Hi and welcome!
Hello. I am new to the forum and joined to learn more about the breed and how to find a well bred dog. I recently lost an elderly dog and decided to switch to Labs as my current dog and breed is very intense. We are looking for a more social breed for the next dog. Iím in California. I know something about Labs, the difference between field bred dogs and show dogs, but I donít know a lot about how to read pedigrees, what health clearances to look for and how to find a well bred dog that can do the tasks I want it to do. I look forward to meeting you and learning more.
Hello and welcome! I'd recommend finding a reputable breeder who breeds the type (field vs show) that you're interested in as a good first step. A good breeder will carefully investigate the pedigrees of the potential parents, screen for health conditions, and screen potential owners. They want their puppies to have all the qualities of labradors and to go to responsible owners. I don't know if you've checked out how much it will cost to get a conformation (show) bred lab, but it can be pretty expensive. I would also mention, labs, whether show or field bred, are very energetic as puppies.
I'd see if you can find a local labrador retriever club. They list upcoming shows so that you can go take a look at some dogs, meet some breeders, and ask questions in person. You can probably find the names of some kennels that you can investigate in the names of dogs in the shows, for example. Some clubs list breeders on their site who have puppies available. Breeders can put up a swell looking website that will draw people in but aren't necessarily the type breeder with whom you'd like to work, so be careful about that if you're really looking for a reputable breeder. If they advertise any color other than black, yellow, or chocolate, they are not the type of breeder you want. I am not familiar with labrador retriever clubs in California but here's one, in case you're not sure what I'm referring to.
If that link doesn't work, search
for Labrador Retriever Club California and it showed me one in Southern California, Northern California, and one in Central California. There may be others, I just looked for what seemed the largest.
Good luck with your search!
Last edited by smartrock; 10-29-2023 at 01:09 PM.
Chase 9/29/2006- 6/30/2017 Always in our hearts
Lark 12/25/2012- 2/2/22
ďBecause of the dog's joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?Ē
― Mary Oliver, Hidden Content
Thank you! What about buying an older puppy? Are they any easier since you donít have to worry about potty or leash training? About how much do they cost? My middle aged dog was somewhat expensive at the time. Now that amount is about average. Iím looking for a dog that can be trained to work off leash.
There are breeders who offer slightly older dogs, say 6 months or older, who are available maybe because they just weren't going to work out as show dogs so the breeder decides to rehome them or owners who found themselves unable to keep their dog for some reason as reputable breeders will generally take back any of their dogs that cannot remain with the owner. Being leash or potty trained at 6 months of age or more is not necessarily guaranteed. Labs can certainly be trained to work off leash, whether bred for field work or for conformation. What sort of off leash work are you thinking about?
I was thinking more about being able to exercise a dog at a park or a school. We have strict leash laws but they give you some leeway if your dog is well trained and has a good recall. I currently do air scenting and tracking with my dog and some competition style heeling which is part of a BH title, and other fun techniques for that particular dog. I tend to see what a dog can do and tailor my training toward their strengths and interests. I have a private trainer who can teach anything I would be interested in doing with my dog
The last puppy I got at 8 weeks was too much for me. Between waking up all night and peeing all over the house when free, even right in front of me, I was running non stop until he hit 12 weeks. We crate trained but he was not food motivated once he got to 3-4 months and became more distractible, so I had to find creative methods of training. Iíve gotten other puppies at 12 and 16 weeks and as old as 11 months and every one fit right into the household very quickly. I had an opportunity to request a 5 month old Golden failed show prospect from a breeder last summer but I had an elderly dog who was failing and the puppy was $5,000. That seemed a little steep. We also prefer Labs. Iím going to teach the dog some service tasks before deciding if that is an option. I also want to pursue advanced obedience, anssuming we can get past Basic and one of the active sports likes agility or rally. My last dog went on nursing home visits. My current dog is too wild for that. Iím not pursuing a therapy dog certificate but if the next dog is comfortable visiting with seniors, I want to get back into that. Iím looking for a companion that can go everywhere, with lower energy needs than a field prospect.
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