Whilst we are very grateful to all of the lovely enquiries we have received, we've been overwhelmed and inundated with puppy enquiries since the Covid-19 lockdown started. Firstly I'd like to say thank you to everyone that has been in contact and taken the time to tell us about themselves, about why they are searching for a puppy and asked us questions. It helps us no end to know a little bit about you and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Our waiting lists remain open at this time and we encourage people to register onto our waiting list in order to be kept updated with our litter plans; please contact us for further information. We are strictly not replying to any enquiries that ask if we have a puppy available and give us absolutely no other information; this has always been our policy and we hope that everybody can understand just how strict and meticulous we need to be to ensure that we find the right and loving homes for our puppies, now more than ever.
We have however, like many other responsible and reputable breeders, decided to postpone any further matings until the uncertainty of Covid-19 has passed and lockdown measures have eased. We cannot put a timeline on this, nor can we guarantee when we will have puppies (that's down to mother nature after all!), but rest assured we will keep everybody updated with our plans.
It has been a worrying trend amongst many breeders about how many puppy enquiries we have all received during lockdown. Lockdown, coupled with the nice Spring weather means that people are enjoying walks and the countryside more and many are considering a pet dog as they believe it is an ideal time to get a puppy. Some unscrupulous breeders are 'cashing in' on the rise in demand in puppies by bumping up selling prices and many of these puppies have had absolutely no form of health testing, which saddens me deeply both for new puppy owners that are being taken for a ride and equally for the fate of puppies being bred potentially from unhealthy dogs or over-bred in order to meet demand. Here at Jackcamb we do not wish to lecture anybody but we can give you advice based on our own experiences and we personally do not think that it is necessarily the right time to be introducing a puppy into your home, for a number of reasons, some of which have been outlined below:
+ Socialisation - this is one of the most important aspects of training a puppy and it has been made incredibly difficult due to lockdown. Puppies have a very short socialisation window (roughly 8-16 weeks of age) and during this time they need to be exposed to as many different sights, sounds and experiences as possible. Socialisation does not just mean meeting other dogs, animals, adults or children. Socialisation also means that you need to train your puppy to get used to sights and noises such as traffic, which is difficult during lockdown as there is far less traffic on the road. Simple things such as walking a puppy past a school during breaktime (cue loud screaming children!) can be important, as can walking through a garden centre or busy high street for the sights, sounds and smells (is that bacon I smell?!). Socialisation/puppy classes are very important both to begin teaching simple commands such as recall but also so that a puppy can learn to be around other dogs without always thinking that it is time for rough play time.
+ Separation Anxiety - This can be a major issue for many dogs and tends to stem from training as a puppy on how they have been left at home or even left in another room. Lockdown obviously makes it almost impossible to leave a puppy for any amount of time; non-essential travel means that you can't pop out and leave home for a prolonged period of time. There are ways to try and get around this if you have a puppy during lockdown and even though our dogs do not suffer with separation anxiety, we're keen to not see problems emerge in the future. Whilst work mostly continues as normal for me and I'm used to working from home, my husband has been furloughed and is therefore at home all of the time with me. Our dogs think this is marvellous! Two of us home all day every day to follow around, to play with toys, throw a ball in the garden and to go on long walks as a family. However! We are making sure that at least once each day, the dogs are shut away in their own room/crates to have a snooze and entertain themselves while we're either in another room doing work or we're out in the garden. I recommend everyone to ensure that their dogs aren't allowed to follow them around all day during lockdown, regardless of their age or disposition. The other issue with getting a puppy during lockdown is that eventually things will return to normal and your boss may suddenly ask you back to work sooner than you may have thought, in which case the worries I have are how this will affect puppies; have dog walkers and pet sitters got room to take them if more people have decided to get a puppy during lockdown? Have new puppy owners thought about how they will manage changing their daily routines to cater for a puppy once things return to normal?
+ Meeting puppies before collecting - We always encourage and advise people to come and meet our adult dogs sometimes even prior to a mating if they're able to do so. It's important to meet parent dogs to understand their temperament and be sure that it is a breed of dog you know enough about (having done research before enquiring after puppies). Once puppies are born, we do not invite potential new puppy owners to visit puppies until they're approximately four weeks old but after this, we are happy to cater for multiple visits before they come to take their puppy to their new home. This is impossible with lockdown; this is not deemed essential travel, with social distancing this also makes this extremely risky for both parties. We also strongly advise that you should be willing to travel any distance in order to find the right puppy, not just a puppy locally for convenience. We receive enquiries from around the UK and even Europe, and potential new owners should always visit our dogs and puppies first.
For many breeders, bitches may already have been mated prior to lockdown, or expecting puppies days into lockdown. For some breeders this has meant keeping puppies on far longer than they have envisaged. Not only does this potentially have a financial impact, keeping a litter of puppies together for longer than planned can cause issues such as 'pack mentality' and make training even more difficult. We salute all breeders breeding responsibly and those that, like us, have made the decision to postpone breeding any further litters until this time of uncertainty has passed or at least improved significantly.
Although this may seem frustrating to many people that are eagerly wanting a puppy and can offer one a loving home, please ensure you are doing your research. Not only should you be researching the breed of dog you're buying (breed traits, grooming needs, training needs etc), you should also take this opportunity to meticulously research breeders to find the right one for you, take the time to properly plan for introducing a puppy into your home and also research the guidelines on the Covid-19 lockdown should you already have paid a deposit and are due to get a puppy during lockdown. We wish both new puppy owners and breeders alike all the best for the future in this uncertain and sometimes scary time. Stay safe everybody, keep positive and things will improve soon.
Should anybody wish to contact us for advice or just a chat, please do not hesitate to contact us through our contact us page.