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Decision made but how do I find a puppy the right way?(29 Posts)
We’ve decided now is the idea time to bring a puppy into our home. We have rescue cats and bunnies (all now rather old and chilled, not fussed about dogs) but dh and I want the puppy experience as it’s likely to be our only chance.
We’ve decided a cocker spaniel is the right breed for us (a mix breed wouldn’t put us off if we could meet both parents) but where to start? The KC registered website makes it difficult so I completely understand why people go through pets 4 homes.
Can anyone advise us on how we can approach this and introduce a dog to our family before the end of the year?
We’re happy with either. Working was what we have mostly researched but it wouldn’t take much for me to be persuaded towards a show type.
Contact the breed club, they may be able to point you in the right direction for events (whenever covid ends) where you'll find owners and often breeders at them.
Have a look at the kennel club accredited breeders list, set up an alert on champdogs and maybe contact a few breeders off there? But be prepared to wait for a well raised from properly tested parents puppy. There might also be facebook groups of owners that may point you in the right direction. The demand right now is insane, I've had puppy enquiries and I'm listed only as an owner, even with a note saying I don't breed hasn't put people off contacting me.
Don't set a time limit, you will have this dog for the rest of it's life you don't want to rush in and end up with an unhealthy, unsocialised dog.
There’s no huge rush but with no holiday this year the next 6 months would be ideal.
I'd contact breeders and stud dog owners off ChampDogs. That way you'll get early news of expected litters.
Cockers are lovely but the working line ones usually have a very strong urge to hunt. They really benefit from lots of training.
Breed society really helped me out (different breed though). I got a list of numbers from their website and spoke to lots of breeders. They were interviewing me as much as I was asking them questions. Decent breeders won’t let puppies go to anyone. If they did not have a litter then they knew someone else who did. Often these litters are not advertised - these breeders don’t need to. I also spoke to the breeders about other dogs I had seen advertised - they helped me ask the right questions and were very helpful. In the end I got a puppy through one of the breeders I had spoken to contacting one of her friends who had bred a litter to produce 2 puppies to show, but was selling the others. My puppy was “ran on” to see how he compared to his brother before the breeder decided which one to keep. In the end they were much of a muchness, but it meant we got him when he was slightly older. To be honest having an older puppy made things easier.
Good luck in your search for a puppy.
Thank you. I’ve emailed the breed society and also one just added to the kc puppies list in my area. I’ve not given much info as I’m hoping the breeder will interview us as if expect them to. Not sure how reliable kc registered actually is.
Don't set a time limit, you will have this dog for the rest of it's life you don't want to rush in and end up with an unhealthy, unsocialised dog
This is really important advice. Right now getting a puppy is very hard - because of the high demand. Most decent puppies born/in the making are gone or spoken for and good breeders may well be pausing on any future litters to try to avoid C-19.
Personally, I'd be starting my research now with a secret hope that we might find the right breeder with the right puppy ready to go about this time next year. Mainly because spring/summer is a much easier time of year to toilet train and socilise a pup than winter and this summer is too short a time, plus the puppy demand being high (as mentioned).
But, most important do not rush or try and get a puppy in a specific time frame. It's is better to get the right dog at the wrong time and make it work than the wrong one at the right time and live with the consequences for the next 15 years.
For my own part I:
- used the KC list to find a list of breeders
- sent an email to all stating my interest and enquiring if they might have any plans for litters in the next couple of years
- of those that replied, focussed all my research on them; checked them out online, checked their dogs out, checked their credentials (that's actually loads of digging online you can do if you are tech savy and skeptical )
- made a short list from my research and arranged to talk to those breeders
- waited to see who had litters confirmed and then met and talked with those a bit more
- chose a breeder I felt was decent, breeding great dogs who they were committed to for life and who was happy to sell me a puppy
There is a cocker-specific rescue you could register with.
The two breeders I know were clear that they didn’t do waiting list and only when puppies are here will they actively consider their homes. One is an ex work colleague and litter due in July.
We got our puppy through pets4homes. They are dodgy people there but also serious people. It's about asking the right questions and being prepared to walk away if not 100% comfortable.
The owner of our puppy really vetted us. It was obvious on the phone and emails that they wanted the puppies to go to a good home and that gave us some confidence. Mum and dad were family pets. We asked a lot of questions, did zoom to see mum, dad and puppies together.
We walked away from a previous one because it just didn't feel right. That was despite the very high demand, puppies going in less than an hour and thinking then that we might have passed the chance. You can't take chances with a puppy that will become part of the day for many years.
Lots of research, but I contacted my local vet. We had used them previously. Asked to talk, with mainly questions about the kind of thing I should be looking out for. They happened to have clients who bred the breed I was looking for and were expecting pups. He gave me their details (with their permission). But he had known them many years, and knew how well they took the health of their pups seriously. It certainly paid off for me
KC registered means they are the breed they say they are, the bitch has not been bred too young and will not be over bred, it is also likely that the breeder will be ‘known’ in doggy circles, be passionate about the breed and be breeding responsibly. But they might be breeding for the show-ring, not for temperament (and than term in itself can mean many things) or ability
I think starting investigations with a breeder who you already know (by whatever route, and of course providing you never heard anything against them in former workplace) sounds an excellent idea
Also, if you can, talk to any WCS owners you see when walking their dogs. Ask where they came from, how they found their dogs and if they would recommend.
If you haven't already, check out cockers online. Lots of information and support on the forum, might have details about your potential breeder too.
Thank you! Some really helpful advice and I feel I’m doing all the right things. Ex colleague was lovely from what I know - we didn’t work that closely but I never heard anything bad. Buying kittens seems so much less complicated
If you want the dog as a pet, it's worth paying some attention to ancestry. You need decide if you want working or show (you seem a bit on the fence still). The workers tend to have less coat and more energy. That energy is fine if you're happy to spend time channelling it. Even amongst the workers, some will have more energy and drive than others. A pedigree with a lot of FTCh (field trial champions) in it is likely to result in some very full-on dogs.
need *to decide.
My SPAG has been off all day...
Cocker spaniel puppies are currently at least 200% of usual prices.
Usual cost of a KC Registered Cocker Spaniel puppy, consistent for the last 5 years or so, has been £800-£1000. Very suddenly prices rocketed in April due to lockdown and are now in the region of £2000-£2500. I suspect that in the next 6 months or so prices will go back down.
This might be a consideration for you?
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Well if they’ve got puppies, they’re breeders! What about them makes you think they are ‘genuine’ and what exactly does that mean to you?
(That’s not meant to sound hostile BTW, but ‘genuine breeder’ could mean almost anything)
The type of breeder I would be happy to buy from is someone who is passionate about the animals and their care and not just focused on the money.
I have been following a couple of rescue places for more than a year but every one I’ve seen has issues and cannot be with children under 12 (sometimes no children at all), or be around a man (dh lives here), or others pets (I have 2 cats). So that isn’t an option.
To be honest though if they are breeders, they’re doing it for money. I think generally people who breed their pets can be better welfare wise.
I just got a pup - it’s the only time I could really be home so it wouldn’t work for me to wait.
If one of your colleagues is having pups, why not get one of those? There’s really no need to worry about all the doom mongers- the dog will likely be fine either way. I have a friend at work who bed her dog and sold puppies on gumtree (this would cause rage from many on mn). The mother and puppies were loved and cared for and went to good homes who stayed in touch. Really, don’t listen to the silliness.
Also I tried to get a rescue dog but we were refused because I have young children and a cat. It’s frustrating as I think many could make more effort to rehome with families.
Anyway, it’s difficult to know for sure re welfare of anyone but someone you know breeding a pet is probably your best bet.