Tuska Homma Catahoulas
Jena, Louisiana / USA
Reneè Jackson is a 5th generation Catahoula breeder, and has always been a very valuable source of information about the breed for me! Most of the breeding practices and standards of their kennel are those of the early breeders of the Catahoula. Tried and true methods, as well as, beliefs of the early breeders have had a great influence on Reneè`s breeding program.
They never breed for eye color, nor do they breed for a certain color. (Although their kennel name would imply they do.) Those who played an important part in the development of the Catahoula as a breed always advised that if your breeding program was not going to make an important contribution to the overall breed itself, YOU SHOULD NOT BREED.
Reneè is a well known and highly respected breeder oversea`s, and she has her own opinion about Hip Testing, which is stated as followed: "HIPS - Once again, we have adopted the tried and true methods as those in the past. We do not have our dog's hip OFA'd, nor are they Penn Hipped. For a very important reason - You can have a dog that shows good results on all testing. BUT that dog is kennel kept and never truly worked, therefore, not truly tested. (no offense to some) I can promise you, you take a strong dog, male or female, work them on a regular basis. Whether it be hogs or cows, it is in a Catahoula's nature to press the extreme and if they aren't sound it will show by the time they are about 2 years. Therefore, it is not uncommon for us to wait to breed our males and females till they are at least 3 and sometimes 4 years of age. There is some exceptions, but only if we are sure they are physically sound!"
Reneè always trained most of her dogs for competition and work in the woods. All of them are trained on hogs. It`s daily hard work and I am very keen to believe that if a dog - started at a young age has proven itself over work for several years - hiptesting before breeding might not be necessary. Obviously this does not count for all breeders, especially not for those who start to breed their dogs early and don`t have the possibility or the interest to work their dogs the way Reneè and others do.
For two years in a row (and on several other occasions), Reneè and her dogs were able to bring home a trophy from the Uncle Earl`s Hog Trail. To be in the top ten of 150 pairs not too bad. Out of the 150 pairs competing only 11 pairs made a perfect score. Their Poker and Pepper was one of those eleven. Although Reneè has always focused on the working ability of her dogs and always breed for physical soundness. She sure also likes a good looking dog. However, taking part at the first confirmation show of her kennel - NALC/Texas Nationals, she can be very proud of the results:
3-6 Month Females : 1st Place - THK's Jewel / 2nd - Place - THK's Penny (Littermates) **** 6-9 Month Males: 1st Place - THK's Licker *** Female - 1 yr and Older: 2nd Place - THK's Janie *** Best of Show - Puppy: THK's Jewel
Next spring I am off to Louisiana to see Reneè and her pack again, and attend one of the biggest Catahoula Event worldwide. I am really looking forward to that expirience!