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Spaniels, tell me about yours.

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RMH

I am on my sixth springer. Eight month old pup, Chance. I have only had English springer spaniels. As mentioned by most of the other responders they are usually excellent house/family dogs. That has been my experience anyway. Loyal to a fault, some softness to their temperament generally. Patience and persistence will go a long way training most. No heavy handedness needed. I'm sure like other breeds, nose, drive and retrieving skills vary with each dog though I think it's rare to get a flop. Good breeding does show through though in my experience.

You can train them to a useful level with basic commands and some bird exposure. Or you can have a fully finished dog with a few seasons of dedicated training. I have had both. The second is very rewarding. The former is a relaxed, enjoyable process that'll give you a nice hunting partner and buddy.

Good luck and you will get many good responses here.

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Brad Eden
4 minutes ago, RMH said:

I am on my sixth springer. Eight month old pup, Chance. I have only had English springer spaniels. As mentioned by most of the other responders they are usually excellent house/family dogs. That has been my experience anyway. Loyal to a fault, some softness to their temperament generally. Patience and persistence will go a long way training most. No heavy handedness needed. I'm sure like other breeds, nose, drive and retrieving skills vary with each dog though I think it's rare to get a flop. Good breeding does show through though in my experience.

You can train them to a useful level with basic commands and some bird exposure. Or you can have a fully finished dog with a few seasons of dedicated training. I have had both. The second is very rewarding. The former is a relaxed, enjoyable process that'll give you a nice hunting partner and buddy.

Good luck and you will get many good responses here.

 

^what he said^

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Millriver

My Field Bred American Cockers, won’t own anything different. Currently on day 4 of a northern New England grouse and woodcock hunt, no signs of quitting ( nor will they). All have different personalities and make me laugh at least once a day. Will hunt hard all day and sleep in your lap all night if you let them. 

 

I’d put them up with any dog for bird finding ability, alive or dead, just takes them a little longer. Slower is fine for me. Close working flushing dogs, never more than 20 yards out. 

197ED6B3-082A-4049-9527-A95CD786F7BA.jpeg

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Brad Eden

I like all responses. Our flushers can get lost in the world of high octane birddogs. It warms my heart and even chokes me up reading all these Replies.

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ESSNovice

4-yr-old female ESS out of dual FC breeding; my first dog, and I feel like a 16-yr-old with a Ferrari. She is steady to flush, shot, and fall. We hunt preserve birds (pheasant, chukar, quail), woodcock, and grouse with her. She needs lots of activity, and we do some sort of training almost every day. I've been encouraged to trial her, but I don't think she's there, and we'd need to learn bracework.

 

Likes: Intelligent, good nose, affectionate and attuned to me and wife, good retriever on land, high prey drive (will often go from leap to hup), stylish runner, excellent house dog, typically wants to please, fun to have around!

Dislikes: Vocalizes too much (often yips when sent for retrieve of flushed bird, whines when excited), does not like wet birds (tends to wing-tip), testing certain minor boundaries

 

The next dog will be another ESS out of good field trial stock. Looking to get a male next summer so we can divide their days and keep em fresh (see below her activity on a very long day chasing grouse).

FullSizeRender (7).jpg

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Tim Frazier
47 minutes ago, ESSNovice said:

 my first dog, and I feel like a 16-yr-old with a Ferrari. 

 

 

Love this!  I know the feeling, thrilling and exhausting!  My setters expectations are "let me run" a Springers expectations are "your running with me"

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Randy S

 

2 hours ago, ESSNovice said:

Dislikes: Vocalizes too much (often yips when sent for retrieve of flushed bird,

 

My last springer would whine constantly when retrieving on water or heavy cover. Otherwise she was quiet. Her noise kinda bothered me too till I realized that she was whining because she couldn't get to the more difficult birds fast enough. It's nice to have a breed that sometimes has a hard time pleasing itself. 

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Cass
1 minute ago, Randy S said:

 

 

My last springer would whine constantly when retrieving on water or heavy cover. Otherwise she was quiet. Her noise kinda bothered me too till I realized that she was whining because she couldn't get to the more difficult birds fast enough. It's nice to have a breed that sometimes has a hard time pleasing itself. 

 

My ecs whines a lot in the blind.  Sitting for extended periods watching large numbers of birds flying is not his strong suit.  I don't like whining so it almost ruins the hunt for me.  This year we aren't doing as much waterfowl as we normally do, and it's actually been nice.  All of our hunts have been enjoyable... for both of us. 

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Tim Frazier
38 minutes ago, Cass said:

 

My ecs whines a lot in the blind.  Sitting for extended periods watching large numbers of birds flying is not his strong suit.  I don't like whining so it almost ruins the hunt for me.  This year we aren't doing as much waterfowl as we normally do, and it's actually been nice.  All of our hunts have been enjoyable... for both of us. 

This will sound crazy, and it might not work for you, but I have just let them run after the first flight comes in and it can almost be like a trolling effect.  Sometimes it doesn't seem to bother the birds at all and my dogs all seem to be happy just getting swim around.  I would never do this on an invited hunt or even one with close friends but I've seen it done dozens of times as a friend does this with his lab and always has, even before the first flight.  YMMV! 

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123

I got into cockers after having pointers and setters for 25 years. They are a ton of fun and it has been interesting learning a new hunting and training style. I hunted and trialed my pointing dogs and do the same with the cockers. My flush and birds bagged rates seem about the same with grouse, woodcock, and quail. I probably do better with the cockers on pheasants and did better on sharptails with the pointers. Walking in a on a point is really fun but for me it turns out that watching a spaniel drive a bird into the air is every bit as cool and the retrieving with spaniels is pretty interesting as well. I like animated dogs and enjoy being able to see the dogs work the cover especially in the woods.

In the house nothing beats a pointer for mellowness but I haven’t had issues with the cockers. The cockers are naughty buggers and need to be taught the rules but once that is done mine have been fine. I am around quite a few springers and like them just as much as cockers in the field and will probably have one someday.    

The only real downside that I see in spaniels is heat tolerance, they struggle more than most pointing breeds. Cockers are experiencing a popularity surge and whenever that happens there get to be some poorly bred dogs on the market that cause problems for people.

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Kevin Jackson

I run setters but had always wanted to try a good cocker. Found one this spring and jumped on it. Katie was born 3/13/19 and I have been shooting birds over her all season. She has flushed pheasant, ruffed grouse, sharptail, and huns. Retrieved all those plus dove, sage grouse, ducks, and one very much alive coot she found next to a pond.......it was unharmed and released after she retrieved it to hand. The drive and determination is incredible and she is very smart. I really have done no formal training with her. Almost like she reads my mind.

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Joel S.

Levi this week tearing up the grouse woods in Minnesota

 

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Earlier this season

 

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He's my shadow

 

20191005_-_58.jpg.1ca15b6b636b3fc0e4318c178a1d385d.jpg

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PWZ
On 10/21/2019 at 7:30 AM, Brad Eden said:

I like all responses. Our flushers can get lost in the world of high octane birddogs. It warms my heart and even chokes me up reading all these Replies.

 

Some of our flushers are high octane birddogs.

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Brad Eden
7 hours ago, PWZ said:

 

Some of our flushers are high octane birddogs.

High octane maybe, but I don't call my spaniels birddogs. I call mine hunting dogs or gun dogs. I leave "birddogs" to pointing breeds.

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Hal Standish

Me Wife and I have had spaniels, beginning in "73" Not enough band width to give the some 100 plus springers and cockers the credit they are all due.. We have made dozen Show champions with our bench bred dogs and a dozen Field Champions with Field Bred Springers. we never mix the two sides of the spaniel world. We have hunted most of them into their retirement or passing. We started two Spaniel clubs one show dog club the other Field trial club. Not much we have not done in the spaniel world.

We have 3 Spaniels now Reggie 11, FCAFCCFC Zeta 7  and a new training prospect Mickie 14 weeks

 

Hal

 

 

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