Ok. So I have done a little diggin'. Here is just a little info on the once very popular July Foxhound. I recently started a thread titled, 100% July Foxhound, and I was getting worried that I wasn't going to be able to find one. So here is a little info on why I looking for this perticular breed of dog. I am also going to include a link or two to a site with alot of July history. The following article/story is pretty good in my oppinion. Give me some feed back, good or bad, on what you know or don't know about the July breed.
The Hunter’s Horn
Page Twenty-eight & Twenty-nine
The July Hound of Yesterday—‘Quick to Jump, Runs to Catch’ –Sets the Pattern for Today
By Jack Davis, Temple, Ga.
Mr. July man, what do you want? Do you want a July hound patterned in performance and appearance after
some other strain or do you want a hound with the characteristics of the old original Julys? Are you going
to try to breed something to hush the criticism within the ranks of some other strains that do not have and
are not supposed to have the July’s characteristics? Or do you want to breed a July hound that is a true
July hound, “quick to jump, runs to catch”?
It seems to me there is not enough uniformity within the strain today. Perhaps some breeders are breeding
for oppositely different characteristics. Perhaps some are trying to breed a hound that will conform to the
standard of performance set up by the breeders of other strains. As a student of the July strain, I have
found a variation in type and performance of July hounds in different communities.
The July hound that attracted almost world-wide attention and gave birth to a burning desire with a
multitude of people to own them, was a strain with certain fixed characteristics. Breeders would do well to
recognize just what those characteristics were and set them up as their objective in their breeding
Old July, when a growing pup, was scorned and laughed to shame. This was because his appearance was
so foreign to the ideal existing in the minds of men as to how a fox hound should look. In that day men of
the South had as their ideal of appearance and performance a smooth-coated hound, with extremely long
pendulous ears, that followed the track closely giving long, drawn-out, bawling musical notes. Old July was
just the opposite. One thing is certain; it was not their appearance or long, drawn-out, musical tonguing
that won the Julys their fame.
There came a day when old July had almost grown up and he jumped and ran a fox to death in the presence
of a number of men. From that moment on his stock soared high. Now, what was the factor that brought
about this sudden popularity? His performance, of course. There is simply no room for argument
whatever. His style of performance was one of being quick to jump and running with a determination to
catch his fox.
Let us analyze the slogan, “Quick to jump, runs to catch.” What enables the July, or any hound for that
matter, to quickly jump a fox even when the strike is cold? If the hound moves with a leisurely gait,
covering every crook and turn that a fox out hunting its dinner makes, that hound will never jump the fox
unless the fox stops, and beds down to rest. Even then it will take a long time for the trailing hound to
come up to him.
The hound that does not make every crook and turn, cuts a few corners and does some drifting, but does a
lot of tonguing meanwhile, will be a long time getting up to its fox. A fox hearing a great clamor from a
trailing pack will move faster and away, keeping its distance as long as possible.
A hound that does a lot of drifting, not following every crook and turn but coursing the general direction of
the line of scent, not wildly but efficiently and fast in a semi-silent manner, will surprise it’s quarry, as the
quarry, undisturbed and unaware of danger, leisurely feeds along its habitual range, and quickly jump it and
put it to running. This is the characteristic that won the July hound the right to be called the strain that is
quick to jump.
How did the July get its reputation of running to catch? Simply because the July hound ran with that
thought gripping and governing its whole being. A hound that runs to catch does not move forward and
give tongue just because it has scent of a fox in its nostrils, but because that scent denotes there is a fox
out ahead that it wants to catch. This type hound does not move ahead when it scents a fox in mechanical
manner just as if that was its whole duty and it was interested in performing its duty only. Any sense of
mechanical duty is thrown to the winds and the hound plunges excitedly ahead, its whole being stirred by
the excitement of the chase and the determination to catch that fox, the scent being only the means of
obtaining the end. It decidedly is not the end.
So, if the hound loses the scent it has not lost its chief object of interest. The scent being only secondary,
it casts ahead knowing full well that the fox almost always moves in a forward direction and the fox is its
primary object of interest, contacting the scent line again, confirming its belief that the fox went in that
With a slower track-running type of hound interested in the line of scent primarily and the fox secondarily, it
is different. When it makes a runover its chief concern is to find the line of scent again. It makes little
difference to this type of hound whether the line of scent is found closer to the fox or farther away. This
hound checks its pace and makes a tight or close circle searching mechanically for the scent and not for
the fox. A pack of hounds of this type will give one a lot of hound music and precise, mechanical action, but
not as much excitement as a pack that runs with ingenuity and intelligence—to be more exact, as the July
hound of the late nineties ran.
July performance should be the July breeder’s watchword. It seems to me that we as breeders of a strain
should agree on what that performance should be and breed for it, letting the chips fall where they may. In
choosing breeding stock we should choose individuals within the strain who perform according to the
accepted July standard. And these individuals should be from families that perform likewise.
We should refrain from becoming “pedigree happy” and using as breeding stock individuals who are poor
performers from families who are poor performers, although these families have a traditionally good
pedigree. Even if their forefathers were good hounds six or seven generations back, our chance of
getting good hounds from such a mating is one of getting a throwback only.
Any family line can “run out.” We see the proof of this in some human families.
Neither should we use good outstanding individuals whose background is unimpressive, especially in the
close up generations, nor individuals with a radical cross close up on another strain, for it is the July
characteristics we want to intensify and preserve. Just about all outcrosses on strains that perform in a
different manner to the July, made in the past, have been made by men who wanted to introduce other
strain characteristics into the July strain, and not to intensify and preserve the July characteristics. Such
people should get some hounds of another strain if they do not like the July. Let us not try to conform the
July strain to the pattern of some other strain.
The strain in its true and original state had individuality. The tenets of that individuality were such that the
breeders adopted a slogan that should be descriptive of every hound within the strain –“Quick to jump,
runs to catch.”
Evidently the July hounds of the late nineties packed close and well and would hark to one another quickly,
but they also displayed more individuality and ingenuity and executive ability than most strains. They were
keenly intelligent and fiercely determined, never contented to be just a cog in a machine. A pack of them
became a deadly cooperative group, not just a mechanical organization. Their speed and ability to stay
close to their quarry, keeping it running for dear life, supplied the hunter with thrills from the beginning to
the end of the race.
“Quick to Jump, Runs to Catch.” Three cheers for a July that is a July.