WILL ask potential buyers numerous questions to ensure they can provide a good home for a puppy & understand the needs of a Cocker Spaniel. BEWARE of breeders who ask no questions at all – ask yourself why they don’t care enough about their pups to make sure they find the right homes.

WILL NOT have puppies constantly available – most reputable breeders only have a few litters a year. BEWARE of breeders who constantly advertise litters for sale (especially if they offer several other popular breeds) – these are often dealers or large-scale commercial enterprises.

WILL ALWAYS allow potential buyers to see the mother of a litter & often will have other relatives that buyers can meet. BEWARE of breeders who make an excuse for buyers not being able to meet “Mum” or who offer to deliver the pup direct to the buyer, thus preventing the buyer seeing where the litter has been reared (a tactic often used by puppy farmers) Never buy a puppy from a dealer or puppy supermarket – reputable breeders will insist on meeting potential buyers & will NEVER pass pups to third parties to be sold on!

WILL provide after-sales help & advice & will make it clear that they will take back for re-homing a dog of their breeding should this ever be needed.

WILL provide all the necessary paperwork including diet sheet, worming info, pedigree certificate & Kennel Club Registration Certificate. Many breeders also supply extensive information on grooming & training etc. Please remember that KC Registration is not a guarantee that a puppy has come from a reputable breeder – nevertheless all reputable breeders do register their litters with the KC & caution should be exercised if a litter is advertised as unregistered or registered with one of the alternative commercial registries/clubs. NB: KC Registration is the nearest to a guarantee that a puppy is a purebred puppy with an authentic pedigree – puppies registered with other clubs may not be purebred & the accuracy of pedigree information may be doubtful. DLRC Registration is NOT the same as KC Registration – these are 2 entirely separate organisations. If you want a KC reg puppy, don’t be persuaded that DLRC registration is just the same – it is NOT!!

WILL usually supply buyers with free insurance to cover the first few weeks of a puppy’s life in a new home

WILL be able to advise potential buyers on the various hereditary problems that very occasionally crop up in Cocker Spaniels (as with most other breeds) & will be happy to let you know what health screening tests they carry out on their dogs eg eye-testing and/or hip-scoring. BEWARE the breeder who is unwilling to discuss this subject or seems to have no knowledge of the possible problems or who makes excuses for not participating in health-screening schemes. It is NOT true that breeders who eye-test and/or hip score their dogs do so to enable them to charge more for their puppies – they do so because they care about the breed and the puppies they produce. Also note that ONLY breeders of KC registered dogs can use the hip-scoring & eye-testing schemes (these schemes are not open to unregistered dogs or dogs registered with alternative clubs like the DLRC)

WILL often be involved in activities with their Cockers such as showing, agility or field trials (working Cockers). They will usually be members of at least one Breed Club, such as The Cocker Spaniel Club. Of course, there are a few reputable hobby breeders who have no interest in showing/working but in general, most genuine breeders will do something with their dogs besides breeding from them!

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