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Author Topic: Add a Springer to the Family?  (Read 984 times)
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SK750
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« on: November 03, 2017, 10:33:34 PM »

Hello, looking for honest advice.  My husband and I have two children (aged 4 and 7), a six month old kitten and a 2 and half year old labrador retriever.  We are thinking of getting another dog to add to the family, someone to give companionship to our lab when my husband goes back to work in a couple of years time.  We live on the edge of the downs, literally.  So we open our front gate and go for walks without hitting a road.

So, are we crazy for wanting to add another dog to the family and that top of the list is the springer spaniel or another lab?

We have never owned spaniels before so have been doing quite a lot of reading, everything agrees springer spaniels are fantastic and wonderful dogs but there seems to be a frequent reference to being high maintenance and requiring lots (more?) of exercise and mental stimulation.

Our lab is a working type and loves his walks, usually once or twice a day with at least two big walks a week.  He loves to swim so we often take him to a lake for a bath.

Does this sound like an environment that a Springer Spaniel would be happy in?  I don't mind honest feedback, but I would like to know now rather than going through finding a breeder who has done all the correct healthchecks etc, be put on a waiting list and then later find out that we are not providing a suitable environment for Springer Spaniel.
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harveydog
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 09:38:09 AM »

I'm afraid I'm pushed for time, so I'm just going to say hello and welcome for now.

We've got lots of members with more than one dog and with a spaniel and a lab so they should be able to help you out. 

Must dash!   Wink
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Roxylola
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 10:50:03 AM »

I have a beagle and springer.  I had a lab type before, the springer is much higher energy than the Labrador was and I would say up to the age of about 5 or 6 really struggled for an off switch. 
Mine is a real little old fashioned working type though and very very drivey springer.  One real issue I had was with one of my cats, one was fine as she was a solid lazy lump and did nothing fast, she would get in bed with the dogs and cuddle up.  My other was a littler quick cat, a bit bolder and braver and much faster moving and much more skittish.  My beagle and my lab never bothered either of them but my springer just couldn't resist fast cat.  She would only jump at him when he jumped, nothing nasty but I never managed to really train that out of her.  However both cats have lived with my ex-husband since my springer was about 12 months old so it is not longer an issue.
I don't have children but I have never had a problem with her with any friends children etc, she has always been very gentle with young ones. 
She is however very much my dog.  Now that could be just because that is how we have been , but where my beagle will merrily trot off with anyone for a treat my spaniel is all about me, she won't even reliably retrieve a ball anyone else has thrown and she is a bit wary of noisier big children.
In my (limited) experience they are quite sensitive dogs even when they can seem a bit hard headed.  The working lines tend to have bags of energy although they can learn to chill out they are always ready for action.  They are very owner focused, even my lab would potter off and chill by herself on a walk but my springer just can't get enough of being with me, this can get a bit exhausting.

That said she is the most loving little thing, having two dogs once they are both adults is no harder than one - in fact in some respects it is easier as they walk together and keep each other company.  I would recommend if you do get a spaniel, in the long run your set up sounds great in the short term investigate some training classes - your dog will love it if nothing else it creates a great bond
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SK750
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 01:45:26 PM »

Cheers for the welcome and the feedback  Smiley

We would be doing puppy classes and there would be plenty of games and mental stimulation, we play games that include the lab and the children love nothing more than telling our dog to wait (which he does, now) while they hide treats around the house which he has to find.  Funnily enough, our lab loves that game!  We were also considering agility stuff too which wasn't doable with our lab.

I've been looking at lots of breeders, pics etc, we were aiming to find a SS that was mainly liver/chocolate with a bit of white rather than the other way around, but there doesn't seem to any? 

Also, can anyone recommend some breeders? Preferably in the South of England somewhere, I'm based in Surrey.  I am assuming I need to ensure elbow scores, hip scores, eyes, anything else with SS's?  My only experience is labs really where the health tests usually list everything whereas most breeders I've found so far for SS don't seem to do the same tests?  I asked a breeder to let me know what health tests had been completed on the mum and dad and was told 'the vet had performed the health tests and it was all fine'.  No mention of hip or elbow scores or eyes clear etc that I expected.

oh, one last question (this posting anyway!), whats the difference between working and show SS?  Our lab is a working type as we prefer the leaner, more energetic type.

Sorry for all the questions and thanks for all the help  Grin
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Roxylola
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 02:59:08 PM »

Sgurr's our expert on health testing but I know she doesn't get tons of time on line these days.  I don't think any are required, elbows and hips I think seem to be a must for most good breeders, and there is an eye test too PGRA1 I think. 
Colour wise, you tend to get a lot of white on working bred pups but there are dogs out there who are mainly liver (or black) with a bit of white - a few on here I think and I think Sgurr's are more liver than white although they are about as far from you as they could be and still be in the UK!  I am Manchester based so while I know where I would go for a pup I have no idea near you.
You do see spaniels at agility and also flyball.
Sounds like you have been looking at more working line dogs.  Sadly many of these are back yard breeders who don't bother health testing much at all.  The show line differs quite a bit they tend to be bigger and hairier and have a different look to the head.  There are show lines that work, Zoe on here has had hers at crufts, but not working lines that show because they are a very different type.  There is a lot of variation in type within working lines as obviously people breed what they like personally.  And I believe you get variation in areas as well with places with thick cover tending to have heavier dogs with more hair and vice versa.
Have you looked at all at the kennel club list of breeders you may find some on there breeding workers with health tests.  Alternatively champdogs website has a breeder search facility.
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Roxylola
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 03:46:34 PM »

Have a look at this thread here http://www.englishspringer.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=5718.0
and also this link http://www.englishspringer.org/club-code.php
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Sgurr
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 09:24:30 PM »

Hi and welcome,

This site/forum is not a selling situation so I would direct you to the KC for Assureds Breeders if you are looking for a puppy. I would also direct you there for the health tests required and recommended for the breed.
My website where I had a lot of health testing info is down at the moment but please PM me if you need further info. And just to be clear, Sgurr has no puppies for sale now.

Cheers,
Sgurr
PS If you want info on any breeder that I can comment on, just PM me.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 09:28:55 PM by Sgurr » Logged

Roxylola
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 10:24:46 PM »

I wasn't trying to flog sgurr pups sorry just that I just know what you have bred in the past, I meant it just as an example that more liver than white is possible   Kiss
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Sgurr
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 11:25:05 PM »

Hi Roxylola,
Thanks for the thumbs up - I was not taking it wrongly, good to have positive people.  It is just a lottery when the pups come out, some very dark, some very white, and people have their own preferences.
As an example, Peggy Sue had a football team, 11 pups, and mostly on the white side with only three bitches.  But Iain in the Netherlands wanted a very white bitch so that worked out, and he went on to trial her succesfully.
It is a a lottery, I had a quite white stud that produced some dark pups, and my dark stud produced the light bitch Iain wanted.
Cheers
Sgurr
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