Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I need a little advice from those more knowledgable on the subject than me, if anyone could oblige.

I'm currently on the hunt for a working pup.  Many of the options are without KC papers, which unfortunately seems to be the case now with a lot of litters available.  But with several of the litters that are KC registered I've put the sire & dam info into the COI calculator on the kennel club's website.

There's one that's coming up a bit high, at around 18% whereas the breed average is around 10%.

My knowledge on the subject is limited, and I do understand that the COI only represents the probability of physical defects and it's only a guide.  The pups could turn out to live long lives with no congenital conditions.

Can anyone share their thoughts?  Is it best avoided altogether?

This wouldn't be the absolute ideal dog I'm after and not the ideal price so I'm happy to walk away.  But it's a seller's market at the moment and I don't think I'm going to get a pedigree spaniel pup for anywhere near the price I would have paid 18 months ago 😕

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim, 

 

There seem to be a couple sets of camps out at the moment. 
 

1. those with dogs have been tested in absolutely every way imaginable ... apart from in the field!

They will shout about the importance of DNA testing and COI, tell you how brilliant their dogs COI scores are and what a great stud he makes etc. 

”Working Pets”, who’s owners will tell you they are working dogs, although the definition of working is wide open to interpretation. Sadly you will see many dogs on shoots with fault (both through training and their blood) who’s owners will tell you they are brilliant workers, and not hesitate to get caught up in the idea that they simply must “carry on the lines” of their beloved dog. 

 

2. those with quality bred dogs that have achieved in the field and they want to breed them for their attributes, but are a bit hit and miss on health testing or lines. Dogs with no KC papers surely come under this camp as you have no idea what genetic lines you are putting into the pups. You can health test the parents of the breeder bothers. 
 


 

3. top achieving dogs (FTCH’s and award winners) that have achieved in the field and also have good health tests. 
 

 

 

I have seen many people on the likes of FB etc, shouting and raving that health testing and COI should be the sole thing to consider when breeding and buying a pup.

Perhaps unsurprisingly these same people are not the ones winning trials and running at the championships every year. 
 


 

 

There are those that don’t worry too much about testing. The breeder of my older dog said to me “how many blind spaniels do you know of?”. He’s also a field trial judge. 
I got my older dog that I bought off him almost 3 years ago fully health tested recently anyway, and he is fully tested clear from all spaniel conditions. 
 

 

 

Then you have people with dogs that are fully health tested and achieved in the field. 

This is what I would aim for. If the parents are both health tested clear then you can GUARANTEE that the pups will not have genetic conditions such as PRA and FUCO. However I would NOT personally sacrifice working ability for health testing to be the sole reason for choosing a pup. 
 

It is a mad time for buying pups, I would want to see the parents of a pup work before having one these days as so many will tell you their dog is a good worker and to be blunt I simply don’t think you can take many peoples word on it. 
 

One of the benefits of the trial bred dogs is you can watch them run in the champ DVDs, and know they don’t have any major faults. 
 

 

Years ago a pup with a higher COI might be what we consider line bred. Putting two somewhat closely bred dogs together to try and enhance the quality of the line and try to get a reproduction in the pups. 
 

If you have found a decent bred litter, from parents you know to be well worked and you want a pup I wouldn’t let a slightly higher COI put me off myself, but I’d want to know why the breeder chose to put those two dogs together. 
 

If the breeder has carefully selected the stud because of their lines and how they compliment the bitches breeding, with the goal to try and get a throw back to a brilliant dog in both of their ancestors then fair enough. 
 

If the breeder picked that stud dog because he was only 5 Minute down the road Id go look for something else. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to add, you obviously don’t have to go for trial bred stock, many people don’t. 
 

It’s certainly not the be all and end all. 
However if not going for they type of stock, personally as I said I would try to see the parents working to ensure they have no fault that you don’t want. 
 

Many people are (sadly) choosing studs to go over their bitches atm based on the colour they put on the pups etc. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very good and detailed exposition by Lloyd. Don’t you have to ask yourself the basic question, do I want to breed from the dog? If the answer is no your focus is surely on only two things the first of which must be innate working ability. Secondly you want a dog that will be largely healthy and free from congenital defects.

I don’t breed from my dogs and they will not be put to bitches. My focus is therefore as above. I want pedigree papers and to know my dogs are from good workers. If they have field trial awards it is a bonus but if a couple of generations back it does not concern me. A slightly higher COI would be of no real concern if I have a good worker.

just my approach to choosing a dog. I am though fortunate in being part of a circle of handlers with access to some of the top triallers and dogs. I see their dogs working week in week out so can make a practical assessment of what I am looking for not rely on hype.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the coi breed average for any of the working breeds is correct for work bred pups, it might be for the breed as a whole but as work bred dogs are now a breed within a breed, their coi breed average is a bit of an unknown. If I was in the market for a proper working bred cocker spaniel I'd expect it's coi to be 16 - 20%. A labrador pup would be in the 8 - 12% region. Never had a springer so I've never looked into them. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are some of the top cocker studs now not well into 20s .

 

Will be a few years ago but mind there was an article in ST about grouse time as I was picking up alongside some decent cocker breeders, where it listed the CoI of top 5 cocker studs and all were in high 20s and 3 were closely related to each other too from the same kennel.

 

The most likely problem U'll have is it will be the 'well bred' working dogs will also be the dogs with a higher CoI.

 

1 thing wether buying a mongeral or non of registered dog is if u don't know the breeding u can't breed of it in future.

I'm not a big believer in KC but u do need to know the parentage before u can ever even contemplate breeding from it. Purely to make sure not breeding from related dogs esp if 1 has moved homes they might not who bred the original litter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

Jim, 

 

There seem to be a couple sets of camps out at the moment. 
 

1. those with dogs have been tested in absolutely every way imaginable ... apart from in the field!

They will shout about the importance of DNA testing and COI, tell you how brilliant their dogs COI scores are and what a great stud he makes etc. 

”Working Pets”, who’s owners will tell you they are working dogs, although the definition of working is wide open to interpretation. Sadly you will see many dogs on shoots with fault (both through training and their blood) who’s owners will tell you they are brilliant workers, and not hesitate to get caught up in the idea that they simply must “carry on the lines” of their beloved dog. 

 

2. those with quality bred dogs that have achieved in the field and they want to breed them for their attributes, but are a bit hit and miss on health testing or lines. Dogs with no KC papers surely come under this camp as you have no idea what genetic lines you are putting into the pups. You can health test the parents of the breeder bothers. 
 


 

3. top achieving dogs (FTCH’s and award winners) that have achieved in the field and also have good health tests. 
 

 

 

I have seen many people on the likes of FB etc, shouting and raving that health testing and COI should be the sole thing to consider when breeding and buying a pup.

Perhaps unsurprisingly these same people are not the ones winning trials and running at the championships every year. 
 


 

 

There are those that don’t worry too much about testing. The breeder of my older dog said to me “how many blind spaniels do you know of?”. He’s also a field trial judge. 
I got my older dog that I bought off him almost 3 years ago fully health tested recently anyway, and he is fully tested clear from all spaniel conditions. 
 

 

 

Then you have people with dogs that are fully health tested and achieved in the field. 

This is what I would aim for. If the parents are both health tested clear then you can GUARANTEE that the pups will not have genetic conditions such as PRA and FUCO. However I would NOT personally sacrifice working ability for health testing to be the sole reason for choosing a pup. 
 

It is a mad time for buying pups, I would want to see the parents of a pup work before having one these days as so many will tell you their dog is a good worker and to be blunt I simply don’t think you can take many peoples word on it. 
 

One of the benefits of the trial bred dogs is you can watch them run in the champ DVDs, and know they don’t have any major faults. 
 

 

Years ago a pup with a higher COI might be what we consider line bred. Putting two somewhat closely bred dogs together to try and enhance the quality of the line and try to get a reproduction in the pups. 
 

If you have found a decent bred litter, from parents you know to be well worked and you want a pup I wouldn’t let a slightly higher COI put me off myself, but I’d want to know why the breeder chose to put those two dogs together. 
 

If the breeder has carefully selected the stud because of their lines and how they compliment the bitches breeding, with the goal to try and get a throw back to a brilliant dog in both of their ancestors then fair enough. 
 

If the breeder picked that stud dog because he was only 5 Minute down the road Id go look for something else. 

Very good Post Lioyd90. the higher or lower COI is one thing to consider but definitely not the most important in your chosen gundog. It's horses for courses, Springer spaniels for example have  such a big variation, pets,  highly bred field trial, or what I call proper working springers. If you sat a field trail dog down beside a springer from pure working breeding they look like two different breeds. A field trail bred dog looks good and flashy, when working, but has not got the strength or stamina to keep working hard in heavy cover all day. They are not bred to do it. But a springer bred from pure working strains will keep working, never give up. Now I know there is a lot of people have good working springers from trialling strain, but it's very rare to find them with stamina to keep hunting. It's a topic that could be discuss for ages but it's what you need in a dog, type of shooting you do etc. But I will say one thing, it would be easier to find a springer pup for big money and papers with it the length of your arm with ftw,ftch in it's breeding, than proper working strain pup, the people that have and breed them , what we call  "mind there breeding" and are not in it for the money, Only a lucky few lads will get the chance to get a pup.  Alot of thought goes into a mating And the selected dam,sire, will be very carelly considered. Of course it's up to the owner to make the most of the pup. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do appreciate the insightful and detailed replies and opinions, many thanks 👍

I think my mind has been put at ease - I suspected that the COI wasn't a deal-breaker but I'm glad I ran the idea past a few people with more knowledge than me.  I've definitely learned something!

Have fixed up a visit to see the dam & litter on Sunday :)

Again, thank you everyone 👍

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...