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How to buy a Puppy

How to Buy A Puppy;


Buying a new pup is both a rational and an emotional decision.  You tend to start out planning with your head and end up buying with your heart, which is all well and good, as long as the rational part has been done first.


Meeting a breeder for the first time is a little like going on a first date; I only let puppies to go to the best possible homes.  I would rather keep them all, than see them go to unsuitable homes.

 "Best" in this case means a home where the dog will be loved, cared for and integrated in to the home, either as a working dog or as a pet.


So, if you want one of my pups you need to impress me.  Conversely, I also need to impress you.  In the first contact and first face-to-face meeting, chances are we assessing each other to see if we meet each other's expectations.

Hopefully we do, and things can progress.


So how do you impress me?


Do your research.  Show me that you either have first-hand experience of the breed or failing that you have done your homework.

If you want a Springer to work for you then please tell me.  If you want one of my dogs as a companion, then tell me why you want an active working breed as a pet.

"I live on 50 acres and the dog will have free reign to run" is not my idea of exercising.

There's no right or wrong answers all I want to do is to ensure that you have some knowledge of what you're taking on


Convince me that this is the breed you really want.   "I'm not sure if I really want a GSP,a Labrador or a Springer" is never a good start.

I am more than happy to talk to you about the breed and discuss if it is suitable for your requirements.

Working Springers are a 50 year passion; I never get tired of talking about them, so use my experience to your advantage in making your decision.  I don't sell puppies;

I sell Working English Springer Spaniels.

Make a time if you can and come up to the kennels and see the adult dogs that I have.  All puppies at 8 weeks are cute, however you need to look past that and imagine what the dog will look like fully-grown.

If after seeing the adult dogs you decide that you'd prefer a Lab, then I'm happy to be able help you make that decision and point you in the direction of some good breeders.


Buy what you want.   If you want a particular type of Springer then look around and talk to as many breeders as possible about their dogs.  Like me they breed the type of Spaniel that they like.  Some dogs are higher and leaner, some are shorter in the leg and stockier, working springers come in all shapes and sizes so decide on what you like the look of and don't be tempted to buy a pup because its there.  Put your name down with your chosen breeder and wait your turn.


First impressions are important .  Traditionally first contact with a breeder was always by phone and in many ways this is still the best way.

Invariably we do get a great many inquiries from our website. Text messages however are not acceptable as a method of first making contact.


If you are going to email me about the availability of puppies, try to tell me a little about yourself and why you want a working springer; context and detail always helps.


Succinct emails such as "I'm after a bitch, have you got any pups for sale?"  Guarantees you get put straight in the bin!


Don't be surprised if I don't give you my address when we first speak .  It is a horrible reality, but there are people out there who only contact breeders in order to ascertain as much about them as possible, before robbing them!  Nearly every day you hear new stories of gundogs and puppies being stolen.  So it is no wonder that breeders are a bit cagey about giving out details of their addresses to complete strangers.


Sometimes I will ask you for more details .  .... such as your contact details and a bit more about your personal circumstances.  Don't be alarmed, this is a good thing.  It's not that I am nosey; it means that I am sufficiently interested in you to offer you a viewing.  All our clients are vetted before they come to see the pups.  We do this because we want our puppies to go to absolutely the best homes possible.  Quite simply, if you don't give me enough details, you won't be seeing the pups.


Be punctual .  We do our utmost to ensure you have loads of time with us and the dogs/pups.  In return, we ask you are punctual for an appointment; not early, not late, just on time.


If circumstances change keep us informed as soon as possible.   Life can throw some interesting curve balls at times.  So if you're circumstances change and you have found a pup elsewhere please let us know.  We don't mind, but we do mind if you've ordered a pup from us and then renege without the courtesy of a phone call.



We don't sell puppies as presents.   If you want to buy a puppy as a surprise for someone, you have come to the wrong breeder.  If you want one of our pups, everyone who will be involved with the dog needs to be completely on board with the decision to bring a pup into the home.   We recommend that if you have children that you come for the first viewing without the kids.

All children love puppies and the emotion involved is often tainted when Mary or Jonny fall in love with a pup.  If you like what you see then we can discuss a suitable pup without the "I love this one" from junior members.


I will not sell you two puppies from the same litter .  Litter mates bond with each other, not with you.  Unless you are a very experienced trainer, two same-age pups will be a complete nightmare.

A good breeder should be open, honest and contactable.  Whilst we are talking about selling pups, really our business is about relationships.

You need to have a good relationship with the breeder.  You need to be able to talk openly, trust them implicitly and be able to have a dialogue that doesn't stop the moment you have handed over your cash.


A good breeder will offer you advice about the breed irrespective of if they have any puppies to sell.  They will be willing to spend time with you, answer your questions and address any concerns that you may have.


A good breeder is likely to be registered with the ANKC, In our case Dogs Victoria, where accredited breeders meet a minimum welfare standard and are responsible for good animal husbandry.

Have a good look at the kennels if they are not clean or the dogs look messy then WALK AWAY !


A good breeder will encourage you to look at other litters.  All breeders do things slightly differently and have a different ethos.  Only by talking to and visiting a range, will you really find one that you like.


A good breeder will be able to talk to you about the genetic health of the breed.  They will be able to tell you about any genetic diseases that are prevalent in the breed, any health tests that should be undertaken and be happy to show you any health certification for their breeding stock.


You should be able to see the kennels and meet the breeder's other dogs.


A puppy cannot be too fat or too outgoing.  Never buy thin, unhappy looking puppies.


Kennels and whelping facilities should be clean and hygienic.  If a breeder cannot be bothered to tart up his kennels for a viewing, God knows what conditions the dogs are kept in when no one is looking.   Walk away.


A good breeder will give you support after they have sold you the puppy.


If there is any niggling doubt in your mind, even if you cannot put your finger on it..... Walk away.


Hopefully it goes without saying, but don't ever consider buying a puppy from a pet shop, if you do so you are supporting puppy farming.


I would like to help you find the right puppy, but I have absolutely no qualms about saying no.  The more you can do to convince me that you are suitable, the easier it is to say yes!




Stephen Sapsead is a member and registered breeder with Dogs Victoria, my membership number is 3100006475 please feel free to call Dogs Victoria to check my membership status



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