Cocker spaniel vs. rascally rabbits. Awesome drone video…

For the next installment in our “cocker spaniel, you’ve-got-to-see-this video series”, check out this one from Nick Ridley over in the UK. Over there, they use spaniels to hunt rabbits. The vid is shot with a drone, and if you watch closely you’ll spot bunnies bolting from the cover, unseen by the shooter.

Click to Watch: Rabbit Shooting Over a Cocker Spaniel Filmed with a 3DR Drone
Click to Watch: Rabbit Shooting Over a Cocker Spaniel Filmed with a 3DR Drone

Cocker power. Watch this little dog gundog run…

Field bred Cocker Spaniels are great little dogs, and in the U.S. today, they’re more popular than ever.

Cocker Spaniel at a Field Trial
Cocker Spaniel at a Field Trial

Over the next few days, I’m going to put up a few videos showing what they’re can do. This one is from Tom Ness @ Oahe Kennels. He’s a top trainer and breeder of these little dynamos.

Bet your dog can’t do this: A truly versatile spaniel….

Now this is what I call versatile. Jess the springer spaniel feeds a baby lamb from a bottle.
Now this is what I call versatile. Jess the springer spaniel feeds a baby lamb from a bottle.

Pointing, retrieving, tracking game – sure some versatile gun dogs can do all that.

But Jess springer spaniel goes one step further. Watch as she feeds an orphaned lamb from a bottle.

A quick look at the working Clumber Spaniel…

A Clumber Spaniel
A Clumber Spaniel

Back before I got Puck, I had a thing for the less popular sporting breeds – Vizlas, Griffons, French Spaniels, etc. I also liked Clumber Spaniels.

From what I’ve been told, Clumbers used to be popular in the UK. Today, there numbers are extremely low – according to The Working Clumber Spaniel Society, there are just 134 registered Clumber Spaniels in the UK today.

There are a few of them in the North America, too, and The Clumber Spaniel Club of America does a lot of work to support the breed over here.

Springer Spaniel + Cocker Spaniel = ….?

A Sprocker Spaniel, from SprockerSpaniel.co.uk
A Sprocker Spaniel, from SprockerSpaniel.co.uk

Here’s a dog I haven’t heard of before: The Sprocker. It’s a cross between a Springer Spaniel and a Cocker Spaniel.

According to SprockerSpaniel.co.uk, Sprockers have been around for over 2o years, and there are between 5,000 – 10,000 of them in the UK, making one of the most popular spaniel breeds there.

Other than color variations, I’m not sure what advantages a Sprocker offers, and I don’t understand what niche they fill in the gundog world. Is it a leggy, rangier Cocker? A stockier, close-hunting Springer? If you have one, please let me know. I would love to learn more.

A Sprocker Spaniel, from SprockerSpaniel.co.uk
A Sprocker Spaniel, from SprockerSpaniel.co.uk

Drive: When you’re born to hunt birds…

Drive is an odd instinct. Some dogs have it. Others don’t. And until you see what a dog with drive acts like, it’s hard to imagine just how bird-obsessed a pointer, setter, or spaniel, lab, or other true hunter can be. Check out this video to see just how wired this spaniel is for one thing: Birds.

Gundogs: is a spaniel or lab from the UK really any better?

English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniel

For some folks, British is always better – from shotguns to gundogs. While I’m a nut for British doubles, I’ve always had my doubts about spaniels and labs imported from the UK. Like our language, the way we hunt differs just enough to make the transition from one side of the Atlantic to the other a bit bumpy.

In this post from Sporting Classic, trainer Todd Agnew points out some of these bumps and explains why you may be better off American-bred dogs when you’re searching for your next hunting companion.

Expectations for a “British” Dog, by Todd Agnew of Craney Hill Kennel

“We all have expectations to different degrees, and at Craney Hill Kennel, they are extremely high for our dogs. The theory is that if we set our standards to an almost unattainable level, when we fall short, our dogs will still be very talented animals. It is hard to keep such a high standard when the public’s is so low that it becomes difficult to continually explain why you can or cannot do something.

Many people have a predisposed opinion of English dogs. This could be body structure, personality or training method. Regarding structure, I think it’s a mistake to think that an English dog looks like this or that. There may be certain tendencies, but the English dogs come in all shapes and sizes just like their American cousins. If you buy a puppy from England, you may get a 60-pound male with no legs or a 60-pound male with long legs. Or, you may get the same legs but the dog is 80 pounds!….

Read the entire piece here

Doing it right with a springer spaniel from Silverthorn Gundogs….

I always enjoy watching a great bird dog do its thing. In this video, you can see Silverthorn’s Emma, a Springer Spaniel out of Silverthorn Gundogs in northwestern, PA, do just that. I love her energy & enthusiasm. She’s the perfect partnership, and you can see how fun she’s having in the field.

Silverthorn Emma from Adam Reese on Vimeo.

Great dog photos you’ll really want to see…

Maisey, © Craig Koshyk Photography
Maisey, © Craig Koshyk Photography
Souris-Manon © Craig Koshyk Photography
Souris-Manon © Craig Koshyk Photography
French Spaniel © Craig Koshyk Photography
French Spaniel © Craig Koshyk Photography

Craig Koshyk is a great researcher and writer. He’s also a skilled. The pics you see here are just a few of the fantastic shots you’ll see when you visit his site: Craig Koshyk Photography.

And if you love hunting dogs, you need to follow Craig’s Pointing Dog Blog and pick up a copy of his book: Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals

All pics © Craig Koshyk Photography

Take a fun look at an English Cocker pup…

Check out this quick video for a fun look at an English Cocker puppy being introduced to birds. The energy that these little dogs have always makes me smile. The video features trainer Bill Schaller of Schaller’s English Cocker

Field-Bred English Cocker Spaniels…

The Field-Bred English Cocker Spaniel is a hunting dog that’s getting more and more popular every year. This weekend, Puck and I are heading up to Wildwind Kennels in Knox, ME, to check out the Central Maine Spaniel Club’s Cocker Spaniel Field Trials. The weather is going to be great and there should be a lot of field-bred Cocker Spaniels on hand. If you’ve never seen these dogs in action, you should definitely check them out.

You can read more about these great little dogs here.

This quick video shows a Field-bred Cocker hunting rabbits somewhere in the UK.

Hunting Dogs for Sale, from Gundogsonline.com

Years ago, I used to hunt birds without a dog. Today I wouldn’t dream of it. If you’re in the market for a new four legged companion, here are some listings worth checking out from Gundogsonline.com.

A fun look at hunting dogs in the UK…

The US and the UK: we both pursue game birds. We just do it in very different ways. Over here we hunt, in the UK they shoot. But on both sides of the Atlantic, well trained dogs are essential to having a good time and doing things right.

Driven shooting in the UK
Days to Remember

Take a look at this video to see how dogs are used on a driven shoot in the British Isles. The video is a bit long, but it gives you a thorough look at how things happens. As a plus, there’s some great video of some cocker and springer spaniels. Enjoy.

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