January 31, 2007
“ULTIMATE EXPRESSOR OF THE BREED”
By: Charles Fasola
Angie, La 70426
This is a rewrite of an article I wrote for Full Cry back in 1994 and appeared in the KSBA year book in 1995. The breeding of the ultimate tree dog or bay dog is just as important today as it was from the beginning. We should strive to breed better dogs from the solid foundation of our past efforts to secure a permanent place for the Kemmer St Mt Cur Dog for future generations to enjoy. I tried not to mention breed types in my writings but I will say today, after hunting cur dogs for 20 years, that in the cur dog world, the KEMMER STOCK MT CUR DOG is the ULTIMATE EXPRESSOR OF THE BREED.
I realize that all the various breed associations have breed standards and that folks have different likes and dislikes about how a dog should act or perform. However, the most important thing for a tree dog is to “put the fur on the woods”. To do this, a tree dog only has to do a few things NATURALLY. That is HUNT, STRIKE, TRAIL AND TREE with intelligence.
The dog that HUNTS HARD, STRKES QUICK, TRAILS FAST, and TREES OR BAYS with INTENSITY is the type of dog I believe everyone is or should be striving to produce. If we stay within our breed standards and not breed outside the foundation stock that Robert Kemmer gave us and cull hard, we should be able to produce this type of dog with consistency.
I call this dog the “ULTIMATE EXPRESSOR OF THE BREED”. This is an intelligent tree dog that expresses all of his God-given abilities to the ultimate with a burning desire to catch and tree game. He is also an excellent physical specimen to allow him to perform at the maximum. This dog excites you when you unsnap his leash. He has that something “extra special”.
Remember, I said this is a balanced, intelligent dog. With all of this burning desire to catch and tree game, he should always remember his manners and handle well. I do not believe that there is now, ever has been or ever will be a perfect cur dog. They all have a hole in them (fault). But that should not discourage us from trying to breed the ultimate dog.
Is the “ultimate tree dog” a pleasure dog or competition dog? I believe this question might have been asked before. Well, I do not know the answer for sure either! But I also do not really care because if I have the ULTIMATE TREE DOG, he should perform equally well as both. I can hear some of you mumbling under your breath now, “this guy must be some kind of a nut”. Everybody knows a competition dog leaves like his tails on fire, runs a straight line, passes up two or three cold tracks to finally hit a hot track and pop-it-up treed, while old…pleasure… Joe just kind of waddles out and strikes and old bad feeder track, whines and cries over it for two or three hours , being ever so careful, and finally trees the coon when the coon finally decides to climb because he was full and sleepy from a long night of feeding.
Are either of these dogs the ultimate tree dog? Are they balanced tree dogs? I do not think so!
I have heard more than once that the competition hunts are ruining tree dogs like field trials have ruined the bird dogs. I disagree with this statement 100%. I have been involved with field trial bird dogs for quite a few years. From what I have seen and from what truly dedicated breeders say, the bird dogs are in better shape today than ever before.
Sure there are a lot of sorry bird dogs. Believe me, I have owned more than my share. Any time we get involved in a sport, some people want to win at any cost. They lose sight of the objective to breed a well balanced dog and go to extremes in their breeding. One such extreme is the SELF-HUNTER. When you turn this sucker loose, he is gone! He does not care if you go with him or not. In fact, you could get in your truck and go home and this dog would not even know you are gone or care. However, this outlaw dog can win you a bunch of field trials if you are lucky enough to get him around the course and a bird stops him. When he wins a championship and is advertised at stud, everyone wants a pup out of old world beater. The results is a bunch of self hunting pups running all over the country winning puppy and derby stakes in field trials because they show a strong desire to hunt at an early age.
Well, in the meantime, old pleasure bird hunter John hears about this great Ch. bird dog and just has to have a pup, so he goes down to the bank and makes a loan and orders his pup. To make a long story short, the first time old John dropped the tailgate, stem-winder pup knocked him flat on his back and it took him three days to catch that hard headed sucker. I cannot repeat what old John called that pup or what he said about them crazy field trial bird dogs, but it was not nice!!!
The “ULTIMATE TREE DOG” is a hard hunter. He should hunt for game every step of the way and have the intelligence to know where to look for game. Wide ranging, medium and close hunting dogs should hunt at the same speed with the same burning desire to fine game. They just do it with different styles. A dog that will not hunt is not a close hunting dog. He is simply a dog that will not hunt. A close hunting dog should hunt out fast and snappy! A wide hunting dog is not a dog that leaves out like his tails on fire and runs off a mile before he decides to start hunting. This type of dog runs all over the country and only actually hunts part of the time. Remember the competition bird dog I mentioned earlier, well here he is. This is not a balanced dog. He runs most of the time to hear his “peabrain” rattle. A self hunter is the opposite extreme of the dog that will not hunt. Neither is a desired trait for the ultimate tree dog.
As far as training goes, you cannot train a dog to hunt wide, medium or close. His mom an pop determined that before he was born; and you cannot make a self hunter hunt for you rather than you hunt for him anymore than you can “whip-run” a dog that has no desire to hunt. Sure, you can whip a dog and make him get out from under your feet. But all that he is going to do is stand over “yonder” and not hunt. And yes you can hack or shock a wide hunter to hunt close, but now his mind is not on the task at hand of finding game rather it is on you hacking him. Dogs need to perform at their natural preferences to perform at their maximum.
There are many other characteristics that I can discuss but this should give you a good idea of the type of tree or bay dogs we should strive to produce. But I would like to touch on a couple other characteristics of the ultimate tree dog before I finish.
One of the most important characteristics of the ultimate tree dog is his ability to tree game NATURALLY & with INTENSITY. Please remember “WE ARE TRAINING TREE DOGS. WE ARE NOT TRAINING DOGS TO TREE”. Please read this statement again and let it soak in. We want to breed natural treeing dogs so these inherited traits can be duplicated for future generations. Remember the ultimate tree dog is intelligent and can learn to tree if we show them what we want but the natural tree dog is our breeding goal.
The ultimate tree dog will also STRIKE QUICK. This means he is hunting for game the second you turn him loose and he is “game wise”(intelligence) to know where to look for his quarry. The deep, medium & close hunters should all hunt with the same intensity and desire to find game.
Lastly, the ultimate tree dog will TRAIL FAST. Some trail with their heads up (winding) and some with their nose down on the track. Either way, the intelligent dog has the ability to move their track with speed. If you think about it, any dog can out run a coon with his legs. It’s the ability to use the “gray matter” between his ears that determines how fast pup will move a particular track.
Robert Kemmer gave us the tools to breed the best cur dogs available in the cur dog world. Robert has dedicated most of his life to developing his family of cur dogs. We do not need to try and “FIX WHAT AIN’T BROKE”. Robert has developed these dogs to where we can stay within the foundation stock of dogs and still be able to line breed within the foundation stock to get the hybrid vigor we need. As a breed Association, we surely need dedicated breeders with the know how to preserve and promote the Kemmer Cur dog for future generations to enjoy, as stated in our constitution. Anything less is not acceptable. There are going to be problems from time to time. There is no “utopia, at least not on this earth. These obstacles are only the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals. So lets’ stay focused and dedicated to ROBERT KEMMER and to the KSBA and its sole purpose(objective) of breeding, preserving and promoting the KEMMER STOCK MT. CUR DOG,
“THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSER OF THE BREED”.
Thanks for reading!!