If you are considering springer spaniel adoption, then there are steps you must take to prepare your family, to choose the best dog, and to follow through with if you want to avoid problems in the future. Adoption may involve a dog from a rescue centre, a private adoption (maybe through a newpaper ad) or from someone in your family. Problems with adopting dogs can involve behaviour, training and health issues. The risks of these problems can be avoided or reduced if you go about the adoption with a careful approach.
If you are looking for a dog to show, then unless you are an expert, adoption is not the best way to go. It can work if you are adopting a springer you know, maybe from a friend or relative. It’s definitely worth looking at a few springers and comparing them – it can be difficult and even emotional, but is a sensible route to go.
How to Prepare for Springer Spaniel Adoption
Make checklist before you visit the springer spaniel, whether at a rescue centre or private home. A rescue centre will be able to give you an unbiased opinion about the springer spaniel (and a veterinarian’s report), whilst a private adoption may not be as ‘open’ – say if the dog is troublesome or sick. If it is a private adoption then question the motive of the current owner carefully.
Age and Sex of the Dog
Do you want a pup, adolescent or mature dog? Whichever you choose, there will be different challenges to face. Which sex (most rescue centre dogs will have been sterilised)?.
Dogs from rescue centres will probably not have pedigree papers but a private adoption may have them available. You should get a health report from a rescue centre. Specialist Breed Rescue Centres are more likely to have pedigree papers for the dog.
The Rescue Centre will usually want to know if yours is a suitable home for a springer spaniel. You can expect to be asked about your ability to look after the dog, whether you have enough open space available and there will be a fee to pay.
You should check that the springer does not have a behavioural problem – they may have been ill-treated in a previous home. The rescue centre staff should give you an opinion on the springer’s behaviour.
If the springer has been previously abused, then it may have difficulty trusting you and your family. If you have young children then their safety comes first and you will need to satisfy yourself that you can trust the springer spaniel – it’s a two way street.
An adopted springer spaniel may not have been properly trained, and if the springer is older then training will be more difficult than with a puppy. Check that the dog will obey basic commands. Springer spaniels are eager to please, and this assists training. If an older dog has been properly trained, then you will not have to go through the house-training phase, though initial nervousness might lead to a few accidents.
Checking the Dog
Take the dog for a short walk. Observe how the springer reacts as you approach – does he cower, is he nervous or welcoming? Does he jump at you (this could indicate poor, if any, training)? How does he react as you walk past other dog pens? Is the walk nervous or cowering? His gait can give clues to maybe leg or hip injuries or to internal discomfort. Rescue centre staff will give you guidance – they would not want the dog to be returned.
One final tip – until you are sure about the springer, then don’t take the kids along to meet him. If the dog turns out to be unsuitable then there could be huge disappointment for your children if they have ‘fallen for’ the springer spaniel.
The author has kept English and Welsh Springer
for many years, including an English Springer Spaniel adoption dog from a rescue centre – find out more now about rescue dogs and how to find, choose and nurture one of these great dogs – and have a whole lot of fun too!