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Best place to look for a Cocker Spaniel puppy?

(59 Posts)
eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 08:09:47

After 4 years of discussing, debating and finally settling that this is the right time to add to our family and we would like to get a cocker spaniel puppy after Christmas/New year (dd2 birthday 5th January and she has been the one who has been the instigator so will be part of he birthday present)

We have spoken to local vets to register interest in puppy parties, puppy club and having him (must be a boy) registered with them and they have been so helpful with us choosing the right breed for our family (DH and DD2 huge runners so once he is old enough he'll be going on long walk/runs every day) The vets have given us a list of things to check when we go to looks for him (such as must be with mum, age, if tails been docked make sure they have the official paperwork and checks etc) however I am now stuck where to start looking as I do not want to get sucked into a puppy farm ?

flanjabelle Tue 17-Nov-15 08:14:36

A pet should never be a birthday present. It is a living being, not a toy. I think it sends completely the wrong message to the child.

Otherwise, you need recommendations from the vet/trainer etc. You want somewhere that someone has actually used and is happy about the standards of care.

What has made you think that a cocker is the right breed for you? Are you prepared to deal with the health issues such as eye problems? Are you aware that they often have behavioural problems? Have you read up on rage syndrome? What colour are you going for?

Personally I wouldn't choose a cocker for a family with children.

Abraid2 Tue 17-Nov-15 08:17:14

We have had three or four cockers in our extended family and a family friend also had one with children. All have been fine--with careful training and lots of exercise. Four have been working and one a show Cocker.

ThreeRuddyTubs Tue 17-Nov-15 08:19:51

Any decent breeder will not have puppies around Christmas, and there will probably be a waiting list.

If it's a pedigree make sure it is kc registered. There's no reason why it shouldn't be and if it's not it could indicate either it's not actually purebred or that the mum has had more than the 4 litters the kc allows so is being overbred

flanjabelle Tue 17-Nov-15 08:35:02

just to clarify, I am aware that rage syndrome is very rare, but it's important to know about. Especially if you are choosing a solid golden cocker.

regarding my comment about children, it is not that I believe cockers to be inherently agressive, but they are sensitive dogs that need consistent gentle handling and training. When children are involved in the care of the dog, there is no guarentee that the dog will always be handled gently. Unfortunately these dogs are known to become aggressive if not handled 100% gently.

I personally would be going for a less sensitive Breed, something more tolerant of children. there are plenty of breeds who would love miles of running that aren't quite so highly strung.

eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 08:36:27

The reason we chose a cocker is that dh grew up with one and of the breeds we were looking at it seemed best suited, vets said both dd were good ages to participate in training him, (they are 11 and almost 9) vets run training classes on weds night and Sunday mornings (with Sunday's specifically so that children can go along and learn how to train him and stimulate him) other breeds we were considering were beagle and sprocker/springer after long chat with nurse at vet about our home situation (there will be 2 mornings a week he'll be left for 4 hours where I am at work before dh gets home) she said they do make excellent family dogs with the right training and rules.

The reason for January is that dh snd I have 3.5 weeks off between us there hire someone will be home all the time to help with settling in, toilet training etc. We have specifically not booked a holiday next year so that he would not have to go to in laws (they will be very involved too as when my dd go there on my work day in school holidays the dog will go with them)

Thank you for the advice we have been looking for a while and just needed the time to be right to ensure we were home to settle him, I'll call vets back today to see if they can recommend anywhere/anyone

NigelLikesSalad Tue 17-Nov-15 08:43:59

There's a Cockers Online Forum that it might be worth looking at, or check Kennel Club site for lists of registered breeders.

Cocker rage isn't any worse than any other rage in a dog. They'll bite if you frighten them or mistreat them. To be honest the zoomies are the worst, hilarious but they can trash a house in seconds when they start barging about. Ive lost a few glasses of red just from our boy zooming all over the place.

Cockers are fantastic family pets, they are impossible to wear out and will love the running! They are very intelligent and easy to train but mines has always been horrendous walking to heal, on or off lead but he never goes far from us so I've never worried about it. They are a really loving, gentle and bonkers breed. I love them.

NigelLikesSalad Tue 17-Nov-15 08:45:12

*heel even!

eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 08:47:41

The vet nurse did mention the rage syndrome and said although rare it can happen (she emailed lots of links to pages about training/health/issues after we spoke on the phone ) colour wise we had not considered golden. Thank you again for the replies

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 17-Nov-15 08:49:43

Loads of spaniel rescues around. I can send you some links if you like.

NigelLikesSalad Tue 17-Nov-15 08:50:00

Chocolate Cockers are the best *not biased at all.

toboldlygo Tue 17-Nov-15 09:15:34

Working or show type cocker? There's a huge difference between the two. If the latter then the breed club is the best place to start, they hold contact details for the regional clubs who will be able to put you in touch with breeders in your area.

I would want to see DNA testing for PRA and familial nephropathy, current eye certs and preferably hip scoring. Ectropion, entropion and distichiasis is also common in the breed, I would want assurance that both parents have correct, tight eyes.

I don't have much to do with the working types except to note that some of the very highly strung trialling type lines are utter fruitloops and to be avoided as a family pet.

tabulahrasa Tue 17-Nov-15 09:31:18

Decent breeders do not have puppies available on short notice (and that is short notice)...they have waiting lists for planned litters, so puppies have prospective owners well before the parents have even mated.

If the timing matters hugely - then to avoid puppy farms and dodgy breeders, realistically you need to be looking at rescues, which means you may not get the breed you want...though rescues have puppies all the time, the chances of a specific breed puppy at that time are pretty slim.

CMOTDibbler Tue 17-Nov-15 09:32:15

I'd be very suspicious of a breeder who was able to offer you a puppy now to collect in January. For the majority of litters they will be taking bookings before birth or pregnancy.

Don't rely on dhs/dds run being the dogs exercise btw - I run with my lurchers and they love it, but I've never seen a smaller dog out running on lead as they tend to want to spend a lot of time sniffing which isn't conducive to a nice run.

eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 09:52:46

Ok thank you again I have left a message at vets and nurse will call back when she has a slot and lots to think about (and I thought I had thought/read/researched everything over the last 6 months) probably looking more working line than show line (we live in Kent lots and lots of open space to exercise and parents in law have land nearby that he could happily roam about in safely without escaping)

eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 09:54:39

Regarding pre birth that is what we have been looking for someone who was due puppies late october/early november ten would be 8 weeks old for January, however, thats where we became stuck on where you would find those people !

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 17-Nov-15 09:57:56

Our old boy was a working cocker and he was fantastic. He was never that keen on the kids but he came before them so they came as a bit of a shock. He was never cross with them though, never bitten or misbehaved. He was definitely dh's and my dog though. Loyal, loving, affectionate, he was our little shadow. We used him as a gun dog and he absolutely loved it. He loved to work. I did all the Kennel Club obedience with him and also a bit of agility and he loved that too. Really easy to train, he was a clever little thing. You could try ringing a local gun dog group and make enquiries there.

I miss him all the time, even though we now have another lovely dog. This one is a lab though. A lot easier to keep clean!

fourpawswhite Tue 17-Nov-15 10:03:38

Gun dog groups a super idea. Also if you go on kennel club website and search by breed, they list the area and the date puppies were born, together with the breeders contact details. That will give you a starting list to see if anyone is near you.

eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 10:04:29

Ex I have pm'd you x

eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 10:05:49

Msadorable - he looked a gorgeous dog and sounds as if he was perfect for your family, I'm going to have a quick hoover round the house, make a cup of tea and look at the suggestions on here x

SconeForAStroll Tue 17-Nov-15 10:07:53

Totally biased as I have a twelve week old show cocker grin - and by golly the zoomies (great word!) are totally bonkers.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time on the Champdogs site, I talked to our local breed club and spent a decent amount of money on our pup.

And although it is hated on here, I did go on pets4homes, as our breed club told me they are encouraging their members to advertise on there to show what a good breeders ad looks like.

Hatethis22 Tue 17-Nov-15 10:17:42

I would seriously consider aiming to get a puppy in the late spring/ early summer unless you've booked to go away already. It will give you much more time to hunt out a decent breeder who is planning a litter then. It will also save your arse from freezing off when you're standing outside at 2 in the morning waiting for the pup to wee. And 6 in the morning and 6:30, 7:30, 8.00, 8:15, 8:30, 9:15, 10:00 ... If your DD is very keen, the lighter evenings and school summer holidays will also give her a lot more time to be around with the puppy.

eandh Tue 17-Nov-15 10:39:47

Hatethis we haven't booked anything (dd's are going to Menorca for a week my my parents) specifically because we knew we wanted to get a dog next year. Dh leaves for work at 3am so hoping he can do that morning wee (I am awake from 5/5.30 most days to do the next one) Scone funny enough a friend has just bought home their cocker and he was from same site and recommended from a vets to look there as their vet was happy to look at the advert and contact the breeder with questions x

Hatethis22 Tue 17-Nov-15 12:22:44

I've housetrained one in December and one in August and I know which one I'd pick! The outside every 20 minutes, after food, on waking and after play gets tired quickly when it's 5 degrees outside. On the plus side with your DH up for work really early and you up early you won't have to set the alarm to trudge outside in the middle of the night in your dressing gown envy

tabulahrasa Tue 17-Nov-15 12:26:27

"Regarding pre birth that is what we have been looking for someone who was due puppies late october/early november ten would be 8 weeks old for January, however, thats where we became stuck on where you would find those people !"

Because they're already spoken for with a decent breeder...they've usually got buyers pre-conception, not pre-birth.

Finding a good breeder and waiting up to a year or longer isn't unusual with some breeds, cockers aren't rare so I'd be surprised if it was that long, but it's very very unlikely that you'll get a puppy for January from a good breeder.

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