While searching online I read over soo many health guarantees and the common ground I saw in all of them is that if a congenital disease was found in the time frame of the guarantee which seems to be similarly 1 year then they will offer you a replacement dog of equal value as soon as available.
My issue is if a congenital/hereditary disease was found in one pup, wouldn't the new pup have the same risk of having it? Unless multiple dams and sires are on premises.
I wouldn't go for a guarantee that is 2 years or less. You can't test for most problems until they are 2 then your guarantee is up. Also I would look for one that will not make you return you pup and some offer to reimburse vet cost up to the price of the pup instead of a replacement. And yes a replacement could end up with problems also. I wouldn't want one from a repeat breeding, but the breeder shouldn't repeat if they are aware of problems.
***Edited By: danemom on 1/5/2007 11:59:30 AM*** Reason: add
I agree with you that makes sense. Can you tell me what things you cannot test for until that age so I can inform the breeder. She is working with me and making adjustments as we go along for mine and her safety, I am really comfortable with her.
She will not make me send the pup back but will replace it, and I informed her that on top of a sick dog I would not want another pup to incur bills for..you know?
She is having a lawyer friend of hers look things over.
Here's a link to the chic site. Pick the breed your looking at getting and it will tell you suggested test for it with links on more info for each test. The parents should also have these test done before breeding so you breeder should be able to give you more info about them too. http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/breeds.html
With American Cockers the biggest issue is eyes and every dog that carries Cottonwood Congressman or Mine Own Brucie in their pedigree, and that is the vast majority, cataracts are a huge issue. PRA is a very real risk as well. I would personally not buy a Cocker puppy who's parent's eyes were not cleared.
Thyroid problems are common in the breed as are temperament problems though the latter are less common than they were a few years ago. Cockers can suffer from bleeding disorders (I'm not sure if it is VWD in this breed), there is no breed specific test for it that I am aware of yet. Autoimmune disorders are fairly common.
Hip dysplasia is possible in all breeds and I have seen cases of patellar luxation in cockers.
Having said all of this there is only so much you can expect of a breeder. They do their due diligence and both of you go into this knowing what the score is. I would say that a 2 year (from the time you get your puppy) replacement guarantee is reasonable. That gives you time to do eyes, hips, knees, and elbows as well as a thyroid panel. You should also have a fairly good idea if your dog is a bleeder. You are going to want to have your puppy's eyes checked by a canine opthamologist at a year to give you a baseline and then at 2 yrs to see if there is any change. Knees hips and elbows can be prelimed and if there a severe problem it should be obvious before then.
As to a replacement puppy I always gave people the choice as to whether they kept the replaced puppy if there was a problem.
With my pup (a brittany) there were 3 options in the guarantee:
1. return pup for refund 2. return pup for replacement pup 3. keep pup and get vet bills reimbursed up to 1/2 of cost of pup.
Research is important, but also, I believe, choice of breeds. Brittanys are remarkably healthy. Not an extremely popular breed, so not prone to the health and temperment problems that come with being over-bred and poorly bred.
By the way-are you looking at the American cocker or the English cocker? Everything that I have read says that English cockers tend to be healthier, overall. Other than the common eye and ear problems, the only thing you would really have to watch for is temperment-some can be prone to either shyness or aggression. I believe American cockers can be prone to both cardiomyopathy and epilepsy.
Thought it was a great thing, 'til I looked up my breed, and didn't find the most prevalent genetic disease (or even the second most prevalent), but did find one I hadn't even heard of. Off to do more research...