizsla Club.
What is agility?
Agility is one of the fastest growing dog sports in the United States! In agility, a handler directs a dog to jump hurdles, scale ramps, burst through tunnels, traverse a see-saw and weave through a line of poles in an obstacle course race for both time and accuracy. Competitions are called “trials” in which the handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles. Consequently, the handler's controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals. With scoring based on faults similar to equestrian show jumping, dog agility has become an exciting spectator event.
There are four title levels which offer increasing levels of difficulty: Novice, Open, Excellent and Master titles. At a trial, handlers and dogs can earn scores toward agility titles. Though agility is a competitive, athletic sport, it offers families a fun alternative for spending quality time with their pet. The obstacles are relatively easy to train, and a handler and their dog can do reasonably well and have fun without the hours of training required in other competitive canine activities