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Old 11-23-2011, 10:12 PM
24 posts, read 161,230 times
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My husband and I are getting a puppy in a few weeks and are torn between two. A black lab/retriever mix or a springer spaniel.

A little about us - My husband and I both have full time jobs, but have different schedules, so one of us is home during the day 4 out of 7 days of the week. We have two very young children (2.5 yrs. and 4 months). We want a fun, loving, medium sized dog who is great with our kids and will be a great companion for them as they grow.

Any input is appreciated!
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:11 PM
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Both would have an unusually high need for exercise. The mixed puppy might grow more Lab-like size, larger than medium. Both, I think, would be great pets (attentive to their people). But allow me to say that I think the two kids are way too young for a dog to be "great" with them- a young dog especially, who is going to knock them over in enthusiasm. Unless you are able to be present every moment that the kids are near the dog, it could be too early in the family life.
I love springers...
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:38 AM
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Lab. Make sure you don't get the bull of the litter. Buy from a reputable breeder and make sure you observe the litter before selecting your dog. You want a middle of the pack mentality in your dog to be more well adjusted to kids and family life. 9 weeks is the perfect time to get the dog. Make sure you train it well.

Have you been a responsible dog owner on the past? No matter what breed you decide on make sure you have the time and dedication, 10-15 yrs of it.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:41 AM
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I would highly recommend the lab/retriever mix. We had young children and grandchildren that grew up with our lab/weimeraner mix from the pound. she was the best dog ever and tolerated all the stuff kids do to dogs.
I would get one PAST the age of 2 or you will encounter chewing issues. Good luck.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:50 AM
Location: North Western NJ
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personally id go with a spaneil...
labs are large not medium dogs, puppies untill at least 2 years of age...heavy shedders...
and personally i think theres no better group than the spanile group for a family dog.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:05 AM
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Having owned two springer spaniels and having
observed labs owned by friends-

I would pick the springer spaniel every time!!!

they have got to be the sweetest , willing to please
dog breed ever. great family dog.

the main down side is the amount of hair, I did
end up doing the grooming/shaving myself, they did
not mind the bad haircuts.

as with all dogs, excersize and training will make for
many years of fun no matter which one you pick.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:45 AM
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Labs, retrievers, and springers are all very good family pets. But my springer spaniel is very energetic, you'd need to give it plenty of exercise and run time each day. I think the same goes for a lab/golden mix, but the labs in our family have been lazier than our springer. One thing about springers, you must also clean out their ears once or twice each week or they can become infected. Springers can also have sensitive tummies, mine has the fussiest indigestion I've ever seen in a dog, and from what I've read and been told by people that's not uncommon among springers. Our springer doesn't shed as much as the labs or border collies our family has had over the years, though. Some dogs do shed more than others though, even individuals in a specific breed. Springers can still be pretty big, ours is 54 lbs. and she's not overweight. I think a lab/retreiver mix would be even bigger.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:34 AM
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I think both are great family dogs. I am partial to labs, as we have one, as she is smart and totally devoted to the family. She is on the small side, sometimes it happens. My neighbor has a springer spaniel, and she is very friendly and well behaved. My friend doesn't trust her off a leash however. They have very strong prey instincts, especially for birds. The Springer also requires regular grooming and as mentioned, a specialized diet due to allergies. But, in a fenced yard, with the ability to run around a lot, a springer could be a great pet.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:29 PM
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I had a springer from solid stock (sire was both a dual AM CAN field champion and BOB Westiminster-years ago)

Never again.

The dog was sweet but had temperament issues the like I have never had with any of the sevearal German Shepherds I have owned.

I have heard other say many of the small spaniels like this can be snappy and temperamental--not sure if she carried the gene for rage and perhaps that was part of it but her eyes would glaze over if she was stressed and she would lash out at anything.

I had no problems with the dog offlead though. The coat does require a lot of work and it is hard to find a competent groomer; most tend to do a clip like a cocker and that is NOT right.

-eye issues
-rage syndrome
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:39 PM
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Thank you everyone for your input! I was leaning towards the lab/retriever from the beginning and my husband wanted the springer/spaniel and after reading these I think I'm leaning further towards a lab.

I grew up having a lab from a young age and she was always a great dog - well tempered, never bit and didn't bark too much. Neither my husband or myself have ever had a springer/spaniel or any dog similar which is why I was more wary towards that one.

Does anyone have recommendations for puppy food? Growing up we always fed our pets Iams and that is what we feed our two cats now. Is that a good brand or would something else be better?
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