Cold water Boykins

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fishvik
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Cold water Boykins

Post by fishvik » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:16 pm

I will be in the market for a new duck dog soon. I'm fasinated by the versitility and compactness of Boykin Spaniels. I hunt mostly out of a canoe on the marsh or jump shoot out of it on the river. The small size and prey drive Boykins seem to have seems exactly what I'm looking for for the type of hunting I do. My only reservations are as to how much cold water can they tolerate with a neoprene vest and how much current can they negociate? I live in Idaho and right now the air temp is in the single digits and we still have another month and a half of duck season. My old duck dog was a Lab X Pointer cross. She had fairly good coat, but not as thick as a Labs. She weighed about 60 lbs, wore a neoprene vest and never balked at a retrieve even with ice in the river. Last winter at 12 years old she even brought back a goose in January out of the Snake River.

My other choices would be a springer or a very small lab. Small Labs (less than 60 lbs) seem to be hard to find these days. Anybody had any experience with Boykins in cold weather conditions?

FLocker
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Re: Cold water Boykins

Post by FLocker » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:07 pm

Find Pamela Kedlac at Just Ducky kennels. She will give you all the Boykin info you need. But, I don't think a lot of people will tell you that a 35 lb spaniel is a good choice for icy, fast moving water and single digit air temps, Neoprene or not. The Boykin is a real duck dog, but one developed in the Southeast.

You really need a Chesapeake or a Lab for that work, but if you actually shoot out of your canoe, they will absolutely turn your canoe over when dead birds start hitting the water (and the chessie might bite your mailman).

It's a rare beed, but look into the American Water Spaniel. I have never seen one, but i hear they have a very oily coat, which may help a lot.

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ACooper
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Re: Cold water Boykins

Post by ACooper » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:13 pm

Find someone using a Boykin in cold rough water and talk to them, Call some Boykin breeders get some experienced input.

fishvik
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Re: Cold water Boykins

Post by fishvik » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:21 pm

Yeah FLocker, Thats pretty much what I thought. I guess I'll just keep my eye out for a small Lab or Lab X spaniel cross. I'll contact Pam if I get a chance and she what she thinks. A hunting buddy of mine had an American Water Spaniel and it was a good dog but I don't think I have ever seen a dog that picked up cockleburrs and retained them in their coat like that dog.

fishvik
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Re: Cold water Boykins

Post by fishvik » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:22 pm

Yeah FLocker, Thats pretty much what I thought. I guess I'll just keep my eye out for a small Lab or Lab X spaniel cross. I'll contact Pam if I get a chance and she what she thinks. A hunting buddy of mine had an American Water Spaniel and it was a good dog but I don't think I have ever seen a dog that picked up cockleburrs and retained them in their coat like that dog.

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Ruffshooter
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Re: Cold water Boykins

Post by Ruffshooter » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:24 pm

This is not directly related to the Boykin. Although, they seem like a great little dog and certainly willing to do anything.

A well know field trial Brittany man I know in his mid 70's said he used to use his brittanies for sea duck hunting in Maine. The problem is the britt loved doing it, more than willing but they would only make it to 8 to ten years old tops. The constant cold was just too much for their small frames. They had the desire and want but. He does not do that anymore nore says or recomends that they are good for the cold weather duck hunts.

I use my French brit for ducks in marshes and ponds till froze and till the air temp is low twenties and water not frozen in rivers or streams, but not below that.
The best part of training is seeing the light come on in your little prot'eg'e.

Rick

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