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Ready to get a puppy

May 14th, 2009, 08:03 AM
I'm fairly new here, was only on briefly during the winter. Our family is ready for a puppy. The kids are 5 and 4, so....Hubby and I have been looking at breeds, and looking for puppies for a few months now. I think we've finally found one. There is a litter of Pups south of us. They are Cocker Spaniel with a little bit of Springer Spaniel in their blood line.

My question are these breeds with children. From what I've read and heard...most say very good family pets. But I have heard from a few people that they have a mean streak with kids. Is this true?

This is what we're looking for in a dog. Medium sized(30-50lbs), smart...excellent with kids and not overly shaggy. We live on a farm, so space isn't an issue with us. This pet will be mainly indoors (at nite and bad weather) and really only outside when we're outside (walking, gardening, kids playing, camping etc).

Any input you all might have would be appreciated. TY!


May 14th, 2009, 08:54 AM
I think the best advice I can give you is if you are not certain ask someone who knows animal behaviour to help you decide which pup is best suited for you. They will know by the temperment which one will mesh well with your family.

Like any breed, depending on how this dog is brought up and the respect your children have around animals. If they unintentionally hurt them or torment them - they will eventually either become submissive or they may warn the children in different ways that their (the child's behaviour) is undesireable to them.

Have you ever had a puppy before? They are a handful and with 2 small children there is going to be some sacrificing to be made. Also, if you do decide on a pup - are you planning on going to training school?

May 14th, 2009, 02:37 PM
This is just a collection of info I've gathered from the internet - so take it with a grain of salt!

Recently, I was reading about dog bites in Toronto/Ontario (because I was researching Dobermans). One thing that would consistently come up is that Cocker Spaniels have been reported in more bite incidents in Ontario than Dobermans or Pit Bulls (the latter may be because of Bill-132), and are often one of the breeds most reported in dogs bites or attacks on humans. Huskies are up there also.

There is also a thing called "Rage Syndrome" which Spaniel breeds are supposedly prone to. It causes a dog to be aggressive without reason or provocation, and the Cocker Spaniel is one of the breeds which may suffer from it. I have read before that Rage Syndrome is a myth, but Wikipedia links to a study that showed that solid-coloured Cockers are more prone to "Rage Syndrome", either way it's definitely something to research! I know my neighbour had a Cocker which sent their toddler to the hospital after a particularly bad bite - and it had acted aggressively towards other people as well (they ended up giving it away). But then again, my boyfriend's mom has a very lovely little Cocker, so it may have been "Rage Syndrome" (which supposedly can't be treated) or it may have just been a case of poor socialization and training.

Whatever breed you get, socialization will be of the utmost importance - as well as finding a reputable breeder (and someone selling 3/4 Cockers with 1/4 Springers is probably not breeding for health and temperament). Ultimately it should be up to you whether or not it gets along with your kids, but kudos to you for researching which breeds have a natural tendency to do well with children! :thumbs up

BTW, what about a Basset Hound? They are supposed to be laid-back, easy going, friendly family dogs. I've also heard wonderful things about Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers (great if you live on a farm!), but maybe too shaggy for you? (If by shaggy you mean hairy, lol)

May 14th, 2009, 05:42 PM
Every breed has a range of temperments - my American Eskimo is sort of half way to beta which is good news when you have an Eskie. I had Alpha mini Dachshunds who were the loves of my life but not everyone found that to be true - and also had very mild mannered mini Dachshunds. My husband had a Cocker Spaniel growing up and he was a little terrorist - well I knew the dog and have to agree. Personally, with small children I would probably not go with a Cocker - but there are always exceptions to every rule. If you know who your vet will be, I suggest you ask for his/her opinion on how best to proceed. And a puppy will be a LOT of work!

May 14th, 2009, 08:28 PM
spaniels are a sporting breed, so they, especially when young, need LOTS to do, and I don't mean things they can find on their own, you need to provide LOTS of stimulation every day, lots of exercise. I doubt this breed will be a quiet lounging in front of the fireplace dog for a few years at least. It could be hyper and bouncy and possibly rough with kids. If you spend tons of time exercising and training you may have an awesome dog. You need to research the breeds and see if that is the dog that fits you lifestyle. Take your kids there to spend time with the parents, not the puppies, that is what you will be getting, any kid can fall in love with any puppy, but you need to be sure the adult dog is what you love.

Are they charging money for these pups? Was this an accidental breeding, or do they breed these? I would personally have an issue supporting someone that breeds these puppies, they are a byb, there are enough mixed breed dogs that are in need of homes and killed because there is no one to take them, we really don't need people breeding more mixed breed dogs....

You can probably be sure that it will have tons of energy and if you don't direct it in a healthy way it can become destructive when bored, that goes for any breed really. Spend time with the adult dogs and be sure that is what you want in your home. Make sure the people are willing to let you return the dog if it doesn't work out for you. GOOD LUCK, adding a furry family member to your life is an awesome thing and can bring so many years of happiness and never a dull moment! Research research and make sure it is a commitment that you are ready for!

May 14th, 2009, 10:01 PM
Are they charging money for these pups? Was this an accidental breeding, or do they breed these? I would personally have an issue supporting someone that breeds these puppies, they are a byb, there are enough mixed breed dogs that are in need of homes and killed because there is no one to take them, we really don't need people breeding more mixed breed dogs....

luvmylab has brought up an excellent point here about B.Y.B's (backyard breeders). PLEASE research who you are getting this pup from. If they are asking for money for a mixed breed dog- run the other way, no matter how cute the puppy is. Why not look at shelters in your area instead?

Good luck with your decision. :thumbs up

May 15th, 2009, 06:52 AM
Honestly in my opinion, I think getting a dog, not a puppy would be the best case scenerio this time. Look into a rescue, you can find out if the dog has been raised with kids, and you can see what the adult temperament is like.
I have seen some not so nice pups turn into great adults and vice versa. With an adult, they also have a lot more bite control, such as nipping.

May 17th, 2009, 12:27 PM
We brought home a Springer Spaniel puppy on Friday. She's 8 weeks old. And already housebroken. She's been wonderful with the kids so far, and they're really enjoying her. I took what you said to heart, but for our family.....I was very nervous about getting an older dog that may have already had bad habits. Thank you all tho, for your input. And...she is NOT from a puppy mill. Both parents were on site, a farm north of where I live. The lady was very attached to her...who can blame her...Cassie is a sweetheart!

Gail P
May 17th, 2009, 06:05 PM
A family down the road from me had a springer that their kids grew up with and he was fine with children. Not always great with other dogs, though they had a couple of others as well. He was fine with them, but he'd wander over to the next door neighbour's (his owner's mom and dad's place) and would occasionally go after one of the collies there. Not sure if it was "spaniel rage" or just his temperament. For sure I'd be doing lots of socializing with your pup with both people and other dogs to try to prevent any kind of aggressive behaviour that may be inherent to the breed, if there's any truth to the "rages".

May 17th, 2009, 07:10 PM
Again they are a sporting breed, with lots of drive and energy. The most important thing is exercise, stimulation, and socialization. The dog will not be happy cooped up, and will resort to chewing and other destructive behavior. Training early is a must! Lots of these dogs end up in rescue because people are not ready to commit to their high needs. Especially in the early years.

Yes even if they loved the puppy and the parents were on site, a byb is EXACTLY what they are, these are the people that breed the dogs they have has pets, to make some money or some other selfish reason. This is what adds to the population problem and fills shelters. If they had 8 puppies, you can be guaranteed that 8 dogs were killed today to make space. It is too late now and I am happy that your dog has a home, but please learn about this so you can help educate others and hopefully save some innocent dogs.

May 19th, 2009, 08:48 AM
Oh, a Springer puppy. I'm jealous. We missed the puppy stage as ours was a 4 year old rescue. We considered an ESS this time but got another Lab.

Is your little girl field bred or bench bred?