A typical Majestic Hound
The heritage of the Majestic Tree Hound traces back to the St. Hubert Hound named after Francios Hubert, the patron Saint of hunters. He bred and perfected the best scenting hounds in Southern France during the early 8th Century. When he died, Bishops and Monks continued breeding these hounds. They were kept in monasteries throughout Northern Italy, Southern France and Belgium. These hounds were used to track down wounded game, and sometimes to track down poachers who stole game.
A new strain was developed later in the 8th Century. This strain was known as Talbot Hounds. They were the result of crossing white St. Huberts with other hounds. Many people referred to the St. Huberts and Talbots as the "Blooded Hounds." Later, this was shortened to Bloodhounds.
In 1066 William the Conqueror brought St. Huberts and Talbots to England where they were used to trail deer. When deer became scarce, the English nobility began using their Bloodhounds to hunt fox. After fox hunting on horseback became popular, Bloodhound x Greyhound crosses were made to produce a harder running hound.
Both Bloodhounds and English Foxhounds were later brought to the American Colonies. Most American Fox and Coonhounds of today can be traced back to the early English Foxhounds (Bloodhound x Greyhound crosses). Over the years some exceptional strains of American Coon and Big Game Hounds have come and gone, appearing when more Bloodhound was crossed in, and disappearing when the extra Bloodhound influence was diminished through subsequent outcrossings.
The Majestic Tree Hound is a reconstitution of those exceptional strains. Over a long period of selecting, field testing for performance, breeding and culling, hounds were developed that possessed keen scenting ability, even temperament, beautiful voices, natural treeing ability, extra houndy appearance, and good functional conformation for speed and stamina.
Roger Cram of L'Anse, Michigan with his outstanding Majestic bear hounds, Bull and Frosty with a 400# bear taken September, 1987.
In 1979 Lee Newhart, Jr. decided that rather than continue this strain as grade hounds or single register them into an existing Coonhound breed, it would be more appropriate to register these outstanding hounds as a separate new breed of Coon & Big Game hounds. The first Majestics were formally registered with the National Kennel Club in April 1980.
If you would more information about the Majestic hound contact:
National Majestic Tree Hound Association
1011 W. State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850