July Sneak Peek

Canine Influenza – Don’t Let the Hype Take Your Breath Away

By Dr. Luke Peterson, DVM

The media quickly locked onto the canine influenza outbreak that began in early April in the Chicago area and other nearby Midwestern states. The flu always seems to get their attention and for good reason. Historically, influenza viruses have been responsible for millions of deaths of humans, swine, poultry and other domestic animals. Luckily for us, this magnitude does not occur in dogs with influenza but that could change in the future if the virus mutates. There are always three important questions scientists seek to answer when dealing with influenza isolated from animals:

Is it zoonotic (can it infect people)?

Can it infect other species?

From where did it originate (both geographically and host species – for example, did it come from swine in Asia or poultry in California)?

Canine Influenza Background

Canine influenza in general has a relatively young existence in the United States. The most common strain H3N8 was first isolated in 2004 in racing Greyhounds. This flu strain originated in horses and has now adapted to dogs as a unique canine strain and has no evidence of being infectious to humans. The strain that has caused the most recent outbreak has been identified as H3N2 and has been reported in Alabama, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, and Georgia. This strain appears to be more contagious than the H3N8 strain. A recent genetic analysis shows this strain has very low potential for infecting humans. (As a side note, there is a human H3N2 influenza strain but it is not the same virus as the Canine influenza H3N2 strain.) A canine H3N2 strain was identified in Asia in 2007 originating from avian influenza and some have speculated the current US outbreak was introduced by infected dogs imported from Asia; however there is currently no evidence to support or deny this speculation.

Don’t miss the rest of this article. It’s on page 16 of our July issue!

June Sneak Peek

Gray’s Buck and Skullfork Tilly

By Troy Barber

Skullfork Tilly was bred by the great John Landrum from Lumberton, Mississippi. Mr. John was inducted into the Hounds & Hunting Hall of Fame in 1982 and served on the beagle advisory committee with the AKC for a number of years. An old brace trialer, Mr. John saw a need for a field trial format suited for the gun hunter. He, along with a few others, were instrumental in developing and laying the foundation for the Deep South Beagle Gundog Federation.

Mr. John also saw the need to breed hounds more suited for gun hunting. It was this mindset that led him to breed two of his best females to Weir Creek Buzz owned by W.P. Land. Buzz went back to Fish Creek bloodlines and ultimately back to Yellow Creek breeding. Mr. John bred littermate sisters Skullfork Josey and Skullfork Princess to Buzz. These two crosses produced several offspring but none that suited Mr. John therefore he kept none of them. He sold most of them to his nephew Edward Smith and Gordon Ladner. There was a female out of Buzz x Princess named Gordon’s Little Bonnie and a male out of Buzz x Josey named Swamp Run Buzz. They (Edward and Gordon) bred Swamp Run Buzz to Gordon’s Little Bonnie; this cross produced a male named Southfork JoJo. Now keep in mind that JoJo’s parents were half-brother/sister on the top and first cousins on the bottom. Also keep in mind that the top and bottom were totally unrelated. Sometimes history gets so twisted and tangled that the real truth is lost in the midst and credit is not given where credit is due. Although seldom given credit, Gordon Ladner and Edward Smith are responsible for producing Southfork JoJo and numerous others. They eventually decided to sell all their beagles and Mr. John bought all of them but only kept Southfork JoJo and his mother Gordon’s Little Bonnie. He loved JoJo and centered his breeding program around him for the next few years. JoJo has his place in history and should be credited for it but, in my opinion, JoJo was the downfall of John Landrum and the Skullforks hounds. He bred him so tightly to his mother, daughters, granddaughters and back again that the size began to shrink along with pointed noses, poor mouths and conformation, not to mention the seizures that were magnified.

When Mr. John was brace trialing, if a dog came along with too much foot for trialing he would pass it on to some of his gun hunting buddies. Malcolm Pearson was one of those buddies and Skullfork Countiss was one of those hounds. She was also a daughter of Skullfork Princess and sired by Pearson Creek Fred. Malcolm bred Countiss to her son Black Creek Joe III, not because he thought it would work but because he was too tight wadded to pay a stud fee so he bred what was ready to what was available. I’ve heard it said that this mother/son breeding (Joe x Countiss) was an accidental mating, NOT TRUE. But regardless of these facts, this cross produced two great females named Black Creek Polly II and Black Creek Dolly. After gun hunting with Polly & Dolly their first season John Landrum saw the raw talent and ability of these two females. So eventually he talked Malcolm into allowing him to breed both of them to Southfork JoJo. The Polly/JoJo cross was made five times, Mr. John actually raised the first three litters then Malcolm saw the success of the cross and he raised the last two litters himself before selling Polly to Glynn Windham. Many of the offspring of JoJo and Polly, including Skullfork Tilly, would go on to become foundation stock for many beagle kennels throughout the south. I know it seems like I’ve gone around the world but I wanted to lay a good foundation for later discussion.

Don’t miss the rest of this article. You can find it on page 26 of our June issue.

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!

April Sneak Peek

New to Beagles: An Article About Kennel Design

By Clark Hammaker

This article is intended to assist a novice dog owner on kennel designs and is a source for materials. I am not associated with any of the suppliers I mention in the article. I include the prices I paid at the writing of this article. You will need to verify pricing and availability.

My father had beagles until my brothers and I left home. He no longer had anyone to hunt with so he sold them and quit rabbit hunting. We continued to hunt turkey and deer, as a family, but slowly drifted apart due to family responsibilities.

I tried to get my son and daughter interested in hunting but the slow nature of deer and turkey hunting did not appeal to their generations’ need for immediate results. At 53, I found myself hunting alone and losing interest in hunting and finally understood why my father sold his dogs.
One day while I was searching a local Internet site I came across a four year old female tricolor beagle for sale. My father was in town so we went and watched her run. She ran a rabbit two full circles before we called her off the rabbit, this dog handled like a dream. I dug the money out of my wallet and loaded her into the car.

So here I was, on my way home with my first beagle wondering what my wife will think and without a kennel. My father offered his wisdom, “You have a degree in Engineering from Penn State so building a kennel is a piece of cake, right? With respect to your wife, you are on your own!” Thanks dad.

I wanted an elevated kennel attached to my garage with the box and an area to feed her in the garage. To elevate the kennel I would need some type of flooring. But what flooring and where to buy it? I would also need a box but what is the best design? How big should it be for a beagle? How big is the opening? Searching the Internet did not produce any designs. There were several designs for sale but nothing seemed tailored to beagles.

I had to build something for my new dog so off to the local home improvement store for supplies. Some pressure treated lumber, plywood, wire and four hours later I had a kennel. It was elevated and had a box inside my garage. I could feed my dog without being in the weather. My father was not impressed.

Six months later I had the opportunity to buy a puppy. I knew if I could get the puppy home my wife would not argue. Well this little female turned out to be an escape artist. Two weeks later, my puppy was running around my garage and my wife reminded me that I have an engineering degree.

I made it through the first year and after joining a local beagle club, I had the itch for another dog. My kennel could not hold three dogs therefore I was back at the design stage.

You can view the remainder of this article along with some pictures on page 26 of our April issue.