My new English (Field) Cocker

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nebraskabirdman
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My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by nebraskabirdman » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:37 am

I'm new to this and recently bought my first birddog. Shes 5 months old and comes from a good breeder with hunting parents. Lately I've been taking her out to the field with me so she can just be a pup and so far so good. She loves to get into the brush and quarters fairly well with no dirrection. I've recently have shot over her several times, and she doesn't even skip a beat. I have interduced her to dummys taped with freez dried wings and she seem somewhat interested but much rather hit the weeds and grass and "hunt".

Should I be concerned with her lack of desire for these dummies or am I over thinking this. Also, when should I interduce her to a live bird. The only birds she has flushed so far are sparrows and blackbirds. No game birds yet. Thanks :?:
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Redfishkilla » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:55 am

I wouldn't be worried about the lack of interest but I would be putting pup on some game birds or pigeons a month ago. Time to show pup some birds.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by DonF » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:16 am

I wouldn't worry about it. If she'll bring things to you, hide some dummy's in the cover and praise the life out of her when she bring's you one. If you could get some pigeon's, kill a couple and put them out there also. Good thing about a flushing dog is that it's good for them to catch pigeons and pen raised birds on the ground. They try to get away from her and she'll step up the pace to catch them. When you hunt her you really want her to agressively flush the wild birds for you. If she blinks them, she's given them a chance to run out, you don't want that. How about a picture of her? I've never seen one of those.
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by birdshot » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:43 pm

Nebraskabirdman, I hunt with an English Cocker. Really a fun dog. Crazy to watch him when birds are in the area. The only caution I would pass on is, EC don't take to repetition as well as some breeds. Maybe don't use your dummies when you are in an area with interesting scents.
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by rkappes » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:50 pm

birdshot wrote:Nebraskabirdman, I hunt with an English Cocker. Really a fun dog. Crazy to watch him when birds are in the area. The only caution I would pass on is, EC don't take to repetition as well as some breeds. Maybe don't use your dummies when you are in an area with interesting scents.
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Great lookin' dog birdshot!!!

I've always been interested in field cockers.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by birdshot » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:17 pm

Thanks Rkappes. There are quite a few English Cocker in Minnesota, in fact my dog's dad is from Mn.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by h&t » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:06 pm

Congrats on your cocker, they're fun dogs for sure. I had one.
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by nebraskabirdman » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:14 pm

Thanks for all the advice. I will try and get a photo of her up in the next day or two. They seem to be a fun breed with lots of energy. I think if I let her, she would run go go go all day long. She even poops o the run sometimes!! lol. Whatever advice you guys have will be greatly appreciated. :lol:
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by DonF » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:49 pm

birdshot wrote:Nebraskabirdman, I hunt with an English Cocker. Really a fun dog. Crazy to watch him when birds are in the area. The only caution I would pass on is, EC don't take to repetition as well as some breeds. Maybe don't use your dummies when you are in an area with interesting scents.
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Nice looking guy. Wish you were closer, I'd like to watch him hunt. Are they quite a bit like Springer's?
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by jhorak » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:42 pm

Congrats on getting a Cocker! I wouldn't be too worried at all about what you're seeing. Also, while it definitely wouldn't hurt to get her on birds right now, it's also not urgent. In the UK, where these dogs are originally from, they often won't put them on live birds until they are a year old. The idea over there is that they want 100% on the obedience before introducing birds to the paradigm. I followed a similar regimen with one of my Cockers. He didn't see much for birds at all (maybe 2 or 3) before he was 10 months old, but when I started introducing birds, he learned VERY quickly. He passed the first two legs of his MH on the weekend that he turned one.

You said she wasn't overly interested in the dummy with a wing on it. Will she retrieve a normal dummy? If so, I wouldn't worry at all. Just keeping doing drills, keeping it fun and new, get her obedience down, and she'll be fine on birds. I have NEVER seen a good FBECS that wasn't crazy for birds.

What breeder did you get your dog from and what's the breeding? Here's a picture of a couple of mine. Rocky on the left and Polly on the right, it's a mother/son combo.
Image

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by nebraskabirdman » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:25 am

As to your question, yes she will retreive a dummy with and without a wing on it. She just seems to like the scented dummy without the wings at this point. I will continuie my retreive drills with her and keep taking her out in the field to let her instrincts work. I receved her from a guy named Tom Hartman from Nebraska. Grandpa came from England and Dad is a Field Trial Champ in Colorado. Her mom hasn't been used for field trials but according to the breeder, she is a very good hunter.

I'm not looking to win awards with her or compete with her, I just want a good soild hunting partner that can go out with me and my upland game hunts. Thanks again everyone for the advice. This is a very exciting time for me and my family with our new furry addition (dog) ! lol :D
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Trekmoor » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:53 am

I have 3 working cocker spaniels. I use them for just about anything - except pointing ! :lol: They are all very keen retrievers of both dummies and of game of all kinds. They love water and love retrieving from it. They hunt like stink and my main trouble is keeping them in a bit as they hunt. (Here in Britain spaniels are normally expected to work within about 15 yards of the hunter, I've read that in the States you like your spaniels to hunt 5-10 yards further out ? None of my cockers would have any problems with that !!! :roll: )

The breed has a tendency to greatly prefer hunting to retrieve training on dummies. If I see this is becoming a problem with any pup I train I at once cease all hunting until the retrieving is well established. I think I can assure you that you would have no trouble persuading the pup to resume hunting at a later date. If I had no interest in tests or trials then I probably wouldn't bother too much about retrieve training using dummies but if a dog likes dummies it makes the training a bit easier.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by DonF » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:50 am

Nice dog's Bill. I really liked hunting my Springer's when I had them. When my favorite died, Skipper, I couldn't get another. Realized that every litter I looked at I was looking for Skipper. So I got a shorthair. Don't regret getting pointing dogs but do miss Springer's. Just courious, have you ever met Talbot Radcliff? I'd have liked to have met that guy.
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Trekmoor » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:32 pm

I never met Talbot Radcliffe ,wish I had, I have met the late Keith Erlandson and I have also met Peter Jones. He is even older than me and he is still trialing and breeding the best of dogs. Most working cocker pedigrees in Britain will probably have his "Maesydderwen" breeding in them. Don't blame me for that spelling ...... it's Welsh ! One cocker of Peter's breeding recently won a fairly prestigious retriever test in New Zealand .........beating 48 labradors to do so !

Cockers ,working ones anyway, were dying a slow death in Britain about half a century ago but were brought back from the verge of extinction as working dogs by the 3 men mentioned above and a few others. As a breed they are now very popular , those men made a great job of making this breed really top notch gundogs. I see them used and use them myself as trial and test dogs, rough shooting dogs, beaters dogs, picking up dogs ......... the lot ! The cockers motto should be ..... " I could do that !" and usually they can.

I now see more cockers working at big shoots as "picking-up" dogs than labradors.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by nebraskabirdman » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:42 pm

Not to change the subject, but I'm going to change the subject! I was wondering what everyones opinion is on" To Spade /or Not to Spade".

Does it have an effect on their drive or is it a case by case basis. I've heard yes and no from numerous folks and wondered what ou fine folks thought. I don't plan on breeding her and would like to have her spade but only if it hasno effect on her hunt drive and prey drive. Thought??? :roll:
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by jhorak » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:24 pm

I currently own five FBECS, four, that are adults. Only one of them has had "the deed" done. I made the mistake of having her spayed just before her first birthday, and I have regretted it ever since. She experienced some rather significant changes after I had her spayed, all of which I have since found out since sometimes occur when you spay too quickly. Her coat became thicker and more course, she started gaining weight very quickly (and now eats half of what any of my other dogs eat, but still doesn't have a trim figure), and she lost some of her drive, which actually made her a better pet, but not as intense in the field. What I've since discovered is that you face these risks anytime you fix a dog before they have fully matured, both physically and psychologically, which really isn't until they're about two years old. My recommendation would be too at least wait until she grows up a little if you're going to do it.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Redfishkilla » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:33 pm

The spay/don't spay debate has been played out on other threads on here a bunch. Both my dogs were spayed young and I don't believe there are any ill effects but that is not everyone's experience. I think the best person to seek input from would be your vet.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by jhorak » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:46 pm

Hey, another quick comment. I am not sure, but I have a suspicion that Cockers are more susceptible to this than other breeds. I hope that Bill will chime in on this, but across the pond where he is from, I believe it is pretty common knowledge to not spay a Spaniel early.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by birdshot » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:54 pm

jhorak, Would the dog in your avator be the one you had spayed? That dog thinks it can fly. She doesn't seem to have lost any desire/drive. Great shot. I tried to get a photo of a water entry but the best i could get was a large splash.
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Trekmoor » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:14 am

jhorak wrote:Hey, another quick comment. I am not sure, but I have a suspicion that Cockers are more susceptible to this than other breeds. I hope that Bill will chime in on this, but across the pond where he is from, I believe it is pretty common knowledge to not spay a Spaniel early.
Most folk here follow the rule of not spaying a working dog of any breed until a couple of months after it has had it's first season. The reasoning is that this allows for the bitch to be fully mature inside her head . I honestly don't know how true that is but to my way of thinking leaving the bitch until then is more likely to do good than to do harm ?

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Trekmoor » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:31 am

The best I can get is a huge splash too ! There's a little cocker bitch in there somewhere , she throws herself out as far as she can from any height of bank. I have to be careful when taking her near water.
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This is one of my cocker dogs. They all like to "shoot the rapids" and I just sit on the bank while they shoot them again and again.
Cockers are nuts ! :roll:
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by gundogguy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:09 am

Nice photos Great working cockers I'msure.
For the person in nebraska you should look up Jim Devoll he is in Grand Island, Neb Great springer guy
Also for to fellas who mentioned Talbott Radcliff, I have met him on three occasions over the years when I was over back in the 90's buying dogs
with a client of mine, Great dog man was he, My wife and i got to stay at Presadffed and particpate in number of driven shoots and rough shoots.
My client was instrumental in having Andrew Greene come over to the states. Though, I never met Kieth Erlandson and that always has saddened me.
Bets of luck with you new pup, I have gunned over many fine cockers, I trust she will be one also.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by h&t » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:02 am

Cockers are nuts !
just makes me smile :)

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by crackerd » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:42 am

Trekmoor wrote:
jhorak wrote:Hey, another quick comment. I am not sure, but I have a suspicion that Cockers are more susceptible to this than other breeds. I hope that Bill will chime in on this, but across the pond where he is from, I believe it is pretty common knowledge to not spay a Spaniel early.
Most folk here follow the rule of not spaying a working dog of any breed until a couple of months after it has had it's first season. The reasoning is that this allows for the bitch to be fully mature inside her head . ...
Inside and on the outside, Bill - especially with the spaniels whose heads are shall we say

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somewhat capacious, and need to reach full "suitcase" size before spaying takes away the opportunity for that happening.

MG

PS You might want to tell my "good buddy" over at Polmaise that it ain't just Boykins amongst our spaniels that are worked as retrievers on these shores. Think the cockers may take a good whack at it too but I know a couple other breeds that have it down real good.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by jhorak » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:52 pm

That actually is my spayed dog in that picture. Here's another one of her jumping off of a dock. She did lose some drive/focus, but I will admit that she makes big water entries.
Image

AND, here's some pics of my newest addition to the kennel. I got her last night. She's eight and a half weeks old right now and full of piss and vinegar!
Image
Image

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by crackerd » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:01 pm

Now that is a puppy face that many besides its mother could love! (And puppynap if you're not careful - gorgeous little pocket-rocket-to-be you've got there, jhorak!)

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by nebraskabirdman » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:39 pm

Good looking pups brother! As for looking up that gentleman in grand island, NE, THANKS. I actually live 20 minutes from there and will get in touch with him soon. I think I'm going to hold off on getting her, "Spay" until shes fininshed her 1st season. Who knows, maybe I won't do it at all. Thanks for all the good advice. :mrgreen:
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Trekmoor » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:45 pm

This is a pic of the crackpot cocker bitch contained in the water splash pic. The one problem I have with the liver coloured cockers is the way their coat tends to sprout all over the place. The coat type seems to be genetically linked to the colour.

Image

Mike( Crackerd) I'll pass on your thoughts on retrieving with spanners next time I meet Robert. We like to meet each other fairly regularly. We get a higher class of insults when we slag off each other ! :lol: He's got a shotover day organised for tomorrow ...... Don't know if you have that kind of day in the States ? I did one with Robert about this time last year for a class of spaniels and labs. The spaniels hunted with the lab owners walking in between in "line." Robert controlled one end of the line in field trial fashion while I did the same at the other. The retrieves were shared between all the dogs with Robert and I deciding which dog was sent. We had four guns doing all the shooting and it was a good live game training day for everyone..... even with the terrible weather we experienced on the day.

Does anyone hold a similar sort of training day in the States ? Beginner dog handlers get a chance to work their dogs on game with more experienced trainers present to give advice when needed.

P.S. ...... this year a few H.P.R.'s will be working too. One of them is possibly the best hunting, pointing, retrieving machine of a G.S.P. I have seen ..... and I've seen a lot of them. The dog is Croatian born and bred and is an import to this country. Next time you speak to Robert, ask him about "Andro !" Both of us really rate this dog.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by jhorak » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:08 pm

Bill, we don't really do events over here like you guys do over there. Makes me kind of jealous...

Here's a picture I snapped today while out "hunting". There aren't any birds around here to find, but I had little time to go out and put three dogs down so they'd get a little exercise if nothing else. Classic Bill picture, huh? :)

Image

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by Trekmoor » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:54 pm

Game birds are pretty scarce on my home turf too . I do nearly all my training at big shoots where there is plenty of game. I take a pup or a young dog to them but I take along 2 or 3 experienced dogs to do most of the work. The pup is only allowed selected retrieves and any hunting done with it is done where the paying guns cannot see ! :lol: Dogs need experience on game and I give it to them any way I can which means, since I'm not rich enough to afford lots of shooting , that others pay to help me train my dogs.
It works for me ! I've taken out more than a few American clients and many from other countries too onto the hills and grouse moors to shoot over my pointing dogs (Brits and G.S.P.'s) ...... Thanks for paying for my dogs training you lads ! :lol:

My spaniels are worked mainly on lowland shoots. I had to cease working the grouse moors a few years ago due to the ills that come with old age. Like most British spaniel folk I prefer hunting rabbits with spaniels than hunting birds. It's more exciting ! I do have rabbits in my area and I really enjoy watching my dogs hunt them. I work one dog at a time with the others walking to heel, they are all expected to be steady to both flush and shot.

I think you would be surprised and maybe even shocked by how close keen spaniel trialers work their dogs here. Hunting rabbits usually neccessitates a close flush or the gun may not get a shot at the rabbit due to the cover. We actually have spaniel trials here where only rabbits may be shot . These trials are very popular, I love them !

It says a lot for a spaniel if it can find a rabbit,not move an inch after the flush and shot yet be prepared to take the rabbits line out to it with no hunting around to find it no matter whether that rabbit is lying dead or whether it is just pricked and has ran on quite a bit among cover. Birds are easier to keep the spaniel steady to after the flush.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by nebraskabirdman » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:20 pm

Since game birds are hard to come by in my neck of the woods this year I thought I'd run this by you. I have noticed that lately when Im out in the field with her, she will flush up several sparrows and black birds and other non game birds. Would it hurt if she gets a good flush and I shoot some of these birds for her to spot and retrieve back to me. I'm thinking there probably the next best thing to game birds and there free. Would it hurt or help? Thoughts
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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by birdshot » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:38 pm

i never shoot dicky birds over my dogs as they will begin to key on those and you will have a hard time getting across the pasture. I don't want a dog to give more than a quick glance at a sparrow or lark.

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Re: My new English (Field) Cocker

Post by birddogger » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:18 pm

My spaniels are worked mainly on lowland shoots. I had to cease working the grouse moors a few years ago due to the ills that come with old age. Like most British spaniel folk I prefer hunting rabbits with spaniels than hunting birds. It's more exciting ! I do have rabbits in my area and I really enjoy watching my dogs hunt them. I work one dog at a time with the others walking to heel, they are all expected to be steady to both flush and shot.
That sounds fascinating Bill! My passion is with pointing dogs but unlike a lot of people, I can appreciate and enjoy the different breeds and hunting styles. It will never happen but I would love to experience what you describe and rabbits are one of the tastiest meats of all wild game IMO.

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