Today I am announcing our announcement 🙂
Early next year we are getting an 8 week old working Cocker Spaniel puppy from a wonderful breeder, and he will be trained to be my official seizure and psychiatric assistance dog.
We spent a lot of time discussing this, and then after that I especially spent a lot of time researching breeds and then breeders.
I wanted a dog that was a substantial size (as I want some form of DPT and blocking to be possible) but not too big that it wouldn’t fit in with our household. I didn’t really want a dog bigger than Kasper (20-22kg) and my ideal was 15kg, although I would go up to 30kg for the right dog.
Initially the three breeds I was most interested in was:
- Border Collie
My thoughts on each breed:
I love Border Collie’s in general, and their drive, intelligence and willingness to work with their owner is awesome. My huge concern was nervousness, especially with things such as sound sensitivity, which is rife within the breed. I found a wonderful breeder with health tested dogs (and the puppies were red and white, and lilac and white = SQUEEE!), but in the end decided a Collie wasn’t right for the job.
I was interested in Miniature or Standard. Miniature was probably a little small, but Standard was probably a little big hahaha! I love Poodles for their wonderful personalities, their intelligence, and energy levels. They are a great breed. Unfortunately responsible Poodle breeders are very hard to find in this area, and again there wasn’t really an ideal size.
Labs have an easy-going personality, they’re pretty chilled as far as adult dogs go, and they love to work. My biggest issue with the breed was health issues, of which there are so many, and although there are a lot of Lab breeders in this area (from show to working lines) finding a breeder that was willing to go through health tests with me step-by-step or that even health tested at all was hard. My next issue was size (we’d prefer a male dog and they can reach 36kg!) and finally their shedding – Labs are incredible shedders 😀
I then put a lot more research into dog breeds and contacted some charities that train service dogs and some epilepsy charities, and I discovered some more possible breeds, mainly Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels.
Both breeds are extremely intelligent, active, love to work, and have nice amiable personalities. I was told that Cockers tend to be the breed most used as seizure alert dogs for children, because of their perfect size (around 11-14kg) and their goofball personalities.
I put in a ton more research and settled on a breed: Cocker Spaniel.
It was now time to find breeders. This was many hours again searching, contacting clubs, contacting gundog sites, and finally contacting individual breeders.
I found two phenomenal breeders fairly nearby, both breeding working Cocker Spaniels. All their dogs were extensively health tested and the breeders knew their dogs well and obviously cared for them.
Both breeders have had previous litters become working dogs in roles such as the police and mountain rescue. One breeder has a litter due early next year, and one breeder has a litter due mid November.
All their dogs are gorgeous, but the parents of the litter due this November has me especially excited! We will be meeting up with the breeders, filling in the questionnaires, having a chat, and meeting all their dogs hopefully within this month (we are meeting one in less than a weeks’ time!!).
Alongside all this I have been in contact with our local training facility, in regards to puppy obedience class and eventually 1-on-1 classes for task training. We are very lucky to have a training facility fairly close by where the trainers are very informed, use 100% positive training methods, and already teach a range of things from obedience to scent work, rally, heelwork to music and agility. All the trainers are ADPT approved.
Finally, when the puppy is old enough and his training has come along far enough,we will be registering with CGI for the Public Access Test.
And that’s our news 😀
We do have a Go Fund Me campaign, and if anybody wanted to share our campaign on social media (or even donate, but please don’t feel you have to!) that would be amazingly helpful.
This puppy will be absolutely life changing for me and, because it will have the correct temperament and the correct training from 8 weeks old, it will be able to do the tasks outdoors that Pixie couldn’t. My trainer is hopeful that by 6 months old this puppy will be coming to medical appts with me 🙂
We appreciate each and every donation we get, but please please do not feel any pressure to donate!
We will be updating the campaign every few days with any news we have about the puppy, the training facility etc.
And if you read this far, have a mouse pic to make you smile 🙂
That is Tate, one of our little keeper boys. When he is old enough he will be bred to Lotus and Pan…I imagine their babies will be absolutely stunning 🙂
Oh, post just arrived. After neither us nor my parents making contact with each other since I cut ties, guess what arrived in the mail today? A birthday card (my bday’s the 18th) that said “To [me]! Have a wonderful birthday! I didn’t put any text on the front of the card just in case you wanted to keep it for the picture 🙂 Hope you have a fab time, Lots and lots of love, Mum and Dad” and then lots of kisses…
This is what REALLY annoys me about them.
You can’t just act as if nothing has happened and brush everything under the carpet. It does my head in! They have done this for years and years and it leaves me so confused and upset…and the last time I had contact with them, I told them repeatedly I didn’t want ANY contact from them at all, and now I get this card that acts as if nothing has happened and, of course, with no hint of apology.