Taking in a sprocker pup, advice?(17 Posts)
I'm hoping I don't get flamed for this but we are taking in a 3 month old sprocker spaniel tomorrow. We literally have nothing!
We've waited almost a year for the right fit for our family, two children 3-5 and two adults, without going into detail we can't let her stay where she is and have agreed to take her on (was originally bought for £550 by someone we know locally to breed fwiw) and although we've not met her yet we desperately want her to be part of our family. The plan is to bring her home, Monday take her to get a medical and pet insurance and microchipped, vaccinated, wormed, fleed, date for neutering etc.
I won't leave her where she is, she has been around other children and I'm told she's great with kids, what I'm wanting to know is anyone's experiences with this breed, anything I could have missed to ask vet and how to help her settle with us. The kids are gentle with animals, can be loud but on the whole good and loving, she can sleep in with us which I was thinking would be best for a while anyway.
Any advice on what to get would be appreciated, thinking food, toys, bed and we have blankets. She's not registered, I'm not precious about anything other than giving her the home she deserves and settling here. Tia! X
Well she's a mongrel so she won't be registered (by registered I'm assuming you mean KC?).
Is she crate trained? Toilet trained? If not toilet trained, don't get puppy pads, they're a waste of money. Get plenty of chewy toys. And a Kong, a kong is a must. I buy the tesco value sandwich spreads to put in my dogs Kongs (Salmon, Ham and Beef, Chicken etc). Primula cheese is also good.
The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey is a good book to read too. Both Springers and Cockers are crazy and high energy so you'll need something to keep her brain busy, clicker training is good, you can teach her all kinds of cool tricks. Kiko pup videos on youtube are really good.
Expect her to be pretty high energy and also requiring a fair amount of mental stimulation. I'd start work on an "off switch" straight away. Kikopup's 'Capturing Calmness' videos on YouTube are great for this, I also really like this ebook and the others in the same series. It's worth looking through Kikopup's other videos as well, there are some great ones specifically for puppies.
From the sound of it she may not be coming from the best situation so she may not have had much in the way of socialisation which is really important at this age. The Puppy Plan is great for explaining the different developmental stages of puppies and what they should ideally be experiencing when.
Make sure you get sorted out with decent insurance as soon as possible. It's good to have anyway but springers and cockers can both suffer with some of the same health issues, mainly hip dysplasia and various eye conditions. If the breeder didn't bother microchipping the pup (breaking the law in the process) and presumably won't take the pup back now it's not very likely they'll have done all the necessary health tests prior to breeding.
Food wise you'd normally keep a puppy on whatever they've been fed by the breeder then gradually change them over to something else if you want to. If she's been fed something consistently by her current owner then (unless it's something absolutely dire) I'd keep her on that then gradually swap her onto your food of choice. All About Dog Food is a great site for checking out potential foods.
Regardless of breed I'd have huge reservations about commiting to a dog I hadn't met and seen socialise with dogs/kids/adults. Can you not meet it first?
That aside, we have always had spaniels. My top tips would be:
Find a good trainer that uses positive reinforcement and sign up now- a good one will have a waiting list. Go to weekly classes at least for a year (don't nail sit, down, recall and stop going because they need more)
Crate. Don't put the pup in your bed, and I would be reticent about your room too as they are prone to seperation anxiety and this can make them clingier? May not be appropriate for your pup. A puppy pen may be helpful too.
Harness. You can train them to walk to heel, while they're learning a harness helps.
Please dont believe that all springers and Cockers being crazy. Some of them need a job/purpose, others are lazy couch potatoes once they've been walked.
Rather than puppy classes, see if you can find a gun dog group to join. Remember not to over walk the pup on the lead, 5 minutes per month of age is generally enough in one go, of course you can take her out multiple times in a day once she's vacc'ed. You can take her out and about as long as you carry her.
Consider getting her a crate for sleeping in, a safe place she can have as a den and for being kept safe if you go out. If she's not toilet trained, it may help to have her crated overnight, but you'll need to get up in the night to toilet her probably.
Excellent advice re the allaboutdogfood website, it's fab.
Sprocker could be fab at agility too, great mental stimulation, and also fab for training, getting them attuned to you. There are some great agility clubs around.
Thank you for all your replies I'll try to address what I can...
I now know that sprocker isn't an actual breed! She remains unregistered
She is crate and toilet trained thankfully, was bought from a gunner who I'd spoken to (why we were set on having her) our crate should be here soon but she's been happy enough on a dog bed so far downstairs. Thank you sex, I've got a Kong on order and will add those to my next delivery! I've not looked at the vids yet it's on my to do!
Lettuce she is high energy, has a crazy streak and loves rough and tumble and cuddles. She's also very clumsy and just adorable, she needs a firm hand (as in boundaries, she's gets a little carried away at times and nips, she's obviously teething) we have about a weeks worth of the food she's on since weening thanks to the breeder!
Pig, we trust the opinions we had at the time, they were spot on it seems!
Our intended trainer is exactly what you describe, we start in September but have a lot to be starting her on in 5 min intervals to keep it fun. She's already got a better recall than I'd imagined and dc taught her the game of catch. Very proud of all my babies!!
We've kept her downstairs, she seems fine with this and sleeps with the tshirts one of us has worn that day (my idea, seems to keep her calm there's only been a little crying today when I kept her away from the kids eating) I'll look at a harness thank you!
Shizzle, she seems to be a mix of both! Like a loon outside most of the day and asleep on the dc the rest of the time! She's in the vets end of the week so hopeful we won't be in too much longer.
Thank you so much for every bit of advice! To give an update we met her and the kids adored her, she was excitable and still is, but we brought her home and she's been fab. Come out of her shell today and can see she's high energy but equally loves lay lazing on me or dh at night, has been nipping today but a firm no and being ignored for a minute or so has been working. Have some training techniques in mind for next few days, she's highly food motivated and have I mentioned she's lovely!
She was actually a dream the first two days, she has us all figured out now though. Today has been a little challenging but in all fairness it's not all down to her. She has a lovely temperament and I'm keen to let her be a puppy but with firm boundaries, I really need to get watching those recommended YouTube videos! Thank you again, currently lay with the little one who completed our family and although a few hours earlier I was wondering on my sanity I couldn't be more sure that she's a perfect fit.
Excited about all the walks and trips we have planned! Just a little question, is the crate suitable for popping her in for an hour on the road to wherever we are going? Or should we add bars for the boot of the car? Want to keep the crate a positive and safe place, not a 'trapped' and scary experience!
Re insurance, I'm due to get her medical (she hasn't had one yet) and was going to get insurance after as assuming no jabs would be more expensive, anyone recommend a policy? Pet plan were my intended choice but £45 a month is steep for us!
And here's a little picture today
We're insured with direct line, they seem ok so far.
We have a sprocker, he's gorgeous but a little nutty and tends to be nervous, so I'd recommend puppy classes and lots of socialising.
Ours is a bugger for carrying things around and swallowing things. He hoovered up a fruit shoot lid when out on a walk when he was a puppy, and ended up needing a massive operation. If your puppy is anything like that, watch for things being left around, and teach her to swap things she's not allowed for things she is.
Try Tesco, they paid out £3000 some years ago for our ould dog. We still use them.
You might want to get her retrieving, it helps recall training, particularly if you have a wee harness on her with a longline. You can get lines up to 50ft, handy while training. Maybe try a mini dummy like this one. www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Flyer-Dog-Training-Dummy-1-2lb-with-Throwing-Toggle-Pink-/172262180918?hash=item281ba04836:g:1UMAAOSwd4tT3HgA
I would insure before medical in case the medical throws up some problems
Id also get the insurance pre vet , just say yes to vaccinating as you are going to do it imminently. We are with direct line and have never had any issues I don't have lifetime cover just the yearly limit policy , but I can lay my hands on several thousand pounds fairly swiftly anyway , if you can't you do need to get better coverage . My near neighbours have a sprocker , he's a bit fat and gets what I would consider minimal exercise but he's extremely laid back -he does however bark non stop when left home alone .
Hmm could be ringworm or flea dirt you may not see the fleas
Don't worry to much when first brought my boy home had to take anti histermines for 6 weeks and now am fine
Other dogs can still trigger reaction if in house with to longb
She finished her worming course two weeks ago, she had it fortnightly from 2-10 weeks and she's 12 weeks so surely it can't be?
She's at vets tomorrow so hopeful he'll give some advice. Everyone else in the house is fine and the kids been playing with her all day. I'm hoping its not an allergy as it's spreading but equally hoping its nothing nasty!
Start teaching off-lead recall NOW (in an enclosed space) at a young age they want to be with you so play on it and get it pinned down now, as it will make things easier in the long run.
Also highly recommend getting involved in Flyball or agility - it's good for fitness and mental stimulation
Ringworm is a fungal skin disease , you don't treat it / prevent it with worm treatments , besides the photo you posted looks nothing like ringworm .
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