Has it always been this hard?

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bear-chic
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Has it always been this hard?

Postby bear-chic » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:38 pm

We have been 'involved' with houndsmen since 2010 when we were immediately hooked and came straight home from an Idaho bear hunt shopping for hounds and a rig to cart them around. We bought some random pups and an old dog to teach them(based on suggestions from this site). One of the pups caught on, one didn't. The old dog taught Clyde a thing or two (but not much) before he died last year, along with some others old dogs which left us a 7 year old Matthes hound that had some experience but had never made it to a tree. We took a 4 or 5 year break trying to come up with a side deal to fund this new found sport, and it ended up taking all our time, leaving the dogs... well... un-ran. Then I drew a bear tag that I had been putting in for for 13 years, so we thought we'd see what we could do to throw a quick pack together. (I see you snickering)… Clyde had seen two bears at that point but that was the extent of his experience and those were 4 years ago. After dusting him off and getting him in shape, I have watched this pup with some dogs that know what's up, and how he has cold tracked almost every bear we've ran this summer, I am on the hunt for more of this line. At least so I can carry on his genes. Spoke to a guy named Alan out of California who apparently knows all there is to know about the Shockley Matthes dogs who assured me I won't find it anywhere, and if I do, they won't have more than a toe of Matthes in them. He has them, but won't sell to 'the public', because of people who plant them on a chain. (I get it) After running almost every weekend this year and every other day we could squeeze in, the dynamics of watching these dogs hunt, learn, and work together has me more than obsessed with hounding. I don't care about making a name for myself in the hound world, nor about bragging how good my dogs are, I just want to run my dogs and have fun and I'm starting to learn a tiny bit about what it is going to take. What I would like is to find a dog that has what it takes to breed with this Matthes before it goes wrong and I can't, but many of these old names have no time for new hunters, let alone letting us in on their bloodlines. Is it always this hard to find a houndsman that has legit dogs and is willing to share. I'm not an outfitter or guide, I'm not in competition with anyone, I just want to have a strand of dog that has what it takes to put a bear in a tree because at this point, it has taken over my life and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Beebout-it
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby Beebout-it » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:42 pm

If you search Matthes hounds on this site there was a fairly long thread about them and the people that still have them. What are u looking for to breed old clyde to?
david
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby david » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:23 pm

You ask some good questions. Don’t breed the Matthes dog unless it is a good dog. Don’t breed any dog unless it is a good dog. There are dozens of puppies for sale that came from powerful sire and dam both. You are working your way in genetically backwards. Stop, turn around and go in frontwards.

It often is hard to find help. It is even harder if you have dogs that are genetically questionable, or especially, that are not reliable and not trained.

Most everyone who has helped people in the hound world has been hurt because of it. After awhile many people just quit trying to help people. The few that keep on helping people either are gluttons for pain and punishment or they have a higher calling of some kind and they have learned to expect pain, but beleive that helping people is still the right thing to do.

I know this is not what you want to hear and I am pretty sure you won’t do it. But I will tell you any way, because that is how I try to help people.

You would be way ahead to get rid of all your dogs. Then find someone who would let you go hunting with them. If it is a guide and you have to pay them, then do it. You can pay them with all the money you didn’t spend on your dogs because you got rid of them.

I don’t know one single houndman who craves adding some one else’s unknown untrained dogs to their hunt. I know a couple who might do it, but again, it is because they have a higher calling of some kind. It is not natural, and it might not even be human.

Many people, however, would be glad to have another person join them on a hunt. (Someone without dogs).

When you have hunted with a few people this way, you will have had an opportunity to study exactly the way they do things. (Without the influence and potential problems of unfamiliar dogs and their inexperienced handler.) And you will have studied the way good dogs do things. And you will eventually gain some ones trust if you are trustworthy. And when you have someone’s trust, that is when they might let you in on their line of dogs.

Some breeders are motivated to help people become successful when they are hunting a dog that came from their kennel. Your success in that case is also the success of their line of dogs.

Sometimes there is an older man who is very knowledgeable, has good dogs, but could use help out in the woods because of his age. This has worked out for some people.

Good luck. Remember, they are just dogs. I don’t think they mean to, but they will steal all you have and leave you alone if you let them.

Don’t let them.
lawdawgharris
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby lawdawgharris » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:01 am

Bear chic, the way I read that, Clyde is the pup that turned out of the two pups you started with? If so, was the other pup related to Clyde? If so, there is a big red flag on breeding Clyde in my opinion. You need to know what the rest of the litter turned out like. Was Clyde the only good one or was the one that didn't make par for the litter. Were the parents both quality using dogs or were they just yard ornaments? Is Clyde line bred or scatter bred? Breeding is a lot more than luck or just putting 2 dogs togeter, especially if you're going to try to carry them on. JMO, good luck.

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lawdawgharris
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby lawdawgharris » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:04 am

You know I've been thinking about your question all night. This is something I have and do think about myself. I have a family of strike/bay dogs and a family of catch dogs. My family of catch dogs has gotten real thin because PEOPLE and their ignorance aggravate me. I have had to do some real soul searching if you will, about what to do. The fortunate conclusion I've come to, is to place my pups in the hands of people that I KNOW are gonna do right by them. I know because of hunting with them and seeing their other dogs not by listening to a bunch of hype. Anybody that's been hunting long enough to have an established family of dogs should be able to tell hot air from good logic. I have placed dogs with experienced hunters, some that are still in the early stages of hunting and some that are just getting started. Have I regretted any of those choices, yes a couple of times. Honestly though, my gut told me before I did those not to do it, but I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. I tell anyone now, if those individuals get one of my dogs from them, that they will be on that same sh$t list and we'll be done dealing with each other too. So far that hasn't happened but I'm sure it will eventually. I just can't stand to think that the dogs of my past, that I loved so much, will die with me or if something happens to me. My hope is the right person or people will get ahold of them and continue them on or even better them. More times than not, my dogs will completely from their dogs in just a couple of generations for several reasons, be it different needs of the hunter, lack of breeding skills, kennel blindness, etc. If they can take what I created and out hunt or work me then maybe I have the opportunity to learn something from them. Nobody knows it all. I sure would like to see my families all out live me. I know where there is a pure family of catahoulas that are fixing to be extinct because a guy is getting divorced and off his rocker and won't let anyone take and preserve them even with his tootalidge. It's a real sad thing. I guess for me it isn't about the money, I don't get a penny for my puppies, just the satisfaction that I might have helped someone get what I only hope will be the best dig they ever owned. JMO

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kickemall
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby kickemall » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:03 pm

Your post is a little hard, at least for me, to understand. If I've got the basics right you've got an older Matthes dog (which is watered down if it actually has any Matthes stock in it) that hasn't been hunted much and seen only a few bears? If thats close to correct you don't have a dog worth getting pups out of unless you just want pups and aren't serious about hunting. Your simplest move would be to get a pup out of proven dogs and hunt it with serious hunters. Just keep in mind that your going to have to hunt it more than you apparently have in the past for it to have any chance of making it. If you don't know anywhere to get proven pups in your area then I would recommend calling Mike Kemp and getting a pup from him. I hunted a lot with two pure Matthes dogs, a couple that were at least half and several with Matthes blood and you would be much better off with a dog from Kemp or one from proven dogs. Sorry to be so blunt but we're not talking face to face.
bear-chic
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby bear-chic » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:41 pm

I left out a lot of the story on experience between when we got our first 2 pups in 2011 and now, and no, they were not related at all. The dog that wasn't a hunter was a blue tic that thought every time they started a track, it was the coolest thing ever to run and bark...but had no idea what he was running or barking for. I don't think he ever put his nose on the ground. (That would be the inexperienced wife buying the cute hound puppy for her husband...I wish I had known then what I know now, lol) Clyde on the other hand has shown me that he is a natural with very minimal work, hence the reason I'm looking to breed. I'm looking for that particular line because i have experience with it, but i also know that every dog is different so I am open to options. Mostly, I'm looking for something suitable. I love to run, love to watch these dogs work and it amazes me each day out, the instincts they possess and how much we all learn about each other. I have a long way to go in training, but I'm willing to put in the time and I am sure there is not enough life left to learn all that I need to know...i just know i've never enjoyed any other type of hunting more than this. Hunting is the reason I work..I have to support my addiction. It used to be deer and elk, but this bear thing is a fever like nothing I've ever had.
Bottom line, I would like to find a woman that I think possesses some of the same qualities so I can make more Clydes. I guess you could say I'm at the beginning of the start of a program, to breed my own for my own benefit and satisfaction of just that. The guys we run with have mostly Plotts and swear by them, and at this point, i'm just learning what I like in a dog. I have also a Shockley/Nance Walker that has an unreal sense to hunt, but unfortunately, she and Clyde are related. I know the die hards have no problems inbreeding for the right traits, but I'm not to that point yet...still learning.
I have been running with an outfitter off and on since the beginning, sometimes with our dogs, sometimes without just so we could learn from him. He is 'that guy' who has a higher calling and is simply doing us a favor because he's too nice to say no. I try to take advantage of him without taking advantage of him, so to speak, because he is consistent and the best i've seen locally. His dogs are solid, so if and when we have a chance, we tag along. We have learned a lot from him and totally get that it is probably more often than not, an inconvenience for us to be there.
For several years, I had no faith in Clyde because we didn't spend the time with him in the beginning and stick with it. Because that was our fault, not his, we kept him around. When we were finally confident that we had dogs he could learn from, we started taking him more. It only took a couple of trips for him to show me he has something I like. I was beside him the day we jumped his first bear and I saw the switch go on 7 years ago, and after ignoring him for several years because I didn't think he could cut it, he came out of the box and proved me wrong the minute we gave him the chance. I thought he was cold tracking trash, but he was all over one of the biggest boars we chased last spring.....and then the rain, lightning and thunder came rolling in and that cut our run short, but I couldn't believe that I watched Clyde cold track that bear out of all the dogs we had that day.
I totally understand being burned for sure, and to be honest, I don't think I could ever sell pups to other houndsmen because I have seen some guys really mistreat their dogs...I have a hard time with that. It's probably the woman in me, but I don't see any reason to be overly mean to a dog because you struggle with getting him to understand what you want. That's a whole different story for another day. Anyway, I'm still looking but have found a guy in Idaho that maybe has a prospect we'll look at later this year. As for going backwards, I guess you can look at it like this, I'm not trying to continue on the Mathes line necessarily, although that would be cool and maybe worth it in the long run, but I'm just not that educated about genetics yet. What I'm looking to do is duplicate what I have in Clyde and I'm sure there are other dogs out there that are a good fit as well....always open minded. Also, I appreciate all the info and knowledge you guys throw out here, we've followed it for years. I have a huge respect for the guys that have been doing this a long time and their willingness to share what they know. I'll never be in that class of houndsmen, but I will certainly suck up the knowledge they are willing to put out here.
bear-chic
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby bear-chic » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:09 pm

kickemall wrote:Your post is a little hard, at least for me, to understand. If I've got the basics right you've got an older Matthes dog (which is watered down if it actually has any Matthes stock in it) that hasn't been hunted much and seen only a few bears? If thats close to correct you don't have a dog worth getting pups out of unless you just want pups and aren't serious about hunting. Your simplest move would be to get a pup out of proven dogs and hunt it with serious hunters. Just keep in mind that your going to have to hunt it more than you apparently have in the past for it to have any chance of making it. If you don't know anywhere to get proven pups in your area then I would recommend calling Mike Kemp and getting a pup from him. I hunted a lot with two pure Matthes dogs, a couple that were at least half and several with Matthes blood and you would be much better off with a dog from Kemp or one from proven dogs. Sorry to be so blunt but we're not talking face to face.



I don't know about watered down, the gentleman I spoke of in California said I have one of the few left in Clyde that comes from Matthes and if I were to find any others nowadays, they would be watered down....but I thought I'd throw it out there and take my chances. Clyde came from proven parents, but we bought him not realizing what we had in the beginning.
I'm ok with blunt because I take the good with the bad and sometimes you need to hear the bad. But because I'm a pretty hard headed woman, there's a good chance I will have to learn the hard way. I think any woman who is serious about this whole bear hunting thing needs to be hard headed because if I had any sense at all, I would be spending all this money and time doing something easier. You're right, we will definitely have to hunt the pup more, but I'm not sure I agree that anything we get from Clyde will be worthless because we didn't hunt him like we should have. Probably a lesson I'll have to learn the hard way, but the only one suffering will be me since I have no intention of selling pups.
I have stumbled across the Kemp name a couple of times and will definitely look into that a little more.
Thanks
SASS
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby SASS » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:03 pm

If I was in your shoes the last thing I would do is breed a dog. That will set you back further then it will help most likely.

Become a hunter first then a breeder later. Once you have become a successful hunter and have a couple of very proven trustworthy dogs then start thinking about breeding.

David has given some good advice in his post.

If you live in UT then you live in a state with a lot of very good houndsmen, I would start reaching out to them to see who is willing to let you tag a long for a hunt or two and see how their dogs work. Then when you see dogs you like get a dog from that person. Also since you have a tag for what sounds like it would be a great area they may want to help you get your bear, don't know on that part or how the laws work there but it's a thought. Good luck!
bear-chic
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby bear-chic » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:57 pm

SASS wrote:If I was in your shoes the last thing I would do is breed a dog. That will set you back further then it will help most likely.

Become a hunter first then a breeder later. Once you have become a successful hunter and have a couple of very proven trustworthy dogs then start thinking about breeding.

David has given some good advice in his post.

If you live in UT then you live in a state with a lot of very good houndsmen, I would start reaching out to them to see who is willing to let you tag a long for a hunt or two and see how their dogs work. Then when you see dogs you like get a dog from that person. Also since you have a tag for what sounds like it would be a great area they may want to help you get your bear, don't know on that part or how the laws work there but it's a thought. Good luck!



You're right, we have some tremendous houndsmen in Utah and we are lucky enough to call a few friends, so we take full advantage of their knowledge when ever possible. Out of pure ignorance, because I am new to breeding my own hounds, would you mind throwing out some reasons why this would set me back. I'm not questioning your suggestion by any means...I really would like to know what I might be up against and why it's a bad idea. Would appreciate any advice for sure. I'm one of those weird people who can't seem to do anything without understanding the hows and whys of what makes it all fit together. I'm certainly not against not breeding Clyde, but knowing the whys would be helpful before I have to learn the hardway. I may be hard headed, but I'm not above saving myself some time and heartache either. Thanks in advance :)
SASS
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby SASS » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:52 pm

scrubrunner wrote:Or you could breed him, raise the pups and just go bear hunting.


My bad you should definitely breed your dog lol
Last edited by SASS on Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
scrubrunner
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby scrubrunner » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:37 pm

Or you could breed him, raise the pups and just go bear hunting.
kickemall
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby kickemall » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:09 am

"I don't know about watered down, the gentleman I spoke of in California said I have one of the few left in Clyde that comes from Matthes and if I were to find any others nowadays, they would be watered down....but I thought I'd throw it out there and take my chances. Clyde came from proven parents, but we bought him not realizing what we had in the beginning.
I'm ok with blunt because I take the good with the bad and sometimes you need to hear the bad. But because I'm a pretty hard headed woman, there's a good chance I will have to learn the hard way. I think any woman who is serious about this whole bear hunting thing needs to be hard headed because if I had any sense at all, I would be spending all this money and time doing something easier. You're right, we will definitely have to hunt the pup more, but I'm not sure I agree that anything we get from Clyde will be worthless because we didn't hunt him like we should have. Probably a lesson I'll have to learn the hard way, but the only one suffering will be me since I have no intention of selling pups.
I have stumbled across the Kemp name a couple of times and will definitely look into that a little more.
Thanks"

There is not a dog alive today that came from Matthes. I know when the last litter Steve had was born and where most of them went so I'm assuming that when you say "comes from Matthes" you mean Matthes bloodlines. Anyway, I'm glad you like your dog because that makes hunting much more enjoyable and wish you the best
macedonia mule man
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby macedonia mule man » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:58 am

Forget what Clyde came from,find you a female you like. Make the breeding,keep all the pups and go hunting.it might work and might not, regardless of what name is on a dogsbackground only a small percentage of the litter is going to turn out what you have in mind. Dog breeding is a crap shoot at best. I’ve listened to to talk about this breeder and that breeder and after I hunted with the dogs that came from their kennel, I wasn’t impressed. The best pack of dogs are the one hunted most buy a good hunter that knows how to catch what he is after. Dogs have to catch game consistently to build a desire to catch. You can go buy a pack of dogs that have been catching gameconsistantly for several years and if you are not a good hunter, the pack will slowly break down. It more about the man hunting the dog than it is about the breeder. To answer the guestion, yes it has always been hard. Forget about a lot of help, most of the people you turn to need help themselves even though they have been it’s long time.
lawdawgharris
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby lawdawgharris » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:54 am

Everybody likes to have a dog in the fight so to speak. It's even better when you can imagine that your dog is what it is and you played a role in getting there. I disagree about with it not mattering what the back ground or lineage of the dog is. You can find dogs from anywhere that were accidental breedings or crosses that work as good as anything out there. The problem with breeding and raising from them is that the gene pool is so scattered that it leaves a multitude of options for the pups to turn out, one pup gets hunt, one pup gets brains, one gets heart, etc. All good dogs need a place to start, and that is their gene pool. Clyde might be everything you think he is. BUT, he may also be the only one of his litter that is smart enough to run around a tree and not through it. Then again he could be the worst of them but more likely the average of the litter. What you get from "good" breeders is a short cut to making a dog. Most families of dogs have certain qualities that make them what they are. One family of walkers are bred by guy "X" and they are popular with the folks that put emphasis on speed. Guy "Y" raises a family that is super tough. Guy "Z" raises something that falls between the first two. So you have to know what it is you are looking for or need. They got those families the way they are by breeding for certain traits and the more isolated the gene becomes the more consistently you get it. Mule man is right though, just because guy "X" has his stamp on it don't make it a dog. Feeding your hounds bear tracks is what will make or break them. Knowing what you are chasing, what the tendencies of that game are, knowing your dogs, etc. play a huge role in being successful. A good hunter can take lesser dogs and have a better pack than a lesser hunter that has potentially better dogs. I would do this. If you really think a lot of Clyde, have him collected until you have decide what your particular flavors are. When you know that answer then evaluate Clyde with your brain and not your heart. If he then has all the criteria, then find you a female that does too and use what you collected from Clyde to breed to her. You will have to be super selective with the pups if you plan to continue on from there. A lot things in life are hard for us to wrap our head around. So they are right, raise you a litter and hunt the hair off of them. They will work or they won't.

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