Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beagles are great fun to run. Rabbit hunting is a great sport. It's so much fun there's contstantly people wanting to get in on it. Who could blame them. I always wonder what people with out dog do with thier time. In thier hurry to get started with dogs many newcomers to our sport are taken adavantage of by unsroupulous dealers.
Greed can make people do things they normally wouldn't do. When it comes to beagles, what I've been witnessing is good breeders with popular dogs selling thier culls at the same prices as their top stock. The new beagler will not be able to recognize the difference or will simply take the breeder at his word. This is the type activity that gained used car salesmen such reputations.
It seems it become all too popular for a person to get involved with dogs for a few years and declare thier selves an expert. Just remember, you can go out and buy the nicest baseball glove made, but the odds are your still not going to play major league babesball with out hard work, determination, and lots and lots of practice.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

When a person gets involved in beagles he goes through several stages of growth in the sport. I'm not planning going through them right now but I do want to talk about a couple of them. Early on, once they start attending field trials they want to do well. They want a dog they can go with and compete. They want to win or at least be in the money some where. It doesn't really matter what the dog is. It can be breed this way or that way. It can look like a fiest or it can look like a fox hound/ basset cross. They just need a good dog.
Years later the focus will change from simply doing well in a trial with someone else's dog they bought to being able to compete with a dog they raised or breed. The satisfaction of simply owning top notch dos not enough. The dog needs to be breed a certain way, look a certain way. This is where breeding comes in. It's why every pedigree must be completely accurate. Pedigrees are like road maps for those who can read them. If you try to follow a map and the roads are labeled wrong you have problems. Same thing happens when a pedigree is wrong. With out absolutel certainty in our pedigrees we have nothing.
Almost all the breeds in the AKC are affected by inaccurate pedigrees to some extent. Beagles are no different. Have you ever looked at the pedigrees of some of our most popular stud dogs of today and yesteryear? The fact is, the dog passes on his genes good and bad to his offspring. I can think of one instance of a very popular dog in the earlier years of the SPO movement. He was reported to be top notch in every way. He ran with great gusto and style even though his pedigree suggested he was more of hare breeding. He has several crosses of lemon/white dogs up close yet he didn't produce many if any lemon and white offspring. As luck would have it a little later, a grandson of this dog becomes one of the greatest producers of all time, still no lemon and white pups showing up.
Go back a few years, even before the great producer showed up. I here an interesting story from one of the early SPO enthusiast about the popular dog mentioned. He tells me a gentleman who new the popular dog mentioned earlier also new him to be out of a grade bitch. She was breed to one of the great early dogs of the SPO movement and one of the pups turned out great. Papers were secured for a dog and this good pup gets a career in the field trials and becomes the popular dog mentioned. I never thought about that story much until later when an astute student of pedigrees posted on an internet message board the dog not ever producing lemon and white pups. HMMM make of it what you will.