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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any experience with these dogs? I am about to get one and technically they are retrievers and have webbed feet. Theoretically you could make a duck dog out of it. Any experience?
 

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I think they can make a great duck dog, depending on where you live. Here in Wisconsin I wouldn't take one out past early November. Their coat just can't handle the cold like a Water Spaniel (I own a 3 month old one of these) or a Lab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am in Arkansas, right now no dog could handle the cold we are getting haha. I know I haven't really seen anyone around here use them. Everyone uses a lab around here. I know they are good for bird hunting and just didn't know how they would be for duck especially with the cold water and such.
 
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I used to hunt with a guy that had them. His first male could take the cold and retrieve geese all day long, but as others have stated, most of them don't have the coat to take extreme cold.

If you're an upland hunter and do some early sesaon duck busting, consider one. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

Good luck
 

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I hunted behind springers for 25yrs. Upland and waterfowl. No, their coat won't turn cockle-burrs or stick-tites, and they can't handle the cold like a lab or chessie.
Spirit and drive? A little springer female might not be able to pick-up a giant canada, but they will not hesitate to square-off with a crip, tackle and DRAG him back to you if need be. Great little dogs.
--Tim
 

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All dogs have webbed feet. That is not a distinguishing characteristic for a water dog.
 

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Rise and Shine Retrievers said:
I used to hunt with a guy that had them. His first male could take the cold and retrieve geese all day long, but as others have stated, most of them don't have the coat to take extreme cold.

If you're an upland hunter and do some early sesaon duck busting, consider one. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

Good luck
What he said. You'll not find a better flushing dog for upland birds. They are not bad on dove and early ducks on farm ponds either, but if you need a really good cold water swimmer stick to the labs.

Springers are breed for their noses, not their swimming ability. They will hunt till they drop and love every minute. Great breed for upland birds.
 

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I've had two Springers. They were willing to do anything and I killed a lot of grouse and pheasants with them, but they're just not made to be cold and wet hours on end. They're great duck hunting in warm weather amd will give their best effort in cold weather with ducks, but water fowling in the cold is not their forte' and they suffer at it. I had to carry one about a half mile out of the marsh after too long being cold and wet (in Wisconsin). Too, they get an awful lot of burs and seeds stuck in their feathering ... even when it's trimmed ... that are a pain to get out.

I've had Chesapeakes, Springers, Labs, and Short hairs. They all did everything I ever asked of them, but they all have their strengths and weaknesses. My opinion: use Labs or Chesapeakes for waterfowl ,and use Short Hairs for upland birds. My chukar kill went through the roof once I started using a GSH as opposed to my lab.

IMO: if you can only have one dog, go with a Lab. Springers are sweet dogs tho. Then again, they all are.
 

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Been waterfowl hunting with our 10 yr. old Springer, Buddy, since he was 3 mos. old. California never gets very cold, but I've taken him to Washington State where the weather can be in the 20s. He retrieved 3 limits a day for my two friends and me each of the 3 days of hunting. Neoprene vest really helps out on those cold days.
 

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I like to use dogs that can do it all. My springer hunts wa state and this year has been exceptionally cold, I use a vest and if it is too cold I cover him with burlap. It has been in the teens pretty consistently. I keep a close eye on him. The dog lives to hunt. He is not as solid as a retriever as a lab but he can't be beat on upland. And yea, a lab does do better in the cold.
 

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I hunt a field-bred Springer. She's about 45-ish lbs of pure hell on a bird. She has been the easiest, most biddable dog I have ever seen. She's broken skim ice and caught cripples in open water. She's not quite 3 and has picked up somewhere around 350-400 birds(ducks and doves). She's steady as a rock, although she does whine when things get slow, but I've learned to live with it. My only complaint with them is their coat. We have A LOT of cockleburs in New Mexico around water, and I have to leave her at home sometimes becuase they're so bad in some places I hunt.

Never seen a dog with a nose like hers, love her size, and a Springer will keep you laughing. I love them, just wish they had a coat more like a labs. I'm actually putting out some feelers for a lab or chessie so that I'll be able to hunt with a dog even when the cockleburs are awful.













 

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NEAduck, Not sure of your situation or reasoning with the Springer, but I was curious if you have looked at the Boykin Spaniel breed? I did a lot of research this past year when I picked out my new pup, and I had to get a smaller retriever because of my living conditions, but I also needed a dog that could do dove on a hot day and long river mallard retrieves on a cold morning. I finally settled on the Boykin Breed and found a pair of breeders in North Central Arkansas. The Sire was out of Greenbrier and the Dame was in Heber Springs, and the guy in Heber is an avid duck hunter and uses his 4 year old Boykin out of his boat and says she hunts all day with no breaks, which is something I can't say for the labs I have trained and hunted in the past.

If you want any information on the breeders or pictures of the dogs I would be happy to pass them along. Not trying to sway you away from the Springer though, just thought I would share.
 

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I grew up with Boykins(I'm from South Carolina), and have been around lots. They are great little dogs as long as you do a little bit of homework on them. They're very popular dogs in the South East, so there are plenty of "pet" litters. My reason for going with a Springer over a Boykin is size. I like the larger build/frame of a Springer. Boykins are little dogs. Most are in the 25-40lb range and I would say the majority is @ 30lbs. I just wanted a little bigger dog.

2dogs- The thermos carries my coffee and it doubles as a flotation chamber for long retrieves :lol3:
 

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Look into the American Water Spaniels. Little bigger than a Boykin. Takes the cold better, so I hear. My male is 55lbs, swimms like a fish and a great upland nose. He will hunt till he drops.
 

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Ditto on the AWS.

I was real close to having one of those myself. Had my name on a list, bitch wouldn't catch, and I found the kennel that I got my Springer from. Of course, not too long after I picked up my Springer, the bitch caught and had a litter. But the AWS is a really nice "little" retriever too, no doubt.
 

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I second all of the AWS suggestions lol. My pup (penny) is about four months old now. Basic ob and retriever training is progressing at a rapid pace. Honestly her instincts probably teach her faster than my training. You won't have to worry about them in the cold as much either. Mine plops down in snow drifts quite happily.
 
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