Cocker spaniel vs Wheaten Terrier

Lilyfinch z7 mid tnSeptember 15, 2009

Hello! I am thinking about these 2 breeds, definatly a female as we have a male pug and bulldog already. If you have any experience with either of these , tell me about them! What do you love about the breed? Are either of them diggers? (cant have that in my garden!) Thanks!

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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Also.... do you think cocker spaniels are bird dogs? I know its in the spaniel breed...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 10:23PM
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Question - why do you think you need another dog? What about these two breeds attracted you? Why a female? Are you going with a purebred or would you consider a rescue in the breed you are looking for?
Here is the deal.
A female will most likely become the alpha of the group, if you were to get a cocker, and it lost its hearing how would handle any conflict between the dogs? FYI - Most dogs dig because they are bored, proper attention to playtime outside the yard is paramount. Each breed has its problems, cockers having more issues than others due to overbreeding - if you do get a purebred please do your homework and find the best breeder you can find. Personally I dont purchase pure bred dogs, if I am interested in a particular breed I would get a rescue due to the fact tthat there are literally hundreds of thousands of homeless dogs out there. Good luck with what ever you choose.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 10:33PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

I havent thought about a rescue or purebreed, im just tying to decide which breed is more suitable for us. My husband and i love our dogs very much, and have decided we are ready for another. I know when dogs are bored they are destructive, i am looking for people who have one of the two to tell me about them.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 11:15PM
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I have a Wheaten. We chose her mostly because my husband has allergies, and didn't want a tiny dog. I love that she is friendly and LOVES everyone (dog and human). She is playful outside, but calmer than I expected in the house. BUT we still have trouble with her trying to hunt the cat, and she definitely likes to dig. When she was a puppy, I encouraged her to dig in the mulch underneath our swingset, so she didn't dig up the yard. Now that she is 1, she doesn't really dig much anymore, unless we're somewhere where there is sand - for some reason, she really enjoys that (maybe because it goes fast).

I can't imagine our (female) Wheaten being an alpha in any group of dogs - she is generally very submissive. Our last dog, though, (a female lab/Great Dane) was the alpha of every group she was in, so maybe our Wheaten is an exception?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 10:58AM
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My family (parents, step sis and bro's parents, step sis's family, step bro's family, and aunt) has had at least 7 or 8 cockers over the last 20 years. Only one of them has not bitten. That dog's only three, and an English cocker that my sister bought while stationed in Japan.

If you have children, or children who visit, I would not consider an American cocker spaniel.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 3:48PM
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My boss has a Wheaten and she loves her to death. The Wheaten is alpha over the two little boy dogs, as most females would be. She says that her Wheaten is the best dog she has ever had. The Wheaten is loving and will cuddle, but is not jealous of the little Dachshund, who is a lap baby.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 4:30PM
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I'm glad that cocontom posted. I have never owned a cocker, but in my experience, many that I've known have been biters. It doesn't make sense to me, since they are smallish and "pretty", so they don't seem like they would have been bred for aggression.

I've only come into contact with a few Wheatens, but all were happy, high energy dogs. So in your case, I'd default to the Wheaten IF you and the other dogs can meet the energy needs.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 9:54PM
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My childhood friend was from a family they bred and raised cocker spaniels. I had no idea that they could be biters (none of hers were).

They were, however, piddlers. A current friend of mine has one and when you come in the front door you are always advised to not give the dog any attention so it won't piddle. So... as long as you don't mind stinky, stained carpeting, I think they are generally nice dogs.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 9:02AM
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English Cocker Spaniels tend to be nicer and have much less health problems than American Cocker Spaniels. I would NEVER recommend an American Cocker Spaniel to anyone. EVER. The overbreeding done a few decades ago totally ruined the breed. I doubt it will ever recover.

Wheaten Terriers are, by definition, terriers. That means high energy, digging, small animal chasing, and did I mention high energy? They are in the "terrier" designation because of their job- to dig the earth (terra- get it?). So I wouldn't jump on getting any terrier if you don't want the dog to dig. OTOH, the Wheatens are generally smart and trainable (more so than other terriers IMHO, not quite as stubborn) so if you could provide a suitable digging area you may be able to save the garden.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 2:28PM
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My first cocker was show-worthy; got her at 16 wks from back-yard breeder (but she had papers, records of prize winning relatives and both parents onsite). Beautiful dog, not a barker, very affectionate and calm. After she died (heart valve problem) I waited 5 years; got a male rescue, about 1-1/2 yrs old, neutered by Cocker Rescue. He's 6 now, very affectionate and there the resemblence to the first dog ends. He's very smart, but barky and had this OCD thing. (He arranges his toys--in patterns, in the toy box (where the toys must touch, but not be on top of each other)--it's very interesting but reflects that he's a very anxious dog. He's taking a pediactric dose of generic prozac, but I really don't see much chnage. He recently had knee surgery, so it's hard to tell if it's helping with his socializing. He likes patterns and barks to go out in a chorus of triple barks, followed by double barks, followed by singles until he runs out of air. We call it his "aria". My point is, rescues have issues. Some cockers don't do well with small children unless they've gotten used to them at an early age. But oh that little puppy face...those cocker kisses...

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 12:42AM
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Marcia Thornley

We once had a Wheaten. I loved him so much. They love to dig! They love to chase small animals. They love to jump up! On you, your guests, kids etc. They need training, can be stubborn and ours was the most difficult dog we've had to house break. They need lots of grooming. Mats sigh :( and can have ear problems so get them used to regular ear cleanings early!
On the good side, they are super friendly with most people, have a goofy, fun personality, shedding is minimal, and they are just a fun, happy dog that can make a wonderful family pet.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 2:38PM
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I agree with the piddling...I also think MOST Cockers I've known were neurotic.....

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 10:25PM
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lilyfinch, I still would love to know why did you stop at cocker vs wheaten, what exactly except that you are ready for new dog you are looking for...
I have been observing many dogs owners in the local doggy park and boy does it show... who owns whom and why...
you seems to be striving for different breeds

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 9:02PM
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I have had long haired dogs for decades, and when our last dear old schnauzer passed away, went with an Italian Greyhound mix. I can't tell you how much I DO NOT miss the grooming issue. I've never been around wheatens, and I imagine they would be like Cockers whom I have been around and get set for some obligations with combing, brushing, and grooming. It's a have-to for the dog's comfort and health. I'm not faulting your choices, just giving you a head's up because I notice your other pooches are lower maintenance and perhaps you haven't considered it much.

My experiences with Cockers were pleasant as far as temperament. Both were nice, happy, and family oriented dogs. But, I know one of them had breed related health issues.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 1:33AM
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