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sporting dogs
Pet Care

October 19, 2012

PetSafe® Expert

PetSafe® Guest

Breed All About It: Sporting Dogs

By Natalie Lester, PetSafe Brand Marketing Specialist

What is covered in curly fur, has tons of energy, and a tendency to piddle when she gets too exited? My sweet, Boykin Spaniel Emma – of course!

boykin spaniel, pets at work

When I was looking to adopt a pet, I knew I wanted one with as much (if not more) energy as me. I wanted someone who was anxious to wake up and begin the day in the morning, who would have happy hops at lunchtime, and still have the endurance to run with me in the evenings. These desires led me to the Sporting Breed group of dogs.

According to the American Kennel Club, sporting dogs are naturally active and alert and they make likeable, well-rounded companions. As I have shared before, I thought I would add a Golden Retriever to my home. However, I actually adopted Emma and it was love at first sight. She has been the perfect fit. Both her friendly and loving personality as well as her endless energy makes her the perfect sidekick for me. It’s likely I would have found a similar personality in a Golden or any other breed in the Sporting Group, but now that I’ve lived with a Spaniel, they may just be my life time love.

If you are like me and have fallen in love with these crazy energetic, curly fur balls, then here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Keep cleaning supplies readily available.

puppy cleaning supplies

Whenever I get emotional no matter if it’s happy, sad, angry, or afraid, my first reaction is usually tears. No matter how hard I fight to control them, they always seem to creep out the corner of my eyes, and I’ve just accepted that I am a crier. Similarly, Emma reacts to every emotion by leaking from another part of her body. In the short 7 months we have spent together, she has left various amounts of piddle and puddles around my apartment. Whether greeting someone at the door with a lake or just racing to get to me with a toy, it seems she still struggles to control her bladder when her emotions get going. Therefore, both the upstairs and main level are stocked with pet cleaner, Resolve, and Hefty paper towels.

2. Don’t join a gym.

sporting dog breeds

Unless it’s pet friendly, you may be throwing your money down the drain. Your dog will wear you out just as quickly as that zumba class or 30 minutes on the treadmill. Spaniels and other sporting breeds have a ton of energy, which is one reason why I love them. If they don’t get their daily exercise, they can quickly turn destructive. Emma loves to take out her extra energy on toilet paper and shoes. If I take her on a run, which is great for me as well, she is pretty worn out. If we add a training session on top of that, she is as tired mentally as she is physically. We all know the saying, “A tired dog is a happy family.” It rings more true for sporting dogs perhaps more than other breeds.

3. Invest in quality time.

leaving pets at home

Because of their loving personalities and timid nature, all spaniel breeds are instinctively attached to their human family. Being away is hard enough during the day, especially if they are left for long periods of time alone. Separation anxiety can be common, and no one wants to come home to a depressed pup. Investigate doggie day camp programs in your area, come home and spend lunch with your pet, or work for an awesome company that permits pets in the office to insure your pet doesn’t get lonely at home. If you do have to leave your pet at home during the day, try not to feel guilty and plan extra activities to invest in your relationship. Consider pet-friendly restaurants for dinner, and find other fun outing for the two of you to enjoy.

Do you have a sporting breed? What advice would you offer to other pet parents? Let us know in the comment section below. We are always looking to share information, tips, tricks, and ideas!


As the PetSafe Brand Marketing Specialist, Natalie manages The Paw Print blog and generates other brand related content including public relations and promotions. Before PetSafe, Natalie worked in the local media covering politics, education, and religion. Natalie’s puppy, Emma, spends almost as much time in the office as she does.  

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