Topic: Redbones In AKC
Happy New Year everyone!
This is the start of my new 2010 blog. Today's topic: Redbones in the AKC! As most of you probably have heard by now, AKC has now fully recognized the redbone coonhound. That means we are no longer Foundation Stock and if you haven't registered your hounds with AKC yet, you will need to go through a bit more red tape to do so. You still have time though so get to it. :)
As the redbone hits the AKC show ring, I expect there to be many new people seeking out the "next big thing" much like the quick craze for the American Leopard when they hit UKC last year. The difference is going to be that the "rush" is going to be for the show market. I've already gotten many inquires for pups and young hounds from AKC folks looking to jump on the shiny new toy-- our redbone coonhounds.
I would caution those looking to get a redbone for AKC show to do your homework. All redbones are not built for the ring just as not all have the gear to make nice hunting dogs. You may find yourself shunned from many of the hunters if you approach them for a pup.
Do your research for nice show and/or preferrably dual purpose lines. You get what you pay for & what you have studied for. Not every "winning" dog can go on to produce top national quality winning dogs. A world champion redbone may only produce nicely if bred to the right stud dog or bitch. Some bitches will carry even a mediocre stud dog. Others will produce a few gorgeous puppies within a litter and the rest of the litter is average. Actually, this is more than norm than to have a stellar all-star litter - and that goes for any breed.
My best advice to you AKC enthusiasts as you are looking for proven show/ dual purpose stock is to look at as many photos and study as many pedigrees as you can and then make SURE that you check the track record of the breeder you are speaking with. Don't be fooled by claims of having "nationally winning" stock without a win list to accompany that claim. One national win doesn't make a top rate breeding program.
Specifically, you will want to know how many times (and what wins) a breeder has placed at Autumn Oaks (our biggest coonhound event of the year), Winter Classic (our second biggest event of the year), and the various World Championships. Another great question would be how many overall wins have been achieved at National Redbone Days and American Redbone Days. These are our biggest breed specialty shows so they will also help in gauging the quality of the stock you are looking at.
Beware the kennel that boasts big wins at Redbone Sectionals. Many times they may have been the ONLY redbones AT the sectional so unless they can show the number of dogs beaten, I wouldn't put too much weight in those shows.
The final gauge I would look at would be the various state level or "other" coonhound breed days placements. I would want to know if those wins were at Purina Events. The purina point events will bring in far more dogs than a regular state or breed event.
Now that you have the show record- look at the build of the dogs in the kennel. If the breeder doesn't have benched pictures of their show dogs- THERE IS A REASON!!! Don't accept ground pictures where grass covers the feet. THERE'S A REASON the feet are not being shown. Any winning redbone show kennel will have many bench pictures of their dogs and undoubtedly many of those will be win pictures.
Don't be blinded by "color." That's a rookie mistake. Redbones come in all shades of red and although the deep dark red is attractive, I will take a dog built right over a dark dog any day of the week!
Some conformation issues to be aware of in the breed: aside from the obvious (good tight cat feet, a nice strong top line, no hocking or pigeon toeing, presence of both testicles, and a proper bite)- there are other issues to look for on the red dogs that come up in some "show" lines. My biggest pet peeve is a dog with a front shoulder angulation issue. The front shoulder should lay back at about 45 degrees. You will notice some dogs that look very front heavy. Their chest will sit out in front of the legs. This is a fault and should be avoided. It's the one that I will not forgive. I hate a dog with a bad front end.... that's part of their running gear! Another issue would be a straight rear end. The back legs of the dog should show nice angulation. If you don't see nice angle, there's a reason. For some, this fault is a biggie. For me, I want nice rear angle but I will sacrifice that angle just a bit for a very nice front end. I will never sacrifice a front end issue. HATE IT!
Finally, temperament is a big key. Over the years, I have seen temperament issues prevailent in some lines. Rob and I will not use a dog in our breeding program regardless of how nice or how much winning he/she has done if the dog/bitch is timid or aggressive. I haven't seen aggressiveness so much but have seen timidness and some lines are definitely more apt to throw timidness than others but if the parents of your impending litter are timid, do NOT buy a pup from that breeding. That's the best advice I can give regarding that.
Well, I think I've given you enough to think about for the first 2010 blog. I want to wish everyone a great show and hunt year. Check back again for the next blog.
Next time I will talk about the price tag that *I* would expect to pay for a redbone of each caliber.