Buying puppies is a big responsibility and before you make your final commitment, I recommend you think about the following.
Pedigree puppies aren't cheap!
They need lots of care and attention and that often comes with many responsibilities and considerable expense.
So, before buying a puppy, are you certain that you can afford the additional ongoing expenditure to cover food bills, pet insurance, veterinarian's fees for inoculations, micro-chipping, worming, flea treatments, illnesses and accidents?
Can you afford the cost of boarding kennels when you go
away on holiday, or if you're ever unable to look after your puppy as a result
Then there's the trips to the grooming parlour, unless you're prepared to learn how to groom your Cocker Spaniel puppy yourself, the cost of a professional groomer can be expensive.
As well as considering the above expenditure, you need to be sure you have the time and energy to give your pup the daily exercise he needs, especially when he's an adult dog.
Cockers need to be exercised daily and he'll need to be house-trained, perhaps crate trained too and, in between trips to the groomers, your Spaniel will need to be brushed regularly to keep his coat in prime condition.
Trust me, this is just the tip of the ice-berg - owning a dog is a real commitment!
If I've not put you off, and you've decided that you can afford the cost and the time associated with puppy ownership - then read on.
However, before you go any further, I have one small piece of advice for you. Whatever you do, please don't even consider buying two puppies at the same time - no matter how tempted you are.
The following page and linked pages will give you all the information you need when buying puppies.
You never know your luck, you may be able to adopt a puppy, however, it's more likely that you'll find older Cockers in the rescue. If you've already looked into pet adoption and weren't able to find something to suit you and your family, then I strongly recommend that you take the time to look for a couple of responsible Cocker Spaniel breeders to chose from.
Buying from a breeder means you can be sure that your puppy has been given the best possible start to life.
You may have many questions at this stage, such as;
We all know that Cocker Spaniels make good family dogs and if you have children, your breeder will help you pick a puppy that's not too dominant, and slightly subservient - ideal for a household with children!
You can use our searchable Cocker Spaniel Breeders Directory to help find Cocker breeders in your area.
When you've found a selection of Cocker Spaniel breeders, will you know the right questions to ask?
If you're to persuade the breeder that you'll make a responsible owner, and that you can give one of their precious puppies a good home, you'll need to show that you've done your homework.
At the very least, they'll expect you to show that you know a little about Cocker Spaniels and taking care of a young pup.
Do your homework - make sure you have all the right questions to ask the breeder.
Once you've found a responsible breeder, and arranged a visit, your next step will be to choose your Cocker pup.
Buying puppies may a seem straight forward process, but do you know enough about choosing a puppy, a healthy Spaniel pup that's been well-socialised and doesn't have any behavioural problems?
Additionally, if this is your first puppy, I recommend you avoid an alpha male/female as you may find that you cannot handle it. This may become increasingly obvious as s/he grows older and it may well become a battle of wits!
Many unfortunate alpha male puppy owners have had to give back their dog because of this. If you're unsure, I strongly recommend that you speak to your breeder before picking a puppy from the litter.
Is your home safe for a inquisitive little pup?
Before bringing him home, you'll need to make sure that
your home is ready for a curious, perhaps mischievous, little Cocker
Spaniel puppy and be absolutely certain that your home is safe and free from hazards.
Do you know how to puppy proof your home to make it safe for your puppy?
When you're confident that your home is safe, and is ready to accept your new pup, do you know what puppy supplies and essentials your puppy will need to help him settle comfortably into his new home?
Where will he sleep -
will it be on a blanket on the floor, in a soft comfy bed, in a crate or will he have both?
Cocker Spaniels don't come cheap, so it's important to understand the process of buying puppies, be aware of the paperwork you'll need and to make sure that you actually get what you pay for.
There are certain documents you simply shouldn't allow to be forwarded to you at a later date - you need to make sure they're available to take with you when bringing your new puppy home with you.
Your breeder may have prepared a puppy pack for you which may contain most of what you need, such as feeding instructions, pedigree documentation, basic training and puppy care instructions.
You should still check, however, that you have all the relevant paperwork.
Remember, when buying puppies it's important that you know what paperwork you must have when buying a pedigree dog, and that it is given to you before you leave the breeder's premises.
At last, the time has finally arrived for you to bring your puppy home, and of course, you'll want to make your puppy's journey as comfortable and stress-free as possible!
At first, he'll probably miss his mother and his litter mates (it's only natural) so it's important to help him settle into his new home quickly and easily.
If you know how to do this - great, it not, you may have many questions that you need quick answers to!
You may also be asking yourself, 'How do I get through the first night?'
'What do I do if he cries during the night?'
'What will be his bedtime routine?'
'Where will he sleep?'
Don't worry, I have answers to all of these questions and more to help you ensure bringing home a new puppy is as stress free as possible.
Once you get your new puppy home, it's important to establish a good puppy care routine as soon as possible to continue with the excellent job your breeder's done so far.
Your breeder will have begun the socialization process, and I strongly recommend that you continue socializing him to ensure he grows up to be a happy and confident Cocker Spaniel, without any behavioural problems.
The effects of socialisation and obedience training are very closely linked. Puppy obedience training is an entire subject in itself and is covered here - how to train your pup.
Photo Credits - In order of viewing:
1. Uciekinier at http://www.dreamstime.com/cocker-spaniel-puppy-image5257081
2. Nancy at Flickr.com
3. DwA100 at Flickr.com
4. Xandert at Flickr.com
5. Olena Marina at http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-10648298-seven-puppies.php
6. Yoko at Flickr.com