Breeding of the Beagles

Beagles came into my life by accident. In mid-70's, I was determined to become a Pekingese owner as I have always liked furry little dogs. Besides, I had an ongoing argument with my father who maintained that my studies seemed to take second place to my involvement in dogs. I was joking that a Pekingese would be small enough to tuck into the bookcase, if need be, and my father would never know I had another dog... I had already chosen a puppy from a prominent kennel in Britain, but she injured her eye and I could not have her. Since the kennel had a very limited breeding program, they could not offer me another dog as a replacement.    

At that time I already owned Basset Hounds. I thought that Beagles would get along nicely with Bassets as both breeds are pack hounds, and showing them would be easier because they would be judged on the same day at two-day shows. I was very interested in American Beagles because of their nice breed type but I had no idea of the bloodlines. There was no internet or fax in those days, and the few foreign dog magazines were perused more than once! In one of them, I saw an advertisement for the Clovergates kennels in Britain. So I reserved a bitch whose sire and dam were British-bred, but the dam was out of American parents.

Clovergates Pleasure arrived in Finland in the fall of 1975. She became a multiple BOB winner and whelped two litters, producing dogs that turned out to be excellent  breeding stock well as beautiful show dogs. She was a nice bitch with a good head and a good topline. She was just over 14”. I thought she could have had a little bit more stuff behind the tail. In movement, she had enormous reach and drive, but she was rather loose at elbow and tended to toe in in front. Unfortunately, I lost Pleasure too soon, but she was the first chapter in the story of Daragoj Beagles, and I'm happy to see that her legacy lives in the later generations of Daragoj Beagles that followed her.

Only four bitches in my breeding program were not home-bred. Therefore, I will not focus here on the dam side in my bloodlines; instead, I will concentrate on the stud dogs I have imported or loaned, and on their impact when bred with Daragoj bitches.

Jahtiluhdan Urkki
(Pinewood Chestnut - Jahtiluhdan Mini)

Jahtiluhdan Urkki

My first Beagle, Clovergates Pleasure, produced two litters. The first was sired by International Ch. Jahtiluhdan Urkki who was out of English Pinewood bloodlines. The litter included three puppies of which I kept Daragoj Half And Half (picture 2) She was a 15” high, strongly-built bitch with a very nice head. She moved well, but she could have had a slightly better tailset and more style.

Beagler's Black Gold
(Gold Smuggler - Pinewood Courtesy)

Beagler's Black Gold

Beagler's Black Gold was a nice-sized, very typey male. He had a nice head and topline, and good bone and substance. He could have had a bit more stuff behind the tail. He paddled a bit in front, but moved otherwise well. I liked his breed type and overall appearance very much.

1978 in Sweden, BOB Beagler's Black Gold, BOS Clovergates Pleasure
judge Marianne Furst-Danielsson

Pleasure’s second litter was sired by the Swedish-bred Beagler’s Black Gold, whom I used four times in my breeding program.The first combination produced Daragoj Showman, Daragoj Securityman and Daragoj Statesman (picture 2) of which I kept Daragoj Statesman. All three became multiple BIG winners with BIS placements. The two bitches in this litter went to Sweden.

The dam of the second litter by Beagler's Black Gold was Daragoj Touch Me Tender (AM Ch. Tarr Hill Rollikin’ Romeo - Daragoj Half And Half). The best known dog of this litter was Netherlands & Luxembourg Ch. Daragoj One Way Ticket, exported to the Netherlands. There were other nice puppies in the litter, but, unfortunately, they went into pet homes, and were rarely shown.

Beagler's Black Gold´s third litter was out of Daragoj Barbie Doll (Starbuck Classic – Daragoj Timex) and produced three puppies. Daragoj Little Gold stayed at home. He had some BOB wins and group placements. He sired a few litters but he didn’t produce anything notable.  The only bitch in this litter, AM Ch. Daragoj Little By Little went to Karen Crary's Hare Hollow’s kennels in the U.S.

The dam of Beagler's Black Gold's fourth litter was Daragoj Madame Butterfly (Netherlands Ch. Clovergates Fancy Pants - AM Ch. Daragoj Double Pleasure). She hadn't even been born when I had already decided that, should there be a bitch puppy in the litter, she would be bred back to her great grandsire. He was very old at that time and his owner, Dr. Catharina Linde-Forsberg, had warned me that his semen was no longer very active and I shouldn’t expect a large litter. My response was that I would be more than happy with just one superb puppy! That is exactly what this combination produced: Danish CH Daragoj Piece of Gold, “Helmi”.

Helmi was a great personality. At her very first all-breed show, she went Best Puppy in Show, and as other top wins followed, she soon learned to carry her rosette out of the ring!

Daragoj Piece of Gold and Eeva
Very Special Show Denmark 1989, Helmi with her BOB-rosette

Helmi was beaten for Best of Breed only four times: once at the World Dog Show in Denmark (but she did win the open bitch class and was awarded the bitch Challenge Certificate), and three times when the breed was judged by Finnish “hunting-type” judges. The day after the World Dog Show in 1989, she went Specialty Best in Show in Denmark in an entry of 150 dogs under J. Council Parker of the United States. Her success in Denmark continued, and later in the year she won the group and the BIS-2 placement at the Danish Kennel Club's International Show in Herning. She amassed 11 group wins that year!

Helmi´s most prestigious win in Finland was BIS-3 at the Finnish Kennel Club´s Centennial Show, where she was the only bitch and the only Finnish-bred dog among the five BIS-placed group winners. Her group win presented me with a difficult dilemma: I had just 20 minutes to find a handler for her, as my Lhasa Apso had also won her group and I had to show her in the final.  At the end of the year, Daragoj Piece of Gold was the top winning show dog of all breeds in Finland. She retired from the show ring at the age of two and half years and was shown only now and then for specialist judges. 

Helmi whelped three litters. The first litter was by Daragoj Jumping Jack. This litter has been the most important litter in my breeding program. It was very good looking in conformation and breed type, but, unfortunately, soft in temperament. I kept Daragoj Great Pleasure and Daragoj Grazia. Daragoj Gloria went to the Gold Line kennels in Denmark and later became the dam of at least five Danish Champions, two of them winning the top Beagle of the Year in Denmark. AM Ch. Daragoj Georgio Armani was a tan & white male owned by Paul Crary of Pacific kennels in the U.S. The rest of the puppies went to pet homes. Daragoj Great Pleasure had three litters; five of the puppies became group winners with BIS placements, and two other bitches were CC and BOB winners in Finland. A male won two CCs in Denmark; two bitches won AM Ch. titles, one of them also attaining the Canadian title. Daragoj Grazia produced three litters; one of the bitches became AM Ch., a son in Sweden has many BOB wins, group placements and a BIS placement. Another son is a multiple group winner in Finland. The rest of her puppies went to pet homes.

Helmi's second litter was by AM Ch.Springfield Heaven’s Creek, “Jim”. Jim was a nice, short coupled, 15” dog. This mating produced a very nice dog, Daragoj Keep The Dream. He was shown only twice with one BOB at the Finnish Kennel Club's International Winter Show in Helsinki --  unfortunately the poor “country boy” was freaked out by the flashing  lights and loud music in the big ring! Daragoj Keep The Promise had two litters, the first producing Netherlands Ch. Daragoj Kohinoor while the rest went to pet homes. Her second litter was by Netherlands Ch. Famous Joker Go For Gold, all puppies going to pet homes. Daragoj Keep The Word went to Brazil.

Helmi's final litter was by Briarhill Our Own Brucie. I kept two bitches. Daragoj Kastehelmi (picture 2) was BIS puppy at Finnish Kennel Club's International Winter Show. I showed her only a few of times, gaining a group win and some group placements. She reminded me a lot of her mother; she was a good 15” bitch and had some of the same habits as her mother. She was a bit close behind. Daragoj Kuurankukka was a very nice bitch but she had lighter eyes than my dogs usually had and no pigmentation in her 3rd eyelid which spoilt her expression. When she became older, her expression softened.

Tarr Hill Rollikin´ Romeo
(Navan's Triple Trouble Rick - Pixhire's Fancy-Free)

I have seen AM Ch. Navan’s Triple Trouble Rick in photographs, I never saw him in real life. Based on the photographs, he was one of the most beautiful Beagles I have ever seen. I didn’t have any contacts with breeders in the U.S., but I happened to see the Tarr Hill kennel’s two-line advertisement in the Dog World magazine. I contacted them and was able to purchase Navan's Triple Trouble Rick’s son AM Ch. Tarr Hill Rollikin’ Romeo.

Tarr Hill Rollikin' Romeo

Tarr Hill Rollikin' Romeo

Romeo was a handsome 14” dog with a nice head and good ears. He was well ribbed, and he had a very strong short back. I used him only once, to Daragoj Half And Half. He had a couple of litters in Sweden, for example one with his granddaughter, but it was obvious that he didn’t reproduce himself, and his offspring didn’t look like him at all. This was a disappointment -- I had expected him to be a dominant producer as he was out of a half-sister breeding with AM Ch. Kings Creek Triple Treat as the double grandsire on both sides.

Daragoj Statesman
(Beagler's Black Gold - Glovergates Pleasure)

Daragoj Statesman

Daragoj Statesman, “Pocco”, was a nice 16” dog. Pocco had very much the same style and type as his father, Black Gold, but he was taller. He had very nice proportions, firm topline and a nice head. He had a straight, a bit long tail and he could have had a bit more stuff behind his tail. He had normal reach and drive, but he toed in a little bit.

Tarr Hill Rollikin´ Romeo became ill with the parvo virus during his visit in Sweden and he had to stay there so I couldn’t mate Daragoj Half And Half to him as I had planned. Instead, Daragoj Half And Half’s first and last litter were sired by her half brother Daragoj Statesman.

Daragoj Statesman & Daragoj Half And Half
!980 Daragoj Statesman and Daragoj Half And Half expecting their first litter

The first combination produced AM Ch. Daragoj Double Pleasure and four boys, three of them becoming BIG winners. Double Pleasure was a good 15” bitch with a very nice outline and a nice head. She was also very intelligent, and she had a lot of charisma. (And, I might add, some of her mother’s tricks. Many were the nights when I received a midnight phone call from the lady who ran a hotdog stand nearby to tell me that the girls had escaped from the kennel and were enjoying the culinary pleasures of her stand!) I loaned Double Pleasure to the U.S. where she gained her title very quickly, becoming the first U.S. champion for Daragoj Beagles. She was a multiple BIG winner and a BIS winner at an all-breed show in the U.S. Back home in Finland, she had multiple group wins and BIS placements. Daragoj Double Pleasure is one of only two bitches who have had four litters. The litter sired by Starbuck Hang ‘em High was born in the U.S. and produced several champions. The other litters are described in more detail as I describe their sires, Starbuck Classic, Clovergates Fancy Pants and Torbay Top Billing.

When I repeated the Daragoj Half And Half - Daragoj Statesman combination, the result was the "Clock litter": Daragoj Casio, Daragoj Timex, Daragoj Tissot and Daragoj Seiko. The puppies were named in irritation after one of the local hunting fanatics had compared my dogs with cheap Japanese watches because they were not used in hunting. Daragoj Casio became BOB and BIG winner at the Finnish Kennel Club's Winners Show at the age of nine months under the veteran British Beagle authority Douglas Appleton of the Appeline Beagles. He was a nice sized male, with very nice head (picture) and an excellent side gait but I would have preferred a little more leg under him. He was exported to the Dazzler’s kennel in Denmark where he distinguished himself as a very successful show dog and producer, and he can still be found in the pedigrees of many of Denmark's top winners.

Starbuck Classic
(Meadow Crest's Grand Slam - Starbuck's Carry Nation)

Starbuck Classic

Starbuck Classic was imported from the U.S. in 1982. He was very much a hound type dog of 16”. He had very good bone and a strong topline. His front assembly was a bit too far forward, giving him a shortish neck and a slightly long-bodied look. He became a BIG winner. He sired two litters at Daragoj and a couple of litters in Sweden. His best known progeny include Daragoj Boomerang and Daragoj Barbie Doll (dam: Daragoj Timex) and Mälardrotts Yankee Boy. Boomerang became an all-breed BIS winner at the age of 11 months under U.S. judge Richard G. Beauchamp (picture). He had many BIG wins and BIS placements in Finland. In Sweden, he won BIG at the Swedish Kennel Club’s International Christmas Show in Stockholm. He didn’t compete for BIS because he was already sold to the Famous Joker kennel in Denmark and had to leave immediately for his new home. In Denmark, he was a very well known winner with many specialty and all-breed show BOB wins. He was a 16”, very eye-catching dog with very long and powerful side gait, beautiful bright colors and excellent bone. He could have had a bit more angulation behind. He had a great attitude and he was very smart! His use in breeding has been very limited, but he produced a few nice puppies who have done well in the show ring. Boomerang’s sister, Barbie Doll was usually beaten by her brother for Best of Breed. She won an all-breed BIS-2 and BIS Veteran of all breeds (picture) at Turku International Winter Show in Finland.

Mälardrotts Yankee Boy was bred by Ingemar Engström in Sweden. His dam was a British import, a double granddaughter of Page Mill Oscar. Yankee Boy became dual champion at a very early age, and he was a widely appreciated stud dog in Sweden and, to my knowledge, also in Norway. His litter sister Mälardrotts Yasmin is one of the four non-home bred bitches in my breeding program. 

The breeding of Starbuck’s Classic and Daragoj Double Pleasure produced sisters Brazilian Ch. Daragoj Royal Rendez Vous and AM Ch. Daragoj Royal Ascot. Royal Rendez Vous was exported to the Bangor kennels in Brazil but, sadly, didn’t produce any offspring. Royal Ascot moved to the Hare Hollow kennels in the U.S. and became double BISS winner, the second time as a veteran.

Clovergates Fancy Pants
(Johjean Sunnymeade Bobby of Clovergates - Clovergates Fancy Free)

Clovergates Fancy Pants
Clovergates Fancy Pants

Reading American books and magazines, I found that AM Ch. Johjean Jamboree Jubal (picture 2)was behind many nice looking and well producing dogs. As I knew she was also behind my foundation bitch I began to look around to find some of her lines. With the help of Annette Didier, I found Clovergates Fancy Pants in Holland. He was a nice 15” dog with a strong body and an equally strong will! His use at stud had been quite limited. His best known progeny include Brazilian & AM Ch. Daragoj Macho Grande, full brother to Daragoj Madame Butterfly (the dam of Piece of Gold). Mucho Grande was exported to the Bangor kennels in Brazil, and his name can be found in a large number of South American Beagle pedigrees. The litter also included two very nice looking males, but they had reverse scissors bites.

Torbay Top Billing
(Manabay Midas Touch - Torbay Henrietta)

Torbay Top Billing

In 1987, I imported two puppies from Australia, Torbay Top Billing and Torbay Pina Colada. Top Billing began a new phase in my breeding program -- while the size, bone and proportions improved, some of his offspring displayed quite unpleasant temperaments. With his introduction into my bloodlines, I lost the “traditional” blanketed tricolor of my Beagles. I have also noticed that, since then, many of my bitches have needed Caesarean sections. Top Billing was never shown because his tail was too gay. He had a nice clean head, a short and very strong body, lovely round bone, and excellent muscles because he never stayed still for a minute! He attended a charity show once, taking BOS while Daragoj Piece of Gold went BOB under Mr. Woodhead from Australia. After judging, I mentioned to him that the dog was an Australian import. He looked a little bit confused and then answered me politely: "Well, I see, but I still think the bitch is better". 

Together with Briarhill Our Own Brucie, Torbay Top Billing has been the most frequently used stud dog in my breeding program. From the breeding point of view, the most significant of his sons was Daragoj Jumping Jack (dam NL & LUX CH Daragoj One Way Ticket). He was a very typical, short bodied and well moving 15” dog. Unfortunately, he was always beaten in the ring by Daragoj Piece of Gold. His other offspring worth mentioning include AM Ch. Daragoj Sabrina (the dam of AUST Ch. Daragoj Starsong) and Daragoj Wallnut (the son of Daragoj Barbie Doll). Wallnut was a multiple BIG winner. His greatest achievement was BIS-2 at the Finnish Kennel Club’s International Winners Show. He took another BIS-2 placement at an all-breed show – beaten both times to the BIS by the world famous white Standard Poodle Maneetas Del Zarzoso Fuego Fatuo! Unfortunately, he was too inbred to be of use on my own bitches. He later went to Italy and continued his wins there.

The combination of Top Billing - Daragoj Double Pleasure produced Daragoj Hurley Burley whom I kept, and Daragoj Hot Shot who went to Denmark to the Dazzler’s kennel. Hot Shot was not exactly to my taste as she was somewhat low on leg and slightly close behind, but she attained her Danish and U.S. Champion titles. Hurley Burley was better in type and head, but rather straight behind and should have had a broader thigh (but later produced two litters.) Others in the Top Billing-Double Pleasure litter became family pets as they had nice outlines but were lacking in bone and substance. Top Billing was also bred once with a "hunting blood line" bitch, producing the multiple BIG winner Stonebridge Muru. 

Torbay Pina Colada arrived in the same crate with Top Billing. She was a small 15” bitch, short on leg, well angulated at both ends, and with the prettiest of heads. I bred her once although she was not my type of bitch and her temperament was strange because she had such nice parents. She was bred to Daragoj Jumping Jack. Her son Daragoj Wilhelm Tell won some groups and Daragoj Westpoint went to Denmark. I made no futher use of this litter in my breeding program.

Briarhill Our Own Brucie
(Echo Run Jumping Jack Flash - Loverly Too Hot To Touch)

Briarhill Our Own Brucie Briarhill Our Own Brucie

The four-month quarantine for dogs coming into Finland outside the so-called rabies-free countries (mainly Britain, Australia and the Scandinavian countries) was abolished in 1989, which made it much easier to incorporate dogs from other countries such as the U.S. in the breeding program. In the early 1990’s, AM Ch. Springfield’s Heavens Creek sired a litter for me, but his progeny has not had much long-term influence on my breeding program. 

Around the same time in the early 1990’s, I happened to see a video tape of the Great Lake Specialty in the U.S. A young male, Briarhill Our Own Brucie, caught my eye at once. Luckily for me, as he grew, he ended up over 15” and became available. His breeder Bruce Smith contacted the Specialty judge, Dr. Catharina Linde-Forsberg, to ask if she knew of anyone who might be interested in buying the dog. Catharina contacted me and soon Briarhill Our Own Brucie arrived in Finland. He was an extremely well constructed, sound mover with a good masculine head. His “clean” outline pleased me very much. If I want to say something negative about him, I would have preferred a darker eye and a better coat quality. He had been trained in the U.S. to show freely, and, therefore, showing him was a pleasure. He became multiple BIG winner and perhaps the most significant stud dog for Daragoj. 

Briarhill Our Own Brucie

Brucie sired eight litters at Daragoj and one litter for the Champhurst Beagles in Sweden. The first litter out of AM Ch. Daragoj Sabrina produced AUST Ch. Daragoj Starsong. To my knowledge, only two Beagle bitches have won an all-breed BIS in Scandinavia, Daragoj Starsong was one of them. She was also BOB-2 (best bitch as well) in Denmark at two specialties. In Finland, she had multiple group wins and BIS placements. When my very good friend, “Madame Clarion” (Truda Mawby), was visiting us, she fell in love with Starsong. Truda wanted her badly, and later that fall I had made my decision: Starsong left for sunny Australia as I had several Brucie daughters and no males that I could breed them to. It was agreed that, in return, Truda would send me Starsong's son (this was Clarion Crystal Fire.) Barely out of quarantine, Starsong won two all-breed BIS in Australia and later that year went BOB at the Australian National Specialty (picture). 

Starsong was a nice sized bitch with a nice head, a lovely arch of neck and a strong topline. She had the great attitude and charisma of the good old days. She had a strong and long reach on the side, but she was slightly wide in front and close in rear movement.

Brucie had two litters with Daragoj Great Pleasure. The first of these is perhaps the most successful litter I’ve ever bred. At the age of eight months Daragoj Lovenote (picture 2)won BIS puppy at the Finnish Kennel Club’s Winners Show (out of several hundreds puppies) and a month later, when she had become eligible for the official classes, she won the group and took the BIS-4 placement at the International Winter Show in Turku. Later in her show career, she went on to take multiple groups and BIS placements.

Lovenote was just under 14". She was a very well balanced bitch with excellent, steady topline and a very nice short, straight tail with excellent brush. She was well angulated at both ends and had low hocks. She had a shade more bone and shorter legs than her sister Lovestory. Her head was nice and clean with nice medium-brown eyes. She was an outgoing show dog, always wagging her tail and moving correctly from all angles.

In my opinion, Lovenote’s sister Daragoj Lovestory (picture 2)is perhaps the best Beagle I have ever bred. She won BIS at the International Show in Lahti (picture) out of several thousand dogs, making her the second Beagle bitch (after her half-sister, Daragoj Starsong) to win all-breed BIS in Scandinavia. At the Very Special Show in Denmark in 2000, at the age of 7 years, she won BOB among 170 entries under American breed specialist Kathy Forbes, her full brother Daragoj Let The Sun Shine was BOS (picture). I was unlucky in the whelping box with her, and she produced only one litter by Clarion Crystal Fire.

Lovestory was just under 15". Elegant, but strongly-built bitch. She had an excellent topline with lovely neck and excellent tailset. Her head was a bit different as Lovenote´s -- narrower and perhaps longer. Her eyes were a little darker, smaller and deeper-set. She also had a light wrinkle between the eyes. She moved with the same style as her granddam Piece of Gold when she wanted, but, most often, she was more interested in looking for the tidbits other exhibitors had dropped in the ring!

Daragoj Loveletter won BIG countless times. His best achievements were two BIG wins at the Finnish Kennel Club’s International Winners shows. When he took the group there for the first time, he was 11 months old, and he ended up with a BIS placement. He didn’t have any litters. Daragoj Lover Boy moved to Denmark where he sired a few litters. He had an accident as a puppy, injuring one of his testicles. For this reason, showing him was difficult because some judges would not accept the veterinary certificate about the accident. Nevertheless, he has two CCs. 

Only three puppies from the second litter of Brucie and Great Pleasure have been shown and bred. Daragoj Let The Sun Shine (picture 2) has some BIG wins and BIS placements, INT Ch. Daragoj Lucky Future has several BIG wins, as Daragoj Ladyday has a group placement.

Brucie also bred Daragoj Grazia. Their son, Daragoj Thinking of You in the Champhurst kennel in Sweden has achieved the Swedish Winner title and some group placements.

Daragoj Danish Cake (Daragoj Casio – Daragoj Hurley Burley) bred to Brucie produced AM & CAN Ch. Daragoj Private Dancer (who has not had any litters). Her sister went to Spain and did very well at shows over there. The only male went to a pet home.

Brucie and Daragoj Hurley Burley produced two sons, of which one went to a pet home while the other Daragoj Patriot was exported to the Dialynne kennel in Britain and is now, as far as I know, in Belgium. Daragoj Piece of Gold’s final litter was also sired by Brucie.

Brucie's last litter out of Daragoj Cardamom produced two puppies of which I kept Daragoj Little Bold Lady (picture 2), “Tirri”. Tirri is a small 15” bitch. She matured very slowly, but turned out to have a nice head, a good body and a strong topline. Tirri could have had more reach and drive and her rear movement was slightly close for me. She was a great personality. 

Echo Run Frolicsome Fella
(Stonebridge Winning Ways - Echo Run Shalamar)

Echo Run Frolicsome Fella Echo Run Frolicsome Fella

Besides Briarhill Our Own Brucie, I saw another eye-catching dog in the same video of the Great Lake Specialty. This was AM Ch. Echo Run Frolicsome Fella, “Bagel”. His lovely attitude, compact body, nice size, very good movement coming and going and his strong topline impressed me a lot. On the debit side, he had rather small high-set ears, his head was somewhat narrow and he was very straight in front. I was fortunate to be able to borrow him twice. It is true that his side gait could have had more reach, but I noticed his movement improving as he matured and settled down. 

Bagel sired four litters in my kennel. Daragoj Grazia produced AM Ch. Daragoj Just A Lady and Daragoj Just A Little by him. Just A Little became a class winner at National Specialty, while Daragoj Just A Shadow went to Spain.

In the litter out of Am Ch. Daragoj Sabrina, all the puppies were rather fine in bone and head. They went to pet homes, but I kept Daragoj Classic Charm.

Three bitches by Bagel out of Daragoj Kuurankukka were exported to Canada where they all gained their Canadian titles. Daragoj Dixieland Jazz and Designed Genres live at the Laponderosa kennels. Daragoj Diamonds Forever is also AM Ch., and she won an Award of Merit at the 2001 Beagle Club Nationals.

Bagel’s offspring are certainly very cosmopolitan, and his influence through my bitches has spread around the world. He was over 9 years old during his last visit, and he had some prostate problems, but we were lucky to get two litters. NZ Ch. Daragoj Personal Agenda (dam Daragoj Kastehelmi) went first to New Zealand to the Jest kennels, and then to Australia to the Beagalee kennels, while her sister went to a pet home. Bred with Daragoj Great Pleasure, he produced Daragoj Cheerleader (who went to the Sentimental Snowdancer kennel in Austria), AM Ch. Daragoj Chit Chat (sent to the Harnett kennels in the U.S.) and AM & CAN Ch. Daragoj Chelsea (who went to the Starbuck -Torbay kennels.) Chelsea is a BISS winner in Canada, she won an Award of Merit at the Nationals in 2001, and she was Top Dam in the U.S. in 2002.

Clarion Crystal Fire
(Clarion Cloak - Daragoj Starsong)

Clarion Crystal Fire Clarion Crystal Fire

Clarion Crystal Fire, “Spark”, arrived in Finland in mid-1990’s. I just adored this dog, comparing him to a full-blooded Arab stallion. He was a 16” thoroughbred, a compact and strong dog, but elegant. He had a long neck with a lovely arch. His back was a little bit too long for my taste but I didn’t mind that because he had perfect balance. He had a powerful, long reach, and he moved well coming and going. He had a nice long upper arm (so rare nowadays!) and nice wide upper thigh, but, unfortunately, his tail was too gay, especially when excited. He was also a very strong minded fellow. There was no fence, crate or lock that could hold him if he was determined to have a date with a bitch in season! 

The best known of Crystal Fire’s progeny is International & Multiple Ch. Daragoj Country Classic (picture 2) (dam Daragoj Lovenote). Country Classic has had a long and highly successful show career in continental Europe. He visited Finland, too, winning BIS-3 at Turku International Winter Show. Just like his father, he is a very strong-minded 16” dog. His head could be more elegant and refined, and his eyes could be darker. He is very sound and flashy and creates a fabulous picture when observed from the ringside, but he is a little coarse when you take a closer look. He has a great number of progeny in continental Europe -- too many, in my opinion, as he cannot have been the best choice for all those countless bitches because of his coarseness and size. 

Country Classic’s two other brothers were extremely handsome, but both have only one testicle. His sister, Daragoj Charlotte Russe, has been shown very sparingly. She is very nice in type with good bone, head and topline, but she is somewhat close behind. Nevertheless, she has been quite successful. I have had trouble finding suitable males to breed her to, and, therefore, she has had only one litter, sired by AM Ch. Echo Run Tan Your Blue Hide. 

The combination of Clarion Crystal Fire - Daragoj Lovestory produced Icelandic Ch. Daragoj Stargazer and Daragoj Solid Gold (picture 2)who has done a lot of winning in Finland.

Another Crystal Fire son, Daragoj Brave Heart (dam Daragoj Grazia) has multiple group wins and group placements in Finland. 

I have always maintained that breedings are hardly ever good enough to merit repeating, However, I wanted to have a male by Crystal Fire out of Lovenote who had been such a wonderful producer but was already getting on… As I did not have any suitable new male available, I concluded that it was preferable to do a repeat mating rather than to have no litter at all. This litter was born in 2000. Of them, the male, Daragoj Crystal Rain (picture 2 picture 3)“Pupu”, and her sister Daragoj Crystal Water stayed at home. Pupu was loaned to the Lanbur kennels in the U.S. He returned home in the fall of 2004. The Lanbur kennels now own Pupu's sister, Daragoj Crystal Water. They both finished their AM Ch. titles. MULTI Ch. Daragoj Crystal Chance is owned by Alice Cancikova in the Czech Republic, and Daragoj Crystal Sky lives with the Merry Beagler’s kennel in Belgium. 

Daragoj Cheerleader had a litter by Spark. Two puppies were exported to the Langhern kennels in Argentina; ARG Ch. Daragoj Estrella Polaris and Eusebio Nordico. The rest of the litter were pets.

I saw a very nice bitch at the Springfield’s kennels in the U.S. -- AM Ch. Springfield’s Bonnie Aimee. I suggested to my very good friend Judy Formisano that it might be a good idea to send Amy to Finland to be bred to Clarion Crystal Fire, Judy and Carmine came to Finland for a visit, and Judy decided to send Amy over. Only one bitch puppy, AM Ch. Springfield’s Darling Crystal, was born. She was Best in Show at the 2001 National Specialty in Tennessee. Amy was bred once more to Spark, producing two over 15” males.

Famous Joker Go For The Gold
(Famous Joker Master Of The Game - Conrada's Denmark Debut)

Famous Joker Go For The Gold

Netherlands Ch. Famous Joker Go For The Gold visited my kennel at the end of the 90’s. He was a short coupled, nice sized male with a nice head. He is linebred to DK Ch. Daragoj Boomerang. He sired two litters out of Daragoj Lovenote and Daragoj Keep the Promise. Three of the Lovenote puppies went to show homes; one bitch is a co-owned family pet (a nice bitch but not a show dog because of a blue eye. ) AUST Ch. Daragoj Golden Design was loaned to Australia to the Beagelee kennels, but I sold her later as I decided to scale down my breeding activities. Daragoj Golden Years (picture 2)has some BIG wins in Finland. He is also the sire of my “Viva” litter (dam Daragoj Classic Charm). Puppies of the second litter sired by Famous Joker Go For The Gold are family pets with the exception of CAN Ch. Daragoj Gold Label who is with the Waskasoo kennels. “Pentti” is a also a group winner.

Echo Run Tan Your Blue Hide
(Echo Run Woodstock - Echo Run Shalamar)

Echo Run Blue Tan Your Hide

I saw AM CH Echo Run Tan Your Blue Hide at the 2001 Nationals in Tennessee. Looking at him more closely, I thought he could be an interesting male for Daragoj Charlotte Russe who was over 4 years old and never bred. Again, I had luck with me. He was owned by Ann Roth, whom I had gotten to know through the internet. So Ann came over with John Boozer and brought “Tanner” with her! Tanner was a nice sized and well-bodied dog. He had the same “clean” look as Brucie had. He had no loose skin anywhere; he had a super tailset and a very powerful rear. His ears were set a little high, and his coat quality could have been better.

Daragoj Charlotte Russe was bred to Tanner. Three bitches and one male were born; one of the bitches is in Belgium, one in Germany and one in a pet home. More about the male "Tarmo" is here.

Daragoj Kuurankukka had three tan & white sons by Tanner. Daragoj Red Ribbon went to the Champhurst kennels in Sweden, where he has sired some litters but is still unshown. Daragoj Red Pepper has started his show career well in Finland, and Daragoj Red Sox has been shown on a very limited basis because of his size.

Daragoj males

I have never been very keen on close inbreeding. A combination may appear very attractive on paper but the reality is something else. No such thing as a completely healthy, problem-free bloodline that will not be susceptible to producing weaknesses, if too closely inbred, exists in this universe! Over the years, I’ve used so many different males in my breeding program that lately I have been able to breed Daragoj Beagles to each other. In recent years, a small number of litters out of such combinations have been born. 

AM & CAN Ch. Daragoj Diamonds For Ever had two males by Daragoj Brave Heart; Daragoj Dragon Heart went to Spain while Daragoj Diamond Heart (picture 2) "Ossi" is at home. He is a multiple group winner (picture, picture 2) in very limited showing.
I kept two bitches myself. AM Ch. Daragoj Desiree was exported to the Harnett kennels in the U.S. Daragoj Delilah went later to a pet home because of her low thyroid level. AM Ch. Daragoj Diamond Shine (picture 2)went to Springfield’s kennels in the U.S. where she has been shown by Connie Conger. She has two BISS and was the top-winning 15” Beagle bitch in the U.S. in 2003. She produced a litter in 2004, and, of these, Springfield’s Long Shot, attending her first dog show at the age of seven months, was Best 15” Beagle in Sweepstakes and the Best of Winners at the 2004 Nationals. 

Daragoj Kuurankukka had a litter by Daragoj Brave Heart. Of the ensuing litter, Daragoj Warfare was exported to the v.d. Thurmühle kennels in Austria. Her wins there include a Specialty BIS among other wins. AM Ch. Daragoj Wake Up Call now lives at the Bayou Oaks kennels in the U.S., and I have Daragoj War Warning in co-ownership. The rest are in pet homes.

Daragoj Little Bold Lady had a litter sired by Daragoj Brave Heart. The litter produced INT Ch. Daragoj Lady Chatterley who is a multiple BIG winner, exported to the Catulus kennel in Poland, and AM Ch. Daragoj Liberty Belle who went to the Lanbur Beagles in the U.S. Two puppies are in show homes in Finland.

Daragoj Diamont Heart bred Daragoj Golden Belle (Famous Joker Go for Gold – Daragoj Lovenote); Daragoj Hot Gossip is at the Sentimental Snowdancer kennels in Austria, DK Ch. Daragoj Harley Davidson is in Denmark at the Dynamic Flyer kennels in co-ownership with the Gold Line kennels. Daragoj Harlequino is in Germany with the Happy Beagle kennels. I kept Daragoj Heaven Can Wait (picture 2).

AM CH Daragoj Crystal Rain sired three litters in Finland before he left for the U.S. His first litter was out of AM Ch. Springfield’s Bonnie Aimee. Two bitches were born and I kept them both. In 2002, CAN Ch. Daragoj My American went to the Waskasoo kennels in Canada. AM Ch. Daragoj Miss America went to the Springfield’s kennels in the U.S.

Daragoj Crystal Rain had also a litter out of Daragoj Little Bold Lady. That litter produced four nice puppies: Polish Ch. Daragoj Frank Zappa, a BIS-3 winner at the Warsaw Winner Show in 2004, with the Catulus kennel in Poland and Daragoj Freddie Mercury, who has also won in his new homeland in Slovakia (picture of litter brothers Freddie Mercury and Frank Zappa). AM Ch. Daragoj Foxy Lady has just returned home after her visit to the U.S. where Mr. Jon Woodring kindly campaigned her to her U.S. title. In Finland, Daragoj Falconer became BIG winner at the age of 12 months.

His third litter was with Daragoj Viva la Vida. The only bitch in the litter, AM Ch. Daragoj Tango Queen went to the Lanbur kennels, a male is in a pet home, and I kept Daragoj The Oriental (picture 2)“Orri”. Orri left later to France where he has won the group twice and taken one all-breed BIS. 

Daragoj Viva Zabata bred Daragoj Savannah Rose. Daragoj Another Fantasy was exported to the U.S. where he died in a road accident. Before his accident, he bred AM Ch. Springfield’s Darling Crystal (Clarion Crystal Fire – CH Springfield’s Bonne Aimee), and the ensuing litter has been quite successful in the show ring.

Thoughts about breeding

Attitude has always been as important to me as breed type and sound movement when I plan breedings. I do want to ensure that the dogs who live with me at home are not only beautiful and pleasing to the eye in conformation, but also smart with plenty of charisma. Introducing new bloodlines always brings in something that pleases you and something that does not. For example, I think the Australian lines I have used have introduced slightly softer temperaments into my lines – and these dogs are often very good pets, but they may lack the stamina and the self-confidence that a great show dog needs.

In 2002, I had finally and reluctantly come to the conclusion that I should retire from active breeding. Living far on the Northern edge of Europe (in the middle of nowhere!), I had to keep quite a large number of dogs to maintain a viable breeding program even if I did not breed so many litters. There is no point in leasing or importing dogs if their progeny has to be sold as family pets. Finally, I decided that enough was enough with all the hard work. To let all dogs go would have been too hard after more than 40 years of involvement in breeding and showing dogs. Everyone has his or her own ideas of breeding, and I knew that if I let everybody go, my 40 years of hard work and all the Daragoj line would be gone for ever! Therefore, I thought long and hard which dogs I would sell and which I would keep myself.

Over the years, I have been very fortunate in coming to contact with the right people. I have received so much valuable knowledge from so many Beagle fanciers, and I have made so many wonderful friends around the world. I am very grateful to them, and I am very grateful to everyone who has let me buy or use so many of their quality dogs. It has been appreciated very much. My modest hope is that the dogs I have bred will play a role in shaping future generations of Beagles, the merry hound we all love.


I have been told by people who know it better that once you decide to stop breeding dogs, you should not do it at once, period. I have always bred and shown dogs for my own enjoyment. Even if I breed and show my dogs less than before, I don’t want to give up everything.

I have a few home-bred bitches and males at home. I have a male bred by Truda Mawby, Clarion Cameo Magic Man (AUST & NZ Ch. Jest The RainmanAUST Ch. Clarion Cameo Queen). I have a male AM Ch Lanbur's Edgar Allen (picture 2)( AM Ch Daragoj Crystal Rain - AM Ch Lanbur Summer Symphony). I also own Daragoj Matter of Time (AM CH Echo Run Tan Your Blue Hide - Daragoj Charlotte Russe) “Tarmo”. Click here for more details.



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