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Dogs - who owns what and how did you choose it?

Discussion in 'Other Chatter' started by Paul_B, Nov 12, 2017 at 9:35 PM.

  1. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Janne - I don't know the feeling of losing a dog. I've only lost other people's dogs.

    A friend was devastated by the death of her dog. A totally preventable one. Throwing sticks to a dog is a stupid act considering the risk of splinters getting into their airways. She knew about the risk (we'd all warned her countless times) which made it worse. She had to take time off work to grieve. Her parents got a dog kind of similar to hers to try and help her over the loss. It looked like it was working and the dog moved in with the friend. She ended up handing it back and not owning a dog. I don't know if she ever got over it because I lost contact.

    It's family afterall so I understand the loss.

    Thank you santaman2000. I take the opinion that I'll do fine as a compliment from an experienced dog owner. I think you understand my caution is purely about making sure of the welfare of the potential dog we might get. Limiting risks of having to rehome if it doesn't work.

    BTW I'm looking at a farm about 45 minutes to an hour away that's a fly licensed breeder of a few pure breeds and cross breeds plus a licensed pet shop as it sells puppies for other good breeders. They guarantee to take back any puppy up to 6 months or a year. They seem responsible. There's a lot of stories of puppy farms and whilst this sounds like one there's a feeling it's not. Maybe we'll see.

    BTW would you keep a crocker spaniels fur short? I've seen show ones with fur to the ground between its legs. It's it OK to keep a crocker short so you have less issues with tangled and matted fur? Or is that more about making it easier for owner and not so good for the dog?
     
  2. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I don't really know about Cockers. But I have two different standards for my Corgi/Sheltie mix (yeah I have two dogs at the moment; this one and the Boxer mix) She has a beautiful coat and in winter I leave it long but it does get tangled. In summer I get her a short cut and she seems much happier (both because it's not tangled and because the heat is less oppressive) Is it just an easy out because daily brushing is more difficult? Maybe, but either way (brushed and groomed vs trimmed up short) the dog is healthier and happier.

    Sadie Ann, the Corgi/Sheltie, with my Grandson with her full coat (pix a few years old)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Labrador is now one option. Boring really since it's always on the top of the list of family dogs.

    What do you think of staffordshire bull terriers and English bull terriers as family dogs? I've actually seen a few best family dog lists with them. Boxers, Labradors, retrievers, poodles, Yorkie, even Bernese mountain dogs and vizlas. But those? You can't trust any dog to be alone with young children but I don't trust those two breeds to be with children even if I was there. Too powerful jaw. I once watched someone on TV say you'd have to lever the jaw open of it clamped down on anything. Unfair I bet but it's just not a family dog IMHO.

    Docking tails, why? Any benefit? They look ugly and I don't accept that doing it a few days old means no pain. That's part of the same country myth as saying you can drown unwanted kittens if they've not opened their eyes yet. That's how it seems to me. They're ugly too IMHO.
     
  4. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    BTW nice looking dog.

    TBH I never really thought about temperature issues, consequence of being from Britain. We don't often get extremes. Other than the extreme species bred for certain climes (husky and pharaoh hound for example) I always thought most breeds would cope on with the UK. Greyhounds also an exception.

    I guess a cocker would also benefit from a clipping in summer. I heard some dogs clipping isn't recommended because it affects the coat. Also keeping your dog outdoors makes the coat thicker or double coated with certain breeds like border collies. Farm collies tend to have thick, matted and weatherproof coats.
     
  5. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I 've read that docking tails was originally either to prevent it being shredded in thick thorns for some working dogs but I don't know how true that is. It certainly doesn't hold today anyway. The only advantage I could see nowadays would be not having that big wagging tail knocking stuff off the furniture (not reason enough IMO either) No, I don't believe docking tails is completely painless That's why I made the comparison to human circumcision (much better as a neo-natal than an elderly adult)

    Labradors are great dogs but they're bigger than your stated size limits (actually bigger than the boxers)

    The "bully" breed terriers you mentioned have suffered a bad press lately I know several people locally that have them with kids. The arguments pro and con center on whether the bad ones are a result of irresponsible owners or a breed characteristic. It can be either or both TBH. If buyers want more aggressive dogs for whatever reason (illegal dog fighting or for a drug dealers protection dog or just for ego) then breeders will respond to that market. If you want one these breeds but want the older temperament like the movie dogs )The Little Rascals) you need to investigate the breeder and his breeding stock carefully. I suspect that much of this is less a problem there than here or with the two specific breeds you mentioned. However you might consider how certain breeds might affect your home insurance premiums and how welcome you'll be bringing them into public lodging when traveling: Public perception can be as important as reality with these considerations. Many hotels also have a size limit if they permit pets at all.
     
  6. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    My vizlsa had to have it's tail docked recently after catching the end and healing not possible. The in-laws ridgeback is just about to undergo the same. The vet of the sister-in-laws has just had to do the same to their own dog. Docking has it's place still.
     
  7. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    The problem with gun dogs is that they have become too popular. There are virtually two versions of cockers around now - the 'pet/crufts' version with hair that is far too long to be any use at all flushing game out of brambles and the 'working' dog version. I have and would only ever buy a gun dog from a breeder that has a good reputation for the breed and from field trial champion stock - it's the only way you can be sure of what you are getting. If you are going to buy from a farm ask to see the bitch and sire's pedigrees first and make sure they're traceable to the puppy you end up buying. I have always insisted on seeing both parents before buying and have walked away if I wasn't satisfied (very hard with all those lovely puppies around :) ).

    I've had red setters (as a child), retrievers and springer spaniels and all have been fantastic dogs: great with children, obedient and great company. My parents had a cocker that could be a bit 'snappy'. I was later told by a breeder that the plain colour dogs (in this case black) were more temperamental but I don't know how true that is.

    Cheers,

    Broch
     
  8. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I've never had one but a Brittany seems to tick all your boxes as well.
     
  9. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I bought my Chesapeake from a breeder of field/gun champions.
    I don't think for a minute that the breed is a "family dog."
    He was a good gun dog. Lived up to his call-name = Muddy.

    I did, in fact, come very close to buying a Brittany. Friend from the Yukon used one for birds.
    Chessies are, or can be, really big and tall. Muddy was 40kg and too tall to walk under the table.
    Hindsight suggests that I would have equally well off with a Brit.
     
  10. SaraR

    SaraR Tenderfoot

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    For a dog that will work in the outdoors, get a breed that doesn't suffer the cold or heat and with a coat type that works well in the rain. Not too small so it gets soaked walking on soggy ground but small enough that you or your partner can lift it up comfortably.
    My brothers Staffie is lovely but suffers in wet and cold weather. Our inhereted fluffies are brilliant but have fur like baby hair and get soaked very quickly plus one can't stand warm weather.
    But at the end of the day, most people spend more time with their dogs at home that outdoors, so don't get one that doesn't suit the family just because you want a running partner for your weekly run and so on.
     
    Robson Valley likes this.
  11. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Trust me I don't run just walk quickly, when family circumstances allow.

    Seriously dogs have to fit into the household and circumstances of that household. Our son is the centre of that, we care for him. Part of the dog thing is to give us all another living thing to care for. That means he's got to care for it. He's a dabright 5 year old and forever active (mind and body nonstop). In 5 years he'll be 10 and the dog will be mature. He'll probably be going on longer walks by then. Activities outdoors, we hope, will be his main interests like with us. Although dreaded football is starting its draw!

    In our thinking a gundog breed is ideal but full on types like springer are too far. Cockers are calmer. I have two breeders in my sights, one local but the other almost 3 hours drive away. The further one seems to breed with a stud dog from Contrail. A quality breeder of gun dogs specializing in calm dogs for trials and shoots. Sounds good for families too.

    I've been looking at working cocker spaniels breeders and there's a few who describe their procedures up to when the new owner takes the puppy. They state the vet comes in within the first few days when the puppy gets a check over and starts the necessary worming, etc. They also get the puppies tails docked. They say they sell all their puppies with docked tails and dew claw sorted too. I believe that might be removal but I don't know. I think it's a shooting dog thing. They say they always give preference to new owners from "good shooting families". That makes us second class in their eyes. I don't like that. Just because we don't shoot doesn't mean the dog isn't going to be happy, treated well and trained well too.

    So would you guys dock the spaniel's tail or try to keep it intact even against the breeder's advice?
     
  12. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Did your Chessie point? I always thought of them as a retriever rather than a bird dog.
     
  13. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    No, he was a "gotta go get 'em" dog. Tied to a tree. Blat! blat! down come the birds.
    He would watch them fall. Just turn him loose and wait. Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

    Driving slow along a logging road, he would suddenly fix his stare on something (birds).
    So I'd get out and shoot, he'd wait, then go collect the birds. Brought them to my hand.

    The dog was at Point A. The bird fell at point B. Connect the points with a straight line.
     
  14. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Paul, This talk about gun dogs reminds me, they're easy to exercise. Even on days when you're laid up. They'll run their hearts out playing fetch while you sit in the lawn chair throwing the ball.
     
  15. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Paul, you have your mind set on a cocker. ( Wonderful dogs!) Good.

    I personally would not choose a working cocker. They are bred to ‘work’. A more normal (‘ornamental’, ‘show’) cocker is bred to be a family pet.
    Both our cockers had their tails as nature intended, and the claw too.
    Docking and declawing are illegal practices in most European countries. In England digs doing certain professions can be docked.
    The tails aid in their balance, communication, and in case of male dogs, proper function of their anal glands, according to our vet.
    Plus it hurts them when it is done. Cruel practice without any benefits.

    The breeders you mention I would avoid. You are just as valuable customer as a hunter. You choose a dog, the breeder does not choose it for you!
     
    #55 Janne, Nov 15, 2017 at 2:20 AM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 2:28 AM
  16. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Forgot: if the breeders tell you docking and declawing is important for their health, it is pure BS. Has not been done in Scandinavia on any dog, pet or hunting, for close to 30 years. Working dogs work just as well, no damage.
     
  17. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    When I was a very little kid, we had a big spaniel on Grandpa's farm named Sally.
    Apparently, she was a baby-sitter breed for us kids..
    Later, we had a cocker spaniel named Dudley. What a class act he was.
    Fatten up something terrible in the winters then run it all off on the farm in the summers.
    Yeah, leave the dog as natural as you can.
    I had to agree to get Muddy neutered as "pet stock" as opposed to "breeding stock"
    which would have cost me many more thousands of dollars.

    Besides the dog, I believe you need to find a good kennel for serious baths, haircuts and nail trims.
    If you had to board the dog for a business trip, have you found that place?
     
  18. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Baths and claw cutting is easy to do yourself.
    Trimming - not so much. We trimmed our fogs ourselves for a couple of years, but then took them to a dog person. Dog hairdresser?
     
  19. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Groomer.
     
  20. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    You have no clue at all of what it's like to deal with dogs which have had a really good roll in bear scat.
    That's usually a pile bigger than a loaf of bread.
    I can block off part of my down stairs for the dogs to dry off. Earned it's name as the "Pig-Pen."
     

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