Please help me with my q's/ reservations about picking a dog.(32 Posts)
I have a new puppy so my advice is based on that. Every time he chews furniture, I give him something else to chew (chew toy or kong stuffed with treats). If he really won't leave it alone, I put him in his crate. He's perfectly happy in there and it means I can do other things without having to watch him like a hawk. He goes in there on his own when he's tired too.
Get the Perfect Puppy book by Gwen Bailey. A dog trainer recommended to me and it's brilliant.
No idea on the other stuff but we're very happy to have the new addition to our house
Max amount of time to leave a dog should be 4 hours. You could get a dog walker in after 3 hours to break up the time. You can't really leave a puppy for much time at all. The length will depend on lots of factors, age and temperment of puppy, toilet trained, crated or not etc so I would say you wouldn't be able to leave it for 4 hours until 8 or 9 months maybe?
You can minimise chewing by giving the dog its own chew toys and encouraging their use. Antlers, anco roots, nylabone chews, etc are all really long lasting. An adult dog won't chew as much as a pup.
We have quite sharp chippings in our drive way. Dpup has never minded but we avoid playing fetch etc on it as he skids to a halt and scuffs his paws on it then.
Pretty sure cocker spaniels can go for hours and hours if you let them. You may need to teach the dog to be chilled out in the house for days when you can't excercise as much. So a stuffed kong and some clicker training should help to calm it down.
HTH, you seem like a responsible dog owner
Hi and nice to see you are really putting some thought into this and not diving selfishly in
leaving a dog for a couple of hours is fine in anyone's book I would think. obvs you would walk him before. 6 hours? well I wouldn't leave my boy for that long, but plenty on here do. having said that if its only occasionally and he gets a good walk first then OK.
not ideal to not get a walk on some days. maybe you could employ a dog walker on those days?
gravel will be fine, his paws will harden off naturally.
I had a stair gate for the very early days and kept him where I wanted him, but that was more for toilet training. you could apply the same, or get a doggy pen. he shouldn't chew if he has company anyway but you can get toys to help with teething.
I have a home boarder who looks after my boy when we go away as I can't put him in kennels. for 9 out of 10 hols he comes with us anyway. in fact he comes with us everywhere, he is literally better behaved than my children.
Cocker's are small yes. I have a border terrier who is the love of my life. he can walk me under the table any day, but is also happy with 3 half hour walks in one day if need be. bt's are big dogs in little bodies.
good luck, let us know what you decide to do
I have had a dog for a year now, and this is my experience this far-
1) I go to the shops for and hour or two most days, the dog stays at home and sleeps in her cage after eating her treats. Sometimes I will go out for up to 5 hours, and she is fine. My neighbour has never once complained of barking, she says she doesn't even know that the dog is there. Before I leave for a long time, I make sure that she has had at least 90min walk and lots of play. I also place puzzle treats in her cage with her, or something that takes ages to chew, like a pigs ear.
2) When I go on holiday, my dog stays with her breeder where she is very well looked after and has lots of fun as my breeder still has her parents and her sister. I have never been concerned about leaving her there.
3) My dog, a shih-tzu, is more than happy to just have a run around the house, especially on rainy days as she hates being wet. She's a lazy kind, and doesn't need much exercise. My daughter keeps her busy on those days as they just play together.
4) I have gravel in my garden. It doesn't hurt her paws but the stupid thing does like to eat it.
5) The only time Charlie has chewed anything was when she wasn't allowed to join me- like when I was painting the doors. So she chewed my sandals. Brand new ones. And the door. Otherwise she hasn't chewed. But then she's never left unsupervised and free to roam.
6) I would say medium. I know it's bigger than my dog.
We've had our dog for a year, we got him when he was 18months old so I have no experience of puppies (and having read the new puppy threads on here I'm very happy to remain in blissful ignorance!)
1) a couple of hours is fine for a dog to be left, most advice seems to be 4 hours as a maximum but we don't leave our boy for more than 3 cos that's what he seems happy with.
2) we have friends that take our dog if we're away somewhere we can't take him. It was part of our contract when we got him that he wouldn't be left in kennels so if we didn't have friends to help out we'd use a home boarder.
3) my dog is a big boy and needs between 1-2hours of walking/running a day but is fine with the very occasional day in the house/garden. That's only happened 3 or 4 times in the past year though.
4) gravel is fine
5) I think the best way to minimise chewing is to not get a puppy! We haven't had any problems with dog chewing things he isn't supposed to but that's really just because he came to us as a well trained adult dog.
6) I think cockers count as medium but they like lots of exercise.
Good luck on choosing a dog, I know I put more thought into getting a dog than I put into deciding to have children!!
1. We try not to leave ours more then 3 hours and very occasionally 4. Anything more and we have a walker go in.
2. Mine has actually stayed at a home boarders for 3 weeks and didn't want to come home :-) She is going somewhere else next week for 8 nights and I am just as confident she will like it. She would hate kennels though as she loves to be around people / other dogs.
3. My working cocker gets quite frustrated when she thinks she isn't getting a walk. She always gets one but if the routine changes she goes and sits by the door waiting and then won't leave us alone. I would get a walker on the days you can't walk the dog.
4. Unlikely but as a previous poster mentioned they may eat it.
5. Our puppy really didn't chew on furniture etc although she did eat her 1st 2 beds. I think we were lucky. Trainers say you swap what they are chewing for a toy which did seem to work.
6. Cocker Spaniels are classed as medium size. I can still carry mine up the stairs when she needs a bath etc with no issue (11 months old). We have a working cocker who would walk for hours if we let her. She usually goes for 2 x 45 - 50 min walks every day with some playing with other dogs on top of that. Today we went on a walk with another owner and their dog for hour and 20min and she still hasn't had a nap. She is on the go 90% of the time and she is very needy. She follows us around unless we tell her to stay and even then she struggles to do it or cries. If you consider a working cocker they need stimulation throughout the day from chews and toys to games and training.
We love her but she is hard work and demanding but with a face you can't stay mad at.
One of the reasons I got a dog is I work from home so if I don't get any phone calls I was not talking to anyone all day. The dog gives me some company and forces me to get out of the house which I wasn't doing before. You meet so many people walking with them (well here you do) I spend time chatting which is nice.
My DH wanted a dog and I wanted a bitch although we both agreed that we wouldn't let it sway us. We both had no idea why we wanted that particular sex though :-) I have met lovely cockers of both sexes. When I see owners trying to stop their boy dogs humping it makes me happy to have a girl... until she goes in to season and we need to restrict her walking etc.
My advice would be to go with an open mind, My puppy chose me... unfortunately another one chose my DH. I won in the end though as she seemed the slightly calmer of the two.. .I dread to think what the other one is like if that is the case.
Read online what to look for when choosing a puppy and go with a list of questions. Any reputable breeder will want you to have questions and will have some for you as well.
I would think a good reason to get a dog is because you want company. It means that you want to spend time with him/her! I have had a dog for three years after never having one before. I love her to bits. I am a SAHM and she is great company, always happy to see me and always pleased to be out and about. Also lots of other people stop and talk to you just because of the dog.
Be warned though the first few weeks I wondered what on earth I had done as it turned my life upside down. Puppies are hard work but you get through it.
Hide your shoes!!
I'm a bit concerned that your husband thought he could get a pup as a 'surprise' - never, never, never a good idea and I hope the breeder would have refused him flat if they'd known
If you're fussy about furniture I wouldn't get a dog to be honest. With the best will in the world they will find something to chew and destroy. My old cocker chewed up my skirting boards. It's also difficult to keep animals off sofas and chairs. If you're prepared for some destruction you'll be fine, if not then I would give up on the idea. Even if you get an older dog there will come a time when they'll have an accident indoors. You and your husband must both be on board about this matter.
Your puppy will choose you. I'd go with an open mind when you visit the litter and see what happens.
Getting a dog for company is a perfect reason! They get you out of the house and are always there to give you adoration and a listening ear . I had lived in our neighbourhood for almost 10 years before we got our dog. I'd never felt like I was part of the community or fitted in until we got her. Within weeks of walking her everyday, I'd got to know locals, other dog walkers and just walking in the local area, but further than I would have on my own, is lovely. Plus, I go other places to take for much longer walks with her and always get chatting to someone.
I have a working cocker x show cocker. Although described as a medium sized dog a working cocker is smaller than the show variety and my vet classes them as small due to their average weight being borderline between small/medium.
He's a little monster at the moment as he is only 14 weeks old. He eats/chews everything despite having a bucket full of chewable toys at his disposal. This morning he was very quiet so I crept up to him only to find him licking the one plug socket I had forgotten to cover
He is very active for around 10 hours a day. Even my crazy kids can't match his energy. But he is great when left alone while I go shopping and adores cuddles from everyone (including potential burglars I shouldn't wonder).
He hasn't been into kennels yet but I have a brilliant one near me (I used with my last dog) where they have a grooming parlour on site and they have acres of land plus a lake for the dogs to play in. They all have access to their own outside grass area from their kennel plus tv/radio and up to 1 hour per walk if they are friendly with other dogs (they walk longer with several dogs at once). I wouldn't mind leaving my dog there but some kennels are cold and not friendly so finding a good one will be worthwhile although they tend to book up very quickly with regular clients.
I've only ever had boys myself despite always going with the intention to get girls but you may find the girls are reserved very quickly (in both my cases) so you may be forced to choose a boy anyway. Good breeders may also have reservations as to why you want a girl as they want to prevent indiscriminate breeding so may tell you all the girls are gone until you reassure them you will not be breeding. My mum always had girls and I always remember them to be calm and well rounded whereas my boys have always been slightly nutty and can try and prove they're the top dog (which they get told very quickly they're not by chopping their bits off )
I have a girl as that's what I wanted. This is a female household! From what I have seen all the girls from her litter are very calm and laid back, where as boys are a bit of a pain in the arse, humping everything all of the time- her brother literally humps chairs if he can mount them. Her first season was frustrating for everyone as she couldn't be walked. I will be getting her spayed soon, so that won't be a problem again.
I also have a no furniture rule. I hate dogs on sofa's. Saying that, I will something let her sleep on my lap, but only if I want to. My mum likes to let her sit on the sofa, but as soon as I walk into the room she gets off it and goes to sleep on the fireplace.
I do have to say that it's good to have a reason to go out, as unless I have to be somehere, I just stay inside. And some company is great too, even if she is deaf and doesn't give a shit that one day I am going to drop a pot of boiling water on her simply because she won't stop sneaking up and laying down to sleep behind me when I am cooking. You do make dog-walking buddies quite quickly, and get to talk to people who you wouldn't normally have talked to. Oh, and sometimes when you go to London, you will have people literally running across the park just to take a photo of your dog or to stroke her.
my dog isn't allowed on the furniture or upstairs. He is a guide dog but those particular behaviours had to be trained by me because obviously puppy walkers/boarders had allowed them.
It really is simple - you just don't allow them on the furniture from when they're tiny, or if they do get up you put them back down again. coat hangers etc on sofas when you're not around will prevent them from climbing up. As for upstairs just make them go back down if they come up
In my previous house my dogs weren't allowed in my kitchen either and would actually lie in the doorway with their paws on the threshhold but never entered. Am in a much smaller house now so that's harder to enforce.
I have always wanted a cocker spaniel but as i have a working guide dog and a tiny house a puppy isn't a possibility at any time in my future.
Yes you have to express an interest and may need to put down a deposit. There may also be a waiting list for a good breeder. Don't think rocking up is the answer!
I think you need to give your husband a huge amount of information and education on just what getting a puppy means - anyone who can even consider giving an animal as a surprise, doesn't have the first clue. He needs to be fully aware and on board with all the implications before you take this idea any further, or you're just asking for trouble
I have a boy show cocker. He is left about once a week for up to 4 hours as I mostly work from home. He is five but won't tolerate being left again that day (unplanned!)
Your situation sounds dog ideal though. One thing about spaniels is they need field exercise really more than just walking so what your were saying op about your dc playing with the dog in the garden a lot on walk less days would really suit a cocker if that makes sense.
I have gravel all over the place at home it doesn't bother wotsit pup at all
If you can just rock up after they're born and get one...it means they're probably not a very good breeder.
Girls vs boys...I prefer boys, I find them more laidback and affectionate - but, really, there shouldn't be a huge difference and I'd take a girl from the right breeder over a boy from someone else.
Why would you be needing a kennel?
Glad your DH is on board about the dog but I do agree he needs to level his head a bit and do some reading. you should call the breeder, discuss temperment, requirements, meet parents, health tests etc. And they will also have to ask you a lot of questions if they're a reputable breeder that approved their buyers. Definitely best to register your interest asap.
Dpup was never allowed on the furniture without invitation apart from in my mum's chair while she's in it as she's a push over and he's learnt to distinguish the difference! We were just consistent, gave him lots of a attention when all fours were on the ground. But put him straight back down if he put a paw or anything more up on the sofa/bed.
1) I am a SAHM but I do like to go out for a couple of hours to the shops/ gym and once in a while I like to go out for about 6 hours. Can I leave a dog this long?
Every now and then yes, especially if you get a dog walker in to take the dog out. Costs around £10 for an hour's walking here.
2) What if I want to go on holiday for 2 weeks abroad. We are holidaying in the UK lately but this is going to happen at some point. I don't mind the cost of this, but am concerned about the dog.
I home board ours with our dog walker, she takes them to her house and cares for them, cheaper than kennels and more settling for our dogs who don't do well in kennels (both rescues so hate being cooped up)
3) I am prepared to walk my dog every day for 1 hour and then 2 or 3 times a week take it for a very long walk. There may be a day or 2 when I can only let the dog out in the garden (half an acre, totally closed in) but my boys will run that dog ragged in the garden, I am sure of that.
Sounds OK, mine also love going to agility club and gun dog training for mental stimulation.
4) I have pea sized gravel in my path. Would this hurt the dogs paws? It is all open so I cannot board off the path.
I think this would be fine.
5) I live in a new house. Can I minimise the chewing of my new place?
None of my dogs have ever chewed the fixtures in the house. They have all chewed things like DVDs, envelopes, purses, wallets as pups but the use of a crate minimised that.
6) Are Cocker Spaniels small? I would like a dog that gives me a bit of a walk. I don't want a meander in the park. I want to walk it and keep fit at the same time.
I have a Sprocker (Working cocker/Springer cross), he is small-ish, he weighs 11kg and is on the small side of spaniels but he couldn't 'meander' if his life depended on it. He can't quite keep pace with our collie but stamina wise he can out exercise her every single day. He has two speeds, 100mph or stop, the 'stop' phase is short lived. He can come home from a 5 mile walk (where he runs almost double the distance), lay down and appear to be asleep until someone opens the back door in which case he beats them outside with his ball in his mouth ready to go again. In the evening he loves to lay close by with his ball at the ready just in case we want to play again but will happily doze the evening away.
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