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What I've Learned, | May 01, 2014

Archie Kintner, bassets' best friend

Corydon's veteran hound breeder shares what he's learned in the show ring.

Kintner shows off one of his current bassets, ___. / Photo courtesy of Archie Kintner

Southern Indiana Kennel Club President Archie Kintner and his wife, Carole, have been breeding and showing basset hounds at their farm in Corydon since 1988. Their dog Gatsby was the No. 1 basset in the nation in 1998 and remains the top-winning basset in the history of the breed. Twenty-six years and 40 show dogs later, Kintner’s canines have taught him a thing or two about loving bassets and loving life.

Dogs and humans are surprisingly similar.

When we started showing dogs, neither Carole nor I were very outgoing, tending more to the shy side. The confidence we gained in our abilities in the show ring and as successful breeders has carried over into the rest of our lives. This is much like how the dogs gain confidence in themselves as they continue to compete.

Bassets aren’t lazy.

The stereotypical basset is perceived as lying around on the porch in the shade. Actually, the breed is very active, especially when they’re young. They’ll follow deer trails, rabbit trails, and even trail you through the woods as you hunt mushrooms. They’ll come dragging in at the end of the day with their tongues hanging out, exhausted.

Watch out for the nosey ones.

The only dog that has a better sense of smell than a basset is a bloodhound — bassets have highly developed noses. When we go out to see the dogs, especially in the winter, they know we’re coming. If you have dog biscuits in your pockets, they’ll stick their heads in to fish one out. They’ll pick your pockets if you let them.

Don’t go it alone.

Dog showing is one of those things where you get started and you just have to get into it. You meet other people, go to shows and get together. Competing with the dogs introduced us to a whole new world of friends, and now we give back to the sport and help other competitors through high involvement in our area clubs. You need a mentor; somebody to hold your hand and teach you the ropes, somebody to help you get to know the people and get to know the dogs.

Learn to lose before you win.

You have to do more losing than winning when you’re starting out, and it makes you really value those wins. If you have too much early success and then suddenly start to lose, there’s a chance you’ll lose interest. Of course we enjoyed Gatsby’s success when he was out doing so well — it really gets you hooked when you do something like that — but you get the personal satisfaction out of raising good dogs any time your peers see your dogs and think, “Well, those are some nice dogs”

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