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Hi all, new to the forum so please be kind! Until recently we had two labs, Buffrey a 15 year old yellow male and Betsie a 7 year old black girl. Heartbreakingly Buff, who had been fabulously healthy and lively right up to his last day, passed away recently and we are distraught. He was irreplaceable and unforgettable to us and whilst we love Betsie to bits we have a yellow dog shaped hole in all our lives.

We are thinking therefore about getting another lab puppy but have some considerations. Is it too soon to get a new puppy, how will Betsie react (our Male dog was very much the dominant one of the two) and is getting a new male the right move with an older bitch. Will we be always comparing a new arrival to the fabulous friend we lost and is it unfair to start from that premise?

We realise we will never replace our fabulous big boy but we simply want to go through the journey again. Would be great to hear the views of others
 

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Heartbreakingly Buff, who had been fabulously healthy and lively right up to his last day, passed away recently and we are distraught.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is.

Is it too soon to get a new puppy
It's never too soon if it's the right time for you. However this may not be the best time. Corvid19 has meant that canine health testing came to a stop, and has only just restarted, and only in a small way at that. Because of this most responsible breeders have not been breeding. This has fed into the hands of the irresponsible breeders, breeding without bothering about health testing. And because of the shortage of pups born they have pushed to price up to stupid amounts. The end of last year, before Covid struck you were looking at £700 to £1000 for a well bred Labrador, but in 7 months the price has skyrocketed to £2500 to £3000 for an untested rubbish bred pup! Remember, even after the health testing restarted a breeder might have to wait 6 to 9 months for their bitch to come into season, then it's a two month gestation period followed by another 2 months before a pup is ready to leave the dam. So really, it's going to be the middle of next year before well bred pups are likely to be around in numbers.

how will Betsie react (our Male dog was very much the dominant one of the two) and is getting a new male the right move with an older bitch
I've twice done this. In the case of Anna when Amy moved in, she hated her for two weeks! Then I was playing tug with Amy and Anna looked interested so I offered her the end of the toy I was holding. She took it, then dropped it, jumped on Amy and washed her from head to toe! End of problem! :) Again when Chloe arrived Amy was very standoffish, but she settled probably a bit quicker than Anna did. We have to remember, its a big upheaval for an older dog, certainly harder than bringing a puppy in with a relatively young existing dog. But given time, in my experience, it works.

We realise we will never replace our fabulous big boy
No pup ever replaces the old ones. A pup finds a place all of it's own in our heart. :)
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is.


It's never too soon if it's the right time for you. However this may not be the best time. Corvid19 has meant that canine health testing came to a stop, and has only just restarted, and only in a small way at that. Because of this most responsible breeders have not been breeding. This has fed into the hands of the irresponsible breeders, breeding without bothering about health testing. And because of the shortage of pups born they have pushed to price up to stupid amounts. The end of last year, before Covid struck you were looking at £700 to £1000 for a well bred Labrador, but in 7 months the price has skyrocketed to £2500 to £3000 for an untested rubbish bred pup! Remember, even after the health testing restarted a breeder might have to wait 6 to 9 months for their bitch to come into season, then it's a two month gestation period followed by another 2 months before a pup is ready to leave the dam. So really, it's going to be the middle of next year before well bred pups are likely to be around in numbers.

Hi John, thanks for the responses - very helpful. Totally take on board your points around the Covid situation as it pertains to timelines, testing etc but I have some considerable comfort here in that I know and trust the breeder who I am dealing with. They bred both my labs and are very well established and reputable and I'm confident they would not let me progress without all appropriate measures in place.
 

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John gives great advice . I sympathise with your loss, I understand very well. We lost Jordi our chocolate Labrador last June, he was 14 on the 20th and passed away on 23rd. I was absolutely devastated, he was my boy. As John says it’s down to each individual whether they get another dog or not. In our case we had a rescue dog named Ace who we got when Jordi was 9. We thought that getting another mature dog may cause an upset in the domestic balance so decided to look at puppies, admittedly after a few months break. We identified a breeder in Durham who was advertising on Champdogs for a litter due in November. They were born on 25th and we visited a week later, meeting both the Dam and Sire which gave us a good idea on temperament. We had first choice and selected Bailey and had regular updates on his progress. We eventually got him in January and he is now 9 months old. It’s been tough having a puppy but Ace has accepted him and has mentored him. You will never replace Buffrey but the puppy does give you a new love. I still think about Jordi every day and miss him immensely but Bailey and Ace give lots of unconditional love and you have responsibilities to them. Like John says, it’s difficult at the moment to find good breeders, we were lucky with our timing but I couldn’t be happier with our decision. I wish you good luck in making your decision.
 

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I feel your worry. Thankfully where I live health testing is still going on and I know of a number of good friends who are very reliable breeders and fellow exhibitors who’ve had litters in the past few weeks (and days); chocs, yellows and some very scrummy blacks.
 
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