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Read the story of the August 22 cover hound. Nice write up and an interesting comment about his hounds improvement after running less. Interested in how much and often you run or think is optimal. I usually run for a little less than an hour most days.
 

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You can both over run and under run a hound...it depends on the what, when, and where you want to use them for.

It's just very basic common sense a no brainer!

In competition you want your hound to peak on the day of its performance and at the exact time the performance takes place actually. You want their body to auto rev up at that time. That may require a real small brooder off the ground with lots of vitamins, sleep and no running all week or it may require a big chain or large pen cheap feed and not much of it and run the snot out of them for the 16 hours right before the trial. Both of these methods are used to manipulate trial dogs frequently along with other enhancements and drugs.

Personally I like mine all natural straight genetics with out the manipulation.

Once a hound knows how to run a rabbit there are many other much easier and much less abusive ways to keep a dog in great shape then running behind a rabbit. Different strokes and Again it depends a lot on the use.

My older dogs rest all year long and lay around take it easy between hunting seasons. They sleep, eat, breed and get fat. I start waking them up, shaking the dust off them about a month to 6 weeks before the season opens just to get the soreness put in them, tighten them up, wake them up, knock the rust off and work that soreness back out but I don't over due it or under do it because I know everything their is to know about each individual hound I breed feed and keep.

I want them fresh as a lily, mean, strong as an ox, chomping at the bit, pulling on the fence wire and foaming at the mouth with that hungry mean look on their face when they know it's TIME TO GO A KILLING....we fixing to go on a KILLLING SPREE AGAIN.... ALL DAY LONG.....Three days a week for 5 solid months.

The older hounds smell the change the time they smell it in the air when the leaves start to dry but are still green just before the season actually changes, The older ones they wake themselves up and start to move around a little, pop the end of their chain put on a little show for me to let me know hey you smell that? You feeling ready I'm feeling ready...Give me a little bump...turn me lose tonight and let me get a little feel a little taste.
 

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All good responses. Paul Short once wrote that short outings only serve to build up speed in your hound, which you may not want.

Just beware of burnout in yourself. If you run hounds every single day, is it because you love it or because you feel you have to for some reason? Too much of a good thing can turn it sour for you. Keep it fun. I think this is one reason we see people get into beagling for a few years, then quit and move on.
 

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All good answers...a lot of experience in those....every dog is a little different...

The last dog I remember us finishing was for a friend... he worked a lot and didn’t run him enough....dog started having seizures and I still believe it was a sugar issue with how he responded to conditioning/food after we got him.... and he was completely out of shape...needed a win to finish

We started him on a higher fiber diet 7 weeks before the trial and changed his water 2-3 times a day making sure it was cold....the first night we ran him one hour and he did fine...

Let him rest the next day and ran him 15 minutes longer the next night...that continued until we ran him all night 2 1/2 weeks before trial...then tapered him down to an hr two days before trial....

He looked like a different hound...lean, barely see his ribs but put on some muscle...

Best dog I ever saw on a double...looked like a yo-yo coming back on the track...run him down to an brace with an excellent hound (that finished the next trial named Cash) and the doubles were what made the difference...

Had a puppy off him that stared at five months... and he was going to be special.....ran him one night in the pen and he got out through a new hole we’d missed and was ran over...,I think of that pup on occasion and wondered just how good he really could’ve been.....dog we finished name was Disco I believe... I thought it was Creek Branch Disco but haven’t been able to find his pedigree...
 

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I bought a male off a guy in the early 200's He had been dominant as a derby. He frequently would gap a hard pack. Very hard for the times. The guy that had him ran him in a horse pasture virually non-stop. I had judged him in a drby trial. So when he went up for sale I spent a lot of money for me. When I went to pick him up he was "in shape" razor thin and beat down from the dog I had remembered . But I took a chance. I worked a lot that week and only ran him once. My buddy had a dog he was campaigning who we later finished together. But he took this male for me to the trial the next weekend. He won that trial running with much more juice. He won the next weekend also . the other male won the next two trials , Then this hound got his 3rd the next. ..I got dumb luck on a hound that was worn out. Mainly because I had to work. They can be over ran
 

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every dog i have owned is different----even same litter brothers---it depends on the dog----after a dog learns how to run rabbits---say 3yo-------just keeping them in shape is my goal--THEY ALREADY KNOW HOW TO RUN RABBITS---keeping in shape on tread mill---roading---swimming is just as good----some dogs pop off unless run up and require the running-----each dog is like people---DIFFERENT----the key to being a good houndsman is knowing how to assess the dog and know what he needs and dont need to be at his best
 

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Thats it and to truly peak an animal it takes a very skillful eye. Most dont know what a dog at its peak looks like or acts like for that manner. This dog/hound will look like he is tweaking for drugs, anything that moves he will be on alert his hearing vision and smell will be at its top. He will be sharp in every aspect and when you see one at that point you will remember it. He will be bouncy on his feet you will never see his tongue leave his mouth while handwalking, he ready!
 

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Thats it and to truly peak an animal it takes a very skillful eye. Most dont know what a dog at its peak looks like or acts like for that manner. This dog/hound will look like he is tweaking for drugs, anything that moves he will be on alert his hearing vision and smell will be at its top. He will be sharp in every aspect and when you see one at that point you will remember it. He will be bouncy on his feet you will never see his tongue leave his mouth while handwalking, he ready!
THIS.... Know how your hound and how it responds to different situations. Such as food, energy boosting stimulants (red cell , nutri-cal etc. ) And Different conditoning situations. Just know your hound
 

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I've coached quite a bit of youth baseball. I would practice hard during the week but never liked to practice the day before a tournament. I want their reflexes and quick twitch muscles rested and ready to go. Most of my dogs are the same way. However, sometimes I have one a little over competitive and so exceptionally athletic that he needs ran the day before the competition. I call them high maintenance dogs.
 

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Yes that's another key factor I left out. Being able to properly rest a dog. A dog that will be put in shape to compete must be kept in a manner to when he is not working then there is no other option but to rest/sleep. Usually away from all other hounds and distractions that could go on in your normal dog yard. In my case is usually in a small cozy box in a dark room inside my house, only to come out on schedule to restroom and eat/drink.
 

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Most people on here don’t know what a keep is. How you go through the process to put him up and condition plus feed regiment to get him on point and keep him there for trial date. Why don’t some of you guy’s that have been doing this for a long time share your knowledge on what your actually talking about and what you do that works for you to get your hound at their peak on trial day. Hey, knowledge is great and power. But if you don’t pass it on it’s a lost art.
 

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Thanks houndsman for that response. Sometimes I find myself running the dogs feeling obligated to them or wanting to push them to be better when really it is guilt on my part. It’s ok to lay them up a bit and I need to hear that. It puts a load on my wife and young kids to constantly feel like I need to be out there with them. I needed to read that bud.
 

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I got two males been out running 3 days I put on a head light and went catch them last night when they got close. They were locked on and locked in running a rabbit.......... steady! They were not missing any beats. They were on that bunny every move steady locked in and locked down hard. They were in the zone in a trance just going through the motions floating.

I ain't puttin no pictures on here but they ran way too long I promise you they did. When I got to them and looked at them it scared me. I doctored for an hour on them and then put em up.

I thanked them both and told them they did a real good job and that I was very proud of them. I told them they were good dogs and then I laid my hands on them both and prayed on them and asked God to please let them live. They are really nice hounds and they got everything what I want and they are....GAME! Two really nice young males. I have 2 litters on the ground out of the oldest one. One of them is my dog ABLE. Nice hound old time bred and a GAME a hound as they ever come....... but pretty beat up.

Hope they make it. I bred a long time to get em like these. If they make it through the next couple of days they got lots of work to do in the breeding shed after this gun season.

I was very impressed but very scared when I saw them at the same time.

That is too much running probably for the garbage they been running in and in this heat and for this long. Yea a little too much!
 
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