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My Experience Getting A Puppy

On 3rd July 2021, Adam and I welcomed the most beautiful little fur baby to join our small yet perfect family.

As you might’ve guessed from the photo above, we chose to take home our gorgeous Milo. He’s a black English Working Cocker Spaniel and currently he’s 4 1/2 months old. We brought him home at 12 weeks, his birthday is on 15th April, and his favourite snack is peanut butter. He’s also a fan of cheese, strawberries, and whipped cream!

We’d discussed getting a dog for a while, ever since we moved in really, but we wanted to get settled first and see how we felt. After all, it’s a huge commitment. 

Anyway, we waited six months until we felt ready to start looking. Originally, Adam had wanted a cockerpoo but I just wasn’t sold on the breed. While being very cute and all, I just feel like everyone has one nowadays and I don’t know if I could’ve dealt with the stubbornness of a poodle!

I’ve always had Spaniels in my family, mainly King Charles and Springers, and they’re beautiful nice-natured dogs. knew they were good around children, ideal for families, and the perfect loyal companion. Thankfully, I managed to sell Adam on the breed pretty quickly by repeatedly showing him puppies up for sale.

We got him from a registered, Kennel Club breeder not far from where we live. He was the last left of his litter but the most perfect! As soon as we met him it was love at first sight (cringe but true) and he just settled in our arms. Of course, we then knew we had to take him home!

Some things I feel are absolutely essential to ask and be aware of when choosing a puppy are –

  1. Avoid anyone looking for a quick sale. If the advert reads “READY TO GO NOW” then it’s a no. Likely there is something fishy going on and they want rid of the dog at the earliest convenience.
  2. ALWAYS see the puppy with its mother. If she’s nowhere to be seen it’s highly likely she’s being used as a breeding machine and is probably too exhausted to be shown.
  3. Ask about the father. Most of the time the father is a stud but it’s definitely good to know about him and his line, etc.
  4. Don’t agree to view puppies in car parks or anywhere that isn’t their ‘home’. I’m saying this from my own personal experience because I wanted to view a litter of puppies and the ‘breeder’ asked that I meet her in Asda car park. Not a good start!
  5. Watch how the puppy interacts and plays with its mother. This can be a good indicator of what the dog’s nature and temperament could be like in the future.
  6. Research the breeder or try and find out more about them somehow. Often you can visit somewhere and get a good or bad gut feeling but try to do some reading about the breeder and see if they have a reputation.
  7.  Ask the breeder about the mother/father’s health background. Do they have any hereditary health conditions common of the breed?
  8. Find out if the puppy is up-to-date with its flee, worm, and tick treatment. Also ask what vaccinations they’ve had. By the 8-week mark, which is when puppies are usually ready to leave the breeder, so they should’ve received their first vaccine.
  9. Learn what brand of food the puppy has been eating. This is important to know because a lot of breeders just pick up any old bag that says ‘puppy’ food’ and apparently that’s good enough. Speaking from experience, when we got Milo we had weeks and weeks of terrible poos. We think some of this was related to a poor choice of puppy food but we also concluded he had a bacterial infection because he LOVES to pick up anything and everything! But it’s just something to be wary of because some foods are too rich for puppy tums or your dog might have an intolerance to certain foods.
  10. Lastly, make sure the puppy is microchipped. Otherwise, this is something you’ll need to sort yourself.
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In the time we’ve had Milo so far I thought it might be helpful if I shared some advantages and disadvantages (not so much disadvantages but perhaps slight downsides) about the Cocker Spaniel breed… Just in case you are considering getting one!

Advantages

  1. He’s expected to be a lovely, medium sized dog which is ideal for us.
  2. He has a beautiful shiny black coat which makes him so striking.
  3. His little tail is always wagging. He’s one happy pup!
  4. He has SO much love to give. He really enjoys his cuddles and even being scooped up like a baby.
  5. Finally, he loves everyone and everything. Any person or dog he passes in the street he just wants to say hello! He’s never barked or growled at anyone walking past and no one can resist his pretty little face.

Disadvantages

  1. He sheds pretty badly. We maybe should’ve known with him being a black dog that he would get EVERYWHERE, and he does.
  2. He can take a while to settle his excitement and high energy levels. However this just comes part and parcel with the kind of breed he is. We knew this before we got him but it certainly is hard to keep up at times!
  3. I’m sure it’s just a thing with all puppies but he scavenges a LOT. Anything he can find, he’ll have it. Whether that be sticks, litter, stones, bark, slugs, flies… The list goes on!

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