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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I‘m new to the forum and we’re hoping to find a puppy next year. My reason for posting here is to ask for breeder recommendations in the East Midlands area, although we are prepared to travel anywhere. We live on the Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire border. Whilst I can find breeders on KC and Champdogs websites I would prefer personal recommendation. We can then arrange to visit several breeders once the current restrictions are lifted. We’re new to the breed having owned Miniature Schnauzers for many years. I understand the various health checks we should ensure are carried out and we’re looking for a sympathetic breeder rather than a commercial money driven one. Thank you in advance.
 

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One thing I will say, few responsible breeders are actually breeding at the moment for a number of reasons. Health testing has by and large has to go on hold, DNA testing is still available but hip and elbow is virtually at a standstill and eye testing even worse! Social distancing makes the action of mating a bitch almost impossible, then if there is any problems with the whelping veterinary assistance is difficult. Allowing prospective puppy buyers means meeting people from different areas which is not a good idea. Even socialising pups can be a problem. Sadly this means that the shortage of pups is being met by the less responsible breeders, many charging exorbitant prices for poorly bred pups! My advice would be to wait a while until thinks get back to something like normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you John

it isn’t our intention to buy a puppy this year so we have plenty of time to research
 

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You may struggle, it's up to each individual person how much research they do and what sort of breeder they want to support. There are few completely honest breeders out there, there's lots and lots of pet bred litters, of which, many I'm sure are bred in ignorance, so no clue about pedigrees, health testing, healthy conformation etc. Then you get the opposite end where lifestyle is about their dogs, they possibly train, show, work etc etc, and so of course they have to be commercially minded, even when it comes to pups etc. Have a look on champdogs, that's the best place to advertise for breeders, and there's a lot of information on there about health tests etc as well. The nice thing about the champdogs website is that you can easily scroll through pedigrees, and even see photos of dogs. Some breeders keep their page up to date with information about their dogs and any activities they do as well.
 

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I’ve had a look on both Champdogs and the KC websites but I’m surprised that the professional looking breeders on Champdogs aren’t members of the KC Assured Breeders Scheme. Do breeders in the hunting/shooting world register their pups with the KC? Also I would feel a bit intimidated approaching those breeders who are clearly breeding working dogs and not family pets.
 

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I’ve had a look on both Champdogs and the KC websites but I’m surprised that the professional looking breeders on Champdogs aren’t members of the KC Assured Breeders Scheme. Do breeders in the hunting/shooting world register their pups with the KC? Also I would feel a bit intimidated approaching those breeders who are clearly breeding working dogs and not family pets.
A breeder can register a litter with the KC without them being a member of the Assured Breeders Scheme. In fact, you'll probably find that many breeders who aren't members have far higher standards than those the ABS requires.
 

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I would feel a bit intimidated approaching those breeders who are clearly breeding working dogs and not family pets.
Many, probably the majority of work bred dogs go as family pets. Although saying that, some (though not all by a long way,) work bred dogs can be quite driven, very determined dogs. After all, the dog who gives up easily wont be much good finding the lost bird. The whole principal of training these driven dogs is getting them to actually want to do what we want. Working with the dog rather than against. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’ve had a look on both Champdogs and the KC websites but I’m surprised that the professional looking breeders on Champdogs aren’t members of the KC Assured Breeders Scheme.
A breeder can register a litter with the KC without them being a member of the Assured Breeders Scheme. In fact, you'll probably find that many breeders who aren't members have far higher standards than those the ABS requires.
A breeder can register a litter with the KC without them being a member of the Assured Breeders Scheme. In fact, you'll probably find that many breeders who aren't members have far higher standards than those the ABS requires.
I realise they don’t have to be members of the ABS but I couldn’t find some of the breeders on Champdogs listed on KC at all.
 

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I’ve had a look on both Champdogs and the KC websites but I’m surprised that the professional looking breeders on Champdogs aren’t members of the KC Assured Breeders Scheme.


I realise they don’t have to be members of the ABS but I couldn’t find some of the breeders on Champdogs listed on KC at all.
It's not a requirement for a breeder to register with the KC unless they're a member of the ABS. This is totally different from registering a litter, where you will be able to check whether the pups are KC registered. Let me give you an example. I have never been a member of the ABS, I was one of the breeders I mentioned who already had much higher standard than the scheme required. Whilst I wouldn't be registered on the KC site, the litters I bred were. You can set up a MyKC account for yourself Join MyKC ! this then allows you to look up the details of parents of a litter and see their pedigree and health test results. I bred my last (and final) litter in 2018 and if you join MyKC then search Davricanby One Step At A Time you'll be able to see her health test results, pedigree and any progeny. Hope that all helps.
 
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It's not a requirement for a breeder to register with the KC unless they're a member of the ABS. This is totally different from registering a litter, where you will be able to check whether the pups are KC registered. Let me give you an example. I have never been a member of the ABS, I was one of the breeders I mentioned who already had much higher standard than the scheme required. Whilst I wouldn't be registered on the KC site, the litters I bred were. You can set up a MyKC account for yourself Join MyKC ! this then allows you to look up the details of parents of a litter and see their pedigree and health test results. I bred my last (and final) litter in 2018 and if you join MyKC then search Davricanby One Step At A Time you'll be able to see her health test results, pedigree and any progeny. Hope that all helps.
That’s really helpful, thank you. I don’t think I explained myself properly. I wasn’t suggesting that only ABS members are reputable breeders. I naively assumed that all breeders who registered their litters on KC would show up on the list of breeders when searching. I do find the KC website very user unfriendly. You can only search for ABS breeders which I’m sure hasn’t always been the case. This search is going to take some patience but we’re not in a hurry. Thanks for your help.
 

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To tell the truth, the KC's web site is a disaster area! Trouble is, it's evolved over the years by simply adding another bit without actually tying the new bit in with the rest. Two relatively new bits, "Mate Select" and "My KC" which really need to be used together if you are researching a dog are totally separate sites, not linked together in any way. Really they need to start again, probably developing a completely new web site, keeping the existing bits on line until the new one is finished. But will they? It will cost them big money so I doubt it.

But then, the BVA site is not much better. The health testing section is stone age in it's functionality, In this day and age it's crazy that with eye testing for example, we fill the forms in quad with carbon paper. One copy goes to the dog owner, one to the dog owner's vet, one to the BVA and one to the KC. Then somebody at the BVA has to sit at a VDU doing data entry onto the BVA's computer, AND another person at the KC has to sit at a VDU doing data entry onto THEIR computer! And they tell us it's the 21st century! I was told 3 years ago that they were going to run it all from the tester's lap top, but it still aint happening! Crazy!
 

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As Lynda says, the ABS is not at all a level of 'Quality' that you can count on. Just as an example, I've come across two members of the ABS recently, from people who have contacted me looking for advice about the pups they were supposed to be getting. The first is a couple who have been on the waiting list for over a year, but because of the current price hike, the breeder contacted them to say they weren't allowing pups to go under lockdown situation, and then proceeded to say they could have their puppy if they paid extra to cover the costs, ie profiteering. They weren't the only ones let down, others had been waiting a similar time. The next couple thought they'd found a good breeder, except when they sent the details, their puppy was from the fourth litter from a bitch with a hip score of 22/21 (from memory) and she was also a carrier for PRA, and the sire wasn't health tested. They asked for their deposit back, as the Estimated Breeding Value for hips and elbows was pretty poor. The EBV is a free to use tool on the KC website, which tells you the probability of the condition of hips and elbows, not what your dog would produce if they were bred from, if that makes sense. The breeder refused, so again, this couple are taking it up with the Kennel Club assured breeder scheme, where there is a process to complain about an ABS member, and then they are also taking it up with trading standards.

To me, if the KC wants a scheme that people can have faith in then they need to ensure it is policed properly, and that just isn't happening I'm afraid. I do not have any litters planned at all at the minute, but as an example, my last litter last year my bitch has hip scores of 5/5, 0 elbow grade, clear BVA eye cert and is tested clear for 150 genetic conditions, which she is clear for all of them. The dog I used has 3/3 hips, 0 elbows and again, clear BVA eye cert and tested clear for the 5 main conditions (although one result isn't recorded with the KC I have a copy of the test result) PRA, CNM, EIC, HNPK and SD2. That was the second and final litter from my bitch (Zasa) who has since been spayed, although she hated the show ring so we didn't do much of that, she has been worked and absolutely loves it. I'm hoping her daughter does a bit better in the show ring, and I plan to work her as well. I can also say the mother of the bitch I bred from (who I still have aged 13 1/2 now) took part in the 'Give a dog a genome' project, where they had their eye test for HC (hereditary cataracts) and submitted DNA samples to contribute to knowledge about the aging population of Labradors. Tau (Zasa's dam) was clear aged over 10 years old for HC, it was a free event so it was just up to owners to take along their dogs, and a few people I know did this. But time and time again, I see members of the KC ABS who don't do all the tests, who don't contribute towards that sort of event, and who do nothing with their dogs except breed from them. I think the KC has got the whole thing on it's head, I think the more health tests you do, and the more you prove your dog, the less it should cost to register puppies, and the prices should be hiked up for those who do little or no health testing, or breed on from results that aren't good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There are some very greedy, ruthless people profiteering during this terrible situation. I heard of a family preparing to collect their puppy (not Labrador) the following week when the breeder said the price had risen from £1000 to £2500. When asked why she replied “I’m taking advantage of COVID”. People are paying as much as £3000 for Cockapoos!!!

Ive learnt such a lot from you guys - what a minefield - and I’ll know what to check for when considering any pups. I can’t thank you enough.
 
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