The exposure to everyday life is an important part of developing a proper Spaniel.
We received this interesting email regarding our recent Podcast and obtained permission to share it. It goes to show that we are all dealing with some similar issues we need to pay attention to in an effort to protect our spaniels. We have left the writer anonymous as a courtesy.
Dear Mr Agnew
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. I listened to your comments on the Hunting Dog podcast and agree with much of what you said. I am one of a rare and increasingly small group of people in the UK who actually rough shoot over our dogs, expecting them to hunt hard all day irrespective of scent but equally don’t expect the almost frantic hunting style exhibited in some UK trial dogs which seems to be promoted by some (fortunately not all) of our trial judges, running very hard and fast but covering a beat of about 10 yards maximum. I have nothing against the J Regs (The Kennel Club Trial Rules) as if read these specify exactly what I want in a shooting dog but it is the interpretation by some of exactly what hunting and style means, to me it is a dog actively seeking game not necessarily running at breakneck speed for 10 minutes over a narrow strip that won’t find you much game if hunting wild birds.
I heard recently of some younger trial competitors actually laughing at one old school trial handler (who I knew personally and always loved a hard hunting dog and had won the championship at least once) who let his dog hunt in a trial rather than having it running around his feet as they thought it was out of control !!
I believe we are reaching a point where a dog’s ability to find game with their nose may be ousted by a desire not to miss game with their feet due to the practice of rearing large numbers of pheasants and the different way they behave to wild game. A number of our dogs appear in trials not to give any indication of knowing the game was present for which they are credited as flushing and so the emphasis is going away from game finding and into short term pace and an ability to handle well on retrieves, you don’t get credited for a dog positively indicating it knew the game was there but will be put out for missing it. There is a belief by some who trial that if a dog is good enough it will be trialled rather than spend its life hunting quietly for its owner and anyone who argues otherwise is merely not good enough to do what they do. As you said the best dog in the country probably never ran in a trial. That does not mean that there are not some very good dogs running in trials or that many of those could be good hunting dogs if allowed to hunt but ultimately good hunting may no longer being selected for in the breeding by some people, merely a furious and frenetic running style which I believe can lead to temperament issues with some pups not merely being not good enough to run in trials but not even able to be the lowest grade of gundog.
Many thanks for the podcast I found it very interesting and we have nothing comparable over here as hunting anything is very contentious, as is gun ownership and eating something you have shot yourself is at best mildly eccentric or at worst the behavior of a potential serial killer!!
Thanks for reading this.
Todd returns to the show, and we talk Spaniels. Springers, Cockers and more.A bit about field trialing, hunting, training and why these little powerhouses can make you smile. and why some make you cry. Just like all things in the dog world. Todd brings real common sense to training dogs. Click here to listen.
START YOUR YOUNG PUP WITH A STRONG FOUNDATION!
Basic Gun Dog Development Camp!
Todd had worked many dogs in the morning on Chukar, so there were birds all over the property. This was a great opportunity to run one of our younger dogs on the loose Chukar. This was an hour and a half walk with Ferg, he learned so many things in that walk. The video I believe is 9 mins long, I so enjoyed watching all the fun that Ferg was having this day I didn’t cut much. Sit back and enjoy the video.
Let Craney Hill Kennel develop a foundation for your Spaniel.
Contact us for further information about our Gun Dog Camps!
The puppies had such a long run in the grasses they needed a drink. It was so great to see all of them have so much fun somewhere in Iowa.
No photos as Christina organized the house after we did food shopping this morning, and it was low 40s today. There is a lot of water and a lot of crops in the fields but we still pounded cover today and found some birds.
Here are a couple of highlights…
Gracie worked a moving bird in the grasses for about 25 yards and then the bird lined out. I saw her in a dead run about 80 yards away going over a hill. She returned in about two minutes soaking wet but I never saw the the bird.
Georgia worked a bird in the canary grass for about 25 yards before it ran into some woods for about 25 more yards. She pressured it back into the canary grass and put up a rooster another 25 yards out…pretty cool.
Dexter ran tight in canary grass through some woods and brush along a water way. He put up a woodcock and gave good chase until it finally flew across the water.
Whaley, Bailee, and Gunner ran well in various cover but the birds won.
Alice, Maggie, The Ferg, Trigger, Bonnie and Clover all ran together and missed out on pheasants but did jump about a dozen ducks!
Old dogs get to work tomorrow.
Southwest Kansas 2009
As most of us are dealing with the heat and humidity this time of the year, I just thought that I would remind all of you of what is to come this fall/winter. Wild Pheasants, Grouse, Woodcock IA/KS/ME/MN/ND/SD/WIS, cold temps, wind, rain and snow!
Oh yes, and those wonderful Spaniels working those wild birds so they can flush them up into the sky for us so we can take aim and hopefully the birds come to the ground. Then that trained hard working Spaniel can retrieve to hand for you. Just a thought!
So get those dogs into shape and trained don’t wait till the last minute!