Etiquette For Visiting Hound Kennels
Bruce Gabrielson - September 2001
I've had a lot of problems over the years
with visitors to my kennels.
They visit at all hours of the day and night expecting to watch hounds run, even when I don't have
anything for sale.
When I do have something, they waist my time telling me they want a certain type of hound, then
can't make up their mind and want to keep looking even when they don't have the money to buy anything at all.
These people are very confused and
I usually prefer they not come to my place.
I particularly do not want the Waldorf Amish crew over here as they want a whole lot different hound then
the majority of gundog folks do, and have their own view of breeding and performance criteria.
I don't run a "trained hounds for sale" type kennel and only have
limited numbers of hounds available every year. My primary kennel activity is training hunting and field
trial hounds for others. Therefore, I've decided
to put the following into writing and hope that it gets read before the next hunter visits to buy a dog.
This is what I've come up with for visiting/training rules based on the experiences I've had.
You might not like what your read, but I have plenty of work already and don't need additional problems.
First Rule - I will probably ask you if you've read these rules before I give you directions or take your pup to
Do not visit my kennel and talk hounds with me unless you read this note. I've raised running hounds and competed hounds
consistently since 1954. I start a lot of pups, more then anyone else in these parts, and do know what I'm talking about.
I've raised and competed coonhounds, hunted rabbits, ran a trap line, hunted big game, won big field trials and hunts,
been an officer and the president of a beagle club, belong to two clubs, judged coondog and beagle trials, and done just
about everything you've done with hounds.
Opinions are one thing, but I don not appreciate others telling me what I already know is incorrect.
Do not show up with your open all-age hound and expect to run it in my starting pen and then take it home. This I absolutely won't
allow. I've often had someone take their pups home with them when they wanted to run a mother with her pup
and I turned them down cold. I charge to train in my pen and get paid up front to do so.
Do not tell me you will be here at a certain time then show up much later and expect to watch anything run.
I have dogs to work and many people visiting on a regular basis. This isn't a hound club it's a training farm business and
I always schedule. See me at the club if you want to socialize plus don't expect me to always be here and ready for
you if you are late.
Do not ask for directions to my place until you are actually scheduled to visit me. My wife goes ballistic on me when
someone stops by out of the blue and I'm not there. I've had people try to steal hounds, put their hounds in my pen and run
them, and even go shooting in my pen when I'm not around. If you do visit uninvited, leave and don't come back.
I expect your first paynment when I unload your hound.
If nothing is in the pen when you show up, don't ask to run your pup. I charge by the month to train or
start pups. If you start your pup, thanks for the $$$ but don't ask for your money back.
Also, if your pup hasn't started in one month, don't ask for a refund. It's not my fault your pup didn't start, it's
the pups fault.
You wouldn't believe how often this happens, particularly by those who profess to be houndmen but don't have a clue.
For pups that show up here, I
tell people that I put their hound in the kennel for a couple of days before it goes in the pen, period. I sometimes can't catch
pups until they are used to me.
As for "phony" houndmen, there are a number around here that I've told never to come back. Better they go complain
to their friends or get some other "sucker" to try to train their hounds.
Trying to start pups during the winter months is a gamble. The pup may open, but a hound that opens is NOT a started
hound. Until the pup's nose matures and develops, you may not get the results you want.
If you bring a pup to start and it starts hard, don't expect me to keep working it every day. All-age and hard running
hounds don't need as much work, particularly if they are shy and I can't catch them easily.
Please come pick them up when I call you or expect to pay extra for any rabbits caught and killed.
Pups that are just started during cold weather do not automatically open when you get them home. My bottom land has
high scent, even in cold weather. It takes an experienced nose to follow a line when conditions are tough. Taking
your newly started pup out with older running hounds and not getting a bark the first time out in these conditions
should be expected. Don't be an idiot and call telling me I didn't start your pup.
If you get a new hound from me, do not call me back for at least a week after you've had a new hound in your kennel
and it's started to get used to you. More than once someone has taken a brand new hound out the first day and then called to tell
me they couldn't catch it.
All sales are final, unless you specifically request a trial period ahead of time (and at your place).
Expect the new hound to bark in the kennel until it gets used to it.
Believe me when I say that when new pups come here to
be started or when older hounds come here to be worked, they manage to bark themselves horse the first few days.
If you can't handle it, don't start.
Do not take your new hound out in the field the first few days.
Your hounds already scaired and confused, don't make things worse by expecting it to act like your hounds that have
been kenneled at your place and know you well. The hound will simply follow you around and likely not even put its nose down.
Next, I get a call back saying they want their money back for selling them an unstarted hound.
I'm so tired of experts who try to run their new hound the first time with their running hounds and don't give it time to adjust.
Do not come to my kennel expecting to watch some hounds here
run unless you have the money in your pocket to buy something.
This activity has been on the increase lately.
Hunters come by expecting me to drop everything and show them my best when
all the want is a $150 starter.
One guy had me run my best three before he told me he only brought $100 with him. I kicked him out. If you
aren't serious and don't have the money on you, stay home. Im really not in the gun dog business,
don't run super fast hounds, and have way too much work around here as it is.
If you show up in the afternoon when hounds have already been worked all day, don't expect to see anything. The grounds
aren't so big that I can keep working new grounds to show the hound off to everyone.
If you want to work some new grounds, you drive as I'm about 20 minutes from my club.
Please don't bring me a hound that you think is ready to start, then show up for a checkup the next weekend.
Progress doesn't happen overnight unless you want your pup started with sight chasses. This ends up giving
you a jump dog that doesn't use its nose hardly at all. If that's what you want, start your own hound on
your own rabbits. I use slower old females to start
I don't want to sound too uptight but the visitors and those wanting pups started
have gotten out of hand.
I try to run hounds in the mornings and evenings. All age hounds are worked individually on the grounds and
after two or three are run, the rabbits start to hide and sometimes can't be found until the next day.