Border terrier or cocker spaniel?(20 Posts)
We're ready to welcome a puppy into our family this year, and I can't decide between these two breeds, both of which I love. I've had a cocker spaniel before, who was the most amazing dog there ever was, and I've been around border terriers too, all of whom were wonderful dogs.
Does anyone have experience of both breeds? So far, the only thing between them (that I can think of) is the grooming aspect, with the CS requiring much more of it! From what I've read BTs are more difficult to train - is that true?
So far as family set up goes: we have a nice garden, live by the woods for daily walks, I work from home and there's one DD (nearly 4) and no plans for another DC (the dog will be the 4th member of our family).
So, what do you reckon? Which might you go for, and why?
We have one who is rather lovely. No health problems (yet - he is nearly 14), pretty laid back and great company. The training was ok ish for a terrier I guess. He did have some interest in doing it. The children came after he did and I wouldn't say he adores them or anything but he is fine. He does run away after deer etc every so often. He has also taken against labradors in particular and can be quite grumpy if we meet one out and about. Socialisation is key I suppose with that. He is always good with guests etc.
My experience of cocker spaniels is not that great (or that extensive to be honest). They can be a bit grumpy sometimes with strangers I think, I have known two a bit like that. I know a cocker cross springer spaniel who is lovely though.
I have a 5 year old border terrier & he is just awesome! He was fully housetrained within 3 days and has only had 1 accident since when he was unwell.
He is so much fun - adores my nephews (2&3) and our 2 cats. He can walk for hours on end, but is equally happy with a shorter walk on a weeknight. He is so full of character, and makes me laugh every day.
The only downsides are he barks a lot - not when he is left, but at people knocking at the door, passers by etc. He doesn't do it when we are out & about though, he just loves watching everything out the window. We are very used to it, but I guess people could find it annoying.
I usually walk him off lead - his recall is great as long as he knows I have some decent treats! (He is very food orientated).
Enjoy whichever dog you decide on!
I would go for a Border Terrier ...I think they are less prone to ear/eye issues, generally more robust and less high maintenance with grooming etc
Borders seem virtually water & mud proof and not as moulting
Having said that they are both lovely breeds and I can see why you are torn
My experience is only from a Dog Walkers point of view though ..the Border I walk like to chase birds and peer down rabbit holes ...whilst the Cockers pick up scents and are off ! All good recall though ..especially for a treat .
I am a Lab Owner ...a Border Terrier is going to be my next hound
Picking up on some other points - our Border has never been 100% house trained. He is about 98% I would say which is not really enough. It is perhaps partly because we didn't get him neutered and it is a bit of scent marking. He also barks but then I imagine that most dogs do when people come to the door? Maybe I have only known barky dogs...
He doesn't really like getting his feet wet so not much of an issue having to clean him up after walks etc and no molting! He has a clipper cut once a year now. Not sure what I think about hand stripping - he did have that done when he was younger but it can't be a pleasant experience really.
LOL serenade. I have 3 cockers. 1 (entire) is not 100% house trained also think it's scent marking. 1 doesn't like mud and is a bit lazy! 1 is Barky, 1 is near silent! I love cockers and wouldn't get anything else. If you can be persuaded on either breed I would go for the one that you can find the better breeder for.
Border terrier , great little dogs , infact big dogs in small bodies .
Working cocker spaniel. Simply The Best Dog. Ever. Funny, gentle, kind, loving, a little shadow, happy. Calm, curls up and goes to sleep if not given an attention. Never seems to annoy any other dogs, he must give off pathetic vibes! Fully house trained. Last wee/toilet is 3pm and that's it until 9am (to be fair that's both spaniels).
The Springer is just as good, just a touch more needy and rebellious.
Both have amazing recall 'cos they need to check back and see you are still there every 2 minutes. Both food orientated, so easy to train.
I think if you have had a dog though, either breed would be fine.
I really like both breeds but I would probably go for a Boarder Terrier.
Ive had a friend (inexperienced dog owners so may not apply to you!) go for a Cocker and have really regretted it. Having said that, they went for a working type despite my advice to the contrary and are now stuck with a hyper, albeit very trainable, dog who they regret buying
I am biased as I have a working cocker and he is bloody lovely. He is very calm around the house but is a bit manic when he sees another dog or person outside as he wants to play with them.
Out of those two breeds, definitely a cocker spaniel but then I'm not wildly keen on terriers. If you can give them the mental and physical stimulation they need then a working cocker would be my preference
My sister has a border terrier who is 8. She has allergies and needs daily medication, is dog aggressive even after lots of socialisation as a pup, she has never been completely clean in the house and she's bad tempered with kids. However she adores adults and is very loving. She's not KC reg and came from someone who prob hadn't put much thought into breeding though.
Both are lovely, cheerful dogs but I have a very low yap threshold and my DH's Border terrier, though a delight, does test it
hourly. He's another one who's prone to taking against labradors (rather awkwardly, my neighbour's), he's friendly but not a snugggler, and he moults more than you'd expect. But in his defence, he looks like a teddy bear when he's running, is easy to clean and I can pick him up without putting my back out, something I couldn't say of my own huge large breed dogs (RIP, doggos).
Cockers, ime, are calmer, more open to the concept of taking human instruction, very affectionate and have fluffier paws, although if you get one from working stock then it will need a decent amount of exercise and some training just to keep its brain ticking over.
Thank you all for your thoughts. Very slightly leaning more towards a BT as a result of this. Although I'm sure the next time I see the extremely jolly cocker up the road, I'll change my mind again... and so it goes.
He looks pretty fat in that picture! It must be the angle, he's normal sized! (I promise!)
We've got a BT, he's our second. We had a girl last time and I have to say that BT1 and BT2 are completely different personality wise.
She hardly ever barked, never dug, didn't like other dogs and could be a bit nervous. He barks quite a bit (more than I'd like, we're working on it), loves to dig, loves playing with dogs once he knows them (hasn't got great meet-and-greet skills - we're working on that, too!) but is completely unfazed by fireworks, thunderstorms and all the stuff that made BT1 nervous.
Both have been very stoic and uncomplaining, both very healthy, both very affectionate and great fun. I honestly don't think I could have another breed and our vet told me he always recommends them to families as a good first dog.
Grooming is easy and they're really clean - the mud doesn't seem to stick, don't know why! I've done loads of training with BT2 (our children are grown up now so we've got more time than with the first one) and he's doing fantastically. He loves Agility which we do every week and at the Good Citizen class on Tuesday the trainer said 'ToffeeDog, you go first and show them how it's done'. And he did too . Being very food orientated really helps.
A close friend has had 2 Cockers, both lovely dogs but both have had loads of problems with their ears. I'd say BT every time.....but I admit I am biased!
I've got a cocker spaniel. He is just the happiest friendliest dog ever! Was easy to train (very food motivated!!) And he absolutely loved people but is happy to be left for a few hours with no issues. Toilet trained really easily.
During Crufts this year the commentator said 'here comes the merry cocker with its ever wagging tail' and it really does sum them up for me! But then maybe I'm biased!
Border terrier everyone should have one. Yes they can be fiesty and a bit stubborn but they are so much fun, clever and easy to care for. They also have minimal health problems. A lot of vets and nurses have them as they are cracking little dogs.
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