16 Amazing Gundog Facts That Sound Like Lies

Prepare to have your mind blown by these startlingly true gundog facts.

A popular online trend these days is the presentation of facts that sound like lies. For instance, the truth that Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid. So, I decided to do a version for gundog aficionados. Prepare to have your mind blown:

1. George Washington is considered the founder of the American foxhound.

2. The Chesapeake Bay retriever owes its roots to two Newfoundland pups rescued from a shipwreck in 1807—but the pups were moved to opposite shores of the Chesapeake Bay and never actually bred to each other.

3. As late as the early 20th century, cocker and springer spaniels were the same breed and born in the same litters. Males exceeding 28 pounds and bitches exceeding 25 pounds were considered springers; the smaller dogs were considered cockers.

4. The first English setters trained as bird dogs predate the telescope.

5. Many German versatile breeds, including the German shorthaired pointer and wirehaired pointer, originated in the mid-19th century due to a change in the German Hunting Law that opened the sport to the middle class.

6. The Labrador retriever originated in Newfoundland, not Labrador.

7. The pointer was the first breed ever used to point game (okay, so this one doesn't sound like a lie).

8. The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever's original purpose was to "toll" (attract) ducks by scampering along the bank.

9. Also known as the Hungarian pointer, the vizsla nearly went extinct around the end of World War I.

10. The black and tan coonhound predates the First Crusade.

11. Beagles don't drool.

12. The dog that ultimately led to the Boykin spaniel was a stray named "Dumpy".

13. Unlike other coonhound breeds whose originators focused only on function, the redbone was selectively bred for its striking, handsome appearance.

14. Weimaraners don't like kennels.

15. A Labrador retriever with a pink colored nose and eye rims--rather than the proper black—is known as a "Dudley".

16. The Sussex spaniel is the only spaniel bred to "give tongue" (that is, bark) while scenting game. The alert is common among hounds but considered an undesirable trait for all other spaniels.

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3 Responses to 16 Amazing Gundog Facts That Sound Like Lies

Kyle Wintersteen wrote:
March 28, 2014

@RachalSager: Thanks for writing. While I have read that the field spaniel distinction was also used, the American Kennel Club chose to include the following in the English springer spaniel's breed history: "In the 1880's, Springers and Cockers were often born in the same litters, size alone being the distinguishing factor. In 1880, the American Spaniel Club was founded, and anything over 28 pounds was classified as a Springer. In 1902, the Kennel Club (England) finally granted Springers and Cocker separate breed status."

Rachal Sager wrote:
March 28, 2014

I have to dispute your assertion that cockers and Springers came from the same litters. If you check AKC records, it was cockers and FIELD SPANIELS (not field bred Springers) that came from the same litters. You can also refer to www.fieldspaniels.org . That is the website for the Field Spaniel Society of America. Rachal Sager Past President Field Spaniel Society of America

BlueHunter wrote:
March 27, 2014

Fact #17: Blue Heelers can hunt pheasant and be dock dogs!!