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What to expect - Part 7 - Homing your brood

Homing your broodWhat to expect when you're expecting Puppies - Part 7 - Homing Your Brood

So you’ve made it through week one and the bags under your eyes are showing signs of reducing, but no sooner is one hurdle cleared than another one looms in the near-distance. And we’re not out of the woods yet either, so keep weighing those puppies and writing down all your observations in that notebook. Here’s what to get ready for over the next few weeks.

Kennel Club

If your litter is pedigree you’ll need to inform the KC of their births, though it’s worth waiting a couple of weeks to see how many make it – a morbid but realistic consideration. You can set up an online account with the Kennel Club, enter all their information and pay for their registration there. Registering a litter and getting all the certificates you need costs £15 per puppy, and to purchase The Kennel Cluba new kennel name costs £70. The Kennel Club will refuse any proposed kennel names that already exist on their books (or, it seems, exist at all) so you’ll have to get inventive for the prefix name. We were advised to join two relevant words together to make a new word, and hey presto our name (Westwinsley) was approved. 

Vaccinations and Chips

Your vet will probably know about the litter’s arrival already, but it’s worth calling them within a couple of weeks of them being born to book in dates for vaccinations and micro chipping. All vets will differ on timescales, but puppies will need to be vaccinated at around week seven and week twelve, and since puppies shouldn’t apparently be homed until seven weeks (or until they’ve had that first jab). Whether you microchip your litter before rehoming is up to you, and some vets will want the puppies to be a bit older before they insert the microchip, so it may be that you have to let your litter go before your vet will microchip them. Ours were vaccinated and chipped at week seven, which was convenient.

Selling Your Puppies

Homing your broodDon’t underestimate the amount of timewasting (inadvertent or otherwise) that goes on in the pursuit of homing puppies. If every enquiry had followed through we could have homed our litter three or four times over, but as it turned out we still had ‘homeless’ pups at week eight. We set up a Facebook group about our puppies and invited everyone we knew to join and share with friends. Making the group public allowed anyone searching for working cocker spaniels on Facebook to find our group, and updating the page regularly with cute pictures certainly helped garner attention and get people talking about our litter. As well as this we put adverts up in country stores and pet shops in our local area, though we now know we should have been more proactive and should have done this earlier on, potentially avoiding a few sleepless nights as we imagined our home over run with full-size, energetic working cockers.

This series of blogs won’t replace a professional guide by any means, but intends to cover all the bits and bobs I wished I had known from the start, plus things I worked out along the way that were well worth knowing.


Disclaimer bit: I am not a vet and all advice given here is purely based on my personal experience. I can thoroughly recommend The Book of The Bitch as a professional guide for all stages of the process. 

Alice West

Alice West lives in Buckinghamshire and is the proud owner of two gorgeous black Working Cocker Spaniels called Maisie and Dotty, and a one-year-old human called Matilda. Dotty came from Maisie's first litter of puppies - all girls - born in December 2013.

Running a copywriting business from home means Alice can enjoy lovely dog walks on her lunch break, and is distracted frequently by Spaniels chewing her shoes, begging for food and fighting over toys. She works Maisie and Dotty on a very sympathetic local shoot in the winter months. 

View Alice's Google Plus profile here

Alice West

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