English Cocker Spaniels

An Online Owners Guide


Bringing Your Puppy Home

I got a puppy! 

Introducing your new puppy to your home can be fairly simple, even if you already own other dogs.   It is important to have a good understanding of the adult dogs you own, and how they may act toward a new arrival. You can do this by observing their attitudes toward puppies they meet while away from home.



If you are driving your puppy home from the breeders and are able to bring along the other dogs (in their crates), the car ride home will allow for some initial getting used to smells and the idea that there might be someone new here!

Once home, I suggest first allowing the puppy to be in it's crate with the door closed and have an ex-pen around the crate so the puppy has a secure "front yard".   After the initial sniffing and perhaps even grumping by some of the older family members, I then let puppy out in it's yard while I sit nearby. The others can sniff and show their "position" but puppy is safe within it's ex-pen.

The next day I try to let puppy out with the most amiable of the group first- and one by one introduce the pup to it's new family in a safe setting. If all goes well- then out to the yard to play. I usually gradually introduce puppy to having everyone around in short intervals while out of it's "front yard".  

'Benny' O'Crowley

However, I'm careful to supervise, but not interfere if puppy does not show proper respect for an elder and is disciplined by them. That's how they learn the "rules" to live by.  It usually takes only a day or two before new puppy knows who to play with and who to bow down to and all is well.  If the new dog is an adult, (6 months or older) I introduced them outside of the house on leash and maybe go for a short walk. Then into the fenced yard to get more acquainted if all is going well before venturing into the house.

'Morgan' - O'Crowley

This method works well if your puppy stays in it's "front yard" while small.   Not all English Cockers will do this, as demonstrated by my 12 week old Morgan who climbed up and over her ex-pen the first day home. Luckily she had adjusted to the pack beforehand in motels and on the road after picking her up from her breeder!   You can also see in this picture the set up with Morgan's crate and her ex-pen encircling the crate to make a safe place for the puppy.
After introducing the new puppy to it's new home and canine companions, your next step is to look for a reputable Puppy Kindergarten. This is a wonderful opportunity to have experts answer your questions, have your puppy play with and socialize with other puppies of various ages as well as adult owners and their children. This is important for the pet puppy as much as the potential obedience or performance puppy. It is also a lot of fun for the owner and a time to really bond with the puppy in a special way. I would check with your breeder for recommendations for schools in your area that are especially good.

Puppy Proofing Your Home

Many new puppies are injured or harmed because their new owners are not aware of how curious puppies can be. But, if you imagine your home through the eyes of the puppy, you may notice many seemingly harmless household items that can cause unfortunate problems. You'll find many helpful products in the baby section of your department stores.

'Benny' - O'Crowley

Remember, a curious puppy is as vulnerable as a young child to potentially harmful situations.

1) Don't leave cigarette butts in the ashtray where the puppy can reach them. If eaten, cigarette butts can lead to nicotine poisoning.

2) Secure electrical cords to baseboards or make them otherwise inaccessible. If your puppy chews on them, it can suffer potentially fatal electric shock burns.

3) Keep Christmas decorations out of the dog's reach. Crushed glass balls for instance can result in nasty cuts, and many Christmas plants (including poinsettia and mistletoe) can be potentially fatal if eaten.

4) Keep medications out of the puppy's way. Childproof caps aren't necessarily "puppy proof."

5) Always keep the toilet lid down. Especially if you use caustic toilet bowl cleaners. Not only can the puppy be poisoned by the cleaners, but could drown if he fell in headfirst.

6) Dispose of cooked chicken or turkey bones in a puppy proof manner. Puppies like these bones, and will search through the trash to get them. Splintered cooked bones can be life-threatening.

7) Don't leave needles and pins out where a puppy could find them. They often swallow them.

8) Be certain anti-freeze is out of reach and any drippings are immediately cleaned up. All dogs are attracted to its scent, and it is highly toxic.  Have your car's radiator drained and refilled with a less-toxic antifreeze if possible.

9) Use pesticides and other poisons with caution. Puppies are very susceptible to toxins that older dogs might be able to withstand.

10) Check to make sure no toxic house plants are within a puppy's reach. Rhododendron, Japanese yew, lily of the valley, as well as peach and cherry pits can be life-threatening if ingested.

11) Have a canine first aid kit alongside your human kit. Ask your veterinarian for suggestions of what to include inside. . .along with why, when and how to use them.

In case of an accident, contact your veterinarian immediately!