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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 . . .

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Certain Style

Do your dogs have a certain style? Do they run alike? Work a check alike? Drive out of a check alike? When someone sees a dog, do they know if it would fit in your pack?

I was talking with southeastern Kentucky beagler, Greg Sammons on Sunday and he asked how I picked dogs I was going to keep. I tried to describe a certain style that my favorite dogs all had. All had a straight away drive out of the check. It's not blazing fast, but they didn't falter or fall off. They just drove out of a check with a controlled power. 

When I think of the best dogs at Logan Elm Beagles, Hobo, Neal, Nada, Willie, Gypsy all had that style. When a pup starts, without even thinking about it, I compare him to these dogs and their look when they ran. When I am making a cross, I consider the likelihood that it will produce dogs that fit.

Naturally, it's not just as easy as finding dogs to fit the style. I look for independent hunt, and dogs with the stamina to quit only when I make them get in the truck. I want a good mouth that I can pick out. I also want the conformation to withstand day after day of pounding running.

As I was running last night, I was thinking about all this. Recently, I have been making an adjustment to my pack. Some dogs I have had for a while are gone. Some dogs that haven't been run much are getting more hours. My pack wasn't running as smooth as they should. Dogs were getting too rough and wide in the check area. Those that stay will have a certain style. 

I ran Dennis, Cole, Poppy, JJ, and Silly. It was 57° with a little rain.

2 comments:

  1. How concerned are you when making breeding/culling decisions about Field trail success ? Does it factor in at all or do you just trust that if you build your type of hound Field trail success will come ? I know many people that run packs they can't stand just because they have the ability to win hunts. Do you ever choose to breed one dog over another you may like a little more because they get more done in the hunts ??

    Zach Moore

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  2. Great questions Zach. The dogs I like have fit in well in Little Pack, but in the last few years LP has changed. The dogs have become much rougher, with more checks resulting in more lost rabbits.

    The adjustment I mentioned above is a result of having dogs that do well in Little Pack but don't fit in with what I like. I never keep a dog just because it can do well in competition. I have sold a couple of dogs in the last couple of years that are extremely competitive in Little Pack because I had decided I didn't want to breed to them.

    I really try to only keep dogs that I think will help my kennel. If something isn't going to fit into the style I like, I won't use it to breed to and most likely won't keep it. I enjoy going to hunts and visiting with people, but nothing beats just running dogs and listening to a great chase.

    Thanks for asking!

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