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  • Writer's pictureTim Hackworth

Using the Rule of Five Method

Famous German Shepherd breeder Lloyd Brackett was known to say “line breeding to what?” when someone mentioned they were linebreeding.  He wanted to see a breeder concentrating on the blood of one especially great dog, and that’s what the Rule of Five method does.  He said “let the sire of the sire be the grandsire of the dam, on the dam’s side”, thereby creating a Rule of Five cross.

Making a Rule of Five cross means you have the same hound in the second generation AND third generation of the pedigree (2+3=5).  I have used this method several times and have had good results.  The most important thing is choosing the right hound whose blood you want to concentrate.  Some of the best in my pack today have come from Woodpont Magpie, and her pedigree shows I did a Rule of Five cross twice, putting my good Woodpont Bruiser in Magpie’s second, third, AND FOURTH generations.  So, Magpie is heavily linebred to Bruiser, as well as my other lines, and it does not surprise me that my good hounds like Robin, Matchless, Rooster all come from Magpie, and demonstrate many of Bruiser’s traits, particularly the ability to find rabbits and get them running.  Breeding like this (Rule of 5 or a Double Rule of 5) is not common, and takes years of planning to accomplish, but it can work well. 

I think Lloyd Brackett’s “Planned Breeding” is a must read for any serious breeder of hounds or any type of dog. You can find several good online articles related to Brackett's methods if you wish to learn more.

Photo: Magpie hunting in Summer 2023


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