The search continues...(and it's amazing what I can rationalize to myself)

Neither of the two available britts were ones that would work for our situation, and besides-when I started taking my family through the decision tree I was using to pick a breed I made the mistake of watching some video of spaniels work.  I was using a compare/contrast method to further educate the family-in the spaniel corner, we had Buccleuch Pepper:

Impressive, no?

If you go back a few generations there are links to my current dog, Emmie.

The pointing breeds were well represented by a video from the Berg bros, and the slam-to-point styling elicited "wow" from the family, but these vids were taking place in areas that are foreign to to us here in GA.  We don't have any rolling prairie and it's 4 hours to the expensive quail plantations in the southern part of the state (which BTW-came about in post civil-war reconstruction when confiscatory taxes were levied on landholders allowing large tracts to be purchased by industrialists...but that's another topic).

Simply put-I think I've been somewhat straying from my rough shooting ethos that led me to spaniels in the first place.  There are reasons for that-not the least of which is degenerative arthritis in an ankle that is never going to get better-but as my wife said: if I can still walk right now it would be a shame to move away from spaniels before I was forced in to a hover-round.(that's not a direct quote, but it is the gist) actual calls have been made but no deals are in the works yet and no pups are on their way.

I inquired into one litter where I thought a M & F were still avail, but they were all gone. It was a good litter that I have been interested in for a while. Getting feedback on the owner and litter from an friend nearby led me to reach out-albiet too late. Why? Being (very tenuously) somewhat on the 'inside' of the gundog world, I can tell you that the dogs that are usually advertised outside the 'community' are not the top dogs. It's just a simple fact. Win a CFC, AFC, and your litter is sold before it hits the ground-often with a waiting list. BUT, I could get lucky. There ARE lots of HIGHLY bred dogs available.  Not everyone is interested in working towards FC or MH titles...and not everyone wants a dog that performs at that level.

I'm reading a book, Chris Schwarz's The Anarchist's Tool Chest. The description he gives of chisels is something that is relevant to so many things, but dogs in particular-there are crappy ones and there are good ones; and they both can cost the same.

To that point, I was talking with a breeder/trainer last night and I was schooled in how little I know about specific dogs-she was able to name g.grandparents of dogs that she didn't own, that had led to different breedings-each with different characteristics b/c of the breeding.

So, what can I rationalize?  That it may not be as expensive to import a dog from the UK than it is to get a lesser bred dog from somewhere on this continent.   I just don't think I could ever tell my extended family that I imported a dog....they still talk about Emmie who was from the far away land of MN like I am a chi-chi Perrier drinker.

Nevertheless, the feelers are out.

There's a cross from the aforementioned Buccleuch Pepper....

There's an expected cocker litter to hit the ground in Sept that's here in the states.  Some say that we imported so many of the best cocker lines that your chances of getting a good cross here are better than the UK right now....

We'll see what else shows up.


  1. You've leveled two of the best against each other, and may well find that others pale in comparison. When it's time to move over to a setter, I think youll find that a Berg Bros dog does just fine in the woods, and many have turned into good grouse dogs.

    Buccleuch is nice breeding, too. I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend with Dave, watch him train, listen to his theories, and share a drink and a meal with him. Getting a Buccleuch dog is difficult at the moment, and I don't expect it'll get any easier. Plenty of good spaniels here, though.

    1. I haven't had a chance to meet David Lissett yet, but do enjoy his DVD. I keep hoping he will come back to this side of the pond and do a workshop.

      I'm glad you said "move over" to a setter, rather than "move UP"!


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