I am prompted to write this article by reading John M. Shannon's article entitled "Buying Coon Hounds."
I am compelled to congratulate Mr. Shannon's sensible and reasonable article and every reader or purchaser of dogs of any breed should cut this article out and put it in the sweat band of his hat.
Judging from the picture of Mr. Shannon he 's a young man full of hunts, and the kind of sportsman that will get out and hunt, and does not expect a dog to perform miracles. The hardest man to suit is the man about forty or fifty years old, who had one good dog and wants one just, like him. When he had the old reliable he should have thrown a young dog in with him. Too much trouble to lead a young dog until the old dog strikes.
When you break a hound for coons that is rabbit and fox proof, you have accomplished a feat to he proud of. There are a great many people who believe that coonhounds can be bred, as I have stated before in this good old magazine. There are strains of hounds that will produce a greater percentage of coon dogs than others. Any strain of hounds will produce a coonhound if you can get grit, sense and speed combined. In speaking of speed I do not mean crazy speed, that is, a dog that tries to run a cold track fast. A dog cannot run any faster than the trail will permit him. If he does he will soon lose it, or become disgusted and give it up.
I have owned some very good packs of cooners as I hunted for the sport of it, not a case of how many coons I could kill in a season. It was more pleasure to hear my pack of hounds run than to bring the coon home, for I knew that I would have another race with his Royal Highness. There is not one hunter in ten who, if Mr. Shannon should send them a picture of his Southern coonhound, would accept him on trial. The majority of hunters have a mental picture of a hound or the kind they want and in the most cases it is a long-eared hound. I will admit that ears have nothing to do with the quality of a hound, but I have seen some very good long eared hounds, but the best I ever owned was a medium eared, that came down to a point. I have seen pictures of American foxhounds with round ears, and I am willing to bet that you can trace his breeding back to an English beagle. Why is it that some hounds have long ears, others short?
Our first hound was brought to this country from England. They were tri-colored and very fast, most too fast for the colonist who did not have thoroughbreds to follow them. Now produce a slower dog and to be in the hound line we will cross with the bloodhound, that is, were we to get the long ears, slow and steady trailers. Some so slow that they are potters, he depends principally on his nose. Usually has a deep, drawn-out voice that a great many hunters admire. Give me the hound with a short, choppy voice. Did you ever see a heavy voice hound leading a pack? No, it is either a chop or squealing note hound that is leading the way.
In writing this article I do not want anyone to think that I am trying to dictate the kind of dog that you must have, for there are hunters for every hound, or a hound for every hunter or one that will suit the locality that you live in.
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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