Are you thinking of buying a Sprocker Spaniel puppy?
Puppies are really cute and seem fun! However, becoming a dog owner is a big responsibility. After all, you’ll be responsible for taking care of another life alongside your own.
Sprocker Spaniels are cute, fun, energetic, and extremely adaptable. They get along very well with children. However, there are a few things you need to consider before bringing your furry friend home.
In this blog post, we’ll go through just that.
Are you really ready for a Spaniel?
People think that getting a dog is all sunshine and rainbows. A small bundle of fluff that just wants to snooze on your lap? Sign me up.
Yet minutes after getting your puppy home, you’ll realize that it’s not really the case. There are things that crop-up that you wouldn’t have expected–like the time my Sprocker puppy, Hugo, had a nasty bout of gastroentiritis that cost a bomb to treat at the emergency vets.
So, before buying a Sprocker Spaniel puppy, make sure you’re really ready for the responsibility of owning a Spaniel by answering questions like:
Can you afford the additional costs?
Most people only consider the cost of the puppy when deciding to get one. Sure, you’ll need to pay an upfront cost to adopt or rescue your new Sprocker puppy.
But you’ll also need to pay recurring costs that being a dog owner entails, such as:
- Cost of vet appointments
- Vaccines, deworming, and medicines
- Grooming and maintenance
- Emergency treatments and surgeries
- Food (which can be expensive!)
Research has found that the average cost of owning a Spaniel can be as much as £1,300 per year. While you might not see the majority if it’s paid in monthly instalments (like food and insurance), it’s best to have a small pot of savings should the worst happen.
Can you take on the responsibility?
It goes without saying that puppies can’t be left on their own for long periods of time. And while you’re settling your new Sprocker puppy into their new home, you’ll need to be on-hand to make it easier for them.
(Remember: It is a traumatic experience for them when they leave their mum and littermates to live in a brand new home with new smells and people!)
You’ll need to work on your puppy’s resilience to being home alone. If not, they can be naughty and develop behavioral and emotional problems–like separation anxiety, which can be damaging in the long-run. Proper training is essential to ensure that your puppy is well behaved.
That’s not all though. There come other responsibilities that come with owning a dog, such as:
- Giving your dog regular baths
- Taking him out for doctor’s appointments
- Training or hiring a trainer
- Spending time with them
- Cleaning up after them
Make sure you’re ready for all the responsibilities that come with owning a Sprocker puppy–and don’t be fooled by their cuteness!
Can you commit to a Sprocker’s extreme exercise needs?
Sprockers have a history of being working dogs. They were bred to be on the field all-day, every-day. And even though they’re adapting to be superb family pets, Sprocker puppies will surprise you with how much energy they want (and need) to burn off.
As a general rule, Sprocker puppies need five minutes of exercise per month of age, twice a day. (For example: A 3-month old Sprocker puppy would need two 15-minute walks per day.)
But as they get older, you’ll notice they don’t slow down. Sprockers want to run as much as possible–hence why the guidelines for an adult Sprocker can be anything up to three hours per day.
Make sure you’ve got the time to walk your Sprocker–whether they’re a puppy or an adult dog–before bringing one home.
Is a Sprocker a good fit for your family?
As we mentioned earlier, Spaniels are wild–no matter which Spaniel breed you choose. It’s important to make sure they’re the best breed for your family.
Take small children, for example. A bouncy Sprocker might knock them over, or start to cause mischief once they enter puppyhood. The well-known (and surprisingly painful) Sprockerdile phase can be tough. Children need to know how to handle a dog–and know not to retaliate whilst your Sprocker puppy is learning their manners.
You should also think about the time you spend with your Sprocker, too. They’re known as “velcro dogs” that want to spend time with people. Make sure your family life isn’t too busy to stop this part of owning a Sprocker puppy from being unfair on them.
Where can I find Sprocker puppies for sale?
Have you decided that you’re ready to commit to a Sprocker puppy after considering their exercise needs, costs, and your lifestyle?
Here’s how you can find a Sprocker breeder:
Private breeders: You can head to sites like Pets4Homes to find private breeders selling Sprocker puppies. But be careful: Some dodgy breeders use this site. Use your gut instinct–if something doesn’t feel right, stay away.
Professional breeders: There are professional Sprocker breeders you can buy a puppy from, including Uggeshall Kennels or Tranmire. Both have super-long waiting lists for new puppies, but are known for their fantastic temperament.
Rescue Spaniels: You could head to traditional rescue centres like Dogs Trust and the RSPCA. Or, you could look at Spaniel-specific rescue charities like Spaniel Aid and Spaniel Assist. Each charity rehomes dogs. Browse the site and see if there’s one you could provide a home to.
What age is a Sprocker puppy ready to leave their mum?
It is best to wait until your puppy is eight weeks old before you bring him home. Why? Because puppies need to be around their mother and littermates to learn basic dog skills at such an early time in their lives.
Plus, during the first eight weeks, the puppies don’t produce antibodies of their own–they get all the nutrition and disease-fighting antibodies from their mom’s milk. Sprocker puppies taken away from their mum before this 8-week mark could have long-term health problems.
The bottom line: A good breeder won’t let you bring your pup home before the 8-week mark.
5 key questions to ask any Sprocker breeder
You’re on your way to visit a Sprocker puppy. It’s a super exciting time–but don’t let your excitement cause you to run away with yourself!
It’s crucial that you pick a healthy Sprocker puppy by asking questions like:
- Can we see the mum? Sprocker puppies shouldn’t leave their mum until they’re 8-weeks old. Steer clear of breeders who won’t let you see your potential puppy with their mother.
- Have their parents been health tested? Spaniels can have some hereditary health problems. Try to make sure your puppy’s parents have had DNA tests to rule out any future problems.
- Has the puppy been wormed/vaccinated? (Remember that puppies need two jabs of the exact same branded vaccine. You might want to ask your breeder to hold-off so you can do these yourself.)
- Are they weaned? Puppies should be off their mother’s milk and onto solid foods by the time they’re ready to leave.
- What food are they on? You can’t bring your puppy home and decide to feed them whatever you’ve got in the cupboard. Changing their food suddenly can cause stomach upset. So, ask your breeder what food they’re on. You can always wean them onto something else over time.
As a general rule, always go with your gut instinct when visiting a potential puppy. If you get a bad feeling about the puppy–like the fact they have no toys, or the breeder can’t answer questions clearly–then avoid at all costs. (And report them, depending on how concerned you are.)
How much do Sprocker puppies cost?
The cost of a Sprocker puppy depends on a variety of things–such as their age, your location, whether you’re buying from breeder or rescuing, and whether their ancestors have won any awards.
As a general guideline, the cost of buying a Sprocker puppy ranges between £450 and £700.
Some charities only take a rescue donation, which could be much cheaper.
10 things you need for your new Sprocker puppy
Here’s a basic new puppy checklist of things you’ll need before bringing your Sprocker puppy home:
- A crate (if you’re crate-training)
- A bed
- Blankets (preferably one with their mother’s scent on)
- A lead, collar, ID tag, and harness
- Food and water bowls
- Poop bags
- A brush or comb
- Car restraint (like a seatbelt)
- Lots of toys!
It’s also worthwhile setting ground rules for your new Sprocker Spaniel puppy to make sure their first few weeks run smoothly.
For example: Can your dog can sleep on the bed or in a crate in another room of the house? Who will take him for his walk? Who is responsible for feeding him? How much leeway is he allowed for biting whilst playing, or toileting in the house?
Start as you mean to go on
With any new puppy, it’s important to start as you mean to go on. The worst thing for a new dog entering a new environment is unclear boundaries. So, create ground rules from the get-go, and enforce them.
Now you’re ready to give your new companion some love. You’ll become the best of friends, and although it can be difficult at times, owning a Sprocker Spaniel is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
You’ll have an endless supply of love, cuddles, and giggles–we’re sure of it.