OTHER COCKER SPANIEL BREEDERS IN NZ I only refer people onto those that I know DNA test. If your looking for a puppy please contact me directly and if I cant help you, I'll will only refer to a reputable breeders who DNA test, as I have heard to many "heart-breaking stories" about puppies that have come from elsewhere.
ADVICE ABOUT BREEDERSBy Jane Simmonds Cocker Spaniel Breeder and Judge Shenmore Cockers England.
If you are thinking about buying a puppy, you will naturally want one with a good temperament who will adapt happily to life as part of the family. One of the most important factors involved in achieving this is to buy from a specialist, reputable breeder. On the following pages, you will find advice on what to look for when contacting breeders and the warning signs that indicate a breeder is not reputable.
The popularity of some breeds (eg Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, West Highland White Terriers) has meant that some breeders produce large numbers of puppies purely for commercial gain which is not in the best interests of the breed - such breeders often pay little regard to the health or temperament of their puppies & they will sell a pup to whoever wants one, no questions asked. Many of these pups are taken away from their mothers at an early age & are transported long distances to be placed on sale in pet shops & puppy supermarkets - these pups often have health problems & sadly may have poor temperaments.
Some of these breeders, commonly called "puppy farmers" operate outside the law & keep their dogs in appalling conditions; their pups may or may not be registered with the Kennel Club. Other commercial breeders may be fully licensed & register their pups with the Kennel Club - they also may place enticing adverts in the local press, but this does not mean they are reputable!
Reputable Breeders do........... Have a serious interest in their breed - they often take part in activities with their dogs such as showing, field trials (in the case of working gundogs), agility, obedience training etc. All reputable breeders will generally be a member of a least one recognised Breed Club.
Try to ensure that any puppies they breed go only to the most suitable homes. They will ask as many questions of you as you should be asking of them. If a breeder does not ask you any questions at all, ask yourself why they apparently don't care what sort of homes their puppies go to?
Ø Understand that breeding & rearing a litter of puppies with care takes enormous effort & commitment & therefore only have a few litters a year which will be carefully planned with health & temperament as top priorities. They will make every effort to ensure that puppies are well-socialised before they leave for new homes (something that is impossible to do if the breeder has numerous litters at the same time)
Ø Willingly offer advice on the breed to potential buyers even if they do not have a litter & will honestly discuss the breed's requirements (e.g. grooming, excercise ) & any hereditary problems that are known to occur in the breed (e.g. Hip Dyplasia or eye diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
Ø Provide back-up help & advice on a long-term basis to their puppy buyers. They will also make clear that if the owner of one of their puppies is unable to keep the dog for any reason, then they will take back that dog & find it a new home.
Ø Provide puppy buyers with all the necessary paperwork at the time the puppy is collected. This will include a copy of the pedigree, a diet sheet, worming certificate & the Kennel Club Registration Certificate. Many will also provide comprehensive information on grooming, training etc. It is also common practice to provide free insurance for the puppy for a minimum period of 6 weeks (depending on the insurance company preferred by the breeder)
Ø Insist potential puppy buyers meet their dogs, including "Mum", all the puppies in the litter & possibly other relatives too. If all the breeders' dogs seem happy & pleased to "meet & greet" visitors, then this is a good indication that a puppy from this breeder will have a happy, outgoing temperament.
Reputable Breeders Do Not................ ØSell puppies under the age of 8 weeks
ØBreed puppies purely for financial gain
ØSell to agents/dealers/pet shops/puppy supermarkets or sell to buyers they have not met personally and screened for suitability. If you are unable to meet the Mother of the litter, then this can indicate the seller is not the breeder & could be a dealer.
ØHave more than one or two litters at the same time or advertise multiple litters from a variety of popular breeds (those who do are clearly commercial breeders or dealers)
ØOffer to deliver puppies to buyers (unless in exceptional circumstances) or offer to meet potential buyers in locations such as motorway service stations. Puppy farmers often use these tactics to prevent buyers from seeing the conditions in which puppies have been born
ØCharge buyers extra if they want a puppy with KC registration
ØSell puppies without KC Registration unless this is clearly explained to the buyer at the time of sale
ØClaim the breed has no hereditary problems - every breed generally has at least one or two
ØGo for the "hard sell" approach & try to persuade enquirers to buy one of their puppies as quickly as possible, "before they all go!"
ØAdvertise puppies in local free-ad papers/publications like Exchange & Mart or Loot or on similar websites (eg Findit). Puppy farmers/dealers frequently advertise in such papers & on such websites whereas reputable breeders rely more on word of mouth & recommendations from other breeders or Breed Clubs
Note on Kennel Club Registration (the same applies in NZ) Many people believe that Kennel Club Registration gives a guarantee that a puppy has come from a reputable breeder & will grow into a healthy, happy example of its breed. Sadly this is not the case. The Kennel Club will register any litter of puppies as long as both parents are KC registered. Many commercial breeders & known puppy farmers register their litters with the Kennel Club because they know it gives them a certain "respectability" in the eyes of the general public. Having said that, all reputable breeders also use the Kennel Club system so it pays to view with extreme caution litters that are advertised as unregistered or registered with an alternative registry company/club. NB: If you want to become involved in showing dogs, then your puppy must be Kennel Club registered. Also, if you want to breed from your dog & register puppies with the Kennel Club, then your dog must be KC registered.
Here are a few guidelines to help you in your search for a Reputable Breeder: - ØFirst, remember that price is not everything! Puppies are not like household commodities where you can shop around for the "best deal". Reputable breeders do not sell their puppies cheaply & whilst it might be tempting to respond to an advert offering puppies at less than the "going rate", the puppy may not be such a bargain in the long run. On the other hand, a high asking price is not necessarily a guarantee of quality either!
ØNext, be patient! Reputable breeders do not have a constant supply of puppies & it may be that potential buyers will have to wait weeks, perhaps months for a suitable litter to be born. Mistakes are often made by buyers who will not wait … they want a puppy NOW & so will often rush out & buy in haste (perhaps ignoring the warning signs that the breeder is not reputable). Remember, you will hopefully have your puppy for 10-15 years - what is a wait of a few months for the "right" puppy compared to this?
ØNever buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it, either because it appears shy & fearful or because you are unhappy with the conditions it is being reared in. This is a recipe for disaster - you could end up with a puppy with severe health & temperament problems (& you will be helping less reputable breeders stay in business)
ØNever buy a puppy from a retail outlet (pet store/puppy supermarket) where you are unable to meet the Mother of the litter or talk to the breeder directly. Remember reputable breeders NEVER sell puppies to puppy supermarkets/pet shops
Here are some suggestions on how to find a Reputable Breeder: ØBreed Clubs are a good place to start your search. The Secretaries of each Club should be able to recommend breeders who maybe have puppies available or who are expecting a litter.
ØMany dog-related web sites have listings for breeders. However, enquirers should not assume a breeder is reputable because their name appears on an internet listing - commercial breeders can also be found on these lists.