Springer Spaniel?

(31 Posts)
caffeinated Wed 27-Feb-13 12:35:10

Just seeking some advice and hear you are a well informed bunch on here. A friend of mine has recently started a new job that has a lot of international travel, he divorced a couple of years ago and so now is looking to rehome his 3 year old springer spaniel.

We have been thinking of getting a dog and most rehoming places won't consider us because we have children under 5. I also wasn't sure if I wanted to deal with toilet training because I know that it would end up being my job despite dh claiming otherwise.

Would a springer spaniel be a good breed for us with children? I am a sahm and plan on being so long term.

Opinions please.

Thanks.

MoreBeta Wed 27-Feb-13 12:45:36

Springer Spaniels are a wonderful breed for a family. I grew up with dozens of them as my mother bred and showed and worked them for many years.

However, taking on a 3 yr old dog that is not house trained is a very big ask, especially if he has other behavioural issues. He will have to live outside in my view as house training him will be difficult. Do you have outside space for a kennel and a large fenced run? My mother had dozens of dogs living in a purpose built kennel block with outside runs that were not house trained so it is perfectly OK to keep them that way. However, unless you are very experienced as a dog owner to do the training or have that kind of outside space I really would advise against.

Springers need huge amounts of excercise and are really a working breed so needs lots of stimulation. If you have an outdoor lifestyle, the space in your home and want the companionship of a fantastic dog then do go for it.

caffeinated Wed 27-Feb-13 13:05:13

Morebeta sorry she is housetrained. I meant I had put it off cos after 3 kids I can't face house training a puppy right now. We live near a big park very popular with dog walkers and dh is outdoorsy. I can't decide.

Pandemoniaa Wed 27-Feb-13 14:13:28

Some of the loveliest dogs I know are springers. Some of the most truly bonkers are also springers. They aren't an easy option and do need to be constructively occupied so be prepared for lots of productive exercise and stimulation.

MoreBeta Wed 27-Feb-13 14:42:14

caffeinated - ah right. That changes things quite a bit. They are excellent family pets

If it is a 'she' and it is house trained and you have a park and you are willing to give her plenty of energetic walks that sounds quite feasible.

Springers love nothing more than a really hectic rummage in hedge backs, fetching and retrieving and then come back knackered and have a good sleep.

One word of warning, they can be quite greedy and always demanding food and get quite fat if you give in to their begging so children have to learn not give her treats all the time. Locking her away from the kitchen at meal times behind a baby gate in a utility room or in a dog crate might also be handy if you keep her inside.

LtEveDallas Wed 27-Feb-13 14:50:11

Springers need an awful lot of walking if they are not to get bored/fat. My friend has 6 and they are walked, off lead and in the woods for an hour every morning, 45 mins at lunchtime and 2 hours at night.

His are working Springers though, so can happily work the woods for 6 hours at a time.

They are fab dogs, energetic, cheerful and bouncy. Very clever and respond well to clicker and whistle training.

MuttDog has Springer in her and it shows - she's never happier than when she's trying to flush out pheasants from the woods near our home grin. Now that we are over the upset caused by losing RottDog I'm thinking our next pup might be a failed gundog from CAESSR or ESSR.

kitsmummy Wed 27-Feb-13 15:26:31

I think it sounds like it could really work, but as he's your friend why not ask for a two week trial period?

We have an 18 week old Springer puppy. My DC are 13 and 11. He is all the things mentioned, happy, cheeful, bouncy and clever. He gets on well with all the dogs he meets because he's so friendly but not too 'in your face' I wouldn't change him for the world. In fact, he has even damaged his eye, rummaging in bushes as mentioned but that's another story.

However, even at this age he probably does close to 2 hours exercise a day (if you count it all up) Two walks already. Because he is clever he needs training too, which tires him out.In fact, I have noticed that his stamina has increased significantly in the last week or so but he's also cocking his leg and 'growing a pair', which might be pertinent here!

I can do this because I can leave the kids on their own and they can let themselves in from school (both at high school). My concern would be whether you can provide this with your DC so young, consider school holidays etc. It really needs to be off lead exercise to be honest, a school run on the lead wouldn't cut it for a Springer.

They are wonderful family pets if you can give them this though.

Good luck

Notquitegrownup Wed 27-Feb-13 17:02:37

Just echoing the comments above. Close friends used to have a springer and she was the loveliest dog ever. However, she did a minimum of 4 miles a day and often 6 or more -the wife used to ride, so the dog would run alongside the horses each evening as well as shorter walks in the morning and often a long lunchtime walk as well with retired neighbours who loved to take the dog out. Wondering if a big park is enough. Walks through fields where they can chase rabbits and do 6 laps of the field to every one of yours, are ideal. Can you suss out the nearest woodland/country walks where dogs are allowed off lead? Weekends need to be dedicated to good long walks too, of course.

If they are bored/underexercised, springers can be destructive/chew things. It's a sign of unhappiness/frustration.

caffeinated Wed 27-Feb-13 17:04:38

He's leaving for abroad for a few months so wants her settled. I can't quite excited about it. I just have an uneasy feeling. I grew up with many dogs but have never had my own.

broadsheetbabe Wed 27-Feb-13 17:11:41

Go for it, OP.

Years ago, I took in a springer when my three older DC were also under five years old.

They grew up with her and she was a wonderful addition to the family. A super dog. We never experienced behavioural issues.

Good luck!

MartyrStewart Wed 27-Feb-13 17:16:00

Lovely dogs, bonkers as conkers but to be fair they do grow out of it.

My Parents' springer started to settle down eventually - at the age of 14.

caffeinated Wed 27-Feb-13 17:19:06

We can't walk her that much though not everyday. And I don't want my house destroyed. That said though knowing my friend how I do I can't imagine she's ever been walked that much.

idirdog Wed 27-Feb-13 17:19:56

Never ever rescue or rehome a dog without going through a respectable rescue agency.

They will be qualified to know if the dog is suitable for your family, they will assess the dog and interaction with your DCs. They will also offer support and life time back up to the dog.

Which rehoming places have your tried? There are many that do rehome to homes with children IF there is a suitable dog. There is a reason as to why it is slightly harder to home dogs with young children but when the rescue make the correct match it will be a match that lasts.

Listen to your gut. If it feels wrong, don't do it. Taking on a dog is such a huge commitment, for years and years, that you have to be certain. I have a cocker/springer cross. He's fabulous, loving, cuddly, funny etc etc etc. He's also demanding, gets easily over excited, needs to be busy and costs us a fortune in food/vets bills. At 20 months, he is still acting like a young puppy, and will do for some time yet. I walked him off lead for an hour and twenty minutes this morning, all the time throwing a ball with a flinger. When we got home, he went straight to his toy basket to fetch his tug rope and then dropped it in my lap for a game. I have never beaten him, his stamina is endless. And he's more cocker than springer.

I'd be concerned in the situation you describe, because what happens if it doesn't work out? What happens to the dog? A decent rescue offers lifetime help and will always put the dog's interests first. You'd be taking on an unknown dog without back up. Personally, I wouldn't.

Springers are lovely but they do need HUGE amounts of exercise. My BIL has two who need 2-3 hours per day. With 3 very young children you are going to find that impossible imho.

Please, please go through a proper rescue - there will be the perfect dog out there for you. And enourage your friend to rehome his dog through a rescue - that's best for all of you.

caffeinated Wed 27-Feb-13 18:31:11

Dh is probably considering divorcing me now he is so disappointed but I have said no.

Thanks for your advice people appreciated it all.

LadyTurmoil Wed 27-Feb-13 19:02:21

DH will get over it in a little while but if it didn't feel right, then you are doing the right thing by saying no.

However, perhaps you give your friend a helping hand to find a good local (or not so local rescue) that will help with rehoming. He should probably start now and not when it's absolutely urgent. He could start with www.springerrescue.org.uk/

You could be a good friend to the dog by making sure your friend doesn't put it on Gumtree, Preloved or any of those sites...

digerd Wed 27-Feb-13 19:06:09

Then that would have been the bouncing, excitable , spaniel that came running fast to see my little cute dog, but instead suddenly charged with great glee into a hedge bouncing around in there making lots of breaking branches sounds.
He was very friendly. But looked the typical 'nutty'type of dog I've heard them called.
Oh yes and he was all muddy/ wet. Would that be a Springer?

MoreBeta Wed 27-Feb-13 19:43:42

Yep that would be a springer and they can do that all day.

snowpo Wed 27-Feb-13 23:10:01

Think you have probably done the right thing. We have a Springer we picked up when we were living in Ireland (literally picked up, he was dumped on the side of the road - not uncommon there.) We didn't have children then.
He is wonderful with the kids, but I wouldn't choose to have one again with young children.
As the others have said he needs a good long walk each day and he is quite insecure so constantly wants to be with you/on top of you.
He is also gets soooo dirty from scooting around the woods, charging into undergrowth, puddles, mud. Keeping the house clean is pretty much impossible!

Oh - what will happen to her sad

I have a springer who is not in the least bit greedy. He is perfectly happy with 20 mins off lead in a morning, 40 minutes off lead at lunchtime and 15 minutes off lead at night.

He is permanently attached to my leg or foot when at home, is never knowingly dry and he stinks, but I worship the ground he walks on.

PuddinAforeDinner Thu 28-Feb-13 09:22:29

I have 2 springers (pics on profile).

They love nothing more than running around off lead in and out of bushes etc. They are more than happy with a 40 min run around but would also happily walk for 3 hrs. I think feeding them a decent quality food helps but also love and attention, which I would imagine is the same for every breed of dog.

My two are definitely not hyperactive or mental, infact I sometimes think we have a broken Springer. We often think he should have a cloth cap, pipe and slippers (he's only 2) grin

I often get people coming up to me when I'm out with them, asking saying they must be a handfull.

flowery Thu 28-Feb-13 09:33:49

If you're not sure that's the right decision.

We have a 10 month old Springer. (Picture on profile). He has about 1.5 hours walks a day, of which 45 minutes is off lead. It's plenty.

We did a lot of research, there are some very knowledgeable people on some of the specialist forums. One of the myths about Springers is that they need hours of exercise, and people try to make them manageable at home by trying to wear them out. The problem is they will willingly walk for hours, but don't actually need it.

Mental stimulation is just as important, and with a few training sessions/playing sessions at home, ours is absolutely fine. No behavioural problems.

He is also pretty well trained now which helps enormously. He will sit on his bed in the kitchen rather than clambering all over the table trying to steal food at our mealtimes, which is huge progress from where he was...!

He's a wonderful family dog, and if he thinks I might be going to sit down on the sofa, he'll hover so he can immediately jump on my lap and drape himself over me.

digerd Thu 28-Feb-13 10:16:44

Ah, ' drape himself over you' - bet he keeps you warm < when his dry, of course>
My little dog is about the same size as your sweet cavalier, but with shorter legs, and is too small to drape herself over me, only my lap. But I can pick her up with one hand and she loves her walks but does not bounce. The only thing she chases is birds.

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