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Should I have my dog DNA tested

(49 Posts)
Asskicker Sun 21-Aug-16 08:33:42


Just wondering if you can help.

I have 20 week show type English cocker spaniel. Lovely dog, no problems at all. She is fab.

We got her from a breeder, who we visited 3 times, she grilled us as much as we did her. Puppy is kc registered. We know the breed, fairly well, as we have had several. But we aren't experts at all. Just dog owners.

We picked one that was not show quality. She was lovely. Her ears were sat a little higher than the others and she had a great temperament.

Anyway, every time we walk her we hear 'oh what a lovely springer' , as she has grown she does look like a springer. We had her at the groomers for her feet doing and got 'oh I love springers'. At the vets, the vet apologised and said they registered her as a cocker when she is clearly a springer.

I told the vet she was a cocker. She looked doubtful. The vet wouldn't give a definitive answer as we had seen the mother and spoke to the fathers owners. But said they had heard of people adding dogs into litters. Perhaps from another breeder who only had one puppy in the litter. But it was very unusual with kc registered pups.

She said we need to wait until she was full grown. The vet did a complete health check and confirmed she is a healthy puppy.

Yesterday we were approached by a man who bred springers for 25 years. He just wanted to stroke her. We spoke with him for a while and he said he thought she was definitely a springer. He also told us that some breeders will add puppies from other breeders litters to make them easy to sell.

Now it doesn't matter what she is to us. We know both breeds need lots of walking and both springers and cockers need lots of exercise, so she will fit into our lives either way.

But I am really concerned I don't have what I thought I bought an that the breeder is clearly not as great as we thought.

Should I get a DNA test? Dh is wary of going back the breeder and thinks we should complain to trading standards instead, but need to confirm we are right first. We have heard they an be DNA tested.

I am so confused, I did loads of research and thought getting a kc registered dog would help ensure we weren't being ripped off or getting the dog from someone unscrupulous.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

pigsDOfly Sun 21-Aug-16 11:34:35

Typed a message and it disappeared so will try again.

I can fully understand you annoyance as, although I'm sure you love you dog regardless, you probably, understandably, feel as if you've been cheated somehow and want to get to the bottom of it.

In your shoes I would definitely be getting back to the breeder, you've no doubt paid them a lot of money for something you don't actually seem to have.

Never done a DNA test on my dog but having read about them in the past - albeit a while ago, and they may have improved - I get the impression they're not actually that reliable. You might be spending more money on something that gives you no more of an answer than you already have.

MsAtomicBomb Sun 21-Aug-16 13:07:44

You can get dog DNA tests from Amazon OP for about £60, if you did decide to go down that route.

Are you sure she isn't from working lines, not show lines? I'm not an expert by any means but working cockers look extremely similar to springers to me.

WannaBeDifferent Sun 21-Aug-16 13:11:54

I saw a programme on the TV a while ago , all about dogs . They DNA tested a few pure breeds and were astonished to find all sorts of other breeds show up in them.

NeedACleverNN Sun 21-Aug-16 13:13:40

DNA tests are completely unreliable

Pure breeds get all sorts come up in them. So no I wouldn't pay to have that done

I would go back to the breeder and enquire though

NeedACleverNN Sun 21-Aug-16 13:16:18

I would say you have a worker cocker.. Here are two pictures

One worker, one show

PaperdollCartoon Sun 21-Aug-16 13:17:15

Yes I think you should, as you said it won't make you love them any less but would be good to know. My aunt gets her dogs tested but she always gets the most mixed up mongrals so it's to find out what on earth they are!

Topknob Sun 21-Aug-16 13:19:50

Can you post a photo?

We had springers when I was a child...the whole family did.

GinIsIn Sun 21-Aug-16 13:23:23

I was just about to ask if she was a working cocker?

WyldFyre Sun 21-Aug-16 13:49:34

Can you post a picture OP?
It could be that the line has workers added for resilience a few generations back and it's suddenly popped to the fore? Could it even be a cross (a sprocker) as nearly all of those I have seen look like small springers.

Springers and cockers were originally taken from the same litter anyway - springers were the big ones and cockers the little ones and just named for the jobs they did. Therefore (certainly in the case of workers, I've can't say about shows as never had them) there is not a million miles of difference between the two.

That said I can see why you'd be pissed off. If your dog does prove to be a springer, in addition to trading standards I'd alert the KC, as it would appear the dogs been fraudulently registered (did you get papers for yours?)

Asskicker Sun 21-Aug-16 14:17:40

Are you sure she isn't from working lines, not show lines?

No not sure at all. Not sure about anything to be honest. smileI agree working cockers and springers are similar. But she was definitely meant to be show type.

I have added a photo of her from about 2 weeks ago.

We were stopped again by two different people who told us what a li key springer she was.

Dh doesn't want to go back to the breeder as he doesn't want to tip her off. But I think that's what we should do.

I am suspecting she is perhaps a sprocker

Yes we have her papers.

Thank you all for you input so far, hope I haven't missed anything.

GinIsIn Sun 21-Aug-16 14:25:03

Ok, she doesn't look like a cocker at all, you are quite right. Maybe working cocker X springer?

peppatax Sun 21-Aug-16 14:27:40

She definitely looks more springer. What did the others in 'the litter' look like?

NeedACleverNN Sun 21-Aug-16 14:28:53

Gorgeous puppy but yes very springer like

Hoppinggreen Sun 21-Aug-16 14:34:44

That photo looks very like my friends Springer puppy which is a similar age

Topknob Sun 21-Aug-16 14:36:20

She is lovely.

Springer like ears, more than a cocker as such.

I will try and find a pic of one of ours when I was young.

WyldFyre Sun 21-Aug-16 14:37:53

That is a springer (or potentially a sprocker)! The head and ears are also shouting out "working" to me.
Mind you the markings would say springer to me as well, but personally I've only ever had solid (and one tri) cockers.

Did they think you wouldn't notice? I'd definitely take a test and take it further.

WyldFyre Sun 21-Aug-16 14:42:29

For comparison here's one of my most recent springers as a pup - she was a working type. (apologies for the quality, it's a scan of a 25 year old pic)

There's some similarities with head shape and ear length in your pup

TrionicLettuce Sun 21-Aug-16 14:42:34

Liver and white working cockers can look very similar to working springers. As someone said upthread they were originally the same breed, just separated by size.

Do you have any idea how recently working type cockers appear in her pedigree?

Topknob Sun 21-Aug-16 14:51:31

Lucy B&W worker and Tessa Liver and white worker.

Asskicker Sun 21-Aug-16 15:01:52

All those dogs are so gorgeous.

As far as I know working cocker isn't in her line. I am sure somewhere it has to be.

The other pups looked like cockers, but so did she at the time. I have attached a photo of the day we got her.

Did they think you wouldn't notice? I'd definitely take a test and take it further.

I have no idea what they were thinking. We made it clear we were experienced with cockers, so I can't believe they thought we wouldn't notice. Maybe they hoped she would keep more of her cocker looks. I really don't know.

I really want take this further as the breeder is obviously not reputable.

She is wonderful and I would never part with her, but what's happened to us isn't fair on the puppies or potential owners.

davos Sun 21-Aug-16 15:03:24

Sorry when I say I am sure working has to be in her line somewhere, I mean because I imagine most show cockers have had working in their line at some point. Even if it was generations a go. I may be wrong about that.

Hoppinggreen Sun 21-Aug-16 15:06:02

On that photo her ears look more cocker.
According to our vet it's not unusual for people to buy one type of dog and get another. Our Goldie has a very fluffy bum and we do wonder if there's some curly coated retriever in there somewhere

Topknob Sun 21-Aug-16 15:15:48

One of tessa's pups. They must be about 6 weeks here.
She was bred with a full springer.

apologies for the pup taking a poo pic

TrionicLettuce Sun 21-Aug-16 15:32:51

In the younger photo she does look much more cocker than springer.

The only type of DNA that would help in this scenario would be comparing her profile to that of the dogs who are registered as her parents. The tests sold on Amazon and the like are just a bit of fun and notoriously inaccurate.

I would approach the breeder with your concerns first. Legally I don't think you've much recourse if you're happy to keep the puppy. If you pursued the breeder and it turned out the pup wasn't a cocker as advertised then all they would really have to do would be offer to take the pup back and give you a full refund.

If the breeder isn't helpful then you could get in touch with the KC and let them know you don't believe the pups have been registered honestly. I don't know anyone who has made such a complaint though and I don't know how useful the KC are in that respect.

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