sell pet puppies or just show dogs?
I sell pet
puppies, show/breeding puppies and performance puppies
(obedience/agility). "Pet" puppies are sold with
(non-breeding) AKC Registration
on a spay/neuter contract. Prospective show/breeding
puppies are most often sold on co-ownership with a show/health
testing contract that must be completed before the dog is used
for breeding (a serious effort must be made to achieve a dog's
Championship title and the dog must pass it's hip and eye
certifications before being bred). With appropriate
references, I do occasionally sell a show prospect outright.
Full registration (breeding) performance puppy prospects are
sold with a performance/health testing contract similar to a
regular show dog contract (a serious effort must be made to
pursue performance titles and the dog must pass it's hip
and eye certifications before being bred).
and performance prospects are thoroughly evaluated before sale
to assure that they are as structurally sound as possible.
I do everything I can to assure that these puppies will have
successful careers in their future rolls as
show/performance/breeding dogs. Pre-purchase exams by a
licensed veterinarian or professional handler (at buyers
expense) may be arranged for ANY puppy.
all owners of pet puppies to have their dogs health tested (hips
and eyes) and to report these findings to me in the same manner
as the puppies sold for breeding. Hip exams (x-rays) for
hip dysplasia are performed at 2 years of age and eye exams to
check for hereditary eye defects may be performed annually or,
at a minimum, every 2 years until the age of 8, by a licensed
veterinary ophthalmologist. This testing can often be done
at a special rate at area dog shows or local kennel club
"clinics". Hip dysplasia exams may range in cost from $50
to $200 (or more depending on your veterinarian) and eye exams
are generally $20 to $30 (this can also vary somewhat depending
on your location and access to a qualified veterinarian).
dog health tested and reporting the results of these tests back
to me will help me keep accurate health records on ALL the
puppies in a litter. Complete health records on each
litter can help me identify genetic defects or other issues
within a particular bloodline and this knowledge will allow me
to address and work to eliminate that health issue from my
breeding program. By helping me to identify problems
within the gene pool, you are actually helping me assure that
future generations of this wonderful breed live longer,
I do my
best to assure that every puppy I produce is as healthy as
possible. I provide all of my dogs with the best food,
care and medical attention I possibly can. I do
appropriate health testing of my breeding stock. I screen
all dogs (my own and others that I do not own but may use for
breeding) for general health concerns that might be hereditary
and I do my best to avoid breeding to dogs that have been proven
to produce specific hereditary defects or other health issues.
I firmly believe that the puppies I produce are as healthy as I
can possibly make them.
in mind when looking for a puppy, that breeding dogs is not like
manufacturing parts or products on an assembly line. There
are no guarantees that ANY dog will be perfectly healthy its
entire life and will die of old age after 15 years of frolicking
through sunlit, fragrant meadows. Dogs are living,
breathing creatures and as such are subject to the laws of
nature. No breeder has complete control or understanding
of the multitude of genetic variables present within a
particular dog or dogs. Nor can a breeder predict with any
level of accuracy what impact some of these genetic variables
and other natural or environmental factors may have on a
particular dog or litter.
breeding dogs (or any living animal) is often a crap shoot.
Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not. Every puppy
that a breeder produces is at some risk for defects or other
health issues due to naturally occurring birth defects,
environmental factors, genetic mutations or anomalies and the
influence of hidden genes within each breeding dog. It is
not possible for anyone to eliminate the majority of these risk
factors. (Even we humans, with our incredible research
into genetic engineering, leaps in medical technology and
advancements in human pre-natal care cannot be assured that
every baby born will be perfectly formed; will never be
diagnosed with a serious disease or illness; or will never
suffer from another type of serious health issue.)
These are the realities of life and an inescapable truth.
while we must accept that luck and chance play some role in the
big scheme of things, let me explain what responsible breeders
do to ensure that each puppy has the best chance of living a
long and healthy life. Responsible breeders learn to try
to stack the deck in their favor. A good breeder can
learn to produce more consistently healthy puppies by studying
their breed's genetic history, making a serious effort to
minimize the risk factors for each litter they produce, having
their breeding dogs health tested and by providing the best food
and care they possibly can. This is what I try to do
with my dogs.
Unfortunately, puppy buyers must keep in mind that my, or
another breeder's, best efforts may not always be enough to
prevent a problem. The laws of nature will eventually
catch up with everyone and the bottom line is:
breeder can produce 100% perfect puppies, especially if they are
involved in dog breeding for any length of time.
a breeder is involved in breeding and the more puppies he/she
produces, the more problems the breeder is likely to become aware of
within his/her kennel. EVERY breeder will eventually face
the disappointment and heartbreak of puppies being born or
diagnosed with a genetic defect or serious health issue.
breeder deals with these issues will divide the responsible
breeders from the riff-raff. A really good breeder will
meet challenges and disappointments head-on, will learn from
these experiences and will work to overcome and defeat these
set-backs. A poor breeder will ignore health problems
within their kennel, may try to hide or dispose of these animals
to unsuspecting buyers and will often and loudly proclaim that
they have NO health problems within their own dogs. (It's
easy to claim your dogs have no health issues when you don't do
health testing to prove this one way or another!) These
breeders are also often the first to point out the problems in
another breeder's kennel and to disparage other breeders' dogs
or breeding practices.
Why are your puppies more expensive
than other puppies I've looked at?
My pet puppies can be more expensive than "backyard" or "puppy mill"
puppies because it's MUCH more expensive to produce a litter of
quality, healthy puppies than it is to just throw any two dogs together and
let them have some
pups in the garage, laundry room or under the back porch.
breeders and puppy mills who will breed any 2 dogs of the same
breed, my breedings are carefully planned with the expectation of producing puppies that exhibit the physical
and mental traits that enable a Cocker to perform in the show ring, in
the field or as a loving family companion. Before I
actually breed my dogs,
I compare the structure, genetic traits,
temperament, health and pedigrees of each dog to ensure that every
litter will conform as closely as possible to the AKC breed
To ensure that
all of my puppies have the best possible chance to develop up to their
potential, all breeding stock are constantly monitored for illness,
disease, parasites or injury and they are fed, housed and cared for
with the best products.
used for breeding in my kennel are tested for genetic defects
and many are shown in conformation competition. (Which is,
by definition, a competition to evaluate breeding stock.)
I also will only breed to dogs outside of my kennel that are of
the same quality, that have been
health tested and are cared for in a manner similar to my own
puppy I produce, and in turn every puppy buyer, benefits from my
research, testing, preventive care and strict adherence to breeding
only dogs that I believe can improve the next generation of Cocker
Spaniels. I back every puppy purchased with a written health
guarantee and I will ALWAYS take one of my puppies back, whether
it's 6 months or 6 years after the
purchase. I will never let one of my pups be abandoned or put in a
shelter if someone has a crisis or problem that prevents them from
keeping the dog.
purchase my puppies also receive a pretty major fringe benefit.
In addition to getting a wonderful puppy, my puppy buyers also
get me. (Well, in a manner of speaking!) What I mean
is that I am always available to answer questions and will
gladly help new owners if they are having a problem with
training or adjustments. Additionally, I continuously
spend time working on this web-site so that my puppy buyers will
have breed, care, training and other important information
available when they need it.
breeding and care practices are costly and, while I do not breed to
make money off of my dogs, I do have to make something back to
compensated for some of the expenses I incur in this endeavor.
This is only fair and I believe my dogs are quite reasonably
priced when one considers the quality and benefits that come with each
of my puppies. Keep in mind that the
old adage "You get what you pay for" is true even when purchasing a pet. You can take your chances with a cheaper puppy, or you can spend a
little more up front to purchase a puppy that you know has been breed to
be the best it can possibly be.
What's the difference between a
pet and a show quality puppy?
in a show quality and a pet quality puppy is generally a minor
variation in some part of the puppy's structure or coat.
This variation may be very minor and almost invisible to anyone
but the breeder. A pet puppy might have a less-desirable
coat texture or I might feel that a puppy lacks sufficient coat
to be competitive in breed competition. A puppy could also
have incorrect coloring - too much white
or white in the wrong place on an otherwise solid-colored dog;
or the dog's color may not be a "legal" show color.
Sometimes a female
may be too large or may appear too masculine; or a male puppy might
be too small or appear too feminine. Male dogs must have 2
testicles descended for breed competition, so a male with a slow
descending testicle or with a testicle that is retained (a cryptorchid or monorchid)
would be placed with a neuter contract as a pet or performance
dog. Some dogs may also not have a suitable temperament
for showing (may be too timid or shy), so these puppies would be
placed as pets. Cocker Spaniels also have a bite disqualification in
their breed standard. If a puppy's bite appears to be
incorrect, I would consider this puppy a non-breeding pet puppy.
Of course, the
fact that a puppy is available as a pet does not always mean the
dog in question is not show quality. It's not always
possible to find a good show home for every show quality puppy,
so puppies may be sold as pets even though their quality is such
that they could finish a championship title.
dogs good with kids?
a major focus in my breeding program. I do not breed adult
dogs with temperament issues and I evaluate my puppies
repeatedly to determine each puppy's personality. Being
familiar with each puppy's temperament helps me to match you
with the right puppy for your family's unique structure and
routine. (Matching each puppy's personality to its new
family is one reason I tend to ask a lot of questions about your
Most of my
puppies will do well in homes with children.
However, each puppy is different and there may be an occasion
where I prefer a home without children for a particular puppy.
I may also suggest an older and/or more outgoing puppy over a
very-laid back, quiet puppy if your family has very young or
especially active children.
I feel it is
important to point out here that no matter how sweet a puppy is
when it leaves my home, improper handling and a lack of training
can lead to a dog that is unpleasant to be around and that is
not respectful of humans. To help avoid these problems, I
recommend reading my
articles and enrolling your puppy in a puppy kindergarten class
while he is under under 6 months of age. I also believe a
basic obedience course when the pup is over 6 months of age is
vital in establishing good manners and teaching the dog to
best way to house-train a dog?
answer - CRATE TRAINING! Using a crate is the quickest,
safest, least-stressful way to train your puppy. This
includes potty-training and teaching your puppy not to eat the
kids toys, the furniture and everything else in his vicinity.
I have in-depth information about this on my
page, so I will not go into detail here.
How do I reserve a puppy?
reserve a puppy, I ask that you first complete my
I admit, it's time-consuming and rather involved,
but I want to be sure you are the right home for my puppy just as
much as you want to be sure you are getting the right puppy.
After I receive your request form, I will let you know what
puppies are available or are expected. From there, we can discuss which
puppies you like and we can talk until we are both comfortable about each other
and the situation. (If you are close enough and would like
to visit and choose your puppy personally, you may make an appointment to do so.)
Once you decide which puppy is right for
you and that you definitely want a particular puppy, I will ask that you send a deposit
to reserve your future puppy. This reservation guarantees that,
when the puppy is old enough, you will get the puppy you
have chosen OR, if the reservation is for an upcoming litter,
that you will receive a puppy of the sex, color and quality (show/performance/pet) that
you have asked for. If the puppy you choose is ready to go and
will need to be shipped, then I will ask that you
send the price of the puppy and the shipping expenses instead of
just a deposit.
I ask for a deposit so that I am guaranteed that you are serious
about wanting a specific puppy. The
deposit is non-refundable. If, for some unexpected reason, I
am not able to send you the puppy you made a deposit on and I do
not have another puppy of the sex and
quality that you were looking for, then you will have the
option of selecting another available puppy within the same litter or
from another litter or you may wait for
a future litter to be born. I can not guarantee anyone a puppy
without a deposit.
How do I know which puppy is mine?
Once a puppy
is selected and a buyer places a deposit or payment on that
puppy, it belongs to that person. I immediately mark a
puppy as sold in my books and this is generally sufficient to
identify each individual puppy. (My records contain
information on size, individual markings, etc. so that each
puppy can be individually identified within the litter.)
If the litter that you have chosen a puppy from is all one color
and/or sex, or is otherwise confusing and hard to distinguish a
particular individual within, then I will mark your puppy with
fingernail polish, a collar or some other identification that
will make it impossible for that puppy to accidentally be
confused with another.
Once you have
chosen a puppy and placed your deposit, I try to keep owners
updated with pictures and information regularly. This way
you will get to see the puppy grow up and you will know how
he/she is doing. If you have placed a deposit on a puppy
and you are close enough to visit as it grows, you are welcome
to do so.
instances, I may not be able to tell you exactly which puppies
will be available from a litter until they are ready to leave.
For instance, if I am planning to keep a buff female to show and
there are 3 buff females in the litter, then I will probably not
make a decision on exactly which puppy I am keeping until they
are structurally evaluated at 8 weeks of age.
Something along these lines may also occur if I have sold a show
puppy of a particular color or sex and there are more than one
of these to choose from in the litter. Which puppy will be selected for
an owner that is looking for a show prospect will usually not be
decided until puppies are at least 8 weeks old.
How do I get my puppy?
I prefer that
new owners drive to pick up their puppy, but I realize this is
not always possible. I have shipped puppies with great
success over the years and I do not have a problem with doing
this. There are some weather related issues that must be
taken into account when shipping dogs, so keep in mind that
extremes of heat and cold must be avoided at BOTH ends of the
trip. Additionally, I prefer to ship on direct, non-stop flights
if at all possible as this is less traumatic for the puppy.
(This could mean that you will need to drive to the closest
major airport instead of your local one.) I ship from the
Tulsa International Airport.
What is a puppy
This is a
question with no easy answer. Most people seem to have
their own unique definition of a puppy mill. Some people
believe a puppy mill is anyone that has more than one or two
litters of puppies a year. Some believe that if any
animals are kept caged, it must be a puppy mill. Others
believe that anyone with "X" number of dogs is a puppy mill.
Still others base their definition of a puppy mill on the care
and condition of the dogs.
definition of a puppy mill is someone that does not provide
adequate food, water, shelter, exercise or care for their dogs.
I also believe that a good breeder must have a working knowledge
of the breed standard for their particular breed or breeds and
that they should strive to produce puppies that meet the written
breed description. (Please keep in mind that the fact that
2 dogs happen to be registered does not mean they are good
examples of the breed standard and they should be allowed to
are unable to pinpoint an exact point at which a person drops
into the puppy mill category, but believe that they would
recognize it if they saw one. Of course, many of us have
seen a story on TV or in the news that seems to leave no doubt
that the party in question was definitely a puppy mill.
Unfortunately, the animal abuse cases on TV & in other news
venues do not always tell the whole story and many are
sensationalized or slanted to promote someone's own personal
opinions and beliefs. In fact, these stories are
often used to drudge up support and funds for animal rights
organizations who would like to see ALL animal ownership and
Since it is
hard to pin down one specific thing that makes a breeder a puppy
mill, I thought I might share some general information and
opinions that I have gathered from talking to other breeders and
owners over the years. Hopefully this information will
help you, the prospective puppy buyer, to evaluate breeders and
make your own determination of whether a particular kennel is a
responsible breeder or a puppy mill.
breeders I have spoken with seem to agree that the following
points will generally indicate that you are working with a
well-lighted facilities with room for each dog to have daily
should be reasonably clean and should look as though they
are groomed regularly.
Animals should appear well-fed and have access to fresh,
Animals should be parasite free and without untreated
Breeders themselves should exhibit a reasonable level of
knowledge concerning the breed, the breed standard and
health concerns within the breed.
Look for a breeder that can quote the breed standard
(ask for a copy!) and that can use the breed standard to
point out the good and bad points in their own dogs.
good breeder should be able to discuss the problems that
a particular breed is known to be at risk for - in
Cockers this can include cataracts, PRA, epilepsy,
thyroid issues and skin disorders, among others.
Ask to see the test results for any health exams the
breeder performs on breeding stock.
responsible breeder should be willing to provide on-going
support for puppy buyers and should be interested in the
long-term well-being of the dogs.
- A good
breeder should provide you with training and care
information and should be willing to answer your questions
and concerns about any aspect of pet ownership.
puppy mill operators will have no working knowledge of the breed
standard for a particular breed and cannot identify what makes a
particular dog a better example of the breed than another.
Most of these breeders couldn't care less whether the puppies
they produce are reasonable representations of the breed, let
alone an improvement over the parents, so they have no interest
in learning the standard for the breed or how to apply it to
evaluate their dogs. These operations frequently
breed their dogs too early and too often with no consideration
of whether a particular dog is actually a reasonable
representative of the breed. (If it has a uterus or
testicles, it's a breeder!)
rarely test for genetic problems and, in fact, obvious health
issues are many times ignored so that breeding dogs can be used
to continuously produce puppies. Puppy mills rarely
have any interest in the life or problems of owners or the dogs
they produce once they have cash in hand and the dog has gone to
its new owners. This means that many of these dogs end up
abused, neglected, abandoned and/or put to sleep.
measures to reduce or limit the spread of disease are rarely
part of a puppy mill's operating procedure. Many of
these operations also keep the dogs in small cages with minimal
or no regular exercise for the life of the dog. The
breeding dogs in a puppy mill are often dirty, ungroomed,
parasite infested and may have skin sores or other untreated
health issues. These dogs are often fed poor quality food
and/or may have inadequate supplies of food and water. The
facilities of a puppy mill are often dirty, poorly ventilated
and may not provide reasonable shelter from hot, cold, wet or
otherwise inclement weather.
To top off
the horror of life in a puppy-mill for a breeding dog, the
puppies that are produced most often go to homes with little or
no screening (beyond ascertaining whether the buyer has ample
cash in hand!). The puppies produced may also be
"harvested" from their mothers and then be packed, stacked and
loaded in freezing or overheated semi's for delivery to a
distribution facility. From this facility, the puppies
will be parceled up and shipped off in another semi to pet shops
across the country. Here again, the puppies will be sold
indiscriminately with little or no screening and there will not
be anyone available to help the new owners if they should have
questions or concerns on how to raise, train or solve a problem
with their new puppy.
that puppy mills can come in all shapes and sizes. Some
are worse than others and many may look quite presentable and
the breeders may appear quite knowledgeable even to an educated
buyer that asks the right questions. The key to avoiding
buying your puppy from a puppy mill is to do your research!
And please, do not support puppy mills by buying that poor
little dog just because it looks so sad. Buying from a
puppy mill or pet store only encourages these people to breed
Can I breed
my female to one of your males?
occasionally allow my males to breed females that are owned by
other breeders. All such breedings are arranged by
stud dogs are NOT available to the general public. Private
arrangements may be made for the breeding of a particular bitch
if the owner and I both agree to specific terms.) Females
accepted for breeding must:
- Be a
quality representative of the breed - physical structure AND
clean, groomed & free of parasites
current on necessary vaccinations, worming and heartworm
- Have a
current CERF (eye certification stating the dog does not
have any hereditary eye defects)
an OFA number (the dog has been certified as being free of
- Have a
veterinary health certificate showing general health and
results of a pre-breeding exam - including a negative
brucellosis exam - a form of doggy VD. Brucellosis
results must be dated within 30 days of breeding.
insist that puppies produced by my males be sold with limited
registration unless they are sold to known show/breeding homes
that have breeding/showing/health testing programs similar to my
NO exceptions to any of the above requirements. These are
the minimum requirements for contracting a breeding. Other
restrictions/requirements may apply.