3 week old Springer puppy


When looking for that perfect puppy, one should look to a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder shares a dedication to their chosen breed. For most, this is not a livelihood: "raising quality dogs is no shortcut to riches but a passion, it is a labour of love, an expensive hobby."

They say that a responsible breeder will make it difficult for you to purchase one of their dogs -do not be alarmed. Responsible breeders care where their hard work, a labour of love, will be living.

The following is a list of suggestions that we hope will help you to purchase a happy, healthy puppy from a responsible breeder that will meet your needs. Remember, obtaining information about the particular breed of dog you are interested in and the individual puppy you are considering will help you to make the best choice. DO NOT BE AFRAID to ask questions of both the breeder and others who own the same breed of dog!

  1. Research the breed that you are interested in by visiting the library or a bookstore.
  2. If possible, contact the representative of the breed club and ask questions regarding that breed.
  3. Contact the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) at 1-416-675-5511 and get a list of breeders or the breed clubs in your area for that breed. You can also visit the CKC online.
  4. VISIT THE BREEDERS. Be prepared to visit the "kennel" you are interested in. Be sure to make an appointment first! Ask to see the mother (dam) of the puppies and ask questions about the father (sire). Ask for proof of registration of the dogs. Inspect the conditions in which the mother and the puppies live. Is it clean? Do the dogs appear healthy and well adjusted?
  5. Ask about health checks on both parents. Request proof of these health checks as per the following guidelines: HIPS - OFA'd, OVC'd or x-rayed and passed? These are tests for a hereditary disorder called Hip Dysplasia (a malformation of the pelvic ball and socket joint) that may cause lameness or crippling. Breeding dogs clear of hip dysplasia is the best known way to combat this degenerative disease; EYES - CERF'd, ACVO'd or checked by a qualified veterinarian and been clear of any degenerative eye diseases, such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy - a genetic disorder where the retina of the eye atrophies and eventually causes blindness) or RD (Retinal Dysplasia - another potentially blinding eye disorder); or any other health checks such as Thyroid, VWD, etc.
  6. Ask questions of the breeder - they should be very knowledgeable about the breed. A good breeder will probably ask you questions about your lifestyle, size of your family, where the puppy will live, whether you have a fenced yard, your training beliefs, etc. Reputable breeders should be willing to provide you with references.
  7. Find out what the breeder requires of you as the purchaser and make sure that you are comfortable with these requirements.
  8. Find out what grooming is involved in owning the dog you have chosen.
  9. Grooming involved in owning a Springer is as follows: ears should be cleaned regularly, teeth brushed, nails cut at least once a month, hair between pads of feet should be trimmed regularly, coat should be brushed regularly to remove dead hair and to keep mats from forming, and head should be clippered according to breed specifications.
  10. Find out how much exercise the breed of dog you are looking for requires and be prepared to supply this exercise on a regular basis.
  11. Springers are a very high energy dog. They love to have something to do (a function) whether it is following you around the house, announcing visitors, doing obedience, hunting, tracking, etc. Springers should be walked on a regular basis. A puppy should be walked on a buckle or snap collar, not a choke. Puppies' bones are not yet formed and can be injured easily. A fenced yard or an adequate exercise area is a necessity. Most breeders recommend formal obedience. Puppy classes are a good start towards this end and act as a good place for socialization.
  12. When you purchase your pure-bred puppy from a Canadian breeder it must be tattooed or microchipped, registered with the CKC, dewormed and have received at least one set of shots. It is the law in Canada under the Animal Pedigree Act that a CKC Registration Paper must be provided with the dog at no extra charge to the buyer. Often in the case of puppies, these certificates will take a couple of months to process, but they must be paid for by the breeder. Also, dogs that are registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club) can only be registered with the CKC by the original importer.
  13. You should immediately make an appointment with your vet when you get your puppy to ensure it is healthy. Your dog will need regular vet visits throughout its life. Ask your vet which shots are required for your dog
  14. Have your home ready and waiting for your new puppy. A list of necessities are:
    food & water bowls (stainless steel preferred) - fresh water should be available for your dog at all times
    toothbrush & dog toothpaste
    dog shampoo (safe for use on puppies)
    collar & leash (no choke chains). Suggested length 4-6 feet made of leather or cloth
    high quality puppy food - do not switch foods abruptly. If you change, do it gradually.
    nail clippers
    ear cleaner
    appropriate chew toys
    other safe puppy toys
  15. Expose your puppy to lots of other dogs, people, situations, noises and other animals. Proper socialization of your puppy is critical for the development of a well adjusted dog.

Keep in mind that the purchase price of a puppy includes the many costs the breeder will incur through proper testing of the parents, stud fees, pre-natal care of the mother, care of the puppies from birth, vet expenses (shots, tattooing, deworming, etc.), and registration of the puppies. A responsible breeder is not in the business of making a profit. Beware those who do!

Remember to always enjoy and take care of your puppy!

We hope that these guidelines help.

The English Springer Spaniel Is it the Dog for You? ] CKC English Springer Spaniel Breed Standard ] Recommended Readings ] [ Responsible Puppy (Springer) Buying ] Rescue Sites ]

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Copyright   1997-2009 Lynn, Anne & Barb Dorsay, Bondir English Springer Spaniels.
All Rights Reserved.
Last revised: January 03, 2009.