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Discussion Starter #1
We are considering getting a labrador. I work from home most of the time and my wife is a full time mum, so there is almost always one or other of us at home. When we go out as at weekends we do so as a family and would include the dog as a part of the family- it helps that the childrens favorite beach in the summer allows dogs and our children both enjoy muddy walks!

Our children are 5 and 4- both started at school last September and are "lively"!

We live in a reasonable size house with garden and back gate straight on to a footpath and 5 minutes to fields

My inclination is towards a 2-3 year old female ( my wifes only stipulation) rescue labrador since I suspect our children are too young to appreciate a puppy and it's antics and that would not be fair on the puppy either

Whilst none of us have had a dog before we occasionally look after a neighbors labrador when they go out for the day- both our children love this.

Does this sound reasonable? if so how do we go about finding a suitable and healthy dog- my overwhelming concern is that the dog is good with the children and healthy- (a pedigre one with health screened parents would be perfect, one or two of the rescue centres we spoke to were very "sniffy" when we asked about a dogs background/ history and mentioned getting a potential rescue checked by our own vet) - oh and I would intend taking it to training classes- any excuse to spend an hour or two during the day away from a computer screen- the joys of working from home!

Comments appreciated

PS will be signing up to a subscription soon
 

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To me you sound ideal. You might have a problem with finding a rescue dog with health checked parents as rescues often don't have that information. Even getting a puppy with tested parents doesn't give you a 100% guarantee that it will be sound, just reduces the odds a lot. Good luck with your search.
 

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Where abouts are u in the Country? I'd approach one for the Labrador specific rescues and speak to them

Your lifestyle and circumstances sound ideal :)
 

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Wow- you sound like perfect candidates for a dog!

Not sure if this is a long shot, but good, ethical breeders (who health test their dogs) will usually take back a dog if their first owners are unable to keep them. I'm not sure how often this happens, but perhaps it's worth contacting a few or go through a Labrador specific rescue?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Should have added we are just outside Brighton at the foot of the South Downs- literally- I can see the hills from my office window- well if it was not misty!
 

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Well on paper sound great!

You would have to be homechecked and then the rescue would match a dog to your circumstances.

The breed rescues will have assessed the dogs and and get a background from the previous owner, so you will know if the dog has lived with children before. The only exception would be if the dog has come from a pound, but they often put those dogs into foster to assess them, other dogs that perhaps are kennelled and from the pound would not be put into a home with young children as they don't know what the dog is like with little people.

Of course having an older dog you will know if there are any underlying genetic problems such as HD or ED as it would have already become apparent.

I would suggest you apply now to

Labrador Rescue South East and Central
Labrador Retriever Rescue Southern England

Both above rehome in Brighton
 

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General rescues will also assess the dog and get a background from the previous owner where possible and some use foster homes rather than kennels too. I see quite a few Labradors coming up in general rescue (ie ones that help all breeds/mixes, rather than being breed specific), so I wouldn't rule out looking at those too. Though I will give a big thumbs up to Lab Rescue South & Central as that's where my darling girl came from.

With regard to young children, rescues don't generally rehome stray (ie those picked up without any history from a previous owner) into homes where there are young children.

Good luck - and thank you so much for wanting to give a rescue dog a loving home :flower:
 

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Some rescues won't rehome dogs to homes where there are young children, this can be anything from under 5 to under "teen". You may have to try a few different ones to find someone who will consider you.

Dogs go into rescues for many reasons and I think as you have children you need to be absolutely sure what that reason is - not everyone is honest. Ideally you would find a dog that has gone from a family home to a foster carer due to family circumstances and not anything to do with the dog's behaviour. That way you would probably be able to get the full history and be able to research parental health checks.

Unfortunately young females are the most easily rehomed and therefore not as readily available according to my local Lab Rescue.

The "returned to breeder" suggestion might be a good route to follow as you will still be rehoming a dog but will also have health and pedigree information.

Good luck in your search, yours sounds like a perfect home but you should always bear in mind that dogs can be unpredictable around children, even when you think you can trust them, as long as you supervise all contact you should be fine.
 

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Hi,

I recently engaged in discussion re the potentially difficult issue in sourcing a health tested older dog and specifically rescue.

I need to be very diplomatic discussing this as I do not want to offend anyone involved in rescue and particularly kind and wonderful folk on here involved in same ;)

You are wise to consider a young adult or adolescent dog. You are also sensible in that you are considering dog health too. The issue is as highlighted that rescues don't generally provide health info. Those involved in rescue will be aware of a variety of reasons for abscence of such info accompanying relevant resucues but these may include...........

1) Dog Not Health tested or from non Health tested parents.
2) Dog has come to rescue absent of paperwork/health history.
3) Rescue policy may be not to release dogs with paperwork because of desire to:
(i) Reduce risk of folk rejecting rescue dogs absent of history.
(ii) Reduce risk of healthy dog rescued & maybe sold on.

If I were you I would be tempted to draught a concise but honest email to rescues, politely indicating your reasons for enquiring re a health tested rescue dog. I would be prepared to travel and would send my email pretty much nationwide - perhaps with a restriction on say 4-5 hrs travel each way as you probably don't want to travel to Newcastle from Brighton area.

Breeders do get dogs returned as many will offer to take dogs back for customers whose circumstances unexpectedly change, such as family bereavement, relocation, job change, separations etc. Thus another option you may have would be to contact decent breeders by email & outlining your case in similar manner. If you think about it, you & your family are a pretty good candidates for breeders who have to rehome returned dogs or who maybe have a dog they have kept on but decided to part with. Do be selective as to what breeders you contact. There are many on here and this thread alone may attract recognition for future consideration.

There may be an additional source cost via a breeder but this may depend on circumstances. Rescues typically charge fees for adopted dogs as they need to fund their valuable work also so factor this in also.

A word of warning.........You may be tempted to look at adverts for adult dogs online, however, some folk parting with dogs for cash reasons choose to sell their dogs rather than returning them to breeders or approaching a rescue organisation. Others move dogs on because of likely or non disclosed forthcoming vet bills. Some dogs are passed on because they are hard to manage perhaps due to the owners not being able to cope with a dog due to their ignorance or lack of commitment in raising it properly.

As highlighted in another post, an adult rescue might have some behavior issues and your children's safety is a significant thing to consider. That said plenty of folk who raise well balanced dogs and end up with issues often associated with their inappropriate upbringing. Some dogs of course can have certain dispositions and may have certain traits due to being exposed to bad experiences, (sometimes through no fault such as being attacked by another dog).


I have a dog bought as a Pup a couple of years ago from health tested parents. I should, however, point out that a dog from health tested parents is no guarantee of future health and especially not for conditions excluded from the generally available tests. There are rescue dogs without issues and conversely some dogs from health tested parents who have seen a vet for health related issues.

Whether sourcing a health tested pup, an adult or a rescue, please give consideration to suitable insurance or at least have a kitty or funds just in case vet treatment funding later needed.

I hope this helps somewhat and like to finally say that I have big respect for thoughtful folk who adopt rescue dogs and for decent rescue organisations that genuinely do their best for the dogs and all persons involved.

Oh & welcome from a member along the coast from you btw :)
 

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We decided to get a puppy Lab when our boys were 4 and 6. It was the very best decision ever. The boys were old enough to understand that puppies nip, jump etc and old enough to appreciate that pups need peace and quiet at times. The three of them were the very best of friends - Gemma was always in the thick of their games and adventures and had a wonderful life. Whatever we did as a family, she joined in whether it was train rides, kayaking, cave exploring, messing around on beaches, just whatever.

The bonus of getting her when they were 4 and 6 was that I had quiet time with Gemma to train her whilst they were at school.

I would say don't be afraid of getting a pup just as long as your kids have the understanding and empathy towards others needs. For us, it was the perfect age as they had a lovely childhood together.
 

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By the age you are looking for most joint/eye problems will most probably have become apparent so I wouldn't worry to much about seeking health papers from rescues.

I have a health-tested pup nearly 6 years old with all 4 joints arthritic, has had 2 lots of elbow surgery, lives life to the full with help of meds.

I have a rescue boy with no health history taken on at 14 months who will be 4 next birthday who seems fit and well and :D

You sound the perfect home for your perfect dog so don't rush to find her and good luck. Tucker was our perfect dog and no regrets at all, Luna has even got used to having the smell of 'boy' around the place now :wink:
 

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OK.... well from my perspective, I think its going to be impossible sourcing a healthtested dog from rescue. Sorry but I do... and I hate shutting the door on anything. Fact is, rescues will not let you have KC registration papers or pedigrees for your dog, as there is not to be any link to its past you can contact, for various reasons.... so they won't release any healthtesting result documentation to you, so i can't see them telling you that it is healthtested anyway.

I can't recall ever a healthtested dog coming into labrador rescue when i worked for them for about 7 years. I'm sure maybe it *has* happened, but i'm absolutely certain many that come IN are from healthtested PARENTS, but you wouldn't know that because of not being able to have the papers to check on the parents.

healthtested dogs are dogs that the plan is to breed from them. If it PASSED chances are it would be kept.... so I can picture the only healthtested dogs that might, very very rarely find themselves in rescue would be dogs who had NOT been passed and the breeders were so cold them shunted them on (rather than home them themselves as most would).

So I think you might just need to find a nice dog, of the sex yoou want, of the age you want, and as far as is possible, of the nature you want. I do think anything of this nature is not going to work, and I do know most rescues whilst on paper they might smile and tolerate you asking for such a dog, would mentally probably put you to the bottom of the admin pile because what you want is not the ethos of taking on a rescue dog, whatever honest and solid reason you have behind wanting it.

I think its great you want to rescue, but hang up the healthtested idea and I genuinely wouldn't even mention it, just ask for a dog 'with no known health problems', THAT is something regularly asked for and accomodated.

Di
 

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.... oh and reading on, Brighton eh? I could wave and you would see it ;-) I'm just outside Worthing. :)

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Many thanks for the various very constructive responses, will do some research in to reputable local breeders along with the local lab specific rescue centres and take it from there- am more concerned with getting the right dog than rushing in to it

And yes had already about the insurance point, this seems to be a minefield in itself
 

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It is worth looking at general rescue centres (ie they help all breeds/mixes) too. Labradors are such a popular breed that quite a few find their way to general rescue, as well as breed specific rescue. For example, although we specialise in older dogs, so won't be a help to you, Oldies Club takes in a fair few Lab sorts.
 

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I can certainly help you source reputable breeders (if you decide to go that route) in the kent, Surrey and Sussex area. I also know of one or two slightly older dogs for sale from excellent breeders, one of which has had his hips and elbows and eyes tested himself and they are excellent. Should you wish, click on my www button below as I can't PM you or would have done so :)

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Diana,
I will pm you once my subscription is sorted- I paid it last week but it appears it has never been activated- somewhat frustrating!
 

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southfields said:
Diana,
I will pm you once my subscription is sorted- I paid it last week but it appears it has never been activated- somewhat frustrating!
Activation of subscriptions is manual, you need to contact one of the moderators to get it activated. Send them your paypal receipt and your user name and they should be able to get you running again.
 

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Hi "southfields"

I've reported your post so the Mods should see it

Chel and Dilys xxx
 
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