Meet the Cochwillan Agility Team


June 5th 2012 - Happy Birthday to the whole family!

A HUGE Thankyou to Roger Richards, owner of Jess, for the following photograph

 Left to Right:

Bryn (was Oscar), Jude standing, Cassie (mum) behind. At the back Harvey (was Snoopy/Dice), in front Basil (was Sweep) and far right, Jess (was Suki).

It was lovely to see each and every one of them so obviously loved, happy and well cared for in their new families.


August 2011 - Jude (staying here!) and Cassie

Thanks to Jacqui Molden (New owner of Oscar - now Bryn) for this photo.

Seven Weeks Old 24th July 2011 - Sweep, Jude, Suki and Snoopy

































Cassie - Cheweky Cover Basher. Sired by FT CH Steadroc Sker

 Meet Cassie, acquired from a breeder selling up due to ill health and being unable to look after the dogs any longer. As you can see from the photo below, Cassie is pregnant, and her puppies are due in June.2011. More details will be posted about the puppies once they arrive. They will be KC Registered pedigree Springer Spaniels, I saw the sire "Jasper" who is of similar type to Cassie, and like her, he is a typical busy,friendly, waggy springer!



Cassie is living in the house, is housetrained and can be left for a few hours without making any mess or chewing anyones shoes! She loves to potter in and out of the house, following us and the other dogs around the garden.  Cassie knows her name, and is very responsive to it, but otherwise she doesn't seem to have had any training at all. I have spent the last couple of days trying to teach her to play, and she has quickly learned to fetch a tennis ball - the look of sheer delight on her face when she worked it out was a joy to behold! 


Four Weeks old - 03/07/11 - first days outside

Are we brave enough to venture out on our own?

Brave boy Snoopy, first out!

I want my mummy!


Three Weeks Old 26/06/11 - The Milk bar is definitely overcrowded!

3 weeks old and playing out!

Sweep - 3 weeks

Two weeks old 19/06/11 - Not much room at the bar any more!

Two Weeks old - eyes just opening this weekend - The Girls!

One week old 12/06/11 - The whole family at the milk bar


One Week Old - Snoopy with his feet up, Sweep and Suki behind.

One week old - on the move.

One week old - Judy and Oscar being guarded from an inquisitive Jess!

Puppies have arrived - Sunday 5th June 2011

Cassie with her first born Son


The Whole Litter of Five

There are three dog pups and two bitch pups, all have liver on their heads and various spots on the body - one dog pup has a half-white face.Cassie is proving to be a fabulous and attentive mother, constantly cleaning, feeding and tending to her brood.

More pictures will be posted every week.

Before you get a puppy.......

The Big Decision

1.       Longterm Responsibility


Questions to ask yourself – and ponder…

1.       A dog should live 10-15 yrs. Where do you see yourself in 10+ yrs time? Are you prepared to treat the dog as a member of the family, his needs considered along with everyone else’s whatever happens in the future?

For instance, what if you have children? It is unfair to “get rid” of the dog just because you now have a new family member. Your choice of breed has come from the gundog group, and these are generally some of the softest breeds around. Be sure your dog meets other people’s children of all ages, and the groundwork is done for him to accept a child into your family. Puppies/dogs of any age should always be supervised around young children, even your own. Never leave a child in a room or garden with a dog and no adult present. At least then if the dog does jump up/scratch/nip the child, you know what triggered it and can either control the dog or child to ensure no repetition. If you come into a room and a child has been bitten by the dog, how do you know the child wasn’t stamping on its tail, or poking it in the eye a few seconds before?

However good a dog is with kids in his own family, he may not be so good with other kids. I once had a GSD (Alsatian) who was brilliant with our kids, but wanted to guard them from attack from other kids. At the time ours were of pre-school age, and they would play-fight with their friends as kids do. Luckily the worst she ever did was run between two fighting/screaming kids and knock them over while splitting them up, but I did have to watch her all the time. She wasn’t being naughty, it is natural for a dog to look after its own pack. If a strange adult had tried to snatch one of our kids in the street and the dog had attacked him when the child screamed, she would have been hailed a hero. In both cases the dog was protecting a member of her own family from an outsider. How could she be expected to understand the difference?


What if you have to “downsize” into a smaller home?

 It really annoys me to hear that someone is rehoming their dog because they are moving and can’t take the dog. Once you have a dog, it must be considered a member of the family and accommodation must include the dog. Do you think a dog cares how small the place is so long as he is still with his family?


Basically you wouldn’t get rid of your first child because another came along, you moved house, lost your job….. whatever happens – and it is unfair to think it is OK to discard the dog like a used dishcloth.  Rescue centres all over the country are full of dogs that people got on a whim when it was a cute baby puppy, and got rid of when it became an adult that needed exercise, training, play, attention, vet fees, boarding fees, the list is endless….. but basically because the dog became inconvenient. Please don’t let yours join them.






2.       Can you afford it?


The biggest consideration is vets fees - The purchase price of your puppy is absolutely nothing to the possible costs ahead.

I don’t mean to be alarmist, if a dog is well fed, well exercised and generally well looked after, in the vast majority of cases they lead long and healthy lives.

Apart from innoculations, neutering and the occasional minor illness or accident, mine rarely need a vet. But you never know. With a single dog I would advise insurance for at least the first year as this is the time they are most likely to have an accident due to being young and headstrong, or swallow something inedible!

Other costs to consider:

Food – good quality food with ensure less need for a vet so is a must, and prices vary.

Boarding – Holidays cannot always be taken with the dog, and kennels can be expensive. Check the nightly rate in your area, and don’t forget to multiply it by the number of nights you will be away and the number of times a year you expect to go away. Friends may offer to look after the dog. That’s great if they are dog owners, their gardens are secure and they can be trusted – but the bill at the kennels is preferable to coming home to a lost, sick or God forbid, dead dog.

Equipment – before you get the dog you will need beds, toys, puppy pen, etc etc. All these things will need replacing from time to time throughout the dog’s life.

Replacement possessions. Yours! Puppies will chew, and no matter how careful you are sometimes they will chew something of value. A shoe, a remote control, the sofa, whatever it is, once it has happened you will have to pay for a replacement – your home insurance will never cover damage by dogs teeth!


3.       Support

Whoever choses to have a dog, must consider everyone else in the family. We are having a dry sunny spell at the moment (long may it last), but sooner or later it will rain. The dog will bring mud into the house, wet dogs smell of, well, wet dog, and whatever the weather the dog will have to go outside and get wet and muddy several times a day. And all dogs lose hair at some time during the year. Life will become one long battle to keep the dog hair at bay.  If you are very house-proud, it may not work!


Also, if your working hours are different, different members of the family will be coming home to the dog. Is everyone prepared to spend the time needed to let him out, feed him and play with him etc., basically whatever needs doing?


In the early weeks, whoever comes home to the pup will have to clean up soiled paper, probably mop the floor too, generally spend some time every day cleaning up behind the puppy. Are you up for it?



4.       Should you have a dog?



Is it fair to have a dog if you are working full time hours?


Not all full time workers make bad owners, but you have to be committed. When you leave work, if there is no-one else in the house, you have to go straight home. No more evening shopping, couple of hours in the pub or meals out straight from work etc.


You have your job, your friends, your hobbies – the dog has only you to rely on. If you don’t come home a sociable creature like a dog will be bored and lonely. He won’t just sulk, he’ll take out his frustration on your possessions or bark and annoy the neighbours. And whose fault is that?


You will have to get up an hour earlier every morning so you have time to feed/play with the pup before you go. When he gets older this will change to exercise before you go - In all weathers, dark, miserable and freezing cold winter mornings included!


Provision needs to be made for the pup to be fed, let out and played with at a maximum of 3hr intervals all day. This can be cut to every 4hrs after 6 months, but not longer. Do you have someone you can rely on to do this every day?


I work 6 hr days, which means I am out for 7hrs a day. I get up at 6:30am and take all mine for 1/2hr free running exercise followed by breakfast and they are left in outside pens with indoor access. They are kennelled in twos so never alone, and outdoor access means they can pee whenever they like. With toys and bones and comfy benches to lay on they are fine while I am out from 8:30am.  As soon as I get home at 3:30pm I walk them two at a time on leads to the fields for a second run and play in the fields before tea. I do this every working day without fail.

 While we are on the subject of exercise, this is absolutely necessary. Not just for fitness, but for the dog to get a chance to run, stretch, use his senses, be a dog and behave like one for a while every day. Interaction and play with you will strengthen your bond, meeting other people and dogs will ensure he is well socialised, and of course a tired dog is always a happy dog. In the early weeks socialisation and play are more important than distance walking. Like an athlete, excercise must be built up slowly over the first growing months, then maintained on a daily basis. You must want to excercise the dog - not do it because you feel it is a chore you must perform. If you know you won't feel like it most of the time, get a cat! This is so important, and I mean it. The one thing that sets a dog apart from any other household pet is his need for exercise and mental stimulation - if you don't want to exercise, don't even consider getting a dog.


I only work 4 days a week, on the other 3 they get longer walks, sometimes  on the beach, and go to agility training twice a week for really hard exercise (me included!).  Are you committed to a similar routine? Remember, however tired you are when you get home, the dog will still need some attention and exercise, after all, he has been lazing about and sleeping all day. If he has behaved himself for you, he deserves some time/attention, and there is no-one else to give it.


I am lucky mine can be left outside while I am at work, but this is not practical for everyone.  We live on a detached plot and the perimeter of the dogs’ pen is not neighbouring a road or walkway, or our next door neighbours house and garden.


In an estate situation the neighbours have to be considered too. A lonely dog will bark whenever he hears voices – he will want company and attention. And these days dog theft is a very real possibility. You need to assess the risks and issues in your own situation.


Maybe an older puppy or young adult would suit you better if you cannot arrange the time and attention required for a baby puppy?

5.       What breed?

You have expressed an interest in an English Springer.they are a lovely breed - I would say though, that they are an extremely high drive, active dog, and could be quite miserable living life as a couch potato – although after a good run they will love to snuggle up for the evening! A good breeder would point these things out to you; one not-so-good will take the money and not care whether or not you can offer the puppy a suitable home and lifestyle. Please take a moment to consider whether you can in the long term.

 6.       Are you ready?

 Before you buy a puppy, you need the following:


Bed: cardboard box, newspaper and some vetbed. Don’t buy anything flashy, pups chew. A posh bed can await his first birthday. A cardboard box can be replaced as often as necessary.


Toys: Rubber “Kong” and large rawhide chews are suitable when a pup is left home alone. Anything destructible should be played with only under supervision.

Heavy water bowl

Steel food bowl


Puppy pen/crate

A crate needs to be big enough for an adult of the breed, so can be used for life as a car crate, or when you go away visiting friens/relatives.

A puppy pen as well is necessary if the pup is to be left during the day.


No puppy should be left in a crate for more than 1-2 hrs during the day. Even in a pen, 3hrs tops.  A crate should be half bedding half newspaper and contain a water bowl attached to the side (or the heavy, non-spill type), and an indestructible chew toy. If the pup needs to pee, he can, but doesn’t need to sit in it.


A pen is basically the same, but a bigger area. Basically somewhere the pup cannot escape from and is safe from electrocution from chewing electric wires, or the ability to damage your carpets, furniture, possessions, and possibly choking himself in the process.


A secure garden for obvious reasons, and safe chickens! A puppy will be curious and playful. But imagine a wild dog in a pack. The mother will bring home live birds or rabbits for the youngsters to play with, and ultimately kill. In a wild pack this is a necessary skill for their long-term survival. Your pup doesn’t know his meals will be served in a silver dish regularly for life, and the instinct to hunt and kill is always there. You can take the wolf out of the wild, but you can’t take the instinct out of the domestic “wolf”.


Yes, you can train the pup to ignore the hens, but when you are not watching you must ensure the hens’ safety.  Any dog that ignores the hens while you are there to control things cannot be 100% trusted to do the same when you are not watching. If the dog kills a hen it is your fault for not protecting the prey species – the dog is a predator and you know that.


All in all you will be taking on the responsibility for a dog for its entire life – every day – and unless you are prepared to meet his needs, while teaching him to fit into your lifestyle, and generally give him similar considerations and almost the same time/effort that would be necessary for a child – Don’t Do It!

If you are up for the cahllenge, you will be rewarded with a friend/companion for life, who will do his bit to help keep you fit and healthy into the bargain!

 Puppies soon grow up, so maintain a sense of humour and enjoy their antics. Don't get too hung up on their mistakes and any damage they inflict on your possessions - they will get over it, you will look back and laugh, it is all so worth it in the end!


Recent Photos