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  • Writer's pictureTim Hackworth

Pedigrees - A Must Have

Occasionally I see someone breeding “grade” beagles, meaning hounds whose ancestry is unknown – unregistered hounds.  Trying to breed hounds without a pedigree is completely a shot in the dark, unless perhaps someone has had that line of grade hounds for years and just didn’t register them, in which case the pedigree is known, isn’t it?  But to just pick up two beagles and breed them without knowing anything about their background is very difficult and takes a tremendous amount of luck.  With so many registered pedigreed hounds available today, I can’t think of a reason to breed blindly.

Now, just having a pedigree is not all.  It is just one tool.  We must be able to read the pedigree so as to interpret what you are likely to get from those hounds.  We must have the knowledge from studying the breed to know what one line might produce vs another.  This is where another, more experienced beagler can be very helpful, or just someone who knows a line better than you.  It pays to research before jumping into unfamiliar territory!

I like to see pedigrees where the same individual hound, and especially the same kennel name, is found numerous times on both sides of the pedigree.  But unfortunately this is not what we see in most pedigrees we see online or elsewhere today.  Typically they are very “open”, meaning many different kennels/owners are represented in the pedigree with no definite pattern of line breeding, and no dominant kennel to be found.  An open pedigree greatly increases the odds of variation in the offspring, so you may not get in a puppy what you expect or desire.  Hounds with open pedigrees often do not reproduce their type consistently when bred, although examples otherwise can be found.

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