What I have learned
Breeding the 2018 V-Hound litter was an unique adventure and I like to sum up my experiences.
First - the actual outcome: this went as expected or even better so far. All three V-Hounds turned out to be healthy, to have sound structure, beautiful houndy type and exceptional nice temper. They are very trainable, quick learners, easily motivated with food as well as with prey and praise. They are already started in dog sports - Rally Obedience, Obedience, Hoopers Agility, Bikejoering, Canicross, Scooterjoering. They are open and friendly with people, are getting along fine with other dogs and are a joy to live with. Concerning hunting instinct they chase hare and deer on sight and have very active noses but are able to focus on the human despite distracting scents and visual stimuli.
Second - the placing: this proved to be more difficult than expected despite the fact that the dogs turned out just as hoped. It was quite frustrating to receive only requests for no-sports companion dogs by dog newbies and to have such promising little workers at hand that I wanted to place with people who can appreciate such a dog and who are not outsmarted by my hounds.
After some talking with various people in the dog world finally the penny dropped. Because I was living in my own filter bubble I severely misjudged the preconceptions many people have about both breeds I used in this outcross.
Sports dog people rarely look
into Beagles because they are perceived as obese, stubborn, untrainable
dogs who spend their days stealing food or chasing after some scent for
hours while ignoring frantic recalls.
In this case of course this
preconceptions are misconceptions. I used a stud of a line of Cattle Dogs
I bred myself over generations for athleticism, working ability and stable,
friendly temper. My Cattle Dogs have nothing in common with the cliche
and are not of molossoid type but of the original herding dog type. The
purebred Cattle Dogs of my kennel stand out for their light frame and
physical capability. They are strong and muscular but also endurant, fast
and agile runners.
Plans for the future
So far the V-Hounds turned out to be very nice and the future holds some possibilities I am giving thought at the moment.
First - repeat litter: As I had only three puppies a repeat litter is an option for me to gain more information about what my dogs will produce. Also all three of them so far are healthy, sound and promising young dogs who already attract attention with dog trainers, health minded veterinarians and dog sports people. But as the placing of this litter with the suitable kind of people was so difficult I only will do a repeat litter if I have a quality waiting list for at least five puppies. So if you are interested in a F1 Beagle x Australian Cattle Dog for a sports companion and partner in hobby please contact me via e-mail: email@example.com
Second - backcross with Beagle: A backcross with a purebred Beagle will bring back the Beagle phaenotype but will hopefully retain some moderation regarding loose skin and heavy lips. Also it will bring a load of fresh alleles for the impoverished gene pool and result in a more healthy immune system and in a reduced likelyhood of monogenetic recessive diseases. My F1 is of fully health tested parents (and grandparents) and will be fully health tested as well before breeding. So if you are a Beagle breeder and realize the current system of closed stud books leads into a dead end street and who has the courage and ethics to do something different and avantguarde I am more than happy to discuss with you the possibility of using one of the males for your outcross breeding program. I am open for discussion and questions but I have some requirements of mine as well. So don't hesitate to contact me via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Third - introducing a third breed: This path is the most unpredictable one but also very exciting. At the moment I am pondering what kind of breeds or crosses would complement my goal of a houndy, versatile, smallish sports dog. I would like to see tight skin and lips, medium sized drop ears, dolichocephalic heads, sound angles front and rear, fully coloured head in a white spotted dog, any colour but merle, short double coat, a size about 40 to 50 cm and a weight between 10 and 17 kg.