Has it always been this hard?

Tell us a little about you and your hounds.
david
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby david » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:33 pm

bear-chic wrote:...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...


I am sure I don’t fully understand your situation.

You also mentioned you could not breed Clyde to a Walker dog because he is related to her.

So I am having trouble seeing the value of Clyde for breeding to.

Why did people add so much Walker blood to Matthes dogs?

Why are there no pure Matthes dogs left on planet earth?

It is not that hard to maintain a pure line.
So why wasn’t it maintained?

That should tell you something. Listen to what people are telling you by their actions.

What it has said to me is that evidently the pure dogs worked well for Steve but not so well for other people. And several issues LawdawgHarris brings up are related to this one.

I don’t have a bunch of dogs out there bred by me, because most dogs should not be bred. I have had some very good dogs that were not good enough to breed. And honestly, I got real tired of cleaning up after sloppy breeding practices. It’s an awful job. Awful. And it seems to happen most frequently around names of well known breeders.

You are going to do what you have already decided to do, I think. But you are talking about breeding a dog that was seven years old and never made it to a tree.

So there are some very important considerations when making the decision to breed a dog, that you can not know anything about. You can’t know about any of the age related traits; or at what age his mind developed and his hunting/locating traits kicked in. You can’t really even know about longevity, because a true picture of longevity includes the dog being hunted hard. There are many potential physical and cognitive genetic defects that can not be seen unless the dog is hunted hard in his prime.

What do you know about the dog?
1)That he likes to trail.
2)That he may or may not have some Matthes Lion Hound blood; and that may or may not be a good thing.
3)that he makes a good pet
4)that he lives a long time in good health if kept home his peak years and not hunted.
5)His puppies would be so adorable and snuggly
6)
7)
8...

It seriously might be a good exercise to make a list of reasons to breed him.

I don’t really understand people encouraging you to breed him, except that they already know you have your mind made up and they are saying OK, do what you are going to do. Have fun.

Next question is, why do you NOT use the same dogs as those in your area who are successful at what it is you want to be successful at.

Why?

There are A LOT of potential answers to that question. So, one example might be: “ I want to prove to those arrogant guys that a famous man’s lion bred dog can be just as good for bear as their dogs that have been bred a couple hundred years by countless breeders specifically for bear hunting...”

(Just one example)

Well,

Like everyone else on here, I also am happy that you have a dog you enjoy and a sport you enjoy. And I think it is awesome that it is something you and your husband can do together. Blessings on you and your marriage and your chosen hobby.

As you were.
Last edited by david on Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
SASS
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby SASS » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:23 am

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


Or you could focus on learning to bear hunt with hounds before producing a bunch of pups off unproven dogs. That's an option too, just throwing that out there.
lawdawgharris
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby lawdawgharris » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:12 am

David makes a really good point too about using dogs that were proven lion dogs for bear instead of proven bear dogs. No doubt you're going to have to work out or breed away from kinks that proven bear dogs aren't going to likely have. I'm going to use a quarter horse example. There's a line of quarter horses called Hanock horses. Mostly roan, bay, or black, in color and usually a stocky broader type. They usually have a lot of cow instinct but aren't usually used without being crossed with other families of quarter horses at least not for using horses. The reason being that they aren't very fast or athletic as rule of thumb but are as tough and gritty as they get. So, when you cross them you get a more athletic and tougher horse. What doesn't happen is people don't cross them to use for race horses. Yes they are able to run, but it's not with the same index as horses that have been bred for the track. On the same note, they don't typically use track bred quarter horses to catch a bull or pen cattle on either. I hope that analogy made sense to you. I'm glad you found hounds too. I think everyone that has commented is, they are just trying to save you a bunch of time, money and heart ache. Lord knows I screwed up my share of dogs my first several years and I raised some pups outta dogs that should've never been bred only to figure that out the hard way. One of my old mentors once told me that if I wanted dogs that were going to work in the country I hunted, that I didn't need to across the world to get them. He said get good dogs from someone that was hunting the way I hunt in the same kinda of country I hunted or from someone that hunted a rougher country. His logic was sound and practical and I was miles ahead for listening.

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macedonia mule man
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby macedonia mule man » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:04 am

Chick, the fun part in this game is trying. If you follow some of this advice you will be dead from old age before you have enough evidence on a dog to breed. And that is just one side of the breeding. I’ve found this site to be fun to follow and read but I wouldn’t chisel the info in stone. I’ve hunted with a lot of dog owners on a lot of different game and never met two that liked the same type dog. This will tell you that in the end you are going to hunt what you like. You like Clyde, breed Clyde to whatever and you have a start. Go hunting, you have enough info buy now.
pegleg
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby pegleg » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:06 pm

Every dog is different and every houndsman is different. Which is to say the dogs catching game for one person may not catch much handled by another. Probably the reason finding someone you get along with that catches game and hunting with them til your convinced their way and their dogs are the only way works out for people. The dogs sure play a part in it, but the handler is the main factor in success or failure. Dogs are maleable to a degree few other animals are both before and after birth. Some hounds are hard headed enough to make dogs despite their handler. the handler is a main ingredient to most. The more difficult the game or conditions the more likely the handler plays a bigger role.
If money is any consideration starting a "line" of dogs is impossible. Theres times when the numbers must swell from necessity.
If your convinced you want to procede with your course good luck.
Kyle shelton of cat creek outfitters located in lamar colorado had mathes bred dogs a few years ago. May or may not still have some.
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby BSheets » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:07 am

There is a lot of great advise here. My only thought is why are you looking for a female when you already have one and a related one at that. If the female is proven I would cross them. If you want to learn about breeding hounds I would listen to the Bear Hunting Magazine podcast with Steve Herd. He is a die hard plott man that has bred a very tight line of dogs with great success and discusses it in the podcast. I also saw where Mike Kemp's dogs have been mentioned and if I was a walker man and could stand to see one in my kennel I would call him from all the good things I have heard about his dogs.
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby bear-chic » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:55 am

You all make some excellent points and my biggest factor for wanting to breed him was the fact that he had learned something when he was young (what a bear was), but never got the chance to really hunt until he was 7 and still remembered and excelled more than I ever thought he would have in a short time. He had never been to the tree because he was never given the opportunity, so the fact that this old dog learned a new trick pretty quickly gave me hope in him)To me that said he has a bit of something bred into him that is good. But....you all bring up some very good points that he could be less than average or I really have no idea at what age he grew into his brain. It also never occurred to me that the Matthes line might not be the one I should be looking for...maybe it comes from the Walker side. (side note, Alan said that the Shockley guy felt it was a good idea to mix the two together and came up with something he really liked. I have no idea why people do what they do, but it apparently worked for him.) The idea is to get to the end goal with the least amount of effort, but my end goal is probably something different than a lot of guys. If you all have any women in your life, you'll completely understand when I say, don't tell me I can't do something because I'll do it just to prove that I can, lol. On the other hand, I like to think of myself as somewhat sensible, and sometimes, the best lessons come from the things you don't want to hear. (Even though the softer side of the woman in me agrees with Davids reason # 5

"5)His puppies would be so adorable and snuggly"....but the last thing I need is puppies to snuggle with, haha.

I guess I don't really have my mind made up, because you all have given me some excellent advice in areas I hadn't thought about and I absolutely appreciate your willingness to throw your 2 cents out there even if it's because you are sitting in your chair rolling your eyes at my ignorance on the matter like SASS...

"Or you could focus on learning to bear hunt with hounds before producing a bunch of pups off unproven dogs. That's an option too, just throwing that out there." Haha, yes...yes I could.

In the mean time, I think I will look into Lawdawgharris' suggestion and do some collecting on old Clyde. That way I have some time to learn a little more and experience a few more dogs before I make a mess I have to clean up later ;)
Happy Hunting...
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby Bram » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:56 pm

macedonia mule man wrote: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.


Not many wiser words have been said.


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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby Phillipsj » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:10 pm

I have a pup rigging and starting, he's around 18 months and it's his first full season just naturally rigs, does that mean he'll make it, absolutely not. Would I breed him just because he's a natural rig dog, absolutely not. Hunt first, I let the breeders do there job and I just hunt. No way a seven year old unproven dog should be bred just because he likes bear scent. Even proven hounds litters are a crapshoot. Just my. 02.
perk
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby perk » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:01 pm

Bear chic, I wasn’t gonna comment bc so many people already have, but I decided to join in. To answer the original question, yes, it is hard for an outsider to get hands in good breeding stock. For several reasons, most top breeders would feel only Solid gyps from solid litters should be bred. So they keep their top gyps to breed for themselves, to hunt or some to sell pups. So there is usually a lack of quality females worthy of being bred on the market for people to buy, borrow, or lease.
As far as breeding your dog, that’s up to you. Clyde probably hasn’t had enough experience to prove to me I would breed him, but that’s me, I’m not you. I don’t think a lot of hunters have the requirement or knowledge to be successful breeders. I know some excellent hunters who couldn’t raise a litter worth a damn, I know several who wouldn’t try, bc it’s time consuming, can be nerve wracking and expensive.
How about this as a starting place to see if Clyde is breed worthy. Ask the hunters who have seen him perform this summer what they think of him, what traits he excels, what he lacks and lastly if they think he is worthy of breeding to. These guys will have more experience than you, and possible see the dogs traits good and bad differently bc they don’t have emotional attachment. But at the end of the day Clyde is yours, so you get to decide not us.
A lot of new hunters rush in to breed, usually their own dogs, not havin knowledge or experience flooding the hunting world with more average and below average dogs. Breeding average dogs expecting to make excellent dogs.
Also I’ve known too many good hounds men and breeders to call breeding a crap shoot. Some get it, some excel at it, and some guys who don’t get it or excel like to down play the work years of selective breeding, honest evaluations, hard hunting, and strict culling has produced. We operate in a very cynical and jealous world and sport.
Happy hunting and good luck in your dog search,
Perk
'If the hounds dont catch him on top, It doesnt count'
'Day Light and Eye Sight DONT LIE!'
EGO is not your AMIGO
lawdawgharris
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby lawdawgharris » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:09 pm

Dang perk, that was very well said!

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macedonia mule man
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby macedonia mule man » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:26 am

Perk, the statement I’m about to make is definitely not the product of any scientific study but of witnessing it with my own eyes with no jealousy involved. The best dogs I’ve ever hunted with(tree dog or running dog) came from average dogs around the community. I’ve hunted with some big name breeder dogs that didn’t prove to be any better. There is not enough time in 3 life times to breed dogs and have a majority to turn out to be above average dogs. I still say it a crap shoot and the odds are high against you.
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:12 am

Mule man I gotta disagree with you. There isn't a guarantee when raising anything it's true. You can breed the best male ever to the best female ever and get duds. You can breed 2 duds and get a great dog. But, there are too many examples of selective breeding working not to believe there is something to it. If there was nothing to it, we could all just go to the pound and have an endless supply of dogs that work. There are countless breeds of dogs in the world. Each breed was originated for a specific task. They bred dogs that exhibited the necessary skill set to perform those tasks together. Those genes become concentrated and a type or breed was originated. We'll use the hounds for example. You live in one area and from experience let's say you know that there are a ton of bear in your area and that they are mucho bad when they stop but often times run extremely hard. So you know you need a fast track dog that probably doesn't need a super cold nose, that has lots of bottom and plenty enough grit to keep a rough bear bayed or treed once it's stopped. Perk lets say, lives 20 miles away from you and has been raising that exact type dog for 30 years. It wouldn't make sense to go across country and purchase a dog that is cold nosed, slow, and isn't going to stay with a bad bear. It would make even less sense to get that dog and run out and hustle up a female that may be the same type or somewhere in between the 2 types and breed him to her. Concentrated genes for specific purposes increase your odds not guarantee. My bet is those dogs that you hunted with that were so good out of run of the mill dogs were the exception to the rest of the litter. I'm betting very few of them had over a couple of littermates that were any better than ok type dogs. I also bet that those dogs never reproduced themselves but more likely the average of what their litter mates were. To me that says the individual that owned that particular dog was lucky enough to pick the one pup out of a litter of let's say 8 pups. That means 7 people didn't. They got average or less out of the deal. There are a lot of dogs that will work cattle and hogs. 99.9% of them are better at one than the other and it's because they prefer that species over the other. I've seen dogs that were working cows that would wind hogs or cross a hog track and it was so long cows hello hogs. As long as there were no hogs around they were top hand cow dogs. I've seen it just the opposite way too. If you were raising hog dogs, are you gonna breed to the dog that prefers cows over hogs, not likely. I know that example is a little different than getting dogs that have some bigger breeders stamp on them, but it's the same principle that the breeders have been using for ages to get what excels at the task at hand. As for big breeders, there are breeders that produce dogs to better their line or family of dogs and there are breeders that started out doing that only to have their breeder goggles blurred by the all mighty dollar or ego trip. Those are the breeders that mass produce and always have pups for sale any time of year and usually more than one litter at a time. It's the breeders that raise only what they and their tight circle can hunt that produce quality. You and I can watch the same dog do the same thing at the same time and form 2 different opinions. That's what makes a breeders dogs what they are, his own evaluation. When he raises a litter and doesn't keep any of them and only goes by the evaluation of other individuals, then he is more than likely going to lose what he's got because he's now going by the standards of another instead of his own. Let's say there's a family of mule man bear dogs that everyone wants. I get a couple, three or four dogs directly from that line. I have mule man bear dogs. Then I start raising pups from those dogs. In just a couple generations, no matter what the pedigree shows, they are no longer mule man bear dogs. I have bred them to my standards and for my needs by my observations. I might better them or I might ruin them, but either way they aren't the same dogs as mule man bear dogs anymore. So if someone gets a dog I produced, and every dog in the pedigree from the grandparents or great grandparents on is a mule man dog, that don't mean they got a mule man dog. That means they got a dog that came from mule man dogs which means there a difference no matter how great or small it might be. That's just my opinion.

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lawdawgharris
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby lawdawgharris » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:13 am

Mule man I gotta disagree with you. There isn't a guarantee when raising anything it's true. You can breed the best male ever to the best female ever and get duds. You can breed 2 duds and get a great dog. But, there are too many examples of selective breeding working not to believe there is something to it. If there was nothing to it, we could all just go to the pound and have an endless supply of dogs that work. There are countless breeds of dogs in the world. Each breed was originated for a specific task. They bred dogs that exhibited the necessary skill set to perform those tasks together. Those genes become concentrated and a type or breed was originated. We'll use the hounds for example. You live in one area and from experience let's say you know that there are a ton of bear in your area and that they are mucho bad when they stop but often times run extremely hard. So you know you need a fast track dog that probably doesn't need a super cold nose, that has lots of bottom and plenty enough grit to keep a rough bear bayed or treed once it's stopped. Perk lets say, lives 20 miles away from you and has been raising that exact type dog for 30 years. It wouldn't make sense to go across country and purchase a dog that is cold nosed, slow, and isn't going to stay with a bad bear. It would make even less sense to get that dog and run out and hustle up a female that may be the same type or somewhere in between the 2 types and breed him to her. Concentrated genes for specific purposes increase your odds not guarantee. My bet is those dogs that you hunted with that were so good out of run of the mill dogs were the exception to the rest of the litter. I'm betting very few of them had over a couple of littermates that were any better than ok type dogs. I also bet that those dogs never reproduced themselves but more likely the average of what their litter mates were. To me that says the individual that owned that particular dog was lucky enough to pick the one pup out of a litter of let's say 8 pups. That means 7 people didn't. They got average or less out of the deal. There are a lot of dogs that will work cattle and hogs. 99.9% of them are better at one than the other and it's because they prefer that species over the other. I've seen dogs that were working cows that would wind hogs or cross a hog track and it was so long cows hello hogs. As long as there were no hogs around they were top hand cow dogs. I've seen it just the opposite way too. If you were raising hog dogs, are you gonna breed to the dog that prefers cows over hogs, not likely. I know that example is a little different than getting dogs that have some bigger breeders stamp on them, but it's the same principle that the breeders have been using for ages to get what excels at the task at hand. As for big breeders, there are breeders that produce dogs to better their line or family of dogs and there are breeders that started out doing that only to have their breeder goggles blurred by the all mighty dollar or ego trip. Those are the breeders that mass produce and always have pups for sale any time of year and usually more than one litter at a time. It's the breeders that raise only what they and their tight circle can hunt that produce quality. You and I can watch the same dog do the same thing at the same time and form 2 different opinions. That's what makes a breeders dogs what they are, his own evaluation. When he raises a litter and doesn't keep any of them and only goes by the evaluation of other individuals, then he is more than likely going to lose what he's got because he's now going by the standards of another instead of his own. Let's say there's a family of mule man bear dogs that everyone wants. I get a couple, three or four dogs directly from that line. I have mule man bear dogs. Then I start raising pups from those dogs. In just a couple generations, no matter what the pedigree shows, they are no longer mule man bear dogs. I have bred them to my standards and for my needs by my observations. I might better them or I might ruin them, but either way they aren't the same dogs as mule man bear dogs anymore. So if someone gets a dog I produced, and every dog in the pedigree from the grandparents or great grandparents on is a mule man dog, that don't mean they got a mule man dog. That means they got a dog that came from mule man dogs which means there a difference no matter how great or small it might be. That's just my opinion.

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lawdawgharris
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Re: Has it always been this hard?

Postby lawdawgharris » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:17 am

One other thing, what is your standard for average? Because everyone I know has a different bar. If a dog is average for what's out there, it isn't good enough for me. If a dog is average for my expectations then it's likely a pretty dang good dog.

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