My goodness–are these puppies ever cute! Okay, so all puppies are cute. So, I should say that they aren’t just “cute” puppies, but that I am seeing characteristics in these puppies that really impress me. I see nicely conformed pups that are well-proportioned with nice head, chest, feet, and tail sets. They are very bright (intelligent), learning quickly and taking easily to training (currently paper and crate training as well as routines), and showing inherited traits such as a strong pointing instinct, prey drive, use of nose, carrying things around, etc.
You know they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and also that a dog owner can develop “kennel blindness” where they think they have the best and the most beautiful and can not see any fault in their own dogs. I hope this is not true of myself. I think I do see faults quite clearly.
I was recently reading an article titled, American Variations of the Sporting Dog where Joseph A. Graham (1904) wrote, “Humans who have the eye for dogs will be broad in spirit. There is room and there is reason for many tastes. The true sportsman is a connoisseur, and the true connoisseur would rather revel in the perception of beauties and achievements than join the unhappy hunt for imperfections. Every expanded mind is first appreciative; every mean mind is first depreciating.
If a man has seen much of dogs, he can explain certain inconsistencies of the apostles by remembering his own inconsistencies. I confess that I have had many an enthusiasm.
When I have seen a blood like Laverack, say Queen’s Place Pride [pictured added at left], sumptuous among her sisters as the star-gowned maiden of the fairy tale, I have felt that a gentleman’s instinctive love of unexceptionable appointments should weed all other kinds from his shooting establishment.”
He goes on to say, “Then it may be Marie’s Sport [picture added here on left], the Llewellin, structured of steel splinters, born a hunter and a leader, charged with vitality and character; and I predict that this is the type which sportsmen will cause to outlive all the rest through the selection of the fittest.
But if it is Mohawk [photo added here on left], another Llewellin, I see last, he makes the impression—stripped of superfluities, lithe as an otter, quick as a ferret, tireless as Mahomet’s mare. He almost persuades me that he is the finished product, the summation of improvement.”
Graham continues, “It is the philosopher’s best message that intolerance is only a name for ignorance; that only those who have nothing to change never change their minds.”
So, while there are as many opinions of what a Llewellin Setter ought to be as there are of what they ought not to be, I choose to keep my mind some-what open and a wee-bit “tolerant” (enough not to be ignorant, anyway), but at the same time stick to what I do know and have learned about those characteristics necessary to make an excellent hunting companion. The most important (in my opinion) of which are health, intelligence, an excellent, sound body structure with the natural inherited abilities to seek out game for it’s master and to be an equally enjoyable addition to the home.
So, in our quest to maintain the Llewellin as the fabulous gun dog it is and to try to restore it to the status of the champion field setter it once was, it is my belief the current and future litters of Laurel Mt Llewellins will possess those qualities necessary to do so.
Now, back to how great these puppies are… they are very nice puppies with all of the qualities to become future exceptional examples of the breed.
Graham, Joseph A. American Variations of the Sporting Dog. Outing. Outing Publishing Co. 1904. <http://books.google.com/books?id=t6zQAAAAMAAJ>.