Saturday, May 1, 2010

Springer Spaniels are the Best Family Dogs

10 Reasons why Springer Spaniels are the Best Family Dogs

Having owned both English and Welsh Springer Spaniels, then I guess I am biased. If you are looking for a dog, whether a rescue dog or a puppy, then here are a handful of reasons why either of these two breeds is the best for you, whether you have a young family or you are just looking a loyal companion. If you want want a fun dog to get you out into the fresh air and countryside, then a Springer is a dog for you. So, yes, this springer spaniel advice is biased, but you could do a lot worse than take it!

Reason #1 - History Equals Refinement

Springer spaniels are part of the Gundog group and we can trace their history back at least ten centuries. This means that they are highly developed, but without any of the bad inbreeding traits that you see in some other dogs.

Reason #2 - History Equals Choice

Given their history and time for refinement, there are several spaniel lines to choose from, within which we have the Springers. The Kennel Club of England recognises two distinct pedigrees of Springer Spaniel: The English Springer and the Welsh Springer spaniel. They are closely related, yet quite distinct. The English Springer is much more widespread than the Welsh Springer.

Reason #3 - Popularity Equals Choice

Because these dogs are so popular, then there are lots of breeders and you will have plenty of breeders to choose from giving you plenty of choice of puppies. You should easily find a breeder close to you, without having to travel for days as you might have to for a rare breed in a large country.

Reason #4 - Popularity Equals Health

These two aspects are quite closely entwined - these dogs are popular because they are generally healthy. This is thought to be because they date back so far and have been such a successful breed that the breeding stock and bloodlines are quite widespread, reducing the effects of inbreeding. When a genetic problem does become apparent (such as with canine fucosidosis in the 1990's) then there is plenty of stock to enable the condition to be bred out of the problem line.

Reason #5 - Economic to Keep

They are medium sized and can be fed for around $7-$9 a week (£5-£7), and because they do not need professional trimming and grooming you save on cost here too. Their general good health means that on average the veterinary costs are low too.

Reason #6 - Effective as Guard Dogs

They are not tiny and will not be ignored by intruders - an adult English Springer weighs 50 lbs - imagine being hit by that at a run. They will warn of strangers but without being too aggressive. And, because they are so loyal, they will defend their family staunchly.

Reason #7 - Compact for Travel

Their medium body size means that they fit comfortably into the average family small or mid-sized auto, without needing an SUV or truck to carry them around. They are small enough to travel easily on the railroad as well.

Reason #8 - Coat

Unlike a long haired dog, they do not shed hair heavily - they are considered to be medium shedders. Because their hair is only medium length then it is relatively easy to keep them tidy and well groomed.

Reason # 8 - Personality

I have owned both English and Welsh Springers and can testify that they are great fun, full of vitality, but also loving and affectionate. They love to play games. Retrieving is a strong natural trait and they will fetch all day long. They love the water and that too can be an endless source of fun.

Reason # 9 - Choice of Color

The English Springer has two distinct colour lines - liver and white, and black and white; both may have tan markings in addition. In addition, the blue roan is a recognised coloring in the USA. The Welsh Springer has only one coloring - red and white. Does it seem frivolous to talk about color choice? Well, it is important to some owners.

Reason # 10 - They Need Plenty of Exercise

Yes, that is a good reason, because it ensures that you and your family will get plenty of exercise too, and a lot of fun into the bargain.

I have stopped at ten reasons, but could give you more. For example about their high intelligence, eager to learn and easy to train. All in all, this adds up to a very strong recommendation of these great dogs.

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