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  • Krystal Hjort

Breeder talk!

Have you been actively searching for an English Springer Spaniel Breeder in Ontario? Maybe you're even searching from other parts of Canada too? I'm sure you have likely noticed there are significant cost differences between breeders and you've been find yourself asking a fair question as someone just looking for a great pet, which is 'why' the difference from one English Springer Spaniel breeder to another? I have taken the time to add a Backyard Breeders page to my website for this very reason. There are so many reasons why a breeder is either a) charging less or b) charging more. Now, with that being said - there are also going to be breeders who price flop and jump around. These breeders are breeding dogs solely based on the market and charging according to that. Which is where I think this post going to be beneficial to you as you venture down the road to find your new, perfect pet! For the purpose of this post, please keep in mind that being considered a breeder is breeding one litter of puppies. And there are many people who still believe the many years debunked theory that a female dog should experience one litter of puppies. Which is a big, fat lie! Recently I received an email asking me how my dogs being sold at $3000 were any different than the dogs he had recently seen listed on a site for $1000 plus H.S.T. I knew the answer but had to take a minute to decide how I wanted to tackle that e-mail, as the response was large and I knew my dogs were simply of no comparison to the other breeder. After all, my dogs are purebred. The other breeders dog, well, they're not registered with the Canadian Kennel Club therefore have lost their 'purebred' status and cannot legally be advertised as such. Fun Fact! So let's get down to it. English Springer Spaniels are such a wonderful breed. And like any other breed, with the good comes the not so good. Which, breeders with a true interest in the breed who longs to preserve the English Springer Spaniel should wholeheartedly care about and opt to only breed dogs of sound health and mind. You should desire to own a Springer Spaniel bred by a Preservation Breeder. One who spends day in and day out studying their dogs pedigrees, finding stud dogs who can hopefully improve on what the bitch is lacking from a structural point of view without ever making compromise on health and temperament.

Finding the perfect choice for our girls is like finding a needle in a haystack. Lovely dogs in many places, but not always what needs to be improved upon on the individual female. Distance travelled isn't even a consideration. I wouldn't hesitate to drive 30 hours one way to get a live-cover breeding - and when my full-time job gets in the way of things - Or COVID - I invest in my breedings in a different way and my girls are bred via Surgical AI by my very talented veterinarian Dr. Alison Jones at Alma Street Animal Hospital. When all is said and done - I expect to pay out approximately $7000 on breeding expenses alone each breeding I do. Hips and Elbows should be tested and sent to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) for proper evaluation and grading. Results are posted online and are posted for public knowledge. Dogs in our breeding programs should have their eyes CAER tested by an Opthamologist yearly for abnormal results. And no puppies should be leaving their breeder without their eyes CAER tested. PRA knowledge is of importance. Testing is done by swap and sent away and any breeders who do not know PRA status of their dogs could unknowingly be breeding Affected to Affected causing sight issues in pet home puppies. Of course, these tests are not cheap. They are required if you should expect to make a difference in the breed and you want to be respected and included in the reputable dog breeder community! Longevity and English Springer Spaniels go hand in hand. But when you don't care about health, longevity slips with it. Dogs diagnosed with Epilepsy - which reputable breeders have done a good job of eradicating - has been rearing its ugly head in some programs where breeders are in it for one thing only - large amounts of litters and $$$! Epilepsy is awful. Breeders with poor reputations work together since reputable breeders don't sell puppies to them. And they pass on the poor genetics and in turn, epilepsy. I have personally talked to several people who have lost their young English Springer Spaniels to epilepsy from breeders in Ontario. Dogs are also being lost to Cancer at young ages. Now that we'e touched on Health Testing, Breeding and Longevity, let's talk about how we raise our dogs. How do our dogs live? Are they born in an outbuilding on straw? Or in the comfort of our home? Are our dogs kennelled in outbuildings? Or are they an integral part of our home and family? A friend of mine learnt her lesson after buying not one, but TWO dogs from a well-known, unscrupulous breeder and has said that both times her puppies were riddled with fleas and mites, they were kept in the barn and she said she really didn't have any higher expectations. A sad reality :( Your decision to get a puppy from a reputable breeder isn't an instant buy. Reputable English Springer Spaniel breeders are very selective in who we sell our puppies to. We want to know about you and your family. Your expectations with your new puppy etc. We want to know that you've chosen us as your breeder and more importantly, we want to understand how the English Springer Spaniel fits into your lifestyle. After all, looks are only the half of it. These are living animals and Springers do require daily mental stimulation or they can get bored and destructive! And finally, conformation shows aren't cheap! Entry fees, hotel fees, gas, vehicles to travel safely with dogs in. And before you think it, conformation shows are more than just beauty pageants for our dogs. They evaluate not only structure but temperament is as important when being judges as the structural evaluation! So I leave you with this. If money was not a factor in your decision to purchase your pet, who then would you be choosing? The reputable breeder doing everything right to give you the best pet possible? Or the breeder who sells to the first $1000 in hand? If you still chose the $1000 dog, that's great. My only recommendation is that your increased risk of health issues warrants pet insurance. Even with the deductibles, what you save now you'll likely end up paying out later.

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In short, No! If your breeder is doing everything properly. Dotting I's, crossing T's, absolutely not! While there may be litters that they may bring in extra on they will surely fall short on other