Dog Questions

Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior MemberPosts: 6,858 Senior Member
I haven't had a dog since I was growing up and my wife has never really been around dogs. So in searching for a dog or puppy we started with breeds that would be good for first time owners.
A Brittany seems like a good choice for us and our personalities. Either that or a Labrador Retriever.
Does anyone have any experience with Brittanys? In my readings they seem to be a great family/companion dog that also can be a very fun outdoor companion for hiking and camping. I don't plan to hunt with the dog, so that isn't a concern.
Any experiences or suggestions would really help!
Thanks


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Replies

  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,217 Senior Member
    Shawn,
    I have never had a Brittany, but my cousin has had a couple. He is an avid hunter and loves them. The dogs have all been great with his family (kids are in high school now) and other dogs (has had a couple labs too). The only thing I'd say about them is that they are a high speed, high intensity, very high energy dog. They need to run their butts off. If you can run the dog daily then it might be a good choice, but if you can't or don't have a big yard or other means of getting the dogs energy out I'd skip it. Just my 2 cents from what little I have been around them.
  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    I have had 2 Brittany's and currently have a a Lab. 1 of the Brits was a schitzo, but we also got her when she was about 14 weeks old. I think she was abused. The 2nd Brit was great dog. Unbeatable personality. He had a stoke at 11 yrs old and we had to have him put down. He was a couch potato which is unlike most Brits.

    My lab is a high roller outdoors. He spent 3 months with a pro trainer and I have competed with him in AKC hunt tests. His grandfather is a 2X national (USA and Canadian) Field Trial Champion. His pedigree has 6 national champions. But, he does have on/off switch in the house. He is 15 months old now and I wouldn't trade him for anything. I was hoping that his personality would be similar to our male Brit and it's pretty dang close.

    Pay attention to the breeding for either one. If you get a Brit from show lines, he will be much more docile than one bred from field lines. Labs from the show lines are usually shorter and wider with a fat tail. Those tend put on weight quickly. Fat labs can have joint problems. If you put my lab next to a lab from show lines, it's like looking a thoroughbred horse vs a quarter horse.

    Having said all of that, either one is a great choice.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,079 Senior Member
    As a first time dog owner I would go with the brit. Labs are high strung and high energy and require lots of attention and play time. At least my lab does anyway and so do other labs I have been around.

    The Brits would be much easier to manage. Especially for your wife who has never been.around dogs.
  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    How about going to your local Animal Shelter and have a look. A rescue dog can be pretty special too..

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • tim_stim_s Senior Member Posts: 1,954 Senior Member
    joekrz wrote: »
    As a first time dog owner I would go with the brit. Labs are high strung and high energy and require lots of attention and play time. At least my lab does anyway and so do other labs I have been around.

    The Brits would be much easier to manage. Especially for your wife who has never been.around dogs.




    is your lab of the field trial/american lab lineage? longer legged, longer nose?


    i am on my 2nd english lab...short, stocky.......big, block head....otter tail....classic lab lines


    he is mellow at home (yeah, the kids can get him fired up, and he needs some outside time every day), and almost just as mellow in the blind.....there are times when he sleeps in between retrieves

    both of my english labs were far more manageable, far better behaved, much more mellow than friends labs who were of american lines

    1383882_10202349881972189_1402595228_n.jpg


    1374950_10202402688612322_1628010263_n.jpg



    the field trial/american lines were selectively bred to be able to make longer, dry land retrieves and do it all day long.....hence the longer legs, the longer snout, and higher drive


    english lines were bred to be true working dogs......sit still in the blind or the boat, muscular and strong swimmers to make retrieves.....it doesn't do much good to have a high strung dog in the blind


    for every good brittanny/springer i've known, there were two who would "settle down once they get older".....which generally translated to "they were tolerable once arthritis set in"
    Fly Fishing in Maine - www.flyfishinginmaine.com
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,079 Senior Member
    I'm not sure on her lineage. I think she may have a little chesy in her though also. This chocolate is my second one. She's rather energetic. The first one I had (black) was a lot more hyper than this one.

    GOB001.jpg

    2012-09-22_12-45-06_722-1.jpg

    CIMG3433.jpg
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,858 Senior Member
    Mike,
    I have been looking into rescue dogs and searching the shelter web sites as well. We simply cannot get a dog that has been abused or otherwise effed up as this is a first for us and I don't know if we can deal with the extra issues those dogs may present. I'm still keeping my ear to the ground, though.
    Tim,
    I have heard that dogs from breeders that specialize in field stuff/upland hunting tend to produce dogs that are much higher energy than breeders who may be trying to produce dual quality or show animals. That seems logical. I'll have to look into the American vs. English labs; thanks!
    Also, if any of you dog guys have suggestions for other breeds that might be good for first timers that are not chick dogs I would appreciate it!
  • tim_stim_s Senior Member Posts: 1,954 Senior Member
    my breeder

    http://wassookeagretrievers.com/



    a pretty well known (and overpriced ;) ) english breeder

    http://www.uklabs.com/gentlemans_gundogs.php
    Fly Fishing in Maine - www.flyfishinginmaine.com
  • FishTXFishTX Super Moderator Posts: 7,995 Senior Member
    My best friend has a Mastiff. Very gentle with his young grandkids. I horse around with him, but he probably outweighs me by 60 pounds. I don't which one of us wins our matches. You'll need a part time job to feed one. :)
    "We have to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner."

    Crooow:This music would work better with women in bikinis shaking all over the place. I guess that's true of any music really.
  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    Wander around here for lab info.
    http://www.retrievertraining.net/

    Learn about the different health clearances that good breeders provide. EIC is a bad thing for labs.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,858 Senior Member
    FishTX wrote: »
    My best friend has a Mastiff. Very gentle with his young grandkids. I horse around with him, but he probably outweighs me by 60 pounds. I don't which one of us wins our matches. You'll need a part time job to feed one. :)

    The Bernese Mountian Dogs and similar breeds are supposedly great as well and would be good for us, but I don't see paying $1500 for a dog that only lives 7 years. Too bad, as they are really awesome!
  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    Whatever you decide on, make sure you and your wife take the dog to obedience classes. Usually it's the owners that need the most training..

    Good luck on your search

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,217 Senior Member
    FishTX wrote: »
    My best friend has a Mastiff. You'll need a part time job to feed one. :)

    And a full time job to clean up after it.

    My buddy at work has two of them and the only thing bigger then them are the huge dumps they leave!
  • Further NorthFurther North Senior Member Posts: 1,699 Senior Member
    I've had German Shortharis for decades...we made room in our house for a nice little Brittany last year about this time...

    He's pretty laid back:

    null_zps13d3118c.jpg
    "Just because I criticize your argument doesn't mean that I disagree with your position."
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,858 Senior Member
    What a cutey, as are the labs on page #1!

    I like both the white/orange and white/liver colors of the Brittanys.
  • WetdogWetdog Senior Member Posts: 5,149 Senior Member
    I am a Spaniel fan. I loved Springers. I have hunted over Brits and I like them a lot...they are high energy--most anyway. "show" vs instead of "field" may help, but there are definitely breeding issues with both lines. For me intelligence is what matters. Most dogs adjust to the owners lifestyle. That is if they aren't messed genetically or abused.

    i have to admit I am not a huge fan of labs. Great out in the blind, but that's where they stop for me. They are good dogs, but don't fit my "style." If you get a lab and it spends a lot of time in the house, glue everything down or move if the labs tail can touch it. I've never had one but have lived with three.

    I've been into working dogs--Heeler then an Aussie and now my giant Border collie.

    Good luck, whatever you choose I hope you get a great one.
    I find the assault on free thought disturbing,
    I find the willingness to give it up frightening.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,917 Senior Member
    How bright are labs? I like Weimariners and Vizlas, but they are thick as bricks.

    If a high energy, intelligent good family pet sounds right consider a standard poodle. (Just don't give it a "poodle cut" :(). Shelties are good pets if you find a breeder who has a calm line, but they require brushing at least every other day.

    If you can get past their undeserved bad reputation, a pit bull from a good breeder is a great family dog.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,858 Senior Member
    Interesting that you mention Weimaraners. I've have wanted a German Shorthar, Weimaraner or German Wirehair for a long, long time but they require (according to my research) way too much haul-**** time. I was going to get a male GSP and name him Klink. I don't think we could afford those breeds the exercise they need. I know Brittanys need that too, but it seems not as much. We have a townhouse with a very large common area right across the street for haul-assing close to home and of course, the mountain trails and wide open fields adjacent to the Great Salt Lake.
    A Brittany seems like a solid choice as they apparently love to run and play, are good outdoor companions yet love to hang out and chill with the family once indoors. I like that. Also, they respond well to positive reinforcement, can be quick learners, and love to be with their humans.

    I have read good things about Poodles but the 'chick dog' thing is a turn off for me. Same with Labradoodles, though a friend got one recently and I'm going to go over to his place and meet his dog to get a first and opinion.

    Thanks for the input, George!
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 4,637 Senior Member
    Not labradoodle.... Poodadore Retrieiver. That's what a friend of mine calls his. He leaves it shaggy, and it's an awesome dog....
  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    Not labradoodle.... Poodadore Retrieiver. That's what a friend of mine calls his. He leaves it shaggy, and it's an awesome dog....

    Designer mutts.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • Bak4MorBak4Mor Senior Member Posts: 970 Senior Member
    I second what the dirty Red Sox fan said about Brittany spaniels. I have a story to tell that belongs Ina McManus book. My wife adopted one that was messed up beyond belief. I ended up having some great hunts behind the thing but only after we gave him away. That dog existed to anger me.

    Check out pudel pointers and vizsla. We regularly sit a vizsla that if I could would never let him go home. He is awesome. My buddy has a pudel pointer that is an absolute pleasure to hunt with and great family dog.
    "All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it's not for eatin'. It's just for lookin' through. " ~Lone Watie

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