AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD VS SPRINGER SPANIEL
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HISTORY Jumping right in, let’s take a quick look at the history of each breed. The Aussie was first developed in the Pyrenese Mountains by the indigenous Basque people who moved their sheep flocks to Australia’s flatlands in the early 1800s. Crossing their prized shepherd dogs with similar English working dogs like the Collie and Border Collie while there, they set out again for the lush pasture of California in the United States in the early 1900s where local farmers and ranchers fell in love with the capable little herding dog. They’ve been a staple in cowboy culture ever since and are still a favorite choice when it comes to herding anything from cattle to geese. The Springer dates back to well before the invention of the modern rifle in the 17th century but their role in the field hardly changed with the invention. Until the early 20th century, springer and cocker spaniels weren’t considered to be different breeds, and many litters had both springers and cockers as siblings. It took many years of careful breeding and individual club formation until Kennel Clubs recognized the different varieties of Spaniels. They are still incredibly popular gun dogs in Europe and have a solid fan base in the US as well. APPEARANCE The Aussie and the Springer are absolutely gorgeous canines that come in several variations of coat color. Both medium sized breeds were designed to handle inclement weather so they both have thick double coats that adapt to their environment and provide insulation. The Aussie has heavy feathering along their chest, body, and haunches while the Springers coat is neater with curls and feathering on their long ears. Both breeds need regular grooming to prevent mats from forming. You’ll find that both breeds are moderate shedders and like all double-coated breeds they’ll shed heavily twice each year. TEMPERAMENT/TRAINABIITY/ENERGY The Aussie is an extremely loving and affectionate breed known for its quick intelligence and high energy. They run quickly and low to the ground when herding with commands from their person stopping them on a dime or completely changing direction. They are trainable to very complex levels of commands and have the high energy and willingness to please that allows them to be one of the smartest canines in the world. The Springer is similarly loving and affectionate with a moderate to high energy level and willingness to please. Their devotion allows them to be easily trained and they love having a job to do. They are naturally gifted hunting companions thanks to their long time use in the sport but will rise to just about any level you ask them too. You’ll find they are more mellow than the Aussie and need less vigorous exercise before settling in for a good nap. Both the Aussie and the Springer will need ample mental and physical exercise and a job to do each day. They are ideal for people who like to be outside all day and those who want a canine companion on their long walks, runs, or hikes. They are both smart enough to use their sweet eyes and temperament on an unsuspecting person to get extra treats and affection so they are each prone to obesity. Incorporate affection as a reward more often than food and save the treats for learning difficult commands as extra motivation. SOCIAL NEEDS - OTHER CHILDREN/SMALL ANIMALS When it comes to snoozing around the house, you can count on both breeds to ready to snuggle after a solid run or day working in the field but they’re still likely to chase small animals around the home. The Aussie is prone to herding everything from children to cats and has a playful energy that can make other small animals nervous. The Springer is also prone to chasing small animals and trying to flush them from their hiding spots in the home. They may run and play with children but have no herding instinct to speak of making them an ideal choice for busy family homes. Springer’s are extremely affectionate and tend to be comfortable with strangers even. WRAP UP Depending on your needs and lifestyle you can’t go wrong with either of these beautiful canine companions. The Springer loves to be outside on long hikes or runs with their family or hunting trips where their natural instincts shine. The Aussies high energy makes them an excellent choice for canine sport or agility enthusiasts, or for homes that are extremely active outdoors and want a canine companion that can be trained to any level of complexity.