That was so spot on I read it twice JDW that was good !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.