Breeding for Hunting Hounds

With the proper combination of conformation and field ability

About Woodpont Beagles

Woodpont Beagles are a pack of black and tan dual-purpose (show and field bred) hunting hounds located in Southern Ohio, USA.  Some of our female lines now stretch back as many as 15 generations, spanning over 35 years.

Hounds from this kennel have been successful in the past at AKC field trials and shows, although the primary focus the past 20 years has been on pack work after cottontail rabbit, and occasionally snowshoe hare.

Our goal is to breed hard hunting hounds with the proper combination of conformation and field ability.

Our Breeding Philosophy

Our vision is of the perfect beagle…One with the hunting ability, conformation, intelligence and temperament to suit any serious hunter.  To reach for that vision, we breed hounds along “dual” lines, meaning that we breed for both hunting ability and conformation.

From long established field lines, our hounds get their hunting instincts.  By crossing these lines, over a 35+ year period, with carefully selected show beagle lines, we have been able to improve conformation to a level very uncommon in American hunting beagles.

WOODPONT FEMALE LINES

Shown in this picture left to right are Woodpont Charmer, Woodpont Mascot, Woodpont Cheerful, Woodpont Birdseye, Woodpont Breezy, and Briarhill’s Gloria.  These are females who had major roles in the hunting pack and breeding program.

Starting with Woodpont Brandywine, purchased as a puppy in 1982 from Tom and Velta Dornin of Little Ireland Kennels, our lines now go back as many as 15 generations.

We breed for brains, nose, biddability, line control, voice, drive, and search, along with conformation to complete the total package. 

Some of the hounds

These hounds and the others in the kennel represent many generations of careful breeding to get the very best HUNTING hounds we could produce, using the best field and show lines still available.  A serious breeder of any type of animal is always striving for excellence in the animals he/she is producing.  WE AREN’T FINISHED!!

Pictured is Woodpont Timber – a fine hunting hound.

 

 Hounds From the Past

Photo  shows New City Cruiser first (Vickie New), Burton’s Dan second, and Indian Hills Rowdy third (R.B. Sester) at a Jackson County (Ohio) Beagle Club AKC Small Pack Option Licensed Field Trial 15-inch male class from the mid 1980s.  All three hounds have played a major part in shaping the Woodpont Beagles of today.  Note the fine conformation of these three top hunting hounds.  The tall blonde-haired judge in red shirt in rear is Larry Carter, who helped start the Great Miami Beagle Club and The Midwest Gundog Association.  Larry bred many great dual-purpose beagles from his Valar Kennels in the 1970s and 1980s, including Woodpont Joker.

Thoughts on Today’s Beagle

What does the future hold for the beagle as a breed?  Should we be concerned about the gene pool we have now, and about our possibilities for the future?  Will the bloodlines we are developing today be able to produce something that will satisfy the rabbit hunter in 2030 and beyond (assuming there is still hunting then), or are we gradually creating beagles bred so specifically for field trials and shows that no hunter would want them?

These are the types of questions we must consider if we really want to maintain the long-term usefulness of our breed, especially for its original purpose.  Too often, short-sighted thinking takes priority over what is best for the breed.  Let me say up front that my thoughts are not meant to disparage field trialing, showing, judging, etc.  I believe, as always, that trials and shows are wonderful events for bringing people together, and for showing individual hounds to the public, and do have some usefulness in thoughtful breeding decisions.  My attempt here is only to get others to consider the overall welfare of the breed when these decisions are being made.

Our Hunting Country

We are blessed in Southern Ohio to have large tracts of reclaimed mine lands on which to hunt.  It is rugged, hilly country, with a plentiful supply of game.  Rabbits here are known to run extremely large circles, especially in spring.  Much of the land, is covered with lespedeza and fescue, while the hollows between are typically wooded and deep.

BREEDING FOR:

 Intelligence

 Nose

 Biddability

 Hustle and Drive

 Endless Search

Temperament

Size

Close Turning Line Control

Conformation

 Chop Voice

 Deer Resistance

 Pack Sense