Our breed is lucky to have many devoted, caring breeders, who try and produce puppies that will improve the Clumber Spaniel breed and gene pool. Most of these breeders will tell you that they do not make money by breeding dogs- they do it for the love of the breed.
By the time one pays for screening health tests, a stud fee, possibly shipping semen, neonatal health care, a possible C-Section and puppy health care, there is not a lot of profit to be made. Clumbers are also hard to breed and there is no guarantee that there will be any puppies born after all of the preparation. This is why Clumbers often cost more than other breeds. Oddly enough, many puppymillers charge as much for a puppy as reputable breeders, and they have not spent money on health testing and neonatal care.
A purchase of any dog is a commitment of time, money and emotions- it makes sense to get the best companion you can find.
A good breeder cannot keep every puppy, as much as they might want to, so he/she works hard to place their puppies in good homes. This requires screening on their part, as they try and find the right place for each dog. If you deal with a reputable breeder, they will probably ask you to fill out a questionnaire, or will ask you a lot of questions. Don’t be put off by this- it is their way of making the perfect match and a way to show they care about what happens to their dogs.
Most Clumber breeders do participate in conformation dog shows, and will separate their puppies into “show” and “pet” quality. Both show and pet quality dogs make wonderful pets, the difference is usually something cosmetic (the teeth don’t line up perfectly, for example). Don’t hesitate to ask a breeder what the difference is-they will be happy to tell you. Often, they will sell a pet quality puppy on a “limited registration” basis, meaning that it cannot be bred and have its offspring registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club). This is one way a breeder can keep control over what they have bred and how it affects future generations of Clumbers.
An important benefit of purchasing a Clumber from a reputable breeder is that you will have someone available to answer any questions you might have about your new puppy. A good breeder wants to help you any time, any day- they have made a commitment to that puppy and to you, too. Many Clumber owners find that they want another Clumber, and their breeder is often happy to have a proven home for another puppy if they have one to place.