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Thinblueline

Puppy Picking By Video

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Scott Berg
29 minutes ago, Thinblueline said:

 

Why do you think the French Brittany is not competitive in the big trials loaded with setters and pointers? I’m guessing the biggest reasons are dog speed and range? If those are the primary reasons the French Brittany does not contend, I’m very much ok with that, because I prefer the close, methodical work the French Brittany is known for. The French Brittany is certainly a proven wild bird hunter for the foot hunter who doesn’t field trial. Also, if those would be the two main reasons, I suspect that is just another reason for the French Brittany exclusive field trials, because they are grading the breed on how they perform for what they have been bred and known for, and don’t want to make them into something different the way they have bred the American Brittany to be faster and rangier. I will grant you, if covering vast ground at top speed is what it takes to be the most successful in the big trials, I can’t see most French Brits competing. On the other hand, I don’t think you should discount the parents of a litter of French Brits winning and placing in French Brit exclusive wild bird trials, because it does show the parents have good wild bird skill, or at least better than most of the other French Brits in the competition. So when specifically targeting a French Brittany puppy, I do believe there is merit in the parents being proven in their exclusive trials, even if they would lose most of the big trials. In other words, if I said I’m just interested in field trial winning parents, yeah, I agree, a pointer or setter would be what I ended up with, but I’d lose out on all the other traits I want in the French Brittany.

 

Sorry, I did not understand that when using wild bird trials as a measure you meant a wild bird trial where the judges looked for a different type of application as compared to any sanctioned trial. It just did not occur to be and the whole reference made no sense.  BTW ... This is not just a Pointer/Setter thing.  GSPs Wirehairs, Britts, Weims and Vizlas all judge their breeds by evaluating all the same traits as open breed FDSB trials. Sorry, I just did not understand that this trail was judged differently and I would not assume this trial was judged by a unique standard.  I am pretty sure KBD has won some of these trials.  It would be interesting to get his input if judges in these trials look for a slow methodical dog.  I don’t think he breeds for slow and methodical but I could be wrong.

 

SRB

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Thinblueline
15 minutes ago, Scott Berg said:

 

Sorry, I did not understand that when using wild bird trials as a measure you meant a wild bird trial where the judges looked for a different type of application as compared to any sanctioned trial. It just did not occur to be and the whole reference made no sense.  BTW ... This is not just a Pointer/Setter thing.  GSPs Wirehairs, Britts, Weims and Vizlas all judge their breeds by evaluating all the same traits as open breed FDSB trials. Sorry, I just did not understand that this trail was judged differently and I would not assume this trial was judged by a unique standard.  I am pretty sure KBD has won some of these trials.  It would be interesting to get his input if judges in these trials look for a slow methodical dog.  I don’t think he breeds for slow and methodical but I could be wrong.

 

SRB

 

To be honest, I really don’t know how they grade them in their exclusive trials. I simply have no experience in any trial. I’ve never even seen a field trial of any sort or know any of their rules. I guess I was just assuming, if you have an entire field of nothing but French Brittany’s, there certainly would be no knock on them for being closer workers than all the big breeds you named, since the whole field probably hunts in relatively similar fashion, just as pointers and setters probably eat up the ground in similar fashion. 

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Scott Berg
40 minutes ago, Thinblueline said:

 

To be honest, I really don’t know how they grade them in their exclusive trials. I simply have no experience in any trial. I’ve never even seen a field trial of any sort or know any of their rules. I guess I was just assuming, if you have an entire field of nothing but French Brittany’s, there certainly would be no knock on them for being closer workers than all the big breeds you named, since the whole field probably hunts in relatively similar fashion, just as pointers and setters probably eat up the ground in similar fashion. 

 

IDK how these trials are judged but I would KBD has a firm understanding and will educate us if he sees these posts.

 

Just be clear, my only objection is the requirement of picking so early and let me reiterate picking blindly from a litter that is a great fit / exceptional litter is better than first pick of an average or litter or one that is a poor fit.  The trial thing only threw me because of the assumption these trials were judged by a unique criteria.

 

SRB

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John Zeigler

I can add some info to this discussion. I am a judge of UKC field trials, which is the main venue that EBs compete in and that your breeder is referring to. UKC field trials are open to all UKC registered pointing breeds. Our club’s trials routinely have GSPs, GWPs, pointers, and several other breeds entered. The only trials closed to other breeds is the CEB US Nationals.

 

The trial format is based on European trials. The judging and handling are exclusively on foot. The dog’s run (range, style, etc) is judged based on its breed standard, in addition to the general field trial rules. With that said, the dogs do tend to be closer working than you would see in AKC or AF.  Wild trials are judged similar to AKC/AF, in which a blank gun is fired at the flush. There are 2 levels in UKC trials (GUN and OPEN) with different amounts of steadiness required. In a liberated trial, the birds are shot and a retrieve is required. 

 

Well bred Epagneul Bretons can also be successful in AKC trials, and I would really like to see more EB owners run their dogs in these venues. It is a larger judging pool that tends to be more objective,  with many more competitors. At this point there are probably less than 10 EB owners that do. This Spring myself and a few other EB owners began running AKC derbies (both walking and horseback) and had over 10 placements between us. Paul Shirley on this board also recently earned an FC with his Epagneul Breton.

 

 

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Flush
3 hours ago, Thinblueline said:

 

Why do you think the French Brittany is not competitive in the big trials loaded with setters and pointers? I’m guessing the biggest reasons are dog speed and range? If those are the primary reasons the French Brittany does not contend, I’m very much ok with that, because I prefer the close, methodical work the French Brittany is known for. 

 

Wild bird trials (American Field variety, which is the main game)  reward the dogs that find and point and hold the most wild birds....in a given amount of time, on a given course. What has proven out over a very long time of doing these trials is that the relatively fast and relatively wide ranging dog tends to be the most effective tool for that job.... again a fixed amount of time, on a fixed course. It's not always the absolute fastest or the absolute widest ranging dog that is most effective, but there is certainly a type of dog that has proven most effective.

 

If you look at breeds like GSPs and "American" Brittanies it is very obvious. As these breeds were brought to the US and started to compete in American field trials, even when it was primarily only competing against their own breed, a certain type of dog proved to be most effective and those lines evolved very quickly so that the top field trial GSPs and Britts of today perform in much the same manner as field trial Pointers and Setters. I guess my point is that in trials it's not that judges are looking for dogs to be most like pointers and setters to get the win, they are looking for dogs to be the most effective at the game, and there is very clearly a type of dog that tends to be most effective. You see it across many breeds and many trial formats.

 

That's not to say the only field trial type dogs are effective at hunting. Obviously hunting is a team operation with a human component. Plenty of people don't like to handle a field trial type dog, the just don't enjoy it or whatever. Slower more methodical dogs can be very effective and for some people and for some situations these types of dogs are probably more effective than trial dogs. 

It seems obvious to say but field trial dogs are most effective at field trials. Whether or not they are the most effective as a hunting partner depends largely on the human element.

One important thing to note is that the same type of dog is most effective in wild bird trials as it is in planted bird trials. The lines of dogs that are most effective in wild bird trials operate in the same manner as those most effective in planted bird trials, relatively fast and relatively far. There is not a different "type" of wild bird trial dog than any other type of trial dog. There are certain individual dogs or maybe even lines of dogs that excel on wild birds, and this is usually in how they handle their birds, but the general way they hunt is the same, relatively fast and relatively far. 

 

 

I would bet a whole lot of money that if EB owners and breeders spent more effort running their dogs in American style wild bird trials, even if they were only competing again other EBs, over time they would evolve to be faster and wider ranging,  that's just the most effective way to win American style trials. I have no idea how they operate or reward dogs in their European style trials for the continental breeds, in some way they are obviously rewarding or requiring different things. 

I do know that in European style trials in which Pointers and Setters run in, the winning recipe is the same as it is here: fast and relatively far for the terrain at hand. There are lots of style differences between their dogs and ours, but the recipe on how to find the most birds in a given amount of time on a fixed course is the same, relatively fast, relatively far ranging.

 

 

 

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CzechSM
21 hours ago, Thinblueline said:

 

Coincidentally, I did just tell my wife this morning that I picked the litter so I’m letting her pick the pup.

 

It appears that you have a solution to your pup picking. Best of luck post pictures as the pup grows. 

 

 

3 hours ago, John Zeigler said:

I can add some info to this discussion. I am a judge of UKC field trials, which is the main venue that EBs compete in and that your breeder is referring to. UKC field trials are open to all UKC registered pointing breeds. Our club’s trials routinely have GSPs, GWPs, pointers, and several other breeds entered. The only trials closed to other breeds is the CEB US Nationals.

 

The trial format is based on European trials. The judging and handling are exclusively on foot. The dog’s run (range, style, etc) is judged based on its breed standard, in addition to the general field trial rules. With that said, the dogs do tend to be closer working than you would see in AKC or AF.  Wild trials are judged similar to AKC/AF, in which a blank gun is fired at the flush. There are 2 levels in UKC trials (GUN and OPEN) with different amounts of steadiness required. In a liberated trial, the birds are shot and a retrieve is required. 

 

Well bred Epagneul Bretons can also be successful in AKC trials, and I would really like to see more EB owners run their dogs in these venues. It is a larger judging pool that tends to be more objective,  with many more competitors. At this point there are probably less than 10 EB owners that do. This Spring myself and a few other EB owners began running AKC derbies (both walking and horseback) and had over 10 placements between us. Paul Shirley on this board also recently earned an FC with his Epagneul Breton.

 

 

 

Thanks for the explanation.


 

 

 

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CzechSM

As far as the EB hunt tests and trials......Having owned a minority breed I see a great value for the minority breeds to be run on hunt tests or trials so they can be in the public eye for all to view, compare and perhaps promote the dog/breed. The minority breeds from my experience has some exceptional dogs in them but in most of the breeds the drop from exceptional  is a steep drop. It seems the people that hunt test and trial have higher expectations and standards that they strive for ....and competition seems to promote the positive in breeding. If your breeder is active and willing to put his dogs up for others to critique is usually a good sign in a breeder. Running against a standard is good but running head to head against another dog within the breed usually shows a great deal more. The breed I was involved with certainly bucked brace work and trial formats. I assume they didn't want their dogs to be exposed for what they were.

 

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Urban_Redneck

In France, Spring trials are very different than trials here in the US. Contested on giant spring wheat fields, the dogs are expected run flat out 40-50 yards in front of the gun and 100-200+ to the sides- similar to a "windshield wiper" pattern. The fields are only 4-6" high so the birds are very spooky. A run lasts 15 to 20 minutes then, the trial moves on down the road as the dogs always contest on a fresh course. Fall trials are more similar to US walking trials.

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Don Steese
On 7/11/2019 at 6:11 PM, Greg Hartman said:

Pick the pup whose gender and markings suit you.  If the litter is a good one, it’s hard to go wrong.  No one can tell at that very young age whether an individual pup will be a star or not.

 

My friend Mr. Hartman nails it!!

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Don Steese
On 7/12/2019 at 6:18 PM, Flush said:

Slower more methodical dogs can be very effective and for some people and for some situations these types of dogs are probably more effective than trial dogs. 

 

 

Probably true, if you don't doze off watching them work! 😈

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GB Jack

All a guess , in my experience 

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1971snipe

Good luck with your new pup.  

 

I don't have brittanies, but I picked my  last two pups, an EP and a setter, long distance by video.  Like stated already, I based my selection solely on gender and markings, and was well pleased with both pups.  

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ryanr

Maybe the biggest kick I got out of this thread is the comment that the French Brittany is bred to be a close methodical worker as opposed to the faster and rangier American Brittany. Maybe they are but I've seen a number of French Britts run and close and methodical is not how I would describe them. The dogs I saw had plenty of get up and go and covered ground quickly, just in a smaller package. I imagine they'd be quite fun and capable dogs to spend a day in the grouse woods with.

 

You picked the breeding carefully, you're looking for a capable hunting companion and not a top notch field trial prospect so IMO picking a puppy at 5 or 6 weeks as opposed to later isn't going to matter much or affect you. Enjoy your pup!

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