A Lifetime Filled With Vizsla Dogs
I retired and now help younger people who need my experience with this gifted breed
A “Hobby” breeder is a breeder who breeds the occasional litter of puppies to continue their show/working lines. A hobby is an activity that people choose to do when a ‘hobby’ breeder rears a litter they do it for love and not to make a profit.
Irene Balla story
I was born in Hungary where my family always had dogs. My grandfather had many hobbies but he really liked hunting, so he bred and kept German Short Hair Pointers. As a Hungarian Vizsla breeder, my dad’s brother was awarded the Golden Garland by the Hungarian Kennel Club for his successful breeding of the of the Hungarian Kuvaszok. My father’s sister bred Hungarian dog breeds for hunting: Short Haired Douch and Maltese.
It’s so easy, to think about love,
to talk about love, to wish for love,
but is not always easy to recognize love,
even when we hold It in our hands
We traveled around Hungary for the dog shows, where we had our performances. The trapper attacked me, my dog protected me. This is very rare for a Vizsla, but my buddy loved me so much, nobody could get close to me. I was not afraid when he was with me.
We had a small group that worked together to make this Hungarian dog breed popular. My Vizsla was very talented. I could train him to jump over the fire circle and walk on the ladder. My dog was fully trained for the top hunting level, agility and obedience in his 1 to 5 year-old age group.
When I was 15 years old (in 1961) I got my first Vizsla. My father’s favorite breed was the Smooth Haired Vizsla. My hobbies included horse back riding and dog training. In time I was able to train my Vizsla for obedience, agility and hunting. Our family was not complete without our dogs. I trained my dogs every day for 2 hours. On weekends I would bring him to the Buda mountains, where I walked with him in the forest and then back home – approximately 20 km.
Ficko, my Vizsla was awarded 10 gold medals for the hunting test. He was very special to me. I belonged to a small group of Vizsla lovers that traveled around Hungary together demonstrating hunting exercises with our dogs and performing in dog shows.
At this time the vets did not give the dogs a complete dose of distemper vaccination. We have no idea why! My dog died of this terrible disease when he was 15 years old. My heart was broken. I lost my pal and partner who brightened up my life everyday. My dad bought me another Vizsla and unfortunately he passed away at just 5 months of age from the same disease. Many years passed before I saved a Vizsla mix, a German Short Hair Pointer, and an Irish Setter. They had a good life with us and died of natural causes.
I came to Canada in 1984 as a musician with my husband. We played music in the Intercontinental Restaurant on Bloor Street in Toronto. I always missed having dogs around me in the country air. But I could not keep any dogs with me in the apartment. My life was not full without them. I stayed in Canada and bought a small house and shortly after I rescued and till do many dogs, but no Vizslas. I am a silent help of the OSPCA.
I bought my first Canadian Vizsla from Quebec. She was beautiful but was not terribly interested in hunting. I soon realized my dream. I imported two excellent hunting dogs from the Pitypang Kennels, a Hungarian Vizsla breeder in Hungary. I bred them with the best males in Canada: CH On point Newman, CH Toldin’ Own Rip Red Flyer and USA Pennsylvania, CH Dry Martini.
All of my male offspring are excellent hunters and all have championship qualities. I am very proud of all my Vizslas and all of the hard work it took.
Presently we are living in an area that provides lots of running room for dogs which helps me to train my dogs with retrieving exercises. Summer to exhibit our breed and participate in the dock jumping competitions regularly. You will typically find us at many field trials and dog shows where we interact with other dog lovers.