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  • Writer's pictureTim Hackworth

My Thoughts on Breeding Hounds

Forty plus years of practice and a lifetime of study have led me to follow certain principles in my efforts to breed a pack of hounds that will perform well for me in the field.  I have bred solely to suit my own needs, but the interest from others in my hounds is satisfying and encouraging to me as well.  I believe that to sustain a good hunting pack of hounds over time, from year to year, it is important to have an ongoing breeding and training program.  Breeding hounds takes a certain level of creativity and imagination, as well as the ability to formulate a picture in your mind of what you are aiming to achieve, and then develop a plan to get there.  No serious breeder should ever be fully satisfied as there is always something that can be improved, even if you have to look hard to find it.

I try to add puppies to my pack every year, some years just a couple, other years more, based on size of the working pack and need for replacements as time goes by.  Most years will see some hounds retired due to age, an occasional hound being culled from the pack for performance, death/accident, or other reasons that cause a need for new hounds to be added.  Skipping a year can leave a hole in a pack for years to come.  If your best hounds are say 4-8 years old, you should never reach a point where you have no 5 year old hounds in the pack, for example.  So, I breed at least a litter or two every year – I guess similar to a sports team participating in a yearly draft of rookies. 

Breeding hounds is fascinating.  You know in a year or two if your planned cross was successful.  Each litter is something like opening Christmas presents.  It never ceases to fascinate me.

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