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Through words and images, we are on a mission to share our passion for pointing dogs, upland hunting and sporting dog photography. 


Pointing Dog Blog

The world of pointing dogs in words and images, moving and still.

Filtering by Tag: Pointing Dogs Volume One

More reviews!

Craig Koshyk

I'm happy to say that not one, not two, but THREE new reviews for Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals have come out recently.

In the July/August issue of Shooting Sportsman a very high-end US firearms and field sports magazine, blogger and contributor Gregg Elliot submitted his review of the book calling it "Part history lesson, part guide and part love letter, Pointing Dogs is one of the finest books about hunting dogs that I've ever read". When I read that my head expanded so suddenly that I lost my  hat. But thanks for the props Gregg, I can always buy a new hat!

Another review that I am very proud of is found in a recent issue of Gun Dog Supreme, the news bulletin of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America. Written by Joan Bailey the author of Gun Dog Supreme, the review is awesome. Joan is a widely respected writer and over 50 years of experience breeding, hunting over and judging gundogs. So when she wrote: "It is an amazing book on many levels. It seems that this is a man who is living his passion and it comes through time and time again." I was extremely flattered but even happier to know that a true hunter who has also been living her passion too understood the incredible joy and satisfaction a project like this can bring.

Finally, I received a review from William (Sandy) Gunn who has written for a variety of national and international dog magazines and is described as "a Canadian hunter, a breeder, and an active field trial and conformation judge with experience behind pointing dogs on five continents under numerous performance evaluation systems."

Mr. Gunn also wrote a very positive review, and I will include it in its entirety below. After you read it, you will understand why I will not only need a new hat to cover my hugely swollen head, but I may even need to widen the door to my house just to get across the threshold!

"It has been a while since I’ve submitted a book review but Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals by Craig Koshyk and published by Dog Willing Publications of Winnipeg, Canada really does have something to offer the dog fancy that is available nowhere else. I am extremely proud that it is written by a Canadian and published in Canada and should soon be known throughout the world for the incomparable reference source it is.

What Craig Koshyk set out to do had been done by nobody before him, and is unlikely to ever be done again. His investment of time, more than a decade, and travel, throughout Continental Europe and North America, has achieved his goal of examining, photographing, and describing each of the continental pointing breeds in detail, and from firsthand experience with each at work in the field.

While Mr. Koshyk’s work is done from the perspective of a hunter, for hunters, it would be an extraordinary waste were it not to be read by anyone with the audacity to stand in the middle of a conformation ring and pronounce judgment as to the merits of the exhibits in his/her sporting group ring. The breed standards for each breed should be the blueprint from which judgment proceeds, but for a fleshing out of the standards and to give them meaning, now we have a text that can truly help, most especially with the less frequently seen breeds.

Even those of us who judge not only conformation but field trials and tests of pointing breeds, and have done so on multiple continents, are unlikely to have seen all of these breeds in the flesh and at work, but Mr. Koshyk has and he has recorded his observations in an orderly and very readable way with a high degree of conformity from one breed to another. One of my greatest pleasures in life has been hunting with and observing pointing breeds at work and I find myself being jealous of this remarkable accomplishment, and wishing I could have been along for the ride!

The scope of this work is truly amazing. When, at the outset, the author compared his research with that William Arkwright had undertaken at the very outset of shows and trials, but chronicling only one breed, the Pointer, I felt that he was perhaps guilty of self aggrandizing. Arkwright wrote the bible on the Pointer. As I proceeded through ‘The Continentals’ I soon realized that my impression was not only unfounded but unfair. Mr.Koshyk’s work IS the modern day ‘bible’ on the continental pointing breeds, and its comprehensiveness is remarkable.

If my use of superlatives is off-putting I apologize but, when you are able to read this yourselves, and please do not neglect to do so, you will find my descriptions not only accurate but understatement, such is the value of this book to the serious student of pointing breeds. Nothing can replace being present and experiencing the thrill of a great dog, of whatever breed, doing his thing with the scent of game birds filling his being with purpose but we can now live that experience vicariously through Craig Koshyk’s marvelous book of photos and word paintings.

If I had to be critical and presumed to be able to offer constructive criticism of such a book as this, it would be only that the font size leaves old eyes like mine wishing for relief through magnification. That said, the present 365 glossy pages would have used twice the paper and have become not only unwieldy but prohibitively expensive had larger fonts been used. Though there will never be a substitute for the presence of this beautiful book in ones greedy hands, or on ones bookshelf, it would be great if a digital version might one day be available." --William (Sandy) Gunn

Volume TWO?

Craig Koshyk

One of the most common questions I get about my book is not actually about the book itself. It is about the follow-up to it. Everyone wants to know what Volume Two will be about.

Well, it is actually pretty simple. You see, the FCI, that huge (nearly) world-wide canine organization divides the various dog breeds into groups. All pointing dogs are in Group 7. But Group 7 is subdivided into Continental Pointing Dogs and British Pointing Dogs. So Volume One is about the Continentals, and Volume Two will be about the British pointing breeds, ie: Setters and Pointers. And I am happy to say that I have already started Volume Two and have even done some photo shoots for it.

So to give you a sneak peak at some of them, here is a gallery of photos taken at the training camp of Colvin and Maizie Davis and in France at the training camp of Yannick Molès.

We have a WINNER!!

Craig Koshyk

Thanks to everyone who sent in their guess for the mystery Breed of the Week! Souris has chosen the winner from among all the entrants who correctly identified the...


Here is how the winner was determined: I wrote the names of all the qualifying contestants onto small individual wooden blocks. I then sprinkled the blocks out across the lawn and sent each of my three dogs to choose a block, one at a time. As mentioned in the contest details, the winner would be the THIRD block retrieved.
3 year old Henri the Weimaraner was sent for block # 1 and chose....
Brett Harrington! Congratulations Brett, you've won a consolation prize: a signed 9x12 inch original photographic print of your continental pointing breed of choice! Just drop me a line with the breed you'd like to see. 

Uma the Pont-Audemer Spaniel was sent for block number 2 and chose...
Danielle Boutry! You've won a consolation prize: a signed 20x24 inch original photographic print of the image to the right: Uma retrieving a ruffed grouse! (Félicitations Danielle, tu as gagné un prix de consolation: un tirage photographique (60x50 cm) de l'image a droit: Uma avec une gélinotte huppée!)

Souris our wise old lady Weimaraner was sent for block number 3 and chose...
Congratulations Calvin, you've won a signed copy of Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals! Just drop me a line with your mailing address and I will sign it, wrap it up and trust it to the friendly hands of the USPS! 

And thanks again to everyone who entered the contest! Stay tuned for our Breed of the Week feature on the Deutsch Drahthaar (aka German Wirehaired Pointer) to be posted tomorrow.


Craig Koshyk

OK folks, put on your thinking caps. I will be asking a trivia question about the next breed to be featured as the Breed of the Week. If you answer it correctly, you could win a copy of Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals!

Over the last four weeks, I've featured four different breeds; three are from Germany and one is (sort of) French. In the early 1900s a group of forward-thinking - some called them radical or even heretical - hunters in Germany combined all four breeds in an effort to come up with something greater than the sum of its parts.
That they succeeded is clear. The breed is now the number one pointing breed in Germany and very popular with hunters around the world. 
What is the German name of the breed?
Send your answer and your name to The name of each person who correctly guesses the breed will be written onto a block of wood. Then the blocks will be spread around the yard and my dog Souris will be sent to retrieve them in any order she chooses. The name on the THIRD dummy she brings back will be our winner!!

The contest closes at midnight tonight (North American central time), June 20, 2011. Souris will perform the wood-block-fetch-draw tomorrow at 9 am. The winner will be announced on this blog shortly thereafter.

Souris fetching a ruffed grouse. Photo: Dustin Leader

Lemons into Lemonade

Craig Koshyk

Canada Post is on strike. 

So what does that mean to a book seller who relies entirely on the good men and women at the post office to deliver the mail? It could mean "I'm screwed". Or it could mean that I should just walk around all day mumbling "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!!" waiting for the strike to end in a week or three.

Or I could follow the old addage: "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade"

And that is exactly what I did yesterday. I hopped in my Honda Civic lemonade-maker and headed south. An hour later, I was in Pembina, North Dakota chatting with a happy-to-be-of-service US postal worker.

I've always known that US postal rates are lower than Canadian rates, but I was shocked to see by how much! When the friendly postman weighed one of my books and told me what it would cost for domestic and international shipping, my first thought was Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!

Not only are US rates in WAY cheaper... but the service is faster. In North America it is a day or three faster than Canada Post and for international service it is like comparing a rocket to a freaking donkey cart! Instead of 4 to 8 weeks for a book to ship to Europe, they usually get there in less than 10 days for the same price! 

So right there and then I made two decisions. 

1. I'm lowered my shipping charges on all North American orders. In fact, if you order two books to the same address in the US or Canada, the shipping charges are ZERO! For international orders, shipping fees will remain the same for now but all books will be sent by airmail instead of by surface mail, no more slow boat to China. 

2. I'm dumping Canada Post. Management and union haven't been able to work out a deal even though they have been at the bargaining table for nearly a year. Next week the government will step in to force them back to work. But it won't matter to me. I will be heading south every week with a trunk load of books to ship via USPS. And I am going to send a nice box of lemons to the fine folks at Canada Post. But I am pretty sure they will never make lemonade out of them since the fruit will probably just rot in a warehouse somewhere waiting for the next strike to come and go. 

Check out the Dog Willing website for new pricing and the special Buy 2 Ship 4 Free deal.  

What the Readers are Saying

Craig Koshyk

Over the last three weeks, I have been busy sending books to addresses as far away as the Ukraine, Finland and New Zealand. Of course most of the orders have been from a bit closer to home, but every day I get a few emails letting me know that they have arrived (mainly) safe and sound. 

Some of the purchasers have also been kind enough to send me their feedback on the book and/or post a review to a forum, blog or newsletter. So at the risk of sounding like a proud father bragging about his kid, bear with me as I post some of the comments I've received so far. 

I was counting the years, then the months, then the weeks for the publishing of this book, but it was worth the wait. I don't think there is any similarly thorough, well-put together, high quality book about the pointing dogs anywhere in the World. Not only the fantastic pictures, but also the very profound content makes the book a precious piece for everyone who is interested in hunting dogs. Not one breed of the Continental Pointing Dogs is left out of the book, breeds I have never seen and never heard of, and the topics and breed's comparisons in their work style, what each chapter covers give a great overview for the reader.  This is THE BOOK about the Continental Pointing Dogs - Zsófia Miczek, Hungary

"Well, THE BOOK arrived today.  It is stunningly beautiful, thoughtfully created, and overwhelming in its scope.  I really cannot imagine how you ever managed such a huge project.  It must have felt as if sometimes this book took over your lives.  Lisa and you must be made of stern stuff to have made it through.  We are very honoured to have been included in your stupendous book.  Bless you and thank you. - Al and Nell McKim, Canada 
"It is hard to know where to start, when attempting some sort of review. In short, this book is a staggering opus.  It features all the HPRs I've ever heard of, and then a whole lot more besides, along with comprehensive sections on the History, Form and Function of each breed.  (Caution:  This book is dangerous.  You will find yourself making a shopping list.  Personally, I am now coveting the Braque du Bourbonnais.  It has a natural bob-tail, did you know?)

The photos are stunning and effortlessly capture the beauty of the dogs in the field.  There are many whole-page photos of dogs, and I found myself wanting even more, and wanting the smaller photos BIG.  I wanted huge *posters* of these photos, they were so stunning.  Realistically, though, I think the photos couldn't be any bigger without something having to go, in this 364 page book.  It must have been very difficult for Craig to choose which photos to use and which not to include; which photos would go full-page and which would have to stay smaller.  (Writers call this 'killing your babies'.  Craig must have killed many.  I feel for him.)

I have only read the Weim and the SRHP sections thoroughly, so far, but have dipped in and out of many others and I look forward to reading more.  I've already learnt things I didn't know:  I had no idea Weims were listed in the German GSP stud book until the 1920s and were considered a grey variant of the GSP!  I'm no expert myself, but I have no doubt that even the most experienced owner of their breed will learn something new from this book.  

The quality of the book is top-notch:  The hardback is thick and heavy, the pages are dense and creamy and (very important to me, this one) it has that 'new book' smell!  The book is (probably must be, to cover costs) pricey.  However, when you think that it costs about the same as a tank of petrol and a couple of entries in a field event, it's a worthy investment.

In the book, Craig often refers to people who have done a great service for their breed by, say, bringing it back from near-extinction or promoting working abilities.  I think it's clear to anyone with their hands on this epic that Craig, himself, has done a great service for all these breeds through creating something which is such a breathtaking tribute to the dogs we all live with, and love.  -
Joanna Laurens, UK

It is  a fabulous book – congratulations! I think you did an excellent job on the history, and you're right most people get it wrong.  I said to Sheila, Craig did a great job.  He sticks his neck out here and there and I’ve yet to find a time when it could be chopped off! - Joe Schmutz, Canada

I received the books today!  Wow, I am in awe   Of course I went to the Weim pages first, but enjoyed randomly flipping around and reading about breeds I'd never heard of before.  It will sit proudly on my book shelf! -Anne Taguchi, USA

There are more messages like this, but I won't post them just yet. I need to find a good contractor to widen the doorways in my home. My head is too swollen to fit through them!