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We're thinking about adopting a dog soon because we haven't actually owned a dog in a little while, just fostering. Our last foster was a senior dog (very old) who had to get put down because of the pain he was in.

We want to look into spaniels, we're more than likely adopting one from a rescue though.
Does anyone have experience with spaniels and how they act? What should I expect?

We're looking more into the smaller spaniel breeds; Cockers, Cavalier King Charles, English Springer Spaniels, maybe even Brittanies (not too sure on them)

We have 2 kids, gentle, one is 9, other is 15. No worries on ear tugging/poking/etc. at all.
Summer's close so kids will be home all day to play and supervise for now (my daughter's quite experienced, I'd say), once the school year starts, unless our work hours change, the dog will be home all day with at least a person at all times except Fridays (alone for 7 hours). If hours do change, it'd probably be alone for 7 hours weekdays. Let's hope it doesn't change.
Can spaniels take this long alone if hours do change? We'd probably crate it and have a neighbor let it out during the day, or come back for lunch break (slim chance, we both work far)

What health issues can spaniels get? I know some get eye problems and hip dysplasia's always a thing.

Grooming?

How much exercise do they usually need? I know it variates from dogs.

Tell me your experiences and the craziest things about spaniels. :) :)
 

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An add on: We're probably going to get a dog that's at least 8 months old-4 years old.

When do they stop teething, usually? Teething experiences?
 

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American Cockers often have more health issues due to the "Tramp syndrome" so if you like the smaller cockers you have to find a very good breeder. English cockers often have better health wise. It will depend on what you mean by "Cocker"
CKCS have many issues in the neurological area due to breeding and a condition that does not always show up early, this name is hard to spell so I will have to look it up and pasted it.
ESS- are larger and if you find one with good temperament it depends on your lifestyle
Britt- I have not had experience with these ones

As I have more experience with cockers- they are Velcro dogs, love to please, They are3 fast athletic dogs if kept in shape, they can and will overeat if you let them. They are living doorbells but a good one will not be yappy. If you like a small to medium dog and do not mind the grooming then a cocker is a way to go. If not you may be more interested in one of the others. CKCS are somewhat less cocker and the ESS are. If you are interested in this breed I would love to chat, I love all spaniels (cockers the best)!
 

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issues that show up in CKCS-
Syringomyelia
Mitral Valve Disease
Issues in Cockers (both but more common in Arm.)
progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and cataracts- these are the eye issues
dilated cardiomyopathy and sick sinus syndrome- heart issues
Phosphofructokinase deficiency- a recessive sugar issue
canine epilepsy
ESS-
progressive retinal atrophy
Phosphofructokinase deficiency- a recessive sugar issue
canine epilepsy
glaucoma

These are the ones I know off the top of my head, most share issues
 

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It looks like you've got a couple of Cocker Spaniels, how are they? I'd like to know about the temperaments and personalities of these dogs.
 

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yes I do they are very loving my male is a in your face follow you around kind of dog, males tend to be that way least in my experience they are. My female is more laid back but will come an crawl into my lap if she wants to be close. They do talk just not in a bark kind of way, I would have to do a video on how she sounds. they are very easy going had to train an off switch with my male.

Each has their own likes and dislikes, they do like each other a lot which is good as I would love to breed them (2 years away from doing so if all test are good) If you like the Velcro follow me kind of dogs cockers are a good choice. They do like to chew and chase (the cats play with them) they have soft mouths but you would have to teach that too if you get a slightly younger dog vs. an older one
 

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Elrohwen, a member here, has a Welsh springer spaniel. Her posts about Watson have made me consider a Welshie as a great option for (far, far future) nextdog. They're not super common, so they likely won't show up in shelters very often. You should be able to search for her posts or, ideally, she'll see this thread.
 

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IME, spaniels make great family dogs. Your kids are older so it shouldn't be an issue to integrate any dog into the home really - it's really little kids that you have to be more careful about.

Pretty much any adult dog can be home alone for 8+ hours on a normal work day. Spaniels aren't any different.

Health issues are dependent on the breed. Grooming is fairly consistent, though you will find it ranges a bit based on how much coat the dog grows naturally. I would budget to take the dog to the groomer every 6 weeks or so, though it is something you can learn to do yourself if you're interested.

As far as the breeds go, cockers and cavaliers will generally be lower energy, but both breeds can have significant health problems. Cavs especially come with a host of health problems that can shorten life and I would not recommend getting one from rescue if you don't know anything about its health. They are pretty much the sweetest breed on the planet though. Cockers can be sweet dogs, but there are temperament issues in the breed, along with allergies and ear infection problems. The right one can be a fantastic dog though.

English springers are going to be higher energy, but IMO have less health and temperament issues than the smaller spaniels. How much energy are you able to provide every day? Not just number of walks, but length, off leash or not, etc. These dogs are very sweet, but they do need consistent exercise. The ones I know love kids and are great fun family dogs. There are show lines and there are field/hunting lines, and the field bred dogs will generally be higher energy.

Brittanies tend to need even more exercise than springers, though as with anything it varies by individual. The ones I have known were great family dogs. They are also actually pointers, not spaniels, and tend to have more in common with some of the other pointer breeds in temperament, IMO. Not that they are completely different from spaniels, but they tend to be a little more serious and higher energy.

I absolutely love spaniels and I think they make great companions for active families. Let me know if you have any more specific questions. I own a Welsh springer and have been around lot of them. I also have some experience with English springers, brittanies, and cockers.

Of course, I think Welshies are the best spaniel ever. They are rare and almost never found in rescue, but if you are interested in looking into breeders I give you names. Like the other spaniels, they are happy, goofy, fun loving, velcro, sweet sweet dogs. They just want to be with their people. They are one family dogs, not one person dogs, so they tend to be reserved with strangers but very devoted to their family.
 

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A relatively short walk in the morning (15-20 minutes), a little less than an hour of playtime in the afternoon (training in that time too), a run/brisk walk (around 30-40 minutes) after dinner and maybe a little more playtime, and some training in the evening would be what we could do, sometimes less because we won't have as much time on some days. On weekends, we would probably take it to the dog park or just the park to hike. There are also schools around with huge fully fenced areas that people bring their dogs to all the time.

I was pretty aware of the health problems, so I'm probably going to lean towards English Cocker Spaniels, and probably avoid Cavaliers.

I'm not too sure about Brittanies still, we might avoid them as well because we fostered a very high energy pointer mix at one point, and he just wore us out. But of course, there's a possibility.

I'd love a few breeder names, we live in Kansas City, MO, which is probably pretty far from where there are any good breeders for rare breeds, but I might consider a Welshie.
 

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A Welshie could live with that. My dog gets about the same. They can be wilder when young, but then sporting dogs in general tend to be wild adolescents. I will PM you some breeders. There is actually a fabulous breeder in Kansas and one in Indiana that I can think of off the top of my head.

English cockers are also super cool little dogs! I would love a field bred one some day.
 

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A
I was pretty aware of the health problems, so I'm probably going to lean towards English Cocker Spaniels, and probably avoid Cavaliers.
You could find a good rescue, but just be aware that sometimes people mix them up and that you do get an English. If going with a breeder also tell them you are looking for an English. I love the small heads of the American, love the coat they have, and the slope of the back Vs. the English ones.
Good luck
 

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My Ginger is a brittany who will be 5 in July. She's a sweetheart! For a spaniel, she's more laid back. Dont get me wrong, put her in the fenced in yard & she'll run her hear out but she's happy to lounge around with Boone. She loves, loves loves our 6yr old grandaughter. IMO, Brits are wonderful family dogs.
 

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I'm on my 3rd Field Bred English Springer Spaniel & they are great dogs. My first two had field trial champion fathers & this one has grandfathers that are FC. Honestly my first two got a half hour walk/run & then just ran in our yard while we worked around. While they had their moments, they were always good house dogs after the normal puppy energy. My present is 17 months old & while I do take her on 2 half hour walks in the field where I go 1.5 miles + & she usually goes farther than me, she is content to run herself ragged in the yard also. The walks are really for me to exercise. She is in constant motion & she has been unleashed in our unfenced yard for about 5 months. We do live about 1500 feet off a very busy state road. By keeping her on a long check cord or flexi leash her entire first year, I easily taught her the boundaries. That being said nothing is 100% & your mileage may vary! They are the most loving dogs. I would love an English Cocker & almost got a Welsh Springer, before I got my second Springer. For me it will be always a sporting dog & always a spaniel!
 
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