Vale Ch Pitswarren Picasso (IMP UK)

This page commemorates a vizsla with the most dignity and strong will of any I have known.  We are honoured to have been the only breeder in Australia other than Kimlise Kennels who knew him.

Picasso arrived in Australia in 2008 to a beaming Brian Neaves of Kimlise Kennels, who was thrilled to introduce new bloodlines to Australia for a second time via Pitswarren Kennels in the UK.  Picasso quickly became Brian’s pride and joy.  In 2008 Brian told me how Picasso was introducing bloodlines people in this country had never seen.  He was intended to continue to improve the Kimlise bloodlines and conformation.

Even knowing nothing about conformation or showing when I met Picasso at home in 2009, his movement struck me as the most impressive, effortless reach and drive I had ever seen.  It remains the most effortless movement I have seen, and I am thrilled that Metropolis offspring have inherited it. 

Picasso ruled proudly over the Kimlise pack until Brian’s ill health forced it to disband in 2011.

In late 2011 I was fortunate to be entrusted with Picasso, and it was an honour and a privilege to have the care of him, and to know him.  By that time Picasso had been titled predominantly by Tiane Perkiss, and he came to me to be king of the Metropolis pack and to be a full-time pet, although we did lightly show him. 

Picasso’s elegance and effortless movement combined with his big personality and ‘look at me’ quality in the show ring wowed many judges and gundog fans and spectators.  He was admired at 2 Dogs NSW judges’ training nights, and participated in Junior Handlers at Sydney Royal with Katie Anderson in 2013, who also enjoyed both showing and spending time with him.  His litter brother was Best of Breed at Crufts in 2009 and UK Gundog of the Year in 2010.  His offspring attained their championships with ease, as have his grandchildren.  Picasso is behind all Metropolis dogs, and we are proud and privileged to be able to continue using him to sire litters.

In 2015 an opportunity arose to place Picasso with one of the most caring families I know, on the most beautiful vizsla-friendly property I have seen, with his granddaughter Coco to be his pack mate.  On weekends the main house filled with guests, and Picasso did the rounds of greeting each person, having a pat, and then recirculating for as long as he could persuade people to pat or cuddle him.  I visited him regularly, and bred one litter successfully with him.  We will breed more with him in future, when the right bitch presents.

Most people do not know Picasso’s fun side.  His sense of play which was emphasised by contrast with his aristocratic bearing.  His love of fetch, and how he used to bark and leap about hysterically for you to throw the ball or stick repeatedly.  His love and jealousy of squeaky toys.  His pleasure at being included inside on the lounge.  His refusal to be stuck in the backyard on his own, leading to him scaling Brian’s back gate numerous times.  His fixation with car boots, as though drawn magnetically to them, and once in them refusing to leave.  His recognising that he was onto a good thing in his final home.  Although he visited Metropolis several times, and was pleased to inspect the yards and be adored by his daughters and granddaughters, he was quick to get back in the car at the end of each visit, and ignore my teasing invitations to return to kennel life. His learning to use his nose at age 8 when taking morning walks with Coco.  His finally learning to stop panicking when he swam, and to enjoy the water.

Picasso has always been a dignified gentleman, with a stubborn determination to be top dog.  He has always loved people. He has always enjoyed being “King of the kids” as Brian once said.

On Wednesday 13 September his family noticed that he did not seem to be himself, and took him to the vet for observation and tests. On Thursday the vet advised that he likely had kidney failure, and confirmed it on Friday.  Those of us who felt responsible for him (including his breeders, Pitswarren Kennels) agreed that we would rather send him quickly on his way, than subject him to discomfort and prolong his life while we came to terms with his condition.  Those who I know love him were informed.  He had a wonderful happy last weekend, visited by those who have cared for and loved him.

On 17 September 2018, at the age of 11 ½ years old, he was farewelled, amidst many tears.  Those who knew and loved him, in Australia, the UK and the USA, are in a sad state of shock.  I am glad that Metropolis has his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to remind us of him, and will have many more of his litters for years to come. 

In the 20 years that we have known vizslas, we have known only one Picasso.  How fortunate we are that he was our introduction to the world of breeding and stud dogs.  He will be sadly missed by those who loved him.

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Contact Details

Robyn Hanney

Metropolis Hungarian Vizslas

E:  [email protected] 

M:  0410 60 4238


Note:  Due to being involved in numerous activities each day, email is a more reliable method for contacting us than mobile phone.  We generally respond within 24 hours.