Looking to bring home a new Sprocker puppy?
I don’t blame you for picking this breed. Sprockers are bouncy, loveable, and sometimes annoying balls of fluff. But since I got my puppy, Hugo, in August of 2019, I can’t imagine my life without him.
The only problem? Sprocker puppies are hard to get hold of.
In this guide, I’ll share how to find a Sprocker Spaniel breeder in the UK–and what to look for, once you find one.
5 Great Sprocker Breeders in the UK
1. Tranmire Sprockers
First on my list is Tranmire: a farm up in North Yorkshire that breeds Spaniels–including Sprockers.
At the time of writing this, Tranmire are charging £850 for a Sprocker puppy, including a £150 reservation fee. This is a superb price and beats lots of independent breeders who’re charging over the odds, given the rise in demand.
The best part is that Tranmire are reliable, sensible breeders.
I know tons of dogs who’ve come from Tranmire–all of which are praised for having superb temperaments. Their bitches are PRA & FN hereditary clear, and all puppies have the basics before they leave, including:
- First vaccinations
- Flea and worm treatment
- Vet checks
- Docking certificate (where needed)
- 4 weeks free insurance
- Guidance on training, exercise, etc
2. Uggeshall Kennels
Uggeshall are also professional Spaniel breeders based in Suffolk. They breed all types of Spaniel, including Sprockers.
At the time of writing, they’re charging £1,000 for a Sprocker Spaniel puppy. That’s still a reasonable price compared to individual, unlicensed breeder prices.
Again, I know of several Sprockers who’ve come from Uggeshall without a problem. The breeder, Anne-Marie Millard, is on-hand to answer any questions you have. She’s so popular that you might have to join a waiting list to get a Sprocker pup from Uggeshall.
All Sprocker puppies bred by Uggeshall Kennels have:
- Vet checks at birth and before they leave
- Flea and worm treatment
- First vaccinations
Pets4Homes (and sites similar in fashion) get a bad rep. But this is where I bought Hugo from.
You’ll need to spend some more time engaging with the breeders on Pets4Homes. Anyone can upload a photo of their litters and start accepting deposits for each one. Make sure your breeder is reputable (scroll down to hear more about that.)
Wherever possible, check to see if the breeder is licensed. It proves they actually know what they’re doing when it comes to dog breeding. And, if anything goes wrong, you can use their license number to contact the council about the puppy.
You’ll see this in the description box of the listing:
Trust your gut feeling. If a breeder has a short description about their litter and doesn’t mention important things like vaccinations, don’t have your heart set on them.
Prices for Sprocker puppies from individual breeders have skyrocketed since lockdown began.
I paid £750 for an 8-week-old Hugo back in August 2019. Now, you’re looking anywhere between £1,500 and £2,500 for a Sprocker puppy on Pets4Homes.
4. Spaniel Aid + Spaniel Assist
You don’t always have to buy a Sprocker puppy from an official breeder. There are thousands of Spaniels (including Sprockers) that need a loving home.
Charities like Spaniel Aid and Spaniel Assist rehome dogs that are given up for a variety of reasons: the owner was too busy to look after them, they lack basic training, etc. They’re work-in-progress dogs, but not without hope. Both have tons of success stories about owners who’ve rescued a Sprocker and turned their life around.
Please consider giving one of these dogs a life if you’re not dead-set on buying a puppy.
Younger dogs can pop up from time to time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on these two if a slightly older (but still young!) Sprocker is suitable.
6 Important Things to Look for When You Visit a Sprocker Breeder
Ready to go and see your potential Sprocker puppy in the flesh?
Before having your heart set on the dog, make sure everything is OK with the breeder, first.
This is important: lots of poorly dogs are being sold by breeders who don’t care about them. I saw one poor puppy die within two days of coming to his new home, at just 8 weeks old. It’s heart-breaking for everyone involved. You might think you’re saving them, but buying Sprocker puppies from dodgy breeders only fuels their intentions/incentive to breed.
Look out for these six important things when you visit a Sprocker breeder:
1. Always see the mum with the puppy
When you’re visiting a Sprocker Spaniel breeder, it’s key to see the dog’s mum with the puppy you’re thinking of buying.
Some bad breeders will try and fob you off with an excuse as to why the mum isn’t there. Don’t believe lies like “she’s out on a walk” or “she’s at my friend’s house so I can concentrate on you whilst you’re here.”
Observing how the mum engages with the puppies can tell you a lot about them. You’ll learn about the mum’s temperament–one that could be passed on through the Sprocker puppy you’re about to buy. Is she calm, confident, and relaxed? Answering “yes” to all those is a good sign.
Plus, asking to see the mum with your potential puppy catches out breeders who use and dump adult dogs once they’ve had a litter.
(Also check that the mum you’re being shown is, in fact, the puppy’s real mum. Large teets and lots of interaction with the puppies should give it away.)
2. Look for the basics in their home environment
Wherever possible, try to see the puppies in their home environment. Don’t meet a breeder you’ve found online in a local car park. You want to see where the puppies are living to check they’re well looked-after.
Look for the absolute basics a puppy would need in their environment, such as:
- Lots of toys (they’re essential to learning and developing!)
- Access to clean water
- Good-quality food
Other obvious signs can help you spot good Sprocker breeders too–such as no poop/wee on the floor, and a generally clean environment.
3. Check the Sprocker pup’s age
A Sprocker puppy shouldn’t leave their mum before they reach the 8-week mark.
Any time before this, they’re still leaning on their mum. They might need milk off her if they haven’t yet been weaned. Plus, they’ll pick-up on dog skills they need to be a confident adult dog that only a parent can teach. Playing with their siblings during this early stage is crucial to their development, too.
The hard part? It’s almost impossible to judge how old a Sprocker puppy really is, especially in those first few weeks.
A smart workaround is to ask the breeder to see photos of the litter when they were born, and each week after that. Look at the timestamp on the photos. If the birth was more than eight weeks ago, you’re all clear.
4. Ask about socialisation
Socialisation is a huge part of bringing up a puppy.
An unsocialised dog can be nervous, and even aggressive. Those feelings are based on fear of unknown (or negative) experiences.
The socialisation period for Sprocker puppies is between 8 and 12 weeks. But even before that, they’re impressionable. It’s when they’re most ripe for learning, and ready to see, hear, and be in new environments outside the home they’ve always lived in with their siblings.
Getting that socialisation experience in before it’s too late stops them reacting to unfamiliar situations.
Reputable Sprocker breeders will mention the socialisation their puppies have had. Examples include:
- Interactions with other, friendly dogs (such as a second pet)
- Being handled by children
- Visits to the vets
Be wary of any Sprocker breeders who don’t talk about socialisation. If they’ve been in one room for their entire life with only their siblings for company, it’ll be terrifying for them to leave. Make it easier by choosing a breeder that actively socialises their puppies before going to their forever homes.
5. Never pay a deposit without seeing the puppy
The internet is a scary place, especially when you’re finding dog breeders on it.
Anyone can create a listing for an upcoming litter, take deposits… and never be heard from again. I’ve seen several people falling victim to paying deposits for a puppy they’ve never met.
Always see the puppy in their home environment before thinking about handing a deposit over.
Again, be wary of videos or photos that are sent from the Sprocker breeder. You want to make sure the dog actually exists. The only way to confirm that is by seeing them in the flesh.
6. Be wary of “registration papers”
Sprockers aren’t purebred dogs. Unlike full Cockers or Springer Spaniels, they can’t be KC-registed. Avoid anyone who tries to tell you that their Sprocker litter is KC-registered. It’s a lie.
Remember: Sprockers are a big, long-term commitment
We’d be doing a disservice to Sprockers if we said they’re easy to care for.
Truth is: they need lots of attention, stimulation, and training. If you can’t commit to that (and the terrible teenage phase they go through) hold off on buying a new Sprocker puppy… Not matter how cute they are.
Owning a Sprocker Spaniel is amazing–but only if you know you’re able to manage it. Understanding their exercise demands, preparing for the Sprockerdile phase (especially if you have young children), and working on training all come with the joy of owning a Sprocker.
It’s best to wait until you know you’re 100% able to commit to a Sprocker puppy.
But if you can handle all that, you’re in for a lifetime of love!
Not sure? Take this free quiz. It’ll recommend a type of Spaniel best-suited to your situation.