It is a legal requirement in for any dog in a public place to wear a tag or collar with your name and address on it. It is not necessary to have the name of your pet and some people believe it is not a good idea as it allows would be thieves to call him.


Many puppy owners are advised by their vet to spay their bitch puppy or neuter their dog puppy.  Unless there is a valid medical reason for doing so, such as a pyometra in a bitch, or a testicular cancer in a dog, neither procedure should be undertaken lightly or as a matter of course, as both procedures can have long term health effects for the dog or bitch.

Before you decide to go down this road please stop and think about the consequences.

Long Term Health Effects of Spaying Bitches


Puppy Classes

As soon as your puppy has had his inoculations and can be taken out, it's a good idea start to socialise him by introducing him to other people and other dogs.  An excellent way to do this is to attend puppy socialisation classes where he will meet other puppies of a similar age in a safe environment.  Your vet will probably know when and where these are held if they do not run them at the practice.  You will also probably be given information about looking after your puppy including information about parasites such as worms and fleas.

Settling In

Check with your vet to find out when he gives the first inoculations (usually 8 and 10 weeks, but this can vary from vet to vet).  He will give your puppy a thorough examination when he goes for his first inoculation if you did not visit within the first 24 hours of buying him.  It is not a good idea to let your puppy come into contact with any other animals in the surgery so keep him on your lap while waiting.  Don't forget to carry him from home to the car and from the car to the surgery.

House Training

Begin house training your puppy right away.  Have a regular feeding schedule and make frequent trips outside, repeatedly saying ‘be clever’, or whatever words you wish to use.  When he obliges, praise him.  If your puppy walks round the floor in circles, sits or whines at the door, or voluntarily gives you the ‘look’ – sustained eye contact with a slightly anxious expression – it is time to take him outside.  When he has ‘done it’ praise him and bring him back inside.  Last thing at night; go outside with your puppy, so that he can ‘be clever’ for the last time of t


3 puppies feeding


If you do decide to go ahead and get a puppy or even an older setter one of the most important people in his life, apart from you and your family, will be your vet.  It is really important that you have a vet you can trust and talk to if needs be.  Apart from the routine visits for vaccinations, worming and the minor problems such as kennel cough, should you need a vet for a more serious problem, then you must be able to trust them and have a good working relationship with them. Your vet will be able to refer you to a specialist if needed.

Psychological Stages of Development (Scott & Fuller)

"Genetics and the Social Behavior of Dogs" published in 1965 by Dr John Scott and Dr John Fuller is still regarded as one of, if not the most, important and comprehensive studies on the development and behaviour of the domestic dog. It is available to order on Amazon.

Below is a very brief outline of the stages they identify as being crucial in the development and socialisation of puppies and young dogs.



There are now many insurance schemes available for pets and it is your decision what to do and where to go.  Compare the policies very carefully as there are different levels of cover and you need to decide what you want and how much you are prepared to pay. Ask around and find out about the experience of other owners when they have had to make a claim.

Pet Passports

If you want to take your Setter on holiday abroad you can apply for a pet passport but be aware it is very important that you follow the requirements to the letter.  It has been known that because an owner has not followed the correct procedure they have not been able to bring their pet back to UK or it has had to go into quarantine.  Speak to your vet who should be able to give the relevant information.  Have a look at the DEFRA site for full information and advice on what is needed to get a pet passport through the Pets Travel Sceheme (PETS)<