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AKC Field Trial Standards

 

                                                                           PROCEDURE 5. STANDARD FOR JUDGING

 

(1)     The Beagle is a trailing hound whose purpose is to find game, to pursue it in an energetic and decisive manner, and to show a determination to account for it.

(2)     All phases of its work should be approached eagerly, with a display of determination that indicates willingness to stay with any problem encountered until successful.  Actions should appear deliberate and efficient, rather than haphazard or impulsive.

(3)     To perform as desired, the Beagle must be endowed with a keen nose, a sound body, and an intelligent mind, and must have an intense enthusiasm for hunting.

(4)     Beagle field trials are designed and conducted for the purpose of selecting those hounds that display sound quality and ability to the best advantage.

(5)     This standard of performance contains descriptions of both desirable and faulty actions. Judges will use it as a guide in evaluating performances, and will credit or demerit performance to whatever degree their action indicate quality or fault, and to the extent that their action contribute to accomplishment, fail to contribute to accomplishment, or interfere with accomplishment.

(6)      Judges should approach their work with the attitude that the future welfare of the breed is in their hands, and should make their findings and selections on a basis calculated toward keeping field trials and hunting purposes.

 

 

                                                                  5-B DEFINITIONS-DESIRABLE QUALITIES

 

Searching ability is evidenced by an aptitude to recognize promising cover and eagerness to explore it, regardless of hazards or discomfort.  Hounds should search independently of each other, in an industrious manner, with sufficient range.  In trials run under Brace or Small Pack Procedures, hounds should remain within control distance of the handler, and should be obedient to his commands.

Pursuing ability is shown by proficiency for keeping control of the trail while making the best possible progress.  Game should be pursued rather than merely followed, and actions should indicate a determined effort to make forward progress in the surest, most sensible manner by adjusting speed to correspond to conditions and circumstances.  Actions should be positive and controlled, portraying sound judgment and skill.  Tonguing should proclaim progress.  No hound can be too fast, provided the trial is clearly and accurately followed. At a check, hounds should work industriously, first close to where the loss occurred, then gradually and thoroughly extending the search further afield to regain the line.    

Accuracy in trailing is the ability keep consistent control of the trail while making the best possible progress.  An accurate trailing hound will show a marked tendency to follow the trail with a minimum of weaving on and off, and will display an aptness to turn with the trail and to determine direction of game travel in a positive manner.

Proper use of voice is proclaiming all finds and denoting all forward progress by giving tongue, yet keeping silent when not in contact with scent that can be progressed.  True tongue is honest claiming that running mates can depend on.

Endurance is the ability to compete throughout the duration of the hunt and to go as long as may be necessary.

 

Adaptability means being able to adjust quickly to changes in scenting conditions and being able to work harmoniously with a variety of running mates.  An adaptable hound will pursue its quarry as fast as conditions permit or as slow as conditions demand.  At a loss, it will first work close, and then, if necessary, move out gradually to recover the line.

 

Patience is a willingness to stay with any problem encountered as long as there is a possibility of achieving success in a workmanlike manner, rather than taking a chance of making the recovery more quickly through guesswork or gambling.  Patience keeps a hound from bounding off and leaving work undone, and causes it to apply itself to the surest and safest methods in difficult situations.

 

Determination is that quality which causes a hound to succeed against severe odds. A determined hound has a purpose in mind and will overcome, through sheer perseverance, many obstacles that often frustrate less determined running mates. Determination and patience are closely related qualities and are generally found in the same hound. Determination keeps a hound at its work as long as there is a possibility of achievement and quite often long after its body has passed the peak of its endurance. Determination is desire in its most intense form.

 

Independence is the ability to be self-reliant and to refrain from becoming upset or influenced by the actions of faulty hounds. The proper degree of independence is displayed by the hound that concentrates on running its game with no undue concern for its running mates except to hark to them when they proclaim a find or indicate progress by tonguing. Tailing, or watching other hounds, is indication of lack of sufficient independence. Ignoring other hounds completely and refusing to hark to or move up with running mates is indication of too much independence.

 

Cooperation is the ability to work harmoniously with other hounds by doing as much of the work as possible in an honest, efficient manner, yet being aware of and honoring the accomplishments of running mates without jealousy or disruption of the chase.

 

Competitive spirit is the desire to outdo running mates. It is a borderline quality that is an asset only to the hound that is able to keep it under control and to concentrate on running the game rather than on beating other hounds. The overly competitive hound lacks such qualities as adaptability, patience, independence and cooperation, and in it desire to excel is seldom accurate

 

 

Intelligence is that quality which influences a hound to apply its talents efficiently, in the manner of a skilled craftsman.  The intelligent hound learns from experience and seldom wastes time repeating mistakes.  Intelligence is indicated by ability to adapt to changes in scenting conditions, to adapt and to control its work with various types of running mates, and to apply sound working principles toward accomplishing the most under a variety of circumstances.  The hound that displays the aforementioned qualities would be considered the Ideal Beagle for all purposes afield, capable of serving as a field trial hound, a gun dog or a member of a pack, on either rabbit or hare.

 

 

5-C DEFININITIONS—FAULTY ACTIONS

 

Quitting is a serious fault deserving severe penalty and, in its extreme form elimination. Quitting indicates lack of desire to hunt and succeed.  It ranges from refusing to run, to such lesser forms as lack of perseverance, occasional letup of eagerness, and loafing or watching other hounds in difficult situation.  Quitting is sometimes due to fatigue. Judges may temper their distaste when a hound becomes fatigued and eases off, it such a hound has been required to perform substantially longer than those with which it is running.  During the running of a class, a hound may have to face several fresh competitors in succession. In such instances, a short rest period would be in order.  Otherwise, Judges would expect hounds to be in condition to compete as long as necessary to prove their worthiness, and no hound that becomes unable to go on should place over any immediate running mate that is still able and willing to run.

 

Backtracking is the fault of following the trail in the wrong direction.  If persisted in for any substantial time or distance it deserves elimination.  However, hounds in competition sometimes take a back line momentarily, or are led into it by faulty running mates.  Under these circumstances, Judges should show leniency toward the hound that becomes aware of its mistakes and makes a creditable correction.  Judges should be very certain before penalizing a hound for backtracking and, it there is any doubt, take sufficient time to prove it to be either right or wrong.  Backtracking indicates lack of ability to determine direction of game travel.

 

Ghost trailing is pretending to have contact with a trail and making progress where no trail exists, by going through all the actions that indicate true trailing.  Some hounds are able to do this in a very convincing manner and Judges, if suspicious, should make the hound prove its claim.

 

Pottering is lack of effort or desire to make forward progress in the trail.  Hesitating, listlessness, dawdling or lacks of intent to make progress are marks of the potterer.

 

Babbling is excessive or unnecessary tonguing.  The babbler often tongues the same trail over and over, or tongues from excitement when casting in attempting to regain the trail at losses.

 

Swinging is casting out too far and too soon from the last point of contact, without first making an attempt to regain scent near the loss. It is a gambling action, quite often indicating over-competitiveness or an attempt to gain unearned advantage over running mates.

Skirting is purposely leaving the trail in an attempt to gain a lead or avoid hazardous cover or hard work.  It is cutting out and around true trailing mates in an attempt to intercept the trail ahead.

 

Leaving checks is failure to stay in the vicinity of a loss and attempt to work it out, bounding off in hopes of encountering the trail or new game.  Leaving checks denotes lack of patience and perseverance.

 

Running mute is failure to give tongue when making progress on the line.

 

Tightness of mouth is a failure to give sufficient tongue when making progress.  This will often be evidenced by the hound tightening up when pressed or when going away from a check.

 

Racing is attempting to out foot running mates without regard for the trail.  Racing hounds overshoot the turns and generally spend more time off the trail than on it.

 

Running hit or miss is attempting to make progress without maintaining continuous contact with trail, or gambling to hit the trail ahead.

 

Lack of independence is a common fault that is shown by watching other hounds and allowing them to determine the course of action.  Any action which indicates undue concern or other hounds, except when harking in is cause for demerit.

 

Bounding off is rushing ahead when contact with scent is made, without properly determining direction of game travel.

 

 

 
 

Bacon Creek Kennel

Aaron Jaggers
Richmond, KY

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