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  #41  
Old 08-13-2009, 07:22 AM
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Again, thanks all for the input and suggestions. You've all been a great help. I think I'll do some more research and reading, but at the moment a cockapoo is at the top of the list if I decide to get a pup, but in the meantime I'll keep an eye out at the local shelters.
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  #42  
Old 08-13-2009, 08:02 AM
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Please dont go buying a cocker poodle mix AKA cockapoo from a breeder, you will be very very hard pressed to find a good breeder breeding this mixed breed.
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  #43  
Old 08-13-2009, 08:04 AM
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Interesting. May I ask why you would say that?
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  #44  
Old 08-13-2009, 08:45 AM
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Reputable breeders don't contribute to the devesating over population problem of more and more mixed breed dogs. There are millions of them being euthanized every day around the world in shelters. Reputable breeders breed purebred dogs to keep them uniform, according to standard....so that we will have purebred dogs...which are designed for specific purposes. Reputable breeders breed purebred dogs as closely to standard as possible....and so they can do the job they were bred to do. They do genetic health testing on their breeding dogs to strive to eliminate the many, many health issues most breeds have. Because of the extraordinary care and costs they incur, responsible breeders don't make much, if any money. They do it out of the love of their breed and to ensure that the next generation is an improvement upon the last.

People who throw two different breeds together are breeding gimmicks and selling them to make a proffit. You can find a mixed breed in any shelter or rescue. You can find these "designer" breeds in any shelter. The "greeders" utilize NONE of the science it takes to match up compatible breeding pairs. They should not be supported at all. And that means not buying from pet stores or any of these advertised designer breeds in the newspaper or Internet.

And to think masculinity has anything to do with Poodles is a misconception. Poodles are great hunting dogs...retrievers. What's more masculine than hunting? Poodles are also 2nd on many lists of studies on intelligence....2nd after border collies. I've had German Shepherds, Labrador, Lab mix, a Doberman and presently, what we think is a Pitbull mix. (well, that's my son's dog but she lives with me) I also have Chihuahuas. My next dog, if there is a next dog will most likely be a poodle. (either a standard or miniature) I love super smart, easy to train, easy to socialize dogs with lots of pep. They do have their share of health issues, so be sure to research that with any breed or known mix.

I think an older Lab might be just the ticket too. Or one that has a calmer personality. Mine did...even as a pup. She was quite laid back and just a wonderful family dog.
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  #45  
Old 08-13-2009, 08:55 AM
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Interesting I just go looking for a dog but now have entered into a community that obviously has some very strong (justified, of course) opinions about things I never really thought about. Looks like I have lots of reading/research to do. This is going to be a slow/thought-out decision and I want to be sure my family and I are properly prepared.

I'm wondering why nobody up to this point has suggested a cocker spaniel...?
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  #46  
Old 08-13-2009, 09:14 AM
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You are wise to spend some time learning, not only about various breeds, but about training, nutrition, health and any other aspect about dogs.

I don't know why no one mentioned Cocker spaniels.

One thing you could do too, is go to some dog shows where you can walk around and see lots of breeds, talk to owners when they're not just about to go into the ring...see what they say, interact with their dogs....that is...if you're looking at purebred dogs. Or better yet, some working trials. Some of the show dogs, not all, but some have been damaged in that they are unable to do the job they were bred to do. Some of the breeds have been judged with too much emphasis on looks which were not in the orignial standard, I guess. And they've evolved into versions of the breed that can no longer aptly do their job. For example....imo, AKC, because of how they have judged have ruined German Shepherds among others. They're so extremely angulated and so full of skeletal problems, it's pathetic. They are no longer the strong, wonderful trotters they use to be. Temperament too, seems to be unlike that of my old fashion GSDs I use to have. They seem skittish, nervous and weak. This was my observation at one of the last shows I went to. Like I said, not all. But if people want to win in the show ring, they have to keep up with the Jones's and that often means screwing around with once sound breeds. If you go to working trials and the dogs can do well what they were bred to do, that is what is important because, as was discussed in another thread, form follows function. And that is so very true. The looks MUST follow the functionality of a dog...not the other way around.

And of course, research on the Internet and books. I researched my last breed, my Dobe for at least a year before I started my search. That may be more than is needed, but I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. Getting a dog, to me is a life long commitment and that's a VERY serious matter.
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  #47  
Old 08-13-2009, 09:35 AM
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Probably the reason no one mentioned a Cocker Spaniel is because it can be SO difficult to find good breeders. They have had several unfortunate periods of rampant popularity and that can do terrible things to a breed.

We have a member here, Brattina, who fosters Cocker Spaniels for a rescue. She might be able to help you.

I've had numerous rescued dogs -- the Filas are the first "breeder" dogs I've had since I got my first Terrier at age 3, lol. I can't say enough good about adopting a dog. None of mine have come from fosters -- they've all either been from some good soul who happens to have a place where people dump dogs, the local pound, or in my APBT's case, she came from the vet after her people couldn't pay the bill for her parvo treatment (don't get me started on that . . . I love her and I am thrilled no end to have her and she fits in with my other two as if she were born to be part of our family, but I can't help but feel awful for her first family . . . ) But, back to the part about adopting: I've never had one iota of trouble from a rescued dog, not even the big GSD/Akita cross who, at five years old, had been allowed to grow up running loose through the neighborhood and never had one bit of training. Everyone told me he was going to be hard to deal with, lol . . . Absurdly strong and hard headed. I never had to train him either; just asked him what I wanted him to do politely and that was all it ever took.
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  #48  
Old 08-13-2009, 09:42 AM
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Mixing of dog breeds and selling them as a new "breed" is a fad. It started with a legitimate need, they wanted Lab/poodle mixes as guide dogs that were hypoallergenic. Poodles hadn't turned out to be the best guide dogs but Labs were and Poodles are hypoallergenic. Unfortunately the rest of the world decided to breed them too and then everyone decided to mix all breeds to all other breeds and give them odd names. The reason for this was money, people like to buy new things, if they could get one of those "new" breeds they would and would make a breeder rich. Almost NOBODY is breeding these mixed breeds responsibly, they are doing it for fun or money.

If you are okay with getting a mixed breed dog go to a shelter or rescue and save a life, support something good with your money. The only reason one should go to a breeder is for a predictable dog, when you get a purebred you know the breed's traits, what he will look like for the most part and what temperament he will have for the most part (if you go to a responsible breeder who is proving their dogs are proper for the breed by showing, working, getting temperament tests, having therapy dogs, etc.). Because Cocker Spaniel Poodle mixes are mixes, not breeds, so they have no standard temperament you can expect, no standard coat (might shed like a cocker spaniel not a poodle, might have an in between coat), no standard body or anything. I just don't understand why you'd go to a breeder for the same quality dog (by quality I mean predictability, I could get the same unknown puppy from a shelter) and support someone who is bringing shelter quality dogs (with no predictability or health testing) into an over populated world, these breeders have no goals for their breed like the original working mixes (mixing for better hunters or for better sled dogs) or the original lab/poodle mixes (mix for hypoallergenic guide dogs).


I never got back to you after you mentioned that you thought a puppy would be easier, no bad habits to work on. It really depends. You will have "problems" to work on- housebreaking, chewing, mouthing and other puppy things. Most people who do get puppies STILL end up not doing the prevention things needed to stop bad habits and still end up with dogs who jump, pull on the leash, steal food, bark, etc. I mean how many people take their little 10 pounds puppies out with treats on walks and teach them to walk near them, how many people worry about a dog jumping on them that doesn't reach the knee yet or teaches the dog to sit during greeting times if he doesn't jump up yet, who teaches a dog to stay several feet away from the kitchen table, on a mat, or in a different room while the people eat if the dog doesn't beg or steal yet? The answer is pretty much nobody but some dogs trainers. They wait until the problem occurs or actually starts to bother them. So in the end, statistically speaking, you will still have to deal with all the bad habits of an adult shelter dog. The only exception would be dealing with problems stemming from abuse because hopefully you will not be abusing your dog or using Cesar Millan methods on him.

BUT if you want a puppy that's fine, there are plenty of those in shelters too (and you've already shown you are okay with mutts and not knowing how they will turn out as an adult because you mentioned designer breeds several times). If you DO use preventative measure and address problems before they start then you will be saving yourself a lot of frustration, the point I was making before was that most people go get puppies so they can start with a clean slate and end up with a dog who has horrible bad habits anyways because they don't do anything to stop them before they start. but you can.

Also keep in mind not all shelter dogs have bad habits. I volunteer at a dog rescue, the biggest bad habit we get is jumping up followed by leash pulling, other than that we don't get much. All our dogs were strays though. A lot of shelters get owner turn ins, some lived in good homes but their owners died, got cancer, went to war, got allergies, etc. and did not not care about the dog or give the dog up for bad habits. the nice thing about adult dogs is what you see is what you get, you don't have to wait two years for him to grow up and hope he's what you wanted. You'll know if he will be a good jogger, if he likes kids, if he's good with small animals, if his coat sheds heavily or not, if he likes to bark, if he's clingy or not, etc.
What is also nice is adult dogs tend to be more ready to learn. They have a longer attention span and are physically capable of being housebroken already (most of the adults at my rescue, because they were strays are not housebroken but they are not babies who are incapable of holding it or learning to right now). I'm the type who will always want adults (I think ).


ANYWAY, sorry to get so lengthy and preachy, I tend to do that I'm gonna look on petfinder some more, maybe there will be some poodle mixes that you like, whatever they mix with might get them a more manly look. I think a lot of people assumed you wanted a large dog for a few reasons: You didn't like the idea of poodles, weren't manly enough, some people don't consider any small dogs manly.
You wanted a dog good in snow/hard winters and a lot of small dogs are not (not sure about cockers though).
You wanted a jogging partner, terriers could be good small joggers (but are otherwise a handful), again I'm not sure about cockers, hopefully some cocker owners will chime in.

If you really want a dog from a breeder then you'll want a purebred, that way you'll know what you are getting. If you are not picky then we'll find you a good shelter/rescue mutt or purebred.

I also commend you for doing your research before running out and getting a dog, it'll be worth it in the end.
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  #49  
Old 08-13-2009, 09:51 AM
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Great post Maxy!
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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  #50  
Old 08-13-2009, 10:04 AM
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It's really, really hard to find good cocker spaniel breeders (plenty of bad ones, unfortunately) and, just a word of warning, cockers from bad breeders often have peeing problems. (This info is from my friend who is a dog groomer.)

I think they also require a lot of grooming (not positive on this.)

Maxy, great post! I would like to add my support to the fact that not all shelter dogs have bad habits. A lot are there because their families moved or other non-behavioral reasons. There are also puppies at shelters if you are patient . . . I got my dog (lab mix) at a shelter as a pup and she grew into the best dog ever (not that I am biased or anything! )
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