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.