Getting a puppy, very nervous!

(94 Posts)
Crazeeladee Mon 14-Jul-14 05:34:27

After two years of thinking about a dog, we've decided to get a cavachon, and put a deposit on one at a breeder yesterday. He'll be 12 weeks old when we get him next week.
I'm really nervous about this now we are actually doing it, and after threading some of the posts on here, I really don't know if I can handle it. The dc's would be devastated,they are so excited.
Is this what everyone feels,is it just nerves?

affafantoosh Mon 14-Jul-14 07:14:16

When you say breeder, a cavachon isn't a breed ... so, was it an accidental litter? Just hoping your puppy is coming from a reputable source, to try to save future heartbreak.

It is probably normal to feel nervous, after all your life is about to change for the next 15 years and next week you will have the equivalent of a toddler with teeth like needles running amok in your house. But if you are properly prepared, have done your reading and learned the things you need to, and have good breeder support, then it is just a case of getting on with it smile

Gooner123 Mon 14-Jul-14 08:27:45

Yes it's nerves & excitement,I'm guessing that at 12 wks it will have had all of its jabs ? Which means you can get straight out there with it,enrol in a class as soon as poss,and just enjoy it.

whereisshe Mon 14-Jul-14 08:31:50

Puppies aren't that hard, not compared to babies anyway and I gather you coped with those. Get a good puppy book (the perfect puppy by gwen bailey was great for us), remember that dogs are not people so you need to learn to "speak" dog (it's all about body language, consistency and tone of voice), enrol in a puppy class and be prepared for mess!

CastilianHhhhidalgo Mon 14-Jul-14 13:17:39

Have you checked that the Cavalier parent (presuming this is a first cross as most are) has had all the appropriate health tests? I don't mean a "vet check" but tests done via the BVA/KC health schemes?

At the very least the CKCS should have had their eyes tested (for various problems (including multifocal retinal dysplasia and hereditary cataracts), their hips scored (with a score lower than 15.7) and they should have had an MRI scan to check for CM/SM.

The CKCS (whichever parent it is) should not have been used for breeding at all if they are under the age of 2.5 as that is the minimum age to be screened for mitral valve disease.

The breeder should be able to provide certificates to prove the appropriate tests have been done. Alternatively if they are KC registered and you have their full name you can look the dog up on the KC website and find results for at least some of the tests (eyes, hips and CM/SM) there.

Cross breeding does not miraculously remove the risk of all health issues, especially those which are related to the conformation of the dog. It's unlikely the breeder has picked the sire and dam carefully, taking into account health (not just of the dogs but their ancestors as well), conformation and temperament which is what responsible breeders should be doing.

Unfortunately it's not that common for breeders of pedigree CKCSs to be doing all that they should to try and improve the breed, never mind the people who are breeding crosses.

Floralnomad Mon 14-Jul-14 13:22:03

Why have you not gone for a pup that you can pick up at 8 weeks ?

Timeisawastin Mon 14-Jul-14 13:25:37

I would second the advice to make sure the parent dogs have been tested to the hilt, particularly the Cavalier. I wouldn't touch an untested Cav or Cav cross offspring with a barge-pole. If you do, then there's an enormous chance that the little dog will have health problems and hearts will be broken.

Have you looked at the numerous full-breed dogs that are available from reputable breeders? Try Champdogs forum for ideas for suitable breeds and good breeders. There are no reputable breeders of 'designer' dogs in this country, its just an exercise in money-making not dog welfare.

MothershipG Mon 14-Jul-14 14:12:25

Getting your first dog is nerve wracking, but very exciting and great fun! grin

I would 2nd the advice about making sure all the necessary health checks have been done. CKCS are lovely dogs but the breed has more health issues than most.

Out of interest why did you choose a cross? Absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as the relevant checks have been done and you have realistic expectations.

Also at 12 weeks important development stages for socialisation have already passed so it is important that the breeder makes extra efforts in this regard. If the puppy has been in a restricted area with it's Mum and littermates all this time it may take longer to settle into it's new life.

Make sure you get the puppy used to being groomed right from the start. Crosses of soft coated breeds, like Cavs, and curly ones, like Bichons can sometimes result in soft coated curls that mat a the drop of a hat!

Yep, just to second the advice about ensuring all the appropriate tests have been completed, I would just also find out the reason why the puppy is 12 weeks, as the usual age to pick up a puppy is 8 weeks, which gives you a great opportunity to socialise your puppy.

What was the breeders reason for having the litter?

Also, try to ensure that the puppies have been brought up in a busy environment, with lots of careful handing and early socialisation, ddog1's breeder was also a childminder, which was ideal, he's fairly bombproof around children.

Also remember the puppy stage doesn't last long, and can be a bit full on smile

MothershipG Mon 14-Jul-14 18:41:48

needa It is not unusual for breeders of small dogs to hang on to them for an extra few weeks especially if they are going to a novice home, but I agree that it definitely means you need to have a good breeder that's done that crucial early socialisation.

OP I do hope we haven't scared you off but getting a puppy is an important decision, as you know, so you really do want to stack the odds in your favour as much as you can and go into it armed with as much information as possible.

Crazeeladee Mon 14-Jul-14 23:27:00

Thanks everyone for all your advice. We chose the cavachon as a friend has one and my dd1 has been in love with them ever since. The man that we are getting him from said he will have all the health certificates ready for when we collect on Sunday. We've had the checks done on us and our home and they said we have a safe environment to have a dog.
My dc's have held him and he was very gentle with them, I know he will have been nervous at being picked up by strangers, and he may change, but it was a good start.
I don't know why they were all that age, will it make a big difference having him older?
I went to look at some in a kennels a while ago, but they were all kept behind closed doors, in rooms with no toys, and you weren't allowed to touch them until point of sale, and it just seemed horrible. The reports of that place said lots of dogs had bowel and behavioural problems within a few years. The farm we are getting him from was extremely clean, we could handle them and know that dd2 who was a bit nervous of the ones jumping up at her was ok, and all the reviews were extremely positive, many years on the dogs were still in good health.
Hope I've done the right thing buying from there, it felt right, especially compared to the other kennels!

If he is from a farm, then you are almost certainly buying from a puppy farmer. Cavachons are one of the most commonly puppy farmed crosses. Generally, Bichons, Cavs, Westies, and the poo crosses, along with lab/cocker crosses.

It rings alarm bells with me that he has said the certificates will be ready to collect. A good breeder will be able to tell you the results for your dog's parents over the phone (indeed, should insist on it). Let's face it, if you are only seeing the paperwork when you go to collect the dog (especially if you have DC with you) the puppy farmer is banking on that you are highly unlikely to sit down and take your time reading it, and even less likely to disappoint your DC by going home empty handed.

Is the farm in Wales? Feel free to PM me the name of the establishment if you want to.

affafantoosh Mon 14-Jul-14 23:58:36

I'm always hesitant to encourage anyone with children to take on a puppy from a kennel or farm environment. The critical socialisation period is between 6 and 14 weeks so puppies really need to spend as much of that time as possible in a home environment.

Please get yourself a copy of Mills and Zulch's Life Skills for Puppies ASAP and work through it thoroughly. If this puppy hasn't been in a home environment until now it will need you to be its advocate and you will have to put in extra work to socialise it sensitively but quickly.

Timeisawastin Tue 15-Jul-14 00:04:19

It's always wise to do research into the breeder you're buying a dog from. It's a huge investment and deserves lots planning. You most definitely want to see a clear brain Mri report from the Cavalier parent as only dogs which have been tested clear of Syringomyelia should be bred from. Cavaliers should be over 2.5 years before the testing is complete. They almost always suffer from a heart defect too so that's a must for testing. I'm not sure what bichons suffer from, but I would expect the both the bichon and the Cavalier to have had BVA hip and elbow scoring with lower that average scores.

It really isn't all about just putting two dogs of different breeds together to make cute puppies. If your 'breeder' hasn't done everything he can to ensure the health of the breeding dogs then please walk away and don't pay into the perpetuation of the miserable lives of puppy farm and backyard breeder's dogs.

Your dd does know that her puppy may not end up looking or behaving anything like the other cavxbichon doesn't she? it's a crossbreed, it can look like either or neither of parents when it grows up.

Please rethink buying into the designer dog fad, it really is there just to service and jprofit from the gullible and undereducated puppy buyer.

CastilianHhhhidalgo Tue 15-Jul-14 01:01:37

OP Everything you've said so far is screaming puppy farm sad

I really would urge you to reconsider buying a puppy from this place and instead looking for a reputable breeder that cares about the health and wellbeing of their puppies and breeding dogs.

Crazeeladee Tue 15-Jul-14 05:27:35

Oh I don't know what to do now, it's on a farm, but they are in the house, just the house happens to be on a farm, he showed me lots of paperwork the other day, but I didn't ask to read through it as I didn't know what to look for, but it seemed to be a big pack.
It's an elderly couple, the KC mother was there with the puppies, three puppies, just two left now as the other one was being collected after we left.
It's in Lancashire, just a single farm with only these dogs. How do I find breeders in Lancashire that are good?

Kitsmummy Tue 15-Jul-14 06:53:48

Craze, I bought from a farm with just my puppies. It was only as I Was leaving that they opened another door and I heard howling from multiple dogs. I expect the paperwork they showed you was bog standard vets cards, pet plan stuff, maybe an info sheet etc etc.

Ps my dog has lots of behavioural problems (but I still love her to bits)

affafantoosh Tue 15-Jul-14 07:10:04

OP can you ask a doggy friend to come with you to see them again? The fact that they are in the house with their mum is good, but many puppy farms move puppies to a home to sell them in order to avoid arousing suspicion.

BellaVita Tue 15-Jul-14 07:16:53

I would be very wary of this.

How did you find this couple?

Walk away now.

Crazeeladee Tue 15-Jul-14 07:17:47

Ok, so what exactly do I need to see? Complete health checks including MRI scans from the parents, no other litters around, what else? Will go up today

BabeRuthless Tue 15-Jul-14 07:26:20

Ask them about socialisation as well. I'm a novice puppy owner but I've had it drummed into me that the first 8 weeks are massively important and if the pup hasn't been introduced to people and other dogs that can have a massive impact. Dogs trust have a puppy checklist which you might be able to google and which shows all the different things a young puppy needs to experience.

PeanutPatty Tue 15-Jul-14 08:15:14

Also google the name of the farm and see what pops up.

I asked both our breeders the following questions or for the following paperwork. In no particular order, just as I type and think smile

- Pedigree certificates from both parents.
- Breed specific health checks (mine are spaniels, I am not sure what breed specific checks your two breeds need)
- Reason for breeding in the first place (both of mine had specific reasons, working dogs)
- What socialisation has occurred to date, how often have the puppies been handled, by whom, children, adults etc. What household noises are they used to?
- Why are they breeding a 'designer breed' in the first place?
- How often do they have a litter. Hopefully not very often!!

I honestly haven't heard of any good reason why smaller breeds need to be kept with their parents until 12 weeks. I can't honestly think of why the benefits of the puppy being in it's 'forever' home, being carefully socialised and settling in with its new family are less than staying with the breeder. I am open to listening to why though smile

Vaccinations - hopefully, the puppy will have had his first and second injections when you collect him. If you have to do this yourself, therefore restricting further the socialisation period, then think carefully.

Also - will the puppy be microchipped? A good breeder will microchip in their name, which you can change to yours.

Lastly - a lifetime guarantee that they will take the puppy back at any point in its lifetime, if your circumstances change.

The designer breed thing worries me tbh. Can you not find an established breed that you would be happy with? What is it about Cavachons specifically?

Crazeeladee Tue 15-Jul-14 08:32:16

Thanks. It's microchipped, he scanned it for us while we were there. I think it just hasn't been bought yet, don't think there's any reason that it's staying until 12 weeks, I'm off work the week after we get him, so I chose next week to pick him up so that there is someone with him when he first settles in. He said that he will take him back, he had a Yorkshire terrier that a little boy whose parents had bought was scared of it, so that's now one of his family pets. The litter were all very sociable, no problems with being handled, just wanted to lick everyone!
It's nothing about cavachons in particular, my dd liked them, and now we have chosen one has her heart set on him.
I've googled the farm, and all that comes up are pages of five star reviews of previous buyers. The other kennels we looked at came up with lots of dog welfare concerns and complaints, which is why we immediately ruled them out.
Will go up today and ask those questions, thanks.

Floralnomad Tue 15-Jul-14 08:52:27

What are you doing with the pup when you go back to work? The fact that he has a Yorkshire terrier that he bred just indicates he breeds multiple breeds and probably multiple x breeds ,reviews can also be faked !

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