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 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:30 am 
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Location: SoCal
I've come across a variation of this story on several sites, but it seems to be the most popular version of why Catahoulas are such versatile hunting dogs. We know that ranchers and hunters used to have the same attitude about breeding Lacys, and I'm sure they had similar attitudes about culling as well. Today you don't need to shoot a dog, spaying and neutering works just fine as an efficient method for culling breeding stock, but it would certainly benefit the Lacy if people were still this particular about breeding and selling their dogs.

Full article is here: I've cut out the beginning section in ancient Catahoula history and bolded parts that I found especially useful for Lacy breeders:

Most of the stories surrounding the Catahoula begin around 1850's to date. Those stories tell of what a great hunting and companion dog the Catahoula was. What is told here is how the Catahoula has become the versatile dog that it is, and why those older breeders and hunters (commonly referred to as "Old Timers") took such a hard stand about their dogs. Their stand was so firm, that the only way you could acquire a Catahoula was to have someone give one to you. Catahoulas were not sold back then, and were only used by those that needed them for hunting or work. I'm sure that some of what is read here will have some of you think the practices used were cruel, but try to keep an open mind when reading this. I would also like to thank all of those "Old Timers" and their children for relating these things to me and for giving me the opportunity to tell their side of what actually took place. It is with their permission that I tell this piece of history.

In those days a dollar was worth a dollar, and most of the time it was hard to come by. Most families not only worked at a full time job, they generally worked their farms and those of others just to make ends meet and put food on the table. The family dog was not just a pet as we know it today. If it didn't work or perform some function in the day to day farm life, it wasn't kept for very long. It cost money to feed a dog, and, if it didn't earn its keep, it wasn't kept.

Those folks that used dogs to hunt would keep a few dogs around for hunting and breeding. The breeding was to replace the dogs that were lost during a hunt, better the ones they had, or used in trading for other things that were needed. There was a method used by hunters that was effective in producing the best hunting dogs. That method, if it were used today, would bring outcries of cruelty from animal rights groups. The method has been called "Culling" or "Lining". These are the two references I have heard the most. The manner of "Lining" was for an owner to take up a position where he knew deer had been crossing. An entire litter of approximately 6 months of age would be brought to that location. The dogs would be enticed to track the deer and then released as a pack The last two to cross the "Line" taken up by the owner were shot. The reason for this was that the dogs did not show enough interest in doing their job. The rest of the litter was allowed to go about tracking and/or baying the scent of the deer. As they returned, the first two to cross the line were also shot. The reasoning for this was that they didn't show enough interest to remain with the pack. The remaining dogs were considered the most promising dogs and would be raised up to adults and put to work. This practice would continue from season to season and litter to litter. It would insure that only the best dogs were kept for hunting and breeding. In those days, hunting was not just a sport. It put food on the table. Working a ranch dog meant not having to pay someone to help with rounding up or herding cattle. It didn't make any sense to keep and feed a dog that didn't do the job and do it well.

My reason for telling this story is to answer those of you that ask the question, "What makes the Catahoula so versatile?" The answer is that these dogs were Culled and Lined so much that only the best of the best remained. Today we see it in the dogs we own. It is an unfortunate fact that a lot of good dogs were killed by this method, but it only improved the working and hunting line of dogs that remained. It may be hard to understand their reasoning behind some of the things that were done, but they did the best they could with what they had, and it worked for them at the time.

If you ever get the opportunity to speak to an old Catahoula or Cur owner, you will hear stories that will help you to understand what they look for in a dog. It's not the pretty eyes or the unique coat pattern or even the color combinations. What they look for is a dog that works, or, as it is often said, "Worth his salt." They do not want to see the Catahoula end up as some of the other groups of hunting/working dogs have. And, those of us that love this breed want to keep these traits alive and thriving.

"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys:
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 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:04 pm
Posts: 1677
Location: Burnet County

I personally prefer the Lacy because I feel they work better BUT I know a heap of Cat
folk that would love to argue with me :))


M.D.Brooks Founding Member & Breeders Committee Chair
Bayed Blue...Bayed True...That's A Lacy Dog
If You can't keep up with the Lacy Dog...stay on the porch!

 Post Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:28 am
Posts: 285
Location: Bel Aire, KS
I've had both breeds and like them both but for different reasons. A catahoula that is mad and guarding his property looks far more dangerous than a mad lacy but then again,I've been told the wolfish yellow eyes are more creepy than glass colored eyes :))

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