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Be an Educated Buyer

Most people do research on big purchases in their lives: cars, homes, even washing machines.  A Clumber Spaniel has an average lifespan of 10-12 years, and will cost a fair amount of money to feed, vaccinate and maintain throughout its life.  Unlike a car, though, a Clumber will give you love and laughs for the investment, so be an educated buyer with a dog, too!

You are off to the right start, by coming to this website and reading our Puppy Buyer’s Guide. There is more information on contacting reputable Clumber breeders elsewhere in the Breeder Referral section, but here are a few more suggestions and facts to help you:

Breeder Focus

In this country and abroad, there are people who breed dogs primarily to turn a profit - to them, breeding and selling a puppy is no different than growing and selling potatoes- they want to churn them out and sell them.  No thought is given to mating dogs that have good traits to improve the breed.  Puppies are not socialized and breeders do not screen buyers- a phone call or email and credit card are all that are needed to obtain a Clumber. An easy way to obtain a dog in the short run, but the genetics, health, and living conditions of a puppy and their parents can lead to years of problems and expensive vet bills.  A good breeder will be there for the life of your dog, not just until your check clears.

Championship Titles

Championship titles in the backgrounds of parents can mean very little if the breeder has not adequately researched the families of dogs from which mated dogs are chosen.  Adequate research also includes study of traits, health and temperament that are passed down in a pedigree.  AKC or other Conformation Championship titles are only a part of what makes up a quality show dog or pedigree.

Purebred Dog Registries

There are 3 registries recognized around the world as the legitimate registries for pure bred dogs in their countries or area of operation. They are the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC, not to be confused with Continental Kennel Club) and the Federation Cynologique Internationale, known as the FCI, outside of North America. Many other registries have been created for commercial purposes only, and can give mixed-breeds the appearance of being pure bred. They also do not require any proof of lineage, nor do they offer it.

Conscientious breeders often sell pups with AKC “limited” registration.  “Limited” means the offspring of the dog cannot be registered with the AKC.  Breeders usually do this to dissuade the breeding of lesser quality dogs (although they make great pets).  Be sure when purchasing a Clumber that is comes with AKC registration.  Some individuals are breeding dogs with AKC limited registrations even though they promised their dogs’ breeders they would not use their dogs for breeding.

Here are a few other things to watch out for:

  • Make sure you’re getting a purebred Clumber Spaniel by requiring proof that both of your dog’s parents are registered with the AKC before you pay for it. Foreign dogs who are registered abroad with the CKC and FCI can be registered with the AKC if their paper work is complete.
  • Don't deal with a U.S. breeder if he/she can't be bothered to register the Clumbers they have imported with the AKC. Any dog worth importing should be worth registering in his new country. AKC will also ensure the dogs in question are pure bred, and have not been sold on limited registrations. Not bothering to register breeding stock with the AKC doesn't say much about a breeder's respect for his own dogs, nor for their lineage.
  • Prices can vary a lot from breeder to breeder but very low prices can be an indicator of a problem. Very high prices being charged by people who have not proven themselves in the breed should also ring alarm bells.
  • DO NOT send money before seeing a sales contract.  Conscientious breeders use written sales contracts detailing both buyer’s and seller’s obligations and responsibilities involved in owning a dog from a reputable, responsible breeding program.
  • Beware of breeders who don’t ask questions and don’t want to keep in touch with you and your pup.  Good breeders care about the dogs they sell and want to keep track of pups produced from their breeding program to better enable them to make sound breeding decisions that will affect further generations.