Im looking fo a new puppy and have been told Springer Spaniels are nice dogs but I know nothing about them? Are they good all rounders, suitable around farm animals, including chickens? Do they suit a family environment?
I have two, although one is crossed with a border collie and yes they are fantastic dogs but they need to be kept occupied and have plenty of exercise. If they are not kept busy they can become manic and I know many people who have had them and have had to give them up as cannot cope with the amount of activity they require to keep them sane. They also love the mud and are constantly dirty! Mine are fantastic with all livestock although the collie cross does love to round up my friends chickens but she would not harm them. They are good with children and if kept busy are very easy to train and they love to get it right. Mine are walked at least 5 miles a day and they are also out and about with me whilst I see to the horses, they are very good house dogs and will bark if anyone comes to the house. If you have the time they are perfect family dogs if time to exercise is an issue look at another breed.
Agree with the post above ^^^
My two springers are the happiest, friendliest girls you could ever wish to meet but they love to be busy. They need mental and physical stimulation. They are working dogs so need to do a job!
Agree with the posters above. Keep them busy and they're great. My springer keeps on going and going, my Mum says of her when she does eventually stop she can recharge her batteries in 3 minutes Mine doesn't do traditonal gundog work but she's a ratter, as good as any terrier I've had
Omg, have I got weird dogs? I honestly think it entirely depends on what they're used to. Mine can go all day but are equally happy to slouch round (as long as they've had their walk!) I admit, Zak drives me nuts some days, but he'll cuddle on my knee for hours. Currently two are flat out on the bed and Bear is my iPad rest.
They will come to the yard or walk in the woods or the park. They are very active as puppies, but at eighteen months, my youngsters suddenly became the dogs I'd expected.
It definitely depends on temperament, too, but my lot learnt early on that evenings are quiet time, no madness, although the brothers love a good play fight. I crate trained the brothers although they no longer use it, but it was a brilliant place for them to escape to.
We have 3 (because we're clearly insane!) and I don't think we could have a different breed. They are such brilliant family dogs! They are pretty chilled at home, but they do go to the yard for a run round twice a day on top of 2 long walks off the lead. They are all very different personalities, but they are all also patient and tolerant and soppy, and loyal as they come.
As an aside, the dogs were all on the sofa, and my siblings and I were sitting on the floor... Not fair!
Sleeping some more...
And partaking in genteel activities such as blackberry picking. He is a proper heffa of a dog, yet the most violent thing he's ever done is behead flowers so he can bring them to us. He is more of a gardening dog than a gun dog!
We have a springer cross cocker, her mum is springer. Rosie is fantastic but has a lot of energy, we live on a farm and she will happily be out exploring all day. She never ever switches off. She's very loyal, great fun, very intelligent a super swimmer (loves to go to the beach), good nose on her we are hoping she will work when she's older. Rosie is fine around horses sheep and cows as she has been brought up with them from an early age, will chase chickens but won't kill them, just thinks they are great fun to run after (she only chases them because we didn't train her well enough early on). She is a mud magnet though...
She is fantastic with children, my OH's neice lives next door, she is 2 and her and Rosie get on so well, always getting up to mischeif. They have grown up together which helps and Rosie knows not to be so boisterous with her.
Springers are fantastic dogs. I have a ten year old one who is my best friend. He is from a working line and does need to have things to stimulate him, although is much more chilled out now he has matured! Was quite a live wire as a youngster, but a brilliant, loyal dog. He is very much a one person sort of dog, not that he isn't friendly with everyone, but he does fret a bit when I'm not about. He is totally trustworthy with livestock, I will happily walk through fields of sheep and cattle with him off the lead as he totally ignores them. Birds are more his thing (although he doesn't touch our geese and chickens) and he has been known to catch a rat or two!
I have one. My best pal really although he is a mud brush/swamp donkey/bog lover.
If you are precious about keeping your house clean or about actually going to the toilet on your own (mine follows me everywhere) then forget it.
Toby is full on when out for a walk - I can walk 5 miles and he does the equivalent of about 20 miles in that time. However, he is very chilled at home and very loyal & loving. He likes to be the centre of attention and turns green if our other dog Stig gets any fuss. He is fantastic with our children too.
I now have five with a pup on its way, once she is 6 weeks old.
I have never had a problem with anyone of them. I normally take two at a time into see my Dad who is now in a nursing home. All the residents really like them and the dogs are so good with the elderly folk.
At the moment they are all crashed out sleeping after spending a couple of hours out in the woods and the yard.
Springers are great dogs and very loving. Would not have anything else.
Now THAT I could live with. Very smart, very very smart!!
Back to the OP's question; I've long believed that dogs are the way that they are, for either one of two reasons, or a combination of both. Breeding/genetics, being one, and the early influences (for better or worse!) being the other.
I've always believed that when I look at a bold and forward puppy, then the rest is up to me. I once made the mistake of feeling sorry for the coward which sat at the back of the kennel, and I ended up giving it to my mother, as a pressie. Strangely, she made half a job of turning it around, but the dog was never for me. It was spineless.
NOT ALWAYS, I realise, but generally most dogs can be perfect pets, Springers included, and accepting that there are no serious genetic flaws, then it all depends upon the early input.
Thanks Alec! Yes she is just super, it's her first birthday today and we are thrilled with how she's turned out. So many people have stopped us out on walks to say how super she is and we already have half a dozen people with their names down for one of her pups when she comes to have them (which won't be for another year at least). So chuffed with her... she's converted my anti-dog dad to someone who asks when am I bringing her over next lol
We have a Springer and a Lab. Both are from gundog lines, although they don't formally work with us. Both are fab dogs, but the Springer is the one with the real jest for life.
But, I would air a note of caution, that they generally are VERY lively, with a stubborn streak, and although very trainable, often are even better at training their owners.........
Some springer owners tends to talk about their beloved dogs in odd terms like "she's a 3 fielder" ........... this doesn't mean she like to go for a walk across 3 fields, but that when on walks she is 3 fields away from her handler
Oh, and you know the old saying......"Labradors are born half trained, and Springers die half trained!"
Ditto the above, they can be manic. You need to be really careful with the line you pick, some are much scattier than others. Some also lick themselves raw when bored, so if you aren't out and busy busy I would say don't personally.
Also consider a rescue... at least then you see the finished product as it were..
A finished product, as you say, but all so often finished can mean spoiled, and beyond the average mortal. Not always, but all so often, those who take in the rescues, take on the problems which others have created.
I love this post. We are nearly one year in to our first experience of being owned by a Springer. Before Twiglet I have always had labs (apart from childhood dogs - JRxCollie and JRxSpringer). I can totally recommend them.
Yes, Twiggy does tend to be 3 fields further on than us when we walk her, yes, she does chew the odd thing (actually she's had my Ariat chaps, my leather riding boots, too many toys to list, a iron (!) and various shoes) and yes, she does chase the chickens BUT she is wonderful company for our ageing lab, is very gentle with 3 young children and loves the Bengal kitten to bits.
She is not a year old yet but is very much part of our family and I'd certainly recommend being owned by one.
Thank you so much for all the replies and the photos are excellent.
We will definately consider this breed of dog, but one more question is a dog or a bitch a better choice for friendliness and trainability or is it just personal preferance. We would not be buying to breed.
Also how do we know who the reputable breeders are?
I have four....all TOTALLY different. Two will work all day long. Dog is VERY good, bitch is a bit young and flighty still.
Other two will sleep all day if you let them, but everyone is ready when they hear the 4x4 keys being picked up as they know its time to go out!
Cute as puppies!
And prefer the quarry dead before they have to retrieve them!
Oh, and you know the old saying......"Labradors are born half trained, and Springers die half trained!"[/QUOTE]
I can't agree with that before we had our springers we had two black labs, they were hard work! They were very well behaved eventually but the springers have been so easy in comparison. Don't think we would have another breed again unless I can convince OH to have shitzu.
She is amazing, the quietest dog you can hope for, dont know you have her in the house, she never barks or makes any fuss. Never runs around just content to be happy in the house. Loves to go for a walk though and races around happily searching for any little critters.
Here she is
She was diagnosed with Cancer in November last year and under went chemotherapy at Liverpool University every three days for 4 weeks. She coped so unbelievably well and has made a full recovery.
This photo was taken about 2 months after her final chemo. She really is a one in a million dog.
This is teal, a springer x lab. He is officially awesome. To me he is just a black springer, barely no lab attitude at all. Sticks to me like clue, unfortunately some dog aggression depending on the situation he is a million times better now though. He works (been out three times this season picking up and beating). I think I will be getting a springer next time. He takes and leaves his exercise, will go out for hours or just a hour round the woods and sleep and chill at home.
I have no experience of bitches so I don't know of they're easier.
For decently bred dogs, go to the Kennel Club website and look for assured breeders, which means they're health tested parents, or Champ dogs which at least says if the parents are health tested or not.
Alternatively, Alec sent me details of this guy who is one of the top guys in spaniels:
Will Clulee. Look up Poolgreen Gun dogs.
Hi, I'm a long term springer owner - both field and bench - and agree with all the above, EXCEPT - do consider a rescue pace Alex. We have a rescue now got at just 3 and meant we did not have the teething, howling at night, house-breaking we had with our previous, puppy. There are a lot of nice rescue springers around of all ages.
In terms of temperment, bitches are easier - hence rescue springers are 75% dogs which tells you something. If you get a dog, get him fixed PDQ. We have a dog now, but he is more bolshy than our bitch was.
Bench bred springers are better at obedience, and generally calmer than field springers, but are more expensive and a bit harder to find. They also IMO carry a heavier genetic load for various diseases. The breed society is working hard to eliminate these ( eye problems, some auto-immune problems, hip displasia & more recently chronic fatal liver disease). At any rate, you will find it much easier and probably cheaper to get a working springer.
Love 'em to bits, cannot speak more highly of the breed...