FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
YOUR BRIARQUEST PUPPY COMES WITH KC REGISTRATION, 4 WEEKS PETPLAN INSURANCE, 6 WEEKS KC INSURANCE, LEGAL DOCUMENTS FOR VETERINARY DOCKING, MICROCHIP AND A FULL VET HEALTH CHECK & FIRST FULL SPECTRUM VACCINATION NOT JUST THE PARVO ONE THAT PUPPY FARMERS IMPORT FROM IRELAND.
OUR PUPPIES ARE BEING WEANED ON EUKANUBA LAMB & RICE. EACH PUPPY WILL COME WITH A 1KG PACK OF THIS FOOD. WE SUGGEST THAT YOU BUY A LARGER BAG OF THIS FOOD OR ANOTHER SUPERIOR QUALITY (NOTE SUPERIOR) PRIOR TO COLLECTING YOUR PUPPY.
1) WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WORKING COCKER AND A SHOW COCKER?
If you can just consider for a moment that there have been working dogs far longer than show dogs then this will give you a perspective to work from.
The working strain of cocker is how a small hunting spaniel was always meant to look, just take a look at old drawings and tapestry's of hunting scenes and you will note the lurcher type dogs and the small sharp nosed hunting dogs.
The physical difference between the two types of cocker is now so significant that I personally no longer class them as the same breed. So when I mention what I consider the show cocker's shortfalls I am not doing it in a really derogatory sense I am just comparing them to the type of dog I feel would make a good working dog.
The working cocker is far more alert than it's show cousin, mentally they are very sharp and many a cocker has driven a Springer trainer to the brink of despair. Working Cockers are very cheakey and if there ain't nothing in it for them then really what is the point of doing it in the first place.
Working cockers have a more pointed face, a shallower dome to the forehead, no baggy eyelids and less fleshy ears. The devotees of the show breed will tell you that the ears should be extremely long to help stir up scent and as such they have taken this to an extreme. Lets face it, how many wolves have you seen with ears trailing on the floor? The best tool for enhancing scent is a wet nose as scent is more pungent in a humid atmosphere.
Working cockers should not carry too much extra weight in either bone, flesh or coat. Originally Spaniels were distinguished by weight and a cocker was any Spaniel under 25lbs. Today I have cockers weighing in at 28lbs but I do know of show strain ones weighing in at 40lbs now in the old days this would have been re classified as a Springer. I mentioned the coat, working cockers should not grow excessively long coats and trips to the grooming parlour are unheard of. I comb my dogs ears once a week and that is it.
You see many show cockers with sagging lower eyelids, if this trait were evident in the working strain you would soon see lots of blind working cockers, their eyes would be torn out on their first encounter with thick cover. My own vet has never seen or heard of any eye problems in the working strain cocker!!!
Neither has he heard of any of the bone problems or rage problems associated with the show cocker!!!!
A working cocker should be a happy go lucky little dog with no aggressive tendencies. They have cheeky habits like belly crawling or being disobedient at the worst possible time. They like to bury things and dig for moles, they are always happy to play games, retrieve if not always to hand (turn a few circles around you) and hunt through the long grass, periodically standing on their back lags to get a better view.
Finally the only time my dogs look like their show counterpart is when they are young puppies!!! The technical term for this is NEOTONISATION. Roughly translated this is the process where a species either by evolution or meddling is made to look more child like and innocent so it is more appealing and less threatening. Large eyes, a high domed forehead, short legs and muzzle are all features of a young puppy. Instinctively as humans we are drawn to this less sharp appearance, wanting to love an nurture this poor baby animal and by this time it's five years old and still looking the same as one of my pups :)
The upshot of this lack of meddling is a disease free animal with a superb temperament!!!!!
2) I HAVE HEARD THAT COCKERS HAVE RAGE SYNDROME WHAT IS IT AND HAVE YOUR DOGS GOT IT??
Cocker rage, red rage or it's correct term IDIOPATHIC SYNDROME is not something ever seen in working cockers. I have my own feelings on why the show cockers have it and it may not tally with the official explanation.
A cocker with rage will for no reason just go blank and then bite anyone near it. Almost like a sort of aggressive fit.
I believe years of in breeding and more inbreeding to isolate the golden gene have produced character flaws, this was once acceptable so long as the dog did not bite the judge but now we are more educated. Unfortunately the show breed is now rife with rage syndrome and it has spread to other colours.
If you must buy a show cocker go to a very reputable breeder who will put you in touch with other puppy owners to clarify they are of sound temperament. A good breeder will not begrudge this.
Another theory I heard on rage syndrome was that it was a result of a suppressed hunting instinct.
Often poor training is called rage syndrome. If you teach your dog that you are submissive and it is dominant then it is going to have a go at telling you off when you step out of line!
3) DO WORKING COCKERS NEED MORE EXERCISE?
The short answer is no! However they do need more mental exercise than other none working types. Searching games, tricks and general obedience all satisfy the desire to work.
4) WHICH IS BEST A DOG OR A BITCH?
This is personal choice. Dogs pee up trees and bitch's come in to season :) Personality wise dogs are more cheeky and try their luck a bit more. Bitch's are more clingy.
5) DO THEY PULL ON THE LEAD?
All dogs pull on the lead if you do not train them correctly.
6) WHEN SHOULD I HAVE A BITCH SPAYED OR A DOG NEUTERED?
I can see it now, you take your little pup in to the vets and one of the first things the vet asks is when are you getting it done :) Vets now look more at revenue and less at welfare.
I will never argue against having these procedures done for the correct reasons. Unwanted pregnancy and reduced risk of cancer are some. However particularly in males, neutering is seen as a cure all from poor appetite to eating the postman.
Lets get one thing straight, neutering will not extinguish something the dog has already learned how to do. Many reasons for neutering are just examples of bad training. Excessive peeing, barking, dog/dog aggression etc.
If you are going to get it done wait until a male is at least one year old and let a female have at least one season before she is spayed. The long and short of it, let them find out what they are first, how would you like it if you had been denied puberty and therefore trapped in a state prior to fully understanding your gender.
WARNING!!! LATEST RESEARCH SHOWS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THE ROUGH TIMING OF YOUR BITCH'S CYCLE. WHEN YOU KNOW HERE CYCLE, SAY IT IS 6 MONTHS, THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE HER SPAYED 3 MONTHS FROM THE END OF HER LAST SEASON.
The reason for this is her hormone levels. It has been found that bitch's spayed when hormone levels are high, either just before or just after a season are more prone to mood swings and phantom pregnancy.
SEE THIS LINK FOR MORE INFO http://www.doglistener.co.uk/neutering/spaying_neutering.shtml
I have often debated removing the above advice. We still get calls from people telling us that their pup was spayed or neutered at 6 months because their vet said so. I don't get paid for giving you the above advice. I have given it for a good reason. The cost of removing your pets reproductive organs young is great turnover for your vet and also a nice easy operation for junior vets to cut their teeth on.
7) CAN I HAVE AN UNDOCKED PUPPY?
Sorry, not from me! Primarily my dogs are bred to work. At birth I do not know which dogs are more suited to working and which are more suited as pets. If you want an undocked pup then buy a traditionally undocked breed.
8) WILL IT STILL HAVE A TAIL TO WAG?
You, your kids, your friends and family will never be able to tell my dogs are docked. When a working cocker is docked it is done purely to take the kink out of the end of what would be a corkscrew tail which is easily damaged not only when working but even whilst wagging it in the back of the car, in it's bed etc.
Your pup will have only had the last quarter of it's tail removed and as such has lots of tail to wag. Excessive docking is needless and generally is not condoned by breeders or working spaniels.
9) DOES DOCKING HURT?
Our vet is the senior vet in a practice. She will dock on two conditions one being that the dock is not too short and two that the pup is under 48 hours old. Under the new Animal Welfare bill, we have to satisfy certain conditions to have our dogs docked legally.
When dogs are born all the nerves are not yet grown, they go through a process called myalisation where the nerves gradually grow down their spine in the days after birth. When docking is done early the procedure is more uncomfortable than painful because of the excessive handling rather than because of the dock.
Lets face it how many of you would bat an eyelid at whipping a dogs testicles off or removing a bitch's reproductive organs. If we want to debate needless mutilation then lets look at that!!!
If you want to learn more about the case for docking these dogs then have a look at the Council for Docked Breeds website.
10) ARE THEY GOOD WITH KIDS?
The answer to this is yes!! However, I feel that your kids must learn to respect your dog as a dog and not as a human. When I was a kid and the family pet bit me I was immediately questioned as to what I had done to the dog. Nowadays it is automatically the dogs fault and they are quickly rehomed and euthenased.
Kids can be little devils with dogs, you cannot expect the dog to put up with ear pulling, eye poking and the removal of it's favourite bone.
You don't only need to train your dog, but you also need to train your family and visitors.
11) WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND CAGES?
Purely and simply this is a refuge for you and the dog. Cages should never ever be used as punishment areas, they are fun areas, sleeping areas and areas where the dog gets to chew it's bone in peace. If you have kids it is an off limits zone. Dog in cage then leave it alone!!
When you go visiting then you can take your dog and cage with you secure in the knowledge that it will not pee on your mother in laws shag pile or chew that table they carefully brought back from Venice.
These cages collapse down in to a flat suitcase type affair and can be used for all manner of applications.
Lets look at the ancient ancestors of dogs, for security they slept under tree stumps, in caves and crevices, an enclosed dog is a happy and secure dog! A dog that is given the wide open space of your kitchen, living room etc will often become frightened of not having a place of sanctuary, this can lead to nervous messing and chewing.
Also, a dog that has totally unlimited access to you can be difficult to motivate in training. If the time you spend with your dog is quality time and not time telling it off for jumping on the furniture, peeing on the carpet, pinching the Sunday roast you will have a much better relationship with your dog.
All my dogs start off life in a cage in my house and then later move out to a kennel, this way they get to experience all the sights, sounds and smells of a house in safety and comfort.
If you are buying a cage then the rule of thumb is that bigger is not better. You should be looking at something that an adult cocker can lay down on it's side and go to sleep in. I usually recommend one about 30 to 36 inches long.
12) HOW SOON CAN MY PUPPY GO OUTSIDE?
It is vital that you get your 7 week old pup out and about. Dogs cannot produce enough adrenaline to appreciate real fear until they are around 12 weeks old. So the more they see and experience between 7 and 12 weeks the more rounded and brave your puppy and future adult will be.
We say use your common sense, do not take your puppy to areas of high depravation where there are likely to be many unvaccinated dogs roaming. We like taking pups to supermarket car parks, outside schools and in the town centre. Encourage people to stroke and talk to your pup, give it treats. You would be amazed how many people will be drawn to you and your pup if you just stand near the entrance of your local Tesco's. We get the staff coming out to pat the puppy :)
Finally, if you do not believe me then give Guide dogs for the blind a call. They advocate puppies being taken out on the streets at 6 weeks of age after initial vaccination.
I have often debated removing the above advice. We still get calls from people telling us that their pup is having its last vaccination and can now go outside.
13) CAN MY PUPPY PLAY WITH OTHER DOGS?
Puppies learn through a process called generalisation. Basically if 10 dogs are nice to me then all dogs will be nice to me. If 5 different children are nice to me then all children will be nice to me etc, etc.
If you give your pup the bad experience of being attacked by an introduced dog it will grow up one of two ways. It will either be nervous or it will forever go to get the first bite even against a placid dog.
So pick your circle of doggie friends carefully. Also, be careful of over boisterous play with older dogs. Older dogs tend to want to stand on your pup, compression injuries to joints often arise from this.
However, please remember that dog play is far rougher than what you or I would say is ok. Adult dogs especially can take some real punishment in play and so long as it is not getting nasty, just but out and let them get on with it.
14) CAN I BUY TWO PUPS FROM THE SAME LITTER?
NO!!!! Not unless you have a proven track record in dog training. I usually find this question is asked by people who intend to be out at work all day and want to salve their conscience by providing a play mate for their pup.
Raising two young puppies together can cause severe psychological problems and lets look at it practically, two dogs of the same age are going to get the same things wrong with them at the same time.
15) DOES THE PUPPIES MUM GET SAD WHEN THEY LEAVE?
Never! She is glad to see the back of them. By the 7 week stage she will have very limited access to the pups. How would you feel having half a dozen pups with needle sharp teeth hanging off of your nipples?
16) DO YOU OR YOUR KIDS GET SAD WHEN YOU SEE THE PUPS GO?
Very rarely unless we have built a bond with one particular pup, for instance if it had been ill and required nursing.
From 4 weeks of age puppies are eating and crapping machines, you should smell 8 puppies first thing in the morning, then you would realise why we are not sad to see them go.
17) WHAT DO YOU FEED YOUR PUPS?
All our puppies primarily be weaned on to a very high quality puppy food at around 3 - 4 weeks of age. Sometimes we wean onto Eukanuba puppy, Purina ProPlan or Arden Grange
19) CAN DOGS GET SALMONELLA?
Lets face it, any animal that can spend half it's life licking it's own backside and the backside of other dogs plus have the in built propensity to eat horse, cow, sheep and rabbit manure is not going to be too worried about what might be living on a chicken wing.
20) WHICH COMPLETE FOODS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
We find that not all foods suit all dogs or all puppies. We have swapped and changed foods. A good rule of thumb is no bright colours and as expensive as you can afford.
We like, Arden Grange, Eukanuba, Purina Pro Plan.
21) MY FRIEND FED HER PUP ON WEETABIX AND MILK!
Isn't it amazing that since dog food companies started putting cheap cereals in dog foods as bulking agents then everyone thinks that dogs can digest cereal. You often see wolves sat down eating a pile of wheat or grass seeds (NOT).
Also the primary energy source in milk is called lactulose, puppies cease to be capable of utilising the energy from milk by the age of 8 or 9 weeks.
Puppies or adult dogs for that fact get little benefit from drinking milk. If you must then the closest thing to bitch's milk is goats milk and puppies abandoned by their mothers can be raised on this milk.
Puppies fed on large amounts of cereal and cows milk will have diahorea and gain little benefit from their food.
Forget all these fancy diets of rusks, cereals, elevenses, eggs and milk etc, etc. A puppy fed two to three times per day on a good complete puppy food and or raw food will have all the goodness it needs to grow in to a super fit and healthy animal.
22) MY DOG WON'T EAT, MY DOG IS FUSSY WITH IT'S FOOD. WHAT DO I DO?
Providing you have ruled out illness then do not worry. There is no such thing as a fussy dog, only a dog that is not hungry enough to eat.
Sometimes food refusal becomes a battle of wills and you should make sure you always win. A dog can force it's self to go days without eating, even a week, but provided it is drinking and you are happy it is not ill then do not worry too much.
Two or three times per day offer it a small portion of it's normal food and if it is not gone within 10 minutes then take it away and a few hours later offer it a fresh meal.
I sometimes get dogs refusing their complete food because they think if they do that they will get raw food. Well the answer to that is they get offered complete food for the next few days until they are eating. Then normal diet is resumed.
Dogs naturally gorge themselves on food, they should not really know where the next meal is coming from.
An old dog trainer once said to me and I think it is quite true, "A dog that has no desire for it's food has no lust for life".
23) PET INSURANCE AND DEALING WITH YOUR VET.
Vets are not the NHS, it is in their best interests as business people for your animal to be ill!!!!
All my puppies come with 6 weeks medical insurance and this will cover you for any mishaps like standing on your pup or it eating a roll of tin foil as one of my dogs once did.
However, if you tell your vet that your dog is insured I will bet you any money that any treatment given will be of the most expensive available and not necessarily be beneficial to the dog.
You should always give your vet the impression that as far as your pet is concerned money is tight.
Often your vet will prescribe ear cleaner, tooth paste, wormers, pain killers and antibiotics needlessly.
If you don't believe me then go to your doctor and try to get them to give you antibiotics for a minor infection, you will be told to go away and take 2 paracetamol every 4 hours.
Next go to your vet and say your dog is under the weather, you will then get charged £20 for a blood test, £15 for 10p worth of penicillin, £35.00 for the lab report, £10 for a steroid injection to boost the appetite and £30 for some Hills prescription diet for which your vet is getting a massive incentive for each batch he/she sells.
Vets are professionals and when things go wrong you need them, but don't believe all they say. Be suspicious, pick out the marketing hype from the diagnosis and if you are suspicious of what they say get a second opinion from a totally unrelated vet, but do not tell this second vet about the previous diagnosis.
My vet knows he cannot bullsh*t me and we have a mutual respect for each other. I am always available to call and I will look for you and see what my vet books say but I must reiterate, when things go wrong you must go to your vet!!!!
If it is not an emergency ring around the vets in your area and compare prices. The best vets to call are the small ones in poor areas. Our vet quoted us £350.00 to remove a cats eye. I rang around the vets and called a vet in a poor area who quoted £157.00 for the same procedure.
24) How often should I worm my dog and what should I use?
All dogs will pick up worms, generally round worms and sometimes tape worms at different stages in their lives.
Puppies often have worms and it is the responsibility of a good breeder to ensure your dog has been wormed using a premium grade wormer.
I worm all my pups at least 3 times before they leave me. I use the fastest acting and most powerful puppy wormer on the market (Drontal puppy suspension). It is not cheap, but it works.
My adult dogs are wormed at least 4 times per year generally using Drontal tablets.
I do not recommend these wormers you can buy off the shelf in supermarkets etc, they are over priced and under efficient.
When your pup leaves me I would advise that you worm it another 3 times prior to it being 6 months old, by this time they have developed a small amount of resistance to the worm cysts.
If you own a cat I would suggest that you worm your puppy and your adult dogs with Drontal at least once during all the times that you worm your dog in a year. This is because cat fleas carry a tape worm larvae that can infect your dog, this is only killed by using Drontal.
25) Where do I get these wormers from?
I use a company called Vet-medic. They have a website and all orders for wormer are postage free and much cheaper than your vet.
If you have more than one dog then consider buying in bulk. Drontal is much cheaper if you buy them in 10's.
You are not supposed to do it, but if you get together with your friends and share a bulk order you can save over £100 on wormer.
26) What books do you recommend?
For general puppy rearing and training I like any books by Ian Dunbar or Gwen Bailey. Having met Gwen I can say that she really is a very good trainer, she is the senior behaviourist with the Blue Cross.
A book every dog owner should have is called Doglopaedia by J. Evans. This book is a mine of information. Buy it!!!
For gundog training I like a book called "Gundogs Their Learning Chain" By Joe Irving. This is a good starting point for all would be gundog trainers.
There are lots of good dog training books available at CROSSKEY'S ANIMAL BOOKSHOP.
27) HOW DO YOU TEACH A DOG TO PEE ETC ON COMMAND?
First settle on a command word or phrase. My friend uses "Do your duty". I say "Hurry up". Which ever way try to pick something which is more often used to command your dog to mess.
Next arm yourself with some nice treats. If you are training a puppy and it has a mistake in the house don't say anything just scoop the pup up and take it outside.
Once outside watch your dog carefully as soon as it squats to do whichever function then happily repeat your command phrase or word over and over in a happy praising voice.
When your dog has finished then reward it with lots of praise and a treat, keep saying your command phrase and good dog etc whilst giving it praise and treats.
Your dog will quickly learn what it is supposed to do when you take it outside and use your command phrase. You know when it has sunk in as you dog goes from having one wee to several in anticipation of the reward.
28) WE ARE LOOKING FOR A PUPPY DUE ON THE 27TH OF JULY. IT MUST BE GOLDEN WITH CUTE BROWN EYES, AN UNDOCKED TAIL AND A MEDIUM LENGTH NON SHEDDING COAT. ALSO IT WOULD IDEALLY COME FULLY HOUSE TRAINED AND WITH NO DESIRE TO CHEW OR BITE.
CAN YOU HELP????
Yes of course I can, I will just go to the cupboard and open a foil sealed packet of puppies with those characteristics. I will endeavour to open the packet 7 weeks prior to the 27th of July.
Please remember when enquiring about or buying a dog that they do not come made to order. We are working with nature not Marks & Spencers.
29) MY PUPPY KEEPS BITING ME AND THE KIDS, HOW DO WE STOP IT?
Puppies are no different to human babies, babies put everything in their mouths to test it as it is one of their more highly developed sensors and the same is the case with puppies.
The difference with a puppy is that it has needle sharp teeth. When a puppy bites or mouths you they are working out in their minds how much pressure is too much. Sometimes they learn from other pups in the whelping box how much hurts. Sometimes the mother will tell them how much hurts.
However, in the absence of those you must be a substitute.
The first method of dealing with it is to scream or yell loudly, startling the puppy then walking away or putting your puppy down on the floor and ignoring it totally. If your puppy appears suitably shocked by this quick and loud reaction try to give it an appropriate bite or chew toy and praise it for biting the correct article and not you.
However, if that fails then you must resort to a little gentle punishment.
As you puppy is biting give a short sharp tug on one of it's ears and say "NO". This will really startle your pup and they should immediately wander off to do something safer :) At this point try to fill the gap with an appropriate toy or game. But if the biting persists then you have to raise your game and tug a little harder.
As a field trialing man once said to me "First rule of cocker training. Their ears don't come off when you pull em"!
30) WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER WHEN TRAINING A DOG?
My answer to this is that contrary to popular myth your dog does not possess a sufficiently large enough brain to work out that it is capable of doing anything just to spite you!!!!
Dogs do not chew your carpet to spite you, they do it because their teeth are hurting, they are bored, they are stressed or they have nothing more suitable to do.
Also the second golden rule is that dogs do not do things for you because they love you!
Look at all areas of your dogs behaviour and try and pick out in what way it will benefit the dog.
A dog wants to sit on your knee for a number of reasons, they like being close to the pack for one, the other is that it is softer and warmer than the floor.
Dogs sit or lay down or come back to you when told to for one of two reasons dependant on how you have trained them.
Firstly there might be something in it for them, a treat or just a pat and an approving voice.
Secondly, they might be frightened that if they do not comply you will knock the living daylights out of them and life is much easier if you can avoid a dammed good kicking. (I do not recommend this type of training).
Although it might appear so, dogs do not really love you!!!! They have varying levels of respect and admiration for you. If you are a happy, benevolent and interesting pack leader they will show more interest and admiration in you.
If you ignore them, constantly knag them and give unclear signals as to your rules, regulations and what is required you will leave them feeling unsure and unhappy in your presence and as such they will not want to spend a great deal of time pleasing you.
31) HOW DO I TEACH MY DOG TO, ETC, ETC.
Never try to teach our dog anything unless you have first worked out what rocks your dogs world. By that I mean work out what motivates your dog, is it food or is it a special toy or a desire to be allowed to do something else.
There are plenty of dog training books out there to tell you how to do this. I like a book called "Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson". Another which on the face of it may not seem applicable but is highly informative is a book called "Schutzhund obedience in drive by Godfreid Dildei and Sheila Booth".
This second book is quite specialised but tells you how to manipulate the drives and desires in your dog using either positive or negative methods (pleasure or pain).
When you have worked out what rocks your dogs world then you have a means of creating "ATTENTION". There is no point embarking on the teaching of anything unless you first have attention!!!!!!!!
32) WHERE DO I GET THOSE SPECIALIST DOG TRANSIT BOXES CUSTOM MADE FOR THE BACK OF MY CAR?
The first thing to remember is that if you swap and change your car at the drop of a hat there is no point in getting one custom made. The cages cost around £300.00 and as such are not something you want to change every year.
I like totally enclosed boxes so that if a wet dog shakes it does not respray the interior of your car. The best I have seen on the market at the moment and will certainly be my next buy are made by a company called C.A.B.
CAB ANIMAL TRANSIT BOXES
22 SCARBOROUGH ROAD
NORTON, MALTON, NORTH YORKS
TEL 01653 697096
FAX 01653 690856
I get no kickback from recommending any company so give them a call and ask for a catalogue then tell them to have a look at my website and see if they will sponsor me for a box :))))))
You will not be disappointed with this product.
33) HOW MUCH EXERCISE SHOULD WE GIVE OUR PUPPY?
Puppies bones are quite soft and easily damaged. Do everything in moderation, don't get an 8 week old pup and start walking 3 or 4 miles with it on concrete and paved surfaces. A couple of hundred yards is more than enough especially if you are playing with a toy at the same time. Exercise on grass is much better.
If you overstress the puppies bones at an early age you can cause diseases similar to arthritis and osteo-porosis in the joint capsules of the bones.
I like to swim puppies. I take them down to a clean stretch of canal and put them on a long line and tight lead. I then pop them in the water and get them to swim after me down the tow path. Five minutes of this is enough for a very young pup. An adult can do 20 minutes or so.
A great rule of thumb for dog walking is 5 minutes per month of life.
34) WE WANT TO PUT OUR NAME ON YOUR LIST FOR A GOLDEN PUPPY.
Please don't go on a list expecting to get a specific colour. I like unusually coloured cockers as much as the next person, but I do not breed for colour!!!!!
In working dogs it is quite feasible to put two golden's together and get all blacks.
Dogs are not designer accessories!! You should be more worried about it's temperament and health than the colour of it's coat.
35) Why do you sometimes have two litters at the same time, are you a puppy farm?
For starters we are not, never have been or ever will be a puppy farm!!!!!
I think I have said previously that we are dealing with nature here. In all breeds of animal, when they are kept in close proximity to each other they often become fertile at the same time.
We have to bare in mind that 6 months later might be the dead of winter, Christmas (We don't like selling litter near Christmas) or we might be going on holiday so we have to make the conscious decision to work hard and have two litters within a couple of weeks of each other.
We have the facilities and time to do this, all our pups turn out fit and well both physically and psychologically.
36) WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A PUPPY FARM?
A dog breeder is not a puppy farm by virtue of the amount of breeding bitch's or litters they have!
Puppy farms tend to have various different breeds for sale. Often they are small and easy to manage breeds that bring a premium in the pet market. Sometimes these pups are not even born on the premises. Often whole litters are bought in from unscrupulous and unsanitary breeders to sell on at these dog type supermarkets.
You can tend to tell a puppy farm by the care they provide for their dogs and pups. Things tend to be done on the cheap, profit and loss are always at the forefront of every decision. The dogs tend to be housed on the cheap, fed on the cheap and cared for on the cheap.
Often puppies will come from these places riddled with worms and fleas. They will have had very little human attention or affection, their contact being limited to cleaning and feeding times.
Never buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it by virtue of it's care or surroundings. Make your excuses, get back in your car, drive down the road and have a chat about what you liked and what you did not.
If at all unsure then drive away!!!!!!!!!
Never buy a puppy on what we call the "R" factor. Otherwise translated to "Ahhhh, isn't it cute".
If on your search for a puppy you visit a premises you believe to be a puppy farm then please report them to this action group http://www.mediacave.co.uk/wag/index.htm
37) DOES MY PUPPY COME WITH ANY INSURANCE????
Ian & Joanne at Briarquest undertake that if a puppy becomes seriously ill through a genetic defect (fault of breeding) we will do everything we can to facilitate the replacement of that puppy either fully or at least give a substantial discount on a pup from a future unrelated litter. (WE DO REQUIRE PROOF FROM YOUR VET).
As to medical insurance. All our puppies come with 4 weeks medical insurance which has been arranged through PetPlan
We will activate this for you on the day you take your puppy and they will contact you directly. We have heard lots of horror stories about pet insurance but none of them ever involve PetPlan.
38) HOW OFTEN DO YOU TREAT YOUR DOGS FOR FLEAS?
I treat all my dogs and cat en mass every 2-3 months. I have a lot more dogs than you and it can be very expensive. There are a few ways you can get around this.
Firstly, if your dog is registered at a vet clinic and has been seen in the past 6 months you can request a private prescription for products such as Frontline and then order them from one of the animal pharmacies that are listed above on a previous message. Recently my vet quoted me £47.00 for 500ml of Frontline where Vet-medic will do the same for £36.00 inc the postage.
39) WE ARE LOOKING FOR A PUPPY AS A PRESENT FOR OUR KIDS. CAN WE HAVE ONE OF YOURS?
NO!!!! We do not mind selling dogs in to a family where the dog will be everyone's responsibility, but dogs are not presents and they are not to be bought for the amusement of kids.
We are not hypocrites, we have kids of our own, but kids like dogs on their terms. If you start telling them they must walk, feed, groom and clean up after the dog, they soon switch off.
You would not believe some of the calls we get. We get people ringing us up and then thrusting their six year old kids on the phone and then prompt them through questions.
We get people ringing us asking to speak to the manager and asking our opening and closing times. We get people arranging to come then not turning up. We don't open 9 till 5, we let people come and see our pups anytime so long as we are free.
But you must remember that when you ring us up or when you arrange to call and then we never see you again, you are wasting our time.
Also, asking us to ring you back to answer 20 questions on your mobile phone only to disappear, never to be heard from again. Please do not be offended, but we will not do it!
One thing is for sure, if you are lucky enough to get one of our pups we will treat you with the utmost respect and give you all the help we can throughout the life of your dog.
As such please remember to treat us with a little respect and not like shop keepers. Because at the end of the day, we are not desperate to sell our dogs, we can pick and choose who we sell them to.
40) DO YOU HAVE A WAITING LIST FOR YOUR PUPPIES?
No, not as such. We used to keep a waiting list and stuck to the order rigidly, the only this is that people on the waiting list did not.
It is not an exaggeration when I say we could have a waiting list of 30 or 40 people and were in fact turning people away on the lead up to a litter being born. Upon the birth of the litter we would spend a day ringing and emailing people on our list informing them of the birth of a litter.
We would then find our list of thirty people dwindled down to one or two when we had in fact been turning people away as the litter was very over subscribed.
We have no problem putting your details on a list but if you get a dog elsewhere then please be courteous and let us know.
FINALLY UNLESS WE HAVE A LITTER BORN AND YOU ARE DUE TO COME AND VISIT WE WILL NEVER EVER TELL YOU WHERE YOU STAND ON A LIST. I AM WRITING THIS AFTER BEING CONTACTED BY A LADY WHO WAS SHOUTING DOWN THE PHONE AT MY WIFE, TELLING HER WE SAID SHE WAS NUMBER ONE ON OUR LIST FOR A LITTER THAT WAS NOT EVEN BORN.
41) HOW DO I STOP MY DOG BEING AFRAID OF LOUD NOISES?
This answer is not really geared at the gundog people, but with bonfire night coming up I though some of you might appreciate the advice.
Dogs look to you as pack leader and as such, if you behave in a certain way in a given situation and the dog reads your signals in a certain way then that will be the way it reacts.
So for example, you are sat in the living room and someone lets a big banging firework off outside, what should you do?
Well if you want your dog not to be afraid of fireworks the best thing to do is do nothing and I mean NOTHING!!!!
Don't even register that anything has happened, don't even look at your dog for a reaction, behave totally disinterested. When the noise has subsided for a few seconds if your dog remained calm then quietly call it over and give it a treat for a sit or a come command or play a game.
By doing this you do not send your dog either inadvertently or otherwise any fear signals. Then you distract the dog by doing something positive.
Do not say "What was that" or "what is it" do not make anything more of the noise than it is. Your dog must think that if the boss is serenely calm then I must be equally as calm.
42) WHAT DO I DO IF MY CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE AND I CAN NO LONGER LOOK AFTER MY PUPPY OR YOUNG DOG?
Well the last thing you do is panic! Some breeders get people to sign a contract that is not really worth the paper it is written on stating that the dog must be returned to them in the first instance.
All I will say is that unless someone you trust is willing to take your dog on then give us a call. We always have people looking for young dogs that are out of the puppy stage, fit and well. Also it may be possible that through our contacts we could find your dog a home with the police, customs or prison service.
Never be afraid to ring us, we are always happy to help you, whatever questions or problems you may have.
43) WHEN WE RANG YOU MENTIONED YOU HAD A DOG ON A FOSTER SCHEME. WHAT EXACTLY IS THAT?
Other than a couple of working homes we have stopped this now. We found that bitch's being kept as pets were not coming back in the best condition. Mainly they were fat!!!!! We personally believe that people who keep dogs in an unhealthy and overweight condition should be prosecuted.
44) WHY DO YOU SOMETIMES HAVE OLDER DOGS FOR SALE?
We are lucky in that we are trusted as breeders to source and supply dogs for several police forces throughout the UK. These dogs are trained for drug or explo detection work.
Most forces ask us to buy puppies on their behalf from other established breeders within the gundog world. The police will come and look at these puppies and take the ones they want. Sometimes if we buy three pups in then the police might take all three but sometimes one or two.
When this happens then we obviously need to find a good home for this puppy whether it be working or pet and this is why you will sometimes find that we will have the occasional puppy for sale that we have not bred ourselves.
As to your adults, the police will take a puppy from us, vaccinate it, socialise it, ensure it is well fed and kept fit an healthy for later assessment as a detection dog. If it is found that the dog is just not brave enough and lacks the kind of drive and determination required to be a police detection dog then it will be returned to us and we will supply the police with another dog. So it is often the case that when we have a young dog for sale then it has had extensive socialisation and training by the police.
Often the senior instructor at the force or the handler will be happy to contact the prospective new owner and give them as much information as possible about the dog.
45) DO YOU BREED ANY OTHER KINDS OF DOG?
Yes we do, although they are not for sale as pets. We are one of only a handful of breeders in the UK who import, train and breed working strain Belgian Shepherds.
We sell them exclusively to the police, prison service, armed forces and security industry. If you visit us you will not be introduced to these dogs for your own safety as they are trained to bite. You can see our Shepherds at WWW.BELGIANMALINOIS.CO.UK
46) CAN WE COME AND VISIT?
Yes, no problem. We like to be as open and honest as we can. So long as we can set up a time that is mutually ok then you can come and see the dogs.
However we ask you to do two things, whether you are just paying a visit to look at the adults or coming to look at our puppies.
Firstly be punctual!!!!
The reason for this, especially when you are coming to see pups is that we may well have arranged with you to come at 12.00pm and another puppy owner to come at 1.00pm. If you are half an hour late and the others are half an hour early it is easy to see you will encroach on each others time and you will not get the best from your visit. We may in future even ask people to sit in their cars outside so that we can answer each parties questions individually.
Secondly, don't come here all dressed up if you want to see the dogs close up. We live on a muddy farm and most of the dogs are kennelled giving them that musty dog kennel smell. They will jump up at you, in fact some of our dogs are trained to jump into my arms and are so friendly they will try the same trick on you.
It is easy to see you will therefore get covered in mud, dog hair and god knows what else. You may laugh but we have had people bring eighty year old granny for a Sunday afternoon out. Although most would laugh, we feel a little embarrassed as granny is wandering away with laddered tights and wondering how she is going to get the paw prints off her cream flower print dress.
Thirdly, although all our cockers are friendly our Belgian Shepherds are not!!!!! Keep your kids under control. If you know this before you come then it stops me having to shout at your kids for poking their fingers into a kennel with a Shepherd that may well take them off!
Fourthly, I know I just mentioned it at the thirdly stage but once again, please keep your kids under control. If you cannot control your kids then you have no chance with a dog. We have refused to sell pups to people who cannot control their kids! I mean the kids that are trying to rive pups out of the arms of siblings. Or the ones that you allow to leap from one chair to the other in my lounge. Or that throw stones at my chickens, or slam the kennel doors.
47) DO YOU ACCEPT COACH PARTIES?
No!!!!! You may well think what a crazy question. Well you should try being on the receiving end of 3 or 4 cars turning up in your drive and 20 people climbing out to come and see your pups.
There are certain drawbacks to this. One is that it winds us up. Secondly we find that people who turn up with scores of relatives never get to ask the correct questions as they are too busy chatting to their friends and family.
We appreciate that some families have more than 2.4 children or that an aged relative lives with them. But please do not bring the next door neighbours kids, uncle Billy, sister Kelly and your mates from down the pub. We live in a house not an aircraft hanger.
48) CAN WE TAKE PICTURES OF THE PUPS
This question has been inspired by recent events.
The short answer is yes. HOWEVER!
A family turned up (Well actually three families turned up). They spent an hour cuddling the pups and looking at our adult dogs. They must have taken over a hundred pictures of their kids holding the pups and adult dogs in every pose imaginable. They left, only to call us later and tell us that they thought our dogs were too hairy and they wanted to buy a Jack Russell.
So, yes, you may take pictures of the pups provided you have arranged to buy one and not when you are just visiting.
I am still in psychotherapy trying to work out if I had a bad childhood. After all, my parents just used to take me to feed the ducks.
You can use flash photography, it does not upset the pups or the mother.
49) YES, THERE IS A CHARGE FOR THERAPY.
If we find out which therapist is doing this I will be paying them a visit :) We do not like giving up our weekend to provide free therapy for adults or children who are terrified of dogs. We have a stock of brown paper bags for the kids and parents who start hyperventilating at the sight of a dog.
We have known children overcome this fear of dogs given time. But the worst place you can bring them when they have a dog phobia is to a house that has 15 dogs.
We would love to indulge you but it is simply not fair. One person even suggested half a dozen 1 hour visits before they could bring themselves to commit to a puppy and they had seen if the self styled therapy had worked.
One of our best friends had a dog phobic child. When they bought a pup from us they child spent most of her time hiding in her bedroom. Slowly but surely in her own home she came to love the puppy. So much so that they now have another three dogs with whom she gets along marvellously.
AS YOU CAN TELL. LARGE PORTIONS OF THIS PAGE ARE WRITTEN TONGUE IN CHEEK. THESE PORTIONS ARE MEANT TO PRICK THE CONSCIENCE OF THOSE PERSONS WHO SOMETIMES ACT WITHOUT THINKING.