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 . . .

Friday, June 16, 2017

Drive Them to the Outside

I used to have the dogs that made dogs cheat to compete. It wasn't on purpose. They just ran a lot of rabbit and ran hard. Most of these dogs were successful in competition, but more than that, they were rabbit dogs. They ran the rabbit first and foremost. Although they wanted the front, they would get in behind other dogs when they should.

As I brought outcrosses into the kennel, a lot from stud fee pups, the stars changed. The dogs that were most successful in ARHA Little Pack were the roughest, swingingest, wouldn't run second no matter what, kind of dogs. With each one of these powerhouses I started to see a pattern in the kennel. The chases just weren't as good.

There were times when the chases would be amazing. These dogs could drive a rabbit. They would scream through the clearcuts, up hill and down. Until they didn't. Then there would be checks. Often there would be long checks, one after another. After a bit, the dogs would lose the rabbit. 

Eventually I would get sick of this and start to cull some dogs. Some were sold for lots of dollars, others just went down the road. These dogs were competitive in Little Pack, winning hunts, big and small. As each dog left, the chases got better for a while. An then another slasher would start to disrupt.

This winter it finally reached the breaking point. A couple of the most dominate dogs were so competitive that they couldn't even circle a rabbit. Chases rarely last more than 5 -10 minutes. Dogs that could run circle after circle by themselves couldn't run a rabbit with any pressure at all. 

So these dogs are gone and with that came the commitment to dogs that can stand pressure from bloodlines that can stand pressure. If you can't take the heat, you can't stay here. No excuses.

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