Our daughter, Molly took these bits of video of Treacle's pups this morning. Excuse me explaining about doing short clips, as it takes forever to load up on here anything over a couple minutes long.
Treacle's pups turn three weeks old, and I got this bit of video of Treacle with them this morning, before I slipped out the door to go milking, and the home was quiet.
Photos and video of Treacle and her pups over the last few days. They all have their eyes open now and ears. Pretty much waling now and alert to sounds around them.
This year I had something happen to me, that I have never had happen before. Someone getting a puppy from me, on picking up their pup gave me another £100 on top of the price I was selling the pup for. A very kind gesture, as they thought I was under selling my pups. I said, "Compared to what other people are selling their pups for, it might seem that way, but I think they are over pricing their pups."
Which neatly brings me to the essence of this blog. "Why are we seeing such massive hikes in the prices of puppies?" Nine years ago I started this blog, and the price of my pups was £650 each, now they are £900 each. £650 nine years ago, would be around the average to pay for a Cavalier or Cavapoo. I have risen the price every couple years, in line with general rising cost. I have risen the price this June from £850 to £900, which is around a 6% rise. bearing in mind the pups have been £850 since 2017. I think most will see that the rise in the cost of our pups is in line with the rising costs over the last nine years. Vet fees for example on average have risen some 20% in the last couple years.
We have never set out to make our pups exclusive or a status symbol. I started off back in my youth, just carrying on what my ancestors before me done, just breeding back for myself. With the dawn of the internet, that has made selling puppies so easy, I did almost get wrapped up in becoming a breeding for profit breeder. Nothing wrong with breeding for profit, if done well, and honest about it. We breed now with an ongoing project to breed a healthy sporting little spaniel, and litters are bred for this. Keeping pups back and surplus to our needs being sold, and that money ploughed back in to the pack. We bred three litters last year and made no money, with maintaining our pack, it took a further £1000 or so, of the money I earn milking to pay all the pack bills. We certainly won't be making any money this year with two litters. So I guess I'm back to where I started from with breeding dogs.
So what is it with these dog breeders that only 12 months ago were selling Cavalier/Cavapoo puppies for £1000, are now selling them for £2000 to £2500, which is inflating the market and pushing up the prices of puppies generally? How can they justify such price jumps? There are a few factors driving this, that I have observed. One of them is the new Dog Breeding Regulation, which have been in place since October 2018, and as noted in an article published by The BMJ the Dog breeding inspections are 'going wrong' Councils are working now on a star rating system. and it is this star system that is one of the factors we are seeing massive price hikes in puppies. Seems you can register with your council for the first time as a breeder, and if on your inspection, which you would of had advanced notice of, you get everything right, say the right things, you can attain the highest accolade of five stars. Which then means with most councils you can breed for three years without being inspected. Surely a new breeder registering with a council should be one to be more closely monitored. Believe me, passing the inspection is not that hard. Achieving five stars should be something only given to breeders that the council has at least three years of them being registered with them with no bad feed back.
Small breeders on the internet who have only been registered with the council for a few months are advertising that they are now council registered with five stars, telling you, "as all breeders have to be now." Which is a lie, only breeders breeding three litters or more litters a year and also those, if making a profit out of selling puppies breeding under three litters a year, you have to be registered with the council. So the only reason I can see for a dog breeder to register with the council if you are breeding only one or two litters a year, is they are breeding for profit, and my have they seen this as a green light to hike their prices right up. It does not sound so good on an advert., "We are now council registered, although we only breed two litters a year, so we can now charge extortionate prices for our puppies." does it? This is one of the factors that they justify the price hike in their pups, but if already breeding to a high standard before being registered with the council, the cost of getting a council licence would not put that greater cost on producing each pup.
The price hiking is also partly coming from the smoke screen and mirrors of DNA testing. Often you will see the words "extensively health tested" and a list of DNA tests. DNA tests have there place, and it will take some serious research to figure out if they are doing ones relevant to the breeds they are advertising or they have just done one of those DNA bundle tests, so a big list of clear results does not mean that much, but it looks impressive to the unknowing. There has been a lot of concern about DNA testing in dogs in recent years, as the market explodes Pet genomics medicine runs wild and Dog DNA testing: Test kits popular but veterinarians warn about risks.
Chris Warren who checks my dogs eyes, told me a few years ago there was a DNA test for Hereditary Cataract in Cavaliers, but it turned out to eventually be duff, as dogs tested clear, got them. So we have to be very careful with DNA testing. It is not the panacea most breeders would have you think when breeding for health, but a long list of DNA tests does look good when advertising a litter of pups, especially when most of the buying public have not got a clue when it comes to genetics and DNA testing. I wrote a blog in 2017 about The fallacy of health tests. I still stand by that blog.
So basically we are seeing the misrepresentation of two things to the puppy buying public, dog breeding licencing and health testing in order for dog breeders to validate substantial increases in the price of puppies they are selling. So in answer to why are we seeing massive price hikes is simple, "Greed."
a All of them are now opening their eyes. Their eyes at first appear cloudy and with bluish tint. It will take until around 28 days before their eyes clear and they can properly focus. Today we started their worming regime. We worm them every two weeks from birth, for three days each time with Panacur paste. It really is important to keep young pups regularly wormed. Worms unchecked in a young pup, can soon multiply and can cause life threatening health issues for them.
The little Working Cocker spaniel boy we got is growing in to a very handsome boy. Very pleased with him so far. Alert, playful, already showing an aptitude for retrieving, loves water, and at the end of the day, loves your lap. He does have a lovely character about him.
I sent off DNA swabs for him a few days ago, and I'm waiting on news of them. He's being tested for Exercise- Induced Collapse (EIC), Adult Onset Neuropathy (AON), Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS), Familial Nephropathy (FN) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA), which are the recommended DNA tests for Cocker spaniels. He also is being tested for a few other things, as I bought a DNA bundle. Fingers crossed!
Lovely bit of video and update for Charlie, who is from Blottie and Ernest's litter of ten pups, born December 2017
Hope you’re all well and looking forward to the summer holidays! It’s been great following Treacle and her pups, watching them grow and develop. They’ll be keeping you busy no doubt! Charlie is very well and continues to be a fantastic family pet. Thought you might like to see this video clip of him on the beach at Sandsend, near Whitby, this morning. He absolutely loves retrieving sticks/old jelly shoes etc. from the sea. He’s crashed out on the sofa now! It’s a hard life ....
Love from Sandra"
Yesterday Ebony's eyes had started to open, so in a few days time we should start to see all of their eyes opening.
One week old and the children have named them all. The girl is "Ebony", and the boy with a white tip to his tail is "Bruno", with the other boy being called, "Frankie." Starting to get nice and podgy now.
3rd Birthday greeting from Sasha and Bertha's litter brothers
"Harley at 3!"
I hope all is well with you & your family? Lovely to see that your new litter have arrived, although it sounds like it was a little traumatic? I hope the temperature cools a little for them & Treacle soon, it's been so hot here. Neither Harley or I are big fans of the high temperatures.
I've been keeping an eye on your blog this year & it's been interesting reading all about all the dogs & all the new puppies. It's nice to see photos of Harley's sisters, Bertha & Sasha to see how they're doing. I was glad to read Bertha has recovered well from her surgery.
It's hard to believe that the girls, Harley & Barnaby are 3 now. I don't know where that time has gone, I still remember reading about their birth on your blog with such a sense of excitement (& trepidation!) that one of those tiny pups was going to be mine.
Harley is still very well & seems to enjoy life! He still goes to daycare & by all accounts has a wonderful time, I'm very lucky to have such a brilliant group of people I can trust to look after my boy when I'm at work. There was a Spaniel Meet Up there on Sunday which I used as a birthday treat for Harley! It was lovely to see him running around and showing me all his human friends.
As Harley still hasn't shown much interest in retrieving anywhere other than the garden, we never went back to gundog training. I wanted something else to do together though, so a couple of months ago we started agility. Harley absolutely loves it! He's so enthusiastic on his runs, is so fast & has just taken to it brilliantly. I'm so glad as I wanted something to make us feel a bit more of a team & to help him focus on me a bit more whilst we're out.
We had a lovely holiday in Derbyshire with my parents last month & Harley took it all in his stride, settling into the cottage & a different routine in no time at all. I think he enjoyed having more people around to play with! I was so pleased with him as our cottage backed onto a National Trust parkland.....full of sheep & lambs. The previous year he'd been a real handful around sheep, but this time, he was much better (unless they decided to move) & by the end of the week we could walk within a few metres of the sheep without Harley bothering too much at all. He's definitely calmed down a lot now.
I'm constantly learning with Harley but I do feel that we're at the stage where we pretty much know how each other work now! I'm still reluctant to let him off the lead very much, which I feel bad about, but back in February (just when my confidence was growing in having him off lead) Harley took off into the undergrowth on a walk & I lost him for almost half an hour. I was so upset & it really knocked my confidence. His Brittany nose is a real pain! I have Harley on a long line or extendable lead so he gets to have a run & I'm working at building my confidence back up with him off lead. I think agility is helping...
I've attached a few photos of Harley so you can see how he's grown into a very handsome chap! People seem surprised when I tell them his age, he has still got a puppy look (& attitude) about him! We’ll be having a long walk before it gets too hot then a lazy afternoon in the garden for his birthday, which Harley will hopefully enjoy.
Wishing you all the best with the new litter. Thanks, as always for my boy, he's very loved, not only by me, but also my parents (so Albey's Heather painted a super portrait of Harley for my parents Christmas present).
Sarah & Harley xx"
"Happy 3rd Birthday to Harley!"
His two sisters are still like two pups, although off the lead Bertha is really good. Her sister, Sasha though is a bit more hair raising when you first let her off the lead, and we make sure she is walked with either her sister or with other dogs we have with very good recall. She has always come back, but we have had a anxious moments waiting for her return.
Hope you are having a lovely day together.
Love from us all at Poundlane
"Birthday greetings from Barnaby"
Hope you and family are well. You must be very busy with all those beautiful pups! Just wanted to send birthday greetings from Barnaby on his 3rd birthday. As you can see from the photos, he is still a very handsome boy indeed! He’s keeping us fit as he loves long walks, and with all the running through the woods and jumping like tigger through the long grass, he must cover 10xs the distance we walk! Luckily he loves fetching a ball so, if we don’t have time for a 5 mile walk, we can wear him out playing fetch. When at home, he likes to relax on his back with his legs in the air, preferably on our laps!
He really is a lovely family dog and we can’t imagine life without him.
"Happy 3rd Birthday to Barnaby!"
great to hear from you and that Barnaby is such fun. Funnily you say he loves fetching a ball, as his brother, Harley has shown little interest in playing fetch.
Hope you all have a lovely day with Barnaby, on his 3rd birthday.
Love from us all at Poundlane
Treacle's three pups turn a day old. Pups are born with eyes and ears closed. They locate Mum by smell and touch. Eyes open by two weeks old, but are unable to fully focus until around 28 days old. Ears start to open around the same time as their eyes. They also should double their birth weight by the time they are one week old.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!