Is this worth a shot?

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Is this worth a shot?

Postby Indafire » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:59 pm

As a few of you know, I posted recently about what type of breed I should pursue as my first duck dog. I have researched several breeds, narrowed it down to a few and have intensely researched those. I may have had an amazing opportunity fall into my lap. I just want a few opinions from experienced trainers. You lab purists please keep breed out of it! Oh, and you too Don! A DD isn't completely out of the question yet, but this may be a perfect fit. I need honesty!

I was asking on FB if anyone had information about Boykin Spaniels (BS) or Pudelpointers (PP). I got a few responses about the BS but as you probably guessed, not much on the PP. I did get one very interesting PM regarding an 11 month old BS whose owners are looking to find a new home for him. He is house broken and knows basic obedience, but I don't think he has been bird or gun trained at all. I know that this will set me back in training a bit, but I was wondering if this is worth doing. I know that the breed is exceptionally smart and that will help. He is bred from a male hunter line and a female housepet. I haven't been able to test his prey drive, but I assume that is something I will be able to do when I evaluate him.

The other thing that may make this decision a little easier is that my wife has given me an out. She says that if the training doesn't pan out (which I am thinking I have enough patience and determination to see that it does), we can keep the BS as an inside dog and I can get another pup to train up for a waterfowl companion.

Swamp has expressed his concerns, and I appreciate that. If any of you think this could work, but think there are big concerns, PLEASE list them out. I want to do this right, but if I can provide a loving home and active environment for this BS who needs a new home, I think it is worth a little effort.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby berudd » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:03 pm

Well, its a risk for a few reasons. One is the age. The dog may not pan out as well as one that start its training at a young age. But, there may be no way to know up front. Also, you have to ask why they are looking to relocate him. Is there some issue that makes him less desirable? I'm guessing he turned out to not be a very good couch\lap dog which may not be all bad. My Lab does not fit that description. She has too much energy and desire to retrieve and do all the stuff a hunting dog does and I think its great. But, if she had gone home with someone that couldn't handle that she probably would have been looking for a new home too. Ask a lot of questions about why they want to get rid of him.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby dogyak » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:34 pm

I will have too disagree about the age being too old . In the old days , the pro's didn't start training a retriever until the age of one for one . Two- yes a dog can start training at one to a finished retriever (Eli is a 3 1/2 yr old who has a MH and HRCH titles and missed the Master Nationals by 1 pass this yr) . We didn't start him until one because the owner gave him up and had no training running in the back yard , and even gave his AKC papers free who happens too have Lean Mac bloodlines. So yes it is worth a shot with nothing too loose . You will have too determine the drive and see if it can happen . The boykins are great dogs and seen a many run hunt test and even hunting with Dan Reels dog Chief , a GrandHunting Champion (UKC) and MH (AKC) . If your after a smaller dog that can do the job , a boykin is it :thumbsup:
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby HNTFSH » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:35 am

I'd PM Rick Hall. I can't tell you if the build is right for your hunting scenarios down there or not. Was that a concern of Indaaswamps?
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby Indafire » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:11 am

He was more concerned about the age, potential bad habits, etc. the dog is a male and weighs 40 lbs according to the current owner. I'm going to go have a look at him later this week.

Any tips on how to test his prey drive? That's the only thing I am truly worried about. If he isn't "birdie" naturally, training him may be tough.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby HNTFSH » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:28 am

Indafire wrote:He was more concerned about the age, potential bad habits, etc. the dog is a male and weighs 40 lbs according to the current owner. I'm going to go have a look at him later this week.

Any tips on how to test his prey drive? That's the only thing I am truly worried about. If he isn't "birdie" naturally, training him may be tough.


BS seem to have an abundance of 'go' but also an abundance of health issues if not carefully bred. Can you get the pups pedigree?
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby gonehuntin' » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:20 am

There is a poster in here named "Crackered". Try a pm and see if you can have the poster help you. Knows more about Boykins than anyone I know.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby UK Springer » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:27 pm

Sounds like a win win situation especially for the dog.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby boykinhntr » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:08 pm

Most all boykins will have what it takes to retrieve but it's not 100% however It's about the same odds as having a pup. My number one concern would be hip certs on both parents. If the pup has good genetics And doesn't have any serious behavior issues(like aggression or extreme nervousness) I would go for it.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby CatSquirrel » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:39 pm

I can't be of much help since I've not owned or trained a Boykin. I've judged a few in hunt tests. Cute little dogs, tons of personality. I can't help but root for them to pass.

I would suggest a very in-depth look at the dogs socialization, trainability and prey drive. Don't get trapped by the cute factor, this will be a working dog (yes, you have your out with the wife). Only you can make the call as to having another dog if this Boykin doesn't work out.

Now where I CAN help is that I'm in Prairieville and you're welcome to come out and watch us train, just so you can learn a thing or two. Just bring a chair and a six pack if you want, we won't ask you to do anything. But am happy to explain what we're doing. Concepts, etc.
We run All Age field trial labs, but the concepts are the same.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby dogyak » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:13 pm

CatSquirrel wrote:I can't be of much help since I've not owned or trained a Boykin. I've judged a few in hunt tests. Cute little dogs, tons of personality. I can't help but root for them to pass.

I would suggest a very in-depth look at the dogs socialization, trainability and prey drive. Don't get trapped by the cute factor, this will be a working dog (yes, you have your out with the wife). Only you can make the call as to having another dog if this Boykin doesn't work out.

Now where I CAN help is that I'm in Prairieville and you're welcome to come out and watch us train, just so you can learn a thing or two. Just bring a chair and a six pack if you want, we won't ask you to do anything. But am happy to explain what we're doing. Concepts, etc.
We run All Age field trial labs, but the concepts are the same.
You should jump all over this . Don't pass this up and get into the club weather this boykin works out or not . You still going too get a gundog as you said . Your a good man CatSquirrel :thumbsup:
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby CatSquirrel » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:21 pm

dogyak wrote:
CatSquirrel wrote:I can't be of much help since I've not owned or trained a Boykin. I've judged a few in hunt tests. Cute little dogs, tons of personality. I can't help but root for them to pass.

I would suggest a very in-depth look at the dogs socialization, trainability and prey drive. Don't get trapped by the cute factor, this will be a working dog (yes, you have your out with the wife). Only you can make the call as to having another dog if this Boykin doesn't work out.

Now where I CAN help is that I'm in Prairieville and you're welcome to come out and watch us train, just so you can learn a thing or two. Just bring a chair and a six pack if you want, we won't ask you to do anything. But am happy to explain what we're doing. Concepts, etc.
We run All Age field trial labs, but the concepts are the same.
You should jump all over this . Don't pass this up and get into the club weather this boykin works out or not . You still going too get a gundog as you said . Your a good man CatSquirrel :thumbsup:


Thanks dogyak. I enjoy helping new guys to the sport. I've PM'ed Inda some more local contact information.

Of course....I realize our sets are going to be very big and technical, but I think there's value in learning why our marks/blinds are set up the way they are. Every mark or blind we set up is designed to teach the dogs. My main training buddy and I have over a hundred All-Age/Minor Stake/HRC judging assignments behind us. We're very picky about our sets.

Hopefully, Inda takes something away from it and we get him plugged into the local retriever community.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby Indafire » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:32 pm

I've watched Swamp train his dogs since I was very young. I understand the huge importance of consistency and patience. I want to do right by the animal and bring out the best in him/her. I'm sure I'll need plenty of help along the way, so stay tuned. Hell...I've been researching around two weeks just to decide what breed to look for and I've talked to around a dozen people. I've learned more in those weeks than everything I knew before! Long way to go, but I'm excited!
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby Indafire » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:54 pm

I am going to try and meet the 11 month old Boykin this week. I'll try to feel him out, maybe see if I can get him away from his current owners for a bit to see if he has any basic obedience and field training. Also prey drive. Any simple exercises to help me determine that? I should have access to duck wings (if woods and swamp killed any this weekend).
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby CatSquirrel » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:33 pm

Just make sure the bird is nice and fresh. Not frozen.

If you get into a bind, I can give you a couple frozen mallards. Just let it thaw and see what happens.

I've got about 150 frozen mallards for training right now....a couple isn't a big deal.
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Re: Is this worth a shot?

Postby Indafire » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:10 am

Thanks man! I am not sure I'll be able to meet the pooch until after the holidays.
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