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So are cocker spaniels really so snappy?

(37 Posts)
Sisterjacqueline Tue 30-Jun-15 18:49:42

We are looking at getting a puppy in a couple of years, when youngest dd is starts school. Since I was teenager I have always really liked spaniels, especially the working range. I am very 'outdoorsy' and will have the time to train and walk extensively.

Having read the "Not to understand why anyone could choose to have those ugly looking dogs?" thread, I am now wondering if spaniels can be really annoying, especially for children as they bounce around them and maybe are snappy?

I would love to hear form other spaniel owners to find out if snappiness is indeed an issue.


Justwhy Tue 30-Jun-15 18:56:15

Mine is not snappy at all but she is a neurotic mess.

Have a look at cockers online. It's a fab forum.

Cabawill Tue 30-Jun-15 18:59:39

I have 2 cockers plus 5&4 year old DC.

Neither of my boys are snappy at all. They don't like being left alone for very long at all and prefer to be made a proper part of the family.

If we have to shut them in their room when we have visitors they whine and whine. They hate being left out of anything!

Wouldn't swap them for the world.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 30-Jun-15 19:03:30

Get a Springer! Like cockers they're very family oriented - actually most hate being alone

I think springers are less 'mouthy' than cockers

But they're so bloody trainable and intelligent I might be wrong

Hobbes8 Tue 30-Jun-15 19:06:18

I had a cocker as a child. He was gentle, but exciteable and daft. He'd jump up but he would never snap.

I've heard the golden ones can be more temperamental - not sure if that's a myth.

villainousbroodmare Tue 30-Jun-15 19:13:39

Our neighbours had a cocker who spent most of his time at our house. Whingy and a bit pessimistic is how I recall him. Springers seem in my experience to be more even-tempered than cockers.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 30-Jun-15 19:15:09

My old boy was a working cocker. He was fabulous. All depends on how they're brought up really. We didn't have children at the time.

JontyDoggle37 Tue 30-Jun-15 19:20:55

We had orange and white cocker spaniels when I was a child. My mum originally wanted a golden, but the breeder advised her the pure colour ones can be snappier, because they are more interbred to retain the colour, and to go for a mixed colour instead. Ours were the soppiest, loveliest dogs on the planet, I had a great time growing up with them.

EdwinaLIzzard Tue 30-Jun-15 19:21:08

My cocker is an adorable bundle of loveliness

He is gentle, loving, smart and as mad a box of frogs

I agree, it really does depend upon how you introduce them to the world, socialise them and then train them. They are an extremely biddable breed who just love to please you.

Mine is a show strain rather than a worker, but he is still full of beans and loves nothing more than a romp through the woods with lots of things to chase and sniff.

We have an assessment for Pets as Therapy later this week, I think he may be borderline, but only because he is still a pup (9 months old) he is genuinely loved by all who know him.

Sisterjacqueline Tue 30-Jun-15 19:23:31

"I've heard the golden ones can be more temperamental - not sure if that's a myth."

Yes, I have heard this too, in fact not just the golden ones but the 'uni' coloured ones are supposed to be more 'mouthy'. Is this a myth?

amazonianwoman Tue 30-Jun-15 21:18:49

Our 3 month old working cocker is very snappy with our older dog (see other post) but not too bad at all with us. Probably less mouthy than our mini schnauzer was. We have DD11 and DS8. Full of beans but lovely. Very easy to train so far, apart from the older dog situation, which is improving.

mrslaughan Tue 30-Jun-15 21:27:13

One of my daughters best friends has a black cocker - he is one of the loveliest dogs you could meet.

All 3 month old puppies are snappy and mouthy - I would judge a breed by how a. 3 month old puppy behaves.

MajesticWhine Tue 30-Jun-15 21:28:20

I have a black and white working cocker. She is really lovely with children. She can be a bit tricky with other dogs if she is frightened of them. As a child (so going back a bit), we had blue roans and an orange roan and they were completely chilled out and very soppy - would never snap at anyone or anything. At one time, we had a black cocker who used to properly bite people, we had to give him away. This tends to fit with your uni colour theory, but obviously it's just anecdotal.

P0llyP0cketR0cket Tue 30-Jun-15 21:29:26

We've got 2 cockers, neither are snappy. The show one is a lazy bugger. The working one is a mentalist. Both are fab family dogs & I wouldn't hesitate to get another. 'Cocker rage' is something (rare) which affects the goldens I think.

hennipenni Tue 30-Jun-15 22:19:54

I have a show type, not at all snappy at 3 yrs old, loves children and lives to be part if the family but just as equally likes his own space.

Most cocker pups go through a mouthy stage when their nickname "cockerdile" is lived upto but this is short lived.

Rage syndrome was predominantly in the solid golds but has mostly been bred out by reputable breeders.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 30-Jun-15 23:29:14

My old boy was solid black and was, like I may have said, fabulous. grin

I'm not sure about breeding for a specific colour. Cockers tend to throw any mix of colours. My chap came from a litter of ten that had black, liver, back and white, liver and white, golden, blow roan and yellow roan.

A lot of it depends on the training and handling. I think you're more likely to get a steady dog if you put a lot of work in.

nmg85 Wed 01-Jul-15 10:41:47

We have a 10 month old Blue Roan working cocker who doesn't snap or mouth. She spends most of her time on her back wanting her belly rubbed when she isn't running around like a maniac. I must say she is needier then I ever expected ( currently crying while she is drying off in her crate). She loves everything and everyone and she does have some bad habits which we are trying to train out of her e.g jumping up, ignoring recall when distracted etc but she has never shown a tiny bit of aggression.

sanfairyanne Wed 01-Jul-15 19:44:26

ours was neurotic and snappy. i am scarred from a bite as a kud. she was lovely tho sad

Carpaccio Wed 01-Jul-15 20:34:45

We have a blue roan show cocker and she's not snappy at all. She is, like most cockers, a velcro dog, but she is chilled and happy all the time.

My parents have a working spaniel and she is also always happy - but less chilled as she has a lot of energy due to being a working dog.

None of them are snappy. They are bouncy and will jump up, but we haven't made a massive effort training not jumping up, so that could play a massive part in that.

Rage syndrome is like a red mist, mainly in solid colour cockers and mainly in show line dogs, and it is believed to be an epileptic disorder, It is also found in show springer and other dog breeds but it is rare in all breeds, including the cockers.

All dogs are bitey when puppies. It is part of their development and that doesn't mean they wll grow up to be horrible biting dogs.

MummySparkle Wed 01-Jul-15 20:44:33

Rage syndrome is most common in Cockers, and I think in the solid ones.

My DH runs a dog walking business, we walk a lovely black and white cocker who is a soppy cuddly gorgeous thing, although anxious around other dogs.

We also used to have a golden cocker on or books. He has rage syndrome. He can be nice as pie, but from out of nowhere he can flip, he has attacked the owners, their children. The dad has had to whack the dog to stop it from biting their children. He can go for other dogs. We stopped walking him because we were concerned for our safety. We still walk their neighbours dog and my DH met the Cocker whilst out for a walk the other week. The family have now employed a young inexperienced girl to walk him, he went for our other dog on the walk. Apparently the family have told this girl he is a lovely dog and doesn't have any problems. We have a horrible feeling he will go for her.

DH's mum is a vet nurse and says that it is hereditary and there is, unfortunately, nothing you can do. I'm not sure what age it first appears though.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 01-Jul-15 20:47:25

The vast majority of cockers are lovely dogs, however, there is a rare condition called cocker spaniel rage syndrome and this does have a higher incidence in red and golden cockers.
IME cocker spaniels are not very brave and can make them fearful of painful blues seem to be over represented in this group.
The livers seem to be totally steady and this is the route I went down.
I have over 300 cockers in my practice so do see a lot of them.

Sisterjacqueline Wed 01-Jul-15 21:09:45

oh great advice, thank you.

MummySparkle that sounds pretty worrying confused poor girl.

So I guess it's best to stay away from the golden solid ones (though I appreciate they don't all display rage).

Carpaccio your spaniel sounds lovely smile.

What are 'livers'? Is it a colour?

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 01-Jul-15 21:25:01

Liver is a chocolate brown colour mainly seen in the working cockers.

Karbea Wed 01-Jul-15 21:35:21

I've two american cockers neither are snappy, both are absolutely gorgeous in every way.

EdwinaLIzzard Wed 01-Jul-15 21:50:06

I would recommend you go to a decent recommended breeder where you can see the parents, get information about previous litters and see the puppies in a caring home environment.

Cockers come in so many colours and most litters are very mixed, with not just various colour, but solids, roans and sables.

My beautiful sable boy had brothers and sisters in gold, red and black as well as sable and he is truly gentle soul. I have found many of his relatives through the pedigree lines and have yet to come across 'rage syndrome'. I think as LoneCat, pointed out, it is rare, and most cockers are wonderful dogs who live to please their humans

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