Pure or cross bred

Talk about Big Game Hunting with Dogs
hndhunter
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Pure or cross bred

Postby hndhunter » Fri Nov 18, 2022 4:31 pm

Alright I've thought about this for a long time and the older I get the more it's on my mind. I want experienced houndsmens opinions on whether we're doing the right thing cross breeding these hounds or keeping "pure bloods." Ive had the privilege to run behind many different hounds. Seen the best and worst in all breeds. Im particularly fond of a walker/tick cross or walker/plott cross. Getting older i find myself wanting to find a good pure blood line of dog to breed to and having a lot more respect for the houndsmen that have kept those lines going. I know a lot of houndsmen with cross bred up dogs but very few pure breds. Are we hurting the hound breeds by cross breeding and allowing them to breed again? If someone wants a crossed up hound should we spay and neuter them so they cant breed again? Are the pure blood lines getting weaker because of cross breeding? Opinions?
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby Pagosa » Fri Nov 18, 2022 5:56 pm

I would like a hunt with a terrier/stock dog crossed with a good Leopard Hound. I think the Airedale/Leopard Hound cross would be hard to beat on about any type of game. Sorry I can’t help with your specific question.
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby lawdawgharris » Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:45 am

I see and understand your desire to want to keep the pure strains alive. Competition coon hunting is probably doing the closest thing to what you are asking for or suggesting. Those are registry governed and therefore pure bred dogs are a must. Depending on the game being pursued, where it’s being hunted, and what the particular hunters standards are as to what’s best. These hounds have been bred pure long enough that each has a particular set characteristics that they are known for. Obviously there are individuals in each strain that are exceptions to the rule. Very few people have the time or resources it would require to find multiple exceptions, be able to purchase them, and then have them breed true. We all know that hunting bob cats on the west coast isn’t the same as hunting them in south Texas or the east coast. Not that the dogs used in each region wouldn’t be able to catch cats in other regions, but not likely at the same degree of success. So people find the dogs that are closest to what they are wanting and start trying to improve upon their weaker points. One region may need dogs that tree well where a different region doesn’t necessarily need much treeing at all. When I started hog hunting 30 years ago, I hunted with different people and breeds in different terrains with different styles as much as I could. For what I thought the “best dogs” were, they came up the same every time. They were all 1/4-1/2 hound crossed over curs and Catahoulas. I searched and spent money on a lot dogs trying to hunt pure this and pure that. At the end of the day the biggest hurdle was finding consistency. Even when I found two pure ones that were what I wanted or close to it, when I mated them they reverted back to average of the breed. So I did what the others did and I quit putting so much stock in pure bred and started trying to improve on the the dogs that were closest to what I wanted. I did my homework, found the dogs that I thought would improve my breeding and 25+ years later I’m still with those same dogs and they make me very happy 95% of the time, lol. Bear, Mt. Lion, etc. they are all the same in the sense that region, and species, and individual expectations of the hunter are going to determine what’s best for them. There are a million breeds out there and each one is here today because they were specifically originated to be able to perform a certain set of skills consistently. I hope that each pure strain is able to survive the test of time because I love the hounds most of all the pure bred dogs. This is of course just my opinion.


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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby Ross Seiler » Sat Nov 19, 2022 3:14 am

I think there's a whole lot to what you are pondering than just what you might see in the general question you asked. When you look at a lot of big game breeding out west, there are a lot of what would be considered cross bred dogs but they are very close line bred dogs. A lot of what I used to have were Shockley and Mathes dogs. They would have been considered a cross bred dog, but they were line bred for generations with some out crosses here and there. Those are just the two lines that I have the most personal experience with. There are also the west coast walkers that are cross bred, but depending on who has them can be very tight in their breeding. And there are people with plots out here that are crossed up, but bred with intention and somewhat tight. Just because something is cross bed doesn't mean there isn't specific blood there that is bred with intention and bred tight. You will also see it in a lot of your southwest lion dogs. I just personally don't think that it can be broke down into what you would consider a pure bred papered dog or a cross bred dog. When it comes to hurting or helping the breed of dogs in the big picture I think it has more to do with the person deciding on what is breeding what. Just because a person breeds a papered dog to a papered dog doesn't mean they are making better pups. And just because a person is breeding a good female and a good male of whatever breeding doesn't mean they are making good pups. There is a whole lot that goes into the whole ordeal.
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby lawdawgharris » Sat Nov 19, 2022 5:33 am

Well said. I agree with you. There are lot of variables. Good is much the same as beauty too, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Breeding is a crap shoot even when you do everything you can to put things in your favor. Two world champs don’t guarantee more world champs. Best to best doesn’t mean best continued. If the niche isn’t there then two hero’s might produce zeros. I don’t know if the hound strains will stand the test of time. I can see how they could evolve more into line bred families of let’s call task specific cross bred dogs. Heck with the way the world is changing, I hope any of them have the opportunity to carry on through time. I also think as long as there are dog shows and registry governed hunts, at least some form of several breeds will be around. Will they be the dogs we know and recognize in the present? Not if history is any indication of the future. Many pure breeds exist only in the show ring and bare little resemblance to the original breed standard and for lack the instincts and abilities they were originally for.


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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby macedonia mule man » Sat Nov 19, 2022 12:53 pm

Trait- a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically on belonging to what ever you are trying to duplicate. First you have to figure out what you want, then you have to find a sire and dam that have the same traits if you are going to have a chance to duplicate. You can’t look at a pedigree and see traits. You have to hunt both dogs to see if they match. Reading stud dogs adds, reading field trial results and listening to shade tree dog talk want get it done. I’ve raised a lot of pups and a few have made dogs I liked. I’m 81yrs old and can truthfully say I only made 1 good breeding and that was between a full running walker female and a 50/50 beagle-running walker male. They had duplicate traits except for voice. Had nine pups, two died the second day. Raised seven, trained all with their dam. The sire died before the pups were big enough to start. All the pups were clones of their sire and dam. I’m still hunting four pups and the dam. She is 13 and the pups are going into their 7 th season. They can still turn the crank. I’m convinced breeding traits that you are looking at,to traits you are looking at is the only way to go.( pure bred or not)
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby lawdawgharris » Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:06 am

Mule man, I agree for the most part. I’m curious as to whether or not your stud was related to the gyp on her running dog side? You are exactly right about seeing with your own eyes and not relying other outside opinions. If 3 of us look at and hunt with a particular dog, it’s likely we may all see blue. What’s more likely is that one will see navy blue, one will see royal blue, and the third a baby blue. It may even be the case of seeing baby blue, navy blue, and black. Of course I’m using a color to represent a quality grading. The blues say they all saw a similar quality dog but to different extremes. In the second example the opinions are still kinda similar but even further apart or more different. This very thing is one of the worst breeding mistakes I personally ever made. I took the word of two other people about a stud once as to what caliber of dog he was. He was an outcross and what a waste. I hunted with him after I had already bred a really good gyp to him on word of mouth. It made me sick to my stomach literally. He was everything I despised in a dog. The only good quality he had was conformation. Only 3 males pups lived to adulthood as I had something go through my kennel when they were about 5 weeks old and lost all but those three. Even the vet didn’t know what it was. The male I kept got very sick and almost didn’t make it. He made a low grade average dog by my standards. I always kinda felt like the lights were on and nobody was home with this dog. I’m sure that was because of running such a high grade fever so long as a pup. I eventually gave him to another guy that thought he was a Cracker Jack. Again two different shades of blue being seen. One of the pups was claimed by the guys wife and was made the family mascot instead of a hunter. The third was ran over twice by the owner before he was a year old, nearly drowned in a stick pond because he got caught up in a trot line, and then got his penis cut bad by boar hog. Either the cut didn’t heal proper or scarring created blockage, but either way it caused the poor fella to have chronic UTI’s. So if you caught him on a day where he wasn’t sick or completely stoved up, you had a pretty good dog. The rest of the time he was either too crippled or sick to hunt. The momma to these dogs was very nice in the woods and produced well. This same gyp though was bred to one of her cousins. This is where breeding visible traits to visible traits doesn’t necessarily beget more of the same. It would consider this litter to be my biggest fail. Raised six pups I think it was, and in my opinion not one dog met my expectations. I personally hunted with them and was able to keep close tabs on all of them. Nothing about them other than their build was true to the family traits. The biggest most obvious was the fact that they started or turned on a whole year or more later than the average of the line. None of them were top dogs. In fact they were all about the same caliber which was low to middle average rating. For my standards that’s not worthy of my time. I heard how great two different males out of that litter were and when I hunted with them they didn’t know which way my dogs had went they got beat so bad. They looked good in the company of culls but when put on the ground with a higher quality they were exposed. Every time we hunted together the guys that owned them would say the same thing, I don’t know what’s up with ole so’n so. He usually shines like new money. I’m not trying to say my dogs are the greatest or any thing of the sort. I have a standard that I live by so to speak when it comes to my dogs and I don’t deviate or make excuses. This and the fact that some people just don’t know what potential dogs truly have are why there are so many sub par dogs. The stud that produced this litter was 1 of 4 pups. One sister was taken out by a really bad hog on her first live hunt. Another sister and the brother to him both produced very high quality dogs. All 4 dogs were built alike, acted the same, started early, hunted hard, and if you closed your eyes you would’ve had a heck of time knowing which one was barking they sounded so much alike. This male was bred to 4 different females at about the same time because of the caliber dog he and his litter mates were and the caliber of dogs his litter mates produced. All the litters out of him produced the same caliber of dogs. It was VERY disappointing. Pure or crossed you have to have goals and standards. They are 9 out 10 times are not going to produce whirl winds more towards the average of the ancestry that created them. If you don’t have a standard or goals the average quality of this ancestry will likely be poor which I turn begets more poor quality when they are bred to. Breeding to a super star doesn’t mean more super stars usually but as long as your always breeding to the best hopefully the level of your average increases. For me my biggest focal points are the siblings of dogs being bred as well as their grand parents. Those seem to be two good indicators of what your litter will likely produce. Pure or crossed people have to be judges of quality and have an eye for characteristics that suits them. I think money has hurt pure bred dogs too. People figure they paid for the dogs they have and they did the leg work to find it so if you want it then you’re gonna pay for their dogs and yours too. That isn’t being a very good ambassador to the breed which is disrespectful in my opinion. You did your homework a dug out these dogs. The next guy shouldn’t have to pay for that. Your pay off was getting them for you to better yourself. That’s just the way I look at. You should be eager to share and better the breed so that quality isn’t so elusive.


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macedonia mule man
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby macedonia mule man » Mon Nov 21, 2022 11:48 am

Law, if those dogs were any kin, I didn’t know about it. Kin does hold a certain trait but you can find that same trait outside of a line bred family. I believe you can be hunting a treeing walker with the ability you like and run across a red bone with same characteristics and it just as good as linebreading.
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby SASS » Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:55 pm

It is my opinion people have become way too loose with all the crossbreeding leading to even more junk then we already had. They think it's like mixing paint where anyone that has done this for awhile knows its not. I see it especially bad with the newer guys and their visions of grandeur, with time most figure out that they rarely work out.

I don't think crossbreeding is bad, and I believe it has a very valuable place. I think crossbreeding is helpful when you are trying to do something new or different as in hunting a new type of game or hunting it in a totally different way. Let me give some examples of what I mean.

Look at hog hunting for example here in Texas it has changed quite a bit due to the behavior of the hogs and the size of places you can hunt them on. Therefore the dogs people used to use 30 years ago might not be what you would like now, so crossbreeding has proven valuable in this situation.

But if you look at something like cat hunting in the south, you can pretty much hunt the same way now as you could way back for the most part so you don't need something totally different. The older Southern Cat Hunters already did most of the hard work for us so now we just need to not mess it up. Crossbreeding in a situation like this is just taking steps back in my opinion. We have the right dogs already we just need to keep breeding them true and selecting them based on their performance and breeding.

Another example of where crossbreeding worked is the West Coast Cat dogs or at least that is what I call them. Over the past 20-30 years I have seen a change in the way people like to hunt cats out there and so they changed the dogs. A lot went away from only running one or two tree dogs at a time and started running packs and adding running dog blood to their dogs. A different way of hunting called for a different type of dog.

In regards for breeding for traits, I think that is the best way but I would disagree that only breeding for traits will give you the same results as breeding within a breed, family, or line for those traits. Breeding within a family or line IMO will give you much more consistent results because when you cross breed even though they might have some of the same traits you are introducing a lot of new genes too, some may not line up the way you want. And it may take two or three generations before you see how much it took you in the wrong way. Line breeding isn't the end all be all but what it does do is concentrate the genes down so if you know how to select there will be less surprises and give more consistent results. Breeding is like Poker, there is some luck involved but it's all about playing the percentages in your favor.
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby macedonia mule man » Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:25 pm

I’m the kind of a fellow that believes much of nothing I hear and only a little of what I see BUT I’ve line bred, pedigree bred and never had as good a results as I have cross breeding fortraits. I gotta stick with it.
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby lawdawgharris » Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:34 pm

I guess I gotta say I do believe in the cross breeding because it’s what I hunt. They are line bred for several generations now. In my opinion, there isn’t hardly a strain of dog out there that didn’t originate from crossing more than one breed to develop them. Even the Southern cat dogs. They are primarily Running Walker, but how many of them carry a splash of Trig or July maybe even Treeing Walker. Maybe it hasn’t been introduced in generations but many of those bloodlines were established by some elite people that once they got a select group of traits established really started line breeding and from that point on have rarely if ever ventured outside those lines. It’s even been said that the greyhound had to have a cross made into them to fix a bad trait. It didn’t eliminate it completely because just like the good and desirable traits, once it’s in there it’s in there to stay. It give them the option of breeding selectively though so that any dog that possessed the negative visibly could be eliminated from the gene pool. So the more you breed away from it the less of it you get but it can show back up, usually when you least afford for it to. The “blue” gene in the pit bull is another example. The old timers culled dogs of that color because they were inferior. After doing it long enough it they stopped getting it for the most part. The modern day blue pit is the result of yet another cross made for color, not the recurrence of the blue gene from original pits. I can tell you too that if you have a family of hounds that have been line bred tightly for 50 years and you take one of them to an outside dog, even if it’s of the same breed, it’s essentially the same thing as a cross bred dog. There are a ton of variables in breeding. I can say this with 100% certainty, so much of the breeding success is determined by the individual(s) doing it to. I have seen some great lines of dogs and game chickens in my life. I have seen people acquire those families only to ruin or completely change them within a couple of generations. Sometimes it’s intentional but most times it’s a lack of knowledge, a lack of experience, and the inability to judge or access an animal. I was given a pair of dogs this past year. They were Treeing Walker and Mt.cur. Two really easy to look at dogs. The parents of the outside dogs were both using dogs. The hound was a coon dog that they caught lots of coons with solo. The momma was a squirrel dog and they used her on cattle too. I had two dogs out of my line that were exactly the same age as these two. I started all of them at the same time. The difference in them was eye opening to say the least. Everything from the way they did things to how fast they progressed just showed me what the difference in line bred, purpose bred dogs is vs the outside dogs that weren’t. Yes they worked but the quality of the dogs isn’t comparable. Could it just be the cross wasn’t all that yeah it could. But I don’t think it was that. I got started watching and the people that have the most trouble establishing a good pack are usually always the people that just breed this to that because they are their best two dogs. Neither dog is in any danger of being great, they aren’t kin to each other, and the dogs they are out of weren’t related either. So the gene pool looks like a bucket of roaches when you flip the light on. A person might have been able to start with those two crosses and establish something over time but why when it’s already that far behind? I’ve always considered “pure” to be a loose term when it came to canines.


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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby perk » Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:05 pm

I think that predictability is the major benefit of line bred hounds, as Sass mentioned it limits the number of genes that can influence puppies. I am at a point in my life where I like line bred dogs or closely related dogs. I think we should always look at traits when breeding,

why would I breed a dog that didn't suit me, in an attempt to get ones that did suit me?

Why would anyone breed a dog that didn't suit, attempting to get dogs that do?

Line breeding ( and early in ruthless honest culling) has proven successful by top breeders of all types of hounds and animal breeders. So there is no way to say it doesn't work based on your anecdotal experience.
Cross breeding has worked for many breeders of all animals for many years, no way we can say it hasn't based on your anecdotal experience

The question we need to ask is which produces more consistency, and predictability. The evidence I've seen and my anecdotal experience is the dogs within a family that were bred for selective traits tended to reproduce those traits more frequently and consistently. Maybe they werent better overall all dogs or all superstars but the litters made a better over all uniform litters. Performing and caring the traits needed for aucces. And yes some ppl have litters of outcrossed where all dogs are alike in traits, that is not the norm if we are being honest with ourselves. Having 2 or 3 of a litter of 8 meet expectations is not a good breeding program, cost a lot of money time and effort to get 5 dogs old enough to know they are culls and the genes didn't mix well.
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby macedonia mule man » Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:03 pm

Perk, I think most breed to what ever dog is being talked up at the time in what’re ever dog game they are in at the time without ever looking at the dog. I think it’s best to first own the dogs you breed or at least hunt with him for a year to find out what he is. If he matches up strongly with the female you like and want a litter out of, then make the breeding. If you do it this way, you will make very few breedings because it takes a lot of time. Keep the whole litter and you can hunt these dogs up to 7-12 yrs which is another reason you want breed a lot. That works in pure or cross bred.
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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby lawdawgharris » Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:59 pm

People unfortunately are susceptible to doing things in the fastest, easiest way possible. This is way publicity and campaigning is so successful. It’s exactly why there are paper breeders.

Perk, I have treeing Walker and catahoula crossed dogs. They have been line bred for several generations now, so I kinda have both. I have said it a 1000 times that consistency is one of the very biggest tools we have in raising animals. You have to have standards. You have to have the guts to put your pride aside and give an honest evaluation. Myself, I don’t like to breed to a particular dog. I prefer to breed to a litter. What I mean is that is the dogs being bred aren’t both from strong very high percentage litters then they aren’t worthy of breeding in my eyes. Most of the pups are going to revert to the average of the line both in quality and consistency. The variations that I have in my line are color and size. They all have leg under them and made to travel, just some are slightly bigger. They range from about 40 lbs to 55lbs usually. Of course gender has an effect on that too. My Outlaw dog is almost 2 years old. There were 8 pups in his litter. One female ate something bad and died at about 5 months old. The runt female was given to a guy that will never get a dog from me again. He was sending me video and pictures of her hunting and baying. Then all of a sudden he was trying to give her back because she wouldn’t do anything. So we scheduled a hunt and I would get her back then. Let’s just say if I was his dog he’d have to shoot me because I would definitely bite him. The guy is way too hard on a dog and without them being certain of why he was doing it. Made perfect sense to me why she quit all of a sudden. Three of the males are marked very similar. They are the same size and build. They travel alike and they hunt alike. If you close your eyes it can be very hard to tell which one is barking because they sound alike. The forth one is the same way but in a different colored wrapper. The other two both in the same home. Again, same dogs in different wrappers. Everyone of these dogs started early, is exceptionally smart, has a big motor, and very natural instincts. All
Of them are very hog minded and hog savvy. Their parents were part of the same sort of litters. There are differences but you have to knit pick to distinguish them. Again, I’m not saying my stuff is the greatest. I’m just trying to show that you can cross breed and have consistency. It is definitely about being selective and breeding strict.

I’m competitive by nature and DNA. If with nobody else myself. I’m always trying to be better and I cannot halfa$$ a job no matter who it’s for. If my name is on it then I want it to be right. It’s the same with my dogs. I want them to be the best they can be. Hopefully when I’m dead and gone, my boys and my nephew will have a great foundation to carry on with. My dogs are one of my greatest joys. They are much the same as my kids in the sense of they are my passion. Everyone I’ve ever known that was great at anything had a passion for whatever it was that were great at. You ask why it’s important to great? It’s not! It’s important to try to be great. If you truly try to be great you won’t ever have regrets about not doing your best if you fail. Failure is only acceptable if you didn’t do your best. This is my need to breed dogs. I want to better them every chance I get. It’s bigger than me.


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Re: Pure or cross bred

Postby perk » Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:07 pm

Mule man I agree the best option always know the dogs you breeding too, or 2nd best option is know the owner and how he assesses hounds, and trust his word.
I breed usually in my own pen, and rarely get pups from others and then from only a select few. I generally raise a litter or 2 a year and start multiple pups a year.
I'm not gonna get in a peeing match or argue over it, but for individuals who wanna catch game on top the ground in thick country, like foxes or cats, no one I'm aware of has a pack of 10 yr old littermates doing the job consistently if at all. Running dogs esp begin to loose a step and most tend to not cast forward on a miss as quickly, not pull back up as quickly, may bark behind on a track. So a man that wants to catch game rarely keeps a pack together and hunts them til those ages you listed, if you just wanna hear a race by all means do so, if you wanna catch you prob need to use a different set of means. The men I know of who have always caught on top the ground, not just treed or holed but caught the most game, all started pups every year at most every other year, sometimes many as 10-15 sometimes few as 1 or 2. The guys I been around who catch plenty of game raise, start, train, and break a lot of dogs, not rest on their laurels.
Just what I've seen, im 4th generation hound hunter which doesn't make me a master by any means but the same things have held true to all the guys in those other 3 generations who caught game.

Success for some is not having a race of any kind for a few hours and going home, and for some it surely is how they measure success. Breed what make you successful.
Last edited by perk on Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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