Link to one of Sweetbriar Dams as she did a duck search http://www.abkvc.com/hunting-dog-training-videos.htm . They are not for the easy fix person. But they will Reward you
As A Spinone owner I am of course prejudiced. I have replied to several of your comments, hoping to clear the palate. I confess I didnt get into Spins for the hunt. I Had a coonhound prior so not sure what that says. I am a champion of the breed for many reasons despite issues I have encountered(mainly health) Due to the requirement of my breeder I pursued the hunting angle(my dad would be proud) and am totally into their purpose. I enjoy the close hunting of them, the birdiness is a joy to behold, their comicness, their desire to please, and the warmth on the bed all matter to me. I know many of you are trialers, hunters, etc. They may or may not be the dog for you. They have thick skin so can endure much cold without the need of neoprene. On a trail they enable you to keep up with them, they notice if you fall and will come back to check on you.They can go all day over rough terrain, they are stubborn, smart,soft, and are the largest of the gundogs. Their webbed feet are huge, they (most of them ) swim well, & have course hair. Those with the short dense coats do not have much trouble with burrs. Those with longer coarse coats, can be combed out with cowboy magic. They can enter briars, and also go to ground to find their quarry. one of mine disappeared into a muskrat hole after a duck and came out with it.They slobber and sling it but that is what enables them to have the awesome nose that the possess. If you truly are thinking about one get in touch and I will be honest.
Readers may not be familiar with the task of duck search done in NAVHDA. As a retriever person, it made no sense to me but I now understand it after doing some reading and going to NAVHDA tests.
"I love the rod and gun and where they take me."
Also, NAVHDA has an excellent program. If I were to get a versatile hunting dog, I would do NAVHDA events. I saw many different breeds (one friend has a Braque Francais, another a Pudelpointer), it is an excellent program and every one of the people that I met were hunters. BTW, the spinone I referred to pointed every quail in the field---the only dog that day to do so.
The best advice is to get what you like and work with it.
"I love the rod and gun and where they take me."
At the Invitational level in Navhda the water work is a double marked retrieve, and a blind retrieve. at this level is it almost all about obedience. The blind retreive is just that, heal to line, off lead, a send lined up across large water. Dog is expected to follow the line. search is penalized. retreive and return to heal position. Double marked, again is much like retiever tests. obedience on the way to the blind offlead, launched birds, memory bird etc. The duck search is part of the UPT and UT testing. My Navhda chapter has several Drathaar in the group and their testing is even more intense. As a friend noted you train for the highest and go as far as you can.
"There is a nice couple in VA that have a pair." Brad, would that be Ecco and Rosso?
Since my mother breeds them, I spent Thanksgiving with about a dozen of them and have known and hunted over many Spinoni over the years (my original SCOA memership number was 105).
While every one is different, just like other breeds, most of the ones I have known were very, very birdy. Excellent upland hunters that will hunt all day. They do tend to hunt close as they were bred, which gives them a disadvantage in pointing HTs and trials. As far as them being retrievers, that seems to be more mixed but a lot of it I think has to do with less attention to retrieving drive than those of us with retrievers. They are very nosy dogs, which could be a disadvantage running retriever HTs, but I have no doubt I could grab several of my mother's critters and get a MH on them without too much trouble.
They are great family dogs--very loveable and loyal--although their favorite thing to do seems to be to drink half a bucket of water and then come put their beards in your lap.
As to the comment that folks breeding for conformation has bred the hunt out of them, that makes little sense. They have not been recognized AKC breeds long enough for this to happen (there was a lot of debate in the SCOA about whether this would happen if they were recognized, though). Sure some of them may not hunt but a lot of labs are in the same boat.
Sweet beard Brad!!
You talking about the Rosenbaum's? Haven't met them at a training day yet, but I think I did meet them at a DU meeting one time?
Wildlife and Outdoor Photography
Haha! The beard didn't last too long after that picture.
Yes, the Rosenbaums. Thanks, I could not remember.
Mioaks Southbound Sammy JH
Leatherwood's Here's Your One Chance Fancy
"Luck is the residue of design"- Branch Rickey