Coonhound Breeds Standards Revision
Posted on 12/14/2015 in Coonhound Bloodlines Editor's Comments.
Vicki Rand, Editor
The following Disqualification has been added to all seven of the Coonhound breed standards, to be effective January 1, 2016: “Any color or combination of colors other than described.”
The problem of non-breed typical colors in the coonhound breeds has been an ongoing problem, and some of the chartered national associations approached UKC on how to define what is acceptable. After several meetings, the UKC Breed Standard Committee formulated the above statement. It was then presented at the President’s Meeting at Autumn Oaks, where it was met with approval.
Speaking of Breed Standard Disqualifications, there is a misnomer that disqualifications only apply to Bench Shows. While this concept most likely developed because bench shows are the most likely place a disqualification might be identified, the inaccuracy is not necessarily true.
Identifying breed standard disqualifications, and making every effort to eliminate them from the breeds’ gene pools is not only the responsibility of Bench Show Judges. It is also the responsibility of every breeder and owner in order to ensure the health and longevity of their breeds, especially since several of the disqualifications are hereditary. Overshot bites, undershot bites, missing testicles, deafness, for example. These problems can only be eliminated if everyone works diligently towards that goal.
The Coonhound breeds are relatively fortunate in that they do not have some of the hereditary problems/diseases that are prevalent in other breeds. For example, hip dysplasia does exist in the coonhound breeds, but it is not a major problem. This is probably due to the fact that the hounds are still used for the reason they were developed, hunting raccoons, a sport that demands the hounds be structurally sound.
Conversely, they can hunt with an undershot bite, but that does not mean breeders should use that as a rationalization to keep a dog with a bad bite for breeding. That dog can be spayed or neutered and still be used for hunting, and it will no longer be able to pass on its problem bite.
If you are a serious breeder, it is also your responsibility to educate yourself on health issues, correct terminology, and structure. The internet is a gold mine for this information. There are also several excellent books available. One that every breeder should have is CANINE Terminology, by Harold R. Spira. It can be ordered through your local book seller and is also available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Canine-Terminology-Dogwise-Classics-Harold/dp/1929242018).