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english springer spaniel stud dog


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Funny old game.  I've seen farm-bred cross-breeds working that way out-class supposed trial dogs with exemplary pedigrees and handlers with a superior attitude.  I can't stand dog-snobs, they do my head in!  And don't get me started on keepers' dogs... 😅

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40 minutes ago, Jim Neal said:

Funny old game.  I've seen farm-bred cross-breeds working that way out-class supposed trial dogs with exemplary pedigrees and handlers with a superior attitude.  I can't stand dog-snobs, they do my head in!  And don't get me started on keepers' dogs... 😅


 

Thing is I’d bet if let to go a bit wild and independent most trial trained dogs could turn their hand to working as a ‘shoot dog’... but how many shoot dogs could compete at trial level? 


Breeding the best with the best just gives you a chance of a decent off-spring. 
 

Breeding anything usually breeds back to average, the point with breeding the best blood to the best is every now and then it will throw back to the exceptional. 
 

Sadly you can’t breed the fastest with the fastest and guarantee results, hence we aren’t able to breed super humans, or guarantee race horse or greyhound winners by simply breeding the best together. 
 

 

Even the best x the best will produce average. It’s that rare exceptional one everyone is looking for. 
 

 

I’ve no doubt there’s some exceptional working dogs out there from no special breeding. 
 

Problem is it’s hard to get an honest appraisal from the owners. 

Everyone will remember the time their one eyed three legged mongrel named scruff eye wiped the winner of the British championship, picked a dozen pheasant back to hand, tracked down a runner that swam off down a river, was gone for hours following the trail, only for the owner to come out of the pub at the end of the shoot day to find old Scruff sat outside the pub waiting for him with the bird held tenderly in his mouth ... they won’t tell you about the time the dog ran off and cleared every bird on the shoot 🤷‍♂️🤣
 

 

One of the lads recently used a gamekeepers dog in his trial line springers because the animal is absolute quality and had what he was looking for 👍🏻 He witnesses the dog working himself and trusted the keeper to give an honest opinion of the dog. 
 

There’s trial lines out there known for having certain faults if you know enough about them. Most dogs have some faults. 

 

 

When I move and get kennels up I’d like to get one of those irish bred rough shootint spaniels over and see how they compare to the stuff over here 👍🏻
 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:

Thing is I’d bet if let to go a bit wild and independent most trial trained dogs could turn their hand to working as a ‘shoot dog’... but how many shoot dogs could compete at trial level?

This is what I don't understand about trials.  Why would a "trial trained" dog need to be changed to go actual shooting?  Surely trials are all about having a competition to see who's got the best gun dog to go shooting with?  But the impression I get is they are trained to be completely unlike a real-world gun dog and if they act like a real-world gun dog they're not doing it right.  Makes no sense to me!  It's like trials has diverged from shooting proper, and there's little connecting the two.

Looking at it from another angle, why the hell would I want my shooting companion to bounce around like a trial dog and need me constantly whistling at it to do stuff?  They hunt, they flush birds up, you shoot them, they retrieve them.  All boxes ticked without needing approval from a small clique of people with a superior attitude.  Birds in the bag, job done.  Surely?!

Or am I missing something :)

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16 minutes ago, Jim Neal said:

This is what I don't understand about trials.  Why would a "trial trained" dog need to be changed to go actual shooting?  Surely trials are all about having a competition to see who's got the best gun dog to go shooting with?  But the impression I get is they are trained to be completely unlike a real-world gun dog and if they act like a real-world gun dog they're not doing it right.  Makes no sense to me!  It's like trials has diverged from shooting proper, and there's little connecting the two.

Looking at it from another angle, why the hell would I want my shooting companion to bounce around like a trial dog and need me constantly whistling at it to do stuff?  They hunt, they flush birds up, you shoot them, they retrieve them.  All boxes ticked without needing approval from a small clique of people with a superior attitude.  Birds in the bag, job done.  Surely?!

Or am I missing something


What you have described in your shooting dog is exactly what a trial dog should do. (I thought you meant take beating or similar). 
 

They hunt (well, without missing game or ground that could be holding game), enter cover with gusto and flush game. 
 

The trial dog should sit to flush, so it can easily mark the fall of the bird (some claim a dog running in gets to the bird faster but I’ve found my dog sitting and marking the bird clearly finds the bird a lot quicker once sent) and be sent to retrieve on command.

Also if two birds get up at once and one is a runner the dog that has sat and waited steady can be directed onto the runner so it is collected swiftly and dispatched, then collecting the dead bird. 
 

Not sure where the idea of constantly whistling at the dog has come from, as over use of the whistle is marked down as ‘noisy handling’ and is a fault.
 

The best dog who has a better chance of winning is the natural hunter who’s handler may not even blow their whistle at all ... although to be fair a dog that is going like an absolute maniac may require more whistle to keep it tight (within range of shot) due to the speed and intensity of its hunting. 
 

 

 

I agree with you they there does appear to be a split in trials and shooting however. 
 

In modern times I am seeing more and more people who don’t have any access to the type of shooting you describe. 
 

Walking up, flushing game, shooting it themselves and having it retrieved by their dogs. 
 

Most people’s access to game these days seems to be from taking their dogs on shoots beating, hunting dogs on areas where it doesn’t matter if they hunt within range or shot or not because they are pushing birds over guns placed elsewhere. 
 

The U.K. has gone driven shooting mad. It is harder and harder to find decent walked up rough shooting unless you are very lucky. 
 

 


 

I personally would love to see us all return to the type of shooting you describe. 
 

Walked up rough shooting. It’s the main type of shooting I do myself and it’s the type I enjoy the most. 
 

I have no desire to go and shoot 500+ bird days but I get significantly more enjoyment working my dog as you describe shooting say 10 birds between 2-3 guns and taking them home for the pot. 
 

Just from my (limited I admit) experience, trials are far more representative of this type of shooting (walked up rough shooting) than anything else that I have come across. 
 

 

Trialling isn’t the be all and end all though. 
 

There are plenty of good rough shooting dogs out there that wouldn’t last 2 minutes in a trial. My mates got two cockers that squeak, they don’t hunt a particular pattern and one of them won’t even pick up game, but you could easily take them both out rough shooting, they stay within range and the one will retrieve shot game back to hand (but won’t stop and handle etc). They get the job done and he adores them and they spend most evenings asleep on his lap in the arm chair :D 

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