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Hi Everyone,

I currently have no Labs, as my old one died earlier this year. I am looking for a new puppy, with a view to maybe showing. Has anyone got any tips what to look for?

Patricia
 

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Hi Patricia
Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear about your loss earlier in the year. What sort of dog/s did you have before?
Have to say I’m not an expert on show dogs I’ve always had dogs from working lines, and there is a big difference. However, the first place I would start would be at the shows themselves. Where are you in the UK? Go and look at the dogs currently being shown - it will give you an idea of types being produced by the different kennels. Introduce yourself to the breeders. Most are happy to help those who share their love and enthusiasm for the breed. Once you have found a type you like, approach breeders about future litters and explain you are looking for a show quality puppy. Expect to be put on a waiting list and have a wait. There are no guarantees, even a long line of show champions in the pedigree is no guarantee of a litter containing show potential pups (although you are helping the odds) and even with a show potential pup, there is the possibility they may develop faults as they grow up. Either way you will have a super puppy to share you life with regardless of whether or not you show.
Kayc on the board shows her dogs, so hopefully she'll see this and give you some pointers.
HTH
Forgot to mention the most obvious - your dog must be a kennel club registered dog to show in all shows except exemption shows, so don't get an unregistered puppy, or any other kind of dog registration (there are several commercial registration clubs now that mean nothing and are just a bit of paper).
 

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Hi Patricia, Lablover seems to have covered most of it. As suggested, go to as many shows as you can, the Championship shows are best, since you will meet breeders from most of the UK. Open shows tend to be restricted to the locality.

Would you be prepared to buy a pup around 3 - 4 months old rather than 8 weeks? Show breeders tend to keep the best pups for themselves and run them on for a few months. All the changes that happen in conformation and pigmentation dont really take place until the 3 month mark and this is the time that the a breeder will be moving on show stock. A show breeder may keep 3 or 4 pups from a litter if they are showing show potential, but obviously cannot keep all of them, it is at this stage they will tend sell only to people who wish to show. There are still no guarantees, but the odds are more in your favour.

Do you know what you are looking for in a show dog? ie; conformation, shoulder angulation, stop, stifle, topline, tailset etc. Dont be fobbed off by a breeder saying the pups are champion quality. Do your research. Most show breeders will be only to willing to help. Also the top price does not guarantee the top dog. And never be frightened to ask too many questions. We all started at the begining.

That said about the breeder, you asked what to look for.

The pup.
General Appearance, Stongly built, short-coupled, broad skull, broad and deep through chest and ribs, broad and strong over loins and hindquarters

Head and Skull
Skull broad with defined stop, clean cut without fleshy cheeks, jaws of medium length , powerful not snipey. nose wid, nostrils well developed.

Eyes, medium sized expressing intelligence brown or hazel

Ears, not large or heavy hanging close to head and set rather far back

Mouth, Jaws and teeth stong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite.

Neck, Clean strong powerful set into well placed shoulders.

Forequarters, Shoulders long ans sloping. Forelegs well boned and straight from elbow to ground when viewed from eighter front or side.

Body, chest of good width and depth, with well sprung barrel ribs. Level top line. Loins wide short coupled and strong

Hindquarters. Well developed, not sloping to tail, well turned stifle, hocks well let down, cow hock highly undesirable.

Feet, round compact well arched toes and well developed pads.

Tail, Distictive feature, very thick towards base, gradually tapering towards tip, medium length, free from feathering but clothed thickly all round with short thick dense coat, thus giving rounded appearance described as 'otter' tail, may be carried gaily but should not curl over back.

Gait/movement. Free, covering adequate ground; straight and true in front and rear.

Coat. Distinctive feature, short-dense without wave or feathering, giving fairly hard feel to the touch

Colour. Wholly balck, yellow or chocolate. Yellows range from light crearm to fox red.

Size Ideal height at withers; dogs 22-22.5 ins. bitches 21.5ins.

Faults. Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriounsess with which the fault should be regarded shoud be in exact proportion to its degree.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Excuse spelling mistakes, I have not gone back and checked

Good luck

HTH
Kay
 

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Hi Patricia,

Did you manage to get a new puppy? How's it all going?

I hope that things are going well for you. Would be interested to hear how you are getting on if you get the time. :)

Best Regards

Julie
 
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