All about the French Spaniel
With its brown and white coat and long droopy ears, the French spaniel can make for a great dog. It is a strange dog in a way because of the way that it mixes an outdoorsy feel and a certain prissy dignity. It is not a small dog and outdoorsmen sometimes use it for hunting, yet the French spaniel seems just as comfortable in the home as at the park. It is neither too masculine of a dog, nor too feminine. In many ways it, it is one of the most versatile breeds of dog.
If ever there was a dog who loves positive reinforcement it is the French spaniel. This is no dullard of a dog who just wants to lie around and be left alone or that just raises his head for moment and goes back to sleep when his human caretaker comes home. No, the French spaniel is the kind of dog that comes rushing to the door and jumps about excitedly at the return of his or her human.
French spaniels are very bright and perceptive dogs who know how to get your attention and will go out of his or her ways to do so. Although their intelligence makes the French spaniels amenable to training, it also means that the human caretaker must expend extra energies to keep his or her French spaniel’s attention focused. French spaniels will often get bored quicker than other dogs, just as a bright student might be bored in regular class at school.
French spaniels also do not take well to authoritarian or draconian tactics on the part of their human trainers. Using negative tactics tends to exacerbate negative behaviors in the long run. These kinds of spaniels simply respond better to the carrot than to the stick. As French spaniel owners will warn, if you do not have patience, do not choose a spaniel as he or she will test your persistence at times.
Young French spaniels are much like every other variety of spaniel--they are a rambunctious lot who loves to tear about in a large yard. They are quick to bark and chase and are generally just irrepressible balls of energy who go nonstop all day. They also need a lot of attention—especially as puppies. All of this adds up to a dog better suited to homes and to country living than to apartment living. Spaniels don’t generally do well in enclosed spaces, left alone for long periods of time. If you live in a high rise in Manhattan and work twelve hours of day, this is not the kind of dog that will just lie there waiting for you to return. The French spaniel’s highly energetic nature is likely to make him bark at every little noise, from passing buses to neighbor’s voices. Even if you crate train your spaniel, you are likely to find that they show signs of restlessness. If you leave them out—or if they find ways of escaping your trait as many of them do, your French spaniel is likely to take out his frustrations on the furniture, reducing you favorite coach to a heap of feathery entrails.
In a nutshell, don’t get this dog for your apartment and expect things to go well. The exception to this might be a French spaniel that is already mature and who will be constantly accompanied by their primary human caretaker. If you move from the country to the city and you work from home, for example, you might be able to contain your older spaniel in a cramped city apartment.
This is because as spaniels grow into maturity they mellow out. Spaniels were bred to be all-purpose dogs and this is exactly what you find as they reach their adult years. If you like to go out hunting, you will find that this kind of Spaniel is especially adept at retrieving prey. If you are more of a homebody, your spaniel makes for an excellent companion who will curl up next to you while you watch television or work on the computer. So long, of course, as you give your spaniel a generous amount of attention every day.