Saturday, January 30, 2010

Experience Versus Genetics

Most of the people who call me for blood dogs are wanting an experienced dog or what we call a finished dog. And, I understand their need.

But as anyone who has researched the purchase options for good blood dogs knows, a finished blood dog is rare to find.

Why? Because there appears to be very few people who are approaching this market demand for blood dogs as a business the way I am.

Most people who already have a good blood dog will give that dog a home for as long as it lives.

I plan to change that notion that blood dogs are hard to find, based upon offering started dogs that are well bred and well started as puppies.

More important than experience, in my opinion is good breeding or more specifically, good genetics.

I have a hog dog motto: "The experience starts with the right genetics."

Many people who are new to Catahoulas, fail to understand the versatility of this working breed. When I say versatile, I am referrring to the history of Catahoulas, working on family homesteads who lived off the land and used Catahoulas to provide fresh meat year round, and security. Also, working cattle ranchs from hundreds of years ago to the present have depended upon the breed to get the job done.

In the old days, a dog that did not work for it's keep, did not survive to reproduce. Hence, Catahoulas evolved into the ultimate working dog breed.

These dogs had to be fast, intelligent, cooperative and gentle with children and domestic livestock, but also gritty enough to survive wild hogs, alligators, rattle snakes and then as a team with cowboys on horseback, pen wild cattle.

Usually at about 4-5 years old a Catahoula will catch hogs and cattle on command and as a blood dog they are often found catching and stopping wounded deer that try to get up and run.

These genetic predispostions in the Catahoulas breed, make them the ultimate blood dog.

I am not only preserving these old working bloodlines, as I raise them as pups, I am working them in a variety of functions to evaluate each individual dogs abilities and personality.

If a dog is too gritty to be a hog dog, because it might get killed, I prefer to send them out as a cow dog. Cows are a lot bigger and harder to stop and catch than are hogs.

If a dog is not gritty enough to be a cow dog or hog dog they are more suitable as a blood dog or pet.

And no matter where or how you plan to use a Catahoula, contrary to most people's belief about spoiling a dog, I advise you to love 'em up and spoil them rotten, because if a Catahoula loves you, they will do their best to figuire out what pleases you and do very their best to earn your approval and affection through service to you.

The most important thing that many people fail to grasp about about owning, training, and handling working dogs of any breed or function is the importance of a mutual relationship between the dog and you.

And the quality of that relationship is fully dependent upon the human side of the equation to reach the dog and open up trust and affection and thus a desire for the dog to serve and please it's master.

This relationship factor is in the genetic pack instincts of the Catahoula that goes back to the Red Wolf.

Incidentally, Catahoulas are descended from bulldog, greyhound, and red wolf.

I am available for consultation if you would like to discuss this issue further you can contact me by phone at 337 298 2630.

I am Marcus de la Houssaye

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