Now aged 15, Puzzle is still enjoying lifeIf you are looking at this site then you are probably considering owning a dog, maybe a Cockapoo. But before you rush out and choose your puppy please read on and think, will a dog really fit into my lifestyle and which breed will suit my situation best?

Dogs are social animals and great companions, they can bring a lot of pleasure into your life. Cockapoos especially are suited to owners of all ages. They will encourage you to live a more outdoorsy lifestyle and make like minded friends not only on the daily walks but through the joining of obedience, agility and flyball clubs. Owning a dog is also believed to be good for your health, by lowering blood pressure. A couple of our Cockapoo owners are considering training their puppies as therapy dogs.

But Owning a Dog is a Big Responsibility.

A 7-8 week old puppy ready for its new home is like a baby! It requires several small feeds a day has little bladder control and needs supervision. Use to the companionship of its siblings it is unfair to leave it for more than a couple of hours during the day. And it will probably be a few nights before you get a good nights sleep!

Puzzle our English Springer Spaniel as a puppy June 1996Though you may long to come home to an enthusiastic welcome and waggy tail ,if you work full time or long hours it maybe a selfish move to embark on dog ownership.

Is your home suitable for a dog? Does it have a garden? It is very difficult to toilet train a puppy without access to a garden. Is the garden well fenced and safe for a tiny puppy?

Apart from the initial purchase price of your puppy, can you long-term ,afford to keep a dog?

And what about holidays? Do you like to travel often? Is it possible to take a dog with you or do you have a pet sitter, friend or good kennels nearby that could care for your dog whilst your away?

Puzzle Aged 3 at Agility ClubAnd finally do you have the patience and commitment to be a superb dog owner? Dogs do not come ready trained. If you pass a dog on the street walking nicely by its owners side, not pulling in front, or stopping to sniff every lamppost or bush, it has not happened by 'magic' it has taken its owner many hours of patient training. If you want a dog that is a pleasure to own and can be taken anywhere, then you have to teach it, and this requires time,continuity, and a kind but firm approach.

If, after reading the above you believe you can offer a dog a wonderful life long home than we wish you the very best of luck.

Photographs are of Puzzle, much loved and dearly missed English Springer Spaniel. Top right, Sept 2011 age 15. Centre June 1996 age 8 weeks. Bottom right. Summer 1999, age 3.