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Who's had other breeds?

Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 10:41 am
by CJ
Well... since there is a spot for it... Figured I'd give this subject a test drive.... Who has owned/owns other breeds? Where do Britts rank in them for you, and why?
I'll start it off... I've had a German Shepard when I was really small, K9 trained (my dad was in law enforcement when I was a kid). Grandpa (lived around the corner) had Begals that we always rabbit hunted over when I was a kid. Then for years I had Labs & Goldens. Trained and worked my sisters Weimie. Then when I got married (was dogless at the time), my wife was a Cocker person so we rescued a Cocker. We wanted a companion for the Cocker (& I wanted a backup/second hunting dog) and saw a flyer on the gun shop door for ABR dogs... The one (there were several on the flyer) we wanted was gone when we called, so we took Jake (had a different name at the time...) then got our youngest Britt rescue about 1/5 yrs ago...
I always enjoyed my Labs, really loved and bonded w/ my Goldens, same with the Cocker... but these Britts.... I'm hooked for life. They can and have aggrivated the living *@!& out of me at times, but for they are every bit (and maybe then some) the companion that my Goldens were (and for me, that's saying a lot), and they are all & more of the hunting partners that my Labs were. Mine are docile in the house, and energizer bunnies in the field.... They are loyal, caring, loving, inteligent, and way to many other things to list....
I know I probably don't have as much cross breed experience as some others, but for gun dog breeds.... (I'm one of those who would never own a non-working dog breed....) the Britt is the end of the line for me... I've got a lot of good things to say about GSP's, GWP's, Griffons, Weimies, Spaniels, & Retrievers... they are all great breeds... but... these Britts are something else...
Now it's everyone elses turn!

Other Breeds

Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 1:41 pm
by Barb Wright
I grew up with German Shepherds, but they were family dogs not working dogs. And, they really were always pretty much just my Mom's dogs (she who doles out the food RULES) so I really didn't "connect" with them other than to appreciate that they were a part of the family. Besides, I was pretty much into horses and therein lay my obsessions until my late 20's.

Then in a career move and quantum leap in life style change, in 1966 I moved to Alaska. Long story short, after moving to "the bush" in 1969 it didn't take much thought to realize that horses were not a practical idea, but dogs? Yes, how very Alaskan!! I got an Alaskan Malamute puppy and blundered my way through raising a very stubborn (mostly ignorant handling on my part) but otherwise pleasant companion. I took up skijoring which is great fun punctuated by moments of sheer terror :) Then, Mother Nature taught me a nasty lesson....wolves got my Mal when I neglected to keep an eye on her one evening :cry: It was tough, but I was hooked on dogs with just this first one and soon adopted a "tramp" husky, followed soon thereafter with another Alaskan male, one female, you can see where this is going :roll: I was now skijoring with two dogs, absolute insanity :lol: Finally, common sense prevailed (mostly brought about by an increasing sense of survival) and I got my husband to make me a dog sled so I would have some modicum of control :!:

Well, one male plus one female soon blossomed into 7 dogs, and before I knew it I was driving a dog team, racing competatively, and totally obsessed :!: This madness went on for almost 20 years, during which time I got into breeding Siberian Huskies as well as maintaining quite a few Alaskan Huskies (not a true pure breed, but rather a type of northern dog suitable for pulling a sled). The Sibs were a great breed to deal with...very good natured both with people and with one another. They took naturally to training in the context of working and running, hard wired for just that sort of life and seemingly quite content with their lot. I even took one of my Sibs through an obedience course just for the heck of it, and he got his certificate, but I confess he was at the bottom of the class in merit, mostly because of his handler (me :oops: )

I eventually got out of Sibs, for reasons I won't go into here, and worked just with Alaskan Huskies for about the last ten years of running dogs. What a variety of personalities, it was ever so fascinating working with them, seeing their individualisms, trying to figure out what was going on in their heads and trying to "reach" them, draw out their strengths, guard their weaknesses, integrate them into a weave of hearts, minds, and bodies working as whole, as a team. The one trait almost every one had in common, and came hard wired with, was the love to run like the wind :D The truth of their ancestory lies in multiple breeds over the centuries, no question, but the love of running was the one genetic characteristic that was sustained through the years, and remains the one and only real "standard" to be met for the Alaskan Husky. Maybe not a Purebred, but a pure breed in heart, mind, and spirit.

When I think back now about each and every dog, I truly regret that I did not have the time or inclination to include a certain few of the dogs in my personal home was just something you didn't do with sled dogs back then. They were outside dogs, team dogs, and "coddling" (except when ill) was verboten :!: In hindsight, that now seems narrow minded and mean spirited, but who knew? So, when I got my Britt Cassie I had a whole lot to learn about living with a dog, and wow was it ever an eye opener and mind blower :lol: When it finally dawned on me that I was dealing with a really/really/really smart dog, I had to scramble just to catch up and it's been a race just to keep up ever since :!: I really thank my lucky stars that I finally arrived at Brittdom :D

All in all, looking back, I wouldn't trade one minute of my "life with dogs" for all the diamonds in Africa, unh's been quite a trip :!:

Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 2:16 pm
by Cindy
Had 2 beagles when I was growing up. VERY cute but NEVER again. Seems like I spent the better part of 17 years yelling at them to stop barking and howling whenever a rabbit went through the yard ... which was most of the time. Then got an Old English Sheepdog after I graduated from college. She was the best, but the grooming was quite a challenge. She was never very happy after we moved from NH to Virginia because she hated the hot weather. Right before she died, my sister in law had a litter of Springer/Brittany puppies. We took one and later adopted her brother from the same litter. My family had Springers before and I've always like them, but the combination was really great. When we were looking for another dog we tried to find the same cross again, but no luck. So we decided on an ABR because we felt Brittanies had the "personality" we really liked. We now have our 2nd Brittany and can't imagine ever getting a different dog ... unless one fell in our lap like the Springer/English Setter cross did! Sometimes you just have to "go with the flow" when it comes to dogs, but we adore our Brits.

Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 2:51 pm
by Kelley
My first dog as a child was a beagle whom I don't really remember as I was very small & she was given back to the breeder because she wasn't quite what my parents thought she would be. (Mainly she dug too much.) Quite a few years went by & I wanted a dog so we adopted one from a local pet store. (Kind of like petsmart adoption days.) Well, his parentage was not certain & he turned out to be a mix of dalamtion & some other rather large dog & he was just too big for a young girl of 12. He was given to 3 nice boys who had a huge farm for him to run around on. Third time was a charm! I adopted a spaniel mix from the local shelter. Think body of a spaniel but coloring of a tan & black beagle. She is a dear but is quite a senior now at 13. Her health is still quite good for her age & she stays pretty spry keeping the younger dogs in line! She actually moved to my sisters house once I got married & my parents moved since that was the only yard that was fenced.

After a year of marriage, my husband & I really wanted a dog so we adopted Annie, our Beagle Italian Greyhound mix. She's been such a dear & we enjoy her thoroughly. A few months later we adopted Dolly from ABR since I had really been yearning for a Brittany. Once we were approved we drove from SC to MD to pick her up. At first we were thinking what have we gotten ourselves into - this was while she was galloping around our living room jumping over coffee & end tables like they were hurdles. But after much adjustment (mostly on our part) & all of us getting to know each other, we are one big happy family! Dolly & Annie are best buds & frequently curl up together to sleep. I've never had a more loving dog than Dolly - she's very generous with her kisses. I always tease her she is a "french" britt because she inevitably kisses you when you have your mouth open (ewwie!!!) I've loved all my dogs & I don't think I'll ever live without at least one dog. They make life so much more enjoyable & nothing makes you smile more than waking up in the morning or coming home at the end of a long day to a dog who is thrilled beyond measure to see you!

Incidentally, Barb, I have a very good friend who breeds Alaskan Malamutes. Not exactly the breed you think of having in Georgia, but she was never bothered when walking in town!


Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 3:09 pm
by Myra
I got my first dog when I was fifteen, a cockapoo (long before they were an "in" breed--this litter was truly an oops). She was a very smart dog, but had lots of issues--allergies, epilepsy and some aggression problems. She stayed with my parents when I moved out (not that I didn't want to take her, but I didn't think they could deal with both of us leaving at the same time :wink: ).

Then I took in two strays in rapid succession (they both just showed up on my doorstep and owners were never found). One was a schnauzer/basset hound mix and the other was a very pregnant lab/chow mix who had been abused (skinny to the point of being emaciated, terrified of men, lots of scars, etc.) and was very pregnant. She was too far along to spay, and only one of the pups survived, so I kept her, too. Two females, let alone three, isn't always the best idea, but I didn't know that back then. Thank goodness it all worked, with only minor squabbles a couple of times a year, and they all lived long and healthy lives and were very good dogs.

After they went to the Bridge and we were ready for another dog, we decided on a Brittany. We liked the size and personality, and it just so happened that we knew someone who had a litter. So Dusty came into our lives, and we managed to survive the first two years, and now at four he's a fabulous dog.

Not long ago we got him a "little sister", a two-year old Beagle we adopted through a rescue group. She's a great girl, very calm and laid-back, an interesting contrast to a high-energy Britt. She wasn't in very good physical shape when we adopted her (overweight and out-of-shape), but thanks to Dusty influencing her to get out and run and play, she's already improving. :wink:

We also have two cats and a guinea pig. I'm pretty sure we're at our furkid limit . . . . at least for awhile. :wink:

Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 4:00 pm
by Karen_P
I had 2 doberman and a shepherd. The shepherd turned out to be my husband's dog, and to be honest, I wasn't terribly fond of him (poor breeding, health issues). The Dobies I adored. When I bought my house 4 yrs ago and wanted a dog, I would have gotten another dobie in a heartbeat, but I also wanted my son to be able to have friends over without their parents freaking. Obviously another doberman was out of the question.

I love my boys though. It's so nice to have happy, friendly dogs. I never have to worry about aggression or biting. They love everyone. Britts are just really easy to have around (in pairs of course).

Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 4:25 pm
by CJ
I agree about the pair part... past that is hard (for us anyway). When we went from one to two... it wasn't even a noticable change (except for the food consumption)... but when we went from 2-3.... man... that was a quantum leap! Having three attention mongers at your side can be overwelming! We ended up having to do personal time with them individually at night... they go to their room and we call them out one by one in age order and give them one on one. It seems to be the best way all the way around... They get the attention they need and deserve, we get a better bonding time with them, and I don't loose my mind (or feel guilty about who's being ignored). Two is wonderful, three is nuts... I couldn't imagine how people with more than that do it... They must have a special gift or something.

Other dogs in my life

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 12:11 pm
by gail
Well my first dog was a German shorthair pointer rescue - he was insane and this was long before we knew so much about dog behavior, crate training, etc. He kept jumping the 4ft fence and I had a new baby so we gave him to my hunting brother-in-law in the country where he lived out a long life out of trouble.

My next dog, years later when I moved to the country was a rescue brit from a local shelter, Calvin, and he was just the greatest companion. After he died I was brokenhearted and hooked on Brits so we adopted Woody from ABR. He's great and now 9 years. We also have a 3 yr brit female, Breezy, that we got as a puppy. She is the evil princess but I love her so much.

We also had a Samoyed, Sasha, for 8 years and when she died last fall, we got another Sammy from a local shelter. He is 5 and was 30 lbs overweight when he came but now is closer to his goal and is a handsome easy keeper. Its fun to have a winter dog here in the north.

So we have had 3 dogs for many years now,.

Other breeds...

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 5:09 pm
by Victoria
Good question! Right now I have an almost ten year old Border Collie. I have had him since he was a pup, and he has done flyball and frisbee competition. He is the good son. LOL, we then adopted a 3yr female Britt from ABR, and yes in agreement with whomever else said, "she is the evil princess" I guess she is not evil, but boy is she spoiled. Husband treats her like the daughter he never had! She is cute though. I suggested the Brittany after working in foster care in Missouri fostering Weims, Border Collies and Brittanys. Brittanys are wonderful loving dogs and I am so happy she is with us! I have been involved with dogs for years doing conformation, obediance, tracking, flyball and frisbee. Right now we are very happy with our combo. The pair are the perfect balance of beauty and brains!

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 7:22 pm
by Bernie's mom
Let's see...
Black lab (Drake) when I was about 3...
Red Doberman (Dutchess) who died of old age when I was in 6th grade.
Then a Cocker (Cooper) who barked nonstop and so we found him a great home that he had for a good 10 years until they put him down due to old age and failing health.
Got another dobie but gave her back, it wasn't working out...
Bingo (mutt)... L.S. was a wanderer and got hit, one day when he wasn't tied... I hated him so much for getting killed cuz I loved him so much... :(
Beagles from age 6 through college... people always dropped them off by us cuz my Grandpa hunted. We had a few litters through the years. Now he just has ol' Charlie, a beagle/basset, and he's all of 15 years old.
My Emmy Lou, my Lhasa, who is with Grandpa, she stayed with him when my hubby and I bought our house.
Lots of other critters through the years too, horses, chickens, cats and birds, fish and hermit crabs (have both of those yet!).

and now of course, our Bernie!

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 8:53 pm
by Jen
Growing up the only dogs we had were brittanies. When I went away to college I decided to rebel and got myself a corgi/malamute mix, Denali. Talk about smart and stubborn. I am just glad that she was never a real active dog or man my life would have been rough. When Denali was a year old she brought home Wednesday a whippet mix. Then when Denali was 5 someone left a 9 month old german shepherd where I worked so I took him home. the Last 7 years with my 3 crazy dogs have been great, but I was really missing the brittany quirks. My husband said no :!: to 4 dogs, but when we moved to the new house with over a 1/2 acre with a 6 foot privacy fence I talked him into letting me foster. Last October we got Coda whose has been a great foster dog even though he didn't like the home I picked for him and came back to us. For awhile we had 3 fosters and our 3 dogs which made for some pretty interesting days, but since I stay at home with the 2 kids both of which are under the age of 2, I felt I needed some brittany craziness to keep me sane. :wink: My next dog will definately be a brittany, but it might be awhile before that happens. Denali is now 12 but shows no sign of slowing down, and Coda will probably become a permanent foster. I just laugh when my husband said no to owning 4 dogs, but we had 3 of our own and 3 fosters. The extra fosters made going to the inlaws for the holidays really interesting :D

Other breeds...

Posted: Sun May 23, 2004 6:22 am
by Victoria
Brenda Dom, the BC is beauty and brains, the Britt is just fluff! LOL! No not really. You know I am appearing to be way to hard on her!

We love her more than anything, and there must be a person for every breed. Each breed has such unique traits and quirks. And being a grandma, I have already embarked on a second career, but think I would have loved to have studied the human dog relationship.

My husband, Vin and I have discussed at the passing of the BC, going totally Brittany, but you know, the BC does things the Britt doesn't do, and oh how I would miss those traits, but the Britt is an easier keeper and we are getting old and lazy!

Posted: Mon May 24, 2004 11:56 am
by CJ
Noticed a few cat owners in there... Anyone ever have Siameese Retreivers? I had a pair or Siameese cats for years when I was a Retreiver man. I'm pretty sure those cats, if they could have talked, would have argued the fact that they were dogs... They came when called, fetched/retrieved to hand, sat, walked at heel.... A very un-catly pair... miss them a lot. Very people oriented, remind me of my Britts a lot.

Posted: Mon May 24, 2004 6:07 pm
by Brenda Dom
Quoting CJ:
Noticed a few cat owners in there... Anyone ever have Siameese Retreivers? I had a pair or Siameese cats for years when I was a Retreiver man. I'm pretty sure those cats, if they could have talked, would have argued the fact that they were dogs... They came when called, fetched/retrieved to hand, sat, walked at heel.... A very un-catly pair... miss them a lot. Very people oriented, remind me of my Britts a lot.

When I was in college, I couldn't wait to move off campus so I could bring my britts to school with me. I moved into a big house with 4 other girls and between us we had two britts, two siamese cats, a samoyed, a basset hound and a golden retreiver. By the end of the first year they all (even the cats) pointed like britts, bayed like a basset, tried to fish in the fish tank, and followed the golden into the water to retrieve. Lord we had fun! :lol:

Brenda Dom

Posted: Tue May 25, 2004 10:43 am
by Mary Ann
When I first got married we had a cat that was part siamese and he would retrieve. It was such a cool thing. At that time we had a dog that did not retrieve and acted more like a cat!
Mary Ann