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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Evening Guys,

I’m looking to buy a yellow Labrador puppy for me and my family as we’re first time buyers we are looking to buy from a reputable breeder we live in London and willing to travel further to buy a yellow Labrador puppy dog. I’m looking for guidance on what we should be checking for and if there is anyone can recommend breeders that we can get in contact with?
I’ve been looking on the kennel club & pets4homes, is there any other websites I should be looking at?

Thanks

Vijay
 

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Ditch pets4homes, they are diabolical. The KC website is good, Champdogs is another good website, but neither are a guarantee of a good breeder, as anyone can advertise on there as long as pups are KC registered. KC registration simply means the parents of the dogs are registered, it is not a guarantee of health tests or anything else, so you need to do that research yourself.

You don't say if you're look for show, working or pet bred, there is a huge range of shapes and sizes in Labradors, as there has been a split in the breed for many decades now. So it is worth your while researching what the differences are and what that might mean to you as an owner. As an example, I own dual purpose bred dogs, so they have show lines but some of the kennel names within the pedigree have also worked them. I like their character, but if I bought a field trial champion bred exocet missile of a dog, I probably wouldn't enjoy them as much.

The other thing to look at which you've not mentioned are health tests, as a minimum I'd want both parents to have hip scores around or below the BMS of 9, with good estimated breeding values that indicate progeny are less prone to problems. Elbow grades should be 0 for both parents, again, with good EBVs. Both parents should have a current, clear BVA eye cert, ideally within the last 12 months, but with covid-19 and lockdown I might accept 18 months. And at least one parent should be clear for prcd-PRA, CNM, EIC, HNPK and SD2.

This forum doesn't allow recommendations for breeders, and to be honest, most good forums or groups on social media won't, because there simply isn't the time to police the recommendations. But to give you an idea, a good breeder will have planned a litter well in advance and have a good waiting list, possibly months or even years before a litter is due, and they may not need to advertise on any site. They will have not only done the health tests, but researched the pedigree thoroughly, and made a choice of stud dog based on the best direction for the next generation, not just used the boy down the road, or bred for a particular colour or shade of colour. Under normal times they would have proven their dogs, working, showing or competing in some way, and they will be honest about their dogs, not only knowing their strengths, but their weaknesses. A good breeder will discuss all of this with you about their dogs and potential litters, and will also most likely sell under contract to maintain contact if anything should go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Tarimoor,

thankyou for the comprehensive detailed information on what I need to look into, there is a lot more then I actually have taken into account that I need to look into and we are looking for a family dog, excuse my lack of knowledge but similar to the Andrex tv advert type we are looking for, so I will look at the champdogs website and continue searching on the kennel club too.

thanks

Vijay
 

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Hi Vijay,

I think sometimes people look at show dogs or working dogs and think 'I only want a pet', but in actual fact being a companion animal is the most important role a dog can play. As a companion they need to have a superb temperament, I know some working dogs that are kennelled that wouldn't cope with life in a home, with kids and people running around, even though as a breed they are supposed to. You also want your companion to be fit and healthy throughout their life, again, definitely not a second best to a show or working dog in that respect. So whilst it may seem a long list, in actual fact, if you compare it to say buying a car, would you want to know how efficient the fuel is, what features does it have, how reliable is it, does it come with a warranty and so on. It is exactly the same with a dog, and you will (hopefully) have a dog longer than most people have a car, although sadly so few people do their research and I hear all the time of dogs that have health problems that could perhaps have been avoided if the breeder had health tested, and the puppy buyers had done their homework.

I did a little flow chart to make it easy at a quick glance to see what you need to look for in a breeder, I'll see if I can find it and pop it on here.

26636
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Tarimoor,

thank you for taking the time to give me soo much information, I’ve got some homework to do when buying a puppy but appreciate the chart that’s a great guide.

kind regards

Vijay
 

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We found our labs on Gumtree, we had looked at all the usual sites but prices were crazy, on the off chance and was actually going to be my last look around, I went on Gumtree. The advert was better than any id read on “reputable” sites, We couldn’t have chosen better. The breeder had their own dog grooming business that we could check out on FB, thumbs up there! Arranged a virtual appointment to see the pups and choose. Father is KC registered as well so another thumbs up and the price was really good, fraction of what everybody is asking. My only tips are to read the ad, and I really mean read it, you can get a sense of things and as well as the normal questions, ask for a virtual viewing using WhatsApp, so you can see the environment that the pup is living.
 

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We found our labs on Gumtree, we had looked at all the usual sites but prices were crazy, on the off chance and was actually going to be my last look around, I went on Gumtree. The advert was better than any id read on “reputable” sites, We couldn’t have chosen better. The breeder had their own dog grooming business that we could check out on FB, thumbs up there! Arranged a virtual appointment to see the pups and choose. Father is KC registered as well so another thumbs up and the price was really good, fraction of what everybody is asking. My only tips are to read the ad, and I really mean read it, you can get a sense of things and as well as the normal questions, ask for a virtual viewing using WhatsApp, so you can see the environment that the pup is living.
Were the parents health tested?
 

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To be honest, I didn’t really ask for all that detail, we knew that the Father came from a line (can’t remember which now). The Father belonged to the breeders parents and the breeder owned the Mother. The sellers were 100% Genuine and we saw their business when we went and picked them up so are obvious dog lovers, the pups even came with a groom, feed, bed, toys etc and paperwork with details of worming/flea dates. Got them home and had a full medical on them when the 1st vaccination was due and all good from the Vet. Think we just got very lucky with them. After searching for a pup for 12 months we took everything at face value. Have to place trust in people now and again don’t we.
 

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To be honest, I didn’t really ask for all that detail, we knew that the Father came from a line (can’t remember which now). The Father belonged to the breeders parents and the breeder owned the Mother. The sellers were 100% Genuine and we saw their business when we went and picked them up so are obvious dog lovers, the pups even came with a groom, feed, bed, toys etc and paperwork with details of worming/flea dates. Got them home and had a full medical on them when the 1st vaccination was due and all good from the Vet. Think we just got very lucky with them. After searching for a pup for 12 months we took everything at face value. Have to place trust in people now and again don’t we.
The problem is, someone can genuinely care for their dogs, but still not do the basics like health tests. There are genetic conditions that can cause a dog to go blind, which are really easy to test for, and there is no excuse for them not being done. I've just booked my youngest bitch in to have hips and elbows done, it's a huge wait at the minute because of lockdown, but there is simply no excuse.
As far as trusting people goes, I'm afraid I've come across numerous cases of misplaced trust where people have bought a pup, and been lied to. I'm not suggesting that's the case with your pup, but the fact that the parents happen to own the most suitable dog for the bitch would put me off I'm afraid, along with the lack of health testing. Any stud dog I look at is usually the other end of the country, not doing health tests and using the dog owned by your parents to have a litter for the sake of it isn't really the best for the pups they produce. That's not being nasty, so apologies if it comes across that way, but breeding a litter of pups isn't (or shouldn't be) about simply bunging two dogs together and hoping for the best. A breeder has a moral obligation to try to ensure any pups produced will be happy and healthy, and not just hope for the best.

A good friend of mine bought a pup off Gumtree aged 6 months, the owner couldn't cope, he was KC registered and she got in touch with the breeder to say she now had him. The breeder informed her the parents were health tested, and stayed in touch with them for a few months. The new owner asked me for help researching his pedigree, so I had a quick look and had to inform her that the parents hadn't been health tested as she'd been told, the bitch was under 12 months of age when she was mated, and the dogs they owned weren't related as they'd been told (they had told her that another dog was an aunt for some reason, but it was the dam of the bitch that had had the litter). Her dog went on to develop hip dysplasia, she contacted the breeder one final time to tell them of this, so they could avoid the same problem happening again. A few months later another litter from the same breeder, same parents, probably carrying on telling the same untruths to unsuspecting puppy buyers.

It may sound like a long list of things to research for but any good breeder will ensure they are all in place before thinking about having a litter. I genuinely care for my dogs, and I know lots of people who care for their dogs, but that doesn't make me or them a good breeder, it's how I go about planning a litter and actually doing the things that make a real difference, health testing, researching pedigree, ensuring the pedigrees are going to compliment each other to produce good examples of the breed and so on.
 

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I am in agreement with you and what you have said makes a lot of sense and I would say that If I had known about everything to consider then I’d have followed exactly what your saying. I totally get it and really appreciate your views and it’s great advice for others and I’d recommend to anybody to read your posts and take it all on board. Bit late for me and our pups but so far all is well with them. Thanks for your response. Very sensible advice
 

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Based on what you’ve said, make sure you have very comprehensive pet health insurance. I wouldn’t say they were particularly great breeders, for all the reasons Tarimoor has said.
 

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I think it’s best to say when I use the term breeder, I don’t mean it in the way people view the word breeder, two family dogs mated and one just happened to be KC. The result being our two very healthy pups and more in the litter, can confirm that we have very good insurance.
 

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You will get different views on what a breeder is, but basically, to me anyone who has a litter of pups is a breeder, the choice is there ie it is a decision to allow it to go ahead. If it were an accidental mating even, you can give an injection to prevent unwanted litters, so it is still very much a choice. It's how they go about it that makes the difference, and I'm afraid the vast majority of pups I'd say are from litters that are just two dogs bunged together with a vague hope nothing will go wrong. I've even seen an advert on a car forum with a guy advertising a litter of Labradoodles from his bitch, who he'd got from a rescue, and his Dad owned a standard poodle. The reason for breeding? To pay for a holiday and a new paint job for his car. Unfortunately Labradoodles are just as prone to some health issues found in both breeds, including HD, PRA, HC and epilepsy to name a few, but then not many people are aware as they just don't do enough research.

To be quite honest, and again, apologies if this sounds harsh as it's not meant to be, but I wouldn't ever let two pups go to the same home (sorry if I've misunderstood your post, it sounds like two from the same litter). Quite often you get something called sibling rivalry where they can't stand each other, to the point one has to go back to the breeder/be rehomed. Also, if one has a health problem then it's likely both will, and no matter how much you health test there are always things a good breeder can't account for that might crop up. Finally, if you have two from the same litter it is very likely you will lose them close together when they are older. It is absolutely heart breaking to lose a companion you've had for many years, but to go through it twice in a short space of time would be just awful. I lost my 14 1/2 year old last year in April, I have her half sister here who is still going pretty strong, she is a year younger so is now 14 1/2 as well, but looks to be going on some more yet, for which I am grateful. So those three risks would make me not allow two pups to go to the same home, although if a puppy owner came back for another pup later on I'd have no qualms about that, in fact I have someone waiting for just such an occasion.
 

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We have two siblings from the same litter but live in separate homes, they come together for about 3-4 days per week and it’s a lot of fun seeing them play with each other, walk together and learn together. There will always be a level of rivalry in siblings just like humans. As the male they know that I’m the Alpha in my house and my partners pup has learnt that what happens here happens at her house. She just transfers the same routine when she is at hers and it works well. Obviously we still have puppy moments but that’s all part of the joy. They both have different personalities and traits, together they love to play with each other and there has never been any nasty moments. Generally my pup is quite chilled when it’s just me and him, I have PTSD and I think he senses this which is why we got labs. He picks up on things very quickly.

I can tell that you have a lot of knowledge and experience and I think your advise is really helpful however it can come across as all doom and gloom and could be seen as quite off putting to anybody looking to get a pup, I do hope you won’t take any offence at this, I don’t mean to offend. Despite that I would feel confident to approach you for advise and guidance if needed.
 

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We have two siblings from the same litter but live in separate homes, they come together for about 3-4 days per week and it’s a lot of fun seeing them play with each other, walk together and learn together. There will always be a level of rivalry in siblings just like humans. As the male they know that I’m the Alpha in my house and my partners pup has learnt that what happens here happens at her house. She just transfers the same routine when she is at hers and it works well. Obviously we still have puppy moments but that’s all part of the joy. They both have different personalities and traits, together they love to play with each other and there has never been any nasty moments. Generally my pup is quite chilled when it’s just me and him, I have PTSD and I think he senses this which is why we got labs. He picks up on things very quickly.

I can tell that you have a lot of knowledge and experience and I think your advise is really helpful however it can come across as all doom and gloom and could be seen as quite off putting to anybody looking to get a pup, I do hope you won’t take any offence at this, I don’t mean to offend. Despite that I would feel confident to approach you for advise and guidance if needed.
Lol, no offence taken at all, I am actually quite good fun, but am serious when it comes to dog breeding, simply because of the horrors I've seen, and breeders who try to pull the wool over the eyes of puppy buyers, in a do what I say not what I do approach.

Actually, the alpha bit, I'll go all doom and gloom again, but ignore the pack theory, it is, I'm afraid, a completely debunked theory in relation to our pet dogs. Yes wolves do have an Alpha etc, but our dogs behave very differently to wolf packs, and the original theory was developed by a guy who got lots of different wolves (not even the same type) bunged them together, observed them for a while, and came up with 'the pack theory'. This was many years ago now and modern thinking has gone a lot further, yes we are in charge, but actually, when it comes to the dogs their relationships are fluid, there is no 'one dog' that is above the others, but rather one that might be the most food obsessed, or toy obsessed, or love fusses that bit more. Between my five my 18 month old puppy is the most food obsessed, toy obsessed and loves fusses, but she is definitely not in charge in all circumstances, just that she's the most driven when it comes to some things.

I had three of my girls out doing fun retrieves yesterday afternoon, and my flat coated retriever is the most retrieve driven dog I've owned, until I had my last litter and kept Branta, she is absolutely driven, wants to beat Rhuna 100% of the time, which is no bad thing as I would like to try and do a working test or two with her. But when it comes to the house and how she behaves Branta is just a pup, gets away with blue murder and is put in her place by anyone if she pushes it too far, except Grandma Tau who is too soft with her but at 14 1/2 she's soft with everyone these days.

So being the first and wanting the food etc isn't the dog in charge, and it just depends on the situation, is there food involved, are we competing for a fuss, some will stay back a bit, others will step forward, and so on.

This is a really good read for anyone wanting to look at if further:

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Tarimoor,

I hope your all well and your dogs are doing great, well we’ve gone and done it we’ve bought a puppy from Champ Dogs a beautiful yellow Labrador boy, he’s been with us a week full soo much energy we’ve called him Leo, he’s been jabbed up and weighs 5.3kg.
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Is he from working lines? The reason I ask is he's quite light weight wise in comparison to show lines for his age, but they differ so much. I think the heaviest of mine was over 9kgs at 8 weeks of age, but they've typically been around 6.5-8kgs
 

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Is he from working lines? The reason I ask is he's quite light weight wise in comparison to show lines for his age, but they differ so much. I think the heaviest of mine was over 9kgs at 8 weeks of age, but they've typically been around 6.5-8kg

Hi Tarimoor as far as I know he isn’t we got him from a breeder that states they only do one litter a year, we saw the parents history’s they were all good and we had him checked over with a vet the day after to be jabbed up, the vet has said he’s good weight and healthily.

a couple of things I wanted to know he’s teething, I’ve bought about 10 toys for him to chew on and stopping him from chewing the furniture, I also given him some cooling toys to soothe his chewing, do you recommend anything else I should try because when is he super active he wants to nibble me and Everything, I also tend to put the toys in his mouth to encourage him to focus on that instead.

when is it good to bathe a puppy he’s now 9 weeks old, we’re advised by the vet not to at present but we’d like to keep him as clean as possible, any recommendations of shampoo to use? I don’t mind purchasing good shampoo for puppies or I even heard people using baby shampoo?

lastly he’s got some nails, isit ok for them to be clipped at 9 weeks or is it too early?

appreciate any advice given

thanks

Vijay
 

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Don’t bathe him at all. It’s not necessary unless he gets really filthy, and then a hose pipe will do (or stream or river), no shampoo at all. Nails should be kept short and I’d hope his breeder would have already clipped them several times before you got him.
 
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Sorry, just seen the reply within the quote, but as Maddie says, no real need to bathe a dog, their own oils should keep their coat clean, just get him used to being brushed and having nails trimmed regularly.
 
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