Release the Hounds!

Editor's Note, Dogs in Review June 2011

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Thanks to the wonderful support of our sighthound and scenthound fanciers, this is our largest Dogs in Review issue this year since the Annual.

It was gratifying, as I pored over the top sire and dam stats and proofread ads, to find so many Hound breeders pursuing – and achieving! – field titles. No judge would object to an elegant, statuesque Hound representative entering the ring so the fact that beauty isn’t enough for these fanciers speaks to their commitment to keeping the breeds functional.

Most of these dog breeds are ancient ones, which makes the job of raising them humbling. For dog breeds that have managed to survive thousands of years without our intervention, our role becomes one of preservation rather than improvement. The desire to run is part of their legacy so kudos to the breeder-exhibitors who honor that tradition by giving their hounds every opportunity to do so.

Hound fanciers also love art. Many are artists themselves; the vast majority collect depictions of their breeds rendered in every medium from paper to leather to porcelain to bronze. Jerome Elliott put together our “Hound Collectibles” feature to give readers an idea of just how much is out there … in every medium and for every budget. 

While some will purchase pieces intent on investment value, Jerry reminds us never to lose sight of the pleasure principle when collecting art. These treasures won’t be sitting on your shelves and hanging on your walls with price tags dangling from them. Buy what you can afford and buy what you love.

Judges, exhibitors and even spectators will have noticed some new arrivals to the Hound Group. You may have felt secure in your knowledge of the Black and Tan Coonhound and the two Foxhounds but suddenly there are more scenthounds to learn about. Having attended a coonhound breeds seminar in the past given by Steve Fielder, executive field director for coonhound events at the AKC, I wanted to share his vast knowledge and passion with readers.

The result is a fabulous Back to Basics feature comparing the Black and Tan, Bluetick and Redbone Coonhounds in word and picture. The article is comprehensive and Steve’s writing is accessible. The photos he provided of the three breeds are a wonderful bonus. Judges will come back to this article again and again.

Also in this issue: Amy Fernandez profiles Hound Group icons Herman and Judith Fellton, Dr. Elsie Neustadt, Frank and Dorothy Hardy, and Margaret ‘Peg’ Walton; we bring you show reports from the American Whippet Club National Specialty and the Hound Classic; and Mike and Cathy Dugan continue their “7 Secrets of Show Success” series by examining what it takes to be a great owner.

Allan Reznik, Editor-in-Chief


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