LL Bean’s Cover Models

Kudos to LL Bean for featuring purebred dogs on its Spring, 2016 catalog!
 
The two dogs at the left are Vizslak, a breed that has been competing in field trials in the US since the 1950s when they were registered with the Field Dog Stud book. AKC trials are popular, but in the 1990s, some owners formed the National Vizsla Association with the specific goal of promoting the breed as the High Class Bird Dog under American Field rules which they feel is more competitive. As a hunter, the Vizsla is a medium range worker (though different lines are bred for different regions and/or types of hunting, a good pointer, natural born retriever, and a competent tracker. Sometimes a “soft” dog (which often comes with high intelligence), the Vizsla required consistent, firm but gentle training.
 
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, seen at the right, also competes in field trials and several have racked up impressive wins in France where the largest breed club exists (Club Francais du Griffon d’Arret). In Germany, Griffs are tested in JGHV tests (that’s Jagdgebrauchshundverein, the umbrella organization of all versatile hunting dog clubs in Germany) while in the US, NAVHDA (The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) is probably the most popular venue. Depending upon the line, WPGs are slow and close working dogs, perhaps even methodical. They’re excellent pointers, good trackers, and strong retrievers that ask for a soft touch in training.
 
We’re not hunters, and on this topic we defer to the experts. The two Vizslak and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon on the LL Bean catalog cover are, by the way, “professional models” who, according to LL Bean, have done this kind of work before.

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