Our Customer Service Advisor Jill Aston at Fish4Dogs talks about her experience and journey in getting her puppy, Jasper and kindly shares her advice for anyone who is looking into getting one. Here’s what she said:
I had wanted a puppy for a while and when I spotted a litter of Sprocker Puppies for sale in not too distant Leicestershire I instantly sent the advert on to my other half, Mark. I knew that Mark would only agree to a new puppy if it was a spaniel (we have both had gun dog breeds over the years and we lost our last working spaniel 12 months ago so it was time for a new working dog) and the little black & white dog in the photograph had grabbed my attention. I got an instant yes from Mark so arranged to go and view the puppies the following day. I made a phone call to a trusted Dog Trainer & Behaviourist too to make sure that I wasn’t going to cause Starry (our very spoilt, 11 year old crossbreed) any major distress and with some positive advice, I was ready to go and view the puppies.
It turned out that the Breeder had two litters available – a litter of cocker spaniels and a litter of sprocker spaniels that had been born just a week apart. We had specified that we needed a dog puppy (Starry only likes dogs, she can be grumpy with bitches) so that gave us the option of four puppies. Choosing a puppy was so difficult! They were all incredibly sweet but we finally decided we would stick with our gut instinct and go for the little black and white Sprocker we had seen in the photo on the advert. Choosing a name took a whole week but we eventually decided on ‘Jasper’ and we picked him up a week after we had initially been to view the litter.
In all honesty, Jasper is a very good boy and we have been very lucky to have only had a few sleepless nights (I had forgotten how much puppies cry at night!) and we have escaped with only two chewed up Christmas decorations! The hardest thing has been house training – Jasper has been clean in the house (and the fish4dogs office) for a long time but only in the last few weeks (he’s now 6 months) has he finally stopped using his crate as a toilet over night! We’ve had a few instances of Starry having to tell Jasper to behave himself but generally they get along okay, it’s important to make sure that Starry knows she is still top dog and we make plenty of fuss of her as well as Jasper.
My advice to anyone getting a new puppy would be:
- Buy plenty of puppy pads – you will need them
- Crate train your puppy – Jasper loves his crate and is more than happy to go in his ‘house’. It helps to give Starry a break from him when she needs some time to chill out too
- Get your puppy responding to their name as quickly as possible, this really helps with any training you do
- Make sure you have plenty of treats to hand for your first ‘off lead’ experience – Jasper loves Fish4Dogs Squid Bites
- Socialise your puppy as much as possible, as soon as possible. Try and get your puppy used to new people, children, cats, other dogs and livestock if possible
- Buy as many puppy safe toys as you can afford– I’m sure the mountain of toys that Jasper chewed helped to discourage him from chewing our furniture
- Try not to tell your adult dog off if they grumble at the puppy – puppy has to learn their place
And finally, cuddle them as much as possible as a tiny puppy! They don’t stay small for long and you’ll miss it when they’ve grown so big you can only just fit them on your lap!