Cocker spaniels????

(34 Posts)
clpsmum Sun 13-Oct-13 07:43:39

We lost our lovely Kibg Charles Spaniel very recently. As much as we adored him our house is just empty without a family pet. We have the chance to adopt two cocker spaniel puppies. I've had no experience with cocker spaniels at all and wonder if anyone can offer any advice? I have three DC under 7yrs and am a sahm

Fugacity Sun 13-Oct-13 07:45:09

I have a cocker - lovely breed and brilliant with children.

Not enough of a clue about Cockers, but definitely don't adopt two puppies at the same time.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 13-Oct-13 08:40:27

Recently I had a new client arrive at the surgery. On retirement she had got two cocker spaniel puppies together and they were now a year old. They were lovely friendly dogs, however, they were totally unruly we watched her arrive and leave with both her arms split in opposite directions. She was an experienced dog owner previously having owned German shepherds. She said she had not realised how pack like they would become if you got two together not listening to a word she said.

basildonbond Sun 13-Oct-13 08:40:48

Our old cocker was unbelievably dim but so good-natured and happy - every morning he got up and thought "yay! another day! Yippee!!!"

Very good with children and other dogs, not at all bad-tempered, didn't bark much, chewed a bit but not Labrador destructiveness, loved walks as long as they weren't too long (would flop down and refuse to move when he ran out of steam), hated rain and for a water dog wasn't much of a swimmer, took ages to be reliably house-trained but that was more a combination of his lack of brain power and a very dodgy start in life (he'd spent his first 6 months locked in a shed). Despite missing all the crucial socialisation time, he was not a fearful dog at all.

He needed regular grooming and his ears and tail picked up every bit of mud, burr, grass seed he went past...sadly he developed epilepsy when he was about 6 and needed daily medication for the rest of his life

He was a lovely dog but I definitely wouldn't get two siblings at the same time as they will bond with each other and not with you

clpsmum Sun 13-Oct-13 10:23:38

Hadn't even thought about the problems of getting two at the same time. Thank you for pointing that out to me it's not something I would've thought about to be honest. How long would you recommend leaving between puppy one and possibly a second one?

We only lost our dog very very recently and everyone telling me it's too soon for another but house just feels empty without him.

My main concern about getting one so soon is the length of time it takes to house train a pup and if I want one enough to go through that again!!!

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 13-Oct-13 10:39:54

You need for dog1 to be an adult and well beyond the teenage phase. As a cocker cross owner I would say dog1 needs to be at least 2 years old before you get dog2.
You also need to consider the lead holding, child hand holding combinations too.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 13-Oct-13 10:40:54

Oh yes not just on a need to hold your hand basis. My nearly 10 year old DD still sometimes wants to hold my hand on a dog walk particularly if she has had a bad day.

My younger dog is a cocker, and she makes a great "little sis" for Max the Weim, who is 3 years older than her.

Cockers are fab dogs. Every day is Christmas Day. They are very vocal - I swear Mini has different yelps and yaps for different things. Easily pleased, very sociable, very smart and easy to train. But 2 at once would be a nightmare!

everlong Sun 13-Oct-13 20:14:53

Busy, loving, greedy, nosy, busy, loads of energy, busy, busy.

topbannana Mon 14-Oct-13 00:41:37

Don't get two puppies <shudder>

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 14-Oct-13 02:20:07

I miss my Old Girl sad

Though, it was 15 years of having a loopy puppy who thought she was human and never got used to be left alone (not even for 5 minutes, she'd howl) and could not be let off the lead as she would be head down, arse up and off - the whole world is just so very exciting when you are a cocker spaniel. She was adorable and drove me insane! <Oh & we did training class, oh yes we did... for the good it did I might as well have just burned pound notes!>

Though to be fair to her, we found out in later life that her eyesight was bad and probably had always been, so it might have had something to do with that.

I'd have another in a heart beat if I was home more! But only the one - I'm mad, not stupid grin

everlong Mon 14-Oct-13 06:40:02

Oh I missed the two bit.

Never get two puppies.
Unless you want certifying.

clpsmum Mon 14-Oct-13 08:43:35

Lol I can safely say, now I've had time to think I will just be getting one puppy. Thank you all so much for your advice especially making me realise how stupid it would be go get two!!

yeghoulsandlittledevils Mon 14-Oct-13 08:45:15

All the cocker spaniels I have knows have been as mad as a box of frogs and just as jumpy.

daisylulu Mon 14-Oct-13 08:49:49

I have a 3 year old show cocker and I 2 year old DD. both are best of friends grin

Contrary to other peoples experience, my cocker is the laziest dog you will ever meet! My DH actually had to bring her back from one of his runs as she refused to Jo up the hill! smile

I couldn't recommend the breed enough, based on my experience. She is great with kids and the happiest little dog ever. She does go for a walk everyday and needs professional clipping every 6-8 weeks.

The only negative is that she does tend to pull on the lease despite our best efforts to train her out of it. Never chewed anything and quick to housetrain

Oh I have heard working cockers can be much more energetic!

daisylulu Mon 14-Oct-13 08:52:07

Ohmygod so sorry for typos! Typing on train from iPhone smile

Lilcamper Mon 14-Oct-13 08:57:22

Never two together! Littermate Syndrome

clpsmum Mon 14-Oct-13 14:01:55

Thanks for all your replies. We now have to make the decision of a red dog or a lemon bitch, decisions decisions!! I'm erring towards the dog but that could change they're both so cute it's hard to chose, but I will chose I'm definitely only taking one!

The next thing is names, any suggestions?

everlong Mon 14-Oct-13 14:08:14

Are they working or show strain?

clpsmum Mon 14-Oct-13 14:43:12

They are the working kind

everlong Mon 14-Oct-13 15:38:15

Working cockers are lovely dogs. Quite different to the show kind and much more energetic and can be quite hyper..

RayABlokeIUsedToKnow Mon 14-Oct-13 15:51:58

Working cockers are very very different to show type and an enormous huge leap from a Cav!

Are the puppies from health tested parents for PRA? Are they hip scored?

Workers are VERY high energy. If you have one with a huge prey drive then can be a difficult dog to handle. I have a very neurotic show type cocker who I love and would happily strangle in equal measures! Would I get another cocker...no! I do however know some fantastic workers and show types who are fantastic family dogs.

The key is to get a very well bred dog from health tested parents with a good pedigree, that at least gives you half a chance of getting a good start.

Labradors are born half trained, spaniels die half trained!

I recommend checking out this forum. They have some very knowledgeable owners and breeders. Do a search for show vs working and settle down for a long read!
www.cockersonline.co.uk

Vibbe Mon 14-Oct-13 16:17:17

I have a show cocker (2 years old), my parents have a working spaniel (soon 8 years old).

The difference in energy levels is massive - my dog is so easy and requires the daily walks (we don't have a garden) and 30-45 minutes of training/running/retrieving every day. We can skip the training for a couple of days without any issues.

My parents' dog has a massive amount of energy and is awful if bored/not exercised enough. It's hours of daily training, running her next to the bike and so on - on top of the daily walks. Training/exercise cannot be skipped at all as the dog will be awful - even at 8 years old.

My parents were dog sitting my dog for a while, and they were so shocked at the difference.

My dad spent a lot of time training the dog when they got her, so she's well trained. We didn't spend as much time as my dad, but our dog is pretty good - her recall is good, she knows quite a few commands and she's well-behaved in the house. Both were easy to house train.

Both dogs are lovely around other dogs, they never bark and they both love kids. We don't have kids, but the kids in the neighbourhood all know the dog and will run over to kiss and hug her. The dogs are always happy. But in true spaniel form, they are both velcro dogs. But none of them have problems being home alone.

I don't think the dogs are mad or crazy - something I've often heard about cockers. We went for a very good breeder and so did my parents.

Personally, I wouldn't want a working dog unless I was going to use it for hunting or other work. I wouldn't be able to keep it as a family dog as it's too demanding with regards to exercise. But that's just based on the experience I've got with the dogs in the family.

clpsmum Mon 14-Oct-13 17:05:44

I am so pleased on here! Your advice has been absolutely invaluable and is certainly making me think twice. The dogs are adorable but I don't want to take on a dog that I am unable to handle or give the full amount of exercise it requires each day. I think I am going to have to be sensible and rethink my choice of dog.

RayABlokeIUsedToKnow Mon 14-Oct-13 18:42:14

I think you are making the right choice. I'm really sorry you lost your dog and I know how empty a house is when it is used to having a dog around. If you lost you Cav recently it would be easy to let your heart rule you head and get the next gorgeous puppy that comes along.

A show type cocker would be far more suited to a family that a worker. Still have a read of the cocker spaniel forum. They have a looking for a cocker section and people are very helpful. Be careful of getting a puppy from health tested parents and be absolutely sure of their pedigree. There are some unscrupulous 'breeders' crossing show and working strain cockers. There is no reason for this and it is not in the interest of the breed. I have been on the forum for a long time and many people have been caught out with a worker or show/worker mix.

Do you know of anyone with a cocker you could borrow?

I have a 4 month old show cocker; my next door neighbours have a working cocker. They are amazed at how calm Stanley, my puppy, is compared to theirs. He does have his silly half hours when he runs round like a loon, but otherwise he's very well behaved - doesn't chew, or bark.

However, I do think working cockers are prettier than show type cockers. Not that I'd ever say that in Stanley's earshot grin.

littlemissnormal Mon 14-Oct-13 19:45:49

I have a 2 year old working cocker bitch and she is the most gorgeous thing ever.

But like others have said, she's a bundle of energy and will go on for ever. She can almost jump our stable door from a sitting position and doesn't walk anywhere, she bounds!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 14-Oct-13 21:01:57

Labradors are born half trained, spaniels die half trained!

^^ Never a truer word spoken grin

cathpip Wed 16-Oct-13 19:41:20

We have father and son working cockers, mine however are not mad, far from it! The 1 year old can be walked past other dogs by my 3year old. They sleep all day in the house but I do give them a lot of exercise, they get 2 hours a day and one of those hours is usually on a bike, so that's probably the reason they sleep! Training is easy but they do need reminding every so often, I have concentrated mainly on heel on and off lead, sit, wait and recall. They do go out grouse beating, that's the only time I have seen them both worn out though. They are both sparko on my rug in front of the fire at the moment! The only downside I would say (after owning labs) is they do pick up burrs and grass seeds and sticky balls very easily and they take ages to dry out. smile

outtolunchagain Wed 16-Oct-13 20:03:08

We have a four year old show type cocker spaniel , who is the most important person in the family,
.Great with the children , loves a walk and a game but is always up for cuddles and snuggles.Basic training was straight forward as they love human attention but they shed dreadfully and hair is definitely a problem!
Would second the recommendation for cockersonline, it truly was my saviour in the early days , they are not the easiest of puppies , they definitely go through a cockerdile stage and are complete loons but I wouldn't swop him for the world and he is now the perfect family dog.

Awks Fri 18-Oct-13 10:07:04

I have a 5 month old working cocker and he is lovely. Chilled, fun, loving. He sleeps a lot too but he does get some good long walks each day. He snores so loud though, it's like a train when he drops off grin

thesixteenthtry Sat 19-Oct-13 21:30:18

If you go for a cocker get one with the beautiful tail he was born with. Many pet spaniels are still being docked illegally.

Leakingwellies Mon 21-Oct-13 12:00:31

We have a 13 month old male working cocker as well as a 7 year old cairn terrier. They both love long walks off the lead and the cocker needs at least 3 good hours bounding about every day so its not a decision I made lightly as I knew the commitment involved.

Do I regret getting him? -not for one second. Would I do it again?-no! He is in equal measure loveable, greedy, hyper, daft, cuddly, destructive, mischevious and never seems to get tired till about nine pm when he just crashes out. Puppy training classes were a waste of time and money in our case but he gets socialised enough on the fields where we live and I think thats the key. He loves other dogs and people and just wants to be admired and loved.

It also took me a while to find one with his waggy tail intact.

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