COMPASS

 

WIREHAIRED VIZSLAS

Striving For

NATURAL ABILITY   *   SOUND STRUCTURE   *   EXCELLENT TEMPERAMENTS   *   WHOLE HEALTH

A Little About Us...


We are Belinda Perry & Jeff Gowen of Pendleton County, in Northern Kentucky.  We strive for an overall "simple" life in our little house with our dogs, chickens and rabbits on our mostly wooded 13 acres in a rural part of Northern Kentucky. Our dogs do not live their lives in kennels, they are family dogs. Dogs have always played a large role in our lives, having a dog within the family for as long as either of us can remember.  As a child I started training and showing dogs in conformation and obedience with my local 4-H group and just loved it.  As an adult, we got our first sporting dog, a Weimaraner, in the 90s and a short time later, became heavily involved with our local Weimaraner Rescue organization.  We gained a great deal of knowledge on how poor breeding practices of dogs can have lifelong impacts on the individual dog's health (mentally & physically), the success of a dog within a family and the overall health, development and preservation of a breed.  Over the years it became apparent that there are various types of breeders; those who are breeding just to make a dollar with little or no regard for the puppies they produce or the breed, breeders who treasured the breed, dedicating themselves to the betterment of it, breeding only dogs who compliment one another to improve upon and preserve the existing traits ideal for the breed and everywhere in between.  Those dedicated ensure, to the best of their ability, that they only breed dogs who have been cleared of known genetic health diseases, have ideal temperaments for the breed, take the placing of their puppies seriously, requiring information on the type of home their dogs' offspring will reside in and insist upon the return of those dogs in the event the family finds themselves unable to care for it in the future. We found that a reputable breeder's dogs do not become a burden on shelters or rescue organizations because they care about their dogs and their breed too much to allow that to happen.  
In addition to breeding practices, we also became acutely aware through rescue work that one of the primary reasons for dogs failing in their homes is behavior and the lack of effective, fair, consistent training they receive to help them understand what is expected of them and to set them up for success.  As a result, in 2007 we took our years of personal training experience & education and fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine to become a professional dog trainer; opening our own business.  We believe in a balanced training approach, providing guidance, encouragement, positive reinforcement and correction, giving the dog both sides of the conversation and building healthy communication.  We compete in a wide variety of activities with our dogs but most importantly, we have dogs that understand their role in the family and are well behaved enough to enjoy accompanying us anywhere dogs are welcome, from dinners out on restaurant patios to hiking, kayaking, traveling on family vacations with us and so much more.  Training and communication allows us to provide our dogs with not only the mental and physical exercise they need to be healthy, happy dogs but also the wonderful life they deserve. 
After the big dog food recall several years ago, resulting in several pets' deaths and one of my dogs encountering a bout of severe pancreatitis from an unpublished dog food recipe change we began realizing that we really weren't very educated on what our dogs were eating or what they needed to be eating.  The extensive research began and the result is that we were horrified at what we found as common ingredients in a bag of dog food!  We now feed a primarily raw diet to our dogs (even though we're vegetarians) with some use of high quality kibbles.  We found a wonderful vet who practices conventional and holistic veterinary medicine with a specialty in nutrition, acupuncture and chiropractic and feel very fortunate for all of his guidance.  If you're interested in more information on the dog food industry here's an valuable article written by someone not biased by being employed by a dog food company.  The raw diet may not be for everyone but spending a few extra dollars on the bag of quality food will save you many dollars later at your veterinarian by reducing allergies, infections, skin issues and just giving your dog what it needs to build a strong healthy system, brain & body.  In addition to a more true diet for our dogs, we also take a more minimalist approach to vaccine protocols, using titers, also following the guidance of our veterinarian but still meeting the requirements of local laws.  Please review this site on Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM, an internationally recognized expert on a variety of  animal related diseases and issues.
In 2008 we started researching breeds other than the Weimaraner.  We considered several different breeds, taking into consideration everything we enjoy doing with our dogs, the time we have to dedicate and what would be an ideal match for us before deciding upon the Wirehaired Vizsla.  We spent 2 years educating ourselves, finding a breeder we wanted to work with and waiting for a litter to be be born. We are thrilled with our breed choice!  We've taken our dogs in all directions and haven't found anything off limits or out of reach for this breed!  
With a dedication to the sound development of our breed here in the US I was fortunate to have an opportunity to visit a breeder who has been in this breed since the mid 1980's in Europe, spending a week with her, her family and her lovely dogs.  With her focus being on the whole dog, health, sound temperament, structure, and hunt, I have found her knowledge and willingness to continue sharing it priceless as we make various breeding decisions for the betterment of the WHV here.     
Our approach, in general, to our dogs is one of addressing the Whole Dog's wellness.  By providing a more natural diet, healthy boundaries through training, plenty of mental & physical exercise and not inundating their systems with unnecessary vaccines or toxins we believe our dogs benefit by living a more balanced, healthier life.  We didn't get "here" overnight.  It took us years of experience, exposure, and research to come to these beliefs and we're still learning.  We're always happy to talk about our dogs and why we do what we do so if you're interested, just ask! :-)
~Belinda