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.

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

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