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Murdock
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:55 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Down East Maine

Long, wordy post about finding a new gun dog.

It's been 17 years since I last searched for an English Springer Spaniel. My little buddy had to leave two years ago, and I've missed him every day since. We hunted for 13 straight years, and were able to be in the field together one last time on the day I had to let him go. His body aged but his spirit never did.

One autumn when Murdo was about 6 -- and at the height of his mystical power to find grouse and woodcock -- I got fed up with corporate health care, so quit my job at a local hospital and went into private practice. It took a few months to set it up right and make the transition, and in the mean time we hunted. We are fortunate enough that I can walk out the door and hunt, and we even have a woodcock covert on our property. At one point my spouse asked if I thought we were hunting too much. Nope. I have been thankful for every hour of it Murdo spent together, in all kinds of weather. And we never, ever, missed opening day. Not once.

Anyway, the pain of loss has faded now to the degree that I can look forward to inflicting it on myself again. I figure I have room for one more spaniel in my life. Given my age, this time it will be a race to see which one of us gets put down first.

Years ago I had found Murdo's litter through the Maine Flushing Dog Field Trial Association, but I don't seem to be able to find current information about them on line. Does anyone know if they still an active organization?

It seems that all of the serious breeders of field bred ESS dogs are into field trials, which makes sense as they want to demonstrate that their dogs have the right stuff. This may be the route to take, but in truth I have no interest in trialing a dog. I just want a bidable, birdy gun dog who will primarily be a companion and family pet. I have trained my own spaniels in the past and intend to do it again.

So I guess I'm networking. I will travel anywhere in New England to look for the right breeder and dog. A responsible home breeder will be fine, but definitely no puppy mill breeders. I would entertain a rescue dog, since my wife has been rescuing border collies for 20 years and we know how rescue works. There ain't no such thing as a free dog.

Any recommendations? Know anyone who will be breeding from healthy field stock? Good experience with an established New England breeder?

Thanks,

Greg

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fourtrax
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:47 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 560
Location: N. Shore, mn

NOT New England.... but Pine SHadows Kennels ave decent field bred dogs.
Near Brainerd MN.

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crazyquik
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:28 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 4

Get in touch with the Patriot Sporting Spaniel club via their facebook page and/or go to some of their events. They probably aren't very active now (dead of winter) but things will pick up in the spring.

https://www.facebook.com/Patriotsportingspanielclub/
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JNW
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:06 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Posts: 1146
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Go over to the Upland Journal website. The guy who runs it, Brad Eden, lives in Maine and runs springers. I've had springers and loved them, but have cockers now. I think they have a lot less allergies. This is Ned the Nutter. He's liver & white, but a cocker.

You also get more color options with cockers. I kind of want a red one next!
Regards,
Jeff
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Murdock
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:00 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Down East Maine

Jeff: I love it when they give us the "Why are you just sitting there?" look.

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L.C. Smith FW Field Grade 16
L.C. Smith FW Ideal Grade 16
Fox Sterlingworth 16
Ithaca M37 Deerslayer 16
German Guild Hammergun Drilling 16x16/9.3x72R
1925 Browning A5 16
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Natty Bumpo
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:13 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Traverse City, MI

Check with Fred Bradley @ Hawthorne Kennels, Copake NY. Excellent breeder/trainer of both FBESS as well as field Cockers.

Cocker man here too, don't overlook them. They punch way above their weight class.

NB

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jrothWA
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:22 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 237

As I had to lost "Tizzy" just before Thanksgiving.

and No it not the "why are you sitting there" it more "I"M BORED!"

Don't care for the adjective preceding, as long as it followed by SPANIEL!

Had the privilege of walking behind a WELSH spaniel, it had heart and energy.
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Murdock
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:25 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Down East Maine

Thanks for the replies so far.

Regarding Cockers, I've heard them described as "Little trolls with a sense of humor." It's wonderful that they have been coming back so strong as gun dogs. Of course, Cockers and Springers were birthed in the same litters until bout 90 years ago, so their field performance is not a surprise. Neat little dogs.

My ESS was on the small side for his breed at about 36 pounds, and I thinks that's about as small as I want to go.

How are Cockers in the water?

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L.C. Smith FW Field Grade 16
L.C. Smith FW Ideal Grade 16
Fox Sterlingworth 16
Ithaca M37 Deerslayer 16
German Guild Hammergun Drilling 16x16/9.3x72R
1925 Browning A5 16
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Natty Bumpo
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:03 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Traverse City, MI

Murdock wrote:
Thanks for the replies so far.

Regarding Cockers, I've heard them described as "Little trolls with a sense of humor." It's wonderful that they have been coming back so strong as gun dogs. Of course, Cockers and Springers were birthed in the same litters until bout 90 years ago, so their field performance is not a surprise. Neat little dogs.

My ESS was on the small side for his breed at about 36 pounds, and I thinks that's about as small as I want to go.

How are Cockers in the water?


There has been a boomlet of sorts towards FBECS in recent years, over on UJ and other places. Most Cockers will take to water retrieving enthusiastically, if introduced early. They need to pass a water test for several titles. Tom Ness uses Cockers in his duck hunting in SD. Cockers give no quarter in the grouse woods.

However, Springers, being larger, might be a better choice or a retriever breed for HD duck/goose hunting. Most Cockers will range from 25-40#s.

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Murdock
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:21 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Down East Maine

One of the things I loved about my ESS was his aggression in prosecuting a wounded runner. They could run, but they couldn't hide. I don't think we ever lost a downed bird. My presumption would be that a ECS would behave in about the same manner despite their smaller size.

_________________
L.C. Smith FW Field Grade 16
L.C. Smith FW Ideal Grade 16
Fox Sterlingworth 16
Ithaca M37 Deerslayer 16
German Guild Hammergun Drilling 16x16/9.3x72R
1925 Browning A5 16
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Natty Bumpo
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:20 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Traverse City, MI

Roger that.

We make to treck to SoDak yearly, the first week of November, to hunt wild birds exclusively. Winged roosters, rarely make good their escape, no matter how far they run. The little pirrhanas are on them like white on rice.

Springers are bigger, faster and stronger than Cockers, if those things
are important to you. Arguably, more important on pheasants Out West.

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studdog
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:32 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 312
Location: drummond island MI

Another vote for Pine Shadows for springers. You usually get what you pay for.

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Rooster
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:12 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 03 Jul 2006
Posts: 241
Location: SW Arkansas

My Springer Bus came from Blueriver Kennel in Garfield MN.
He has been my constant and trusted hunting companion for almost 7 years now. Though I use him primarily as a waterfowl dog here in Arkansas he has done well on Kansas pheasant and quail and dove here at home.

I can't say enough good about Blueriver's line of dogs!

Contact info is :
Ken Hanson
PO Box 121
Garfield, MN 56332
320-219-2081

Bob

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Murdock
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:33 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Down East Maine

Thanks, Rooster. It's interesting how many ESS breeders there seem to be in MN and SD.

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L.C. Smith FW Field Grade 16
L.C. Smith FW Ideal Grade 16
Fox Sterlingworth 16
Ithaca M37 Deerslayer 16
German Guild Hammergun Drilling 16x16/9.3x72R
1925 Browning A5 16
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Little Creek
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:09 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 230
Location: Anchorage, AK

Since you are in Maine, call Wildwind Kennel...Jim Keller 207-322-6236. He handled two national champions in 2014 and then in 2015. You might look for a field trial wash out if you want a trained dog at a better price.

Small springers work well. There is no real need for a 50 pounder! Besides you can pick up the smaller ones.

If you buy a pup, try to see the sire and dam before you commit.

Also look at http://www.essft.com/. This is the field trail association homepage. There is a link to pups and trained dogs for sale. You don't have to pay $2000 for a puppy!

Good luck!
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