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Always a good topic Mitch , and plenty of excellent responses. Me personally , have been running and breeding the same blood lines for 35 -40 yrs. I get all serviceable search , and many outstanding ones . A couple out crosses have produced a lazier one here and there. I have found that the training / running program each hound receives , has tremendous impact on total package.
They need to come from a line of quality individuals for probable success . Not the norm , but Have seen plenty start out with excellent hunt / search , only to loose that desire . Typically by infrequent running and training . Especially in the important development stage. Also in areas with very little game ,( no reward for their endless search ) and the worst senecio ,days and days , hours and hours of unsupervised training , at a trail laden running pen. The hounds are smart , and will eventually adapt to the situation , taking the easiest path to starting a rabbit. Handle your hounds. Stay with them. Insist they stay in the cover and search. Avoid training with your buddies lazy path running hounds. Best case option is , select areas with the densest nastiest cover to train hounds. Especially the younger hounds. Start in the briars early on. I have often times taken a litter of 8 week old pups , tossed a handful of kibble into a briar patch behind my kennel. Watch the group work through that nastiness , in search a little reward. Few sessions of that ,and they dive right in. Pretty easy to identify the ones with superior desire. Just some things I’ve observed over the years.
That was so spot on I read it twice JDW that was good !
 

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Always a good topic Mitch , and plenty of excellent responses. Me personally , have been running and breeding the same blood lines for 35 -40 yrs. I get all serviceable search , and many outstanding ones . A couple out crosses have produced a lazier one here and there. I have found that the training / running program each hound receives , has tremendous impact on total package.
They need to come from a line of quality individuals for probable success . Not the norm , but Have seen plenty start out with excellent hunt / search , only to loose that desire . Typically by infrequent running and training . Especially in the important development stage. Also in areas with very little game ,( no reward for their endless search ) and the worst senecio ,days and days , hours and hours of unsupervised training , at a trail laden running pen. The hounds are smart , and will eventually adapt to the situation , taking the easiest path to starting a rabbit. Handle your hounds. Stay with them. Insist they stay in the cover and search. Avoid training with your buddies lazy path running hounds. Best case option is , select areas with the densest nastiest cover to train hounds. Especially the younger hounds. Start in the briars early on. I have often times taken a litter of 8 week old pups , tossed a handful of kibble into a briar patch behind my kennel. Watch the group work through that nastiness , in search a little reward. Few sessions of that ,and they dive right in. Pretty easy to identify the ones with superior desire. Just some things I’ve observed over the years.
Wise man environment does play a big part in it. Going with what you know does too.
 

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I liked JDW post also. I have thought for a long time that my younger hounds would be better searchers if they were rewarded for their efforts, but my hunting areas do not have many rabbits, so the great majority of searching (including me in the brush with them) is for nothing. That may partly explain why my best rabbit finders are almost always the 6-10 year old hounds, those who have been through the war and learned there is reward if they persist.
 

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I agree just a touch rough but my male was a jump dog deluxe, sounded like a bush hog coming through the briars and he could pile the tailgate full of rabbits . He was a retriever and passed it to several pups I like that part .
Where are you located ? We might have to get together and run one of these days
Jim bred his homer bitch to Jack too. I had one out that x too. She jump dog but I don’t care for her looks either & she bit rough too . Good dog just not what I wanted keep to keep long
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Chipjohnson,

Sounds like you are doing the right thing and with dogs from the right guy. Keep it up and keep us posted.

Ain't it so good...…..to have a beagle dog that actually...…... goes...…. leaves you and goes find rabbit after rabbit where they live without your help?

Just listen for the jump and go to em!

Now that's fun!......Nothing like it.
 

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Blue Tail...….Here is a TIP from me to you....Watch out!..... lots....many of todays common everyday run of the mill Blackcreeks are plagued with lack of nose to average nose and many wobble on the line. A whole bunch of them.....not all mind you but a whole bunch also check back and side to side first before they check forward and as you know 70 percent of the time the check is straight ahead. The good ones do not do this but the average decent running black dog out there scattered out all over the country does.

That is why the original breeders culled those and sold them off and kept others. Also many run and perform great at slow to dead flat medium speed. If you pick them up a notch they start hooking and or skirting and cutting up....slow them back down a little and rule book dog. There you go some truth for you my friend.

I get some that are a little sort on nose to me from time to time. They can run a good rabbit and other people love them but they are a little short for me. I also get some with just the average good nose and I cull all those out too...but they run nice and they do hunt and they are tuff as a pine knot.

There are some real, real good Black dogs out there that are NOT short on nose and can smell it and do not wobble and check forward but they are not under every bush. people hold them tight with their mouth shut. So I said all that to say this...…..Check em before you breed to them.

I like to check my derby's at 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm in July and August when the sweat is pouring. I have on short pants, no shirt and a big hat with water in my hand. I start putting dogs down one at a time. I put them down and i go sit where I can see in the shade and watch to see who will go in under the briars in the 110 degree heat, jump me a rabbit and can keep it going and keep showing it to me at any speed. When they got on a rabbit I see who can hold on to it and who eventually looses is. Very...Very informative.

You will be shocked at how many good running hounds can't, wont go jump you a rabbit in that kind of heat and the few that will that can't hold on to it for long in any breed!

You will find out who really wants a rabbit to run and who can really smell and buckle down an keep it going and going when most hounds wont' or cannot!

The rare few that can do both every time out like this day after day....they get bred. It don't even pay to breed the others IMO even though they are FC's.

I sure don't want pups off them.

Good informative posts keep sharing information please!
Good info--- I've been getting a chuckle these past years as ppl buy / sell / breed a Buckshot, Blackcreek, Wiercreek, shorts, patch, yellowcreek etc and assume because its called that and has some of that blood on paper things might turn out to be like the best of those dogs that once existed. LOL

While I'm certain there are some good knowledgeable breeders out there that have been very selective, worked hard, made good choices and had a little luck too---- and have been able to continue and improve on the best qualities of those previous great ones-- the vast majority have no clue and are overly enamored with the hype / name or look of the dogs and think they have something special.

What really matters is who the breeders were and how objective they viewed things in their efforts / selections to stack up the good traits.

All might consider spending their time focusing and researching the long time breeders who focused on similar interests or style of still around that have delivered.

I love some of the great traits that Buckshot added to my line but will be the first to acknowledge its been very hard to later reproduce individuals like the first crosses to Buckshot himself. And I also had some other traits in my line that I liked better than the typical Buckshot traits and wanted to keep those traits. Genetics--Its a constant effort.

One thing I've noticed is that the traits most of the top trialers are prioritizing are slightly different than my priorities for my line of hunting dogs. A few friends that trial and have multiple champions and "National" champions have been very clear that nose is top of the list as they have to be able to run in every scent condition and often get their wins in extremely poor scent conditions that I'm not likely to encounter during hunting season.
They demand extreme ability and flow on the line to be able to win consistently.
None of them put hunt in the top few priorities as all that is needed is reasonable hunt so the dog doesn't stand out as a non hunter.
None of them cared much about the personality of the dog or any quirkiness-- just performance
So they breed accordingly because its what suits them and is needed to win the nationals. And its what other trialers need and buy if they want to compete.

I totally understand their thinking and am ok with it. My goals are slightly different.

I want the whole package of traits but recognize there is a fine line balancing the traits where an extreme amount of 1 trait doesn't destroy another positive trait.
An example of that would be my breeding decades ago for extreme jump dogs which I accomplished only to find them blowing out of tough checks after a short while because they preferred to just go jump another. Through advice from an elder I learned I needed some patience in the check to grind it out.
Another example was the many I had with absolute extreme hunt but then were also hard headed and tough to handle.

And so the breeding goes on trying to balance it all--- intelligence, hunt, nose, handling/temperament, line control / flow, confirmation etc

I've noticed in my latest litters that they were getting a little easy with regard to natural jump abilities compared to past stock and also nose and size was slipping--- and so my next crosses are to beef that back up a little. But I won't accept losing their extreme desire to please me with great handling, clean & tight mouthed running with zero cold trailing, etc.

Always something that can be improved
 

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Good info--- I've been getting a chuckle these past years as ppl buy / sell a Buckshot, Blackcreek or Wiercreek and assume because it has some of that blood on paper it might turn out to be like the best of those dogs that once existed. LOL

While i'm certain there are some good knowledgeable breeders out there that have been very selective, worked hard, made good choices and had a little luck too---- and have been able to continue and improve on the best qualities of those previous great ones-- the vast majority have no clue and are overly enamored with the name or look of the dogs and think they have something special.

What really matters is who the breeders were and how objective they viewed things in their efforts / selections to stack up the good traits.

I love some of the great traits that Buckshot added to my line but will be the first to acknowledge its been very hard to later reproduce individuals like the first crosses to Buckshot himself. And I also had some other traits in my line that I liked better than the typical Buckshot and wanted to keep those traits. Genetics--Its a constant effort.

One thing I've noticed is that the traits most of the top trialers are prioritizing are slightly different than my priorities for my line of hunting dogs. A few friends that trial and have multiple champions and "National" champions have been very clear that nose is top of the list as they have to be able to run in every scent condition and often get their wins in extremely poor scent conditions that I'm not likely to encounter during hunting season.
They demand extreme ability and flow on the line to be able to win consistently.
None of them put hunt in the top few priorities as all that is needed is reasonable hunt so the dog doesn't stand out as a non hunter.
None of them cared much about the personality of the dog or any quirkiness-- just performance
So they breed accordingly because its what suits them and is needed to win the nationals. And its what other trialers need and buy if they want to compete.

I totally understand their thinking and am ok with it. My goals are slightly different.

I want the whole package of traits but recognize there is a fine line balancing the traits where an extreme amount of 1 trait doesn't destroy another positive trait.
An example of that would be my breeding decades ago for extreme jump dogs which I accomplished only to find them blowing out of tough checks after a short while because they preferred to just go jump another. Through advice from an elder I learned I needed some patience in the check to grind it out.
Another example was the many I had with absolute extreme hunt but then were also hard headed and tough to handle.

And so the breeding goes on trying to balance it all--- intelligence, hunt, nose, handling/temperament, line control / flow, confirmation etc

I've noticed in my latest litters that they were getting a little easy with regard to natural jump abilities compared to past stock and also nose and size was slipping--- and so my next crosses are to beef that back up a little. But I won't accept losing their extreme desire to please me with great handling, clean & tight mouthed running with zero cold trailing, etc.

Always something that can be improved
Well said. Look back at mitch’s original post. Get that jump ability without losing the good traits. & u are exactly right trailers tend to only concentrate on the extreme traits that are winning while totally ignoring essential good traits in what I call a complete rabbit dog. Right again when you say most are faddists. I call them flavor of the day guys. What’s popular now. Alot of dog jockeys chase this. Right again when you say there are a few serious breeders who know what a complete dog is and strife to maintain it. History tells us this. When I was a kid the brace trialers had bred dogs down so slow & do nothing they were worthless as hunting dog. You e see stud ads bragging about a champs dying beautifully at a check, being flat, no quick moves, extremely slow ext.handlers wanted to make sure his dog in back so soon as front dog made a mistake it over. Dog trackers won a bunch back then I’m sure. I’ve also lived long enough to see the other extreme to. Wild fast over running over competitive jealous wild skirting the pack, swinging , running way over the end, big checks long distance & never coming back to check was not only tolerated but they were the dogs that won. All under the same Akc rules. I wonder if most have even read procedure 5 of Akc rule book ? That being said I’m sure not all dogs there are that way & people enjoy them very much & that’s good. Knowing all this it does get me when people imply just because a dogs got a trial record it way cut above. Could be but you better check it out close. Or quotes like just a hunting dog as that makes it inferior. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I see a dog that it’s bred nothing but a mixture of the popular lines of the time to me it can be a red flag. Out xed every which way. It may be a good one but I doubt it reproduce JMO. History also shows that a solid line breeding program with rigid selection and culling will succeed if you strive to maintain the complete dog. It’s how strains are made. Thing key in mind if you not going for the right traits you get stuck. There’s evidence of this too in past. Most guys who line stood test of time did it this way for the most part. So you right when you say who you getting from us critical. Some take same line of dog & ruin it in couple generations. While others take same line & work & actually improve it. The slowest of the slow & wildest nut you ever saw if you trace it back most likely will have some common ancestry. Through it all the breed we love surviving. Find a line you like stick with it. Make sure it fits the breed standard in every category & don’t fall in love with them. Realize not all are gonna make the grade. It’s up to you. Not willing to do all that find the guy who is & get it from him.
 

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Well I’ve been in Beagling about 57 years as I had my first beagle at 8. My uncle gave me a pup out of his grade dogs/ Pearson Creek/Skullfork from what he told me. We never pened dogs unless we were going hunting off somewhere. In the country they just ran loose and hunted all day and most of the night. Over the years I have tried all breeds to try and better my pack! I have ran Branko, Satsumas, Otis, Chicken, Shorts, Oakhill, Scullfork ,Weircreek and Indian Hills. Back when I trialed some they wanted speed and sacrificed line control quite a bit. I have had excellent hunt in all the different lines I tried but most consistent with desire, grit, control and and bidability without sacrificing to much speed has been my Otis/Shorts/Skullfork breedings. I love my Indian Hills gyp and she is pretty quick but outruns her nose some and I will be breeding her to a Skullfork or an Otis to tighten that up. I really like what has been mentioned in above post. I am never satisfied and always trying to improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Below is a few pictures of a Blackcreek\ Skullfork descended...derby male pup that I like.... that.. HUNTS.... and is an outstanding Jump Dog in Extreme Conditions. He also has excellent Line Control, Tight check Work and honors other dog accomplishments. I have posted some of these before some not. This is a nice derby pup IMO.

I have a weaned litter from this pup waiting to start. This is one hound and his sister I am trying to maintain and even improve the HUNT in my dogs while keeping them trailable. Winning and Placing when Tested in SPO Field Trials.

He is a pretty fair young male that wants to be a rabbit dog when he grows up. I call him Abel. Abel comes for an outstanding bitch line of gundogs and jump dogs you can HUNT OVER who also consistently won and placed when brought to Lic. SPO Field Trials against some of the best dogs in their class in the Deep South in our area in their time.
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The Tri Color (bitch) dog below is Abel's littermate sister. She is at least as good as him or a touch better. She is very focused, intense bitch dog, on a rabbit and has a huge booming screaming chop mouth that will drive the hair up on the back of your neck. She is going to get bred to Honey Island Swamp Run Blood the Lord willing when she comes in.

The Old black silver face bitch next to her is Mr. H (Wills male) and The Major dog (Jai owns) mother--Honey Island Fe-Fe.

At 13 Fe-Fe can still pound the snot out of a rabbit with a booming mouth and lead a pack for about 30 -40 minutes before she starts dropping back in the line. Nothing I had ever ran in front of her when she was younger. She could lock on hard to a rabbit and drive. She could run the guts out a pack of good hounds on a rabbit in her prime.


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Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
This is another derby male pup that has impressed me and others that I am trying (using) to maintain and improve the "HUNT' and Jump Power in my dogs while keeping them useful for Hunting and Field Trialing, wining and placing when used SPO Field Trials and outstanding under the gun.

This Derby male I call "Blood" is one of (Fe-Fe's) youngest sons to date. He can lock on and drive a rabbit with authority and he is still getting better. Actually he is just starting to come into his breeding his (blood). He is making a heck of a dog. This pup porved to be a Gundog Delux that HUNTS and runs with Control and….. Power his first season out last year. I brought him on three big hunts with lots of dogs rabbits and shooting and he dominate every pack on every hunt all day long. Then I put him up and let him set, ripen, age and mature some more....and I did put him on one of the best, big nosed, Pure Old School bitches I own. Honey Island Bolt.

Honey Island Swamp Run Blood is a Blackcreek\ Skullfork decended pup showing lots of "HUNT" desire, and promise in extreme conditions while under the gun.

Blood sired his first litter of pup’s night before last out of my "Bolt" bitch. They are two days old. Six red and white (chocolate) pups two black whites. These pups will run a lot of bunny. His breeding includes FC Dogwood Tank, FC Tommy's Talking Deacon, FC Midnight Tramp, FC Mcnairs Prince at least 30+ crosses of FC JR's T-Boy and a bunch of FC JR's TJ, JR's Buck, FC Oak River Decker, Oak River Stacey, FC Colemans Black Bob, FC Brush-Fire-Driver, FC Midnight Mister, FC City Limit Snoop and several crosses of Bad Bottom Kennels great producing FC bitches just to name a few and many other great Deep South FC hounds descended from them. Blood is descended for an Outstanding bitch line of High Quality Producing Deep South Gundogs second to none IMO. I like this pup so far. Time will tell.

Blood has three outstanding littermate athletic sister than can lock on and run the snot out of rabbit! I attached a photo of them below too most of you have see it before but I like these pups especially after I hunted them last season. They don't hang up, wobble, go back and forth or make it look hard. They lock on to a rabbit an stroke the Hyde off him. Blood has a 13" black and white littermate brother also, Deadly Dudley and he is TUFF in a pack of dogs. He is a real fine little male IMO. The whole litter is good. They all run alike. They are all half brother and sister and first cousins to MR. H (Will Messer has) and the (Major dog) Jai Diggs has. I just bred these up a step by putting a bigger nose on them and another FC male out of Becky in them and Mike Necaise Bad Bottom Bitch line in them and some other Old Time Deep South Greats close up in their blood. Basically I took some old dogs out the woods I been saving and put them in the breeding pen with Fe-Fe.
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If there is a can of Blue Kote in the picture you know that dog will hunt! My pups have some of that blood in them and they haven't had much problem finding a rabbit so far. They have already started chewing through the kennel door to go hunting. I love these little monsters!

Mitch I gotta give you credit that Blood dog is one bad looking dude! I think I could get use to dodging alligators to kill some big ol Cajun swamp hare over a dog like that!
 

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If there is a can of Blue Kote in the picture you know that dog will hunt! My pups have some of that blood in them and they haven't had much problem finding a rabbit so far. They have already started chewing through the kennel door to go hunting. I love these little monsters!

Mitch I gotta give you credit that Blood dog is one bad looking dude! I think I could get use to dodging alligators to kill some big ol Cajun swamp hare over a dog like that!
If there is a can of Blue Kote in the picture you know that dog will hunt! My pups have some of that blood in them and they haven't had much problem finding a rabbit so far. They have already started chewing through the kennel door to go hunting. I love these little monsters!

Mitch I gotta give you credit that Blood dog is one bad looking dude! I think I could get use to dodging alligators to kill some big ol Cajun swamp hare over a dog like that!
I can remember if that was for in the pic or one of my other ones lol. He is definitely not a cull in my book. I have some that can run one better than him but that is only after it is jumped!
 

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Good info--- I've been getting a chuckle these past years as ppl buy / sell / breed a Buckshot, Blackcreek, Wiercreek, shorts, patch, yellowcreek etc and assume because its called that and has some of that blood on paper things might turn out to be like the best of those dogs that once existed. LOL

While I'm certain there are some good knowledgeable breeders out there that have been very selective, worked hard, made good choices and had a little luck too---- and have been able to continue and improve on the best qualities of those previous great ones-- the vast majority have no clue and are overly enamored with the hype / name or look of the dogs and think they have something special.

What really matters is who the breeders were and how objective they viewed things in their efforts / selections to stack up the good traits.

All might consider spending their time focusing and researching the long time breeders who focused on similar interests or style of still around that have delivered.

I love some of the great traits that Buckshot added to my line but will be the first to acknowledge its been very hard to later reproduce individuals like the first crosses to Buckshot himself. And I also had some other traits in my line that I liked better than the typical Buckshot traits and wanted to keep those traits. Genetics--Its a constant effort.

One thing I've noticed is that the traits most of the top trialers are prioritizing are slightly different than my priorities for my line of hunting dogs. A few friends that trial and have multiple champions and "National" champions have been very clear that nose is top of the list as they have to be able to run in every scent condition and often get their wins in extremely poor scent conditions that I'm not likely to encounter during hunting season.
They demand extreme ability and flow on the line to be able to win consistently.
None of them put hunt in the top few priorities as all that is needed is reasonable hunt so the dog doesn't stand out as a non hunter.
None of them cared much about the personality of the dog or any quirkiness-- just performance
So they breed accordingly because its what suits them and is needed to win the nationals. And its what other trialers need and buy if they want to compete.

I totally understand their thinking and am ok with it. My goals are slightly different.

I want the whole package of traits but recognize there is a fine line balancing the traits where an extreme amount of 1 trait doesn't destroy another positive trait.
An example of that would be my breeding decades ago for extreme jump dogs which I accomplished only to find them blowing out of tough checks after a short while because they preferred to just go jump another. Through advice from an elder I learned I needed some patience in the check to grind it out.
Another example was the many I had with absolute extreme hunt but then were also hard headed and tough to handle.

And so the breeding goes on trying to balance it all--- intelligence, hunt, nose, handling/temperament, line control / flow, confirmation etc

I've noticed in my latest litters that they were getting a little easy with regard to natural jump abilities compared to past stock and also nose and size was slipping--- and so my next crosses are to beef that back up a little. But I won't accept losing their extreme desire to please me with great handling, clean & tight mouthed running with zero cold trailing, etc.

Always something that can be improved
ZERO cold trailing! AGREED. Zero tolerance
 

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ZERO cold trailing! AGREED. Zero tolerance
I need first one to say I hate a dog that gommes around back & forth over same spot barking it’s head off. But there’s a world of difference in that & a big nosed dog with the brains to use it to take a track others can’t smell & jump the rabbit. Most have never saw one like that . They aren’t plentiful. They move steady and when they get where rabbits sitting boom is on. I had a hunting friend who we d debate on this he didn’t see it for what it was. Yet even though he had good dogs he complained his should be jumping more rabbits. Most have never saw one this type. & this attitude toward zero tolerance is why so many short on nose today. You ever stop think that maybe cause the rest aren’t opening they may be light on nose. Go on ice covered day in zero weather & watch this cold trailer put rabbit in front the gun. While them zero tolerance dogs don’t say a word. One time I running in February in snow cone snow. It cold I’d run8 rabbits & killed 3 solo hunt. Had one more to go. It’s early afternoon. Guy dumped out on me. Had a fd champ bitch out popular blood line. Hare bred guess you say. She pulled my dogs why been running rabbit they on over an hour geared down. This bitch took front continued to over shoot checks while mine just kept going turning it from behind. The dog barked about 6 times in 4 circles. We saw rabbit several times. I just let run never did shoot it. Guy paid allot money for her. Later on he bred her sold the pups then sold her. Zero tolerance never see the dog I’m talking about. They’ll cull it.
 
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