Selecting a Puppy
Our search for a puppy started in September 2012. Knowing that Carole would be retiring from full time employment we agreed that we would have time to have a dog in our lives. It was September 2013 before Scully finally came home with us.
Step 1 – Reseach
The first thing we did was go to ‘Discover Dogs’. Organised by the Kennel club, this is a great place to check out a huge number of ‘recognised breeds’ (Cockapoos are not recognised by the UK Kennel Club).
Initially we were keen on a medium sized wirehaired terrier type, but after talking to several owners at the exhibition realised that wouldn’t be right for us. Then one of our friends suggested a Cockapoo, we knew very little about their character or care, but happily one of our neighbours has a Cockapoo and they were only too willing to introduce us to Lola, their 1 year old, high energy bitch.
Checking the internet we came across ‘The Cockapoo Club of Great Britain’ (CCGB) www.cockapooclub.co.uk which has lots of really helpful information, and a chat forum where new and old Cockapoo owners can share their experiences.
CCGB also publishes information on local meet ups. I went on my first “Cockapoo walk” before Scully arrived and it was a great opportunity to meet other owners and also so see the different variations on the Cockapoo theme.
Step 2 – Selecting a breeder
Having contacted most of the breeders that the CCGB has on their approved list, and drawn up a shortlist of breeders to visit.
In November 2012 we visited ‘Jukee Doodles’ www.jukeedoodles.com in Lincolnshire, the most far flung on our shortlist . We really liked their set-up and found the owners, Julia and Stephen, very helpful and informative. Being first time puppy owners this was really important to us. Our first visit lasted four hours, and was enough to convince us that we wanted a ‘JD’ puppy, and that it would be worth joining their waiting list – 8 months at that time.
Step 3 – Waiting
What seemed initially to be a long wait, passed quite quickly. Carole spent a good deal of time on the Cockapoo chat forum, and searching the internet for all the puppy related paraphernalia that a new dog owner requires. We also took steps to puppy proof our house and garden.
We took a long holiday early in the summer knowing that it would be some time before we would be travelling far from home once the puppy arrived.
Step 3 – Choosing a puppy
Whilst on holiday we learnt from Julia that several of their ‘girls’ who had been successfully mated over the summer had whelped healthy puppies and we would be invited to a ‘puppy selection’. Julia and Stephen believe that puppies should not be selected until they reach 6 weeks, their experience has taught them
“At that age you can start to see their character, looks, coat type, colour and charisma. All elements we feel necessary for you to make a very personal and instinctive choice of the perfect puppy for you, over another one. No one on the waiting list chooses who has which puppy until that 6 week old stage.”
They do however invite customers to visit before that stage so we headed off there the day after we landed back at Heathrow to spend another wonderful afternoon of their deck playing with 4 litters of 3/4 week old puppies
We returned 2 weeks later for selection day. Another four hours surrounded by puppies, all of them delightful. Quite suddenly we were both captivated by one of Mia’s, chocolate brown and quite a ‘bruiser’, she almost shouted ‘pick me’- and so we did.
Step 4 – Choosing a name
Over the months of waiting we had been provided with a lots of potential names, friends and family all held strong opinions, but we hadn’t settled on anything. During the 4 hour drive home we decided on ‘Scully’- Maybe one day there will be Mulder.