Over the past few months we’ve visited dog shows, breeders, friends, dog parks and websites, all with a view to finding our Nunzio… and ended up with an overload of information, too many choices and high levels of indecision. Eventually I had to resort to a spreadsheet, entering size, weight range, temperament, grooming, exercise requirements and common ailments of each of the breeds we’d shortlisted.
We ranked them out of 10, based on our original criteria of size and disposition. Then we discarded all but the top four breeds and had another think. We could immediately rule out two of the four contenders: we already have one (but need something calmer for a second dog) and aren’t prepared to risk a repeat of the other (because of health issues). In the end it came down to a choice between a German Short Haired Pointer and a Welsh Springer Spaniel.
More discussions ensued. A decision was made.
Finally after all the procrastination, we have a puppy in our sites. Sometimes it’s good to simply go with what you know.
Based on how quickly they learn and respond to commands, Welsh Springers are only ranked #31 on the smart-dog scale. However, this still means they tend to obey a first command 70% of the time or better. This is good enough – and a lot smarter than a most other breeds.
Besides which, we’ve realised that we’re not looking for clever. We’re looking for a good companion dog for our Doberman, one that will keep up with her but not be as wildly excitable. In this arena, Welshies score very well. Their temperament is predictable, they’re good fun without being super boisterous, and are very loving. Our Honey (above) really was a Honey 🙂
She’ll arrive in Perth in early April, flying across from Quamby Brook (Tasmania) with another puppy also destined for Perth. You can keep an eye on their progress via Talzon’s website or email me for updates.