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tmoneysju

Cockers

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tmoneysju

UJ fam, my sister is interested in a cocker puppy and I don't really know anything about the breed other than they seem cool to me too. I'm beginning to research them and any help at shortening that time would be appreciated. It'd be a family pet, they have a young family, are very active outdoors, have a lot of space and own a golden currently.

 

I'm interested in helping them find reputable breeders and focused on a healthy, good family member.

 

*edit, goes without saying but I'll be doing a lot of reading of past threads too

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Natty Bumpo

Are they interested in a Cocker as a hunting dog, or "just a pet"? I will add to just be careful if they go the second route.

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frak

I agree, natty.  I love those dogs, but I also love an Aston-Martin db5. 
I still might get one — the dog, not the car.  
 

edited: not because the cocker isn’t a good pet dog. It is, in many circumstances.  It just deserves more.  I hope that makes sense.

And, yes, I know of a case where a beautiful dog got mean for a host of reasons (like watching a slow motion train wreck) due to wrong training, insufficient follow up, lack of exercise, etc.

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Jim Vander

This one was a rock star

IMG_0323.thumb.jpg.a0ccb4e033a819c4dad10b23e23a561f.jpg

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DennisMcFeely
10 minutes ago, Jim Vander said:

This one was a rock star

IMG_0323.thumb.jpg.a0ccb4e033a819c4dad10b23e23a561f.jpg

 

Wow what a great photograph.  I like that dog

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ryanr
3 hours ago, Natty Bumpo said:

Are they interested in a Cocker as a hunting dog, or "just a pet"? I will add to just be careful if they go the second route.

Yes, I'd probably get a pup from field bred lines regardless of whether or not I planned on hunting the dog. I think I'd avoid the whole show/pet lines altogether unless I was very familiar with the kennel and had interacted with multiple dogs from it and seen them with other dogs. I have no direct experience with cockers but I have encountered a bunch in my life. It's been a mixed bag but the few field bred cockers I've encountered have been solid, stable dogs.

 

This goes for many breeds, in general I think you find more stable temperaments and health in dogs from hunting kennels.

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tmoneysju
2 hours ago, Natty Bumpo said:

Are they interested in a Cocker as a hunting dog, or "just a pet"? I will add to just be careful if they go the second route.

 

Just a pet, they're active and it will get attention, exercise and love but it won't be worked or trained like a gun dog. Personality is key, a dog that won't turn off unless it is exercised for hours and hours a day wouldn't be a great fit. They're looking for a dog that's on the smaller size so their 10 year old can walk and handle it. Perhaps a field bed springer or other type of dog that is active, athletic but has an off switch and is under 45lbs would be considered too. We're just learning at this point.

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Brad Eden

American Cocker or English Cocker? The vast majority of hunters run English Cockers. It would be a shame, IMO, to not hunt a field bred English Cocker. Most American Cockers are pets although some hunt them as well. UJer Millriver has and hunts American Cockers. I think they should get an American Cocker. 

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Hal Standish

Trish Jackson prolly has the best Am Cockers in the country. Last person to make Field Champion or Master Hunter. Stealhead Fred, Fritz, here on the Forum has a AM Cocker from her

Beware she is very demanding of her pup buyers

 

Hal

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Dogwood

Forget the cockers.  Get one of these here instead. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

 

 Tulip!

IMG_2410.JPG

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Fire Marshal Bill

I agree with Dogwood. Very expensive, but would be a perfect fit for that family. 

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Jim Vander
17 hours ago, DennisMcFeely said:

 

Wow what a great photograph.  I like that dog

This was taken in the Cotswolds on a day I had a chance to beat for the estate owners shoot. I had shot there 2 days before and asked if I could go a round with the beaters and was graciously invited. This Cocker was amazing I dont think I heard his handler speak or whistle to him until the end of the drive and he was recalled. A beaters dog is a pretty specialized animal. They need to work close to the beaters keeping 10-30 yards in front and not chasing birds after the flush. Excessive commands are frowned upon.  I learned from the beaters that day that pace is everything for a driven shoot. The goal is to get the birds up and flying at moderate pace to provide the guns a steady flow of birds throughout the drive  rather than one huge flush at the end of the drive. There were 5 very demanding drives that day and I never saw him give less than 100 percent. It has gotten me interested in potentially adding one. I went to a Cocker trial last year in Va and while I saw some nice dogs its going to take me a bit to get my head around it. I walked with most of the dogs in the open and was impressed by their drive but they seemed to be excessively handled to me. I recognize thats only one look and I plan to go again. Im aware that dog games and their rules tend to create a certain amount of artifice in how a dog works but nagging at a dog with whistles drive me crazy in the field. I can definitely see how much fun a talented Cocker would be in the grouse woods. 

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tmoneysju
14 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

American Cocker or English Cocker? The vast majority of hunters run English Cockers. It would be a shame, IMO, to not hunt a field bred English Cocker. Most American Cockers are pets although some hunt them as well. UJer Millriver has and hunts American Cockers. I think they should get an American Cocker. 

 

English, I'm just being honest in my search and evaluation. My sister's husband has interest in going hunting, and I have interest in the breed, so there is a glimmer of hope. I just can't promise it.

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Natty Bumpo
4 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

Trish Jackson prolly has the best Am Cockers in the country. Beware she is very demanding of her pup buyers

 

Hal

Trish Jackson is the real McCoy. Met her at a Cocker Nationals down around Big Rapids a few years back. The beef I have with almost all AM Cocker people is that they breed for color almost exclusively and they don't get the proper health clearances on  their breeding stock.

 

A top shelf FBECS can be any color and that would be perfectly fine with me.

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SelbyLowndes

I firmly believe American Cockers, if introduced to the field and to birds early can make extraordinary hunting companions. When I was in law school my wife began making family noises at a time I knew I would be unable to afford it.  I bought her a pet store cocker puppy instead. 

 

Allen, named after her brother, was a tri-color male and I thought I recognized game in him.  A natural retriever, I started him on rolled up sox and then began hiding them for the pup to hunt. 

 

Introduction to the gun was a snap and Allen showed no evidence at all of gun shyness.  In fact he retrieved a songbird of some sort the first time I took him afield.

 

I was living in an apartment near some family farmland which I'd been hunting all my life.  I already knew where the bird coveys lived from finding them for years in the same locations with my Grandfather's pointers.  Allen hunted naturally sweeping a forty yard arc to my front.  I'd know when he located game from his body language.  He seemed to wait till I moved in to jump in the middle of a covey for as good a shot as I ever got from the pointers.

 

He was also a natural dove retriever and would even swim for wood ducks.  Sadly, he was the center of attention in our home for seven years before we began having children and he clearly resented the intrusion of our little ones.  He began running off for days, then weeks at a time, coming back home looking like he had been living in the woods.  Finally he ran off and never returned.  I hope he found a good home...SelbyLowndes

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