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Old 17.01.2021, 21:58
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Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Hi all,

Can anybody give me advice on buying a cocker puppy?

Are there any reputable websites/breeders to use?
Are there any laws I need to be aware of?
What’s the rough price? Is pet insurance/vet bills very expensive over here?

All help appreciated.

Thanks

Jack
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Old 17.01.2021, 22:27
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Jack, before I write one of my usual long missives...

Your location says UK. Are you still resident there, or do you live in Switzerland now?

And if the latter, which canton? (Regulations will differ by canton, hence why that info will help us give you more useful information.)
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Old 18.01.2021, 07:10
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

https://www.spaniel-club.ch/index.ph...zuchterliste-d
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Old 18.01.2021, 10:01
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

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Jack, before I write one of my usual long missives...

Your location says UK. Are you still resident there, or do you live in Switzerland now?

And if the latter, which canton? (Regulations will differ by canton, hence why that info will help us give you more useful information.)
Hello, apologies I will change this... I am in Zurich.
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Old 18.01.2021, 13:23
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

So…

As per Island Monkey’s post above, in Switzerland the SKG breed club responsible for the cocker spaniel breed, both English and American, is here:

https://www.spaniel-club.ch

Under Zucht, you will find a list of breeders, and under Welpen you will find a listing of those who currently have puppies, or who are expecting puppies soon-ish.

You’ll notice that as of today, there are no breeders with or expecting cocker spaniel pups. Not surprising, there aren’t many breeders in Switzerland, and those here often do not breed that often. Which is a good thing for the welfare of their dogs…

...but it means that a family looking for a puppy often needs to be patient. It can take months, sometimes even a year or more, to get one’s pup. Many breeders have waiting lists long before a planned mating, so it would likely be a good idea to start contacting breeders now, expressing interest, introducing yourself, showing why you would be a good family for one of the breeder’s pups. Go to each breeder’s website as well, as some might have information as to when the next litter might be planned (Wurfplanung). I did a quick peek and saw that a couple of the breeders listed are no longer breeding, btw.

Be aware that you might find that you have 'competition’ for available puppies as there is often more demand than pups born. You’ll want to put your best foot forward in your introductory contact.

----

You could also look at breeders in Germany. The German kennel club is the VDH.

The German America Cocker club is here: https://www.vdh.de/welpen/zuechter?id=8

And the German English Cocker club is here:
https://www.vdh.de/welpen/mein-welpe...cocker-spaniel

Same procedure, contact breeders introducing yourself and inquire about plans for up coming litters, ask to be considered when pups are born.

You might also try the Austrian breeders:
https://www.jagdspaniel.at

There are also cocker breeders in France. I am not knowledgable about how breeding is regulated in France, so I am hesitant to put up links. A quick google brings up clubs breeding under the SCC, but I don’t seen an FCI mention )could just be my bad French), so due diligence!

——

If you find your puppy from a breeder outside Switzerland, be aware of the import regulations. You can find them here:
https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/de/home...tchen.html#par

If you are considering looking for a puppy in the UK, be aware that the UK is now non-EU and so different import rules apply than those of EU countries.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, skirt import regs. Illegal importation could result in the puppy being seized and euthanized.

——

ETA:

You won't run into this with a Swiss breeder, but be aware that some breeders from other countries still dock cockers. This practice is illegal in Switzerland, and importing a docked dog is forbidden. (The one exception, moving here for the first time with a long time docked family pet, obviously does not apply in your case.) So if you find a breeder outside Switzerland who still docks their pups (and shame on them, docking is a serious welfare issue) walk away - you cannot bring that dog into Switzerland.

---

Under Swiss welfare laws, a puppy may not leave it’s mother before day 56, btw. You will need to understand vaccination requirements for young pups if you are importing from outside Switzerland. The interactive tool will tell you what is needed in each case.

——

If you have read some of my posts you’ll see that my main dog welfare concern is combatting the ‘Dark Side’. To find a breeder, the first step is to understand what makes a good breeder… and what are the warning signs of an irresponsible breeder, or worse, abusive battery producers, Hundemafia, dog smugglers, etc.

Yes, Switzerland is a prime target for the bad actors of Dogdom, one must do one’s due diligence. I understand that due to the relative scarcity of puppies among Swiss breeders that it can be tempting to delve into the Dark Side - but please be aware that anytime you give one of these barstewards money you are directly condemning more dogs to this awful existence and cruel death. Not to mention that you likely end up paying a fortune for a battery produced puppy who is sick, badly bred, resulting in heartbreak and financial stress.

So please - only go to a reputable breeder who puts the health, temperament, and welfare of the breed and of the individual pups first and foremost.

Here’s an good thread, an old one but still relevant (with the exception of the now abolished SKN requirement) discussing how to spot a reputable breeder:'

https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corn...e-breeder.html

I will stress the importance of getting to know the breeder and of assessing the breeder’s program, especially the early socialization program. The key to raising a happy healthy pup is starting out right.


——

As to cost… expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500-4000 for a Swiss-bred puppy, perhaps a bit less for one from Germany. I have no idea of Austrian costs, sorry.

But also be aware that the cheapest part of living with, raising well, and loving a puppy is the purchase price. There are several threads on the cost of dog ownership, including the question of whether or not insurance makes sense for you. You might do a bit of browsing. Key takeaway: Always have plenty of money available to meet an emergency!


----

Now let’s talk about preparing for your puppy’s arrival, including learning the various regs. As you might expect, yes there are rules and regulations.

Be aware that animal control is the competency of the cantons, hence 26 different sets of regulations. Additionally, animal welfare is largely regulated at the federal level, under the TSchV. (SR 455.1)

For some reason admin.ch won’t display the full text today, so when I can find it I’ll post a link. Instead, see the BLV, the federal Veterinäramt website for general information about dog ownership, including regs, here:
https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/de/home...de-halten.html

One important thing you need to know at the federal level is that all dogs must be chipped and registered in a national database, AMICUS. You will need your vet to do the registration within 10 days of your pup’s arrival, so make sure you organize a vet in advance. You are required to keep the AMICUS information updated. The idea is that dogs are traceable from birth (or date of import) to death.

You can read more here:
https://www.amicus.ch/Account/Login

——

Here is the ZH Veterinäramt website, discussing all the things you must know before you being your puppy home to canton Zürich:
https://www.zh.ch/de/umwelt-tiere/ti...html#907449331

You can find a summary of the Zürich cantonal regs on the Tier Im Recht website, here:
https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht/hunderecht/zurich/

TIR links the text of the actual ZH law at the top.

Be aware that all dog owners in canton ZH are required to carry liability insurance of a minimum of CHF 1mio. This is inexpensive, and usually included in your Privathaftpflicht policy. Verify with your insurer, you might already be covered, If not, add it in.

----

One of the first things every prospective dog owner in canton ZH (and elsewhere) should read is the Codex for dog owners, put out by the Zürich Veterinäramt, conveniently available in English:
https://www.zh.ch/content/dam/zhweb/...12englisch.pdf

---

Now - both the American and English cocker spaniels are considered ‘Kleinwuchsige’ breeds, meaning they are currently not required to do the ZH dog training courses.

However, this may be changing.

A current proposal would extend training requirements to all dogs. So, as the time approaches for your dog to come home, keep an eye on the ZH Veterinäramt website for updated information. I do not know what the new requirements would be, but as current requirements for List 1 include Welpenförderung classes, if these are also required for all dogs under new regs you’ll want those planned in advance, as they are age specific.

But again, we do not know what the changes will be, or even if you would be affected.

——

There is a third level of control/regulation: Your Gemeinde. You will need to register your dog with your Gemeinde, and pay an annual dog tax. The amount varies, but it's usually between CHF 100-200. You will also need to familiarize yourself with any local regs, such as where dogs are forbidden, local leash restrictions, etc. Most Gemeinden have that information either on their homepage or in a hand-out.

----

My usual advice re training:

Even if you are not required to take training classes, please, please do so, starting with Welpenförderung. You can find a list of Welpenförderung trainers on the ZH website; while these are the List 1 classes you are not required to do, nonetheless choosing a trainer certified to do puppy classes would be a good start, and most offer these classes to all breeds, not just List 1. A good puppy class sets your little one on the right road.

The more you can do to socialize your pup the right way, to train your pup to Swiss expectations, the happier you and your dog will be. Training is a life long endeavor, a dog never stops learning. And neither do we dog owners. Training classes should be a fun activity for you and your dog, a chance to cement your bond as you both learn together. They are also a great opportunity for you to meet other dog owners, make new friends. And they are the easiest way to keep abreast of the moving target that is dog control in Switzerland. All the Meloncollies take classes their entire lives, both Familenhund and speciality classes according to the interests and abilities of each individual - highly recommended.

You will want to find a training school in your area where you and your dog feel comfortable - but that’s another thread. The key thing to understand: You are the one being trained. It’s the other end of the leash, after all.

A good way to get started on the right foot would be to take the NHB theory class BEFORE you get your pup as it is designed to prepare you for dog ownership in Switzerland… which might be a bit different from how one views dog ownership in other countries. The NHB (National HUndehalter Brevet) is a set of courses designed to replace the now-aboished SKN. These are purely voluntary - but recommended. Here is the general SKG website discussing the NHB, from there you can find a trainer offering this course.
https://www.skg.ch/nationales-hundehalterbrevet


——

Next thing you will want to plan for is finding a good vet. We are lucky that the ZH area punches well above its weight when it comes to access to top notch veterinary care. You will want someone local to you, but also make sure you know where the specialist and emergency hospitals are. Chief among them is the Tierspital of the University of Zürich. Hopefully you won’t need their expertise for a long time to come, but we are all so fortunate that this level of care is available here.
https://www.tierspital.uzh.ch/de.html

There are many good general practice vets, and several other bigger clinics. if you let us know where in ZH you are I’m sure someone can give you a recommendation. Again, because of the AMICUS requirement you will need a vet organized as soon as your pup comes home, if not before.
——

To prepare yourself for dog ownership, here is a book I highly recommend, by the late great Dr Sophia Yin: How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves:

https://www.amazon.com/How-Behave-Yo.../dp/0793806445

Seems the book is unfortunately out of print, but a Kindle version is available. This was my go-to ‘bible’ for new dog owners.

——

OK, that’s enough to get you started. Feel free to keep asking questions as you begin this journey.

---

Lastly, the most important things a dog owner needs are an understanding of the responsibility you are undertaking, an unwavering commitment to the welfare of one’s pup, a well-developed sense of humor, and endless unconditional love. In return your pup will make you smile everyday, your life will be so much better for sharing it with a four footed friend.

Wishing you and your future pup all the very best!

-

Last edited by meloncollie; 18.01.2021 at 21:54.
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Old 18.01.2021, 15:03
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Thank you very much for all that info, extremely useful!

I have started to get in touch with some breeders from the Swiss club website, so will see how it goes from there.

Once again, thanks for the info, will come back to you if I have other questions. In the meantime, if anybody does hear of a litter, a heads up would be greatly appreciated.

Regards, Jack.
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Old 18.01.2021, 15:32
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Meloncollie, thank you once again! Over and over you post explaining the many ways in which living with a dog in Switzerland is not the same as one might know from other countries. I salute you for your persistence in sharing your knowledge and wisdom.
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Old 19.01.2021, 11:46
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

If needed, I happen to know an excellent breeder of English Cockers near Payerne VD who also happens to be a veterinarian. She does a most excellent job. Feel free to send me a PM if you’d like her contact information. I don’t know what her breeding schedule is like as she had two litters earlier in 2020 (one with each of her bitches) so she may not have any in 2021 depending on how the girls did. They had small litters though so my hunch would be that there’s at least one planned for late 2021.
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Old 24.01.2021, 19:58
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Because this story involves a cocker spaniel puppy, I'm posting this here, as a cautionary tale for anyone (not directed at you, Jack) tempted by to buy a puppy from a dealer abroad:

From the 20 Minuten:

https://www.20min.ch/story/illegaler...t-224875383013

During a check at the border between Germany and Austria, on the Bodensee, a driver was found to have a young cocker spaniel puppy in the trunk of the car.

Border officials found that the driver had no transport and registration documents, there was no valid rabies vaccination certificate, the pup was not chipped, and there were no feeding and watering instructions. According to veterinarian the puppy appeared to be very hungry and thirsty. The driver had been underway for 15 hours.

The driver will be charged under animal welfare laws. The dog puppy was taken to the Vorarlberg Animal Shelter in Dornbirn, Austria..

---

The destination was Lustenau, Austria, on the Swiss border.

---

It's lucky this happened on the Austrian side of the border.

Be aware that if an illegally imported unvaccinated puppy is found in Switzerland, the puppy will likely be seized and euthanised.

Thank doG this little cocker spaniel will get a second chance, rehomed to responsible loving owners.

---

This is what too often happens with those business with slick websites that sell dogs online, pup shipped to you. Scams (there is no pup) or illegal dog dealers abound.

As the BLV says: Augen Auf bei Hundekauf!

Yes, many people find their pups outside Switzerland, from responsible breeders or responsible rescues. Heck, most of the Meloncollies came from foreign parts.

But if you are not well versed in what makes a responsible breeder it's easy to get tricked by the barstewards of the illegal dog trade. It bears repeating: no responsible breeder or rescue (these barstewards pose as rescues too) ships a pup to you, sight unseen.

If you are interested in a puppy abroad, go through the contact process as described upthread. And then travel to meet the breeder and puppy (and the puppy's mom) yourself. Sure, it might be a long journey - but hey, make a holiday of it. A few days is a small investment for the next 15 years of unconditional love.

Wherever you find your pup - do it right!



/end sermon.
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Old 24.01.2021, 21:17
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Gonna name it Joe?

Tom
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Old 25.01.2021, 08:37
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

The animal rescue has lovely dogs also, if you are not particularly hang up on a breed - and, sometimes, they also have cocker spaniels. A couple of years ago, I use to walk two of them in the Tierschutz from Zurich.


Things are more difficult now with COVID, but, Bella, a 3 YO English Bulldog, is now waiting to adopt a family in Zurich :-)

https://www.zuerchertierschutz.ch/ti...676130f40ce05d

You can also call the ' local ' dog rescue organization, and ask for a visit. You might even experience a case of love-at-first-sight
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Old 25.01.2021, 10:07
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

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Gonna name it Joe?

Tom

I was once at an event sponsored by a cocker rescue group, many of the rescue's 'alumni' were in attendance.

Suddenly an owner stood up and called his dog: "Joe, come!"

And a good dozen cockers came a-running.

Yep, all Joes.

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Old 25.01.2021, 10:15
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Just had to google Joe Cocker
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Old 25.01.2021, 10:18
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

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Just had to google Joe Cocker
Now I feel really old...

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Old 25.01.2021, 10:51
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

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Now I feel really old...

You and me both.
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Old 25.01.2021, 11:28
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

I friend of mine was at a Joe Cocker concert in the mid '70s.

Joe stopped mid song, and told him to shut up!

Tom
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Old 25.01.2021, 17:00
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

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This is what too often happens with those business with slick websites that sell dogs online, pup shipped to you. Scams (there is no pup) or illegal dog dealers abound.

As the BLV says: Augen Auf bei Hundekauf!

....A few days is a small investment for the next 15 years of unconditional love.

Wherever you find your pup - do it right!

/end sermon.
This. If you've had dogs for years, your spidey senses are probably (but not necessarily definitely) reasonably well-honed, but bear traps there are a plenty.

I was in the situation just a few months ago; it was time for a new dog but Covid means demand vastly outstrips supply at the moment, especially of puppies and especially from reputable breeders. To the extent that the UK has a terrible problem at the moment of dogs being stolen from their gardens and resold multiple times on online sites/classified ads.

I set out my criteria in advance:
- not a puppy (both from a supply (cost, availability) POV but also I didn't want the hassle of house-training this time round)
- therefore a rescue
- not a breed subject to any BSA anywhere in Switzerland
- not advertised by a private person
- had to be a reputable rescue, of which there are plenty (the more info they publish about the individual dogs, the more open they are, the better IMV)
- ideally the dog had to be already in Switzerland (from the rescue we chose, I would now consider a dog that is still in Spain, subject to the next point)
- we had to meet the dog in person
- and then all the individual criteria we wanted in a dog for us, with the flexibility to consider any dog that met them

We ended up with a galgo espanol from a rescue in the Jura (and another member of EF has fostered for them) and 9 weeks on, he's a delight (and got a clean bill of health at his rabies booster this morning).
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Last edited by eng_ch; 25.01.2021 at 17:31.
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Old 27.01.2021, 10:41
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

Appreciate all of the replies, even the Joe Cocker references..


A rescue is kind of out of the question for us, partly because cocker's seem to be very hard to come by here, but also because this is our first dog of our own as a couple, having had dogs in both families, we want a puppy we can have as part of the family and see grow for the next 15 years.


I think, fingers crossed and all being well we might be in luck. We know of a breeder from the spaniel club website that could be having a litter late spring/summer, we just need to keep checking the website and hope we are fast enough to react.
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Old 24.02.2021, 08:21
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

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So…

Lastly, the most important things a dog owner needs are an understanding of the responsibility you are undertaking, an unwavering commitment to the welfare of one’s pup, a well-developed sense of humor, and endless unconditional love. In return your pup will make you smile everyday, your life will be so much better for sharing it with a four footed friend.

Wishing you and your future pup all the very best!

-
meloncollie, you amaze me 💪 Everybody in this forum should be thankful that you take the time and effort sharing your insight!

Especially in these times it is important that one informs himself before getting a dog. I cannot stress enough to read books about the breed in question and about puppy behavior!

Thank you!
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Old 16.03.2021, 15:54
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Re: Looking to buy a Cocker puppy

We were lucky enough to find a litter with a puppy not spoken for earlier this year.
It took a long time to find one as they all seemed to be snapped up very early.

http://bloodline.ch/welpen.htm

This is our first dog, so limited experience, but the set up all seemed good. We knew somebody who had had 3 puppies from them in the past, so had a degree of confidence in them.

Ingrid was very open and welcoming to us, and we got to meet all the puppies and the mother.
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