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    Like all spaniels and gun dogs, they require a lot of exercise and proper training or they can became withdrawn and neurotic and/or very destructive.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

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Thanks. Tried that and even have found some great breeders in the area. All litters are sold and next ones aren't due for quite some time. Starting to look at other breeds now. Maybe a boxer...I dunno. This is getting harder than I wanted it to be.
  22. Lev

    Lev MajorGeek

    Just a thought...maybe if it is getting to be harder than you wanted it to be, it isn't meant to be just yet.... :)
  23. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Found some Boxer,American Staffordshire Terrier Mix pups at a shelter about 45 mins away. Called the lady and left a message hopefully she'll call back.



  24. gal1998

    gal1998 solo-cob

    They are soooooooo cute.
    I love puppies.
    I like the middle one the best.
  25. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Woohoo!! She called back and is very nice. As soon as the wife gets home, about an hour or so, we are heading up to see the pups. Wish me luck :D
  26. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    Hope you get one, that's a good cross Boxer and Staffy.
  27. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    Let us know which one you get. These look good and darling too. (Two different official dog categories.) I like #1 and #2. Oh good, you could get both. :rolleyes:
  28. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    That's why I don't like going to view puppies, I would end up buying them all. :)
  29. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Called my buddy who is a vet. No dice. Those could turn into a 60+lb dog easily. And the pit bull in the mix just didn't sit right with me having small kids. The search is still on.
  30. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    It's not a pit bull, it's a Staffy. They are one of the best family dogs you can get.

    I'm also a Vet (no longer praticising), so if that is what your friend told you, he is wrong.
  31. tester36

    tester36 Private First Class

    some of the best family animals i have had are pit and pit mixes the stories are bs the best dog I ever owned was a mastiff and pit mix the second best is a pit and australian shepherd mix raise the dog it is like a yungun raise it raise it right and you will see and Insomniac is right Staffy is super family but it still boils down to raise em right.
  32. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    Here's a bit on the Staffordshire Terrier: http://www.canismajor.com/dog/amstaff.html

    The site mentions the importance of socialization. This is important for every dog really. Just bringing them around to parks, walking them on a leash. Everyone wants to pet a puppy, so they learn that all sorts of people can be cool. It's also preferable to start training them early, making commands a fun game. Saying "sit" while pressing the little rear down to sit posture. There are all sorts of puppy classes now, leaving behind the old belief about waiting until the dog is 6 months old--when it becomes harder and they have bigger muscles.

    This site also reviews 76 of the dog breeds and has short articles on choosing puppies, training children (also essential for any household pet/child interacting), etc. : http://www.canismajor.com/dog/alltopic.html#Tprofile

    Sometimes it takes time, but you'll get a great choice with all the work you're putting into it.
  33. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    I still don't understand how a cross Staffy - Boxer would weigh 60 pounds +.

    Not a chance, more like 35 pounds approx.
  34. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Well, he said the potential was there. That was enough to make me look elsewhere. I would feel awful if the dog got that big and I couldn't keep it.
  35. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that you're thoroughly researching this before you jump in.

    If everyone did the same, dogs and people would be much happier.

    Just keep looking and doing what you already are.

    You'll find the right one sooner or later.

    What I would do is contact some prospective breeders and give them your name and number.
  36. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    Well, this may be the deal on the size difference:

    The American Staffordshire runs between 57-67 lbs.

    The Staffordshire Bull Terrier--Britain's term for the breed--runs between 28-34lbs for males, 24-34lbs for females

    That's what I suspected when I read the earlier site at www.canismajor.com/dog/amstaff.html.

    This is the relevant part at canismajor:
    "The first Staffordshire Terriers came to America as early as 1870, where they evolved into two separate breeds: the American Pit Bull Terrier breed first registered by the United Kennel Club in 1898 and the non-fighting dogs that eventually gained recognition with AKC under their British name....AKC stalled recognition of the dog known in the US as the American Pit Bull Terrier until 1936, when it accepted the breed as the Staffordshire Terrier. Meanwhile, back in England that same year, The Kennel Club recognized the original bull and terrier dog as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

    "As often happens, selective breeding in the US produced a bull and terrier dog larger than its British forebears. So, although the Staffordshire Terrier of the AKC and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England were virtually the same dog in the beginning, they now differed enough that AKC renamed its breed the American Staffordshire Terrier. Then, in 1974, AKC accepted the Staffordshire Bull Terrier into its ranks."

    Supersize Me isn't just for burgers here. AKC judges generally like bigger dogs no matter what the breed. Poor Papillons. :( It's not safe to be a small dog here, they make fun of you and then won't let you date...or mate anyway.
  37. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    Yeah, I know there is a difference in size between American and English.

    These however, are cross-bred with Boxers, which aren't that big, so the pups would be smaller.

    (Small breeds generally live longer)
  38. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    :) Definitely! :)
  39. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    Bluesman, let us know when, or if, you get one, and preferably with pics.

    On a separate note, is tail docking and ear cropping legal in every state in the US, or is it banned in some? (just curious)

    Anyone got any dog pics they want to share?
  40. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    I'll put pix up tomorrow if I get the scanner working.

    ear docking--I've not heard of a state banning it yet, though it's currently an issue in California. Probably some municipality in one of our 50 states has banned it. There was a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for all dogs in the city limits--proposed in Austin. Another community (not in Texas) was requiring all dogs' voice cords to be cut. There are so many governmental bodies in the States...

    This is a site for the California deal: http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=2430
    Evidently the vets are fighting the restriction.

    I was wondering if you had an opinion about Scottish Deerhounds? How much space do they need? I understand the first two years they're very rambunctious, but that they slow down after the age of two?
  41. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    To be honest, I've never come across that breed, EVER!

    They look very similar to Irish Wolfhounds. I'd say they are very closely linked genetically.

    I only have very limited experience with Wolfhounds.

    They are a very regal and aloof breed, and usually extremely affectionate.

    Like all large, barrel chested dogs they can suffer from bloat, but that's easily avoided.

    They have a very coarse coat, so it would need attention every now and then.

    As they have a similar build to a Wolfhound, I would assume they need a lot of exercise.

    Medically, I can't really offer any experience, but reading my veterinary manual, it states the bloat issue, as well as cancer, heart and kidney problems that afflict the breed.

    Are you thinking of buying one, and what made you decide on that breed?
  42. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    I started thinking about it again because of this thread. I've really loved those dogs for a long time. They are extremely rare here, too.

    The very first time I came across a picture in a book, I was hooked. The form of the dog is lovely. And the eyes are very intelligent. I just get lost looking at the eyes. They definitely seem to want to know about you, what makes you tick. The attention just off the printed page is very flattering, and the motives look to be curiosity and compassion. As if you're looking at a jovial philosopher or dog anthropologist. They just look so darn soulful that I seem to get a telepathic hit right off the page. Not the soul of angst, but the soul of sweetness. I admire lots of different traits in dogs and I've had some very intelligent dogs, but I think the best "conversations" for me could be had with one of these.

    Some of my imagination is fired up by the association with my very loving grandmother, who was Scottish. I've seen the dogs briefly in movies, been looking for them for years. I almost crowed with happiness when I saw the one with Baron Munchausen in Terry Gilliam's film "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen". Then I finally saw one at a local dog show.

    I like what I've read about the temperament. I've always had dogs that like other people, are steady, polite and do not bark up a storm.

    Looking around again with this thread, I ran across some items that said these dogs slow down a lot after the age of two. I had thought I'd have to wait until I had several acres or something. My backyard is very large for my city, but all the photos show them in very open spaces (very romantic, Ryan's Daughter sort of stuff that we hardly see anymore unless it's been simulated by Industrial Light & Magic :rolleyes: ).

    I’m getting curious about adopting an older dog. I’m not happy, however, that they have a life span similar to the Great Dane. And I just read they can jump six foot fences. Hmmm. The father of my Papillon could climb six foot fences, not a usual trait in any dog breed. Some dogs are born escape artists.
  43. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    Meet Henry. He's 3months old and as loving and cute as can be. Brought him home yesterday. Only had one accident in the house. He is very good about going to the door to go out and comes back and sits and waits for you to tell him its ok for him to come back inisde. Great with the kids and only got up once to go outside during the night.

  44. BluesMan

    BluesMan Sgt. Snot Bubble

    ack...here's another try at it Any admins around that can chop out the above wrong link for me ? Would be greatly appreciated :D

  45. Lev

    Lev MajorGeek

    The first link came up "Henry can not be found".....has he run away already? ;)

    He is sooooo adorable...I bet the kids love him :)
  46. Insomniac

    Insomniac Billy Ray Cyrus #1 Fan

    He looks cute, and he's made himself right at home!

    Well done, it seems like you finally got your Spaniel. I hope your family and Henry have a great life together.

    (Gektumi, you've got a unique outlook and appreciation of dogs. I like that! ;) )
  47. gal1998

    gal1998 solo-cob

    He is adorable. I hope we get to see lots of pictures as he grows with your family.
  48. Phantom

    Phantom Brigadier Britches

    Real cute looking dog there, Bluesy. Should give you all many years of company and pleasure.
  49. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    He looks lovely. I'm sure you'll be happy with him! And he looks like he had a full and happy day.

    (Thanks, Insomniac! :) Compliments back at you. I enjoy your posts. ;) )

    I can't post my pix yet. Got them scanned but haven't figured how to resize them by "weight", since they're over 97.7kb. Silly, since I must have at least three programs that I'm sure could do it. I'll get them up later I hope!
  50. Gektumi

    Gektumi Private First Class

    Okay, dog pictures. First, Apple climbing an eight foot fence (only when I show a picture can I admit it was eight feet. How many eight-year-old dogs would be doing this? This was the first time I met him.


    This is Apple and Phoebe. The original Mr and Mrs North.


    This is Harriet, wonder dog.

    Cheers. :)

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