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Family/hunting dog

ETNyates

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
168
Location
Knoxville, TN
Hey fellas, I was wondering if anyone local to the Maryville/Knoxville area had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever or a Rhodesian Ridgeback that I could talk to. We are looking to get a good family dog that I can also do some hunting/scouting with. I don't do a bunch of retrieving/upland hunting but I'd like one that I could train to do a decent job with it when my kids get a little older. Thanks.
 
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Rancocas

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2005
Messages
275
Location
Ocoee Country/Cleveland
Hey fellas, I was wondering if anyone local to the Maryville/Knoxville area had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever or a Rhodesian Ridgeback that I could talk to. We are looking to get a good family dog that I can also do some hunting/scouting with. I don't do a bunch of retrieving/upland hunting but I'd like one that I could train to do a decent job with it when my kids get a little older. Thanks.
Both are poor choices for the duel purpose that you stated. IMO
The ridgeback can be a good family dog and a decent guard dog around the home. They do well in the extreme heat of the summers that we have been getting lately. But, it is highly unlikely a ridgeback would retrieve anything and unlikely it would hunt - except maybe lions. That's what they were bred for. Any lions to hunt in your area?
The Chesapeake is a stubborn dog and therefor generally more difficult to train. It has been recommended that anyone contemplating getting a Chesapeake should be an experienced dog trainer. Also, since the chessy was bred to handle the most frigid winter weather and the half frozen, choppy waters of the Chesapeake Bay and other northern coastal waters, all while retrieving duck after duck after duck, they do not do well in our hot summers. The Chesapeake is a waterfowl retriever extreme and a dog for a dedicated waterfowl hunter, not a casual hunter and not a family dog. IMO
On the other hand, a Labrador could make a good family dog as well as a flusher of small game and a retriever. Most of them are very amiable, but there are a few that are also a half decent guard dog. They do have a tendency to wander the neighborhood if they get the opportunity.
Personally, I like English springer spaniels. I raised, trained, hunted, and did some field trials in the upper mid-west with springers for over 20 years. They are great family dogs, terrific at flushing small game, and they retrieve from both land and water. They can't handle icy water like the lab or the chessy, but they do quite well in the early duck season.
Beware, though, that there are two distinct typed of English springer spaniel. There is the bench bred/show dog type, and there is the field bred/hunter type. Both will hunt, but the one is better at it than the other.
Plus the springers are considerably smaller dogs than the others mentioned here. They fit in my canoe with less chance of tipping it over then do the larger dogs.
Just my opinion. Take it for whatever you think it is worth.
 

jag1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
327
Location
Fayette County
I will add a vote for the Boykins. I've had labs and now a Boykin. Loved my labs but would take the Boykin over them any day.
 

ETNyates

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
168
Location
Knoxville, TN
Both are poor choices for the duel purpose that you stated. IMO
The ridgeback can be a good family dog and a decent guard dog around the home. They do well in the extreme heat of the summers that we have been getting lately. But, it is highly unlikely a ridgeback would retrieve anything and unlikely it would hunt - except maybe lions. That's what they were bred for. Any lions to hunt in your area?
The Chesapeake is a stubborn dog and therefor generally more difficult to train. It has been recommended that anyone contemplating getting a Chesapeake should be an experienced dog trainer. Also, since the chessy was bred to handle the most frigid winter weather and the half frozen, choppy waters of the Chesapeake Bay and other northern coastal waters, all while retrieving duck after duck after duck, they do not do well in our hot summers. The Chesapeake is a waterfowl retriever extreme and a dog for a dedicated waterfowl hunter, not a casual hunter and not a family dog. IMO
On the other hand, a Labrador could make a good family dog as well as a flusher of small game and a retriever. Most of them are very amiable, but there are a few that are also a half decent guard dog. They do have a tendency to wander the neighborhood if they get the opportunity.
Personally, I like English springer spaniels. I raised, trained, hunted, and did some field trials in the upper mid-west with springers for over 20 years. They are great family dogs, terrific at flushing small game, and they retrieve from both land and water. They can't handle icy water like the lab or the chessy, but they do quite well in the early duck season.
Beware, though, that there are two distinct typed of English springer spaniel. There is the bench bred/show dog type, and there is the field bred/hunter type. Both will hunt, but the one is better at it than the other.
Plus the springers are considerably smaller dogs than the others mentioned here. They fit in my canoe with less chance of tipping it over then do the larger dogs.
Just my opinion. Take it for whatever you think it is worth.
Thank you for the detail, any recommendations on good English springer spaniel breeders of the hunting line?
 

Tn_Va_Hunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
3,410
Location
SW VA
I really like GSP’s but had heard mixed reviews on it being an overall great family dog. Maybe I heard wrong.
I’ll check out the Boykin!
We have a GSP as a family dog. I don’t hunt her. But she was pretty dang easy to train. Smart as can be. Loves the kids.
 

Rancocas

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2005
Messages
275
Location
Ocoee Country/Cleveland
Okay, I'll jump in here again. First think - do you want a flushing dog or a pointer?
IMO a pointer takes a bit more training in order to get it steady. Of course, it is up to you how well you train or want your dog to be trained.
The only spaniel that is a pointer is the Brittany spaniel. They retrieve. All the other spaniel breeds are flushing dogs, as are all the retriever breeds.
I, too, have had a German shorthair and also an English setter at times. Good dogs for their purpose. But when I got my first English springer it was just love at first sight. I have found, for me at least, that I prefer a flushing dog over a pointer. That's just the way I like to hunt upland birds.
As a kid I was raised up with beagles. Great rabbit dogs, and sometimes they will flush a pheasant, but they don't retrieve. As an adult, I switched to bird dogs.
I think the Boykin could also be a good choice. They are smaller than a springer. Native to the South, they tolerate the summer heat well. Great family dogs. All the purebred, registered Boykin pups that I have seen are quite expensive - but then I suppose any good, registered dog is going to be expensive.
Get online and do a search for whatever breeds interest you. Read the breed standards then look up breeders. You might also check for rescued dogs of a particular breed. No papers, but they might suit your purpose too.
This covid thing has cramped the field trial circuits, but you can also check online for breed specific field trials and hunting tests. If there are any coming up near you, go and see the dogs perform.
I have been to a Boykin field trail near Aiken, SC. Very interesting. Those dogs were flushing and retrieving quail. There were also pups on site that were for sale.
Most of the springer spaniel trials, and breeders, are up in the Midwest and New England states. I lived in Michigan when I was running with my springers.
Do your research. Good luck.
 

TAFKAP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
13,417
Location
Memphis
Thanks for the feedback, I’d heard they are eager to please so the training wasn’t too difficult. Maybe I heard wrong.

Eager to please/easy training isn't the same as the innate ability to flush and retrieve birds. They're big, defensive, and loyal, but you can't train them to develop a love of retrieving, or the ability to sniff out field birds.
 

ETNyates

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
168
Location
Knoxville, TN
Anyone around the maryville area have a Boykin? I’ve never been around one and would love to interact with one for an hour or so. I don’t have Facebook so this is my only option other than contacting a bunch of breeders.
 

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