Thinking about getting a Cocker Spaniel

(33 Posts)
Fruityflapjack Mon 21-Apr-14 21:16:44

Hello all. My DH and I are in discussions about getting a dog. I thought I would run our thoughts past MN to see if there is anything else we need to think about.

We currently have a cat, he is very adaptable and lives between us and our two NDN (his choice!) We would get advice on integrating cat and puppy and would ensure cat has a safe place in house etc.

We have a 1yo DD who is great with the cat as we have been very clear with her about how to treat him.

There would be a maximum of 2 days a week when no one would be at home for more than 10 hours. Our NDN love dogs and sadly lost theirs a few years ago. They are more than happy to walk dog/let out for wee's etc on those days.

My cousin is more than happy to dog sit for holidays and weekends away.

No problem daily walking as we have fields next to our house. We like to spend our weekends out and about in the countryside, NT properties/parks etc so dog would come too.

I had a cocker when I was growing up. We got her when I was one and she was my pal growing up until we lost her when she was 13. I just love them grin I love the temperament and I think they are fabulous family dogs. I've always wanted a dog of my own but wanted to wait until the time was right. We realised the other day that that time is possibly now.

We will hopefully be able to find puppy training classes and plan to put money aside for annual jabs etc. (not sure if insurance is worth it?)

Is there anything else we should consider, any glaringly obvious issues in our plans?

Thank you smile

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 22-Apr-14 07:54:31

10 hours is very long for any dog to be alone, but a cocker who are very people person would find it really hard.
Cockers are lovely devoted dogs who just want to be with people and please their people. They do need a good amount of exercise each day and they o like to get wet a lot, they are not the dog for the house proud.
They are great with cats and children.

everlong Tue 22-Apr-14 08:55:23

I have a cocker she's lovely.
The days that nobody is home for 10 hours plus, would your puppy go to the ndn's? Or would they just be popping in?

Have you considered the grooming requirements of a cocker?

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 10:49:22

lonecat we have a river/brook close by near the park for water play so that should cover that I think and our NT property close by is dog friendly and has a river.

I had just asked NDN to let out and fuss for a bit and thought that would be ok enough. I will talk to her about a bit more than that and look into doggy day care type things too.

everlong we are quite good at grooming the cat, every Sunday morning without fail. So I guess we would be able to commit to brushing a dog quite regularly. How often would you suggest? I used to brush the dog all the time at home and my dad clipped her but we would probably get it done professionally. We used to bath her fairly regularly, We found a quick one with warm buckets in the back garden after a muddy/ wet walk and a towel dry was enough. Would you agree?

I am house proud but downstairs is non carpeted and very easy to clean. I run the hover and mop about every day when LO goes to bed.

Pinkje Tue 22-Apr-14 10:57:42

Show or working?

We have a show cocker spaniel, almost 5 months. I would advise you to take insurance as they are prone, I believe, to more health issues.

Our girl isn't hugely energetic. In fact she just refused her morning walk and is sleeping under the radiator. It is raining so that might have something to do with it. She definitely likes company but is happy left alone overnight - last pee around 10.30 now, and happy to see me again at 7.15. Sleeps in a crate overnight.

I could go on and on but I best make use of her sleep time and get the washing on.

tabulahrasa Tue 22-Apr-14 11:43:10

Puppies shouldn't really be left for that long - even with someone popping in, ideally for the first six months or so they want someone there most of the time.

There's also a very high probability that you'll all get bitten lots in the first few months - is your 1 yr old going to be ok by being chased and bitten by a playful mouth of needle sharp teeth and jumped on and scratched by little scratchy claws? They need to be taught how to play with people and not to play with them like they would other puppies.

With some puppies they get the message in a couple of weeks, with others (like mine) you're basically living with a landshark for the first few months, any interaction leads to biting and walking across the room means there's a puppy attached to your leg.

everlong Tue 22-Apr-14 12:02:15

Cockers need their coat trimming regularly as well as brushing. You can learn to do it yourself but you will need all the paraphernalia or take him/her to a professional.

My cocker is clipped at the groomers every 10 weeks, it costs £30.

The black and blue roan tend to moult moderately too.

The thing with depending on a ndn for help with your dog is that it can become difficult if their circs change? They become ill, you fall out, they just don't want to have the responsibility of looking after a puppy two days a week.

Them just nipping in to let them out for a wee isn't realistic. A puppy/young dog needs more or less constant supervision. If not they quicky teach themselves bad habits. Any dog needs company too.

Doggy daycare is an option. But be careful with these. They vary tremendously.

People do work and have a dog, it is possible but it needs careful planning and consideration.

10 hours is far too long to leave a dog on their own, with only your neighbour letting them out for a wee. I think it would be irresponsible to get a dog if it will be left for 10 hours a day. The most my adult dog is left is 6 hours and that is with me popping home at lunch time to let her out for half an hour for a game of fetch.

How do you expect to train your puppy if they will be left alone twice a week for 10 hours?

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 16:34:18

I assume most people work at least an 8 hour day, factoring in commuting, most animals would be left for about 9 hours or so.

Not all dog owners don't work so if it's not appropriate to leave a dog for that length of time what do you do??

I really want to be a responsible owner but I can't figure out how to solve that one other than the options we have already thought of. Any ideas?

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 22-Apr-14 16:38:51

Most people who get a dog from a puppy use one of the following options.
1. Someone is at home most of the time
2. Puppy goes to work with them

Households where all the adults work full time tend to get an adult rescue.

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 16:39:09

Is there a different breed that anyone would recommend? I'm only going on the dogs I know and/or have had before which are cockers, boxers, rotties and jack Russell's. I'm not a great lover of jack Russell's, and boxers and rotties are a bit big for us I think.

Would it be more appropriate to look at a rescue animal rather than a puppy??

tabulahrasa Tue 22-Apr-14 16:39:52

An adult dog should be fine being left for a work day with someone c

tabulahrasa Tue 22-Apr-14 16:40:43

Someone coming in to give it a a walk in the middle of the day, it's the puppy part of it that's an issue.

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 16:40:59

Sorry lone I cross posted there.

I don't have any experience with animal rescue. Would that be a better option for us do you think? I love the idea of providing a home for an animal that needs a new one smile

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 16:42:03

This is all very helpful, thank you.

I want to make sure we do everything as right as possible as animals deserve that chance.

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 16:43:26

We have a dogs trust near us, would anyone recommend them? Are they helpful do you know? Would they be able to match what we can offer with a suitable pet?

tabulahrasa Tue 22-Apr-14 16:44:15

Sorry my posts all come out in bits because I'm on my phone...

Either get an adult dog that's already ok to be left alone or sort out some sort of puppy sitting. Either a good doggy daycare place (they do exist) or a friend or relative that's willing to take them until they're older.

m0therofdragons Tue 22-Apr-14 17:14:59

I've always heard they advise against rescue dogs with small children.

SpicyPear Tue 22-Apr-14 17:30:44

It's nonsense that rescue dogs aren't advisable with small children. It completely depends on the dog and as someone heavily involved in rescue it really annoys me when people propagate the myth that all rescue dogs have issues.

Dogs end up in rescue for many reasons. Yes some have had a bad start and have behavioural problems. But no reputable rescue would place a dog like that in a home with small children.

One of the rescues I'm most involved with has a foster network so dogs have been throroughly assessed in a home environment and we have plenty of dogs come through who can and do make great family pets. Some have had great homes up until entering rescue but their owners, for a variety of reasons, can no longer care for them.

I have a Dog's Trust dog and they were very good, but as a big organisation take a less personalised approach to matching a dog than a well run independent rescue. For example many dogs will have blanket child age criteria that are more to cover their back than being based on the dog. Breed specific rescue are a fab place to start.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 22-Apr-14 17:32:21

Hadn't realised you had 1yo. If you get puppy you will toilet training two toddlers together.
There are rescues that will rehome the right dog o the right family with children, but potential owners need to show that thy understand how important managing the child is. If anything a rescue dog is more a known quantity and more likely to be good ith children, a puppy could grow up to be anything.

People who work full time don't tend to get puppies unless they have someone to look after them. When I got my puppy I was still at college and my mum used to look after for me. It is completely irresponsible to leave a puppy for 10 hours a day!

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 18:57:33

Thanks for all your responses.

proudaspunch I'm sorry but I am a little offended that you have suggested that I am irresponsible on two occasions. Surely the fact that I am exploring the options and asking advice from people whom I assume would be able to offer sensible advice before committing shows that I am anything but irresponsible. Your thoughts are valid but judgements a little harsh I think.

No you're getting me all wrong, I wasn't saying you personally are irresponsible, I meant it is irresponsible to leave a dog for 10 hours - two completely different things. I wasn't being personal or judgemental. I am just very passionate about dogs and it upsets me deeply when I know people are leaving them in a house all day.

If you tell the rescue centre you are planning on leaving a dog for 10 hours a day they will tell you the same thing.

Fruityflapjack Tue 22-Apr-14 19:13:26

Oh. Ok. Maybe I am being a bit sensitive. Thank you for explaining.

My neighbour is very dog friendly and will come and walk/let out/ make a fuss of during the day. It's more Than likely that they would take the dog home with them! The other NDN will too if needed, I spoke to her today. My PILs live 10 mins walk away and would step in is NDN was unable to.

So this would mean that dog would alone for max 5 hours. This is not as long as at night when we would be asleep.

snala Tue 22-Apr-14 19:29:00

Nights are different as everyone's asleep. 5 hours is a long time to be alone in a crate, especially after a full nights sleep!

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