Labradors Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

wondering if anyone out there can help. After many months of deliberation , we have decided to get a yellow labrador. We have found a reputable breeder who breeds them more as a hobby than a business. She seems very nice and web site is very good and informative.

We visited today and have put a deposit down on a pup. When we asked about the hip scores, the sire has 6/6 but she was a bit hesitant about the dam (who didn't look like a typical lab, but she assured me she had more gundog in her?) She said she was hip scored but they were uneven but she thought that both parents hip scores would be approx 28. We had been told by another breeder not to go above 16?

We fell in love with a puppy, hence the deposit but I do worry that father looks like a typical Lab and mum doesn't (though I have seen diff. looking labs about) and the hip score of 28.
Sorry, if it's all a bit garbled, don't know all the jargon yet.

Cost of puppy £500

Please could someone advise, if this all sounds ok?

Thanks very much
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Hi welcome to the forum
Well, what a puzzle. Please don't take this the wrong way, but in what way is she reputable? I only ask because no reputable breeder would be so vague about hip scores, they would tell you the score. The current breed average is 15 (was 16 last year). I'm a little confused by her comment that she had more gundog in her - labradors are gundogs :?
Sadly it's a fact of life that all puppies, especially lab puppies :D are completely adorable, regardless of how they are bred, which makes the whole process of buying a pup more difficult. The price is fine for a well bred pup, but not if there are problems with the hipscores, or only the sire was scored.
If you want to Ppm me - feel free.
HTH :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,083 Posts
re-hip scores

Hi ,lablover made some good points, and you did'nt say if your pup was kc registered ,you can check out an awfull lot of history on the net ,when we got Dylan I spent hours going through his ancestors,but we were lucky as Dylan's family are mostly all champions and his pedigree is fantastic, also his mother was 5/2 and his dad was just a little higher,but dylan has bilateral elbow dysplasia and was operated on one elbow 2 weeks ago.he allready has arthritis and he's only 15 months old to-day.According to our orthopedic surgeon it's just one of those things and there is never any guarantee when you buy a pup.We may never have known if he had'nt jumped into a dirty pond.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Why do I always agree with lablover? Because her replies are always sensible and helpful.
I would find it difficult to call someone who does not know the hip score of her bitch particularly reputable.
If I was advising you to buy a puppy, the breeder should have the copies of hip scores, elbows and curreent eye certificates for both parents, they should also have a good knowledge of the ancesters, if they are well known dogs, and not just taken a bitch round the corner to the nearest labrador. That is not careful breeding, everything has to be thought through very carefully, whether there is any knowledge of epilepsy, or entropian in the lines, and of course temperament has to be uppermost.
It is so tempting when you see a litter of lovely cuddly puppies, but even if you are only purchasing for a pet, you need a puppy that is going to be with you for a very long time, and hopefully with few problems.
I know that there is no guarentee, with any puppy, but if the breeder has done her utmost, to breed a good puppy, you stand a better chance than someone who does not know what they are doing. All the best with your new puppy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
All sound advice.
As a breeder (all be it small scale) we have to hand all the info going back several generations -so not to know the hip score of the dam is unusual to say the least, its normally the first and most important thing you get assessed when deciding to breed. This one may be an 'accidental breeding' if the owner has both parents and therefore happened before the dam has been hip scored, if the dam is particularly young (much less than 2) that could be the case.

I'm also curious about what you mean by not typical looking, and the breeders reasoning that she had more gundog in her - begs the question what sort of gundog? As lablover says labradors are gundogs. You quite often get labrador cocker crosses and they make lovely pets and good workers - the dogs tend to be less heavy set, longer coated and often have curly coated ears.

KC registration is pretty much essential as far as I'm concerned certainly at £500 - as branwen says it does allow you te research lines more efficiently.

Chances are your pup will be a beautiful family pet anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Hi
Welcome to the forums. Some questions and comments for you:

You have written:
We have found a reputable breeder who breeds them more as a hobby than a business. She seems very nice and web site is very good and informative.
What makes a breeder reputable?
What is the difference between a hobby and a business?

Good manners and an informative web site are good sales tools does not necessarily make a good breeder. What else have you learned of this person and how did you learn of it? Please do not mention names or kennels.

she was a bit hesitant about the dam (who didn't look like a typical lab, but she assured me she had more gundog in her?) She said she was hip scored but they were uneven but she thought that both parents hip scores would be approx 28. We had been told by another breeder not to go above 16?
IMHO, this is a red flag and time to leave.

We fell in love with a puppy, hence the deposit but I do worry that father looks like a typical Lab and mum doesn't (though I have seen diff. looking labs about) and the hip score of 28.
Mum may probably what we in the US call a field Lab. They are leaner, lankier and don't have the otter tail of the bench Lab. If you are worried about the look and the hip score. Walk away.

Research more. Learn the jargon. Ask about for referrals and don't look at the puppies when you visit to determine if you like the breeding program. Here in the US. the reputable breeders have a waiting list for their puppies. In the UK maybe things work different but in my mind if a breeder has a litter on the ground that is not spoken for, I would be concerned.

Following the guidelines of the health screening scheme helps limit the possibilities of genetic problems but they will not make the problem go away completely. You always run the risk but it is usually lower than breeding a dog that has bad scores.

Good luck

HTH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Also reputable breeders in the UK usually have a waiting list for people wanting a puppy
They may have a website, to give details of their dogs and their achievment at shows etc. But most good breeders do NOT have to advertise to enable them to sell their puppies, this comes via word of mouth and people knowing how reliable that breeder is.
I know of a friend who has waited 2 years for the right puppy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
I agree with pretty much everything that has been said in this thread regarding choosing a breeder

In my case when I was looking for a puppy I found the website of a breeder who met the criteria set out above, he had 3 bitches all of whom were family pets, only bred occaisionally, was open about their hip scores, everything seemed above board so I asked for my name to be put on the list of people who would be interested in having a dog from him when/if he bred from a particular bitch

A few months later and I got Harvey, complete with the free insurance, diet advice, contract, kc papers etc., cost £425 and I am delighted with him, he is everything I was looking for in a lab

However, he is not a full time professional breeder, just as I suspect many breeders from whom we buy our dogs from arent, so what are their motivation for producing puppies? it is either an ultraistic desire to "better the breed" ... or to make some money

I have heard all the spiel before about there being no money to be made out of breeding due to the costs involved, and of course there are risks, but you only have to do the maths to realise that a litter of healthy pups turn a good profit to someone prepared to take those risks

While I despise those backyard breeders who exploit their dogs mercilessly purely to make money as much as the next person I have no problem with breeders such as the one I dealt with. He loves his dogs, they are part of his family, he only breeds occaisionally and has the welfare of his dogs and their progeny uppermost in his mind. But he breeds to sell, sells to make a profit and, for that, he would be frowned upon by many who regard such motivation as unethical. But is is really so bad?

The pedigree dog world is very elitest and maybe, for the good of the breed, they are right to want only the very best Champ Dogs to be bred to preserve purity but, if that was the case, we would be looking at paying thousands, not hundreds, for a kc registered puppy

How many on this forum who now own a perfectly sound, healthy, well bred dog, bought from a concientious part time breeder, would now be without a lab because they couldnt afford that kind of money?

Me for one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Hi Nigel
I do not think anyone has said, go to a top breeder, they are only the people to buy from.
All caring people are saying is go to the breeders who have done everything possible to breed a good healthy animal, and have put the welfare of the breed first.
You have said yourself that you put your name down for one of this breeders pups, so you did not just go out on a whim to buy a puppy you also put thought inot purchasing.

I also agree with you that although it has been said there is no money in breeding of course there is. Obviously there are occassions when things do go wrong, and there are the caesarians, and puppies fading etc, but as a general rule 8 or 10 puppies in a litter onr does not need to be good at maths to work out at £500 a time. I have even know Chocolates to be sold for £800 in the South of England
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all so much for all your advice, it's been invaluable!

After talking to breeder, I got both parents hip scores. I phoned our vet who spoke to me at length.

He is ok with mum's hip scores, bit high on one side but he says sometimes, you can become too obsessed with just getting the right hip score figure, which he doesn't agree with.
He said, he's recently seen a dog with excellent hip scores but he too was having problems.

He said considering we weren't going to breed from him and he was living life with a family, he wouldn't worry about getting him.

He thinks temperament is one of the most important issues with dogs. When I said we'd met mum and dad and both have beautiful temperaments he said that spoke volumes.
He advised, like the breeder did, that the most important issue was not to exercise it too much for it's first year and then to take it gently, which is fine with us.

After much deliberation, we have decided that temperament is very important and we will take it however it goes, so have decided to keep him!! He'll be with us in 9 weeks, so I'll post a photo of him!

I'm sure I'll be back with plenty of puppy issues!

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Glad you managed to get the information need to satisfy yourself that all was well. I’m sure you’ll have many happy years with him.

An interesting topic, with a lot of varying points of view.
its normally the first and most important thing you get assessed when deciding to breed
Personally, I think the first and most important thing to get assessed is the bitch – to ensure she is a good enough example to breed from and has something to offer the future of the breed.

I have to agree with labdad and megaloo with regards to waiting lists vs advertising, responsible breeders do tend to have waiting lists and have no need to advertise. In fact, I’d say they don’t even consider breeding until the have enough people on their lists to justify breeding another litter. They do not simply breed and then advertise their their pups for sale. They also tend to help with rescue too.

Nigel B brings up some interesting points too. What is a full time professional breeder? – In my opinion, highly likely to be a puppy farmer, however, clean their premises and however helpful the breeders are. A professional breeder – I’d avoid one like the plague. I find the best breeders are those who have been involved in the breed for a number of years, either showing or working,

Originally, showing and trialing came about as a ‘showcase’ where the best examples and those that should be bred from could be seen. Although it has turned into a hobby for many, that still rings true. We all love our own dogs and think they are the best. Very few have the knowledge and objectivity to know whether their own dog is or isn’t good enough to breed from. The reasons good breeders show or compete is to get unbiased opinions on the quality of their dogs from those who know what to look for. Even the best bred litters only have one or two puppies that are good enough to show/trail and breed from, the rest will be sold as pets. And, on the subject of pets, the large majority of show dogs are first and foremost ‘pets’. The chances are that next months best in show at Crufts will be a ‘pet’.

I’m horrified that you should think you have to pay thousands for a dog which has been bred from champions. I’ve always found the least reliable indicator of quality is price. The cost of a puppy from what I (and others) consider one of if not the leading breeder of working dogs in my area is £500. She has consistently produced many winners of field trials, field trial champions and their progeny have also in turn produced winners and champions, two of whom qualified for the IGL Retriever Championships this year. I have seen backyard bred puppies go for more than that. OK, so she does have a two year waiting list, (she only breeds a couple of litters a year – when she wants one herself) but the price is actually less than the cost of a Labrador puppy in our local pet shop! – and you can imagine the breeding of those poor pups.

Good breeding can come from anyone whether they be a hobby, amateur, professional, as can mediocre and poor breeding. Good breeders breed first and foremost for the betterment of the breed. They do their ‘apprenticeship’ first. They may spend many years owning / showing / trialling and learning all they can – not just from books and reading, but from breeders with years of experience before they even have their first litter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
hi lablover

I wasnt suggesting that one had to pay thousands for a top pup now but that would be the situation if "hobby breeders" werent supplying the demand for decent dogs and the only people selling pups were owners of show champs who could then charge what they wanted

Megaloo makes the point, quite rightly, that it matters not who breeds the dog as long as all the correct proceedures are adhered to to ensure the welfare of both the bitch and the progeny and that the dam and sire are carefully matched to ensure sound genetics, yet I suspect there are many who regard belonging to the correct society with a cupboard full of trophies equally important

Dont get me wrong, I realise the contribution that competetive showing makes to maintaining the breed standard and dont begrudge those who are successful the rewards for their efforts, on the contrarary, am very grateful to them. I was just putting a word in for those breeders, like Harvey's, who never set foot in a show ring yet still produce first rate dogs at an affordable price

Cheers
Nigel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Personally, I think the first and most important thing to get assessed is the bitch – to ensure she is a good enough example to breed from and has something to offer the future of the breed.
The hip scores are a pretty basic part of that, unless you want to offer hip dysplasia to the breed's future. It doesn't matter how perfect the dog looks and how wonderful its temperament, or how well it matches the breed standard, if the hips are bad don't breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
The first thing a good breeder will do is assess their bitch, and ask advice from others about the suitability of their bitch for breeding. Only when they are sure their bitch has something to offer and is of sound temperament will they move to the next stage which is to investigate the health of the bitch. Hips scores are only one of many health issues a breeder should look at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I think we'll have to agree to disagree about the order. Good breeders assess everything, I don't think the order is that important
We get hip scores as soon as possible, and were advised to do so by our local more experienced breeders and our vet. Their opinion being that if the hips are bad nothing else matters and failing at the first hurdle rather than the last would be easier to cope with - which seemed sensible to me at the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Hi Everyone
I know it seems as though I am changing the subject a little although it is still regarding hips. I feel very strongly that when an animal is x-rayed for their hips, they are sent up to be scored. I have often heard breeders say I am not going to send these they will not be good enough. How can we get a true average of a Labrador if the bad ones are not put up for scanning as well as the good or average?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Hi Megaloo
A really good point. Certainly, the quality and positioning of the dog in the xray is very important, and I can understand why someone would not send a poor set of xrays off if this were the case, but then, one would hope in these cases the vet would retake the xrays foc.
In addition to those not putting forward poor looking hips for scoring, I also wonder what the true picture is with hips. What percentage of dogs will be scored anyway. Certainly, most of those who are bred (at least KC registered ones), probably a fair percentage of working dogs, but what about the many thousands of pets, probably only those who ever display symptoms, and even then, many will be xrayed for problems, but not sent off for scoring. Specifically, the breed average is not really the breed average, but the mean average of those dogs who have been scored.

Another thought:
two dogs, both score 6/6. One scores 1 on each of six of the nine angles, the other scores are perfect except for a maximum score of 6 on one angle, which potentially could cause pain, arthritis etc.

What about the number of sound dogs, whose owners (and vets) are taken aback when xrays reveal poor hips.

Do we know at what score dogs are likely to suffer problems?

We obviously have to work with what little understanding there is, but I suspect that we know far less about hip displasia than we have yet to learn. It's not so long ago that I remember some vets saying that it was a hereditary problem and there was no link to exercise etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
HI Lablover
Yes I do agree there are many ifs and buts when trying to get a mean score of hips, and I do understand that pet people who are not going to breed would not go to the expense of having hips x-rayed unless there are problems. Then as you say those that are x-rayed for problems would not be sent up anyway. I was only talking about breeders who have had hips x-rayed for breeding purposes and when not good enough turn round and say oh well I won't bother to get them scored then, I do not mean that the x-ray was not good in the quality sense.
Yes years ago we all thought that poor hips were all inherited, but of course we know differently, we have all seen a lovely puppy handed to their new owners only to be seen a few months later completely run off its legs.
Eyes were also given clear certificates after five years, long ago, but we know now that they need very much to be continued. Anyway I will not go on otherwise I will make this forum get boring to a lot of people and that would not be fair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Hi Megaloo
Sorry, you're right about some breeders, like life there are good and bad. I agree it's wrong. Unfortunately, the breeds popularity has been its downfall in many ways.
You weren't boring me - just thought I'd add a few more ideas. :D
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top