At Home. In The Field.

About Us

Background Information

I grew up pheasant hunting the cornfields of Northern Illinois with my dad and our GSPs, and have had sporting dogs my whole life.  At the time, I had only seen photos of Vizslas and read about them in hunting magazines and dog books.  I love the GSP breed, but was drawn to the Vizsla after seeing the pictures and reading the breed's description.  I always had a sense that the breed would be a better fit for me than a shorthair.  I met my first Vizsla in Birmingham, MI, when I was 13 years old, and I knew at that moment that I would someday be owned by one.  Little did I know that the first Vizsla pup would eventually turn into this. 

Once I graduated from law school and my offer on a home with a fenced in yard was accepted, I placed a deposit for a Vizsla pup and didn't look back.  The breed is everything I expected and so much more, and I enjoy the opportunity to share my experience with others.  I have owned Vizslas since 2003, and have been breeding since 2006, largely for myself.  I typically do breedings so that I can keep pups for competition purposes and to be part of my breeding program.  There is nothing more rewarding for me than to see the wonderful traits my dogs possess be passed on to their offspring and appreciated by others. 

I am very active with the breed locally, as well as the sport of field trialing.  I am a member of the Vizsla Club of America, an active member of the Vizsla Club of Michigan and Vizsla Club of Illinois, and the current Vice President of the Vizsla Club of Michigan.  I chair or secretary several field trials each year for the Vizsla Club of Michigan, co-chair the Midwest Vizsla Shooting Dog Championship and serve on the committee and as scribe for the Midwest Vizsla Futurity.  I also serve as Vice-President for the newly formed Mid-Michigan Pointing Dog Club.  I am an AKC approved Field Trial and Hunting Test Judge, and I have also judged American Field Trials.

My Philosophy

I breed for myself, and often keep pups out of my breedings for competition, hunting and future breeding stock. 

I am very particular about the dogs that I keep and breed.  Health, temperament and field ability are paramount.  I also like classy style, with a high head and tail on point, intensity, drive and desire, and intelligent application in the field.  There is also a certain "look" that I like.  I make every effort to produce pups that conform to the breed standard, but also recognize that there is so much more that goes into the making of a great dog, particularly a bird dog, than simply his or her conformation. 

I do not enjoy hyper dogs that are difficult to live with in the home, and I expect others feel similarly.  No matter how good a dog may be in the field, I will not keep or breed one that does not also meet my high expectations as a companion in the home.  Granted, Vizsla pups can be energetic and sometimes even exhausting if not exercised sufficiently.  That being said, Vizslas should not be hyper, and once a pup has physically and mentally matured, they should be rather calm and easy going.  I have some of the biggest couch potatoes you will ever meet, yet they can and will go out and hunt all day if asked to do so.  I value those traits and, as a result, my pups are typically as enjoyable to live with in the home as they are to hunt over in the field.  I am very proud of this fact. 

I don't believe that breeding begins when dogs are mated and ends when the pups are whelped.  My litters are planned well in advance, and all parents have had their hips OFA rated and are free from hip dysplasia.  I also DNA all of my dogs, so that there is never any question as to the parentage of the dogs that I own and the pups that I produce.  Each dog that I own and breed has had success field trialing and/or hunting, and although my focus in the breed is on field trialing, I am a hunter first and foremost.  I understand that difference between the two disciplines, and it is important for me to have dogs that can excel in both arenas simultaneously.  I do not breed run offs and I do not breed dogs that work so close that you will stumble over them.  Pointing dogs were bred to get out of gun range, but Vizslas should not be out of sight so often that you spend more time hunting for them than birds.  My dogs know the difference between trialing and foot hunting, and hunt for and with me while still remaining independent and bold.  While that can be a fine line at times, it is one of the characteristics that makes a great bird dog. 

My goal is not to mass produce pups, but rather produce the very type of pups for others that I would want to own myself, whether it be as a companion in the home or field.  I do not breed every female to my male, even if I could, and I am not afraid to travel considerable distance to do a breeding if I think it will improve the quality of the pups I produce.  While I typically breed to titled dogs that have proven their worth as a sire, I am not afraid to breed to an up and comer, even if he doesn't have a title, if I think the breeding will produce wonderful pups and improve my lines.  Titles are not the be all to end all.

What it Means to Me to be a Breeder   

I feel strongly that the time pups spend with me at the beginning of their life is critical to their health and development later in life, a fact that I do not take lightly.  My pups are whelped and raised in the home, and spend their time here in a large 4 x 10 foot pen in the living room and not the barn, kennel, garage or basement. 

My pups go through the Early Neurological Stimulation program, also known as the "Super Dog" program, during the first two weeks after birth and are handled regularly on a daily basis.  I work from home, so I spend considerable time around the pups, which not only affords me the opportunity to interact with them, but also to watch them develop and get to know each and every pup's personality.  This is particularly beneficial when it comes time for the pups to be selected and go to their new homes.  Even though I allow my buyers to pick their own pup, I often give advice and make recommendations, based on my experience and what I know about the individual pups, that results in good matches for both the pup and owner. 

My pups are highly socialized, having been exposed to a number of different people, children, dogs, different surfaces (carpet, wood floors, concrete, grass, etc.) and the sights and sounds that life in the home offers.  Because of their pen configuration, my pups are experienced at going up and down full sized steps, have had experience with crate training and a beginning foundation for potty training.  Weather permitting, pups regularly get outside once they are ready (between 5 and 6 weeks), both in the backyard and our large fenced two-acre training and exercise area.  Pups are introduced to the wing on a string between 5 and 6 weeks, and then live quail and/or pigeons shortly thereafter.

My pups go home with AKC registration application papers, a litter specific information and training booklet that I prepare for each litter, a professionally published puppy training book, a three-year hip and health guarantee, three dewormings, and their first round of puppy shots.  I require a deposit to secure a pup from an upcoming litter, and pups are selected, when they are ready to go home, in the order that deposits are received.  Deposits are non-refundable unless I do not have a pup for you of the gender of your choosing, in which case I would be happy to refund it or apply it towards a future breeding I may have.  Most importantly, however, my pups go home with a lifetime commitment from me, as the breeder, to make sure your experience is a positive one.  Call it customer service, if you will.  I am also happy to provide references upon request, and I would encourage those of you considering a pup from me to view testimonials submitted by those who have pups from me on my Gundogbreeders.com profile. 

I enjoy receiving updates about my pups, and hearing about their progress, whether it be in the field, conformation, agility or as a companion in the home.  I especially cherish photo updates, as I maintain a photo album for each litter.  I am also committed to my pups for their entire life.  If, for whatever the reason and whatever the age, one of my pups is in need of a new home, I will take the pup without asking any questions and place it a new and loving home.

Being owned by a Vizsla has had a profound impact on my life and I find it tremendously rewarding to see others have the same experience.  Whether you're looking for a great companion at home or in the field, I have the pup for you.

Jon Peck
Midnight Run Vizslas
At Home. In The Field.