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May Sneak Peek

Benfits of a Running Pen

By Stephen Wiggins

Longtime beagler Dean Biscamp says, “There is one thing better than owning a running pen—and that is, to have a friend who owns one. That way you can run your dogs anytime you want while your buddy does all the work keeping it up!” He told me that one time, with tongue-in-cheek, since I often run my dogs in his pens. His statement reminds me of another fellow who said, “I would rather have friends than money, if my friends have money!” Anyhow, recently I was fortunate enough to construct my own enclosure for the benefit of running my hounds. It caused me to reflect on some advantages of having access to such a set up. Following is a list of some of those advantages.

1. No Lost Dogs. Believe it or not, there are exceptions to this. I have heard more than one story from beaglers of how a hound went missing when running in an enclosure. Dogs are adept at going under and over fences. Or, left unattended a dog can be stolen. But, generally speaking, the idea of losing a hound is greatly diminished when running in a secure pen. At least it is not like running on the outside of an enclosure when your dogs go out of hearing and then loses the rabbit. Most everyone who has run dogs on the outside has spent a fair amount of time looking for lost hounds. Electronic collars have served to eliminate a lot of this frustration. But one’s mind is more at ease when running in a pen since your dogs are not as likely to become lost.

2. Provides Safe Running Environment. It is impossible to eliminate all the dangers a dog may encounter when running game, even in an enclosure. Hounds can still get snake bit or attacked by a rabid varmint. They can still end up with injuries from cuts or become choked from a twisted collar hung up on underbrush. Another hazard that comes with running on the outside is automobile traffic. Anyone who has run dogs on the outside has had to catch dogs before they made it into the danger zone of a highway. I recently lost a promising pup when it was hit by a truck. But even in a pen this can happen. I recently heard of one beagler who had a dog run over with a buggy inside his pen. It is still true, however, that at least most dangers are diminished when running in an enclosure.

Don’t miss the remainder of this article starting on page 22 of our May issue!