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Partner wants a dog...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Kerr1992, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    Since your girlfriend knows springers, I'd seriously consider one.

    A reminder that if you get a puppy that you'll need to go gently on the exercise while it's growing, and for the first couple of months you'll need to make sure it's not alone too long so it can have regular food and widdling breaks.

    I'm a Cavalier lover and would say they're a small dog ideal for a small home. They are very much people dogs so need companionship, and they can be either couch potatoes or willing to take long walks depending on their owners circumstances. But probably not an ideal suggestion for you, though I knew of someone in Australia who worked endurance trials with theirs, but I think that was rather exceptional!

    Robbity
     
  2. Enclave

    Enclave Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member
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    You could register with a breed rescue if you want a definite breed.. some rescues are very good .. but do remember you are often taking others mistakes. damaged dogs can be very difficult to fit in a home setting.
     
  3. izzzi

    izzzi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    One thing that is for sure. A lovely dog is going to be very happy and well looked after.
    Best of luck with your choice.
     
  4. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    Just a word of warning - introducing a rescue dog into a house already owned by a cat is not always a good idea.

    I've heard a number of stories with unhappy endings. Scratched dog noses and eyes, cats that move out, a terrorised dog who hid under furniture, a cat eaten by a rescued staffy (they thought the dog had been trained to fight).

    I'm not telling you this to scare you off, just to encourage a healthy sense of caution.
    They advise you to never leave the cat and dog in a room unsupervised, for the first year.

    In our case, we read, researched and debated... Ended up getting a puppy, in a breed intended to be the same size as the cat, not a sight hound, a terrier, or a fighting breed. I still feel guilty for not getting a rescue dog, but we were determined not to take unnecessary risks.

    But even that backfired. The dog decided to grow to half the size we expected. The cat bullies him, and pins him to the ground teeth on the back of the neck (think lion biting the back of an antelope neck, on the Serengeti). We have a pen set up, with a lid, that he goes into if we leave him alone in the house. He loves the cat, but the cat does not love him!
     
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  5. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    Ouch!! Poor little fellow!

    I think a lot of animals have a hunting or even killing instinct whether or not they are a hunting breed. Some of my gentle "lap dog" Cavaliers have been hunters, and one was a holy terror (taking after his father I was told by his breeder) killing larger birds such as doves and pigeons, and (thankfully!) decimating the local rat population. I have an acquaintance - a Cavalier breeder, who after many years finally ended up with one who got a little bird. She was apparently in hysterics, horrified that one of her lovely dogs could do this and I had to be evil and point out that it was really only doing what nature intended, and a lot of doggy games, tugging, shaking, chasing, retrieving their toys are all examples of this instinct.

    Robbity
     
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  6. Kerr1992

    Kerr1992 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well I had a quick look at springer puppies and I like the price in comparison to some of the others. Some reputable breeders wanting over £700 for a golden retriever whereas a springer seemed to be about £400 or less for a normal family pet (still through a reputable breeder) with the more extreme show and working pups a lot more.

    My parents neighbour has a rescue dog and he barks constantly but then again she feeds him ham to keep him quiet so I'm sure he gies "I'm wanting some ham, might as well start barking!" haha.

    Our cat is quite a calm one, but then again she is only 8 months old. she is quite aggressive when she plays though. she follows the neighbours cat around and winds it up something aweful! lol
     
  7. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Our gorgeous golden retriever lived in a 21' caravan with us for a year back when we were waiting for our house in Wales to sell. She was walked an hour at least 3 Times everyday day. Never left more than 4 hours.
    She loved it! Even changing from huge garden, large bungalow.. She always lagged behind on her walks then. Living in a small caravan she all of a sudden started to get a love for life and happily walked on ahead of us on all her walks wagging her tail.

    If dogs get good walks and you have a small clutter free ish home, I would still recommend a gorgeous goldie.
     
  8. Kerr1992

    Kerr1992 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies!

    Where about would use look for a dog like this? Turns out my girlfriends previous springers were from a family friend who breeds them so she doesn't have experience in this either. We are not looking for a show quality dog but there doesn't seem to be any variance in price at all compared to some other dogs.

    Also what would use look for when use did go see one?
     
  9. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    If you are buying from a reputable/show breeder (based on my Cavalier buying experiences) it costs a fair bit to do all the appropriate/necessary health tests etc, on parents before breeding, and then vaccinations and mini health checks for the pups. These expenses are likely to be the same whether it's a show dog or a pet and you usually get both in the same littler, and won't know in advance what nature will surprise you with even with the most careful breeding. So my advice would be to look for a (show) breeder who temperament and health tests, get in touch, visit and see how comfortable you feel with them and they with you, A good breeder will be willing to show you pedigree and health paperwork, let you see the mum with the pups, and give you advice on which pup(s) in the litter would be best suited to your lifestyle. They should also question you about lifestyle, family, security of house and garden etc, to ensure they are selling to a good, safe and caring home - it's the two sides of the same coin, so expect this, and be wary if they don't!!

    Go and have a good Google around and look at the springer breed club sites, and particularly at their information on health and temperament. They should also be able to put you in touch with local breeders with current or possibly imminent litters. DON'T be tempted by any of the cute fluffy little bundles unless you are completely happy with the breeder - it's so hard but don't!!

    I've no experience with working dogs, so can't help you there.

    Good luck and I wish you the joy I've had with my dogs over the years.

    Robbity
     
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  10. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    All our dogs including our goldie were rescue dogs. We had one spaniel (supposedly 3 but nearer to 9), one border collie (aged about 1)and one golden retriever (age 5).

    Google "rehoming for golden retrievers" there are many, many places that take in specific breeds that can't be cared for by their owners. Or type in "rehoming for xxxx" whichever dog breed you are interested in. Or "xxxx (dogbreed) adoption.

    I just seen a lovely goldie 7 year old needing a new home. Abandoned in Bucharest!
     
  11. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    A bit more information for you:

    General overview of the breed here: http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/english-springer-spaniel

    Off the top of my head - some things to look for when choosing a puppy:
    • alert and friendly, not cowering away
    • bright eyes
    • clean
    • no discharge from eyes, nose, ears
    • sturdy and plump, bout not port bellied
    • happy to be picked up & cuddled, but may struggle just a bit
    If you were choosing a show or working dog there would be extra things to consider, but all the above should apply to all puppies.

    And many of the websites may be American so they may have more or less emphasis on certain health issues. This is the case with cavaliers - e.g. they seem to have more hip issues in the USA than in the UK!
     
  12. Enclave

    Enclave Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member
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    If you add to your list ... Gently squeeze the paw of the puppy .. If they react by quickley pulling away or screaming .. It will be an indecation that it will grow into a nervous dog.
    When picking out last Saluki pup we followed all on your list, a few weeks after we got her home we found puppy did have a Heath problem .. Went back and spoke to the breeder about pups problems, she was wonderful .. Offerd to take her back or refund us our cash .. We declined this offer as we chose the pup. No one expected pup to survive .. Two years on pup is a bouncing bundle of fun .. Pleased we did not give up on her. So you can pick wisley and still have problems
     
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  13. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Add to the list - you must be able to see the parents of the dog, both if possible, but most definitely the mother. It isn't always possible to see the father as most use external stud dogs. Good breeders are given accreditation by the Kennel Club and will have documentation about this. There must be a full pedigree certificate, which you can check for authenticity with a bit of effort. There should also be an insurance policy in place for at least 6 weeks after purchase. Within a litter there will be show quality dogs and pet standard pups. Expect to pay slightly less for the pet standard.

    It costs a small fortune to rear a litter of pups (Many years of experience in this field) with stud dog fees, vet checks on the mum before birth and after, vet checks on the pups, specialist heart checks if appropriate to that breed, heating, food, insurance, husbandry. The list is endless. This is why good breeders have to charge what seems like a lot of money for the pups. What you must NEVER do is buy a pup off the internet or from a friend of a neighbour's friend down the road. Make sure your pup has had all the necessary checks.

    Go to see the whole litter when they are about 4 week's old. Talk to the breeder. Look round the kennels or wherever the pups are housed. Make sure it is clean. If you are happy go back again at 6 weeks and choose one. Do not take the dog home with you until 8 weeks old. Taking a pup too young may have dire consequences for the pup. Make sure you know the type of food the pup is eating and at what intervals, and make sure you have the same food ready and waiting at home. This can be changed gradually, bit by bit, but not all at once. It is likely to be a dry food.

    Remember, the dog is for life, which maybe 15 years or even longer.
     
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  14. Scandichic

    Scandichic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You could contact the breeders rescue. There is one for goldens. They are great dogs. My mum has 6 of them. (She used to breed them) and I don't see that it would be a problem if the dog would only be left for a couple of hours. Ailment wise she swapped to retrievers (always had English setters when I was growing up) on the vets recommendation as they generally have less wrong with them. You do have to watch out for hips which is why it might be an idea to get one from a registered breeder with a dog which has been kennel club registered. (The kennel club only allows breeders to breed if the dog has a certain hip score or below. ) often breeders keep back a couple of dogs and sell on the ones which are not doing so well. Whilst looking for the rescue link I found this
    http://www.dogsblog.com/category/golden-retriever/
    Here's the link for the Welsh one
    http://www.goldenretrieverrescuecymru.co.uk
     
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  15. Enclave

    Enclave Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member
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    Good advice, I do know the broader of my pup and the mum .. Seen the dog a few times in the show ring ..
     
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  16. Emma_P23

    Emma_P23 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Labradors are pretty adaptable to anywhere. I have a chocolate labrador and our house isn't the largest. He thrives on his long walks. But he's happy enough. Just you have to go to a very good breeder if you have a puppy. Their health is a major concern if the breeder isn't committed to making sure there's no cross breeding. Mine was from a good breeder and touch wood he hasn't had any problems other than very mild epilepsy and he's 9 now so that's not too bad.
     
  17. Kerr1992

    Kerr1992 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well I think we shall have a look at breeders soon. I'd probably use the breeders on the kennel club website.

    Just need to decide between golden or springer lol. Or a lab.
     
  18. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    One word of caution with springers... (I know them well as my picture attests and we've owned them for 7-8 years). They do have what is known as Springer Rage. We've had two. One from a pup and one that was a rescue. The rescue was beaten as a youngster and has anger issues, which we have to manage carefully. THe one we had as a pup didn't have the same.

    Both, though, seem to suffer the same issue. When awoken from sleep, they don't know where they are and take a little time to remember who we are. During this period they are volatile and WILL bite. We've both been quite lucky in this respect in that we have had no lasting damage, but we have both been bitten. The one we had from a pup we saw both parents and he came from an excellent working pedigree, so do be aware of this.

    Otherwise, any dog will do you justice. We love all four of ours and we've a complete range from a Rotty/Colly cross to a Beagle/Staffie cross. Whatever breed you end up with, you are unlikely to regret it and it will bring a new level of engagement to the house.
     
  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Springers can be a handful and need a lot of training. Retrievers much less so.
     
  20. Kerr1992

    Kerr1992 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah the only reason I'm considering a springer is that my partner has 27 years experience lol. She's had them since she was born but all hers have been female. Not sure it that makes a difference. And goldie is definetly my 1st choice
     
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