Hunting spaniels: sow dogs from the islandNot taken seriously by many, spaniels are rarely seen on driven hunts. What they actually achieve on wild boar, we experienced on a hunt.
Oh God, they are cute. And how cute they look."Christian Stahl knows this reaction of the mostly female hunt participants, when he lets his two Cocker Spaniels "Dakar" and "DaVinci" out of the car. The dainty, about 40 centimeters high dogs with the silky fur wag happily at everyone. They are lively and happy to get so much attention from the bystanders. The race originating from England exists in Germany frequently, is however on large Movement hunts a rare sight.
Of the nine hunting spaniel breeds (English Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, American Water Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel and Irish Water Spaniel), two are there today to give the black coats a run for their money. Some English Cocker in different colors are already waiting to be let off the leash. They come in red, black and white, orange and white, brown and white, and, and ..
Sows are stuck in the thicket
The dogs are eagerly waiting for their turn.
The somewhat larger brown and white, English Springer Spaniels are just getting their sow protection vests on. Whether these hunt sharply at the sows, the coming hours will show. The rummaging qualities and their untiring will to work precede the dogs from the island. But it went over there mainly on feathered game. Not on defensible wild boar. For example, the Cocker Spaniel, which was first mentioned 300 years ago, is said to have its name from the English word woodcock (snipe).
Slowly the Dog troop on the move. Christian Stahl is not here for the first time and therefore knows his way around. He leads the way. The thickets should be full of sows. The command to start the hustle and bustle cracks through the radio. Hardly the small Stoberhunde are from the leash, they disappear in the undergrowth. The drive begins slowly in the light beech woods. A deer brings itself with wide sentences as the first in security. Only a few hundred meters further dog sound is to be heard in a spruce thicket. Quickly other dogs join them. A small commotion arises. Christian Stahl looks at his tracker. Quickly set in motion.
With united forces the dogs blow up the wild boar pack.
"Dakar" and "Da Vinci" are both stance loud. Fast step he approaches the thicket. Now you can also hear the angry grunts of the sows. The trampling of their shells. "The dogs are only 20 meters ahead of us," calls Christian. There the two four-legged ones tumble also already backwards from the spruces. Some defectors have decided to make the attackers fire under the butt. Nothing has happened to the two Cockers, and so they plunge back into the fray. "I go in!"the 50-j?hrigen informs its colleagues over radio. In the thicket the Schwarzkittel formed a wagon castle. Do not retreat an inch from the dogs. Again and again they make small outbursts to drive away particularly obtrusive hunting dogs. When they eye the handler, it is then too much for them. They break away. A defector flees only a few centimeters past Christian, who keeps him at a distance with the barrel of his gun.
When his two hunting helpers are back, he checks them for injuries. Both dogs wear sow protection vests from the company "Bunter Hund", which Christian Stahl founded five years ago. Each vest is individually fitted and designed according to the wishes and experience of the hunters. Also the Springer Spaniels of Sabine carry Christian's vests. Have them work a little sharper on sows and also pitch in when tying up sick deer.
In close contact with the sows
The first sow – a defector – leaves the thicket in front of the drivers.
The hustle and bustle continues. In front of a large thicket they wait until more dogs are there to push through the area together. The sound of the stand is heard again. A look at his GPS device reveals to the dog man that his two are also working on the wild boar again.
He runs off. When he reaches the bail, four dogs, including the cocker spaniels, tied a sick freshet. Without hesitation, the Sauerlander catches the piece. After a short breather the hunt continues. Again and again the brave finders make sows high. Then it is lunch break. Not only the Englishmen are happy about half an hour of rest and something in their stomachs. The dog handlers are also crowded around the campfire.
After a portion of soup it goes on. "Dakar" is the first to take off. Takes up a fresh trail. Hardly disappeared in the thicket, it crashes already on the other side. Two defectors wanted to make off. One of them is lying at the shooting point, the second one is still running away. "Dakar" stays on his trail. His fine nose leads him to the sick piece. Lured by his standing sound, Sabine's Springer Spaniels and other dogs also join the bail.
Together they hold the black boar until one of the dog handlers can rescue it. A colorful troop is now scurrying around the sow: terriers, Weimaraners, dachshunds, Kopovs and the spaniels. Nobody bickers or growls at the other one. The silence does not last long. The dogs have tracked down a small herd of red deer, which are leaving fleetingly. Without a break the spaniels rummage on. They seem to be fully in their element. Of "harmless girl dogs" no trace. They also gladly accept water.
Ducks are also part of the repertoire
At the end of the hunt dog and handler are exhausted and are looking forward to some rest.
Another field of activity of the eager Englishmen is duck hunting. Thereby they are searching for the broadbills in the reeds. Bring the killed birds to the hunter. But today the spaniels first have to go through a swamp and a ditch to get to the sows. Without hesitation they jump into the ice-cold water, from which they are well protected thanks to their dense fur.
Arrived at the other shore, there is hardly time to shake, already it goes on. The second drive is also full of sows, which are brought to the runs by the four-legged dogs. When in the evening a light snow rain starts, all are glad that the hunt is over for today. The beaters and dog handlers help with game retrieval for a while longer. Then distance is laid.
More than 100 sows, ten red deer and 15 roe deer have been shot, and everyone is happy. The hunt leader thanks the dog people for their work. The spaniels no longer hear the praise. Snuggled tightly in the dog box, they are already slumbering in the trunk, dreaming of the black coats they will set in motion on the next hunt. EM
Hunting spaniel club e.V.
Already since 1907 the members of the Hunting spaniel club e.V. the breeding and keeping of the nine spaniel breeds. In addition to the most common spaniel breed in Germany, the English Cocker Spaniel, the club also takes care of English and Welsh Springer Spaniels, Field Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Irish and American Water Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels. The breeding of healthy, strong, shapely and happy dogs is the focus of the club's work.
The association has about 2000 members. This makes it the largest studbook-keeping association of all spaniel breeds in Germany. It devotes itself intensively to the care of the breeders and supervises the adherence to the strict breeding regulations.