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Hunting Dogs

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<SPAN name="C13"></SPAN> <h3>CHAPTER XIII.<br> BREEDING.</h3> <p>The main and most important question in breeding race horses as well as hounds is to get always the very best and to do this, one has to be on the move and watch the hunting and staying quality as well as the style of looking for trails, etc.; and a breeder should always be ready to pay the price for a good sire or dam. And he should always bear in mind that there is no more trouble or bother and that it does not cost more to raise a pair of dogs from well known hunting stock than from unknown stock but where it tells is when the dogs are of age for training. It is here where the great difference exists and where a sportsman is willing to look at the right side of the matter finds his mistake and where he regrets not having paid a few dollars more for the right stock.</p> <p>Some say that if pedigreed dogs were trained they would beat the other dogs. The question is to train them. Hounds which come from untrained or from partly or badly trained stock will always be poor hunters. They will never be the dogs that they would have been had they come from highly trained stock, that is that their sire and dam and grand sire and grand dam were all trained by persons who thoroughly understood the way of breeding and rearing as well as the age and proper way of training. A hound coming from such selected stock will learn and pick up in a day what will take others months and probably a whole season to learn. I never kept a hound which after having shown him the game and also blooded him once or twice would not at once start to hunt because I consider that the sooner a sportsman will shoot such dogs the better.</p> <p>There are plenty of fox dogs that are good coon dogs, and a great many coon dogs will run a fox to a finish, but the fox and coon dogs are two very different dogs. There is also a greater difference in the opinions of hunters, in regard to the coon dog than in any other dogs.</p> <p>Some want the full blooded hound, and some a cross with a foxhound; here they differ again as to what dog to cross with; others want no hound blood at all, but a shepherd; one wants a collie and another just a dog. Then here is a hunter who insists on a silent dog; and the next one says the silent trailer doesn't camp with him.</p> <p>Now as I am not looking for trouble, I will agree with all of you. Where coons are plentiful and you are likely to strike a coon track in every cornfield, the half hound or even a cur dog, will get coons; but where they are scarce and you may tramp until near morning, and then strike a trail five or six hours old, if you get that coon, you will need a dog with a good nose and one that tongues on a trail. But there is one point on which you will all agree &mdash; if your dog does not stay at a tree and bark good and plenty, he isn't much of a coon dog. Consequently in breeding for coon dogs, this is the most important point. Get as many other coon points as you can, but be sure his ancestors have been good tree dogs, as far back as you can trace them.</p> <p>The very reason that there are so many culls in this country, is because many hunters think a dog is a dog, and that any dog with long ears is a hound. Ears count for nothing but looks; bent legs, ditto; the only way that you can perfect the breed, which in your estimation, is the ideal, is by choosing the dogs of the best particular kind which you prefer. For instance, how could a hunter expect to produce a strain of dogs with good, loud voices, if he chooses as his breeders the poorest squallers in the lot? Nature is nature, and it is only by studying her laws that we are able to produce our ideal of any kind; also, if he wants an intelligent dog, he must pick out the one with the most desired good points, and then he is on the fair way to success.</p> <p>In short, in order to have a hound that will repay you for his training, he must be bred right in every detail or the hunter is doomed to disappointment. If the hunter does not own a first class pair to breed from and cannot secure a good strain in his locality, he should buy from a reliable dealer, one whom he knows has made a success of breeding this class of dogs. It is also advisable to buy a young pup as the chances of securing the best are alike to all, or even though the parent dogs are No. 1 in every respect, there will be some in the litter that will be weak in points before they have reached the age of eight months, the breeder himself will have difficulty in choosing any one as the best.</p> <p>There is a standard for judging the so-called high class pedigree show dogs but which does not cut much ice with a fox and coon hunter. Regardless of color, the qualities most desirable in an all around fox hound are: 1st, staying qualities and powers of endurance. 2d, voice, feet and general make up.</p> <SPAN name="pic129"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/129.jpg" alt="One-half English Bloodhound Pups."><br>One-half English Bloodhound Pups.</h5> <p>Personally, I like a hound that stands from 20 to 24 inches at shoulder, long in body, deep chested, heavy boned with a coat of rather long hair, the feet should be round in shape with a good covering of hair to protect the soles or pads. A foxhound should not have a second claw on the hind leg for this shows a cross in his breeding. A dog that has these claws will not stand much hard running in crust for by rubbing against trees, etc., they will gradually become sore and bleeding, and the hound although willing enough is handicapped with a pair of sore legs. Some hunters cut these claws off while young. In the pure strain of fox dogs this would be unnecessary as they would not have them on.</p> <p>The first cost of a young hound is nothing compared with the time and trouble it takes to bring him to a hunting age. Therefore, it is advisable to buy the best obtainable for even though the price be high at first cost, the hunter will be better satisfied for his time and money when the dog has fully developed for the chase. In making a choice for breeding, select a pair that has been thoroughly tried and are known to have no weak points, such as poor voice, quitters, back trackers, etc. It is also advisable to hunt with the bitch as much as possible up to the very time the pups are whelped. The pups will be stronger and better in every way than if the mother had been housed in all the time, and a hunter will find that a pup so bred will take to hunting almost as soon as he can run.</p> <p>Do not breed a pair of young dogs, rather select if possible, an old dog for a young bitch for by breeding two young dogs their pups are apt to be hot-headed, over-anxious and these qualities are not wanted in a foxhound.</p> <p>To be sure of a strain of dogs the breeder must know their ancestors three generations back for it is surprising how far back a pup will breed from, not only in color but in characteristics, habits, etc.</p> <SPAN name="pic131"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/131.jpg" alt="Fox Hounds."><br>Fox Hounds.</h5> <SPAN name="pic132"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/132.jpg" alt="Some Young Hunters."><br>Some Young Hunters.</h5> <hr>
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