PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

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PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby bvaz8503 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:35 pm

Greetings Everyone!
I'm looking to get a Boykin Spaniel in the next 6 months or so. I have been reading the forums on here looking for reputable breeders and advice on training Boykins. What I'm asking of the DHC community is some reviews of breeders and recommendations; especially from hunters with older dogs that can attest to the dog's health, hunting ability, and cost. Since I'm rather new to the forum, here's some facts that may help:

1) I hunt upland and am getting into waterfowl.
2) (Not wanting to start a debate) But yes, I have thought of a lab but decided on the Boykin for smaller size, lower shedding, hunting versatility, personality, and looks. I won't be doing super cold hunts and am looking for a companion in a variety of hunting applications, so a Boykin fits the bill.
3) I don't mind traveling South to pick up a pup. Ideally, no farther south than South Carolina.
4) I'm not interested in AKC or UKC, just something healthy and cute (the wife) and a dog that will hunt and will be great with kids (eventually).

Thanks for the help guys. I really appreciate it.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby krazybronco2 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:11 pm

bvaz8503 wrote:Greetings Everyone!
I'm looking to get a Boykin Spaniel in the next 6 months or so. I have been reading the forums on here looking for reputable breeders and advice on training Boykins. What I'm asking of the DHC community is some reviews of breeders and recommendations; especially from hunters with older dogs that can attest to the dog's health, hunting ability, and cost. Since I'm rather new to the forum, here's some facts that may help:

1) I hunt upland and am getting into waterfowl.
2) (Not wanting to start a debate) But yes, I have thought of a lab but decided on the Boykin for smaller size, lower shedding, hunting versatility, personality, and looks. I won't be doing super cold hunts and am looking for a companion in a variety of hunting applications, so a Boykin fits the bill.
3) I don't mind traveling South to pick up a pup. Ideally, no farther south than South Carolina.
4) I'm not interested in AKC or UKC, just something healthy and cute (the wife) and a dog that will hunt and will be great with kids (eventually).

Thanks for the help guys. I really appreciate it.


just past SC right at the savannah river is Brier Creek kennels (grovetown GA) he will know someone that has some good puppies and i think he just breed a nice male with a female that was on the way back up north.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:15 pm

Have you done a 'search' in the main dog forum search box? There have been most of the best Boykin Breeders listed before in threads as well as important things to know.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:17 pm

BTW - we live in the same climate and I wouldn't buy a Boykin for anything past Oct waterfowling. Not sure what upland game you hunt near Pittsburgh outsider of game farms? Grouse?

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby crackerd » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:18 am

HNTFSH wrote:BTW - we live in the same climate and I wouldn't buy a Boykin for anything past Oct waterfowling.


HNT, even waterfowling on a plastic-pond plond?!? D*mn, guess that means I'll need to cancel all future orders for fake snow, too... :biggrin:

Image

PA hunter, I'm also next-door to you - Boykins, if acclimated to and worked wisely with the weather, handle all but the extreme cold. And everything's frozen up - except for plonds :hammer: - by the time that happens up here, anyhow...

Oh, yeah: The "AKC or UKC" deal is immaterial, except when it isn't - which would be when you're wanting to use either or both registries in making sure you get health clearances in a pup from a breeder who also happens to run either/both orgs.' hunt tests. You'll pay more for those clearances and health guarantees in a pup but that's a worthy investment over the course of a gundog's life. The one pictured above is 13 now - the photo was taken three years ago but she's still toting the load on four good legs, hips and - important for a Boykin above all else - heart.

MG
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby bvaz8503 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:10 am

HNTFSH:
That's a point that I've gotten mixed reviews from here. Some don't have a problem with Boykins in colder temps doing water retrieves greater than 20 deg and others do. The temp out there now is -5. I don't mind the cold but also won't subject a dog beyond it's comfort level. I'm curious what the general consensus is.

I haven't checked the other boards yet for a breeder. I was hoping to get first hand reviews and long term health of Boykins from the various breeders. It's a long term investment and if I can learn from others, I would be greatly enriched.

Thanks for the responses!
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby bvaz8503 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:45 am

crackerd wrote:
Oh, yeah: The "AKC or UKC" deal is immaterial, except when it isn't - which would be when you're wanting to use either or both registries in making sure you get health clearances in a pup from a breeder who also happens to run either/both orgs.' hunt tests. You'll pay more for those clearances and health guarantees in a pup but that's a worthy investment over the course of a gundog's life. The one pictured above is 13 now - the photo was taken three years ago but she's still toting the load on four good legs, hips and - important for a Boykin above all else - heart.

MG


Here's my question for you crackered: I was under the impression that as long as the pup was registered with the Boykin Spaniel Society and came from a reputable breeder, with the right clearances for the pup, dam/sire and grandparents of hip, eye, EIC, etc, that the pup was fine (for all intent and purposes). Do you really need something from the AKC/UKC as proof? I'm in no way interested in a show dog (eliminates AKC). Also, some breeders do offer a health guarantee and will stop the breeding line once problems surface. I've done a decent bit of research on the breed and some breeders and am aware of the Rock'n Creek and Brandywine kennels. The wife and I have had dogs before but never a hunting dog.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby crackerd » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:23 am

BSS registration is a good thing, but so is AKC registration for Boykins. You can't eliminate AKC with any harrumph because "they're show dogs," because AKC also is the predominant registry for working retrievers, including Boykins. Most handlers who run retriever hunt tests with Boykins have dual registration (BSS-AKC) if not treble (BSS-AKC-HRC [UKC]). Ask the two breeders you've cited above which registries they go with - though I'm not sure either of them run Boykins in AKC retriever (or spaniel) hunt tests.

Some don't have a problem with Boykins in colder temps doing water retrieves greater than 20 deg and others do. The temp out there now is -5. I don't mind the cold but also won't subject a dog beyond it's comfort level. I'm curious what the general consensus is.


The general consensus is there ain't enough Boykins above the Mason-Dixon line for there to be a general consensus, much less waterfowlers who've actually been in a blind with and seen a Boykin work in these conditions.

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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:30 am

bvaz8503 wrote:HNTFSH:
That's a point that I've gotten mixed reviews from here. Some don't have a problem with Boykins in colder temps doing water retrieves greater than 20 deg and others do. The temp out there now is -5. I don't mind the cold but also won't subject a dog beyond it's comfort level. I'm curious what the general consensus is.

I haven't checked the other boards yet for a breeder. I was hoping to get first hand reviews and long term health of Boykins from the various breeders. It's a long term investment and if I can learn from others, I would be greatly enriched.

Thanks for the responses!


I like Boykins. I thought about one. But like the Springer and other breeds, as far as tolerance to cold water it's a gamble. If I am spending significant money and even more significant time training - for the sport I love most....I want to be pretty damn sure Fido isn't gonna stop at the waters edge because that's just 'him'. Or be miserable doing so.

I see lots of threads about people's individual dogs that 'do' what the majority state they are not great at. I can take that at face value. But most stereo-types are born in fact. The Breeders I spoke to admit it can be a weakness if hunting cold water.

And my man Crackerd doesn't know the perils of the Plond. :lol3: However dry land retrieves don't address the wet ones.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:42 am

One other note for comedic value - I also know some Hunt Test people that won't put their Lab in March water in Ohio. While I wouldn't complete a bunch of several hundred yard exercises in really cold water - Fido is damned sure gonna get wet if the water is soft.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby crackerd » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:52 am

HNT, and that forthcoming Boykin breeder you spoke with was located where, exactly, and had placed exactly how many Boykins in northern climes? The stereotype ain't, because all it's built around is, Boykins originated in South Carolina, thus they must not be a cold-weather dog. A little beyond your "individual dogs taken at face value" theory, I've had them in the East for 25 years and they haven't stopped at water's edge once in refusing a retrieve. Judicious use and discretion are also called for, but can't say that I've sat a Boykin

Image

when I could've sent one of my Labs instead to make the retrieve, either. Healthy skepticism may be helpful, but for somebody who's out primarily for upland (including doves), "just getting into waterfowling" and probably not going to be out on Lake Erie, well, a Boykin fits his criteria just right.

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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:59 am

OK Crackerd. But I'll not name names. I suggest you pick his breeding and further stand by it.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby crackerd » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:13 am

Hah, I'm not picking his breeder, his breeding, or even recommending he get a Boykin.

Just reiterating that, taken from his requirements

bvaz8503 wrote:1) I hunt upland and am getting into waterfowl.
2) ... I won't be doing super cold hunts and am looking for a companion in a variety of hunting applications, so a Boykin fits the bill.


and in step with his aesthetic preferences of the "three C's" - cute, compact and uber companionable -

Image

no reason not to proceed with his pursuit.

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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:32 am

Make a fine dove dog. Define 'super-cold' in a Boykins mind. I err on the side of caution and changing requirements when picking a dog or evaluating a breed. That's all I was saying.

I know from this site and others that even 3 eyed miniature schnauzer mixes can be naturals and retrieving machines.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby bvaz8503 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:46 am

Aside from the Cold Water Boykin debate, the original question still remains: The name and review (good and bad) of reputable Boykin breeders. I thought that I'd save some time interviewing breeders and eliminate the bad ones right from the start by getting the community's feedback.

I am pretty set on the Boykin regardless of whether he will do cold water retrieves. As crackered pointed out, I will mostly be hunting upland (pheasant (mostly), grouse, dove, quail etc). I will be starting the waterfowl season next year and will start the pup out "soft" during the opener. If the pup takes to the cold water, then great, we can progress from there, if not...on to pheasants and the like. I do appreciate the input, especially from those above the Mason-Dixon line as I know that the Boykin is a warmer climate breed. This is what originally attracted me to the Boykin (apart from the small size) is their heart for hunting. The hunting heart will help push through some of the colder weather and be a definitive gauge for when "enough is enough" and it's time to come in.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:46 am

bvaz8503 wrote:Aside from the Cold Water Boykin debate, the original question still remains: The name and review (good and bad) of reputable Boykin breeders. I thought that I'd save some time interviewing breeders and eliminate the bad ones right from the start by getting the community's feedback. .


Did you take my suggestion of before and drill through the search results? I am fairly certain what I know the top breeders to be having been posted. There are some very knowledgeable boykin folks on the site that have contributed on those threads.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby bvaz8503 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:22 am

HNTFSH wrote:
bvaz8503 wrote:Aside from the Cold Water Boykin debate, the original question still remains: The name and review (good and bad) of reputable Boykin breeders. I thought that I'd save some time interviewing breeders and eliminate the bad ones right from the start by getting the community's feedback. .


Did you take my suggestion of before and drill through the search results? I am fairly certain what I know the top breeders to be having been posted. There are some very knowledgeable boykin folks on the site that have contributed on those threads.


Yes, I did take your suggestion...about 2 months ago. Maybe it's unfamiliarity with the forum, but I did find some breeders...BigSky (closed), Lost Branch, Rock'nCreek, Pam's Boykins, Yocahono(sp?) Boykins (no response) etc. Most of what I had seen was from 2009 and earlier (2005). I was hoping to get information from those hunters and others on how the dogs turned out (hunting ability, size, shedding, health problems, personality) and if they liked the breeder (a lot of breeders will keep in touch with the buyers to maintain tabs health stats with the line).

I was trying to avoid sending emails to a host of breeders and picking based on "feel" alone; hence the request for reviews - especially from those up north. I have no problem pursuing this course, but thought I'd ask those on here to weed out problem lines or breeders. Thanks
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby bvaz8503 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:32 am

Or maybe, I'm not asking the right questions. If the breeders mentioned here are by definition reputable, then ok, that gives me something to work with. Just trying to get informed and make an informed decision that will be a 13-15 yr commitment.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:43 am

Boykin or Lab finding the right breeder and then the right litter is sure a ton of work. I don't know how many Boykin Breeders there are but should be easier to narrow down then most breeds. Might shoot Crackerd a PM and ask his opinion.

I'd take the recommendations from those well into the AKC Hunt Test or UIKC Hunt Test world.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby crackerd » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:23 pm

First off, PA, nobody in their right mind is going to "weed out" breeders or call attention to "problem lines" of any retriever or gundog breed on a public forum, nor even in a PM, especially if directed at someone they don't know (who in this case would be you). Why would they - and risk the wrath of the impugned coming after them in a connected world? 'Fraid you gotta do your own homework.

Second, the Boykin world changed immeasurably, and altogether for the good, in 2011, when the breed became eligible to run AKC retriever hunt tests. Higher-priced pups by dint of association with that venue, but it also led almost instantly to better breeding practices to ensure that pups sold at those prices were sound physically for the long haul. Umm, these weren't "show dogs," either, if you're still thinking of "eliminating" AKC.

Are there bad breeders still out there? Of course there are, but can't/won't say with any specifics. Did know one breeder some years ago in a not terribly northern location who attempted to run retriever hunt tests with a Boykin and would literally pour water over his dogs to get them "in the right frame of mind" for a water test. Can't recall ever seeing that "trainer" above the started level - and certainly not at a master-level test the next March when the weather was 18 degrees with 25mph winds, strong enough literally to push one of my Boykins almost out of the water on the last bird of a triple.

But she fought it and got the bird, as she'd done through the water and in the teeth of the wind with the first two marks, then did her thing on the water blind too, right up through the marks about 100 yards - which is something you won't understand, but might tell you a little about a Boykin in cold (but not extreme cold) weather.

MG
Last edited by crackerd on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:25 pm

LOL! That's a hoot.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby bvaz8503 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:55 pm

crackerd wrote:First off, PA, nobody in their right mind is going to "weed out" breeders or call attention to "problem lines" of any retriever or gundog breed on a public forum, nor even in a PM, especially if directed at someone they don't know (who in this case would be you). Why would they - and risk the wrath of the impugned coming after them in a connected world? 'Fraid you gotta do your own homework.

MG


Soooooo.....then could you provide your esteemed recommendation on good....no no wait...Uncomprehendingly, Without Question, Grand Titan of Beyond Reproach Character breeders; this way it ensures that your name will not incur the petulance or malice from said breeders but that they will instead sing your name to the heavens and shower you with platitudes and gifts of adornment. :smile:

With all joking aside, I think that you know that I'm not out looking to cause a forum riot. I am only looking for recommendations; the unmentioned will by default be the "weed out". As a general side note, from what I've seen, the rather reputable breeders rarely advertise and have waiting lists that span generations. From my limited experience, the only apple carts that will be upset will be those of which who have questionable breeding practices, Craigslist only Posters, and those who maturity-wise, aren't old enough cross the road by themselves. I have no problem doing my homework and I am really grateful for the advice already given. Just want to get some advice guided by experience from those who have gone before me. As always, Thanks for the help in my first hunting partner.
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:17 pm

I spent 4 minutes following my own advice and used the forum search feature with a couple different keywords and found these fairly quickly - 1 a former link provided by Crackerd. All within the last year or so.

http://www.brandywinecreekboykins.com/aboutus.htm




http://www.frontier-retrievers.com/inde ... tegoryid=1
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby crackerd » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:22 pm

bvaz8503 wrote:...provide your esteemed recommendation on good....no no wait...Uncomprehendingly, Without Question, Grand Titan of Beyond Reproach Character breeders; this way it ensures that your name will not incur the petulance or malice from said breeders but that they will instead sing your name to the heavens and shower you with platitudes and gifts of adornment. :smile:


I like that; you ought to try and get a Boykin breeder to incorporate it into their standard puppy buyer's contract. :lol3:

bvaz8503 wrote:As a general side note, from what I've seen, the rather reputable breeders rarely advertise and have waiting lists that span generations.


And that's how it should be with a reputable breeder of what's become one of the "hottest" gundogs in the country, no the continent, no - actually the British Isles too. Boykins rule the waves! - and the doves!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it if you really want to pursue a Boykin pup, is either to get on one of those waiting lists or get a referral from one of those reputable breeders for same who has an upcoming litter but hasn't yet got the pups spoken for. This is essentially a birthing process for a puppy buyer - there's ups and downs and on the rare occasion it goes very smoothly and you get just what you think you're looking for right off the bat. However, I've also been on waiting lists for up to three years (for other breeds) before getting pointed to a breeder with a pup I could go for, for my requirements.

If I'm not mistaken, the Boykin Spaniel Society will readily tell where litters are on the ground and who the breeders are. That's a start, actually a second start as you mentioned a couple of breeders above that nobody I know has any qualms over, so calling them would be the first start. The requisite questions, in order of importance, are: Health clearances and guarantees, working dam and sire, titles, pedigree, and price. Go get 'em!

MG
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Re: PA Hunter Looking for A Boykin Spaniel

Postby labman63 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:53 pm

Contact Joel Porter @ 704-692-3770 He has trained some good ones and should know where to find one.
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