To quote an article from Dogs USA, "We didn't know that he would get so big." "He's too expensive." He digs in the backyard (or barks or chews...)" "He sheds all over the house." Unfortunately, many dogs are abandoned by their owners because they did not plan before purchasing that cute little puppy. Choosing a dog is a long-term commitment that can last as long as 10-15 years.
The number of dogs to choose from is huge. The AKC registers 175 different breeds. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Dogs were bred for many purposes. What dog is right for you? To choose a dog you need to decide what you want and expect from it. It is important to keep you lifestyle, space, and interests in mind. Once you narrow your search down to a couple of breeds, you will need to so some homework.
If you have made your way to our web site, we will assume you are considering purchasing an English Springer Spaniel. We have included a lot of information on our Springers and Springers in general. Springers are an ancient sporting breed mentioned as far back as 300 A.D. Springers make wonderful pets although they require exercise, training, and grooming. For more information regarding Springers see the ESS Information page.
Finding a quality puppy can be a daunting task. It will take time and homework for you to find the right puppy from a responsible breeder. Remember that you will be purchasing a puppy who will be a member of your family for the next 14-15 years. Please see the Responsible Breeding page for a description of a responsible breeder and links to other information about responsible breeding. Responsible breeders can be found by visiting local dog shows to talk with area breeders or by visiting the AKC Parent Club, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, web site. On the site you will find "The Spaniel Manual," a booklet containing information that a potential puppy buyer should ask breeders, a breeder referral link where you can get a list of members who have agreed to follow the ESSFTA Code of Ethics, and other information about purchasing a puppy.
The following is a list of "Red Flags" when purchasing a puppy. Dogs registered with registries other than the American Kennel Club (AKC) or Canadian Kennel Club in Canada; advertising rare colors such as red and lemon. These are undesirable and no responsible breeder will be advertising such. Tri-colors are a recognized color and are not rare or more valuable than others; multiple litters of puppies at one time; multiple breeding dogs present so as to "mix and match" sires/dams; puppies allowed to go to their new homes prior to eight weeks, and lack of health clearances (OFA, CERF, etc) on parents. Well bred dogs will often have titles from showing, hunting, agility, obedience etc. Titles present should be on the parents and grand-parents, not multiple generations back in a pedigree.
The following is a list of suggestions to help you choose a puppy.
If you don't think you have the time to raise a puppy, consider adopting an adult Springer from one of the rescue organizations.
We hope this information is helpful when you are looking for your puppy/dog. Even if we do not have puppies available to new homes, we are always willing to answer questions about Springers.
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Updated July 2013