Originally Posted by Bradfordcityfc
Iím new to the group, we have finally decided to get a puppy (after a lot of persuading the wife!).
Where is the best place to start looking? Iíve wanted a dog for a while and donít want to just rush and get one now the wife has agreed! Lol
The two best resources are the Kennel Club website, and Champdogs. You need to get on a waiting list well in advance, as often good breeders have waiting lists before litters are on the ground, or even conceived.
The KC website lets you look for litters in your area, but doesn't give the detail you can find on the Champdogs website. You also need to consider that there are different types of Labrador, working, show and pet bred, and all can have variations in appearance and character. So you need to decide what sort of Labrador you want, and also what colour. Just as an example, you may find it more difficult to find a chocolate working bred puppy, although that is now changing as more people are working them, ten years ago and even today, if you turn up with a chocolate Labrador on a shoot you will get some funny looks and a few folk still say they are untrainable. Also, the red fox shade of yellow has become extremely popular over the last few years, so a lot of breeders are trying to cash in on that, advertising yellow pups as fox red, when in reality they are simply yellow.
Most importantly, look for a breeder who health tests, so hip scores and elbow grades for both parents, hip scores around or bellow the breed median, and elbow grades of 0. Both parents should have a current (within the last 12 months), clear BVA eye certificate, and at least one parent should be tested clear for the five main genetic conditions, PRA, CNM, EIC, HNPK and SD2. As long as one parent is clear then none of the pups can be affected, if one parent is clear and the other a carrier, or even affected, then again, none of the pups can have an affected status or go on to develop the condition, so don't be put off as long as there is one parent that has a clear status.
Once you've decided what sort of Labrador you are after, and a colour (not everyone is bothered by a specific colour, but some puppy owners are), then start looking at breeders and contacting them to see if they have any plans for a litter. The other route to go down, is if you like the look of a dog, contact the stud dog owner, and they may be able to tell you of any visiting bitches (there is a stud dog section on Champdogs).
Whatever you do, don't visit pups until you are ready and certain the breeder is doing everything right for the pups, because once you see cute fluffy puppies, you will want one, so make sure all the health tests etc are what you want before hand.
Good luck with your search, keep us updated