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SPO - Small Pack Option - is a type of AKC field trial for hunting beagles. There are various SPO Associations promoting a variety of running styles. “SPO style” alone does not describe any particular style of hound, although some seem to want it to. It would be helpful, especially to those new to the sport, if you would describe field trials by Association or running style instead of just using “SPO”.
 

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I hear that term a lot up my way some of guys I run with and hunt with they always say their dogs “SPO bred” or their dog is a “SPO DOG” like it’s a special type of breed with superpowers. Makes me laugh sometimes bad habit they have , some are dead serious about it too. I don’t run trials , just a gun dog hunter here I do visit trials from time to time to support local beagle clubs and people attending the trials . I never heard anyone say they have “gundog brace bred dogs” . To newer people I hear them ask in confusion “what is SPO bred dog” or “SPO hound?” best way I can explain to them in the beginning all pups are born equal , just some have fancy papers and their parents run in SPO format same thing as hunting gundog not much difference
 

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"SPO" SMALL PACK OPTION
When hounds are required to be cast to search for game and to be tested for gunshyness, the Premium List and any advertising shall state “Small Pack Option or Gun Dog Brace.”
Hounds must be scored on searching ability. Hounds that fail to search for game or interfere with the other hounds that are searching for game must be ordered up by the Judges.
Hounds must be tested for gunshyness in all classes and gunfire shall only be simulated by means of a blank cartridge.

It is an A.K.C. SPO trial but there could be a variety of speeds and running styles depending on the region and federation. For instance UBGF SPO trials would most likely show a different style of dogs than the MWBGF SPO trials. They are run using the exact same standard but each federation might interpret the standard a little different or place more emphases on some traits and less on others. These preferences are dictated by the governing body of each federation and it's members. Something for everyone. Some people like chocolate and some like vanilla, it's all ice cream, just different flavors.
 

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I catch myself describing my dogs as "SPO Style" if I am speaking to a Rabbit Hunter -to a "John Doe" I describe them as medium speed dogs.
In my area there are "Hare Bred" hounds and a few "Mid-West" style dogs

Jim
 

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Mack and Huntsman are right. SPO is a rule set for trials but it is competed in by various speeds and styles of hounds throughout the country and throughout different federations.

I would add, however, that even within the clubs and trials I run at, many people consider some of the hounds in their kennel to be their “gundog brace” dogs and some to be their “SPO” dogs. It’sreally just a matter of how far out a hound will get in a check to beat other hounds and how much of the line they are willing to leave out.One of my good running buddies has 20+ hounds at his house. Maybe 6-7 that he is currently trailing. He goes to trials every weekend. He does not bring all 6-7 to each trial though. He only brings what he thinks will be competitive in the format he is running that day and under which judges he is running. Some of his hounds are going to get a lot better look in GDB than SPO. Others will look better in SPO.

I have one borderline derby right now that has great flow and nose and check work, but doesn’t like to leave any line out and will not cut off other dogs to win. Maybe just not enough power to win in SPO but dang does she have a nice nose and show nice dog work. She will probably have better luck in GDB. If she gets bred, I will be taking her to a stud that throws some power.

I do not, however, have 6-7 dogs I am trialing nor do I go to trials every weekend, so when I go, every dog that I can trial gets entered and I’m not going broke lol
 

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If he is cutting and leaving line out ton gain advantage He is not supposed to win Supposed to get picked up but that aint the way it goes lots of times
 
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