About the Breeder
Castletop Cockers, reg. is a small, private, breeding facility, established 1969, in New York State’s beautiful historic Mid-Hudson Valley. 2012 marks my forty-third year producing lovely, sweet-natured cocker spaniel puppies, exclusively and meticulously line-bred, with an emphasis on maintaining the beauty of traditional sporting dog type, musculoskeletal integrity and endurance, unsurpassed overall health, temperament and longevity, all of which are now inherently well-rooted in this bloodline.
I exhibited my dogs at licensed AKC events, back in the seventies, produced a number of champions, achieved coveted awards and attained status as an AKC approved judge for the breed. In 1980, I decided to opt out from the show ring in favor of devoting my time and energies to what I realized I loved most ~ my commitment to (1), the challenge of raising the finest dogs possible, and (2), to the individuals and families with whom my puppies would ultimately spend their lives.
To that end, over time, I have designed my placement protocol based on the following five principles:
1. . . that bringing a new puppy into the home is a process, not a frivolous event, and that process needs to reflect careful forethought and planning by both breeder and potential client.
2. . . that all puppies are not the same; that indeed each puppy is born with genetic predispositions to develop not only his/her physical characteristics, but individual patterns of behavior as well, which will or will not be expressed under a given set of environmental circumstances. This is true even of littermates, each of which will exhibit individual differences as each develops.
3. . . that temperament ~ for better or worse ~ is largely genetic, therefore pre-determined from the moment of conception. Personality, on the other hand, develops over time, and is influenced by both temperament and environment.
4. . . that puppies and their owners, when well matched from the beginning, tend to have far more positive experiences over the long haul, than those who ended up together either through chance or by choice when the client’s initial requirements may have been unclear or poorly prioritized, for one reason or other.
5. . . that puppies are not appropriate surprise gifts, either for adults or children, since the very nature of the surprise is that although the giver may experience a degree of gratification, the gift has not been planned for by the recipient(s), not to mention that the recipient / owner will not have taken part in the critical selection process.
My dogs, throughout the years, have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance, through their ability to connect, through their eagerness to please, as family pets and companions, at home, in obedience and in therapy work.
My puppies are generally placed at between eight and ten weeks of age, depending on the puppy’s readiness and the particular circumstances in the new home.
I do not ship puppies; all puppies leave my home in the arms of their new owners, all of whom have been introduced to the puppy’s parents, and have been given a comprehensive education in the proper care and management of their puppy, including, but not limited to:
- Introduction into the home
- Crate training and housebreaking
- Proper feeding
- Individual written health history, including birth circumstances, worming and vaccinations dates, current vaccination protocol, veterinary health certification, current feeding schedule, ear care, grooming needs, etc.
- Safe and appropriate toys
- Setting rules and boundaries
- Understanding that baby puppies are not baby people, and have different needs from baby people.
- Helping young children to learn to handle the young puppy gently and respectfully, under careful parental supervision.
- The assurance that I will be available to all my puppy owners over the entire life of the dog, for ongoing support as the puppy develops and needs change.
Services for the following are also provided, as needed at no extra charge
- Sensitive bereavement counseling following the recent loss of a pet.
- Introducing a new puppy into the home in which there is another dog.
- One new puppy home visit (for local clients).
Each client is given a voluminous packet containing the following:
- AKC registration application
- Original booklet "Your New Cocker Spaniel Puppy", specifically designed to address the day-to-day care and management of the puppies produced here.
- Bill of sale, breeder’s written guarantee and addendum listing topics covered during client visit(s).
- Written individual health history (including veterinary certification)
- Recommended vaccine protocol and schedule.
- Information regarding spaying/neutering and licensing.
- Information and illustration pertinent to appropriate cocker grooming
- An assortment of addition documents of interest.
- NYS Lemon Law, as it pertains to the sale of puppies (Article 35-D) setting forth consumer rights.
Please honor my personal and professional integrity by not sending initial emails, requesting pictures and price lists. My puppies are not catalog items. Once we have connected by phone, I will be delighted to send snapshots of specific puppies in which you might be interested.
A Typical Chocolate & Tan Puppy
A Typical 8 Week Old Buff Female
A Typical Buff and White Female
Typical Black & White Tri Color
43 years experience includes:
Past/Present Membership to:
Invited Guest Speaker: