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    1. #1
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      chenkev's Avatar
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      Lab with Miniature Poodle?

      Hi all, I'm Kevin. I'm brand new to the forum, so please bear with my newbie questions!

      I currently have a 14-pound, 4-year-old male Miniature Poodle who's pretty much a perfect pet - healthy, active, calm in the house, friendly to everyone. Recently the top Lab breeder in Taiwan, where I live, came to me with an offer to co-own one of his female show/breeding dogs whenever I'm ready to add a second dog to my family - he saw an online video of my Poodle, Vontae, catching frisbee and swimming, and figured I would be a good Lab owner since, according to him, I already am raising Vontae like a Lab Obviously it's a great offer to be able to get a top-quality Lab for free, and I've always grown up wanting a Lab. And, this won't happen for at least one more year because we're in the middle of moving to another apartment, and I don't want to deal with breaking in a second dog when my family is in transition, which means I can take my time to make sure that adding a Lab to our household really would be the right thing for everyone - most importantly, for Vontae. With that in mind, here are the initial questions I have:

      1). How good are Labs in general with small dogs? Or, with small Poodles specifically? Can I actually expect two dogs of such disparate sizes to not just tolerate and not hurt each other, but also play well and become a plus in each other's life?

      2). Is it fine to have Lab in an apartment (it's a 4-bedroom apartment, so certainly not tiny but not huge)? Vontae gets plenty of exercise - we swim, hike and play frisbee for at least 1 hour every day - and obviously our future Lab will be able to get the same. But, she will still need to live in an apartment (with four humans and one Poodle).

      3). If both #1 and #2 are a "yes", aside from much larger size and shedding (Poodles don't shed at all), is there anything else I need to be aware of regarding raising a Lab (that I may not be aware of from raising a Miniature Poodle)?

      Would love any thoughts. Thanks in advance!

      Kevin

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      Tanya's Avatar
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      welcome. Sounds like you have a great poodle and do a great job of raising them

      I am sorry to say but I would be VERY VERY warry of a breeder seeking you out based on a video and offering you a free dog. It's pretty unheard of.

      What makes them so great? do they show their dogs to great success (or are they more into sporting)? Do their dogs have ALL required health clearances?

      What would YOUR job be? What expenses would be covered by him or by you? Would the dog be bred, and if so, what steps would be taken to ensure the dog is worthy of being bred and who pays (health clearances, showing/competing...) Does she have to go back to him to deliver the puppies? how long is she there for? how many litters? are you ok with your dog being gone for 8 weeks every few years? or are you ready to raise a litter?

      A lab of correct temperment raised with small dogs can be great with small dogs. I'd say that during the puppy and teenage phase much management may be required as they would quickly be much larger than your current dog and puppy/teens have a hard time controlling their body. So there would likely be some management required until the dog matures and finds their brain.

      Apartment can be fine for a lab, they tend to be at your feet regardless of size of house. The key will be physical and mental exercise. For physical, you need ot mind age approprpiate exercise (do you have safe places where the dog can run offleash and play - or on a long line? a young dog shouldn't overdue it on leashed walks especially on pavement). A teenage lab may need over an hour good play daily (besides leashed stuff).

      Labs are HUGE puppies for 2+ years. they get dirty, chew, nip, get into things.

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    4. #3
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      Hi Tanya, thanks for your reply! And sorry I left out some important details regarding my interactions with the Lab breeder.

      He did contact me after seeing my video with Vontae, but he'd already known of me through a mutual acquaintance, and he did not offer his dog to me without meeting me. Rather, initially he was actually contacting me to enlist my help in placing one of his 5-year-old female Lab champions (champion in conformation) to a forever retirement/pet home, since I'm very active in the "dog circle" in Taiwan and so he figured I was a good person to ask (and see if I was interested myself - which I would be, except as I stated it's not the right time for my family).

      When I helped him find an acquaintance who was interested in adopting this retiring dog, Vontae and I went to his kennel to visit him, along with the acquaintance who wanted to adopt the retiring dog, so we spent an entire afternoon visiting his kennel and discussing dogs - and my acquaintance did end up adopting the retiring dog, who is clearly wonderful. It was after all these interactions that he made me the offer - he just feels like any dog who can be one of only two pets in a loving, active household will live a more enjoyable life than any dog in a breeder's home, which I tend to agree with. His dogs are all health-tested, and most are imported from reputable kennels in the US and Australia. They actually have a somewhat decent English-language website:

      Essentially, we're considering several options:

      1). I can adopt another retiring show dog, whenever I'm ready to, for free.

      2). I can adopt a current show/breeding dog, under co-ownership/foster home arrangement.

      3). I can adopt a puppy who's a prospective show/breeding dog, under co-ownership/foster home arrangement.

      In #1, it would be the same as my acquaintance's case - I would simply adopt the dog, spay her and she's mine completely.

      In #2 and #3, the dog would go back to the breeder to be bred when she's in heat, for an agreed upon number of times of breeding (2 or 3 is the likely number; all his breeding dogs are bred 1-3 times before they're done for life), and she would go back to the breeder when she's ready to deliver, for something like 8 weeks after she delivers. The breeder would take care of all whelping-related expenses and raise all the puppies; I would get third choice in each puppy litter if I want one (first two choices go to the breeder). After she breeds 2-3 times, full ownership would transfer to me (without any fee) and she would stay with me 100% of the time. For #3 (adopt a puppy who's a prospective breeding/show dog), if the dog turns out to be not suitable for breeding, I would pay a small fee (US$ 400) and the dog will be mine 100%, without ever showing or breeding.

      Thanks again for all the insights about Labs! We do have a large field where a Lab would be able to run freely off-leash and swim, every day, for at least one hour - which is what Vontae and I already do now, and often longer when I have time (I work from home, which makes things much easier and which means Vontae is almost ever home alone).

      So if a Lab is going to be incredibly rambunctious until about two, maybe a good option is to actually adopt a young show/breeding dog rather than a puppy - say, a dog who's currently 2, and will be bred only one more time before retiring? This way, I can even visit her with Vontae several times before she comes home with us, to make sure that the two of them would get along?

      Thanks again!

      Kevin

    5. #4
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      FYI here's the English-language website of the Lab breeder in Taiwan:

      TopTail Labradors-δΈŠι¦–ε°Ύζ‹‰δΈζ‹‰ε€šε°ˆζ₯*犬舍 - home

      And here's the field close to my house where Vontae and I currently hike/play frisbee/swim:

      Vontae frisbee and swim - YouTube

      Kevin

    6. #5
      Real Retriever
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      Just to comment one part of your question, your dog doesn't care where you live. They don't know if they live in a house or an apartment. I have had 3 Labs and I have lived in an apartment for all 3. I did live in a house for a while with my first one, and every time I put him outside, he just sat at the door. They want to be with you. I am very lucky that I have them at work with me so we are out walking at least 3-4 walks a day. Weekends & summer days are at the beach. I live in Vancouver BC & unless you have a million dollars you can't buy a house here anyway.

    7. #6
      House Broken
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      Oh did you meet Dandy while you were there at the breeder's house? Dandy is my dog, Spike's Dad.

    8. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Candy and Spike's Dad View Post
      Oh did you meet Dandy while you were there at the breeder's house? Dandy is my dog, Spike's Dad.
      Haha interesting! How did you end up getting a dog from a Taiwan breeder?

      Kevin

    9. #8
      Senior Dog
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      Fun video, Kevin...Vontae sure looks happy.

      I've never had a Lab puppy with a smaller dog but my Lab puppies have been fine with cats....the pups just have to remember that the cats rule the house and have to be respected. I've had only one cat who wanted a dog for a playmate and so that relationship grew as the puppy aged. But that puppy was my present 36-pounder Danny, not a big dog. I'm pretty sure you could do Lab pup/Vontae, but it would take a lot of oversight on your part to make sure Vontae didn't get hurt. Lab puppies, even relatively mellow ones, can be crazy.

      Good luck with whatever you do...and welcome to the board to you and Vontae.
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    11. #9
      Senior Dog
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      Quote Originally Posted by chenkev View Post
      Hi Tanya, thanks for your reply! And sorry I left out some important details regarding my interactions with the Lab breeder.

      He did contact me after seeing my video with Vontae, but he'd already known of me through a mutual acquaintance, and he did not offer his dog to me without meeting me. Rather, initially he was actually contacting me to enlist my help in placing one of his 5-year-old female Lab champions (champion in conformation) to a forever retirement/pet home, since I'm very active in the "dog circle" in Taiwan and so he figured I was a good person to ask (and see if I was interested myself - which I would be, except as I stated it's not the right time for my family).

      When I helped him find an acquaintance who was interested in adopting this retiring dog, Vontae and I went to his kennel to visit him, along with the acquaintance who wanted to adopt the retiring dog, so we spent an entire afternoon visiting his kennel and discussing dogs - and my acquaintance did end up adopting the retiring dog, who is clearly wonderful. It was after all these interactions that he made me the offer - he just feels like any dog who can be one of only two pets in a loving, active household will live a more enjoyable life than any dog in a breeder's home, which I tend to agree with. His dogs are all health-tested, and most are imported from reputable kennels in the US and Australia. They actually have a somewhat decent English-language website:

      Essentially, we're considering several options:

      1). I can adopt another retiring show dog, whenever I'm ready to, for free.

      2). I can adopt a current show/breeding dog, under co-ownership/foster home arrangement.

      3). I can adopt a puppy who's a prospective show/breeding dog, under co-ownership/foster home arrangement.

      In #1, it would be the same as my acquaintance's case - I would simply adopt the dog, spay her and she's mine completely.

      In #2 and #3, the dog would go back to the breeder to be bred when she's in heat, for an agreed upon number of times of breeding (2 or 3 is the likely number; all his breeding dogs are bred 1-3 times before they're done for life), and she would go back to the breeder when she's ready to deliver, for something like 8 weeks after she delivers. The breeder would take care of all whelping-related expenses and raise all the puppies; I would get third choice in each puppy litter if I want one (first two choices go to the breeder). After she breeds 2-3 times, full ownership would transfer to me (without any fee) and she would stay with me 100% of the time. For #3 (adopt a puppy who's a prospective breeding/show dog), if the dog turns out to be not suitable for breeding, I would pay a small fee (US$ 400) and the dog will be mine 100%, without ever showing or breeding.

      Thanks again for all the insights about Labs! We do have a large field where a Lab would be able to run freely off-leash and swim, every day, for at least one hour - which is what Vontae and I already do now, and often longer when I have time (I work from home, which makes things much easier and which means Vontae is almost ever home alone).

      So if a Lab is going to be incredibly rambunctious until about two, maybe a good option is to actually adopt a young show/breeding dog rather than a puppy - say, a dog who's currently 2, and will be bred only one more time before retiring? This way, I can even visit her with Vontae several times before she comes home with us, to make sure that the two of them would get along?

      Thanks again!

      Kevin
      ok that doesn't sound as bad as the first post

      It's really up to you and depends on the actual dogs in question (not juts them being labs) and personal preference, and what you are willing to work with as far as management. Big puppies will require more work.

      A lab shouldn't have their first litter until 2ish (which is sitll young - but final clearances are done at 18-24 months so can't be bred before). And a 2 year old lab is still pretty "young". So bringing home a 2 year old doesn't mean they'll have had that first litter necessarily (unless she has it shortly after 2 and you bring her home closer to 3)

      i'll just throw in one last thought: ensure the dog you take has been socialized to the city and environments closer to what you live in. It will help the transition (especially if any of the dogs haven't left the property very much). Now the dogs may all be quite used to leaving the property and going for walks which is all the better but just in case some haven't.

    12. #10
      Senior Dog
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      Hi and welcome! There are a number of members on here who have smaller dogs along with their labs, Frenchies, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, chihuahuas, miniature dachshund, Boston terrier, so I'm sure those who have that experience would endorse the concept of having a small dog with a lab. Whether the dogs become great pals depends more on the dogs' personalities than on their sizes. Even having 2 labs together aren't a guarantee that they'll be the best of friends. Some seem to be very bonded, some accept the other dog but don't snuggle together to sleep and seem fine independently. Our older lab, even as a youngster, was so gentle with our neighbor's 4 pound yorkie, he'd lie down and let her lick his nose. Our younger girl is still too intense for some little dogs. She wouldn't intentionally hurt them but she also doesn't lie down to be inspected by them.

      As I was reading your initial thread before looking at responses, I was thinking that getting a slightly older lab would spare you and Vontae some of the wild and crazy that a lab puppy can be. Even labs who turn out to be super calm and mellow as adults can start out as little whirlwinds, jumping, nipping, racing around wildly, and did I mention the nipping? There's a thread on here, probably under the puppy training section, that talks about getting the biting under control. It's just normal, excited puppy behavior but it has brought many a good owner to tears, and if you get a young puppy, it would be good to know about it in advance and be prepared. If you got a young puppy, you would have to be especially watchful with the puppy and Vontae until the lab puppy grows and starts to mellow out.

      It was fun to see the video of Vontae swimming. I know poodles were used as hunting dogs but I don't see them swimming these days. Even at the beach when there's a calm surf, I only see them being walked. One of my neighbors has 3 poodles, 2 miniature and one standard, and I've never seen them swim. I know she works intensively in obedience with them. Her dogs (or their owners) never seemed too interested in actually playing with our labs, just trotting by outside the fence taunting them.

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