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Ideas on how to find a puppy please

(30 Posts)
Pisky Wed 06-Jul-11 16:12:02

We've been looking on the local rescue websites daily for several months now but had no luck so far with finding the right dog for us.

One puppy did come up and was offered to us, but she needed ongoing veterinary care and having spoken to my sister (a vet) we had to say no as the treatment would have been very expensive and we wouldn't be able to get insurance.

We have a large garden, lots of walks from the house, beaches 9 miles away & I'm at home most of the time (WAHM) so would have the time and space an energetic dog would need.

We'd love a cocker/springer spaniel or a cross breed with these ideally but am open to suggestions.

I'd ideally like a puppy so that we can train her from scratch, don't want to be lining the pockets of unscrupulous breeders but also can't afford pedigree prices (and don't need a pedigree puppy because we wouldn't breed from her or show her, she would be a companion and a family pet).

Where do we look?


DooinMeCleanin Wed 06-Jul-11 16:31:01

Many Tears - lots of puppies here

puppies here too

Why a puppy? Training from scratch is bloody hard work you know and relentless. A pup cannot be left alone for more than an hour, not if you value your house much anyway. They're rarely a good idea with small children because of the jumping up and nipping.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 06-Jul-11 16:33:23

Also you say you cannot afford pedigree prices, have you though about the costs of vaccinating, worming, fleaing, feeding, insuring, training, spaying, dental checks and boarding costs?

Dogs are not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination.

Pisky Wed 06-Jul-11 16:51:38

We did enquire about one puppy through Many Tears, this was the one who needed ongoing treatment.

We know keeping a dog will cost money - and whilst we could pay the money for a pedigree its hard to justify that much money (to DH especially) when we see others around being sold for much less. Ongoing costs are not a problem as these can be budgeted for - we know what we are letting ourselves in for as have grown up with dogs most of our lives (other than the last 10 years spent living in a city, when we didn't have the space.)

I've talked to my sister a lot and we've decided either a puppy under 12weeks or a dog over 2 years but who has been brought up in a family situation, would be the best for us.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 06-Jul-11 16:59:32

The reason pedigree pups being sold by reputable breeders are so expensive is that they need to cover their own costs e.g health checks for the parents, stud fees, worming and fleaing for bitch and pups, vet fees, some breeders will get the first vaccination done on the pups.

Pay anything less than top prices and none of the above will have been done and you risk buying a pup from un-health checked parents, who is badly bred and may become very sickly and expensive, not to mention heart breaking and you will be the demand part of the supply and demand that keeps the forever stream of badly bred pups going.

Please reconsider a rescue dog or at the very least save up some more cash and buy from the best breeder you can find. It's for your good as much as the dogs. I'd hate to see you loose your pup to a condition which could have been prevented by proper breeding.

alp Wed 06-Jul-11 17:00:07

It sounds like you have thought about getting a puppy and having the support of a vet will definitely be an excellent benefit.

We are proud owners of a springer spaniel - she is 11 weeks old. We've had her for 3 weeks and she is beginning to become a joy to own. The nipping and craziness has taken us a little time to adjust to but seeing daily improvement in her behaviour and how she is picking things up (training not shoes!) is very rewarding!

We didn't go about getting a puppy in a conventional manner and did pay a pedigree price and perhaps with the price can come the knowledge they have been well bred/looked after etc.

Pisky Wed 06-Jul-11 17:15:33

alp - has your springer had her tail docked?

A lot of the adverts that seem more reputable (eg working dog breeders) all talk about "tails legally docked and dew claws removed" which seems highly unnecessary for a dog that won't be worked.

Pisky Wed 06-Jul-11 17:21:50

Dooin - we have not ruled out rescue, its just taking a long time for something suitable to come up!

midori1999 Wed 06-Jul-11 17:43:54

Unless you go via a rescue or get a pedigree puppy from a reputable breeder, you will be encouraging an unscrupulous breeder unfortunately. Most reputable breeders will require you to go on a waiting list anyway, so this would give you a chance to save up. The price of a well bred puppy does reflect the considerable cost and time involved in rearing a well bred puppy to weaning age and when you consider that that puppy will likely be your family companion for around 14 years, it's really not a lot of money to pay for as much peace of mind as possible with regard to health and temprement, plus the ongoing and lifelong support you'll get from the breeder.

To find a good breeder, go via the breed club.

alp Wed 06-Jul-11 19:12:53

Yes our pup has had her tail docked. Both her parents are working dogs and all the pups are being sold as working dogs so for that community it's something that needs to be done. We have all paperwork etc

Pisky Wed 06-Jul-11 21:20:38

We are coming round to paying for a pedigree pup/working dog pup. :-)

My grandma used to breed Shelties (and had a Crufts champion) so I know I may have to join a waiting list but think this is probably the best way of getting a happy healthy pup who will be with us for the next 15 or so years.

Now to find a localish reputable breeder... Does Kennel Club accreditation mean anything or it is just a bit of paper? How do you know which breeders are OK? There was a Game & Country fair near us a few weeks ago which I guess would have been a good start but too late now!

We are in west wales if that helps..

midori1999 Wed 06-Jul-11 23:30:38

In my experience, generally (not all!) breeders who show are more likely to have health tested and show bred dogs tend to fare better as family pets because they tend to be a bit more laid back than working bred lines.

KC accreditation means nothing sadly. Lots of puppy farmers on it and health testing is not compulsory and for these as well as other reasons some very good breeders refuse to get involved in the scheme.

If you speak to either the puppy list co-ordinator or secretary of the relevant breed club in your area they will be able to recommend a good breeder or may even know of an older puppy or dog that has been returned to the breeder and is therefore looking for a home if that might interest you?

cedmonds Fri 08-Jul-11 13:21:05

The kennel club accreditation in now started to mean something as they are doing home checks now. I know of some big kennels who have had there is taken away and they should off as well.
The reason it cost so much to have a pedigree pup is because it costs a lot to breed is done correctly
Our last litter cost
£100 irish for bitch to be hip scored before breeding

Regular eye checks about £50 a time
£650 stud fee
£50ish pounds of health check of bitch before mating
£100 ish on food for pups plus extra food for the bitch
Worming for each puppy and extra worming for the bitch
£250 on testing of puppies and health checks
All puppies go micro chipped
Our puppies go for £650 and we are all ways on the end of the phone for help and if anything happens we will always take the puppy back.

alice15 Fri 08-Jul-11 17:37:56

A good breeder will usually not have more than one or two breeds, will ask you at least as many questions as you ask them, will show you the puppies' mother and possibly other relatives, will show you health certification relevant for the breed (the KC website will tell you what is needed for a particular breed) and will be willing to take the puppy back if you have problems with it. They will also be happy for you to visit their premises.
Most good breeders do something with their dogs other than breed - showing, or agility, or work of some kind - gundogs, working terriers, obedience, etc. Most good breeders won't have more than a litter or two a year, maybe far fewer. As midori said, breed clubs are a wonderful resource in most cases, unless you fall foul of the sort of person who thinks no outsider is fit to own a specimen of their wonderful breed.
It's pretty easy to tell if someone is breeding as a hobby or a business in most cases, from the way their home is set up and how many litters they have. I would never recommend anyone bought a puppy from someone who was breeding for profit. Hobby breeders almost never make any money. In my last litter, I made a loss of about £200 without including veterinary costs, because luckily I could do my own emergency Caesarian. If I'd had to pay the vet bill, I'd have lost a lot more than that!

Pisky Mon 11-Jul-11 18:07:06

Off to see some puppies tomorrow - what should I be looking for/asking about?


Scuttlebutter Mon 11-Jul-11 18:12:22

Pisky, given you are in West Wales, which is the puppy farming capital of the UK, do you mind if we ask how you sourced these pups, given the short timescale? Reputable breeders, such as Midori, have few litters each year, and generally have waiting lists before the bitch is even mated.

Scuttlebutter Mon 11-Jul-11 18:23:00

Also, don't know which rescues you've contacted but if you are in S W Wales, LIzzies Barn regularly have pups and young dogs, and Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue also do. Have you tried Ceredigion Animal Rescue if you are up that way (N Pembs/Ceredigion) Dogs Trust in Bridgend had some recently (gone now) and there's also Four Paws or Hope Rescue, Llys Nini near Swansea, Greyhound Rescue Wales, Swiss Valley Greyhounds near Llanelli, Greyhound Welfare, Rescued Racers, the list goes on. There's also a rescue up in mid Wales (Llandrindod Wells) who gets lots of farm dogs but often has pups. Plenty of rescues near you - pups are definitely less common than older dogs but do come up. Also many rescues will have dogs of 9 - 12 months - many advantages, they are still v young, but have usually done housetraining and you can see how big they are going to get.

Pisky Mon 11-Jul-11 21:12:38

Scuttlebutter - I have not said I am going to buy the first puppies I see!

These are relatively close to me - not weaned yet so I definitely won't be coming home with one, and ones I can go and see and check out without the kids knowing, partly to find out more about the breed.

I am trying my best to source a puppy responsibly and am well aware that not all rescues are responsible either having had dealings with a couple recently (one good who made us aware of the probs the dog we were interested in had and gave us time to check with a vet, one not having tried to dump an unsuitable dog on us having lied about its breed and goodness else what!).

I also trust my sister's advice (vet) to get either a puppy under 12weeks or a dog over 2years so no I am not interested in 9-12month puppies.

I also don't see how that just because I am in west wales automatically all puppies available must be farmed. I am using various sources to look for dogs, and yes some of those will be internet based but there are lots of reputable breeders in this day and age that do have websites etc. Doesn't mean they are all bad. You have to start looking somewhere!

Scuttlebutter Mon 11-Jul-11 21:30:33

Where did I say that all Welsh puppies must be from puppy farms? I am genuinely concerned both for you and the potential pup. If you (and particularly your sister) know anything about puppy farming then you will know that these pups are often prone to serious health problems in later life, and many sadly do not make it into adulthood. There is no point in you wasting your time and money on such a dog.

Yes, there are reputable breeders, but as i've said before, and I'm sure breeders on here will confirm, they only have puppies infrequently and will often have a waiting list before the bitch is even pregnant. The Councils in west Wales, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are notorious for the poor standard of their licensing regime, and even the accredited breeder scheme is not a guarantee of quality conditions.

I have friends in Carmarthenshire and actually know people who act as fronts for breeders in that they will take mum and pups and effectively provide a false setting for the sale (also helps to keep mr taxman at bay and provide a nice source of untaxed income for the parties concerned).

Am interested in why your sister has recommended avoiding dogs between 12 weeks and 2 years?

would also be interested in your rescue experiences. If you do not want to name them publicly, please PM me to let me know which ones were problematic. Being based in S Wales myself I know most of the rescues here and would be surprised at any of them lying about something as easily checkable as the breed.

Pisky Mon 11-Jul-11 22:04:27

have messaged you scuttlebutter smile

chickchickchicken Mon 11-Jul-11 22:12:33

if they have puppies and dont have a long waiting list for them already i would avoid them

reputable breeders will have waiting lists for their pups before deciding to breed

whilst i can understand you wanting to take your sister's advice the vets on here will say that they have very little training on the behavioural side of caring for dogs, although i can understand that in general puppy/adolescent stage is awful hard work

Scuttlebutter Mon 11-Jul-11 23:03:25

Pisky, have replied. smile

BehindLockNumberNine Wed 13-Jul-11 22:08:42

Why should you avoid a dog aged between 12 weeks and 2 years? We are in the process of adopting a young lurcher boy thought to be aged anywhere betweeen 12 - 18 months (he is a rescue, thus no birthdate) Is there anything we should know??

DooinMeCleanin Wed 13-Jul-11 22:16:33

In three words BLNN 'the teenage phase' grin

A lot of dogs end up in rescue during this time of their life because it is their most 'difficult' stage. I don't get the advise on getting a pup under 12 weeks, as it means you get all the hard stuff confused, I suppose maybe it's because of the socialising which is best to be done before 16 weeks old, although it's complete crap that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, my ex poundie was cat aggressive when I first got him at age 18 months to 2 years, he is now cat tolerent smile

In your case I'd go with what the rescue advise, some dogs clam down sooner than others and for all I know you ahve a very active lifetyle and would be suited to a younger dog. The vast majority of rescues are good and can be trusted. Plus I have three dogs here at the moment all under 18 months old, all snoozing on various blankets and pillows because they are sighthounds and thus lazy buggers, not all dogs are the same.

Tchootnika Thu 14-Jul-11 00:20:46

Please, if you haven't done so already, have a look at Staffy Club for Rescues
I'm sorry, I'm no good at links, but it should be easy to find on Facebook, and there are some lovely dogs there - including puppies - who desperately need good homes.

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