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sprocker spaniel(13 Posts)
we are considering a sprocker as a family pet - she is 7 months old and gorgeous - we live in countryside with big garden - any thoughts / advice? lots of training involved? would she be happy to sleep in bed in warm kitchen? and how many walks a day due you advise?
I have a cocker and just to warn you that mine was in the throws of adolescence around 8 months of age. Springers tends to be bigger and thus mature later so you would be getting a dog about to hit the 'difficult' teenage phase.
What is the background of the dog?
Both cockers and springers are hunting dogs. The hardest thing I found was to channel his hunting nose so that he didn't get bored and go hunting deer and rabbits on his own. For me there is no leisurely stroll through the woods chatting away as I have to be constantly working with him because of that.
We only do one off lead walk a day. I found mine doesn't need lots of exercise but he does need mental stimulation. The mental stimulation came from gundog training, agility and now scentwork.
My experience is that these dogs are very high maintenance. They need loads of attention, walks, games, training etc. Only go for it if you want a full time job. All dogs will happily settle in a basket in the kitchen. Some need a bit of time and patience but if that’s what you want you have to stick to it.
He is playful and nosey and always wants to be doing whatever I am doing. This may or may not be what you want.
He is loyal to a fault (i.e. I often step out of the shower to find he has relocated himself to sleep just outside the bathroom door).
He is really affectionate and loves to be touching the people he loves.
He is pretty quiet, even with the 'bad' influence of two older and barky JRTs. He rarely reacts to anything in the garden, such as pigeons, squirrels or the dog over the fence barking at him.
He hates being left alone with a passion, to the point it would be an issue, except there is always someone in here.
I walk him twice a day, for about an hour each. Mostly off lead. We also do about 30 mins of training/play per day. I love walking so that is a factor but I also struggle to imagine him coping with less on a any regular basis.
Training him has been easy - he loves to learn, loves to get things right and loves to be doing something with his human. However, if I were a "telling off" kind of trainer I could well imagine him to hate it. He is pretty sensitive to getting things wrong and even without punishment can be visibly stressed if he doesn't guess right what is expected of him.
His nose leads him astray. Once it is switched on, his brain and hearing goes. He loves to sniff and walking can take ages if there are lots of exciting scents.
His adolescence started at around 10 months old and lasted until he was about 18 months. He was a pita for much of it. We used to describe him as having an "edge" to him on particularly bad days. A stubborn, highly strung, highly boisterous edge in which he didn't care if he bowled people over or got into trouble. Bull headed. Pacing. Always looking to be doing or for mischief to get into. Deaf on walks.
Now we are through it he is much better, gentler, happy to settle etc. but still an energetic young dog.
The big question on your dog, specifically, is what has happened that she is available at 7 months? This could be a clue, e.g. maybe she is too energetic for her current owners?
I have one and he is an absolute diamond, he is energetic in the extreme (outruns/outwalks/outlasts my border collie), is intelligent and needs a lot of stimulation but he is very calm in the house so long as he has company. He doesn't like to be alone but this could be because he was an abandoned puppy, some kind sod kicked him out when he was a baby (about 5 months old) then told the Garda to destroy him when he was found. Luckily he was taken to a no-kill rescue and eventually made his way to England where we adopted him.
I can't lie, he was hard work when he first came home. He was food aggressive, he had to be fed separately from the collie and fed in his crate and he did have separation anxiety but with help and time he has overcome those things and is a brilliant family dog. He is loving in the extreme, he is often called Polly by the family because he loves to sit on your shoulder. He has proven highly trainable and loves to learn new things but I think they are a breed that require a lot of input from their owners.
Thanks for your great messages - she is available due to illness in the family and has returned to her original home for rehoming - we are an outdoorsy family and I think we'll be fine with a couple of walks a day etc. Will look into agility training as well.. exciting times....
I have a Sprocker and he is wonderful. I will second that adolescence was hard at times but he has calmed (as much as any spaniel could) in to a chilled 4 year old.
He loves being out and about and we try to mix it up so he gets lots of different walks but not in a routine. So maybe a run with me or a long walk off lead or a gentle lead walk etc. Also lots of mental stimulation and on going training. His favourite things are chasing a ball or sniffing around in the woods.
At home he tends to be very chilled and when I’m at work (only a couple of hours a couple of times a week) he will lay in his bed or on the sofa - if I get home early he doesn’t get up until he thinks I SHOULD be home. If we are busy though I do notice his behaviour deteriorate and we have to get back on it quickly.
He’s not overly bothered about other dogs but loves people and does love to be in the same room as us. However he sleeps downstairs on his own quite happily.
He has a similar look to bloodywhitecat’s gorgeous boy and to see those flapping ears and that smiling face running towards you makes up for all the spaniel pickleness
We have a border terrier who gets walked once a day. However, we do have a largish suburban garden with trees, mulch, shrubbery etc. I chop stuff very finely, anything meaty/cheesy I have to hand and only a spoon sized piece and scatter it about the garden. It keeps a bt nose and tail occupied for ages.
I have a sprocker who is an absolute love- she is wonderful with the children (9, 7 and 5). Having said that, I am very much her person ( she likes to be where I am if she can) and is very very loyal. She can worry a bit and is very possessive about her ball and bed, but I am careful not to put her in a situation where she will struggle (ie I hold the ball if we are out and i think another dog might go for it). I work part time but we have a lovely dog walker who she spends the day with when I'm out. No separation anxiety, but again I try to make sure she isn't on her own too much so she doesn't develop it ifyswim. She will take as much exercise as we can give her and has as a minimum one hour off lead walk and one (slightly) shorter off lead walk a day. We do agility with her, which she loves She's also very beautiful!
Oh and she is happy to sleep in the kitchen overnight!
I have a sprocker and he is the loveliest dog, very excitable and needs a lot of exercise, but so friendly, heat with kids and other dogs. I wouldn't say he took a lot of training. He spends most of his time off lead and for the most part just ignores other dogs now, but he is 7 and he wasn't always like that. His recall is excellent, he has always been pretty good. They are great pets if you have the time to walk them. I work from home though so it's easy to take him out as much as he wants.
He took a while to toilet train though. He seemed to quite like going on the cream carpets
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