Any thoughts on suitability of a cocker spaniels?

(27 Posts)
Pumpkintopf Sat 25-Apr-20 16:32:11

We have two teenage dcs and currently have two older neutered male dogs. We sadly lost our beautiful rescue greyhound girl last year at the age of fifteen. We’d like to introduce a puppy into our family - my DH works from home so there would always be company for the dogs and the children are of an age now to enjoy helping with a puppy.

We did have our beagle, now aged fourteen, from a puppy but raising him with two toddlers was a very different experience! Our other dog is a very friendly Jack Russell aged ten. Both boys frequently have other dogs in the home, from my parents Labrador puppy (now teenager!) to my friends‘ three dogs when they come to stay - and are very laid back and accepting, so I would hope they’d be the same with a new addition.

I've been looking at cocker spaniels- probably the show strain as apparently slightly less in need of constant exercise? Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks!

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Honeyroar Sat 25-Apr-20 16:40:18

Cockers seem to be very laid back, easy dogs, from the ones I’ve known. But it seems really rotten to bring a puppy to live with an elderly dog, My neighbours have just done this and the elderly dog hates the puppy, which jumps all over it constantly wanting to play. I’ve other friends with an elderly dog that got a puppy, and I feel sad watching the elderly dog trying to keep up on walks while they play games and train the huge, boisterous younger dog.

Pumpkintopf Sat 25-Apr-20 16:48:53

Honey, we have two older dogs - a 10 yo and a 14 yo. The plan would be for me to continue with their regular routine and the shortish walks they can manage, and for the teen dcs to exercise the puppy. I take your point - our two boys are very laid back and chilled, I wouldn't want to upset them.

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VetOnCall Sat 25-Apr-20 16:52:10

A show Cocker could be a great fit for your family, but I would also reconsider getting a puppy with such an elderly dog already in situ. All pups can be savage little gits, and Cockers are no exception - they're not called 'cockerdiles' for nothing. Your 14 year old dog could well end up being pestered by a puppy and in a position where they can't effectively retaliate or get away. Keeping your dogs segregated isn't really ideal unless you have absolutely no choice. I would consider waiting until your old boy has passed on before getting a puppy - at 14 he deserves a peaceful twilight of his life.

You could start researching the breed and speaking to breeders now though - good breeders generally have waiting lists for their litters so this gives you ample time to do your research and find the right breeder. The Cocker Spaniel Breed Club is excellent and an excellent resource:

I breed Cockers myself, but working type. I do know a few highly reputable show Cocker breeders through my involvement in the breed as a whole though, so if you need any further help feel free to pm me.

hopeforthebestest Sat 25-Apr-20 16:56:36

Interesting replies . Similar situation we have a 12 year old cocker spaniel and I am so dreading her death that I have been looking fir a puppy.
Now I'm thinking maybe we should wait I had read that it's good for a puppy to have an older female dog to emulate but maybe that was wrong looking at these replies

vanillandhoney Sat 25-Apr-20 16:58:56

Cockers are absolutely gorgeous dogs!

It sounds like you have plenty of experience and a great set-up for a puppy, but I would really consider what impact a new puppy in the house 24/7 would have on your older dogs, especially the beagle.

Having to keep the puppy separate from the older dogs could end up being pretty stressful.

vanillandhoney Sat 25-Apr-20 16:59:46

Now I'm thinking maybe we should wait I had read that it's good for a puppy to have an older female dog to emulate but maybe that was wrong looking at these replies

For me, an older dog would be one who was about 5-6 years old, not one that was in their twilight years of life.


Rinsefirst Sat 25-Apr-20 17:05:57

We have a 7 month old working cocker pup and a 12.5 yr old senior. Wouldn’t do it again.Older dog has become incredibly anxious. Pup is picking up on anxiety behaviour like jumping for food. Older dog wants to be separated from puppy. Then when I put them in different areas older dog howls to be together in original space .

VetOnCall Sat 25-Apr-20 17:09:01

It depends on the dog and the situation, there isn't a one size fits all - there seldom is with dogs! There can be a fair difference in a 12 year old dog and a 14 year old dog though. A 12 year old small-medium breed generally has a few years left in them, but a 14 year old is generally getting into the twilight of their life.

Personally, my oldest dog turned 11 in January and all being well I will be getting an 8 week old puppy in the next few months (I have other dogs too). I have been waiting for the right pup from these particular breeding lines for 2 years, and have very much planned it around my older dog - she's still very fit and active and able to cope with a pup at the moment, but this year is really my cut off in terms of introducing another puppy while I still have her.

gatsbylove Sat 25-Apr-20 17:13:55

Through the merging of households we brought together a young puppy and two old dogs (14). I would not do it again by choice - it was too disruptive for the oldies and I would allow dogs of that age to have calmer, stress free years instead.

cantlivewithem Sat 25-Apr-20 17:16:01

We have a 10 month old working cocker and she’s awesome. She’s great with long-ish (age appropriate) walks and will run on the beach chasing a ball for as long as we let her.
On the other hand, lockdown has taught us that she’s perfectly happy to chill around the house for most of the day with a couple of sniffles around the garden and a half hour walk on her lead.
She’s been fab to train, she used to pull like mad on her lead but is improving with that.
The only downside to her is that she doesn’t like being left by herself and has to go to daycare when we’re at work.

scochran Sat 25-Apr-20 17:21:00

I got a pup and have an 11 and 13 year old dogs. The 11 year old comes out with puppy for walks and the old one gets separate walks. 13 year old actually having a good time as we are out I garden with puppy a lot and he still loves to play and chase his ball. Puppy does need to be told to calm sometimes but old boy has a room he can retreat to where pup does not get to go.

Pumpkintopf Sat 25-Apr-20 18:34:49

Food for thought with all these replies, thanks all. Part of our thinking of getting a puppy now was that we'd still have the kids home for a few years before university (hopefully) beckons - lots to weigh up...

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Pumpkintopf Sat 25-Apr-20 18:36:59

@VetOnCall thank you, have had a look at the KC site but will have a look at this suggestion. One quick question if I may - what would you expect to pay for a puppy these days? We spent £750 on our beagle all those years ago but a quick look at websites suggests that may be hopelessly out of date..!

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VetOnCall Sat 25-Apr-20 18:58:09

For a well-bred show Cocker you'd be looking somewhere in the region of £1000; probably £900-1200 is realistic. Beware of anyone charging extortionate prices for 'rare' colours (usually some form of sable or sable roan).

Pumpkintopf Sat 25-Apr-20 19:20:41

Thanks vetoncall, that's really helpful.

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Darklane Sat 25-Apr-20 19:31:25

I’ve never owned a cocker but my son got a rescue working cocker a few years ago. It was from someone, friend of a friend type of thing who worked them but for some reason this one wasn’t wanted, hadn’t turned out as hoped don’t know the details. He’s amazing. Friendliest dog I’ve ever met & I’ve had loads over the years. They have two boys & he’s brilliant with them. He’s been such a success that they got another younger, teenage one last year & the two get on brilliantly.

cantlivewithem Sat 25-Apr-20 19:35:00

We paid £900 for our KC registered working cocker last summer.

Pumpkintopf Sat 25-Apr-20 20:00:15

That's interesting- the ones I've seen when briefly looking at eg pets4homes just out of interest have been £1400-£1600 and not necessarily KC registered! confused

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vanillandhoney Sat 25-Apr-20 20:02:04

Have a look on the KC website for breeders - you can search by area.

Wolfiefan Sat 25-Apr-20 20:06:06

If you want a pedigree then best to start with the breed club. KC just means pedigree. It doesn’t mean it will come from health tested parents or not be from a puppy farm.

Pumpkintopf Sat 25-Apr-20 20:45:40

Wolfie yes - I couldn't find a breed club covering our area though, we're in Lincolnshire, closest seems to be East of England? Worth contacting them do you think?

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cantlivewithem Sat 25-Apr-20 20:53:01

we looked for stud dogs on pets4homes as there seemed to be more information about health tests.
We then rang the owners of the stud dogs to ask about any litters they had been involved in!
We got a good feeling about whether the stud owners were choosy about which bitches they’d accept etc.

Wolfiefan Sat 25-Apr-20 21:03:35

Really don’t start with pets4homes. No decent person advertises a dog for stud on there. shock
I meant the national breed club or society OP.

VetOnCall Sat 25-Apr-20 21:25:25

The Cocker Spaniel Club I linked to above is the 'parent club' of the breed. They operate nationally and breeders from all over the UK are members. There are smaller regional clubs and societies but most will be affiliated to the parent club so it's the best place to start.

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