Old Spaniels

Discuss working your Gundog or tell us about your experiences be it sublime or ridiculous!
Judy
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Re: Old Spaniels

Post by Judy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:23 am

Springfield Pointers wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:24 pm
Dartmoordog wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm
Hi Judy, I am not sure who told you Labs work harder than Spaniels, but as westcountry said, he must be on something.

Spaniels will cover 2 times the ground a Lab will, and definitely smash themselves through thick cover that a Lab would not even go near. Here on the edge of Dartmoor beating/flushing is Spaniel work, be they Cocker, Springer or Sprocker. I have never seen a marked up Lab like the Spaniels after two days.

Spaniels will suddenly get old and you will notice a rapid decline at 10 or 11, my last lad did his last day at 11, and gone at 13. It is a very gut wrenching decision to retire them from the field, they love it so much, but you have to protect them from themselves.

I am a softy, so my dogs get their much deserved retirement until I make that decision.
I doubt it has much to do with the ground they cover. But either way, they hardly do the same jobs now, do they.
Depends on how stupid the owner is, SP, I, being an idiot, use my Cockers for picking up so, yes, they are expected to do the same job as the Labs. Well better than Labs actually as they get into the cover much more often than most Labs. :lol:

DMD if I thought the old girl was suffering in any way shape or form she would be left at home on her sofa, as it is she is doing a full day's work and is as fine at the end of the day as the rest of them. She is out two days a week picking up, mind you, she might have deliberately cut her foot to give herself a little holiday... :whistle:
If in the process of winning, you have lost the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing. Paul Elvström.

westcountry
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Re: Old Spaniels

Post by westcountry » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:18 pm

Springfield Pointers wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:24 pm
Dartmoordog wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm
Hi Judy, I am not sure who told you Labs work harder than Spaniels, but as westcountry said, he must be on something.

Spaniels will cover 2 times the ground a Lab will, and definitely smash themselves through thick cover that a Lab would not even go near. Here on the edge of Dartmoor beating/flushing is Spaniel work, be they Cocker, Springer or Sprocker. I have never seen a marked up Lab like the Spaniels after two days.

Spaniels will suddenly get old and you will notice a rapid decline at 10 or 11, my last lad did his last day at 11, and gone at 13. It is a very gut wrenching decision to retire them from the field, they love it so much, but you have to protect them from themselves.

I am a softy, so my dogs get their much deserved retirement until I make that decision.
I doubt it has much to do with the ground they cover. But either way, they hardly do the same jobs now, do they.
Think we live in different worlds SP. Read lots of your posts and had plenty of good tips from them. I do not doubt for one minute that you know your stuff and can train dogs. Working a spaniel,picking up on a commercial shoot with a 400 bag target is a different kettle of fish. Sweeping up at the end of one drive and one dog brings you 31 birds,you just have to take your hat off to him. Also can shoot over the same dog.

Springfield Pointers
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Re: Old Spaniels

Post by Springfield Pointers » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:35 pm

westcountry wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:18 pm
Think we live in different worlds SP. Read lots of your posts and had plenty of good tips from them. I do not doubt for one minute that you know your stuff and can train dogs. Working a spaniel,picking up on a commercial shoot with a 400 bag target is a different kettle of fish. Sweeping up at the end of one drive and one dog brings you 31 birds,you just have to take your hat off to him. Also can shoot over the same dog.
Thank you, WC, I do sense a "but" in there somewhere :)

The world is a small place these days, and I find myself able to experience a great deal of varied exposure to all things. I am currently enjoying some shooting in the UK, and seen some delightful little dogs!

I certainly agree that picking up requires a dedication and level of input not required in other disciplines.

I do however think that looking for a dog that will do all things well is a trade off. You will eventually be left with something akin to a multi tool. Something that manages all tasks admirably, but does none of them exceptionally.

This is not to say that this would not be a trait that would be greatly sought after, and much treasured. The world of bird dogs would be a dreary place if all dogs were cut to the same cloth.

Judy
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Re: Old Spaniels

Post by Judy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:47 pm

If your picking up 31 birds at the end of a single drive you haven't got enough pickers up at that shoot! Either that or its a very big day.

I don't teach mine to do anything other than retrieve and handle on to retrieves, its a bonus that one or two of them will quarter close enough to be able to use them to blank in drives. Not sure that any of them would be steady if the bird they flushed was shot in plain sight though, I'd rather not test that idea!
If in the process of winning, you have lost the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing. Paul Elvström.

High On
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Re: Old Spaniels

Post by High On » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:36 pm

My first Spaniel lived to be fifteen. He hunted at fourteen, not fast nor extended length of time but he enjoyed it. Next Springer competed in a National event at the age of ten and lived to be nearly fifteen.
Just retired from competition a third Springer. Had her on a hunt yesterday and was asked why I retired her from competition. She still has go power and nose but the hearing is going. She is almost eleven. Her sire competed at the age of twelve and was still competitive enough to place in field trials. Well cared for and exercised regularly Spaniels live long active lives.

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Gundogguy
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Re: Old Spaniels

Post by Gundogguy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:16 am

Springers are like Marines. They can stand still and salute or blow the place up. It just seems to me that the smaller breeds hold together a wee bit longer.
"In the end We all get the dog we deserve"

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trekmoor
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Re: Old Spaniels

Post by trekmoor » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:56 pm

From what I've been told , big dog breeds tend to die or become infirm sooner than smaller breeds. Great Danes etc. don't last as long as labs or spaniels . I don't think we humans have ever managed to breed really big dogs that can live an active life for any length of time ? The bigger they are the more prone to injury or to bad health they seem to become.

My cocker Charlie is now fast approaching 11 years old and he is still a very active and very healthy little sod. He has gone deaf though as did his sire at about the same age. Charlie still does a full day as a picking up dog but I now do not send him for nearly as many retrieves as I used to do. I am thinking of retiring him but only because of his increasing and genuine deafness.

Wullie
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