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

Dog Coats Need The Right Dog Coat

The domestic dog’s coat or hair may be made up of a double coat or a single coat. A double coat dog will have a soft hair undercoat for insulation and a tougher top coat made up of stiffer hair to repel dirt and water. This is often referred to as a ‘fur coat’, a good example of that will be the Newfoundland. The single coated dog will not have the soft hair undercoat and are often short and medium haired breeds.

It could be said that dog’s have their own coats so why do they need another? Well, in cold weather we put on extra layers of clothing to keep warm and a hat for our hairy heads, so why should our dog’s not have extra protection in extreme weather. Short haired dogs in particular fall into this category and also those dogs that are clipped regularly.

Most dog’s hair will grow to a certain length and then stop and it will shed, but some dog’s have hair similar to human hair which will not shed and continues to grow making it necessary to have it cut and groomed. This can be a costly practice, so it is best to protect the dog’s coat from mud and tangles with the right, dog coat!

There are many dog coats on the market for every type of occasion, but generally a padded, waterproof dog coat with an adjustable strap around the dog’s middle is the best option. For the best fit measure your dog from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. Choose an adjustable strap style dog coat so you get the right fit around the middle of your dog.

dog-coat-size

For dogs that love swimming or for after a particularly wet walk, or just to keep snuggly and warm when outside the dog fleece coats and dog jumpers are great favourites. They are lightweight and water repellent and easy to keep clean. https://pawsplusone.co.uk/product/hotterdog-fleece-dog-jumper/. These are also great for use with working dogs after a day out in the field. For dog jumpers, it is best to go for the larger size. To show you how to measure see video.

Dog coats are not only for keeping warm, but also for keeping cool in the hot summer months or after strenuous exercise. Cooling dog coats are available that will help bring your dog’s temperature down and great for dogs that do flyball, agility or other sporting activities.

 

For help with measuring your dog or if you are unsure on what size or dog coat, dog jumper to choose please do not hesitate to contact us

The best and most suitable dog bed can be a difficult decision. Do you have a Labrador, Great Dane, Newfoundland or other large dog breed? If so you’re going to want to make sure the bed you choose will allow your dog to have all the comfort required, and also allow them to stretch out.

When choosing a large dog bed you need to bear in mind how they tend to sleep, do they curl up or do they stretch out and rest, you also need a dog bed which will provide the build quality and offer the support for the weight and length of the dog.

  1. Measure from his/her nose right to their back-end where the tail begins.
  2. Measure the length of the front legs.
  3. Do the same for the rear legs.
  4. Add them all together
  5. Now deduct half the length of his/her front legs from the total. The reason for this is when extended most dogs don’t exceed the end of their nose too far.

 

This should give you a pretty good measurement of their sleeping space

Large 55 x 45 Collie, Springer Spaniel, Labradors, Hounds, Pointer
X Large 65 x 55 Ridgeback, German Shepherd, Greyhound, Great Dane, Rottweiler
X Large + 100 x 70 Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernard, Bullmastiffs, Newfoundland

Once you have determined a good estimation of the size of bed, it is not an exact science a guesstimate will be sufficient, and you know how your Dog sleeps you can think about shape and material. We have taken the liberty to give you some of the best options for a large dog bed and some of the best liked by our customers and their dogs.

The Donut Dog bed is an excellent shape and comfort for any dog that likes to curl up, it is machine washable and superb at wicking away moisture, therefore can be ideal for working dogs and would make a great bed for a Labrador or Springer.

The Beco Mattress dog bed is the ideal large dog bed for the one that likes to stretch out and rest in comfort. This dog bed is super soft with a luxury supportive filling, with great build quality able to endure chewing and the odd pillow fight. This does come in an ‘extra large’ ideal for Newfoundland size breeds if you would like to order an extra large dog bed please contact us to place an order.

At Paws Plus One we are proud to be able to offer the Orthopedic Dog Bed. This sort of bed is the perfect answer to the large dog such as the Great Dane and Mastiff which would require extra support. This bed offers the ultimate of comfort with a central layer of pocket springs.

Please contact us if you require any assistance choosing the correct large dog bed, we are always happy to help via e-mail at [email protected] or via the contact page

 

 

 

 

Dog Grooming

If you are about to get a dog or thinking about the right breed for you, don’t forget about the amount of time you will need to keep it well groomed.

Obviously long haired dogs are high maintenance and will need daily brushing. Medium haired dogs tend to get matted hair, especially Spaniels who love to get into bushes and the undergrowth. Short haired dogs are easier to look after using a soft bristle brush  and can go longer between grooming sessions. However, most breeds who love off lead fun and play often come home with grass seeds and burrs attached to their coat, so regular brushing and attention is a must.

It is a good idea to get your puppy used to being groomed from an early age – introduce the brush and being brushed for a short time each day and you will have a happy dog who loves being groomed and touched. Introduce touching his paws regularly. Dogs don’t generally like their paws touched, but clipping claws is a basic need and getting him used to having his paws touched, cleaned and stroked will be a bonus when you have to take him to the vets or the dog groomer. Long claws can break which is painful and can become infected. Long claws can also affect the way your dog walks and in extreme cases can cause joint problems. Claw clipping can be done at home, but you have to be careful not to cut too short or you could cut into the quick and make it bleed. A good instruction guide is available at http://www.wikihow.com/Clip-Dog-Nails. Alternatively, consult a professional dog groomer or a vet nurse.

To keep the dog coat in good condition, make sure you have the right tools for the type of coat your dog has. Paws Plus One has a good selection of grooming products from Groomers which are used by professional Dog Groomers nationwide.

Avoid shampooing your dog too often to maintain the natural oils in his coat; once a month is probably about right unless he is particularly dirty. Working dogs and those that are outside a lot, will require more regular bathing, but often a good hose down after a walk in the countryside is good enough to keep him clean and smelling fresh with a shampoo once a month or so. Always use a good quality mild and natural shampoo with the right pH balance to make sure the skin does not get irritated. If your dog does has a skin condition or irritation, a shampoo with tea tree oil is a good remedy, but always take to the vets if it does not clear up for a specialised treatment.

Don’t forget the ears! Spaniels and long eared breeds in particular, will regularly need their ears checked and cleaned. Some breeds are prone to ear infections, especially those that love the water and swim a lot. If you dog’s ears become smelly, it is likely he has an ear infection, so take him to the vets for some ear drops to clear it up. If it is not treated, it can become very severe and painful and could also affect your dog’s hearing.

Some breeds such as the Poodle, do not shed hair so their hair keeps growing and will need regular cutting or clipping. Some wire haired terrier dogs, need to be hand stripped and it is best to consult a professional dog groomer to do this and not attempt yourself.

Dog Collars and Leads

There are many types of dog leads and collars on the market and it is trial and error to find the right one to suit you and your dog. You may find you will need a particular type of lead for different activities and training. Training your dog to walk well and to heel on the lead is a lot harder than it sounds as many of you may have already found out!

The slip lead is a collar and lead in one. The slip loop goes over your dog’s head and should have a stopper to keep it in place. They are made in a variety of products, but usually rope or leather. It is best to get a fairly thick lead for your dog’s comfort. These leads are particularly favoured by the gun dog owner and those who live in rural locations for it’s ease of use, quickly put on and off for off lead exercise or working. It is not recommended for dogs that pull hard or for long distance walking with your dog. There is a right and wrong way to use a slip lead and the ring and leather toggle on the lead should be facing downward on the side you are walking your dog on, i.e. towards you on your right if you are walking your dog on your right. The slip lead should be placed above your dog’s collar and high up under his jaw so the lead does not get too tight and damage your dog’s neck or throat. Keeping it the right way will allow the lead to slacken off when not pulled and the dog is walking nicely to heel.

The retractable / extendable lead is a lead made up of cord or tape wound on to a spring loaded device within a plastic handle. It will extend or retract as your dog walks away and towards you and it is controlled by a button on the handle which acts as a lock to determine how much lead you want extended. Dog walkers like this product as it can give the dog more freedom to wander and sniff without being off lead. It can also be useful for countryside walks where there are cows and sheep grazing to keep your dog close without too much restriction. However, there are drawbacks to this type of lead :

a) You do not have so much control over your dog. The lead should be locked when walking by a road. You should never let your dog extend too far when walking by the road as given the opportunity he could run into the road into traffic. It also gives him the opportunity to jump up at passers-by or pull towards other dogs.

b) When extended it is easy to get tangled in bushes and around other dog walkers when two excited dogs meet!

c) The cord could snap, especially if you have a strong dog who suddenly lunges forward in full throttle after something interesting. The cord or tape in these products does get worn over time and more susceptible to breaking, so you should replace this item regularly.

d) Your dog gets used to pulling forward to gain extra ground and that makes traditional lead training more difficult to achieve.

e) When approaching other dogs, your dog pulling at the end of the retractable lead may give out the wrong signal as a sign of aggression and lead to confrontation.

f) The handle is big and bulky and may be dropped or pulled from your hand, especially if you have other items to hold. If your dog lunges forward quickly it can also badly jolt your arm and if you have a particularly strong dog, could pull you over.

The flat lead is a traditional lead of up to 6 feet long. They can be adjustable in length and clip on to a traditional collar or harness. Some leads have a shock absorbing ability by stretching slightly if your dog lunges forward.

The harness is said by some to be the best item to use if your dog pulls on the lead, but many trainers will disagree and will not recommend it. Their argument is that if you want a dog to pull a sledge, then put on a harness. The strongest part of the dog is its chest and that is where the strength to pull comes from. Using a harness is therefore encouraging your dog to pull and is little use in training against it. However, that said, many dog owners find that the harness is more comfortable for them to keep their dog in check and have to control without injuring the neck of the dog. Many dogs do not like wearing the harness as some products will chaff around the legs. If you do decide to use the harness, make sure it is a style that is well padded for comfort.

Traditional dog collars are probably the best option. A good leather collar with a buckle is hard wearing and safest. Try to avoid collars that have the plastic clip action as these can sometimes fail and come apart giving the dog the opportunity to escape.

Never use evasive collars that are designed to inflict pain when the dog pulls, such as the electric collars that give strong pulsation jolts or even electric shocks, choke or prong collar. These collars are horrific, unkind and can cause all kind of emotional and physical injury. The prong collar has spikes that will puncture the dog’s skin when pulled tight. Over time this can create scar tissue that has no feeling so the dog eventually does not react to it, as well as possibly displaying extreme anxiety and aggressive behaviour.

Always measure your dog’s neck before purchasing a collar, which should be big enough to fit two fingers underneath. Not too tight or too loose to slip over the dog’s head.

Tick infestation

You may recall the post in 2014 on Ticks and Keeping your dog Tick free. Well it seems ticks have been fighting back; you may have seen in the media recently of the large number of tick infected dogs.

Researchers from the Big Tick Project found 1 in 3 dogs checked were found to be carrying a tick and also the risk of pets picking up a tick is as great in urban as in rural locations, which is a huge finding when it is understood that ticks are mostly found in woodland and long grass areas. It is thought due to the warmer climate and milder winters of recent years, Britain’s tick population has been able to thrive, which in turn puts animals at greater risk of tick infestation. Areas greatly affected by this increase are Scotland, East Anglia and the South West.

It is not only animals that can be affected, due to the many diseases ticks can carry. The tick can attach itself to humans walking through long grass just the same as an animal. Lyme disease is a potential risk which can cause a series of health conditions including meningitis and heart failure, which could be fatal.

How can I check if my dog has ticks? You should check regularly for any small lumps by running your hand over the body of your dog, Ticks will attach themselves very firmly anywhere, but common places are around the feet, head, neck and ears and are roughly 1mm to 1cm in length. Ticks can be black, brown or tan and they have eight legs with an egg shaped body which grows and gets darker as it fills with blood. They can also be tiny: some species are only as large as the head of a pin. Be careful to make sure it is definitely a tick before you try and remove it. Some older dogs get warts, so be careful not to mistake a tick for a wart!

How to get rid of ticks?

Only use a tick remover. These are readily available from pet shops and vet practices. Gently press the remover against your pet’s skin near the tick. Slide the notch of the remover under the tick, pulling it free. Take care to remove all the tick, any part of it remaining in your dog could cause infection. If unsure, your vet practice will always give advice and help with ticks.

For further information, click here.