So you want to buy a Clumber puppy
- this is my personal opinion how to find a pup. Some might find it
harsh but believe me if you read this then it might save you a fortune
in Vet's fees and heartache. Yes there are happy, healthy Clumbers out
there - you just have to make sure you find them. If you know the
pitfalls , you can avoid them. It will involve a lot of phone calls and
questions but worth it in the long run. No breeder can guarantee 100%a
pup but it is possible to try to minimise the risk of problems.
Before you search for your puppy , first of all think about what you
want to do with you new friend. Is he/she for show, working or purely as
a companion, this will make it easier to track down the right breeder,
as most have their priorities for what they are breeding their puppies
for. Do not buy on impulse as you might not get what you bargained for !
I have met numerous people that have bought Clumbers to find that they
don't do what was required and have horrendous health issues to
Once you have decided what you are looking for - now the search
begins. Whatever your reason for buying a pup - check out how well the
parents and grandparents if possible have done at showing or working. If
they are to show - how well have the parents won in the ring. Working -
well to what sort of standard , once a year or frequently throughout the
season - see them if possible the parents out working. Do not take it as
read that what is claimed is correct. If you want a dog that will
seriously work many times throughout the season check that it is
truly breeding stock - if you aren't sure it is wise to check with the
Now to the health of the dogs, this can be a minefield in the breed.
If you want a healthy dog , to be with you for a long and happy life at
the bare minimum have parents that have been hip scored and have a low
result - see the paperwork or check out my web page. If the parents
aren't scored - how about the grandparents. If you are looking at a
particular kennel check out how their dogs scores generally average.
Not all Clumbers have hip dysplasia , despite what is written on other
sites, although many have never been scored. A total hip score of below
20 is OK, ideally below 15. Does the breeder hip score all their stock -
or just selected ones, if so why ?
If a breeder says their dogs hips are fine - or that it doesn't
matter as bad hips don't affect a dogs ability to live a happy life - I
should end the conversation there - they really do not care for the
welfare of their dogs ! A Clumber can run and jump - if it is suggested
they don't , then the reason is they can't and they more than likely
have joint problems.
Once you have determined hip status - how about vertebral disc
disease - is there any family history of it and in how many of the dogs
that the breeder has bred. Hypothyroidism - the same applies. If a
breeder again denies any problems - I really would not believe them
either, there are problems out there and some breeders have their heads
in the sand. It is the puppies that suffer in the long run and the
unsuspecting puppy buyers pockets. Of course then there is dry eye,
entropian - ask the breeder if there is any of this in their lines.
Again if all their dogs are fine and they have never had a problem - suspect what they are saying.
As to cost of a pup - in my experience the more you pay does not
correspond with the health clearances of the breeding stock. In fact
generally the opposite applies !
If you want a pup to work - do not buy if the parents are not scored.
If they care for their lines , they will have taken the trouble to have
them x-rayed. If you want a pup to show - your work may well be cut out
to find low scoring parents - there are a few out there. Honestly if you
have ever owned a dog with high and low hip scores you can appreciate
the difference - so can the dog! Again DO NOT take heed with the
comments that it doesn't matter.
How socialised are the pups - they should be friendly, happy
and out going. A nervous pup is not ideal and best avoided, what ever
you want them for. See the parents - or at least the mother , is she
happy well adjusted too?
Hopefully this has given you a few things to look for when you are
buying a pup - if you want a happy, long lived Clumber then these
thoughts should guide you in finding your white hairy friend.
Good luck in your search!