After the 2012 hunting season came to an end, I had a decision to make. If I wanted a better pack of rabbit dogs, I would have to start over. That decision was not hard based on what I had observed during the hunting season. I ran a pack of seven dogs, four older dogs and three younger dogs.
As a pack, they did ok. I killed my share of rabbits, but each dog had one or two traits I could do without. Two dogs had very cold nose. Two hunted too close. And the three younger dogs did not have the experience to help the pack at all; they only followed. Some were grade dogs that were given to me,others were bought for a small price. I must say the old saying was true; “you get what you pay for.“
That was then, and this is now. After searching in every corner of the United States for AKC registered “Black and Tan” beagles with a pedigree that I considered to have the qualities I felt a rabbit dog/trial dog should have, I decided on four blood lines .
The first blood line was the Bramlett blood line. These dogs were bred by Don Bramlett to have all day hunt, which is a must. If a dog don’t have hunt, it can’t stay here. They also were “Black and Tan” in color, which happens to be my personal preference.
The second blood line is the Jim Dandy blood line which comes from one of the best Progressive Pack trial producing dogs of all time, Cruise Jim Dandy. He produced champion after champion; dogs with good line control and hard hunt given 100% every time out.
The third line of dogs come from a well known trail dog, Lizard Creek Tadpole. Known for his brains, nose, and ability to work a check, all were second to none.
The last bloodline by far is the ingredient that I consider to be the missing link in many similar rabbit dog producing kennels. After many years of hunting rabbits in the state of Alabama, I must say, I have gotten accustomed to a pack of dogs that ran a rabbit for as long as it took to circle the rabbit back to the gun. The only problem was after hunting the same land over and over, the rabbit would become wise and pull tricks on the dogs. I came to the conclusion that if I could speed up the pack, the less likely the rabbit would have time to fool the dogs. So, that’s where the Branko bloodline comes into play. Branko dogs are know for pushing a rabbit like a pack of Walker dogs running a deer. The idea is to produce a pack with good lines, hard hunt, superior brain, and above average speed.
Each pedigree has something to offer, this may not be the first time these blood lines have been crossed. I am not going to recreate the wheel, I am just going to attempt to make it better by using the best ingredients to get the best results in “Black and Tan Beagles”
My name is Charles Pearson. Join me as I use sequential progressive steps which I have found to work in the making of a well rounded “black and tan rabbit dog”.
Pearson’s Beagles 2018
My name is Charles Pearson and I’m the owner/operator of Pearson’s Action Pack Kennel
The American Kennel Club is the largest and oldest pure bread dog organization in which I view as the standard for registered dogs. In 2013, I began a journey in a quest of a pack of AKC registered rabbit dogs that could run a rabbit like the grade dogs my father and I owned when I was a child. I had no idea how long of a road it would be as my goal in the beginning was not only to find a good dog but to find one with good genetics and pedigrees with a history of proven champions. A lot has changed since those starting days in May 2013 and many lessons have been learned throughout this journey.
The first and most important lesson learned was that the color and the look of a dog won’t run a rabbit. I, like, many of my beagler friends love a pretty dog but focusing on looks first was a mistake.
The second lesson learned was just because the person you are buying a dog from said it’s a certain blood line does not mean it will perform like the dog or dogs that made that line famous. In other words, I found very quickly that all Bramletts were not created equal as I went through many of them. If the dog looked good and was a Bramlett, I wanted it. I also quickly learned that there are guys out there doing what we called in the old days milking another man’s cow. This means taking something that someone else has created and is working and trying to profit from it but screwing it up. There is an art to breeding. Most people breed good dog to good dog but for the breeders that know what they are doing the process is much more complex than that. These first two lessons were the ones that hit the wallet the most.
The third lesson but not the least was the health of my dogs. Once I got to the point of having good hounds, my vaccination regiment was an important factor but was based on the old school way of doing things. This included once a month heart worm treatment with a cheaper solution heart worm prevention vaccine and intestinal medications every two months that I now do not recommend. This is largely due to still finding dogs infected with both heart worms and intestinal worms after a thorough check of the hounds in my kennel. I currently use interceptor plus one treatment every 30 days. Treating sick hounds can be costly but prevention is much cheaper. I found that a hound cannot run at his or her top ability if he or she is not healthy.
This journey has not always been trial and error. When it comes to evaluating hounds, I have to credit some of my views to a set of books written by A.D. Holcombe which includes the Grayline Story, the Fish Creek Story, and the Sutton Story. These books opened my eyes to how a real dog should perform in the field. In some cases, I was being too critical and in others not critical enough. Also participating in field trials, being around other guys that breed dogs for ability and not profit, and seeing /competing against very good hounds also contributed to the views I have on evaluating hounds. The old sayings goes everyone has a super star until you put him down with a real rabbit dawg.
As we venture on, 2015 was deemed to be a bad year as I lost some of my best dogs: Salley giving birth, Buck from a snake bite, and Bo Jackson selling him because he was 16 inches. I literally had to start all over again but this time I was a lot wiser in how I select and purchase hounds. I also changed a couple of blood lines I originally started with. I no longer have the Jim Dandy blood line or the Tatpole bloodline in my kennel. This is not because they didn’t work for they are a proven rabbit dog but because of where I live and the trail format that dominates the area. I felt I needed a faster dog to compete and be competitive.
I currently have the Branko, Reggie, and Bramlett blood lines. I am very pleased with their ability to run together because each line brings something to the table. Understanding that all dogs with the same blood line do not perform the same can make a difference in a breeding program. I have seen good and bad of all 3 blood lines I currently run, the true test is in the field, and a good starting point is the ability of those dogs in those dogs pedigree: Sir, Dam, Grandparents and Great Grandparents. You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken droppings. You older guys know what I’m trying to say. I hope that my quest and pursuit of the rabbit dog can help you throughout your journey. The future is looking bright!
Pearson’s Action Pack Kennel