Buying a gun dog puppy needs some careful forethought ...
We wouldn’t want to put anyone off owning a gundog, but there are a few, but very important, things to consider before anyone gets set on buying a gundog puppy.
Thinking about finance
A good puppy will probably cost you anywhere from £400 upwards, depending on the breed. So why are so many dogs cheaper than this? It could be quality of the breeding, or the quality of the rearing – which involves the cost of worming, flea treatment, food, pedigree and Kennel Club registration forms.
The purchase price of a puppy is only a small percentage of the final expense. You’ve then got veterinary costs for vaccinations, flea treatment and worming. And don’t forget, your puppy will need approximately 7.5kg of puppy food and 45kg of junior food before progressing onto adult food at between nine and 12 months of age.
What’s the right time of year for buying a gundog puppy?
Probably from March onwards as you gain an extra hour of daylight in the evening which can be used for training (and the warmer weather makes housetraining slightly less onerous too).
With the summer months stretching ahead you can look forward to letting the puppy play in the garden.
The set up costs
– Puppy food 7.5kg: £20
– Junior food 45kg: £100
– Flea treatment: £50
– Bed: £14-20
– Bedding: £20-30
– Bowls: £3-10
– Leads: £5-10
– Dummies: £5-30
– Dummy bag: £10-15
– Whistle: £4
– Transport cage: £45-500
– Kennel and run: £500-2,000
In the first year there might be additional costs for damage – to household furniture, articles of clothing, shoes, beds and kennels. Neither do these costs include emergency trips to vets for upset stomachs from eating everything they shouldn’t!
Dogs need time and companionship
Most people have no idea about the amount of time an 8 week-old puppy will take up, and they don’t realise this time becomes increasingly important as the puppy grows and develops.
People think they can buy a puppy, leave it at home unattended for hours on end, and then house train it at weekends. This will create a virtually impossible scenario. The puppy is only being trained to go outside when the owner is there, and then it empties itself inside when it’s at home on its own – a habit that can be very hard to break.
The people who seem to have the most success with house training puppies are generally older, simply because they often have the time to spend simply watching the puppy and are then able to pre-empt its actions.
You should also get the young dog used to going in the car – not just when it needs to go to the vet (because the dog could then associate the car with a less than pleasant experience).