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It's cutting them loose and having the pack run the rabbit until it gives up and goes in a hole or gets caught. And although the dogs usually don't catch it, they run like they want to. Just me and my pack of hounds, in any condition, on any day, in the roughest places I can find . . .

Monday, January 21, 2013

How Would My Dogs Stack Up?

I was talking to Keith and as he described the incredibly difficult condition they face to run in Ontario--low humidity, a few feet of powdery snow, cold conditions, rabbits running the same runway over and over, and I started wondering how my dogs would stack up.

Or, what if they were going to an AKC Midwest trial and were going to get soloed every day for the next several months?  All pressure was avoided and everything was about getting one or two hounds ready for the field trial.  Then they would be thrown into a nine dog winner's pack and expected to handle it well.

What about if they were sent down to South Carolina to run Large Pack?  What if all of the sudden they were expected to compete in packs with 50, 60, or even up to 100 dogs in a class.  Could they handle the pressure?

What if a rabbit hunter owned my dogs?  Would they hunt down the fence row, jump rabbits, and then retrieve after the rabbit was shot?  Would they run a nice medium speed so the rabbit would just hop along and make it easy to shoot?

What if they were down in Arkansas running swampers?  Half of the time they would be swimming when they were running.  The rabbits would be hitting every bit of water around just trying to leave my dogs far behind.

I think a lot of us have dogs that suit us for our conditions, but I can't help but wonder how mine would adapt to other conditions and situations.  Some of my dogs might do ok.  Some of them wouldn't do so well.  What about your dogs?  How well would they adapt to all of the conditions from all of the different areas where beaglers are using rabbit hounds?

Realistically, wouldn't the best dogs rise to the top no matter how they were trained or wherever they were run.  Every day as I run, I sit and I wonder, do these dogs have what it takes to compete any where and any conditions and look good doing it?  It's something to work towards.

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