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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been stalking forums and have seen conversations throughout on Boykins. I was on a waiting list for a AWS when a local breeder, I’ve known and hunted with his dog, had a buyer not be able to pick up one of his Boykin pups. I decided to take her instead of wait for the AWS. BTw, David McKracken(professor) was invaluable in my search for an AWS. I’ve trained a meat dog lab according to Richard Walters in my late teens, a Chessie to a couple finished passes according to Smartworks material in my twenties, and another chessie in my 30’s to senior hunter caliber moving into finished work when we lost her. I say that to say I am an amateur but not clueless with dogs, hopefully my 40’s will be the decade of Boykins. With this Boykin, now 12 weeks today, I got her at 9 weeks, I have been following Hillman’s puppy protocol. I would love to talk about their tendencies in order to have fair expectations for the dog. My biggest difference from previous dogs is the desire for retrieving. She retrieves but it isn’t her favorite thing to do yet. She has crazy prey drive, we live on a farm and she is never not hunting but with my retrievers a thrown bumper or bird was like giving them candy to help their attitude or as a reward. Retrieving doesn’t do that to her yet. I bet I could take her upland hunting right now and she would be great. Her nose is on the ground and she wants to find something!


I would love any feedback and look forward to learning from y’alls experience. Thanks!
 

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If you are following Hillman, he says pups at 12 weeks aren’t super interested in retrieving. You need to build excitement for the chase and worry about retrieving/delivering to hand later. I have a couple of pups the same age going through Hillman. We walk on lead, chase some bumpers and work on “sit” each session. Sometimes they return with the bumper, sometimes not. Hillman‘s videos show the same behavior in the pups he uses for demonstration.

Since she is a Boykin and not a retriever breed, I suspect that behavior will need more culturing and nurturing than in a Lab puppy.

Meredith
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for response Meredith! I hadn’t heard Hillman say that specifically, I know he says don’t worry if your puppy doesn’t act like the dogs he’s using and allow your dog to mature on their time, but it certainly makes sense that 12 weeks is another step in maturity too. However, the retrievers I’ve trained were more like the puppies Hillman used for filming that were 8-11 weeks old, I can’t remember their names. They wanted to retrieve from the word go. I’m great with it coming later for my Boykin but it is certainly different. Throwing a happy bumper can sure make for a great training tool and I haven’t been able to do that yet. I’m really enjoying interacting and figuring out this Boykin.
Thanks again for your thoughts!
 

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Put a small bumper on a rope/lead and drag it around to get the pup excited to chase it. Use a sqeaky toy, tennis ball, whatever your pup gets exited for, which Hillman also recommends. Not all pups have the “on switch” at the same time and not all respond to a bumper from the get-go.

Have fun and let him be a pup!

Meredith
 

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fwiw.
My lip curls whenever any breed of gundog is pigeon holed to specific tendencies in training ,especially retrieving!
My eye brow' squints when the mention of retrieving is related to the breed.
Meredith mentioned a valuable quote "I suspect that behavior will need more culturing and nurturing".
Nothing new here, look at all the threads with Labrador Retrievers at the same juncture as you and your Boykin ,including all them that follow , this or that program .
12 weeks old and only 3 weeks in a new place is scary enough . If I was a Boykin or a Collie or a terrier at 12 weeks old I would have prey drive on anything that moved or had scent , and it would be fun! to me ..
Retrieving, however, as in 'Bring something back to where you were sent to go and pick up , carry and deliver' is ...well...?
Caveat' ..Never trained one , never had one , I have seen a few , and they are formidable 'retrievers'! ..just like any other gundog breeds I have trained . Anyhow, If a Greyhound in the kennel , along with a GSP ,and a Border terrier can be cast/sent to 'retrieve' , I'm sure a Boykin can , and then some !lol x Atb with yours ...Oh, and btw You should tap in to the man from Delaware' on here , and a few others who have 'all breeds' .
 

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Thanks, Robt. - my 40s was the age of Boykin enlightenment, too.

Sometimes, “suspecting” ain’t just wrong, it’s nine miles out in left field wrong.

Since she is a Boykin and not a retriever breed, I suspect that behavior will need more culturing and nurturing than in a Lab puppy.
And once you’re on record as “suspecting” without substantiation, it’s awful hard to, er,
Bird Sky Plant Beak Galliformes


get yourself out from under it…

To the OP: Give that Boykin a bird - most of ‘em I’ve known, and all that I’ve owned, were carrying around mallard drakes at the age of your new retriev(ing)(er) dynamite in a small package. Yeah, give that Boykin pup a bird and then come back and apprise us on whether or not that’s moved - whether or not that’s spiked - the needle on her retrieving desire.

That’un above stompin’ all over suspicion - and 27 pounds soaked with swamp mud - only had enough desire as a retriever to pick hundreds and hundreds of geese, black and white, in her lifetime. She wasn’t the exception, either - you’ll find 99 of 100 working Boykin owners telling similar stories of the retrievin’est gundogs on the planet. I’m sure you’ll be giving testimony of your own once you’ve given that puppy a chance to pick up something other than a piece of plastic. A “happy bumper” ain’t jackshite to a breed that lives for feathers (and fur) in their gob—

Bird Dog Water Liver Carnivore


MG
 

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Couple more things for you, JPD35, before I head out to wrap up swim-by on a Lab yearling this morning so I can get home in time for the inaugural SEC Invitational Bowl (Red River Rivalry, Tejas Teasippers v. Chokelahoma). You mentioned almost every well-known trainer and program bar one. That would be Mike Lardy. Cueing off Robert's (Polmaise) post on not pigeonholing a gundog, I will say that Lardy's (Rex Carr's) program is most adaptable for the last eight dogs I've trained as retrievers, spanning continental breeds to Canadian breeds to, yes, South Carolina breeds - in fact, my last Boykin was the first dog I plugged into Lardy's program (and at the behest of an rtf moderator, no less [she knows who she is]). Lardy is very concise and intuitive in delivering the goods on training a nonslip retriever, and the best bargain today - 20-odd years after it was compiled, is his Volume 1 compendium of training articles he originally wrote for Retriever Journal. No knock against the others, Evan Graham I understand is particularly helpful in the ear of a new trainer who is following his program. Hillman I know nothing about except what I've read here and elsewhere (and the folksiness of his free videos, and - oh, yeah - the few people, field trialers, I know who followed his program working toward an All-Age dog, had to revert to more traditional training (Lardy-Carr) if not redoing completely the basics when their dogs came along a little too shall we rambunctious at the line or in the field from the kinder, gentler approach he espouses.

In any event, enjoy the ride with a Boykin, especially when they're riding shotgun with you or ridin' on your sofa arm - ain't none more companionable. Or fun to work, or hunt over, or just talk a little college football with. They are spaniels, but they are worked as a retriever, and they live to retrieve anything that moves - and falls. And one last word if you choose to go with Lardy's program - he made his crust and renown with Labs and with what in the olden days was called the variable intensity electric collar. Keep that in mind but do your own formulation on how to adapt both his program and his positive punishment (e-collar stimulation) for a Boykin - like halving or shortening the distance on FTP, double-T, swim-by, pattern blinds, etc. Says here your girl will "grow up" to run 350 yard blinds on a dime, 300 yard multiple reentry water marks with gusto, and all the fancy trimmings of her bigger black, yellow, chocolate and yes, sedge, brown and deadgrass (and - as in my avatar - white) retriever cousins.

Good luck,

MG
 

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I owned a Boykin Spaniel once. It was a fine instinctual hunting dog and retriever.

I was in my early 20's and it's a good thing the bitch was "instinctual".
 

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Couple more things for you, JPD35, before I head out to wrap up swim-by on a Lab yearling this morning so I can get home in time for the inaugural SEC Invitational Bowl (Red River Rivalry, Tejas Teasippers v. Chokelahoma). You mentioned almost every well-known trainer and program bar one. That would be Mike Lardy. Cueing off Robert's (Polmaise) post on not pigeonholing a gundog, I will say that Lardy's (Rex Carr's) program is most adaptable for the last eight dogs I've trained as retrievers, spanning continental breeds to Canadian breeds to, yes, South Carolina breeds - in fact, my last Boykin was the first dog I plugged into Lardy's program (and at the behest of an rtf moderator, no less [she knows who she is]). Lardy is very concise and intuitive in delivering the goods on training a nonslip retriever, and the best bargain today - 20-odd years after it was compiled, is his Volume 1 compendium of training articles he originally wrote for Retriever Journal. No knock against the others, Evan Graham I understand is particularly helpful in the ear of a new trainer who is following his program. Hillman I know nothing about except what I've read here and elsewhere (and the folksiness of his free videos, and - oh, yeah - the few people, field trialers, I know who followed his program working toward an All-Age dog, had to revert to more traditional training (Lardy-Carr) if not redoing completely the basics when their dogs came along a little too shall we rambunctious at the line or in the field from the kinder, gentler approach he espouses.

In any event, enjoy the ride with a Boykin, especially when they're riding shotgun with you or ridin' on your sofa arm - ain't none more companionable. Or fun to work, or hunt over, or just talk a little college football with. They are spaniels, but they are worked as a retriever, and they live to retrieve anything that moves - and falls. And one last word if you choose to go with Lardy's program - he made his crust and renown with Labs and with what in the olden days was called the variable intensity electric collar. Keep that in mind but do your own formulation on how to adapt both his program and his positive punishment (e-collar stimulation) for a Boykin - like halving or shortening the distance on FTP, double-T, swim-by, pattern blinds, etc. Says here your girl will "grow up" to run 350 yard blinds on a dime, 300 yard multiple reentry water marks with gusto, and all the fancy trimmings of her bigger black, yellow, chocolate and yes, sedge, brown and deadgrass (and - as in my avatar - white) retriever cousins.

Good luck,

MG
Well said Mike. I think one finished the MN in Cascade, but not sure, everything looked great from where I was watching, He was high as a kite, and a joy to watch work. Speedy Gonzalos comes to mind
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I connected with Crackerd and have been communicating back and forth. To catch you up, I stumbled on my pups infatuation with a plastic water bottle. I took the bottle and threw a fun bumper in the house, she sprinted to it, picked it up, and sprinted back to me. Did it again with the same result so I put it up. Next morning, went out for the Hillman game, sit, and marks with the water bottle. Same intensity and attitude. She was locked on me and ready to go. Great session and we quit at the height of her interest. Next day, same thing. She was so interested and executing Hillman “the game” so well that I introduced “traffic cop”, same enthusiasm. Her sit has always been very natural. She sits with complete focus on me, responds to Hillman’s reinforcement and hasn’t needed hardly any corrections. However, I haven’t wanted to continue with any obedience until she showed more excitement with retrieves but that is seeming like a distant issue now. That afternoon I went out with a bumper and bottle. When I mixed in the bumper I could tell she wasn’t as turned on by it but she still ran out, eventually picked it up, and brought it back. Next one would be bottle and she couldn’t get it and get back to me fast enough. I’m very pleased and believe she will eventually carry that attitude to bumpers but I’m taking it slow and enjoying her enthusiasm!
Crackerd encouraged me to get a full size duck for her and I’m working on getting some for her. She had a very bad chewing episode with a dove so I look forward to seeing how she does with the bigger tougher duck.
 
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