Sounds like you are already hooked on English Setters, so as long as you are ready for the care, grooming and exercise needs of an English Setter, remembering that the dog will grow into a rather large and hairy creature, you need to go looking for that special one that you will bring home.
Selecting your puppy
When visiting breeders, make sure you see other members of the canine family; mother, other puppies and any older dogs on the premises. Check to see they are all happy and healthy and that their living quarters are clean. Ask lots of questions and be prepared to have questions asked of you too.
Ask about hip and elbow dysplasia; also hereditary deafness, which while rare, does sometimes occur. A responsible breeder will be only too pleased to answer these questions, and provide you with:
It is the buyer's responsibility to ask breeders if the hip dysplasia (HD) and hearing tests have been undertaken, and that evidence of results are made available on request. (For further information about hip dysplasia and hearing tests, refer to the Health page.)
- Worming and vaccination schedules,
- Advice on proper housing, exercise and diet,
- Registration certificate and copy of the pedigree,
- Results of HD scores and heating tests.
Puppies should not leave their breeder until they are at least 8 weeks old. They should have been treated for worms from approximately 2-3 weeks of age, and have had their first vaccination at approximately 6-7 weeks of age. Vaccination records, registration certificate, a copy of the pedigree (whether you are purchasing for show or pet) and a puppy care and diet sheet should be available to you when or before you collect your puppy.
Bringing puppy home
Whether or not you have another dog, you still need to be ready to bring your new puppy home. You need to check your premises are secure, have puppy's living area and sleeping quarters organised, and food and equipment ready. Most breeders will give you a small supply of food so puppy can start off eating what he has been used to, but it is a good idea to ask the breeder what food to buy before you collect your pup. A change of diet usually causes diarrhoea, so if you want to change his basic food, you need to do it gradually.
The transition from mother and litter mates to a new home is probably the most dramatic change a dog ever goes through, so you need to give lots of love and affection and plenty of reassurance. It's a good idea to collect your puppy early in the day so he has plenty of time to "suss out" his new environment. He will be most excited with all the new smells, probably his first car ride, and new people to play with. Keep yourself and your children fairly calm and don't let him get over-excited or over-tired. Show him his bed, his water bowl and have plenty of newspaper in the spot you are hoping he will use to relieve himself.
All puppies need to relieve themselves frequently so make sure you take him outside initially every hour or so, and always immediately after he wakes up, after playing, after feeding and before going to bed. Take him to the same spot each time and praise him well when he has finished his job. Have his newspaper in the same spot, fairly near his bed or whatever area you have selected as "his" inside area. Don't scold him if he has an accident, and never rub his nose in it. Most English Setters catch on very quickly that outside is the place to go, and are house-trained within a few weeks.
Care and feeding
Your breeder will guide you on care and feeding for the first few months, and will have provided you with a diet sheet. Remember to regularly worm and ensure your pup has the required vaccinations at 12 and 16 weeks of age.
As he grows the number of meals he has in a day will decrease, but his overall food intake will increase dramatically. As an active and fast-growing adolescent he needs his source of energy and nutrition to keep him healthy. Once he has dropped down to two meals per day, it is a good idea to keep him on two meals for the rest of his life, even if one is only a light meal. Don't be tempted to feed him too much, and make sure his feeds are at regular times of the day.
Remember, a dog is a lifetime responsibility, so be prepared for him to be a member of your family for a decade or more, and enjoy the rapport and companionship.
Contact the Club via the home page or enquiry form for details of puppies or older dogs that may be available.