Celebrate the Mixed Breed

A dog’s personality is determined by many factors, mainly genetics and early experienced environment. When looking for a dog and if you have done your homework, choosing a selective breed means you are likely to get a dog with known behaviour traits. However, genetics alone do not show the whole personality and it is important to emphasise that good assertive leadership and dog socialisation plays a huge part in how your dog will behave.

Mongrels raised in a good family environment will grow to become happy and reliable dogs just the same as a pure bred dog. Unfortunately, mongrels are often the result of an unwanted pregnancy and are discarded and left to their own devices or given to dog rescues. This often leaves the dog with anxiety and other behavioural problems.

A crossbreed or mixed breed is classed as a dog that is bred from a pure bred bitch of one breed mating with a pure bred dog of another breed. These are sometimes called designer dogs and there are now many to choose from, some of which are the Springador, Cockerpoo, Puggle, Labradoodle, Schnoodle to name a few. Choosing a Crossbreed and getting to understand the behavioural traits of both breeds, will give a good indication of how the dog will look and its likely personality. Although this is not always a certainty as crossbreeds can differ a lot in looks even those from the same litter.

A Mongrel then, is a dog which is the result of a mating between two different cross bred dogs and it is very much a guessing game as to how big the puppy will grow and its likely parentage. Some people find that the fun of owning a mixed breed dog is not really knowing how it will grow or develop. For most it is important to know the likely size of the dog especially if you have limited space. There is DNA testing that can help to identify the breeds involved, but this is not always accurate.

If you are wanting a mongrel, unfortunately, dog rescue centres often have many to find good homes for. The best way to acquire a random bred dog is from someone you know who has had a litter so you can assess the temperament of the mother and if possible the father. However, there are some great dogs available for rehoming in the rescue centres. If selected for the right home and owner who is understanding of the dog’s background and behavioural problems, it can be a fantastic partnership.

Studies suggest that with random mating, mongrels tend to have a higher resistance to canine diseases. This is likely because pedigree dogs may be highly related. Mongrels are often survivors of extreme living conditions. But, despite their hardness, they still need to be protected against killer diseases just the same as a pedigree dog.

Crossbreeds and Mongrels are unique and should never be dismissed as second class. They can be the best of loving, loyal companions. The Crossbreed and Mongrel Club (CMC) was founded 1994 and continues to be the only national club dedicated to crossbreeds and mongrels Members can enjoy showing and socialising their dogs in fun classes and championship heats all over the country, which can be a great way to meet new friends. Each year heats are held nationwide where dogs can qualify to compete for the club’s Supreme Champion title! The club is keen to recruit new members so if you are a crossbreed or mongrel owner, why not visit the website or the CMC Facebook page for more information.

The 12 dog days of Christmas

Make this Christmas Holiday a special time for your best friend. It is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your dog over the 12 days of Christmas from Christmas Day to 5th January.

December 25th – Make your dog’s day with an exciting Christmas day present of a new toy. Wrap it up and he will love getting the paper off and finding his new toy inside. Give him a festive dinner or treat. Just be careful not to give him anything toxic such as chocolate, grapes or Christmas pudding and mince pies which contain raisins. You can buy special Christmas treats from pet shops.

December 26th – Walk off your Christmas lunch with a Boxing Day countryside ramble. Meet up with other dog owning friends and family and head for the hills.

December 27th – Do you have an elderly neighbour or relative who has not had any visitors over Christmas. Perhaps a visit from you and your dog may be a nice thing to do if your dog is calm and happy to be petted. Elderly people love to stroke dogs which is calming and has a ‘feel good’ factor.

December 28th – Dog walking in these gloomy days and dark nights and mornings, means you need to be seen. Invest in a hi-viz flashing collar to make sure your dog is visible to you and others, especially when walking near traffic.

December 29th – Teach your dog a new game. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell, so encourage the use of their noses with a scent game. These games are mentally stimulating to help keep them calm and ready to settle for a snooze during the festivities. Begin by hiding a treat in one hand and presenting it to your dog to sniff and then ask him find another you have hidden. Another game is to show your dog a favourite toy then put it in a towel and drag around the house and hide it. Start with easy hiding places and give lots of praise when your dog finds the prize.

December 30th – Get prepared for the new year celebrations if you have a dog that is nervous of fireworks. Create a cosy place where he can escape from the noise. Perhaps cover his crate or pet carrier with a blanket and make it cosy with his favourite toys inside. Make sure he has plenty of exercise during the day.

December 31st – Invite some dog owning friends round and have a New Years Eve get-together. If you don’t mind some madness, play some doggy games such as :

Pass The Parcel (expect excitability!)

* Wrap some dog treats in layers of Christmas paper or old newspaper.

* Get some music going and pass the parcel until music stops.

* The dog owner holding the parcel when the music stops gets to unwrap one layer with the dog’s help!

* Keep going and the winning dog is the one who is unwrapping the last layer.

Musical Sits (you will need lots of space for this)

* Scatter hula hoops on the floor (one less than the number of doggy guests)

* Start the music and walk the dogs in a large circle around the hoops. When music stops get your dog to sit in the nearest hoop.

* The dog and owner without a hoop is out of the game.

* Remove a hoop with each round until there is only one hoop and one winner!

January 1st – Make your new year resolution, which could be to take up a new activity with your dog such as agility, or even join a dog charity and take up some fund raising.

January 2nd – Why not hit the online sales and bag a doggy bargain. Buy your dog a new dog bed to start off the new year.

January 3rd – Teach your dog a new trick, or brush up on his basic commands or recall ready for the spring romps in the countryside.

January 4th – Time to spruce up your fur friend after all the fun. Give your dog an all over shampoo and groom. Regular brushing strengthens your bond and keep his coat in good condition. Start a regular regime and set aside time to make grooming a part of your daily routine, especially during the winter weather.

January 5th – Keep your dog looking smart and warm with a new dog coat or jumper. Fleece jackets and jumpers are weather resistant so ideal for keeping warm after exercise or in the wet and cold weather.

Having a Jack RusellAbout the Jack Russell Dog

From the beginning of this year the Jack Russell Terrier was given pedigree status by the Kennel Club. Although a very popular little dog, the Jack Russell has not previously been recognised as a breed, but more identified as a ‘type’ due to the wide diversity of dogs that can be described as Jack Russell’s.

The Kennel Club now records Jack Russell births through its voluntary registration system and in April 2016 a breed standard was published.

The Jack Russell is a popular town or country dog. It was originally bred to hunt rats and as a typical terrier is a feisty, hyperactive little dog. It will chase anything that moves and can often be snappy, but is fun loving and affectionate. They can be a handful to manage and train and probably not ideal for the novice dog owner, or those potential dog owners who do not have the time to give him plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are intelligent and can be willful little characters, so it is vitally important that they know who is in charge, or they will command that role! Be careful not to let this dog develop ‘Small Dog Syndrome’!

Jack Russell Tips!

Jack Russells need to be well socialised. Those dogs that are allowed to take charge can become aggressive with other dogs.

The Parson Jack Russell Terrier is a less common version of the Jack Russell described above and the line was developed by Reverend Jack Russell who was a sporting Parson from Devon and a founding member of the GB Kennel Club. He bred this wire haired terrier with longer legs to keep up with the horse on the hunt, but small enough to burrow and bolt foxes. The Rev Jack Russell preferred wire haired dogs, but apart from the coat and longer legs, is almost identical to the smooth haired strain.

The Jack Russell is a good companion dog, but may not fit well with a family of small children.

Jack Russell’s will adapt to town living as long as they have plenty of exercise, without which they may become a nuisance with excessive barking and displaying separation anxiety through boredom. When left alone, it is a good idea to leave stimulating toys such as those that you can stuff with treats to keep them occupied.

Being a small dog, a smaller padded dog bed with sides for support that they can snuggle into would be ideal in place of a mattress dog bed.

Having a short coat, the Jack Russell would benefit from a dog coat or jumper in the colder weather to keep it comfortable and warm. For more information on choosing a dog or Jack Russell please contact us.

Does my dog really need a winter coat?

“Dogs look silly in jumpers”! Some people may think that, but certain dog breeds actually need help to keep warm in the winter weather.

It’s not surprising that some of the smaller dogs such as the toy breeds, Chihuahua’s, Miniature Pinscher and similar companion dogs may need some extra protection. Short haired dogs and those that are lean, such as the whippet and greyhound would also benefit from a warm coat or jumper for their daily walk to save shivering.

A warm dog coat is also recommended if your dog lives in an area that regularly has low temperatures below zero or has a particularly wet climate during the winter. This applies to all breeds including Labradors and even those that are acclimatised to low temperatures. Unless your dog has a double coat, most dogs do not have much hair on their stomachs which is exposed to the cold.

Senior dogs or dogs recovering from illness or injury may not be so mobile or able to run around easily to keep warm. A warming coat or jumper would be just the job for an older Labrador or other breed to keep their body temperature high and allow them to enjoy being outside.

Double coated dogs are already well equipped to brave the elements of the winter weather, so it is not recommended to put a coat or jumper on that kind of breed.

Choosing a dog coat

Dog coats are made in a variety of fabrics, but fleece and wool are the most popular and also the waterproof types which are great for wetter and snowy areas. Always buy a coat that is easy to care for so it is always dry and readily available for those wet and muddy days.

A dog jumper should fit snugly and cover most of your dog’s chest and stomach, with the exception of a male dog. The coat should fit right down the back to the base of the tail, leaving the legs free so he can easily run, walk and toilet.

Coats in particular, can be difficult to find a good fit for your dog. This is especially so if they are very slim or more portly. Look for a coat that has a wrap-around strap which is more adjustable. Product sizes vary a lot, so it is best to measure your dog to make sure you get the right fit. Take your dog’s measurement as shown.

Does My Labrador Need A Coat In Winter

For some dog’s warm clothing is a necessity in the cold weather so make his winter walks are more comfortable and enjoyable with the right winter gear.

If you need any help in choosing the correct dog coat please contact us.

Finding the best reputable breeder and puppy

You have done your research and decided on a breed. The next big step is to find a reputable breeder. The best way is to find a  reputable and registered breeder is with the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme here.  Being a part of this scheme makes sure all the correct guidelines are followed and that puppies are happy, healthy, vaccinated and wormed and socialisation has already started before leaving the litter for their new home.

Don’t be put off if you find a breeder that has been rearing his puppies in a kennel or barn outside. It does not mean they have been neglected. Most good reputable breeders will keep the mum and her litter indoors for the first couple of weeks and then transfer them to a safe area outside where they will have more space to romp around. As long as they receive plenty of socialising and they are kept in a clean environment, the puppies will be perfectly well raised. You will find that most gun dog breeders always keep their puppies and dogs kennelled outside. However, if pups whether kept indoors or outside, are shut away and only getting basic care, they will not be ideal puppies to buy as they will not have had any essential socialisation and life experiences.

It is unfortunate that there are so many shady so called ‘breeders’ and back street dealings with puppies. There are some that will buy in puppies to sell on and the ‘mother’ dog you may be shown has nothing to do with them. Always ask to see the puppies with the mother while they are very young and see how they interact. This will also give you a good indication of how they will look as adults. Whilst some bitches will be quite happy for you to have interaction with their pups, up to 5 weeks old the mother will be very protective of her young and some may not be very happy to have visitors around. Some can get quite distressed or even snappy and if that is the case and the pups have to be separated for your visit, this does not mean the bitch has a bad temperament as some of the sweetest bitches can get very protective whilst pups are so young. If the breeder does show the pups and mother to you separately and then when you have left the litter, allows the mum to rejoin her pups so you can see she is the real mother, you can be assured that this is a good breeder who is considerate of the mum’s needs as well as yours. Don’t expect to see the father with the puppies as they are often separated from the litter as most usually the bitch will not want any adult dog near her young.

Choosing the puppy

When looking at a litter, a well socialised litter of pups will come bounding up to check you out and bounce around. If you are looking for a bold dog, the first one to approach you may be the one for you. But bold dogs don’t always fit with everyone and you will need the pup to fit in with the family. There may be one pup that will stay a little longer to interact with you on its own and often this is the one that has chosen you and the one you should go home with.

The pup who is sitting apart from the rest of the litter and observing you from a distance, may not be as shy as it appears. Often these are the more intelligent pups and maybe a good fit for someone that is looking for a close one to one bond and able to spend time to develop it. This pup may not be good for a big noisy family. The shy type or ‘thinkers’ can be demanding to train, but still make good dogs, so don’t dismiss this one if you can manage a clever dog.

However, a pup that runs and cowers and appears nervous of human contact, could be a difficult one to raise and perhaps better avoided unless you are up for a challenge and a skilled dog handler.

The saying goes ‘never choose the last pup’, but don’t worry, process of elimination means there will always be one left! That doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice, it just may not have been the right colour, temperament or whatever, for the other families. If you like the last pup and it likes you, don’t be put off because the other pups have gone first.

Good breeders spend a lot of time with their puppies and get to know each one well, so sometimes they will direct you towards a pup they think will fit well with your family.

For the first few weeks or until your pup has had all it’s vaccinations and the all clear from the vet to start the big experience outside, all you will need as a start is a crate, a nice comfy bed and blanket and a simple collar and lead. Don’t forget the toys, pups love to play and training can start straight away through playing and teaching them to sit, stay and fetch.

Most of all, enjoy your puppy, show him everything in the big wide outdoors – good socialisation is the key. They grow up so fast and it is such a fun time and the basis for a good all round happy adult dog.

If you require any other support or assistance in choosing your next puppy please contact us

Choosing the perfect puppy for you

One of the secrets of enjoying a successful and happy relationship with your dog is to make sure you have done your research and chosen the right breed of puppy for you, your lifestyle and family.

Would you believe, there are over 200 pure breeds of dog in the UK and many designer breeds that are also very popular. Each of these breeds will be very different to live with, have differing needs and energy levels. You need to research which breed, as best you can,  will fit with your idea of dog ownership and what you are prepared to do every day for the next 12/15 years or so, come rain, shine, snow, wind – get the picture!

People tend to forget that dogs cost money and they are not cheap. They need feeding, grooming, training and regular vet check-ups. A recent survey estimated that owners spent on average a minimum of £1,000 a year on their dogs. Vet fees are ridiculously expensive so getting insurance is definitely a requirement and some breeds have higher health issues, so make sure you research that as well. In addition, don’t forget all the dog beds you will get through during the chewing period which could last a couple of years!!

So assuming you can afford it, do you have the time to give this bundle of energy and fun? Dogs do not have on and off switches. There is lots to consider. Whatever the weather, they need to be exercised; there are training needs to build up a good relationship and you need to understand each other to make your life together relatively stress free and most of all, you need to enjoy being with your dog.

Having the time to exercise your dog is the biggest commitment. Some dogs will be happy with 20 minutes or so twice a day, but some high energy breeds and dogs bred to work, may need a good 3 hours a day off lead exercise, especially as a young dog with loads of energy and enthusiasm to explore the great outdoor wilderness of rabbits and birds. Breeds such as herding dogs, gun dogs, spaniels and some terriers will need lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and relaxed at home.

Then there’s the hair!

Would you be able to cope with a long haired double coated dog that will require daily brushing or costly grooming bills. Not forgetting the shedding or ‘coat blow’ two or three times a year. Can you put up with that in the house?! Short haired dogs are a lot easier to look after and probably only need a weekly brush, however, they still shed hair and it should not be under estimated how much that can be! The long haired coat also gets matted and will need attention every time it gets wet. Silky coated dogs can get matted coats as well, especially Spaniels who love to get into undergrowth and water emerging with grass seeds, burrs and twigs stuck in their coat! Non shedding breeds such as poodle type coats will need to be clipped. Whatever breed you choose, some amount of grooming is part and parcel of dog ownership – it just depends on how much time you have to give to keep them looking good.

Having said all that, owning a dog is wonderful. It’s therapeutic, gets you out of the house to keep you exercising and that four legged mischief maker will give you unconditional loyalty and love. There is nothing like having a dog in your life – just be prepared for what you are getting!

About Labrador

The Labrador Retriever can trace its roots to the 1800’s in the St John’s region of Newfoundland in Canada where it was known as the Small Water Dog and worked with the fishermen off the Newfoundland coast swimming the fishing nets to shore so the fishermen could haul them in. Trade in salted cod brought the breed to Dorset, England where local landowners started to refine the breed for use as gun dogs and today, the Labrador is still a very valuable working gun dog and also in other occupations as an assistance dog, sniffer dog, search and rescue and of course guide dog. In fact the Labrador is so adaptable, it can be put to work and play at most things on land and water!

Labrador Types

The Labrador is a muscular, athletic dog, deep chested with well boned forelegs. They have gentle brown eyes and a short haired coat in colours, yellow, chocolate, black and fox red.

It has become one of the world’s most popular breeds due mainly to its loyalty, and family friendly, affable personality. It is also a very intelligent breed and responds well to training. However, it loves food and can become obese if his food intake is not monitored and is given plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Some may remember the film ‘Marley and Me’ which was a story of a Labrador puppy and his influence on his human family. Marley was played by a lab named Jonah who totally stole the show from his co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Such is the charm and cuteness of Labrador puppies who have been so sought after by photographers over the years.

Labs are very people orientated and most become much loved family pets, but the breed is also a traditional gun dog for retrieving. Introduction to gun dog retrieve training can take place very early in the puppy’s development. It is important to develop a good bond between puppy and owner and spend lots of time together. It is not always best to take two puppies from the same litter as often they are so used to being together they become too focused on each other. To help with the bonding, It is a good idea to have the same person feed the puppy even in a family environment. Make him sit before you put the food down so he soon gets to know that he has to work for his food and that if he sits he will get fed or a treat.

Balls are a great way to start introducing retrieving. Puppies love chasing balls and you can start this in the early weeks with rolling balls for them to bring back to you. At this age, it is instinctive for them to come back to you at the sound of your voice. You can then move on to hiding the ball so he has to use his nose to scent it out. Hiding lots of balls in one go is a good scent training game. These simple games are a good basis for more serious training as he gets older.

Many gun dogs are kennelled outside, although puppies should be indoors initially for at least a few weeks. The decision to keep indoors or out is purely personal and it is perfectly possible to have a well trained gun dog living with a family, especially as a gun dog will probably only work for 5 months of the year during the shooting season. For a kennelled dog it is important to keep his bed off the ground away from the damp so a raised dog bed is a good investment.

There are two key types of labrador and the english bred Labrador is a favourite chosen Gun Dog for more information on Labradors click here. If you would like some more help in choosing a dog or working dog please do not hesitate to contact us.


About Terriers & How to look after Terriers

Apart from the Dachshund, most Terriers originated from Great Britain and the name derives from the Latin ‘terra’ meaning earth. Little is known of them before 1560 when a renowned British writer Dr John Caius described them as “snappy and quarrelsome little dogs”. At that time there were only short legged Terriers used for going to ground by putting them down foxes and badger holes. These dogs had rough coats, erect ears and a sprightly temperament.

No other working dog was a more efficient killing machine than these little terriers. They were bred to be tough, tenacious and totally fearless and these attributes remain today which probably explains why terriers are better at overcoming serious illness than any other breed.

The terrier story is not for the faint hearted as in the 19th century, short legged terriers were carried in saddlebags and would accompany foxhounds when hunting. When the hounds had cornered the fox, they would be released to inflict the last moments. They were competent in keeping farm buildings free of vermin and were also used in dog fighting sports. The bull baiting terriers were originally large mastiff type dogs, but were inter bred with terriers to increase aggression.

The types of Terrier dogs and today’s terrier breeds are still high spirited, feisty, bold dogs and often have little tolerance for other animals including other dogs. However, they are popular breeds and do make good pets, although probably not for a family dog with young children. They are unique playful characters, make great watchdogs and are loyal defenders of their realm. However, they do require an owner with determination to match the terrier personality.

With the exception of the Dachshund and Bull Terrier breeds who have smooth short haired coats, most terriers have wiry coats that require to be hand stripped to maintain the characteristic appearance. This video shows how to hand strip and although it may look a little harsh, it is not painful at all for the dog.

The short coated terrier needs little grooming and a quick brush with a bristle brush is probably all that is needed.

Terriers are notorious diggers and chewers. Make sure they have plenty of hard wearing toys or your furniture may suffer! Ideal toys to keep them mentally stimulated as well are the activity toys you can stuff with food. Other toys on the market are those that use recycled water bottles to create fun and interesting noise.

Some terriers and in particular the Bull Terrier, can be prone to bed sores, so their bed needs to be soft and supportive. A well padded dog bed with supporting sides would be ideal or a memory foam dog mattress, if your dog favours stretching out.

There are many but some of the popular Terrier breeds are:

* Airedale Terrier – Tough, hardy and faithful, but stubborn
* Lakeland Terrier – Fearless, nimble and single minded. Needs a patient owner.
* Border Terrier – uncomplicated and genuine terrier little altered from its original form. Amenable personality, a good family dog. Assertive handling needed.
* Yorkshire Terrier – Very popular breed, lots of energy and thinks it’s a giant. Can be tenacious and stubborn.
* Irish Terrier- mainly now a companion dog, but could be put through field trials and lure coursing. Elegant and a good family dog although can be boisterous.
* Norfolk Terrier – Good natured, robust companion dog. A good guard dog who is happy in either town or countryside.
* Norwich Terrier – One of the smaller breeds, bossy and believes in its own importance. A good family companion and would get on with older children. Easier to train than most terriers and loves rigorous exercise.
* Cairn Terrier – small in size, fairly easy to train than most terriers. Equally at home in town or country. Good companion dog.
* West Highland White – One of the most popular breeds. Excitable and loves attention and needs regular exercise.
* Bedlington Terrier – Very distinctive breed. Needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation or could be destructive

For more information on types of Terrier dogs how to look after Terriers a helpful guide can be found here We are always willing to help in choosing your next dog, please don’t hesitate to contact us

About Spaniel Dogs

Spaniels are a type of gun dog originating from Spain, but British canine historian Colonel David Hancock has also traced the line back to the Romans. The name Spaniel came from the French verb espanir, “to crouch or flatten, and also from the Italian ‘spinare’ meaning to flatten or flatten out. It is believed Spaniels were named to describe a hunting style of crouching and springing to flush game into nets for the falcons or sighthounds to take.

Spaniels were divided into the type of game they were used to hunt for. Cockers flushed out woodcock which is how they became Cocker Spaniels and Springers, partridge, pheasants, and hares.

All lines of Spaniel below have derived from inter breeding of the Cocker and Springer and today we have a number of different breeds with the English Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel being the most popular. The extended Spaniel family are:

* Clumber Spaniel
* Welsh Springer Spaniel
* Field Spaniel
* American Cocker Spaniel
* Sussex Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is an enthusiastic, busy and happy little dog – their tails never stop wagging. They love human companionship and are very affectionate and sociable with people and other dogs. They make good family dogs, but do need strong leadership. They are high energy, can be very excitable and need to be kept mentally stimulated with plenty of exercise, preferably off lead so they can have a good run and sniff around. There are two strains of Cocker; Show and Worker. The show cocker has a calmer temperament and has a thicker, longer coat which will need regular grooming and clipping. The coat of the working cocker is much more silky and not so thick, but will still need regular grooming to remove matting and tangles from pushing through bushes and undergrowth, particularly so if they are full working dogs. The working cocker will also have a docked tail to prevent injury whilst working. Tail docking is illegal in the UK unless the dog is a working breed and likely to be used as a gun dog and/or for hunting and retrieving. Tail docking can only be undertaken by a vet within a few days of birth. Coat colours can be variations of Liver, Black, Orange, Red and Lemon and also in parti-colours with White either in clear colour or with roan effect.

The Springer Spaniel The English Springer is more popular than the Welsh Springer which is slightly smaller and more reserved than the English. The English Springer is a medium sized, affectionate, good natured, high energy dog who loves water so they are often wet and muddy!. They need a lot of physical and mental exercise and an authoritative handler or they will believe it is their role to take over the leadership. Springers can make good family dogs and child companions. Coat colours are mainly white with liver or black and the working Springer will have a docked tail.

The Sussex and Clumber Spaniel are a much heavier and sturdy spaniel and unfortunately are in decline. They have lower energy levels and are great companions for the less active family.

Spaniels in general are strong dogs and have a tendency to pull on the lead, mainly because they are high energy and are very distracted by a stimulating environment. Whilst trainers will not agree, many Spaniel owners will use a harness for training to control this behaviour, otherwise a good leather collar and flat lead is suitable. For a working spaniel, the handler is mostly likely to use a slip lead for ease of use whilst in the field.

To keep their coat in good condition, a daily brush down with a pin or stiff bristle brush will keep them looking good and an occasional bath with a good quality anti-tangle shampoo. Their ears need to be regularly checked and kept clean as they are prone to infection and can get very matted. After being out in the field, always wash the dog down to remove mud, grass pollen and seeds, especially if your dog has allergies. The Aquasorb dog towel is a great item to keep handy to dry your dog off.

After a day out in the field to keep your Spaniel warm and dry the fleece dog coat and jumpers are really useful as they wick away moisture and are weatherproof. They are very easy to wash and dry.

Spaniels are great little dogs, good companions and fun to have around and who are always willing to please. For more information on which spaniel to choose a helpful guide can be found here

We are always willing to help in choosing your next dog, please don’t hesitate to contact us

Grooming a Double Coated Dog

Double coated dogs need a lot of regular grooming time all year round. They will naturally grow an extra thick coat for the winter months which will shed throughout the summer and in fact most days!! Double coat = double the fur so be prepared for dog hair in the home and constant vacuuming!

A double coat is a dog coat that consists of two layers. The base layer is of short dense hair and serves to protect the dog from extreme temperatures i.e. keeps him warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The top layer of longer hairs are called guard hair and help to repel water and dirt.

Twice a year a double coat will “blow coat” which is when they shed most of their undercoat hair and the guard hair becomes brittle and dull looking. It can take up to three weeks to fully shed and this is the time when it’s really important to brush out your dog’s shedding hair and a good tool to use is the coat grooming thinner. If not dealt with it will cause matted clumps which can get tangled with grass seed, twigs and possibly fleas and ticks, making it very difficult for grooming and will become uncomfortable for the dog.

To name a few, typical doubled coated dogs are:

German Shepherd
Border Collie and other Collie breeds
Old English Sheepdog
Bernese Mountain Dog
Golden Retriever
Great Pyrenees
Yorkshire Terrier

Top tips for grooming:

* Brush your dog every 2 or 3 times a week with a pin brush.

* Use a slicker brush for the thicker and longer hair around the rump

* To remove loose and dead hair from the undercoat use an undercoat grooming rake

* Regular bathing with a good quality anti tangle shampoo

* Use a wide tooth comb to work through mats and tangles. If you have to cut out a clump pinch the fur as close to your dog’s skin as you can to prevent cutting the skin.

* The coat controller or coat grooming thinner is great for controlling shedding in thick coats

Take a look at this link for a good tutorial on how to groom double coats.