English Cocker Spaniels

An Online Owners Guide



Choosing a Breeder

Val  & Friends

 Once you've decided on what breed of dog you prefer, only half of your homework is done.  Now it's time to get down to business. Choosing a breeder is the most important aspect of choosing a new puppy.  


It does no good to choose your puppy based on pictures and standards you've seen described in books, if you choose a breeder who does not breed TO that standard.  A good breeder won't try to sell you a puppy.  You can be assured that you will NOT find a responsible breeder selling puppies to pet stores/shops, pet brokers, or offering their puppies for sale at yard sales, flea markets and swap meets.  And, they would never think of offering anyone a puppy younger than 8-10 weeks of age.


A good breeder will be willing to answer any questions you have about the breed, or individual puppies.  They will have pictures or videos of the puppies to share with you. Many will have a website you can visit to "get to know" them and their dogs.

A good breeder is concerned with the genetic problems in their chosen breed. 

They should have screened their breeding stock for as many of the hereditary genetic problems as possible, and be willing to discuss each of those problems with you. 

'Sam' - Owczarzak

They may send home a video, booklet, or other information about your new puppy including a pedigree that will show several generations of the puppy's ancestors. 

Because this breeder wants to make sure the puppies that are being bred  conform to the AKC standard, they  will have competed in dog shows. 

Therefore many of the dogs listed on the pedigree will have the coveted CH (for "champion") in front of their name, or initials after the names to show which dogs have competed in performance events. 

'Teddie' - Walker


If you are offered a pedigree that does not have many champions listed in a 3 generation pedigree, ask why.  And don't accept the answer that "it costs too much to show dogs," "I don't know how to show," "show people are snooty," etc. These are common answers from people who are only interested in making money from their dogs, and don't want to invest the years of hard work (mental and physical), time and money necessary to really be a dog professional!