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I am torn between two breeds and just can't decide between the two because they both suit me so well and couldn't pick so chose to go to crufts earlier this month which unfortunately didn't help me make my decision instead I just became smitten with both and I wish I had the space for two dogs because I would then just pick both breeds but I don't and need to pick one.

I've joined here in hope someone can help me know how to decide which is the one I should choose im between the Golden Retriever and Field Spaniel.

There seems to be nothing bad about either the Golden's owners I spoke with at crufts told me there down sides like their love of mud and water can mean a lot of time spent washing and grooming your Golden but also learned more than just that but I'll be here all night typing the quirk's of a Golden but none put me off at all.

I was worried about resource guarding as I'd heard spaniel's like cockers can be more prone to it than other breeds but was told Fields don't suffer from that and how there very quiet chilled out dogs but to my surprise everyone I asked said there are no downsides to owning a field their that perfect.

If it helps this will be my first dog I've never owned a dog before but am used to living with dogs I grew up around great danes and often walked them so know how to handle a giant breed so size of both will be fine for me

So since meeting them didn't help how can I narrow this decision down?
Golden Retrievers Are good first dog for new ‘owners’ - the do need a lot of time and can’t be left alone for long periods. They also need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. If you have those to offer a golden retriever would be great.
I don’t have any experience of field spaniels so can’t comment about them

Good luck 😀
@colettedb appreciate the reply.

I should have stated I work from home so he'll never be alone and I'm very active i enjoy hikes around Cotswolds at weekends
Do make sure that, even if you can be around all the time, he gets used to being left alone some of the time, or you could have problems when you want to go out shopping, for social occasions, appointments or whatever.

How about searching for great breeders? Ones who have done appropriate health checks on the parents and dedicated time to raising and socialising the pups? Breeders who are happy to let you visit their establishment and meet the mum (and maybe dad), who will answer all your questions - and asks you lots of questions to make sure you are a great home for their precious pups? A good breeder will also be willing to take the dog back if something happens so you can't look after it any more.

Do also consider how the dog will fit in with your working day. I can imagine a GR snoozing happily nearby while you're working (OK, maybe not when a pup!) - is a spaniel more likely to be dropping a soggy tennis ball on your lap while you're trying to work despite only having come in from a long walk 10 minutes ago?
@JudyN appreciate you're reply I certainly will teach him to be alone for a certain amount of time like you say for shopping ect.

I was lucky to speak to a lot of really good breeders if the Field Spaniel who told me their very laid back calm dogs which sounded great and I asked each of them the downsides to the breed as I know each breed will have their quirk's but each of them told there are none the only drawbacks they said were they are messy drinkers and the grooming they need can be a lot for some owners which even though this sounded great that they have no reason downsides I did wonder how true this was because surely there has to be some quirk's the breed has where the Golden owners and breeders I spoke to were almost trying to put me of which thankfully nothing did.
You do have to wonder when people claim that their chosen breed can do no wrong. I had a quick google and found the following:

A Field Spaniel may not be right for you if you don't want to deal with...

Providing enough exercise to keep him satisfied
"Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
Timidity or fearfulness when not socialized enough
Regular brushing, combing, and clipping/trimming
Excitable or submissive urination (tendency to dribble urine when excited or nervous)
Waiting lists (hard to find).


Prospective owners should be aware that field spaniels need a lot of exercise, tend to be very excitable and can bark excessively....
While field spaniels are loyal and affectionate dogs, they are not the best choice for everyone. They can be stubborn and are not the easiest pooches to train and so may present a challenge to first time owners. However, they are good with other animals and enjoy the home environment. These dogs are best suited to life in the country with active owners who spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. At least one person in the family should be at home with the dog all day as they need constant company. Field spaniels are not suited to apartment life due to their exercise needs and tendency to be noisy.

According to the Purina website, a field spaniel is a good choice for someone with some experience so again, they aren't without their potential challenges. They also say 'Two or more hours of exercise per day, ideally via a variety of activities that engage this clever dog’s mind, as well as their body.'

Sorry if I sound a little negative - my job as an editor basically consists of finding fault, and my husband would doubtless say that I may carry this over into the rest of my life!
Aren't the Spaniels just lovely,;) I don't know how we would survive without them. But not always ideal for 1st time owners !
@JudyN thank you I'd rather you be negative I sensed a bit of biased from the field Spaniel breeders compared to the Golden breeders who I could tell were making sure I was right for them and for the Golden they said I was.

I wasn't told about any of the above you found either and was told the opposite thank you for finding that I appreciate it
I am told golden retrievers shed a lot too.

But - golden retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the UK. And there is a very good reason for that, they are wonderful dogs.

I concur with Judy's suggestions to start looking for breeders you are interested in. With any dog, it's important to research the breeder as well as the breed, to avoid falling into the trap of backyard breeders or puppy farms. We have some advice on that, I'll link it below - but if you find a breeder you are interested in and would like us to look at their website for red flags, please do ask.

It may be worth your while to check up on what hereditary problems the "Golden Retrievers have and how to avoid a badly bred puppy.
Golden retrievers develop a variety of conditions. Hipdysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Heart conditions and disorders of the eye.
Please research further for hereditary conditions. Take care as some breeders may say their dogs are ok, and that their vet has checked their dogs, (vet checks are not worth the paper they are written on). you really need to see the DNA certificates to believe that or BVA eye certificates too
It is like a minefield out there..

It is not just the Golden retrievers that can have health conditions. There are lots of different breeds including the Spaniels that require careful breeding to avoid health problems.
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And then there will be choosing the puppy... A boy? A girl? One of each? Just scoop all of them up when the breeder is not looking, and run? :)Bottom line, my 2 cents - don't overthink, there probably is not a 100% perfect fit anyway, every breed has pros and cons... and yet almost everyone I know has The Bestest Dog in the world, and I am sure you will too - whichever one you end up with.
Thanks @excuseme and @Ari_RR I already know I want a boy and I have looked into what health tests should be done on both.

I did a lot of thinking last night on what you all said and I've decided I'm going to go with the Golden because I was told a lot more about them including all the bad as well as the good were I feel I wasn't told all the bad with the field.
I'm glad that you have been able to make the choice you feel is right for you and I wish you luck in seeking a good and decent breeder.

It may sound really easy to search about a breed but in some cases websites even breeders can be misleading. We have a fries stabyhound. If you google them you'll see.. great dogs, the name coming from the words stand by me because they are so loyal , good with children, good family dogs ,good all-round dogs..
Ask around and people will tell you much the same but go to the Dutch hunting Society and they will tell you that these dogs can scare easily if they are not exposed to sounds and sights at an early age , they will also tell you that these dogs can be quite fierce hunting dogs and have a very independent streak verging on the stubborn.
Murphy generally fits the second description!
Field Spaniels are rare and few people will know much about them. All I know is that they stubborn and noisy - and I only know this as a friend's ex boyfriend bred them😄
They do remind me of a long backed show Cocker, but with a nicer head and a more moderate coat.
Years ago I remember seeing photos of roan Field Spaniels but I don't know if the colour still exists in the breed
And if you can't find a good breeder...there is always the option to adopt a shelter dog...Just throwing that out there:rolleyes::)
If field spaniels are anything like springers and sprockers then you’ll be in for a treat if you get a high energy one haha
We had a cocker spaniel when I was a kid - she was very posh - Lady May of Piperspool 😀 we inherited from my grandparents when my grandfather got ill and I can say with sadness that my mom didn’t treat her very well although she really was a lovely old girl. Maybe one day I will get a cocker in her memory but have shelved plans for an additional to my family as August will still behave like a puppy for the foreseeable future 🤷‍♀️
I loved our show type cockers. My first and second cockers were bomb proof, unfortunately the last one that we had did have a temperament problem and in the wrong hands she could have been quiet nasty. We worked the last two and they would retrieve off land and from water. We now have the Working type, we discovered these in 1985 and as with the Show type we go beating a lot in the shooting season. All of our working type have had temperaments that are fine. The working type are much more active that the Show type.
Over the years we have never had a crazy Cocker that was very high energy. All of our dogs share their lives with us and are loose in the house, if we go out without them they are left loose in the kitchen and never caged!
I do think that these people who have very excitable high energy Cockers often cage their dogs far too much and don't allow them enough freedom of movement and fulfilling walks, they love to socialize and be part of the family, they are not rabbits and should not be put in a cage for convenience.
Our lot get one nice walk off lead in the morning and the rest of the day they are completely settled with another slightly shorter walk in the evening, again off lead. They do not disappear over the horizon, but are always with us and having good sniffs and wander around reading about what has gone on during the day.
We feed raw diets to our lot, they are not fat or fluffy and they love to please us without treats being expected.
I was 17 when I bought my first Show type, I am now well into my 70s with my husband almost 79. These dogs are not an excitable handful, but very well "chilled" and settled.
I am sure a lot more "Spaniels" would be just as chilled if not constantly caged or shut away somewhere.
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Thank you for all the replies I've decided on the Golden Retriever, I've read @JoanneF link on puppy farmers and how to check you've got a good breeder but before I contact any breeder I'd like to know I'm contacting a good breeder how can i tell from their site if there a good breeder?

I've found a few I like the look of

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