Which dog is ideal for suburban life? A similar question cannot be answered unequivocally. But if you are interested in this topic, I recommend paying attention to the Russian Spaniel. A dog of this breed named Sonya lived with us for 12 years. If our family again has the opportunity to get a dog (when moving to our own house), then without hesitation I will take the puppy of the Russian spaniel. I will tell you about all the advantages of this charming breed in my article.Russian Spaniel is a breed for walkers and owners of private homes
Russian Spaniel - a bit of history
The breed "Russian Spaniel" was created in Russia over a hundred years ago. Breeders sought to create a hardy and rather long-legged hunting dog with a friendly and complaisant character. At that time, there were already many hunting dog breeds, mainly used for hunting birds and other game. But Russian hunters needed a dog with longer limbs. She had to easily move over rough terrain and cope with harsh weather conditions.
The first English cocker spaniel named Dash was brought to Russia for Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich and was shown at the Nevsky Hunting Club dog show in 1885. It was with him that the history of spaniels in Russia began. By the 30s of the last century, spaniels appeared that met the desired criteria. They were bred on the basis of the English Springer Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel, as well as a number of other varieties of spaniels.
Russian spaniel differs from its parent breeds in a stronger physique, increased stamina and less decorative. The breed standard for the Russian Spaniel was officially developed only after the Second World War.
Russian Spaniel has all the field qualities necessary for a hunting dog: endurance, excellent sense of smell, energy and perseverance when searching for game. The spaniel has an innate hunting instinct. These dogs begin to work on game at an early age and do not require special training. The goal of a Russian spaniel on a hunt is to find a bird, raise it into the air, and after a shot, on command, find and bring the carcass to the hunter. Spaniels are used for hunting waterfowl and land bird, as well as for hares and other small game.Russian Spaniel is a relatively small dog with a height at the withers 38-45 cm and a weight of 13-16 kg.
The appearance of the dog
The Russian Spaniel has a characteristic domed skull and deep clever and slightly sad eyes. Long hanging ears, covered with wavy hair, very reminiscent of a hairstyle from long strands. It is very difficult not to get sympathy for such a charming creature!
On the body, the coat of the Russian Spaniel is tight-fitting and rather short. This breed has a very long wavy fringe that adorns the dog, not only on the ears, but also on the back of the legs (tow). Coloring is usually white with dark - black, brown or red "inserts" (spots and small dots). The head and ears are usually colored dark. Russian spaniel can be monophonic, two-color and sometimes three-color.
In size it is a relatively small dog with a height at the withers of 38-45 cm and a weight of 13-16 kg. It is a well-built breed with muscular limbs and a strong body. The tail is usually cropped, but recently some breeders prefer not to shorten the tails of their puppies, which are also decorated with long hair.
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Character of Russian Spaniel
Russian Spaniel is known for its friendly disposition, as well as high tolerance for children and a desire to play with children. This makes the spaniel the perfect pet for a young family with children. Playful in nature, they will never give up playing catch-ups, “fitting” objects and other outdoor games. The Russian Spaniel will happily entertain children for hours!
In addition, this breed has proven to be an excellent guard dog. Russian spaniels quickly warn the owners of unwanted guests with a flood of barks. These dogs get along very well with other breeds and almost always want to make friends with their relatives. However, it is important not to forget about their hunting instincts. When choosing other pets, you need to remember that birds, rabbits and other small animals can be perceived by the spaniel as natural prey.
Russian Spaniel is considered to be an easily trained dog, which always strives to behave well, because it likes to receive praise from the owners. But all representatives of the breed during training and education need a solid, but calm, confident and consistent owner. He is perceived by the dog as the leader of the "pack", which provides the animal with mental stability. The affectionate Russian spaniel is devoted to his master and never lets him out of sight.Getting a puppy of the Russian spaniel, it is important not to forget about the hunting instincts of this dog
The advantages of the breed for suburban life
The small size of dogs of this breed allows them to be kept in city apartments, but the Russian spaniel has sufficient stamina and needs regular physical activity. The Russian Spaniel must be taken for long daily walks or runs. Naturally, in a private house with an adjacent spacious plot, he will feel much better, because he will get the opportunity to frolic on his own in the vastness.
Living all summer in the country, I really like to make long walks in the surrounding meadows and copses. And here our dog, the Russian Spaniel Sonya, was an ideal companion for me. For a Russian spaniel, access to a forest or meadow is not just a walking opportunity, but a real hunt, even if you don’t have a gun.
Our previous dog was from poodles, and I had the opportunity to observe how differently different breeds of dogs behave in nature. The poodle just walked and ran next to me, at the same time panicky afraid to climb into the river and was not too interested in birds.
But the spaniel fell into his native element. Sonya constantly sniffed and scared the birds sitting in the grass. Moreover, without special training, she demonstrated a “shuttle course” (she moved in a zigzag pattern) in order to explore the largest possible territory. And when she managed to find “game” (usually they were wagtails), she enthusiastically lifted the birds into the air, making a very unusual sound with a thin voice, which looked like either cries of delight or a signal for a hunter-owner.
In the tall grass, Sonya always made “candles” - high jumps to improve visibility so as not to lose contact with the owner. I also want to note that, although our dog was with character, during the “hunt” she turned into a perfectly obedient pet. She probably perceived me as a hunter, intuitively understanding that the outcome of the matter depends on our well-coordinated work.
At the sight of any reservoir, she fearlessly threw herself into the water and could easily cross a narrow river. Walking with a spaniel always gave me a lot of pleasure. It was very interesting to watch her behavior on the “hunt” when the dog forgets everything and seems the happiest on Earth. Sonya was my best companion during long walks, and I really appreciated her not only for her devotion and love, but also for the fact that she fully shared my love of visiting “wild” places.
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How is the Russian spaniel different from other spaniels?
Indeed, there are other varieties of spaniels, for example, English or American Cocker Spaniel. Why do I like Russian? In my opinion, these breeds, although they have not lost their hunting qualities, are still mainly kept today as decorative dogs (especially American cocker).
But the main thing they lose in comparison with the Russian spaniel is the wool is too long, which requires more careful leaving and "parquet" maintenance. With long walks in nature, this luxurious “head of hair” becomes a source of many problems. For example, it is more difficult to notice an attacked tick on it. And, no less unpleasant - the skin of a fluffy dog collects all the possible thorns and burdocks that only meet on the way.
In the Russian spaniel, only ears of "increased shaggy" and towels on his legs become such a center of attraction, and the fur on his body and stomach is short, smooth and stiff, therefore, as a rule, nothing sticks to it. To this day, with a shudder of my heart, I recall how hard it was to pull out from the long curly hair on the ears the numerous heads of a reposhka, burdock, seeds of a string and other botanical diversity. Sometimes the “guests” got stuck so tightly that they had to be cut with scissors. If the whole body of the dog possessed such hairiness, it would become a real disaster in the country.
In addition, the wool on the body of the Russian spaniel snugly adheres to moisture and repels moisture, and is not afraid of a little rain. And if the dog is slightly dirty, then it can be cleaned superficially, and it will again have a neat appearance, which can not be said about the long-haired.
The Russian Spaniel is medium in size, but there are also smaller spaniels, for example, the Sussex Spaniel or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. However, the first is on sale very rarely, and the second costs a lot of money. Therefore, the Russian spaniel in these parameters will be the best option. There are many breeders of the Russian Spaniel, and the price of puppies is low.Despite the fact that the appearance of the Russian spaniel is not intimidating, the dog has protective qualities
The disadvantages of the Russian spaniel for suburban life
The only minus of the Russian spaniel for suburban life is that, of course, it cannot become a full-fledged guard dog to protect the suburban home. Its appearance is not at all frightening, unlike most representatives of large breeds.
Nevertheless, I can note that the dog has protective qualities, and it will enthusiastically patrol the territory and bark to inform about the approach of the stranger. I would also like to note that when we spent the night at the dacha on a hot night with the door open, the dog woke up from any rustle, and sometimes independently carried out patrol service. When she ran to the door, she listened and sniffed the air to make sure that the "members of her pack" were completely safe. In general, under such protection, we always slept peacefully and with the door open.
Good dog Russian Spaniel. Recommend!