The Things You Don’t See…

You’ll find lots of photos and information on my web site.  I try to share information that is useful to both pet owners, breeders and judges and, as time permits, I add more content to my site.  There are some things that you won’t see on this site, however…

2017 Litter

If you’re following this blog, you may be anticipating an announcement about an upcoming litter.  What you don’t see on this site is the amount thought and research that goes into the decision to breed the next litter:  to breed your next beagle…and mine.  There are many factors taken into consideration:  health, temperament, movement, breed type…and I gather as much information as I can before making the decision to breed a litter.  When I am seriously considering a stud dog, a detailed survey is sent to the stud dog owner requesting information, photos and videos of the dog, the dogs in his pedigree and the dogs that he has produced.  If at all possible, I will have already evaluated this dog in person.  Careful consideration is given to how this gene pool will combine with the gene pool of the bitch that I plan to breed.  There are no perfect dogs and with each breeding I identify two or three traits that I most want to improve and I look for the stud dog and pedigree that offers the best opportunity to achieve those goals.  I go to Nationals each year (and other shows) not to compete, not to win….but to know what exists in our gene pool and to be able to make educated breeding decisions.

Health Clearances

You don’t find health clearances posted on my web site: not because I don’t do health screening; not because I have something to hide.  What you find is the statement:  “Health clearances available upon request”.  There are several reasons why I choose to do this but essentially the reason is that I want to start a dialogue.  If you are interested in the health of Talbot Hill Beagle, please ask.  I take the health of my dogs seriously.  I don’t want to live with dogs that have health issues, I don’t want my pet owners to live with dogs with health issues, and I don’t want breeders to see Talbot Hill in a pedigree and identify my kennel name with a health issue.

AKC Breeder of Merit

You don’t see the AKC Breeder of Merit banner on my web site.  While I meet most of the requirements, there is one that I do not fulfill and therefore fall short of earning this recognition.  AKC registration is necessary for breeding or participation in AKC events such as competition, obedience, agility, lure-coursing, field trials, etc…but, for the pet owner, I choose to leave the decision to register their new puppy with the owner.

CHIC

You don’t see the CHIC logo on my web site either.  Again, I take the health of my dogs very seriously and I applaud the efforts of all who work to improve the health of our breed.  Health screening is expensive and a breeder can spend hundreds of dollars on health screening and genetic testing.  To register those results in databases adds an additional fee per test and to earn the CHIC logo, an additional fee must be paid.  When I test my dogs, I learn what I need to know to make sound breeding decisions, I receive certificates showing the results of the testing, and I am happy to share the results of that testing with anyone who asks.

GCH

A few years ago the AKC introduced the Grand Champion title.  It was around the time that I was battling cancer and had to put breeding and showing on hold for a few years.  To be honest, while I have a general idea how the title is earned, I couldn’t accurately explain it to you without referring to the AKC site.  Essentially, after earning the initial Champion (CH.) title, the dog continues to be shown, defeating more dogs, earning more points.  Showing is expensive; assume $30 per dog every day that a dog is shown.  On top of that, an owner-handled dog will have travel expenses (gas, hotel, meals) and professionally handled dogs have handling fees.  And then there’s advertising.  And grooming products.  And equipment.  It all adds up….quickly!  But…those titles, those wins, don’t change the dog.  They don’t give a dog a longer muzzle, greater reach, more coat, a stronger topline, etc.  None of my dogs has earned a GCH and I will not make a point of pursuing a GCH for any of my dogs.

I’ve mentioned the cost of what I do several times now.  Breeding dogs, done right and for the right reasons, is an expensive hobby, not a business.  My battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma was devastating to me not just physically but personally and financially as well.  In 2015 I was able to return to breeding but it is with very careful thought that I make each decision to breed or show my dogs.  A good breeder simply hopes to break even and improve her bloodline with each generation and that is the thing that I enjoy most about what I do. Showing dogs gives a breeder a chance to exhibit the best of her breeding program and perhaps earn titles validating the quality of her dogs.  For me, though, the person that I need to please is not a judge but me.  There is no greater critic than myself…

…I grew up in 4H and FFA.  I began judging animals when I was 11 years old and had great coaches who taught me that the reason that we exhibit animals is to evaluate breeding stock.  I was a pre-vet major in college and graduated with a degree in Agriculture Education.  I competed on the livestock judging team at Washington State University and there, too, the emphasis was on evaluating breeding stock and producing animals for the purpose for which they were intended.  When I began breeding beagles, I brought that history with me and it is that perspective that guides the decisions that I make.  For me, what I do is not about “show” or “competition”…it never has been and never will be.  I am a steward of the breed that I love and Talbot Hill is a reflection of knowledge gained through thoughtful study, strong relationships with a broad perspective of mentors, travel and relationships built throughout the world, and appreciation of the breed in all of its aspects.  I began the process of patiently rebuilding my bloodline in 2015 and it is with great hope and love for this breed that I look forward to the future.

If there is something that you don’t see on my site that you’d like to know more about, please ask.

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8 thoughts on “The Things You Don’t See…

  1. Thank you for sharing this insightful information . I have heard that breeders do not get rich from selling dogs and this explains perfectly why.
    I am also moved by your fight with cancer. I wish I had words that would acknowledge the impact it has had in your life.
    Liz Bates

    1. Thank you, Liz. To be honest, cancer has had a positive impact on my life…or, perhaps, I should say that at each turning point over the past few years, I have chosen to see the positive; to make the most out of the situation and resources available to me. I would not change a thing. 🙂

  2. Carrie, I don’t know what the genesis was for your post but we have nothing but good things to say about you and your dogs. Our Trudi and Paris have been wonderful, healthy, happy beagles and we look forward to getting our next pup from you. God willing, Paris will be with us for many more years though…

    Cheers

    1. Thank you, Nick! I am so blessed to have so many wonderful pet owners like you who stay in touch with me over the years. Health screening and tests are just one tool that breeders use to ensure that their breeding programs are on track. Reports from pet owners about the health of their dogs provides valuable information about future breeding decisions and I have been fortunate to have had few issues over the years.

      The prompt for today’s post was simply the desire to provide an update about plans for next year’s breeding. I had thought that I would have an announcement to make by now. Research into dogs that I had been considering uncovered health issues that I did not want to get involved in and I have therefore had to turn my thoughts in another direction. Breeders approach health issues and health screening in different ways and I bring no judgment to the practices of others. You and I are old enough to remember Paul Harvey’s wonderful, “The Rest of the Story” broadcasts and while I try to share useful information on my site, if you’ve never met me, if you don’t know “The Rest of My Story”, if you don’t understand my priorities or background, what you see on the face of things rarely represents the totality of the picture and I felt that I wanted to take some time to provide a little perspective on my site.

      In 2016, I will offer a very young dog at stud. He is perhaps the nicest dog that I have ever bred but he may go to Argentina or Europe by the end of the year and I would like to try to breed him before he leaves. I have done some health testing; other testing will be done soon and he is too young for some other tests but comes from parents that are strong in this regard. I spoken to several breeders who are interested in using George and I hope to have at least one litter by him next year.

      I have heard recently from Paris’ sister, Sophie, and she, too, is doing well. Thank you for your kind words and thank you for staying in touch! 🙂

  3. Your dedication and thoughtfulness shows in your beautiful dogs. We are still in search of our next beagle. Please do keep me in mind should anything change on your end. 🙂
    Best,
    Refawne

  4. Thank you for your dedication.
    For knowing ,right from wrong.
    For taking your knowlege and experience
    Applying it to our souls.
    Those of the future.
    Those in the past.
    When you dont know what your doing.
    We all shatter like glass.
    The pieces so sharp and cut right to the core.
    I honor my Elsa while I reach for more.
    Bringing back love and fulfillment.
    From a women casted as a cut above.
    The search for pieces that make a real prize.
    Health and longevity at the top of your mind.
    Patience ,respect, guide us from hurtful mutation.
    You know, its serious business.
    Dealing in creation.
    I feel your strength built the trials.
    A beautiful Manfestation that holds a true pace.
    Never rushing the outcome of God’s true grace.
    I thank you, from my spirit.
    Attempting to fill that empty space..
    Its briming with love and I see my salvation.
    In the life you have crafted.
    Even if Im not chosen.
    So nice to know.
    That your in world.
    Reaching higher.
    Breeding with love.

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