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Springer Spaniels

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 09:57 AM
Hi!

I'm looking to adopt two English Springer Spaniel Puppies and was wondering whether it's best to get two same gender pups, or whether it will be ok to get 1 male & 1 female (my preferred choice)

I will be adopting the puppies at the same time, from the same litter and my only concern is the possible mating issue.

I am getting BOTH castrated as soon as I am able.

Was wondering if anyone has any advice to give as I won't be at home all day everyday to stop any mishaps.

Thank you,

Weedle :)

phoenix
July 22nd, 2006, 10:03 AM
As long as you get the pups spayed and neutered before 5-6 months of age, you shouldn't have any problems. In my experience, a male and a female are a better match in a house...two neutered males are ok... two females can be a bad combination sometimes (although there are lots of examples where this is not the case). A boy and a girl is probably your best bet, since it is your preference anyway!

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 10:07 AM
Brilliant!!

I've never owned my own dog before but have experience with other family dogs and friends, so I didn't know that you can get pup's castrated that early, but I'm assuming if I tell the vet I have 1 male and 1 female they'll do it early?

That's made my day!! :D

meb999
July 22nd, 2006, 10:14 AM
Some breeders even get their dogs spayed/neutered before going out to their new homes (around 3 months old)!! It really isn't a problem. My dad's Springer was neutered at 5 months.

Just a side note, you said you've never owned your own dog before...are you sure you want 2 Springer pups? I'm just asking because my dad really had his hands full with his Springer, and came close to putting him up for adoption, and he's a pretty tolerant guy. Springer puppies are INSANE. I had to take in my dad's pup (Harry) for over a month (because dad couldn't take it anymore)...and I own a high energy dog (a boxer), but it's NOTHINg compared to Harry.

Just a warning. Since this is your first dog, maybe you should consider getting one pup, and in a year getting another....

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 10:20 AM
Hmmm, I have heard that they are mental dogs!!

To be honest, I was having such a hurrendous time trying to choose between male or female my friend suggested getting 1 of each, which seemed to solve my problem but I have been wondering about the energy levels!!

I think the other thing for me was that because I work full time, leaving two dogs at least they had company and would ease the seperation anxiety?

Weedle :)

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 10:22 AM
I'm with Marie on this one. I wouldn't get two puppies at one time no matter what the breed. There is way too much to do the first year or two to make sure that the pup is housebroken and has training.

The other thing you might want to consider is the fact that they may well bond to each other, leaving you "out of the loop". This could lead to problems if you need to do something with one dog but can't (or don't want to) include the other.

Make sure that your breeder has done all the health testing necessary for the breed. If you end up with major genetic structural issues, you will have double the vet bills and replacing or repairing patellas or hips can cost a good couple of thousand dollars per leg.

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 10:24 AM
Wow....That's expensive!

So now I'm back to my original dilemma...

What gender to get & Will puppy be ok on it's own whilst I work full time?

Weedle :)

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 10:24 AM
Hmmm, I have heard that they are mental dogs!!

To be honest, I was having such a hurrendous time trying to choose between male or female my friend suggested getting 1 of each, which seemed to solve my problem but I have been wondering about the energy levels!!

I think the other thing for me was that because I work full time, leaving two dogs at least they had company and would ease the seperation anxiety?

Weedle :)

VERY BAD IDEA!!

Pick one. Males have a tendency to be a bit easier to get along with in general and since you don't have a lot of dog experience, may well be the way to go.

If you get two so that they can keep each other company, you will most likely have a harder time training them to even sit and seperating them for vet visits and such could well be a nightmare.

meb999
July 22nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
I've always prefered males.....but then again that's probably just because I've never owned a female (and hubby INSISTS on having a male dog :rolleyes: )

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
Would a male dog be welcoming of another puppy in 1-2years time? I've been told (by a possibly UN-reliable source) that a male dog would get very possesive of me and reject a new puppy?

Weedle :)

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 10:29 AM
You need to make new friends. :D

If you socialize your pup with lots of people and other dogs then your male should do just fine with a family addition in a couple of years. More so then a female in almost all cases.

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 10:33 AM
I had a feeling my "friend" had no clue!!

Another, slightly petty question...

When housebreaking a male dog, is it true that if they start to pee and you pick them up to put them on the newspaper/take them in the garden they can't stop themselves from going??

Weedle :)

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 10:36 AM
Sorry. It is pretty much the same with females too.

The trick with housebreaking is to use a crate, skip the paper - take the pup right outside - and keep to a strict schedule. Yes, you can do this while working full time and No, crate training is not cruel.

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 10:39 AM
Righty-o!

So how would "crate training" work?

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm being dumb but it seems that a lot of what my "friend" has told me is a load of rubbish!!

Weedle :)

meb999
July 22nd, 2006, 10:47 AM
crate training is not only 'not cruel'...it's an essentiel tool for housebreaking!!

Here are a few past threads on crate training...

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=26939&highlight=crate+training
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=28522&highlight=crate+training
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=27466&highlight=crate+training

Only train your dog to go on paper if that's where you want him to go for the rest of his life...doing both paper training AND training to potty outside is just confusing for the dog.

Springers are very smart.....I don't want to give you false hope (because every dog is different), but my dad's springer didn't have a tough time learning to go outside...he was housebroken really fast. I would recomend maybe buying a book on housebreaking and crate training...

meb999
July 22nd, 2006, 10:49 AM
When housebreaking a male dog, is it true that if they start to pee and you pick them up to put them on the newspaper/take them in the garden they can't stop themselves from going??

Weedle :)

I've found the best way to stop your dog from 'going' is to startle him (make a loud noise) and when he stops scoop him up and take him outside to finish...if he DOES finish outside, make a huge deal out of it (make him feel like king -- or queen -- of the world)

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 10:51 AM
After you become a responsible dog owner you will find that a lot of people think they know everything about dogs and really haven't got a clue. ;)

First off, you need to find a crate. You are best off doing this before your little terrorist - I mean puppy - comes home. You want something big enough for him to be in when he is full grown, but you need the kind that comes with a divider so that you can make the inside smaller while he is a pup. As a puppy, he should have enough room to stand up, turn around, and lay down. The theory being that no puppy likes to sleep in it's own mess, so will learn to hold on and let you know when it needs to go out.

The crate needs to be in a central location. Fred (we will call your puppy Fred for now although I am sure you have a fabulous name picked out for a male pup) will not like being in his crate if he can not see what is going on when people are home. You will probably need to take the crate into the bedroom at night, at least for a while, so make sure you have cleared a spot.

So, you need to establish a routine. Here is an example:

7:00 am - get up and take Fred out
7:30 am - Feed Fred
7:45 am - take Fred out
8:00 am - play with Fred
8:30 am - put Fred in crate so you can go to work
12:00 pm - take Fred out,
12:30 pm - put Fred in crate so you can go back to work
5:00 pm - home from work - take Fred out
5:30 pm - feed Fred
5:45 pm - feed Fred
7:00 pm - take Fred out
8:00 pm - pick up Fred's water dish
8:30 pm - take Fred out
10:00 pm - take Fred out
10:30 pm - put Fred in his crate for the night

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 10:55 AM
When taking Fred out, it is important to remember that it will probably be more then a minute or two before he goes and until he learns that outside is the place to do his business, you really have to stay outside until he has accomplished his business and you have thrown the appropriate party. Somedays you may be out (in the rain, of course) for a half hour or more until Fred decides he has found the perfect spot.

Also, when you first bring him home, you will probably need to get up once or twice in the night to take him out for a potty break. Little bladders don't hold much for long.

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 11:00 AM
Okey dokey, that sounds pretty easy...I'm sure it's not but I'm trying to convince myself!!

So once Fred (now known as Dillon) has learnt to go outside, I don't have to keep him in the crate all the time? Only at night and when I'm at work?

Weedle :)

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 11:06 AM
Okey dokey, that sounds pretty easy...I'm sure it's not but I'm trying to convince myself!!

So once Fred (now known as Dillon) has learnt to go outside, I don't have to keep him in the crate all the time? Only at night and when I'm at work?

Weedle :)

Dillon (which is a MUCH nicer name then Fred) can be out of his crate when you are home, so long as you are watching him. He should be, actually. You will find that you will learn to read his body language and see when he needs to go out.

When you are in the shower, cooking dinner or doing anything else that requires your undivided attention, then Dillon should be safe in his crate. Not only will this help prevent accidents, but it will also keep him from chewing on things that are a)dangerous to him and b) have meaning to you (like the remote for the t.v.).

No, it won't be easy. But it really isn't hard so long as you are a bit dedicated. And remember - the pay off is a fantastic animal that will be there for you no matter what the circumstance.

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 11:17 AM
I'm definately ready to be dedicated. I've wanted a dog for about 8 years now, and finally the circumstances are right for me to get one!!

After much agony and deliberating, I chose "Dillon" because it means "Faithful Companion" and I can't wait to get going now!

You guys have helped me clear my head today!! Thank you, and I'll be sure to post pictures when I eventually get him.

Thank you again!

Weedle :)

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 11:20 AM
Just make sure you stick around. There are a lot of people here to learn from and offer encouragement when your pup is running you ragged.

meb999
July 22nd, 2006, 11:37 AM
yup, I agree...there's alot of doggy knowledge on this board...
you can check out the different forums..there's a training forum, a dog food forum (VERY informative!), etc, etc...

DRN
July 22nd, 2006, 11:44 AM
Weedle,

It sounds like you have resolved most of your issues but, as a long-time cocker/springer spaniel owner, I thought I'd weigh in. My experiences conflict with some of the conventional wisdom here and may complicate your decision.

1. We've owned English cocker spaniels over the past 25 years but we've also owned 2 springers. Emotionally and maturity-wise, they are similar breeds. They are loving pets, fun, pretty, excellent with children, protective, high maintenance for grooming, and they need companionship all the time. They are very immature. It's like having a mischievous toddler for 5-8 years. They also love to chew - anything and everything - especially when you aren't home.

2. My spouse and I work but because of our family's schedule, our dogs are only alone 3-4 hours a day. Nevertheless, even with that limited amount of time away, our single dogs were lonely. Spaniels are primarily companion animals who are sad when they are alone and, if left alone as puppies, they can be difficult to socialize. Over the years, we have always ended up getting our single dog a companion - for his sake rather than for ours. On the other hand, I agree with the recommendations that you do not buy 2 dogs at once if you are a novice dog owner. The bottom line: Find ways to avoid leaving your pet alone for hours at a time, especially as a puppy.

3. As to gender, we've always preferred males but I don't think it really matters. Neutering/spaying at 5-6 months is standard but ask your vet what timetables s/he prefers. As long as it's safe, the sooner the better especially in the males or they will want to mark their territory and be more aggressive. This will make it harder to add a second male if your first dog is male. Adding a second dog can be a problem if you wait more than 3-4 years because spaniel puppies are so high energy, it's hard on an older dog. The first dog will also feel protective of the original family unit.

EDIT: The more I thought about this, I would buy a male first. It's easier to add a female later if you decide you want a second dog.

4. We have purchased 2 puppies from the same litter - 2 males - and they were life-long friends. In fact, they were inseparable and delightful. Nevertheless, I would never do it again. With dogs, one dog has to be dominant and the other submissive. Often we humans want our pets to be like us and, while the dominant-submissive aspect isn't very human, it's the way dogs are and need to be. It was hard seeing one dog always dominate the other (to me) equal dog, and as the owner you have to reinforce the pecking order the dogs adopt. So the second dog was always the last to get petted, the last to be fed ... the inferior. Maybe you can do this but we found it difficult.

I apologize for the length but I love this breed and I don't think you will ever regret buying a spaniel. Best wishes.

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the info DRN, that did make a lot of sense....

My mum and dad have agreed to let me live with them for the first year of me having Dillon and that will make the lonliness issue slightly easier as my mum is home most of the time.

My question now is this, when Dillon is 1-2 and I get another dog, will it be ok to leave the two of them alone for 3-4 hours at a time?

Weedle :)

phoenix
July 22nd, 2006, 12:44 PM
i think all of this is great advice, and good for you for seeking it out with an open mind and heart!!!

If you really want two dogs, you might consider one puppy and one older rescue dog. But, with timelines what they are, this might not be feasable. Puppy raising is HARD work. We got our first (male) and waited a year before getting the second puppy (female). The first one really helped to 'raise' the second one. They are so much happier to have each other when we are away at work... but they are also comrades in mischief and there's twice the mess! Training and walking is more difficult too. Also, they bond to each other and a little bit less to you. I've always (my whole life) had 2 dogs at a time, though... I find it easier, myself, in many ways.

Also, if you are away for long periods of time, you might have to consider alternatives to crate training. I did not crate train my first guy, because I was teaching full time and away for 7 to 8 hours/day. my dad came everyday at lunch to walk him, but otherwise he was alone and could NEVER have held it in that long. We papertrained him in a large room with bed, toys, etc... that was babygated and puppy proofed. He learned to go outside just fine, and now I think he'd burst before going in the house. My little girl I HAD to crate train because she was more destructive and she was very difficult to housetrain... but luckily I wasn't working full time at the time and she was in the crate for few hours a day.


Keep reading and searching on this forum for information, because there are tons of great threads to read and learn from!

LavenderRott
July 22nd, 2006, 12:51 PM
Thanks for the info DRN, that did make a lot of sense....

My mum and dad have agreed to let me live with them for the first year of me having Dillon and that will make the lonliness issue slightly easier as my mum is home most of the time.

My question now is this, when Dillon is 1-2 and I get another dog, will it be ok to leave the two of them alone for 3-4 hours at a time?

Weedle :)

This will depend on the dogs. My rottweiler was never crated (she was a rescue and came housebroken) and she never got into things. My current dog (a pom) will probably always be crated when we aren't home.

Weedle
July 22nd, 2006, 12:56 PM
Thanks guys, your all really helpful!

I'm just trying to hold out until adoption day now!! Got a little while yet, as I've still got to get things sorted but I can't wait!!

Thanks again,

I'm off to enjoy the picture thread,

Weedle :)

DRN
July 22nd, 2006, 02:08 PM
Weedle,

We've never had a problem leaving our current 2 cockers (ages 8 years and 8 months) or any of our prior dogs alone for several hours at a time, but we only did that after they had been together for 2-3 months and got used to each other. You have to be present and vigilant for the first months after you add a new puppy. There are sibling rivalry issues and they will also be working out who is dominant and who is submissive.

I'm glad you will have help from your parents. You found a good solution for Dillon and for you. Kudos to your mom and dad, too.

Finally, I confess I've never crate-trained a dog in my 50+ years of dog ownership. We put our puppies in a restricted, puppy-safe and house-safe area until they are socialized and making progress in toilet training. After that, we let our dogs have free access to most parts of our house. We also have a dog door so they can go outside when they want. Overall, I don't think it matters as much what you do as being consistent. Dogs like routine and the familiar. If you make a schedule and a few firm and fast rules that fit your lifestyle and family needs, a well-bred spaniel will blend in.

EDIT and PS - Don't add a new puppy at the same time you move out on your own, away from your parents' home. That would be too much change for Dillon and possibly dangerous for your new puppy. Try to add your puppy before you move out or, if that's not feasible, make sure you add your puppy when you will be able to stay home more frequently or when you can come home for lunch and other spot checks during the day. And don't get too committed to adding a second puppy. My guess is you will bond with Dillon and you may not want another one right away.

OntarioGreys
July 23rd, 2006, 09:26 PM
Hi Weedle, congratulations!


Gwen Bailey is a dog trainer in the UK and has written several books and articles about dogs care, training and raising including one called the The Perfect Puppy
How to raise a problem-free dog since you are a first time dog owner and starting with a puppy it may be worth buying this book to start with to help with caring and raising and to learn about the importance of training and socializationhttp://www.dogbehaviour.com/books/perfect.htm

Prin
July 23rd, 2006, 11:09 PM
Congrats on the potential puppy. I agree with everything said so far here... Two pups would have been insane..:eek: They're so much work- the peeing, the chewing, the bad manners, the mischief, the nocturnal behavior... :eek:

Finally, I confess I've never crate-trained a dog in my 50+ years of dog ownership. We put our puppies in a restricted, puppy-safe and house-safe area until they are socialized and making progress in toilet training. Me too (only more like 20+ years of ownership...:o).

As for future dogs, males mix with anybody (as long as they're neutered...). It's the females that are less accomodating. Two females, IMO, are harder than two males, or a male and a female (what I have).

Weedle
July 25th, 2006, 10:41 AM
Hi hi!

First off, sorry for not replying to posts, I only have limited access to the internet (When I can get to my parents house!!)

Thanks to OntarioGreys who suggested that book, it's top banana!! Learning a lot through it.

Thanks to everyone who has suggested that Male/Male or Male/Female is more advisable than Female/Female (this is what my "friend" has aged 7 months and 10 weeks. She had to take the little one to the vets yesterday, the older bitch mauled her:( )

Will definately be taking that into account!!

Also, thanks to DRN for the advice about not getting a new pup and moving out at the same time. Had thought about that, but it was good to hear someone echoing my thoughts!!

Thanks again,

Weedle :)

Weedle
July 26th, 2006, 05:07 AM
Just another quick question!! :sorry:

As I'm currently single, will a male dog be accepting of a boyfried??

I've heard that they can get quite possesive if he thinks another male is moving in??

Thanks,

Weedle :)

LavenderRott
July 26th, 2006, 06:11 AM
If you do your job right, then you should be fine.

Your job, btw, is to train and socialize your pup to be a canine good citizen. By taking your pup as many places as possible, meeting as many people as possible - these things will help to ensure a friendly dog.

While waiting for your puppy, you should look around and see if you can find a good trainer. I have never heard anyone say that they have regretted taking a dog to a class, but I have heard plenty of stories of things that have happened because the dog never had those classes.

Weedle
July 26th, 2006, 06:36 AM
Thats ok then!

I knew about early socialisation and taking him as many places as possible, I have asked a local vet to send me a list of some "Puppy Parties" and where they are held and I know an animal behaviourist personally so she's going to give me times of classes :)

Thanks for that!! :)

Weedle :cool:

Prin
July 26th, 2006, 12:12 PM
I agree with LavenderRott. The more men you allow your doggy to fall in love with (like brothers, friends, uncles, etc) the easier he or she will attach to a boyfriend. :)

LavenderRott
July 26th, 2006, 01:08 PM
Don't forget - your pup needs to meet men with beards, bald men, men who wear hats, people in wheelchairs, etc. The more different types of people your dog meets - the better off you will both be! :D

Weedle
July 26th, 2006, 01:17 PM
What about a bald man, with a beard, wearing a hat...IN a wheelchair?? lol

Dillon will be the best socialised puppy in the whole of the UK!! :thumbs up