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Thread: cocker?

  1. #1


    I was wondering if a cocker spaniel would make a good stalking companion? Here's my train of thought: i want something that would work cover and make retrieves as i like my beating and rough shooting, small enough to take up to a highseat because i'de like the company and the extra pair of eyes couldn't hurt.

    A cocker seems to fill the criteria pretty well so just wondering what your thoughts are and if any of you use or know anyone that use them for stalking?

    I can't get a dog for another year or so because of my living situation but if i do eventually get into some stalking then i would like a suiable canine to help me out


  2. #2

    Do you want the dog to be walking to heel as you stalk so it can scent & indicate any unseen deer?

    If so, you have to ask does a cocker have the right temperament for walking to hell for long periods?

    I used to use my Border Terrier and while he would walk to heel, it was obviously a real struggle for him and after an hour so you could see if was wound up like a spring! He got better as he got older and calmed down a bit, but walking to heel was never really his strong point!



  3. #3
    years ago the cocker was much more sedate and training for shooting took for ever as they never wanted to hunt with out lots of encouragement
    but modern day cockers ,hav not earned the name 'pocket rockets' for no reason at all
    yes they will track and spot deer but also will want to hunt, if you introduce them to game , depending on how much you use the dog for each disipline, will depend on how the dog will want to do most of
    personaly i would choose to train it for deer first and then introduce game at the later stage, there is a lad i know who has a cocker he uses for both game and deer ,
    i hav only seen it used for rough shooting i might take him out with me one day and see what happens while we are out stalking , then i can report back on what i find
    a cocker, would not be a consideration in my choice of dog for a stalking companion but they make a fantastic rough shooting dog
    i would look more towards a lab, wirehaired pointer, all along these sort of lines ,as springers and cockers were bred to hunt and flush and well known for running in after a shot is taken
    (this will get you all thinking)
    you could even consider a collie (sheep dog) as they hav speed , steadiness, a good nose , sharp eyes , very alert ,easy to train and lots of brains , they make a good beating dog , just they don't like to pick up
    and are very under rated in the shooting world, but a lot more are entering the beating lines all the time
    has anyone used one for deer or seen one being used for tracking deer
    i would be interested to know

  4. #4
    thanks for the replys.

    well done pete i've never seen a border walk to heel for any length of time .
    yes ideally i would like he dog to walk to heal but i know this can be very hard with spaniels so i wouldn't mind putting it on a slip, more interested in something that's good for tracking and will give me a decent heads up (stalking wise)

    i like the idea of a collie but if it's accompanying you on the stalk, rather than fetching it from the car to track, wouldn't the black and white blob compromise your camo?

  5. #5

    Using a slip works to a degree, but I would still expect a cocker to have its nose glue to the ground hoovering up the various ground scents it encounters.

    If I were set on using a Cocker, I think I'd do as Stone suggests and train it for deer work first. Having said that, this approach could be detrimental to its use picking-up ect, so I think you need to prioritize which role is the most important and be prepared to compromise when it comes to its secondary role....

    Or get a second dog!



  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete E

    Or get a second dog!
    thats what i call a solution

  7. #7

    This is my cocker, Pep. He accompanies me stalking, rough shooting, sitting at the peg and picking up. Hes as good as gold, well most of the time. A very strong dog, he will try to retrieve anything. I have not lost a retrieve with this dog.

    That said I also had a black lab, cracking deer dog, sadly she died last year. She is now replaced by another black lab, undergoing training as we speak, she should be ready for the 09/10 season.

    My cocker was trained on game first, he then moved on to deer after the Lab went. He picked it up so well. He will follow a trail and return showing pins and blood, then lead me to the fallen animal.

  8. #8
    thats always an option pete

    thanks steyr.308 you must be proud he sounds like a wonder dog!
    did you find he took quickly to deer?
    keep us posted on the labs progress mate

  9. #9

    Yes I am proud of him, however a wonder dog he is not, and he does as all cockers have his downfalls. But seriously he is a well a behaved dog. After my Lab passed away I started to take him out with me on the deer and I must admit he took to the deer very quickly, that said he is a very keen hunter.

    He is the sort of dog that is so keen to be out that he adapts to change in order to stay out, if that makes sense.

  10. #10
    sorry about the lab by the way.
    yes it makes perfect sense, that and the way in which he tracks surely just shows how smart the breed is.

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