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Spaniel Turncoat

 
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mtnspaniel



Joined: 24 Jun 2015
Posts: 1


Location: West Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:11 pm    Post subject: Spaniel Turncoat  Reply with quote

For the last 22 years I've been a Springer man.  But in September I turn 60 and a somewhat smaller dog seems like a good idea.  My lovely Springer Pete just turned ten and he doesn't do well when I'm not around, since we lost his litter-mate sister Annie to liver cancer last summer.  Pete and I need another dog.

Brittanies seem to sport the main Springer attributes in a smaller package, so I've got my heart set on a Brittany for our next family member.  Besides, they aren't always giving you that sad-eyed Springer look.  Wink

Pete has an amazing lifestyle: He and I live alone on 137 unbounded acres on a mountain top in West Virginia.  He has a dog door and free run of the mountain, but he and my other Springers have never roamed.  They wait for me, as their job is to accompany, flush & retrieve.  I never tire of watching them work!  They patrol at an entertaining distance, covering about five miles for my every one.  

I want that kind of self-motivated energy in my dogs.  It seems that Brittanies have it, with a little less of the flushing instinct of a Springer.  I'm not a hunter so that matters little.  I just love to watch a dog self-express by running free in the fields and woods.  Myself, I try to spend an hour or two every day, hiking the fields on my property.  And/or working; I heat my large home with an outdoor wood-fired boiler, and my dogs love accompanying me as I do that work.  There's never been an ounce of fat on the four Springers I've had.

Annie was a fiend for tennis balls; she taught Pete to keep away from them since he was a pup.  I'd like a dog who likes to play ball -- with a little keep-away, so he/she doesn't drive me bats like a Golden might.

I feel a little guilty for abandoning the Springer breed, but at 50 lbs. Pete is a little large for a lap dog.  A smaller dog would be easier to heave about the bed, too.  My girlfriend doesn't agree, but I think my dogs belong on the bed with me/us.  They are family.  They quickly learn to cleave to the few limits and rules I (and Pat) set for them.

So: I'm looking to provide a little life in paradise for a lucky Brittany.  Any input will be welcome!
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Clare
Bretonnier


Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 331



PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: Spaniel Turncoat Reply with quote

mtnspaniel wrote:
Besides, they aren't always giving you that sad-eyed Springer look.  Wink


Don't you believe it - ours can turn on the "heart broken" look in an instant and, if they feel really hard done to, can sulk for hours.

Welcome to the Forum - there are some very knowledgeable people on the Forum who can provide help and advice.
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guy
Site Admin


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 5176


Location: Allier

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome

Many years ago I was a springer man - I had three generations of them.  I went for a Brittany after meeting a brace owned by an  Italian neighbour.  I would never go back to springers and now have five Brittanys.  

Some of the fundamental differences are - their speed and range.  The Brittany has a natural envelope much wider than a spangle and they run faster and turn quicker.  I used to describe them as 'spaniels on speed'.  

Intelligence - prepared to at times be 'out thought' by a Brittany.  It is not that they are devious but more they are 'quick witted'.  They can learn very fast - sometimes it seems the bad is learned fastest, but then that is possibly the case with many dogs.

Exercise - many say they need this or that number of hours of exercise a day.  In my experience, they don't.  You get a dog that is fit to the level of exercise you give it.  What they do need is mental stimulation every day.  

Friendship and loyalty- these dogs have a very passionate following and owning one will open up a completely new world - in the broadest sense.  I now have friends because of my dogs in every continent of the world save Asia.   As with other dogs they are very loyal - to my wife's un-amusement - if we are out walking together and she calls a dog to heel - it comes to my side not hers Smile

Biddability / trainability - they are both very biddable and very trainable (IMHO) with a very big BUT.  Their intelligence which makes them such quick learners is the key to their downfall with many.  The key is to build a very strong bond with them.  Forget the ideas of 'top dog and domination'  - with respect I defy anyone to be able to 'dominate' a dog that is 100 yards away.  The key is 'partnership'.  Yes, people get good results with force fetch methods - but you can get equally good and stylishly better ones with positive reward (praise and or treats) based methods.  Bear in mind at 60 you are never going to outrun anything other than a baby Brittany with a view to chastise it - so you have to think of other ways to help it learn what you want

Finally - beware one is never enough.
_________________
Guy, Topaz, Catja, Fresco, Tansy and Tubbs.
Beauty from Structure
www.epagneulbreton.org.uk

www.guybagshaw.co.uk
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johnhod
Admin


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 3949


Location: Merseyside

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see you posting on here now Mtnspaniel.
_________________
Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail (if it has one).

Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend



www.john-hodkinson-consultancy.co.uk
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Lin Dyke
Bretonnier


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 2394


Location: Berkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I feel a little guilty for abandoning the Springer breed, but at 50 lbs. Pete is a little large for a lap dog."

Britts are lapdogs too, so be prepared for prob'upto a 40lbs lapdog  Wink

I had my first in the late 1980s and haven't been without one since.  We've also had springers and they co-exist well.  

Wishing you well with your quest for a new companion.
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Lin, owned by Copper the Brittany.  Never forgetting Josh, Zac and Rudi
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SMJ
Bretonnier


Joined: 24 Sep 2015
Posts: 30


Location: Haute Savoie & Umbria

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Spaniel Turncoat Reply with quote

mtnspaniel wrote:
For the last 22 years I've been a Springer man.  But in September I turn 60 and a somewhat smaller dog seems like a good idea.....

Interestingly, size (in this case, down sizing) was a key element in my husband (70) & myself (62) moving away from Labradors. However, I'm beginning to see other fascinating attributes and, as Guy says: one is not enough -- hence getting two Brittanys to the horror of my husband who naively thought I'd be content with just one dog!!!
Suzanne Wink))))

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