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Brittany vs. Springer vs.?


Big Dave2

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Brittany vs. Springer, Is there much difference between these 2 breeds? If so, what are the differences. Are the springers more high strung? Which one would make a better over all hunting and family dog? I only hunt Pheasants. Are both breeds pointers?
I am looking for my first actual hunting dog. I now have a 10 yr old cocker as a family pet. Are the temperments of these 2 dogs similar in any way to the cocker. Mine is actually a very timid one.
What I am looking for is like I said a good over all hunting and family dog that is not too big as I do not have a very big house or yard and a short coat that does not shed much because I am actually allergic to my cocker spaniel. If I play with her too much my eyes and nose start to bother me, but the shorter haired dogs don't seem to affect me as much.
I am not sold on either of these 2 breeds as of yet nor am I sold on a pointer or flusher type of dog. Just looking for the best over all dog I can find for my situation. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Thanks, Dave

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Dave, I don't know much about these breeds, but. Brittnay is a pointer. Springer is a flusher. If your allergies react to a Cocker, my guess is you will react to either of these. I think the Springer has longer hair than a Cocker and the Britt is about the same. With allergies you may need to look at the true shorthairs, (GSP, Vissla, English pointer, Wiemeraner). Maybe even labs would be better with allergies.

Brian

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First of all I think you are heading in the right direction by letting your family situation dictate what breed of dog would be best suited for you and your family. In a perfect world all sportsmen would own several different breeds for the many different types of game we all love to pursue. Unfortunately most of us do not have the necessary resources to facilitate this dream. Ain't no such thing as "The Perfect Gun Dog". Pointing -vs- flushing of course is a matter of personal preference. From what I have read the Brittany and the Springer are similar in many respects. Size, personality, drive in the field, willingness to serve and social skills. I am try and get the best of both worlds by choosing the Brittany. I really enjoy his gentle nature and the way he interacts with all family members. I am especially proud of his performance in the field. The Brittany may be better suited for you simply because of your allergies. The Brittany's coat generally requires less maintenance, is shorter, and will shed less than the Springer. You may also want to log onto, http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/englishspringerspaniel.htm, for more information regarding the Springer.

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Thanks guys, very good info. I have a lot of researching to do before I actually go out and buy a dog.
How old do most dogs have to be before they can actually give it a try out in the field? Just wondering how long I can wait to get one if I want to have him at least a little bit ready to give it a whirl next fall.

[This message has been edited by Big Dave2 (edited 12-15-2003).]

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As far as the alergies go, If my cocker even walks into the room I can tell it immediately, let alone if I would touch her. My neighbor just got a lab pup and I played with it for 20-30 min straight, holding it and everything and I felt absolutely no ill effects. Do you think this would some how change as the dog gets older? I don't know why it should, but then again I dont know a lot of things!
Willie, I went to that web site you gave me and they had a list of dogs that are considered good for people with allergies. The only dog on the list that I have ever heard of as a hunting dog was the wire hair fox terrier, unless I am getting it confused with something else.
Thanks,
Dave

[This message has been edited by Big Dave2 (edited 12-15-2003).]

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Big Dave, Your question between the 2 breeds is more up to you as to the type of hunting you want to do, "flusher vs. pointer". I have hunted behind both breeds and they are both very cappable dogs. The brittany will generally have a little bit shorter hair and will be easy to maintain, the springer usually has longer hair on the lower half of his body. If your dog is to be a house dog or a part time house dog one thing you may want to check out is a dog shampoo from your vet to help out with the allergies. Both these breeds are a bit high strung but that can be determined by the socialalizing when they are young, "the more the better". I have a britt and she is in the house half time so she has learned the rules about the furniture and such. Both these breeds are good size house dogs. Labs and GSH pointers are also good hunting dogs and good choices but they are quiet a bit bigger in size, but they are easy to maintain with the short hair. ricbak

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i got a brit. at the same time my brother got a lab, so we all were training together...my britt out swims the lab. I don't know why but as long as it's not too cold I let her swim all day long.
good luck
p.s. look hard at a female.

[This message has been edited by billy_the_kid (edited 12-16-2003).]

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I used to own a Wire Hair Fox Terrier years ago. Not for hunting. Just for a inside the house family companion. We did not have kids then so things worked out great. They are a bit high strung and nervous like most Terriers. Extremely intelligent with lots of energy. Very protective and fear nothing! I personally would not suggest this breed of dog for hunting and I would caution folks about their aggressive tendencies especially when lots of little children are concerned.

Don't plan on any real serious hunting with your pup for at least two full seasons. Lots of socialization, civilizing and obedience for the first few months. Then out in the field for lots of fun and praise. Next comes planted birds and mock hunts with lots of fun and praise. Take it slow and use your common sense. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If the dog has any natural ability (which only God can bless him with) he should be ready by seven-to-nine months to go out and have a little wild fun with you! Remembering all the while that you still have a work in progress on your hands. Keep it short, sweet and fun. I'm not a professional trainer or handler so I can only explain to you what I have read, been taught, witnessed and experienced. I am trying to keep things simple. My dog knows alot more about what he is doing in the field than I do. That is why we have formed this partnership. I trust his natural instincts. I have witnessed him utilizing his keen senses of smell, hearing and sight. In the field he leads and I follow...it is just that simple. I'm sure that through the years I will learn alot more from him than he will ever learn from me!

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Good to read you are looking at all your options. What is your main focus on hunting right now and in the future? this helps with the choice. If you are going to be alone or with a couple of people and go out west you might want a pointer to get out there and pin down birds that otherwise will run and flush long before you are even close. I have had Vizslas for 17+ years and have had great success with upland and waterfowl. Breaking ice and the whole deal. Not their best use but you use what you have. V's are a high energy dog, loyal family pet and very intelligent and easy to get along with. Not hyper but high energy. A pup will take a little while to be a good dog on their own but you should get them out there after you have done your obedience training and let them explore the cover. After they are about 2 you can take them out and get some good hunts with some control. Do not short yourself on yard and practice field work. Friends of mine have Shorthairs and like them. They are a multi use breed as well. You must be cautious about dominance and aggression in any dog and select away from that for your first dog especially. I have been a subscriber to Gun dog mag for many years and they are very informative in their publications on selection and starting dogs. English Pointers may be a little stand-off-ish to make a good family dog. They work very well but would rather hunt, as a breed. Individuals may vary. You may want to try a started dog for your first one. Get something with a little exposure and training in it to get you going. I have done both pup and started dogs. They all bond to you just fine. The started dog has the advantage of hunting earlier and not going through all the puppy breaking time. it can be fun but also time out of the field. Another good reason to time your purchase, for hunting season in regard to the dog's age and outdoor training in decent weather. Not much fun to potty train in january and Feb with the wind blowing. I have a Chessie too that I really like. I am not torn between pointers or flushers but your hunting will tell you which will suit you better as a breed. ther is a dog show coming to the Excel Energy Center, usually the weekend after the 1st, in St. Paul. It is a fun time to go and see different breeds and hear from the owners on their takes of the breeds. Not all show dogs are good gun dogs. I show mine to prove they are good enough and also hunt them very hard. If I am going to breed them they have to win in the field and the ring. Otherwise I buy one. Good luck and if you need any more info e-mail [email protected]

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Well despite what the others are saying, I disagree with the hair thing.
If you are looking at a Springer first understand that there are 2 types of Springer Spaniels.
1. Bench Bred - longhaired, Usually bred for a look not for the hunt.
Not to say they don’t hunt just not as well. These dogs are typically
mellow dogs and in the opinion of most make a better indoor/family dog.
2. Field Bred – Short hair, Shorter than a Brit - a coat more comparable to a
Labs, PLEASE don’t believe this is in all cases, I have seen short haired Brits
But as a rule their hair is longer. I am speaking of Imported Field bred Springers, I have been Breeding, Training & Trialing these dogs for 14 years. These are bred to hunt. Looks, size, color, etc. are NOT a factor. BE AWARE that these dogs are usually ranged from a little hyper to super sonic. I own a few of each. I would not recommend a high speed dog for a Novice owner, they require special attention as do trial bred Brits, If anyone says anything different, they are trying to sell a pup and have no other agenda.

Are the springers more high strung?--- NO. As with all dogs it depends on the breeding.

Which one would make a better over all hunting and family dog? --- It would depend on the Dog and your situation – i.e. do you live on a farm where the dog can run free or in an apartment? Can you see what I’m getting at? What are you hunting? How often? If you are an occasional weekend hunter aim for a pet more than hunting bred pup, if you are hard-core look at a field bred/ Trial breeding. As stated above I’m glad to see you are putting your family first.

Are both breeds’ pointers?--- Not normally, Usually Brits are pointers, Springers are flushers.

As far as the best, It depends on you, I don’t Personally like hunting with a pointer as well a flusher, not to say I like a good pointer It’s just I love the style of a flusher it’s a personal preferance, not much different than the whole Ford, Chevy. Dodge or Browning, Remington, Winchester thing.

If you have more questions please feel free to e-mail me Im no expert on every breed but I have hunted, trained and been around quite a few breeds.

[email protected]

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Thanks for the info guys, you have given me lots to think about.
Funny some one should bring up the vizsla. That is another breed I was thinking about. I have a friend who has one and he loves it. I hunted with him this year and I was impressed with the dog since I know how little time his owner has put in him. If he were worked on a little more he would probably be excellent.
I am not sure what to do yet, I am in the stage of gathering as much info as I can. Just looking to have a fun time with a new best friend but I dont know if that will be possible with my allergies. I know that if I get a dog that whichever one I choose will make a good hunter and pet.
Thanks, Dave

[This message has been edited by Big Dave2 (edited 12-17-2003).]

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I have a Springer, she is 4 years old. I have one friend with an 8 yr old springer, and 2 other friends with brits. You can't go wrong with either breed.

Advice given to me by a world champion dog trainer. He asked me "how much time" I wanted to dedicate to training. I really wanted a pointer (britt), but after I realized the greater committment to time in training most pointing breeds I chose to go with the springer.

His next most important piece of advice, is don't go buy a dog because it's cheap. Get good bloodlines if hunting is important to you.

In addition, I had found a website which gives you questions about YOU and what is important to you when choosing a dog. It then ranks the breed compatability to your lifestyle.

Since I didn't want shedding or alergie issues the poodle and bischon frise (sp?) ranked 1&2. NOT!!! So, I just eliminated them and some others I didn't want......added my own personal issues that their test didn't account for and made my choice. The springer and britt ranked between #10 & 15 for me.....well down the list, but the test doesn't account for the all important HUNTING requirrement I had. It covers these issues: good with kids, watchdog, shedding, house dog / lap dog / or outside dog, and a few more.

I couldn't be more pleased with my springer. Most importantly she is a loving family dog that is smart and willing to please. She just loves to hunt, and she's good at it! She stays close, and flushes birds close (most of the time, as the birds have something to say about this) She's so good in fact that she's got the run of the house and has NEVER made a oops in the house for the 10 hrs. that we're gone from the house each day. We live in the country, and she makes a great doorbell too. But she's NO guard-dog......I think she'd lick most burglers silly. Good luck in your selection, if you e-mail me, I'll send you that website address (if I can find it)

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Hi Fonz,
I would like to e-mail you and get that web site but I dont see your e-mail address anywhere.
I would greatly appreciate it if you wouldn't mind posting it or you can just e-mail it to me if you would like to at [email protected]
Thanks alot,
Dave

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I have hunted 12 years with a springer and a brittany. I agree with most posts. Personal preference in regards to point vs flush. I do think you have a better chance of getting a "good" dog going with the brit because they haven't been bred as much. I have seen many poor hunting springers. But if get set up with a respectable breeder with good bloodlines you shouldn't have a problem either way

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Big Dave,

I just had a litter of French Spaniel pups. The actually look like a Springer with a Setter body. They are a beautiful and rare pointing dog that is a little larger than a Brit. They are a medium to close working pointer that moves with a trotting fashion instead of an all out run. Very nice for a foot hunter.

If you want any further info on the French Spaniel send me an e-mai at: [email protected] or call at phone 507-635-5306

I will have a web site complete by next week. If you want that web address that gives you pics and better describes the French Spaniel just e-mail me. I don't think posting my web site is allowed. They are beautiful dog tht is a good family pet as well. Good luck in your search. Paul

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Thanks for all the words of wisdom. You have all been very helpfull. So helpfull that I am now more confused than when I started.
I am starting to think that I want a flushing dog, only because I have never trained a dog before and I am thinking that it may be a little eisier to train a flusher than a pointer. Am I right or not?
When I started this post I was sure that I wanted to get a brit or a springer, but now I am wondering if they may be too hairy of dogs for my allergies. Whatever dog I get may have to spend the majority of its time outside, but thats not to say that he would be roughing it really since I have a heated garage for it to sleep in and I would build a big kennel for him to go outside in when I am not home.
Now I am starting to think about slightly larger breeds and am throwing labs and vizslas into the mix. So what we have here so far(although I may change my mind again in a week)is a choice between a flusher(springer or lab) and a pointer(Brittany or vizsla).
Any further thoughts on this new development? Or maybe you guys are sick of me asking these stupid questions. I have some time to choose because I am not planning to actually get a dog until spring.I know I have a lot of research to do but that is why I am trying to get this info now. I don't want to make a hasty decision that I and the dog will regret.
Thanks,
Dave

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