Now I've retired.... - Labradors Forums
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Old 26-01-2017, 10:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Now I've retired....

....it's time to fulfil an ambition I've had for a few years, now...to set up as a Breeder of Labradors. Why ? Well, I've always admired the breed temperament and I'd really enjoy the breeding of top 'quality' puppies and providing them with the best possible start in life in appropriate family homes. I don't intend to make a living at breeding, but it should cover it's outlay and on-going costs. I understand the guidelines regarding minimum/maximum ages for parent dogs and the suggested frequency of litters. I'm aware of the Local Authority permissions required and the Kennel Club Assured Breeder program. Clearly, this is a long term proposition as my current (3) Labs are all too old (however 'game' they are) to breed ... I shan't start the breeding stock hunt/selection until outline plans are in place and I've finalised the Business Case.

Any others on this Forum in South East England in the same or similar position ? It'd be good to meet up for a pint and compare notes/horror stories etc ?

There is seemingly the inevitable amount of admin processes, Forms etc, to get sorted before Day 1, and so I'm in the process of building an Admin application to run the paperwork...Dog Details, Customer details, Vets, Examinations, Inoculations, Worming, Hip/Elbow/Eye tests, Invoices, Payments, KC Inspections, Viewings, Invoicing, Pedigree Certificate printing....and that's just the first list off the top of my head. If anyone thinking of joining (or currently in) the Breeding Community I'm happy to pass on a copy of the software, free, in return for suggestions on improvements or staring omissions in functionality. The app runs on Mac/iPhone/iPad.

All the best,
Nick Alexander
FELSTED, Essex
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Old 26-01-2017, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome Nick, I see you have tried once for a response with no reply so didn't want to read and run but have no ideas to help you go forward with your ambition sorry.

There used to be quite a few seasoned and good breeders on the forum but do not pop in much these days, hopefully someone with experience will see your message and put forward some useful advice.

Maybe in the meantime you could introduce your Labbies, oldies are always welcome as much as pupsters.

Good Luck - June x
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Old 26-01-2017, 09:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome and good luck -- I'd love to be doing that

Keep us informed
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Old 26-01-2017, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well you seem to be ultra preparing but it all sounds a bit TOO organised as well!

Don't forget that those people buying puppies tend to have a specific purpose in mind for that puppy - as a pet, a gundog, an agility pup, a show dog, an obedience dog, rally obedience pup.... and tend to look for parents accordingly because although labradors are ultra-adaptable, smaller labs have to jump high jumps so it's better to have tall, slender, fast labs for agility, some gundog folk prefer smaller dogs, some taller dogs, show dogs tend to broader and bigger weighted, pet dogs are all of the above although working bred dogs needing work can be a shock to a family expecting a laid back, calm pet dog.

So then it's not just the pedigree of a parent dog that potential pup owners will look for but what qualities that parent has... what they have achieved in the show ring, in the agility ring, obedience arena or rally o comps, in the field trials, working tests or shoots.

There are an AWFUL amount of labradors ending up in rescues because so many are bought as pups and then found to be hard work and given up. Any responsible breeder needs to be trying to further/maintain the breed health-wise and/or have a huge waiting list of great homes for their pups before they are even born is my personal stance. Lifelong return policy for the dog too.
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Last edited by Luna-Tuck; 26-01-2017 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Missed off obedience and rally o - <shock!>
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Old 27-01-2017, 08:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As Laura says, just to say, "I'm going to breed Labradors." is not enough. You need to decide what type of Labrador, where will your like be aimed at? Then comes the question, "How do I as a puppy buyer know that your line has the ability to do that job?" If working for example, can you show me the dam working? If show, what has it won? Or are you just going to breed Labradors with no purpose in mind in the same manner as a puppy farmer? Sorry but you sound so prepared in some respects but appear to have given little thought in the direction of the dogs themselves.

Regards, John
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Excellent feedback from everyone, many thanks...in my business life I was always a 'planner' so I can believe I may have come across a tad 'regimented' in some respects ; it's important to me that I give it all my very best shot to get the most pleasure from the 'hobby'...on reflection, and in my opinion for what it's worth, my experience of the breed has been fortunate in that I have only ever had playful, loving, faithful and obedient dogs, as family companions who have all benefited from very long and happy lives, so will focus on those traits...I understand that 'working' traits could bring out 'nervy or testy' tendencies, so will be careful to select 1st generation parents accordingly to give myself the best chance of the desired temperament. I have already got a super little chap (12 weeks) as 'Sire in Chief' and am now about to start looking for a suitable 'Dam in Charge' - so if anyone has any suggestions or a pup available now I'm very interested in chatting with them. Cost is pretty irrelevant as I'm more keen on getting the right pair. I know it will be about 2 years before the first planned whelping is likely to come around, thereafter a further 2 over the following 4 years depending on how things progress. The hardest job will be finding my willingness to let the little ones go to new homes, so I could well get over run if I'm not careful (smile).

Last edited by nickalex; 09-02-2017 at 04:11 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Congrats on retiring!
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Old 15-02-2017, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My twopence worth, for what it's worth....

* Forget the admin! Thats not what breeding any breed is about! That comes naturally over the course of breeding, and while it's something it's good to be prepared about it's only paperwork.

* Go to various labrador events, have a look at the dogs and decide which type and function you prefer. Not everyone likes substantial show dogs, not everyone wants finer boned working dogs but if you're not involved in either you won't know which bests suits you until you really look. Then once you have done that, look again, in more depth, to decide which pedigree lines/style etc you prefer. You need to have a passion for your product (if you want to be clinical about it!) to be able to sell with conviction. That also means knowing a LOT about the dogs you have; their strengths, weaknesses etc. People buying a puppy for a pet, even if they have no intention of ever making that puppy into anything but a pet, want the best. They want a dog they can be proud of, even if it's just for it's heritage and the kudos of the breeder they got him from.

* Also re the above point, the best known, best respected, most sought after breeders are deeply enmeshed in their breed - they have got to that point of having lengthy waiting lists because they know their stuff having been doing it for years. That's not to say that any novice breeder is to be scorned, but if you are only breeding, without any of the other involvement in trialling, working or showing, or breed club activities and without having any reputation or experience, then you're only going to get the second rate buyers who don't really care where their puppy comes from. Breeding dogs is hard work; it's got to be a passion otherwise you won't care enough to stay up for two nights in a row whelping a bitch, or feeding puppies every two hours because mum has no milk, or any of the other myriad of practical, exhausting but rewarding things which makes a real breeder.

* IMO you've started off on the wrong foot already with regards to dogs. You don't need a stud dog. You'll only be able to use him a handful of times yourself, assuming he suits any of your bitches, and unless he has something to offer that all the other touted stud dogs in your part of the country do then coupled with an inexperienced handler he's not likely to get much, if any, outside work. You'd be well advised to find a good, very experienced breeder of the type you like and be prepared to wait for the right quality bitch(es), be guided all the way by that breeder until you have enough of an eye and enough experience to be able to make breeding decisions for yourself. And if that type is working, be prepared to work those dogs as unlike show dogs, their attributes are only evident within their work, not just by looking at them.

There are breeders who are successful who don't work or show, but they are few and far between and have usually been there and done that at some point with regards to competition, and they have years of experience behind them :-)
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Old 15-02-2017, 10:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That sounds like really good advise, I am sure it is what the poster was hoping for when he started the thread.

Whatever new venture we start in life, practical and understandable advise and criticism is a necessary to move forward.

Good luck Nick, hope you get satisfaction and a happy Lab family.

Junex
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Old 15-02-2017, 07:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiona_M View Post
My twopence worth, for what it's worth....

* Forget the admin! Thats not what breeding any breed is about! That comes naturally over the course of breeding, and while it's something it's good to be prepared about it's only paperwork.

* Go to various labrador events, have a look at the dogs and decide which type and function you prefer. Not everyone likes substantial show dogs, not everyone wants finer boned working dogs but if you're not involved in either you won't know which bests suits you until you really look. Then once you have done that, look again, in more depth, to decide which pedigree lines/style etc you prefer. You need to have a passion for your product (if you want to be clinical about it!) to be able to sell with conviction. That also means knowing a LOT about the dogs you have; their strengths, weaknesses etc. People buying a puppy for a pet, even if they have no intention of ever making that puppy into anything but a pet, want the best. They want a dog they can be proud of, even if it's just for it's heritage and the kudos of the breeder they got him from.

* Also re the above point, the best known, best respected, most sought after breeders are deeply enmeshed in their breed - they have got to that point of having lengthy waiting lists because they know their stuff having been doing it for years. That's not to say that any novice breeder is to be scorned, but if you are only breeding, without any of the other involvement in trialling, working or showing, or breed club activities and without having any reputation or experience, then you're only going to get the second rate buyers who don't really care where their puppy comes from. Breeding dogs is hard work; it's got to be a passion otherwise you won't care enough to stay up for two nights in a row whelping a bitch, or feeding puppies every two hours because mum has no milk, or any of the other myriad of practical, exhausting but rewarding things which makes a real breeder.

* IMO you've started off on the wrong foot already with regards to dogs. You don't need a stud dog. You'll only be able to use him a handful of times yourself, assuming he suits any of your bitches, and unless he has something to offer that all the other touted stud dogs in your part of the country do then coupled with an inexperienced handler he's not likely to get much, if any, outside work. You'd be well advised to find a good, very experienced breeder of the type you like and be prepared to wait for the right quality bitch(es), be guided all the way by that breeder until you have enough of an eye and enough experience to be able to make breeding decisions for yourself. And if that type is working, be prepared to work those dogs as unlike show dogs, their attributes are only evident within their work, not just by looking at them.

There are breeders who are successful who don't work or show, but they are few and far between and have usually been there and done that at some point with regards to competition, and they have years of experience behind them :-)
Brilliantly put. I'm afraid I couldn't have been so polite or phrase it so nicely.
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