Puppy Buyers Guide

You’ve decided you want a Cocker Spaniel puppy, so what comes next?

To begin with, make sure you understand what Cocker Spaniels are all about. Make sure you understand the heritage of the breed. The Cocker Spaniel is a member of the Gundog Group of dogs, although having said that, it only requires a moderate amount of exercise.

Buy your Cocker Spaniel only from a Kennel Club registered breeder. It is not to say that a non-registered Cocker Spaniel breeder cannot produce a perfectly healthy and happy Cocker Spaniel. It is not to say that a non-registered breeder cannot produce a dog that meets the Kennel Club breed standards when it comes to size and proportions, etc. But by buying from a registered breeder you are buying a known and well documented history. You will know the history of your Cocker Spaniel’s parents and grandparents. You will know that they were happy, healthy, well-adjusted dogs so you can be fairly certain that your dog will turn out the same. It’s called genetics but really, from you the prospective Cocker Spaniel puppy owner’s perspective, it’s all about buying a known quantity.

The more you learn, the more you will ‘understand’ the breed. Buying a Cocker Spaniel puppy is a considerable investment, not simply in terms of the purchase price, but in terms of the cost of maintaining your dog throughout its life. So invest just a little money in a good book such as Cocker Spaniel (Collins Dog Owners Guides) by Lesley Scott-Ordish, and learn as much as you can about Cocker Spaniels before ever you pick up your puppy. That small sum can yield huge dividends over the course of your dog’s life!

Understand what potential health issues are inherent in Cocker Spaniels. Every breed has potential health issues that are inherent to that particular breed. In the case of Cocker Spaniels for example, hip dysplasia is a known issue. So check what hip score your puppy has and what score its mother has.

Always insist on seeing your Cocker Spaniel puppy where it was born. View the surroundings it has known throughout its short life. Put yourself in your puppy’s place and ask yourself if you would be happy brought up in those surroundings. Then you can better decide if those surroundings are conducive to the development of a healthy and happy puppy. For example, is it clean, is it well maintained?

Always insist on seeing your Cocker Spaniel puppy’s siblings, and particularly its mother. Does the whole litter look healthy and happy? Do they look clean and well cared for? Does the mother display the characteristics you are looking for in your puppy? We don’t just mean physical characteristics, but in terms of her temperament. Don’t just go on looks. How does she behave? Is she sociable? Does she behave the way you want your pup to behave?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your breeder. Apart from the fact that they should be able to easily answer all the questions you ask, your interest will give the breeder added comfort in knowing that you care enough to ask the questions in the first place. Any good breeder will not just be interested in selling their pups; they will want to know that they are being sold to a responsible and caring owner.

Never, ever, agree to buy a puppy without first seeing it!

Always make sure that your breeder has a full set of documentation for your puppy. That it is to hand and ready to be taken away with you. Check the Kennel Club registration paperwork. Check the inoculation records are correct. Make sure those records apply to your particular puppy. Check that your puppy seems healthy before you take him home with you. Make sure you have a diet sheet so you know what food your puppy is currently taking and what food to continue giving him.

Check your Cocker Spaniel puppy’s current medical condition. Has it been wormed and when? When was it inoculated? Has it been treated for fleas? Has it been micro chipped?

All Kennel Club registered dogs have 6 weeks free insurance included with their registration. Re-insure your pup as soon as possible by visiting Compare Dog Insurance.

Before you go to pick up your puppy, go shopping for all the things you’ll need when you bring him home. He’ll need a bed, food and drinking bowls, a collar and lead, grooming equipment, and a blanket so he can make his own bed in his new home.

As soon as you get home, make an appointment with your local vet to make sure everything is in order with your puppy. It will be a chance for the two of them to get to know one another!