Looking For A Puppy?

Puppies are just wonderful aren't they! Sweet and soft and simply adorable. 

But puppies grow up.

Without training, exercise and commitment they can turn into unruly adolescents and bored, frustrated or out of control adult dogs relegated to the backyard. 

Worlds apart from what they're meant to be first and foremost: part of the family.

At Thornfield we do go above and beyond the average pet owner because we love training and competing with our dogs.

But even the average pet owner needs to be prepared to commit a considerable amount of time and energy in order to have a well adjusted dog.

 

Puppies, in particular need:

  • Active toilet training - taking the puppy outside, rewarding appropriate elimination, managing when unsupervised and cleaning up mistakes. Some puppies toilet train very quickly. Others can take up to 12 months.
  • Appropriate chewing - puppies will chew anything and everything. It's up to the family to pick up anything they don't want in the puppies mouth, supervise when around your precious furniture and use barriers or pens when they can't supervise. Be realistic about what a puppy is capable of understanding.
  • General manners - only give attention when the puppy has four paws on the ground and immediately stop playing when the puppy mouths you. Everyone MUST be consistent about this - squealing children or adults who growl at the puppy will only make things worse.
  • Socialisation - the puppy must go out and about to appropriate envrionments exposing him or her to a wide range of positive interactions with children, teenagers, men, women, known adult dogs, other puppies, objects (bikes, skateboards, umbrellas), vehicles, shops, surfaces, experiences, etc etc. Not just for the first few weeks but for the first 18 months as they continue to mature and go through various fear periods.

 

All dogs need:

  • Mental and physical stimulation - walks, off leash running/swimming, positive reinforcement based training, relationship building, play, food toys and other opportunities for enrichment, such as a place to dig. 
  • Appropriate health care and diet
  • Age appropriate exercise and grooming
  • Secure yards
  • Somwhere warm to sleep (we recommmend on or next to your bed!)

These are the MINIMUM requirements (did you know there is a Code of Practice for dog owners in Victoria?) and you will need to continue to provide for your dog for the next 15 years. Of course requirements will vary between breeds and individuals - see what it's like to live with a field-bred English Springer Spaniel.

 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have the time, energy, finances and commitment for a puppy? 
  • Am I getting a puppy for me or for someone else e.g. the kids (because guess who will do all the work!)?
  • How will other members of the household cope (adults, children, teenagers, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits)?
  • What are the exercise and grooming requirements for this breed?
  • Why am I interested in this breed?
  • What is it about the breeder of this puppy that is important to me?
  • Am I prepared to wait for the right puppy?

 

Contacting Thornfield:

  • Please start by having a good look at our website to answer your immediate questions and then fill out our Contact Form.
  • Tell us about your experience with dogs, Gundogs or ESS and let us know whether you are looking for a family pet or a sporting dog
  • There are no "right' answers - but honesty is everything. We want to make sure one of our puppies is well suited to your lifestyle. They are perfect in our eyes but we are well aware that they are not for everyone.
  • You are welcome to enquire about price but please do not try to negotiate. We would be lucky to break even on our actual costs even when things go perfectly to plan (health testing, progesterone testing, whelping, stud fee, food, vaccinations, microchipping and worming) and I would hate to add up the number of unpaid hours we put into our litters! Well-bred puppies are not "cheap" because it is expensive to do it right.

 

What you can expect from us:

  • We will reply to your email as soon as we can but please give us a week or two - sometimes we are away competing or camping with our dogs and sometimes life just gets in the way. As ANKC registered breeders, our dogs are our hobby NOT our business and we both work several jobs which sometimes involve travel. So please don't be disheartened if you don't get an immediate reply
  • We require potential puppy buyers to meet our dogs and/or be recommended by someone we know well and/or already compete in dogs sports (not that dog sports are a requirement). We can often be found at agility and retrieving trials around Victoria and, occasionally interstate
  • We expect our puppy buyers to use positive reinforcement based training methods - if you are not familiar with sound scientific training principles we are always happy to guide and recommend trainers and courses
  • We are happy to send puppies interstate provided the above conditions are met. Interstate transport is at the puppy buyer's expense
  • Sire and dam are always DNA tested and at a minimum, the dam is eye tested, hip scored and elbow scored. All our puppies come with ANKC Limited Registration, 1st vaccination, microchip, worming, a health check by our veterinarian and a Thornfield Puppy Pack detailing all this plus further information on feeding, health and training. In addition we include sufficient dry food to last 1-2 weeks as well as vouchers for Artemis Medium/Large Puppy food, a soft blanket and various other little surprises for you.
  • When people purchase a Thornfield puppy we often say "welcome to the family." We love receiving regular updates and photos and will supply training tips and support wherever possible. Some of our puppy buyers interested in retrieving or agility even catch up with us when we train and join in where they can. Puppy buyers also have access to a private Facebook group where we share videos and photos and discuss any challenges or achievements.

Next litter planned: September 2019

 

© Thornfield English Springer Spaniels 2018