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Anyone ever owned a Brittany Spaniel?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by BluesMan, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Time for another dog. This breed has been suggested to us numerous times. Did some research on the net, and looks like a good option for us. Looking for family dog, medium sized, good with kids, doesn't shed a ton, etc.

    Would be great if anyone has had some first hand experience with this breed and could share thoughts.

  2. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    Like all spaniels and gun dogs, they require a lot of exercise and proper training or they can became withdrawn and neurotic and/or very destructive.

    They can also suffer from fits and hip dysplasia (as can a lot of breeds), so I suggest you buy from a registered and reputable breeder who screens for this.
  3. Lev

    Lev MajorGeek

    I don't have personal expereince with them bluesman, but know people who have had spaniels in general, and say they are excellent, well-tempered dogs...ideal as family pets.

    Photo attached for those who aren't sure what they look like...so cute! :)
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2007
  4. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    Well-tempered? Are you serious?
  5. Jerkyking

    Jerkyking Sergeant Major

    I had a mix. Great family dog.
  6. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Actually a lot of people are saying that they are well tempered. I would assume like most any dog, if left alone for a long time, or neglected, they would soon turn into a handful. Almost like a 3yr old child. Hey, I have one of those! LOL :D
  7. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    Well-tempered isn't an accurate description of the breed in general.

    A Labrador or Golden Retriever could be considered well-tempered, not Spaniels.

    Spaniels need more attention and training, and can develop bad habits if they don't get that.
  8. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    To elaborate,

    They are bred as a gun dog, meaning they retrieve game that has been shot.

    If that isn't replaced with training, and if the dog becomes bored, they can develop very destructive habits that are extremely difficult to change.

    Medically, they also can suffer from several genetic problems, but that can be avoided by buying from a reputable breeder.
  9. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    I had a friend who had one, also another friend who had an English Springer Spaniel. Note the "had". You do have to spend time with these dogs. They were given away within a year. My friend with the English Springer Spaniel had started training it with hunting in mind. A job with a simple 40-hour work week changed his mind.

    As Insomniac suggests, you will want to look at the original reasons that the breed was created. Knowing that will give you some clues to their needs and temperament. For another example, dalmations and labradors can wander away from home. Terriers dig because they were bred for killing underground prey. In general, it makes them tenacious in getting what they want, so they bark and tear around a lot. Nice dogs to visit at someone else's house. Daschunds are also nice in someone else's house. Unfortunately, my neighbor's kept escaping and eventually killed one of my dog's puppies. Well, maybe they're not nice in someone else's house. My neighbor hated the two daschunds. I think he finally started bribing them to escape. A year later they were gone.

    Several years ago, I thought about getting one of the United Kennel Club (UKC) breeds because most of the American Kennel Club (AKC--think Westminister Dog Show) breeders have no sense when it comes to what to look for in dogs. They totally go for looks, breed for size even in the toy dog categories (in an increasingly urbanized America--duh, small yards) and do not ever, as far as anyone can tell, breed for temperament. But although I have a large yard, I had to consider that the dog would possibly be bored out of his mind with no hunting trips.

    All I've had are small and large dogs, so no other recommendations from me. Right now I have a Papillon. Incredible dog, great temperament. Single coat. (Double coat breeds have a lot of hair to shed.) The dog is too small for small children. Unfortunate, because little children find this dog fascinating (something smaller than them) and they love to squeeze it. The dog is always friendly, tolerates it well enough, but sometimes :) after an extra hard squeeze from a stray toddler I wonder if I should run him in for x-rays. :) Maybe this dog should be in the "working dog" breeds category after all... ;)
  10. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    A Cavalier King Charles would be an ideal pet for a family, especially with kids.

    They have a wonderful temperament, are very loving, and don't suffer from genetic problems to the same extent as other dogs.

    As a family pet, you won't get a better dog. They are also extremely cute, especially as puppies. :)

    On a separate issue, I really feel sorry for dogs in the States.

    Ear cropping and tail docking is extremely cruel and unnecessary and should be outlawed, as it is in other advanced countries.
  11. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    I agree on the docking, etc. The other thing on this whole issue is that you mentioned going to a reputable breeder. I don't know about Australia, but here in the States being a reputable breeder does not mean you have good sense. This makes it hard to judge who to buy a bred dog from. The breeder can be a nice person, sincere, you can get good vibes from them, but they still can lack common sense. For example, German Shepherds (Alsatians) here are bred for hind legs that stretch out behind the body. This means that they can look like they would be fast, as if poised to run. In fact, this causes hip dysplasia to be bred into the line. Some of these dogs even soil themselves when going to the bathroom. Greyhounds bred by AKC breeders are no where near as fast as greyhounds which are not bred for "looking speedy".

    Performance is not an AKC issue. Papillons are being bred larger and a minimum height was introduced some years ago. I spoke with one prominent breeder several years ago who said he was breeding for bone, because these should be hunting dogs. Excuse me, Papillons were actually bred to be companion dogs. If you want a hunting spaniel, they're ready made in the form of the English Springer, etc. Meanwhile, this guy was introducing some genetic defects that were not being noticed by the show judges because of the miserable lights in some of the city auditoriums where shows were held.

    But back to Cavalier King Charles. I've heard good reports of the breed here. They were also bred to be companion animals and have nice temperaments.

    Another thing to watch for here is that when any breed becomes popular, genetic defects can come in as puppy mills focus on producing to meet demand. That's why the cocker spaniel and collie (think Lassie) have widespread genetic problems here. The cocker spaniel here generally has a bad temperament. (Also not as "cute" as the ideal was in photos from 40-60 years ago. As for the German shedpherd/Alsatian--hip dysplaxia and bad temperament here. I've known people to buy Alsatians in Germany rather than get a "fear biter" here.

    Actually, lots of people give away good dogs here because they can't spend the time giving the dog good manners, like not jumping up. My next dog will probably be from a pound--dog rescue in Australianese? :)

    MOUMANTAI Specialist

    no but i had a spaniiel mix we think she has a mix of a brittany and a springer she was the sweetest dog ever born too

  13. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    Wow, she is super cute!
  14. Phantom

    Phantom Brigadier Britches

    No, but my wife once 0WN3D a copy of Britney Spears, does that count. :confused: Rumoured to be canine??

    Sorry, bad joke!

    We had a Cocker Spaniel variety in the U.K. It seemed to put up with us kids okay.
  15. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    That's why I said reputable, and not just registered.

    Anyone can be registered with a kennel club, as long as you pay the fees.

    As far as German Shepherds, the sloping back was a huge problem years ago, but luckily responsible breeders are breeding this trait out, and it's not that common anymore, at least here in Australia.

    If it's still a problem in other countries, then it's an indictment on their canine organisations.

    It should be bred out. It's extremely cruel, and means the dog lives a tortured and crippled life.

    Shar-Pei's and British Bulldogs can also suffer if not bred properly.
  16. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    Yes, reputable. I agree, but I know reputation is so hard to determine for people who are new to a field. I think reputation pretty much comes from whether people like or respect you, and perceive you as honest. What I was trying to get at is that lots of breeders are honest, but they tend not to be very sophisticated at genetic selection. Sorry that wasn't clear. They may know what they want to go for, but not think very clearly about what faults can be bred in while they're going for an "improvement".

    Mostly, there's fuzzy thinking and self-deception because people get very attached to "their" dogs, caught up in "their" vision of what the breed "should" look like.

    I'm at the limits of what I know on trying to find out someone's reputation. Maybe you have some more ideas. What I was thinking of while writing is a friend of mine who is wealthy enough to totally follow up on the reputation angle. He asked everyone who "should" know and everyone recommended one breeder of the "best" Golden Retrievers. He bought a Golden Retriever for $600 (and this was 15 years ago). At the age of five, the dog showed signs of hip dysplasia. Within a few years the dog could hardly walk. The next dog my friend got was from the pound.

    I've always just been lucky in my choices. I do a lot of head work, research about the topic, then I do the warm fuzzies to choose the right person, then I ask the head questions and listen carefully for the answers. Then the silly thing with the big paws comes up and licks me, and I make a dispassionate decision to take him or her home. :rolleyes: ;) All very scientific. :) I really love doing the research, though.

    My scanner's not working or I'd scan in an analog photo of my little buddy. I think I may try to attach my silly sketch instead. clip_image001.jpg
  17. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class


    MOUMANTAI Specialist

    here ya go bluesman if you want a dog try this site theyll help you adopt the dog you want in your area

  19. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    To minimise things like hip dysplasia, the parents and grandparents etc should be X-Rayed for susceptibility to it.

    It's things like X-Raying and blood testing etc that make a breeder reputable.
  20. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    Cool. Good idea!

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