BREEDING BEAGLES NOT A GAME FOR PIKERS
(From January 1916) By Fred O’Flyng
So much keen rivalry exists now amongst beagle breeders that they think nothing of paying good stiff stud fees in order to get the best blood obtainable. The stud fee of $10 to $25 looks large to a man who used to buy “trained” beagles for $10 to $15, but since the beagle is passing into the hands of real business men, the breeder knows the stud fee is about as good an investment as a man can make. There was a time-and but a few years back-when it was seldom a stud beagle got any business at a fee of more than $5. Now very few breeders would notice a stud of that quality. The field trial fever is spreading fast and every man has a dream-or hope-of raising a big winner and hence he does not begrudge paying a good fee to get to breed to a beagle that has proven his value.
Naturally breeding beagles is gamble, just the same as breeding for in any other kind of livestock, but luckily the man who succeeds in raising a beagle that goes through to his championship is richly rewarded for all of his troubles. It means a great deal to be able to produce a champion and the time is not so many years ahead when it will mean a great deal more, for the field trial associations are increasing and stakes will undoubtedly be increased very materially and I expect to see several associations hanging up stakes of $1,000 each within the next few years-anyway that’s how it looks to me now. I believe that is the proper thing to do-make the stakes high as a cat’s back-make the game more and more worthwhile, and that way the value of the hounds will greatly increase. Right now $100 to $300 are not uncommon prices for beagles and even at these prices it is far more profitable to raise good beagles than it is to raise good horses and cattle, but the higher the values go the better it wil1 be for all parties interested in the little dogs. Just so long as the prices are based upon actual quality. Quality is what we all want in both dogs and men–and thank good fortune the men who are going into the beagle game are mostly men of high quality. In many cases they are successful business men who have found beagling such good sport and at the same time so profitable that they are setting to work building up packs-each in an effort to excel his brother sportsman. They nearly all want to go out and win at field trial. That is the ambition that gets into a fancier’s heart almost as soon as he sees his first good rabbit chase. That ambition is what makes him hunt the country over for a stud to breed to. Everyone knows it’s a long hard game and that many of the wealthiest and keenest sportsmen in America are getting ready to try the same game, but all this only adds zest to the game-for its more honor and more credit to win against good men and good dogs than to win in a cheap class of dogs run by a lot of pikers. So I say again, the beagle game is not for pikers. The man who can spend but $5 or $10 for a beagle has a chance to win, but it is a slim chance indeed, because the day for buying the winning kind of beagles at $5 to $10 each has passed into history. You have to take your purse with you nowadays when you start out to buy beagles of the winning kind. You can still buy puppies of winning blood as low as $10 each-if you watch your chance, but not every breeder will sell them that low. That is the only chance you have at the winning kind for $10. I advise you to start early.