Much has been happening here and the summer started very hectic. Our weather has not been the best either, lots of rain and then heat and humidity.
Pups have went to their new homes, I wish many years of luck to their new owners and hope they get as much enjoyment from them as I get from the hounds. The “beagle time” is very necessary in order for me to keep my sanity.
John finished up his final year of Legion baseball. I have to give him credit, he is working full-time, has his National Guard duties, made the Dean’s list and still made time for baseball.
Blair graduated high school in June and has been keeping himself busy. He has weekly rifle matches and also his weekly Marine “poolee” workouts. He is still scheduled to leave in December and that’s ok with him as he will get one more PA deer season.
I alluded to some things going on in the patch world in a previous blog post and I will now elaborate. I get calls and emails almost on a daily basis keeping me up to date on some of the foolishness that goes on. I am grateful to those that keep me informed. I am hearing of multiple litters being pumped out from folks who are trying to make a buck or as they say “to fill a need out there.” They are breeding hounds just because they have patch lineage and the market is there for them to sell their pups. I was told of a man breeding and selling an entire litter just because the demand is there. Not because he needed a pup, or the parents were outstanding hounds, but because he can turn a buck. In another case, a Yorkshire terrier breeder put the following on his website:
We are starting a new line of another hard to find beagle. Lemon and white patch . We have 2 boys left for sale now at $650 each They come from a long line of champion beagles and will come with a 3rd generation certificate and shot and worming records
(by the way, they are only CKC registered)
There are hounds put on the market without papers labeled as Patch and hounds being bred that the breeders have no clue as to what they are putting together other than the names on the page all say patch. Also many only breed for color. I get calls on pups from Annaka, who is lemon and white, and people are only interested in her because of the color of her hide. They rarely ask about her ability. All that matters is the look. (It’s also amazing how many requests I get for females.) I’ve said it before but look at Willet’s hounds, they weren’t all lemon and white and look very different from what the peddlers are putting up for sale. I see on the American Beagler website a certain person that is continually attempting to pawn off his patch puppy mill pups. He shepherds people in to his puppy milling scheme. I also understand there is a Patch facebook group as well. They may have an occasional good hound, but they are not a Patch Hound, they have patch bloodlines but should not carry the name as they did not originate from the Patch Kennel and are removed by 7-8 or more generations from the Patch Kennel. If you made the cross, you decided to put ol’ Rover with ol’ Susie, put your own name on them and be proud of them. Don’t ride the name of another’s kennel just to sell your pups for more money or to sell them quicker. I wish people would show some respect, not only to me, but for Willet and Mike. Is it a cross that Willet would make? Or Mike? Or myself? I’ve heard all the excuses: to honor Willet, to show their heritage etc.. Sorry, that is just not right. Even if your pedigrees are stacked with hounds named “patch” on top and bottom, it is not a Patch hound. Believe me, some of these hounds do not honor Willet. Our breeding decisions are made on sound, time-tested principles, not on a pedigree.
I was contacted in early spring by a man interested in some patch history and he told me “he was just getting into them.” His questions obviously revealed his lack of knowledge but now some whopping 5 months later, he is an expert and breeding someone else’s culls and showing them off as Patch and some are buying them up thinking they are getting a Patch hound. Again, is it a hound Willet would breed? Just because two hounds will breed, doesn’t mean they should be bred.
Another issue that gets under my skin is the demand for hounds that trash. I have had folks contact me looking for hounds for deer and coyotes. Here is my take on this: the TRUE Patch hound was bred for rabbit, nothing else. Here in the northeast, where the strain originated, if your hounds take a deer, be prepared to lose your hound. It will either: get shot by a deer hunter, get lost and killed by coyotes, or get run over on a highway. Also the wardens may fine you for allowing a big game chase. Same with the northeast coyotes, if you’re lucky enough to have a coyote run from your beagle, a car will eventually get them. Most of the coyotes (or “brush-wolf”) will make a quick kill on your hound, folks with Walkers have had run-ins with yotes here. I know of several houndsmen that have lost hounds to coyote attacks and many more that have had a close call. Maybe the coyotes down south or the ones in a pen are not as deadly but that is still trash. (See link: Northeast coyotes have wolf genes ). These people who want these trash runners still want to call them “Patch Hounds.” That is not what Willet and Mike strove for. (I can actually tell you what happened to Willet’s and Mike’s trashrunners, but that’s another story all together.) If you want to run your beagles on deer / coyote, by all means, go for it, but do not represent them as Patch, Patch Hounds were not bred for trash running! I am very grateful that I have had many hounds that were naturally trash-proof, the work (selective breeding) was done before me.
Below is an internet quote from a well regarded houndsmen:
“There are several guys that breed “patch” hounds. I know of a couple that really put the time and effort in to cull / selective breed and I know of a few that breed patch to patch to get more patch, and who cares how they run, the pedigree says Patch…
“Chris and Ron Sadler would be the two guys I think of when I think about people carrying on the Patch line.”
This is from a man whom I never met and never got a hound from me and is not a “patch guy” but it is indeed humbling and an honor. I know that there are a few more that have the hound’s best interests at the forefront but we are being outnumbered by the peddlers. It doesn’t help that the patch-peddlers appear to be the mouthy, incessant posters on the net as well. Some of the videos are down-right embarrassing but the owner’s describe it as “good houndwork.”
Also some folks think that a Patch hound is a breed. It is unbelievable how many times I have heard ‘the greatest breed of hounds= The Patch’. THEY ARE BEAGLES!!! THE BREED IS BEAGLE, the line or strain is Patch. One of the greatest things that I got from Mike was the collection of pedigrees from Beaver Meadow days to the present. I have spent hours upon hours studying these peds. Willet and Mike did not care how many hounds carried the patch name in the pedigree or if the hound originated in their kennel. They cared about the hounds and their ability. Some of these folks should read Willet’s breeding notes.
Sorry for the ramble….. below are some hound pics !