Majestic Tree Hound
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|Breed status||Not recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club.|
|Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Majestic Tree Hound is a large breed with males averaging over 100 pounds. They have the long, low-set earage (with a minimum length specified), heavy flew and dewlap of their ancestors from the Ardennes. They carry more excess skin in general than the American Blue Gascon, and are noteworthy for their abundant flew and dewlap, as well as facial wrinkles.
The Majestic Tree Hound is a good-natured and affectionate hound, accepting equally both praise and correction. It is not quarrelsome with other dogs and has a noble and dignified expression.
The creation of this breed is very recent, but the stem stock goes clear back to medieval northern France and the hounds of St. Hubert. The motives of this breed's creators were much the same as those who sponsor the American Blue Gascon Hound. These hunters wanted to save the large, cold-nosed, methodical working hound as a type in America, but the Majestic Tree Hound's forebear was the working Bloodhound.
Big game hounds of the old Bloodhound/Talbot/St. Hubert type inhabited American soil for many years, and these were crossed with a variety of other hounds for coldtrailing work. The Majestic people say they crossed these Bloodhounds with "western big-game hounds." These dogs may have been of the Gascon type like the Old Line dogs or even strains from those long ago Porcelaines that went west with the Rousseau family.
Lee Newhart, Jr., and several others created the National Majestic Tree Hound Association in 1980 and registered the first hounds in that year.
From what is known thus far, Majestics are a fairly hearty breed. There have been some findings of hip dysplasia as well as the ears needing to be cleaned frequently. Hunting Majestics do best on high performance type of diet as they are a very athletic breed.
Intended for rugged terrain and long endurance, they are most suited for lion, bear, bobcat and jaguar, and are able to drive the big cats from their hiding places. They are also good coon hunters where the speed and numbers treed are not as important as the skill, voice and persistence of a hound. (This is true also of American Blue Gascon and Plott Hounds, both big game hunters.)