The pros and cons of “rare” hunting dogs…

Pont-Audemer Spaniel, copyright Craig Koshyk
Pont-Audemer Spaniel, copyright Craig Koshyk

There aren’t a lot of people who’ve seen a rare Pont-Audemer Spaniel. There are even fewer people who’ve also seen a rare Braque Saint Germain.

Craig Koshyk has seen both  breeds, plus dozens of other hard-to-find hunting dogs. So when he writes something about the rare breed, his thoughts are worth checking out. Here’s a piece he just posted to his Pointing Dog Blog:

Rare doesn’t mean good…or bad.

“One of my pet peeves is seeing breeders of less common gundog breeds use the term ‘rare’ as an advertising hook, as if ‘rare’ was a synonym for ‘good’. On the other hand, it also bugs me when I hear people bad-mouth less common breeds by saying “they must be rare for a reason”.
When it comes to gundogs, rare does not mean good, or bad. Breeds become popular or remain rare for many reasons, usually totally unrelated to how good, or bad they actually are. Case in point: the Weimaraner. It is among the most popular gundog breeds in the world. Yet apart from a some superb individuals and a few good lines, as a hunting breed, it is in pretty rough shape overall. Trying to get a decent hunting dog by reaching in and picking a pup from any random Weim litter is like trying to hit a hole-in-one with a nine iron”

BTW: Don’t miss his step-by-step guide to getting a good pup from one of the rarer breeds.


Breed of the Week: The Braque Saint Germain…

At first glance, the Braque Saint Germain looks like the English Pointer’s Gallic cousin. And you get the same impression after your second and third glance at the breed. There’s a good reason for this: Like many European pointing dogs, the modern Braque Saint Germain has a lot of English Pointer in it.

The Braque Saint Germain, from Craig Koshyk's Pointing Dogs, Volume One
The Braque Saint Germain, from Craig Koshyk's Pointing Dogs, Volume One

The Braque Saint Germain’s story is similar to the stories behind many of today’s Continental hunting dogs. There are the hazy early years with links French nobility, then the rumors of greatness and a popularity that leads to the breed’s dilution and decline. Then there’s the collapse brought on by the World Wars and the breed’s  resurrection and slow climb into today.

Craig Koshyk tells this story well in his book Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals. Thanks to a ton of original research, he’s been able to separate myth from fact, and with his pen and camera, he’s created a wonderful story of these beautiful dogs. I encourage you to buy a copy of his book today. Pic is copyright Craig Koshyk.