Labradors Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

We're trying to find a Labrador puppy for mid/late October (recently realised this an ideal time for us to train a new puppy and not sure if we will have this great an opportunity again). I've read the threads I can find on here but a lot of the information is a few years old. We've found a few litters with breeders we like the sound of but they don't have all the health tests, are you able to give advice about the below please:

- One of the breeders is a 5* licensed breeder the dad is fully health tested but the mum is missing a few tests (Prcd -PRA and SD2), both of the parents also do not have recent eye tests. they were tested at a year old but that's it. When I questioned the breeder about this they said they've used alternative tests for the mum which are not recognised by the Kennel Club and the response for eye tests was really odd they said 'it's like human eye tests - some examiners are good some aren't' . I'm getting the feeling I should probably leave that litter alone but just wanted to check.

- I've found a few other litters the majority have the dad fully health tested but the mum only has hips, elbows and eye. Both with recent eye tests. I'm assuming the other health tests are all really important but wanted another opinion on this.

- Finally looking at hip scores I've found a couple litters with the tests but hip scores seem higher then some people like e.g. (6/4 and 3/4) or (6/6 and 0/1) would these be ok or am I best of looking for lower?

Thank you in advance for any responses.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
21,512 Posts
OK, there is no such thing as a 5 star breeder. That is an accolade they have awarded to themselves!

DNA tests required, PRA, CNM, EIC are the most important To be affected by any of those means very serious health problems! HNPK is a nasty problem, but not life threatening. SD2 appears to not actually have any serious health problems attached to it, though lets face it, short legged Labradors are not a desirable feature. At least one parent needs to be tested clear of all of these. Even if only one is tested the pups "Could" be carriers, although would never develop the condition, so a pup would be fine as a pet, though not ideal for breeding from.

Hip and elbow testing. (I would walk away from any litter from untested parents) If untested then the breeder is cutting corners. Imagine this for a moment, Hip and elbow scoring will cost something in the region of £500. Now with the price of a puppy these days of around £2000 that is not expensive so for any breeder saying they were trying to keep the cost down, RUBBISH! Lets be honest, it's more like trying to maximise their profit! Elbow score should be zero, nothing else is acceptable. Hips, the lower the better, my top limit is around 10 or 12 max, but getting that high I would want to know how the score was made up. 9 separate features are looked at when the panel score the hips, so you can imagine, a lot of marks lost on a few features is rather worse that a few marks lost on many features. In the first case whole sections of the hip could be missing, where in the case of the second many features just have minor errors.

Eyes. The test should be carried out yearly. I'm not too concerned about a month of so out of date. I organise eye testing sessions, and know that covid and social distancing has made things very difficult. But dont accept a person saying that they are unable to get the dog tested. They may need to shop around to find somewhere, and they may need to travel further than normal BUT TESTING IS STILL AVAILABEL! The sessions I organise hold sessions twice a year. We were locked down a year ago that April, but were able to test last October, again this last April and we are taking booking for this coming October. And we are only one of many people organising. The reason why eye testing needs to be carried out yearly is because some eye problems develop at different times during the life of the dog, just like in human eyes. One such problem is cataracts.

So there you are. Thats a run down of current testing. There are many DNA tests, apart from the ones listed above, but these are for conditions so rare that they can be left as diagnostic tools for vets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much that's really helpful information!

On the 5* licensed breeder, I believe this is a real thing, I looked them up on the county website under dog breeders and it gives all the licensed breeders in the area with star ratings, it's also mentioned on the kennel club website under dog breeding regulations for the UK. I could be wrong but a lot of breeders mention licenses now on adverts and on their websites.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
21,512 Posts
A license is required if a person breeds more than so many litters in a given period. There is no national figure, councils are able to put their own interpretation on the ruling. But apart from breeding several litters it means absolutely nothing. Councils are supposed to check kennels, but in most cases dont, and when they do there is no guarantee that the person doing the checking would know a responsible breeder from a puppy farmer. To me, being a licensed breeder poses more questions than it does answers, particularly when they give themselves an accolade which does not exist. A good maxim when it comes to choosing a puppy, "Let the buyer beware!" There are a lot of shady breeders out there. Certainly with the breeder you mention, and the health testing you mention, I would be very careful. They have missed far too many tests for me to call them a responsible breeder. As for some examiners being good and some aren't, there are only something like 10 panellists in the country allowed to test canine eyes under the BVA/KC/ISDS eye test scheme and they are continually monitored by Prof. Peter Bedford who is the head of the panel and a personal friend of mine. I also get all the latest info on health problems within the breed from the breed council health sub committee, so am in the lucky position to know whats going in in the breed here in the UK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok thank you, that's really useful we weren't sure how much to pay attention to things like that.

We won't be going with the breeder I mentioned before, it's just too many red flags, thank you for taking your time to respond you've been so helpful!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,012 Posts
When breeders do the DNA test it is just as cheap, if not cheaper, for them to carry out a test with a whole bundle of conditions. So instead of buying individual tests for prcd-PRA, CNM, EIC, HNPK and SD2, they just buy a bundle test which includes well over 100 conditions, some irrelevant to Labradors but you still get the results through. Another test that may soon become recommended is for Macular Corneal Dystrophy, a condition that causes blindness, the youngest dog to date is only 4 years old and it is known to be within the breeding gene pool as it were. If it's included in the bundles of tests offered to breeders then it might be possible to see if dogs are clear already rather than test separately.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,012 Posts
Just on the DNA testing, you've mentioned you've seen a couple of litters where the stud dog is fully health tested but the bitch isn't. If the stud dog is clear then the puppies can only be at worst carrier's for any condition, however, it's just simply lazy not to test. The bundle of tests available for testing all condition is, at most, £200, a lot less than the price of a pup. Also, I checked if it included for MCD and yes it does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you that's also really helpful to know.

Can anyone give advice on COI?

I've read on some of the threads here that it's really not reliable the kennel club one because of missing data. Does this mean I should just ignore this then?

If the answer isn't ignore it, there's two other breeders I've found. The health tests and eye tests are all good but COI is around 14% for one of the parents. I used the kennel club mate finder and I think the puppies came out at 11%. Is this too high?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
21,512 Posts
No, dont ignore the KC figures, but dont expect them to be 100% accurate, or necessarily a fair comparison between two dogs. Look at the figures, but also the information which goes with the figures, which reads something like "Over 23 generations, 6 complete." You then might find that you are comparing 2 dogs, one with a CoI taken over 8 generations, 5 complete and the other taken over 25 generations, 23 complete. Obviously there is so little information with the first dog that the CoI is almost worthless where with the second dog there is a wealth of information going into the CoI. The problem stems from the KC only maintaining a database of UK bred dogs, so as soon as the pedigree of a dog gets back to an imported dog the CoI fails. It could be that a few generations further back from that point you would get back to UK bred dogs, but the KC's CoI program would never know that so does not take that into account.

I have for very many years maintained my own database of Labradors, and always work the CoI's over 10 complete generations. The pedigrees of overseas dogs can often be found on the net these days if you know where to look, so for somebody like me researching one dog it's easy, where with an organisation like the KC with so many dogs to consider it's almost impossible. But the by-product of that is, because I always use 10 complete generations is allows a direct comparison of dogs.

I think the puppies came out at 11%. Is this too high?
It's higher than the breed average, but I would consider it acceptable, though at the top end of acceptable.

But as you are obviously going on the KC site, while there also look at the "Estimated Breed Values" of the sire and dam of the pups, Obviously nothing can be guaranteed, but it will give you an idea of the possibility of hip or elbow problems. A low EBV, (in the minus range) and a high Confidence level, is what you would like to see.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,012 Posts
Thank you that's also really helpful to know.

Can anyone give advice on COI?

I've read on some of the threads here that it's really not reliable the kennel club one because of missing data. Does this mean I should just ignore this then?

If the answer isn't ignore it, there's two other breeders I've found. The health tests and eye tests are all good but COI is around 14% for one of the parents. I used the kennel club mate finder and I think the puppies came out at 11%. Is this too high?
I would say the CoI is really more for the breeders to look at when planning a litter, and you are right, the KC website is not accurate at calculating a correct CoI and for that reason it is really only something that breeders have a quick look at, but more importantly would research the pedigree of both sire and dam, and look at how many relatives are in there. A lot of breeders do something called line breeding, ie look for the qualities they want, and try to breed accordingly to include relatives within the pedigree. The advice is also to outcross rather than continually line breed, to maintain genetic diversity. Of course you are never truly going to outcross as all Labradors are from within a closed gene pool, so you mate to a dog that is less closely related with different lines in that will compliment a bitch.

For the litters you've found, the 11% wouldn't put me off a pup, but I would be looking at the pedigrees to see where the relatives are, who they are, how far forward in the pedigree. You can look all of this up on the KC database, it can be a bit fiddly and time consuming but a lot, if not all, of the information should be on there.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top