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Labrador Retriever buying advice

Discussion in 'Sports, Hobbies & Interests' started by coffeesnob, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Jun 25, 2011 at 6:26 AM
    #1
    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What advice does anyone have for buying a Lab. I want a purebred. If you google them they go from $250.00 bucks to $2000.00 bucks. I know some of the expensive ones are champion bloodlines etc..but what do you really get for that kind of money? How do you know if you are indeed getting a purebred and not a mutt with lab in it? Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Jun 25, 2011 at 6:30 AM
    #2
    georgeandkanoa

    georgeandkanoa the point is simply this

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    my advice,go to a shelter and save one that has some lab in it,it will be the best friend you could imagine
     
  3. Jun 25, 2011 at 6:48 AM
    #3
    DarrellH3

    DarrellH3 Active Member

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    It depends on what you plan on using the dog for. If you are a duck hunter or plan on training your dog for field trial I would research and pay for a good blood line. If you are looking for a pet, I would not recommend a pure bred. Many of the champion pure bred labs are not good pets. I have a yellow lab from a champion blood line. He is a great dog but not a great pet. All he cares about is "working". He wants to fetch and run all the time. Cares nothing about normal affection owners give their dogs. There are also many medical conditions that come with pure breeds that "muts" often don't have. My dog is so strong,athletic and runs so hard and fast that he ripped his achilles tendon ($2,000 surgery and 3 month recovery time in a cast). He has seizures which requires phenobarbital pills 3 times a day. Research, many times muts are healthier than pure breeds.
     
  4. Jun 25, 2011 at 7:02 AM
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    ian408

    ian408 Well-Known Member

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    There's lots of good advice in this thread and you will also find more on the Labrador Retriever board.

    As far as shelter dogs go, unless you know what you're looking at, there are many pitfalls you can trip over. Labs are prone to hip and joint problems as well as skin conditions and they can also have seizures--most of these problems can be avoided through proper breeding. Unfortunately, indiscriminate breeding leads to a lot of health problems in pure bred dogs.

    Another avenue for acquiring a dog is through a labrador retriever rescue group. There are bound to be several in your area.

    To answer your question, you know you're getting a pure bred dog by looking at the AKC registration papers. You'll also want to see hip and eye certifications as well (for the parents of the litter you pick a pup from).

    The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to decide what you want to do with your dog. If he's going to be a pet, then what's called "pet quality" pups will be more affordable. Which leads to the difference in price question answers. Generally speaking, more expensive dogs will be closer to perfection with respect to breed standards--parents will often be champions and have championship blood lines as well. There are dogs better described as hunters and those better described as show dogs (and in between too). If you want to show your dog, you'll probably pay toward the high end of the scale and be expected to put in a lot of time as well as possibly even be required to breed your dog--show dogs often come with contracts that stipulate conditions of sale so be careful if that's the route you choose.

    Who you choose to buy from matters too. If you buy from a reputable breeder, you can be assured dogs are well cared for and that females aren't bred just for money (like every time they come into heat)--if you buy from a puppy mill, you may have a variety of health and behavior issues.

    Lots to learn before making your selection :D

    Good luck choosing!
     
  5. Jun 25, 2011 at 7:06 AM
    #5
    TexAggie

    TexAggie Well-Known Member

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    To get a purebred all you need to do is make sure the breeders register the puppys as labs, if they are registered by AKC or any other major registrar then its a purebred. As far as picking out a puppy my best advice is pay close attention to the parents. If the parents are well tempered and all around good dogs, then most likly the pups will be too.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2011 at 7:11 AM
    #6
    WPTaco

    WPTaco Well-Known Member

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    All the above posts are spot on for info. I have a pure black lab and a 'mutt' chocolate mixed with a short haired retriever (she looks like a skinny lab) both similar age. The black has had all sorts of health issues and choc has had none, luck maybe? But I think it is more to do with the tendancy for pure bred dogs being somewhat inbred and passing on bad genetic traits, like poor hips etc
     
  7. Jun 25, 2011 at 7:18 AM
    #7
    ian408

    ian408 Well-Known Member

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    BTW, if the breeder doesn't ask a lot of questions about how you'll take care of the dog, what his living conditions will be like and so on, consider talking to another breeder.

    I suggest this as a sign of their interest in what they're doing. If all they want is your money, then they're probably not as interested in what they're doing as they should be.

    Also, labs require a great deal of exercise--and I mean a lot. I walk my guy a couple times a day and we often play fetch for 15 or 20 minutes. We go to a huge field once a week for a couple of hours to play with other labs too.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2011 at 7:28 AM
    #8
    RCBS

    RCBS "Cause I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag."

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  9. Jun 25, 2011 at 9:08 AM
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    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate all the advice. This dog is gonna be a pet for the mrs and me. No birding duck hunting etc... We can and will execise it but I don't have the time or energy (energy mostly) to go out several hours a day to exercise the dog.I know mutts are good dogs but I have read where Labs are smart and can be trained rather easily to behave, not chase cars or jump on peoples nice new Tacomas and scratch the side of it with their nails. Darrellh3 that is the first time I have heard a pure bred doesn't make a good pet...
     
  10. Jun 25, 2011 at 9:28 AM
    #10
    ian408

    ian408 Well-Known Member

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    I think what he's trying to say is a true hunting dog is more likely to want to hunt than hang out (so to speak) but almost all working dogs love to have a task to do. Like the retriever who wants to play fetch all day.

    Labs are smart and I think that's what makes them great pets. It just takes some time and effort is all.

    WRT the whole exercise thing. There's a saying that a well exercised dog is a happy dog...it's true. You'll have fewer issues if the dog is walked and played with--and it sounds like you can do that easily.

    Let us know if you get a pup.
     
  11. Jun 25, 2011 at 9:36 AM
    #11
    DarrellH3

    DarrellH3 Active Member

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    My dog is a great pet, we love him dearly. If you like your dog to sit by your side and have you pet him? He is not the dog for you. He will sit there for a min. or so, then he will find something to drop at your feet and look at you like "aren't you gonna throw it???? I will get it for you if you do". He requires or wants very little affection from his master. He wants to work for you. It is as if he feels guilty if he isn't "working" almost any time I'm around. He is now 5 years old and has mellowed a bit. He is very smart, can be trained to do anything but his passion is working. I have had other labs and lab mixes who weren't as "smart" or as eager to work but were much better "pets" in the traditional since.
     
  12. Jun 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM
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    Teniente

    Teniente Well-Known Member

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    We are a Yellow Lab family..........currently we have two, one from a breeder and one was a rescue that I went 2050 miles for!!! Each daughter has a yellow Lab and they are great dogs, really excellent with kids.

    Personalities are just as diverse as humans, however, they are loyal and loveable.

    Great advice from all of the above posts, especially about the breeder asking YOU questions!!!!!

    Puppies are fun, but my suggestion is that you look at Labrador Rescue organizations.....would be beneficial for both the Lab and your family. here are some leads:

    http://lrr.org/

    http://labrescue-richmond.org/

    http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/VA285.html

    http://lab.rescueme.org/Virginia

    Libbie (8 yrs old) is on the right, Captain (10+ years old), the rescue, is on the left

    Oh, yeah.......get the movie "Marly and Me"......required watching for anyone wanting, or those who have a Lab!!!!!

    Baja 11-09 006.jpg
     
  13. Jun 25, 2011 at 11:31 AM
    #13
    ian408

    ian408 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful dogs.

    I let Riley watch a bit of Marley and Me...all he did was bark. LOL.
     
  14. Jun 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM
    #14
    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob [OP] Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the links
     
  15. Jun 26, 2011 at 6:39 PM
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    sammy87

    sammy87 Well-Known Member

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    I went through this a few months ago. I wanted a lab, but only for a pet and a buddy, no hunting. I wanted a dog that would want to fetch, run swim and be goofy, so a lab was a good fit. Ive had several mutts in the past that came from all different backgrounds. Some were good, others were nuts. My brother has the craziest dogs Ive ever seen, but he doesnt spend a whole lot of time with them either.

    We knew we wanted a puppy and looked everywhere, pounds and rescue groups couldnt hold their puppies long enough so we had trouble finding one through them. So we looked at breeders and I was skeptic at first. I talked to a few and prices were from 200-2k like you said. SOme seemed really shady with huge kennels that just produced dogs every other month or so. Some the parents were massive, like 110lbs for a lab. Anyway I found a breeder that owned the parents, was dedicated to breeding good dogs and their health. they were 500. Shes 18 weeks old now and awesome! After about 12 weeks she could sit, laydown, shake, stay. (im no dog trainer either) loves to run swim fetch and be a dog. really loving too, liked to cuddle and be lazy on the couch. Lots of people are impressed by her too, including vets. She wont be too big either 60 lbs probaly.

    THat being said, I have a buddy with a choc lab who is 105lbw lazy as shit, wont hunt, swim, or anything (buddy is a hunter) dog is super fat. And he cost like 800. Really nice dog, well behaved but not what he wants in a dog.

    Its tough to do, Ian408 helped me out, he knows Labs. My puppy is laying at my feet waiting to go to bed as I type this.

    Good luck and be patient!
     
  16. Jun 30, 2011 at 4:04 PM
    #16
    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The guy down the street has a white lab. He plays fetch with the dog using a log about as big as a big baseball bat.
     
  17. Jun 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM
    #17
    ian408

    ian408 Well-Known Member

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    Riley will do that but I try and avoid it. While he can pick it up, there's a lot of leverage if he hit someone or something and that could break his teeth.
    It's amazing to me how strong dogs are and what they're willing to do for us humans.
     
  18. Jul 6, 2011 at 1:08 PM
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    SilverTacoEater

    SilverTacoEater Well-Known Member

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    I went through this same thing back in September last year. I picked up a chocolate lab from a very reputable breeder and he is a fantastic dog. I payed $1500 for my pup. Both of his parents had certified hips, joints and hearts. Make sure if you go the route of a breeder you check into this. If their parents have good joints and hearts most likely they passed the good genes over to their puppies.
    There are also different types of labs too depending on what kind of look you want. I got an English lab. They tend to be shorter with a thicker chest and bones. They also have a block shaped head. The American or field labs tend to be taller and leaner with a samller longer head. Either one makes a great pet. Make sure you do research if you go to a breeder. You dont want to get some puppy mill puppy. they tend to have alot on joint and heart issues, and the last thing you want is to have to float a bill for bad hips.
     
  19. Jul 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM
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    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    great, reputable dog breeders will make you sign a contract stating you WILL NOT breed the dog. they pay attention to genetic defects, and go to great lengths to breed it out of their particular breed. you can buy AKC dogs until you are blue in the face, but still end up with a less than perfect animal as far as health is concerned. the real breeders make sure you dont go passing along a undesirable gene with your backyard dog factory.

    having said that, my brother bought "bishop" from some backyard breeder. bishop became the best duck dog anyone could want. he fetched dead birds with an enthusiam i have yet to ever see again. bishop passed away.

    dog shelters. i have a pound dog. i have had pound dogs before. i am only really 25% successful with my pound dogs. the other 75% has had separation anxiety!! I HATE SEP ANX!! it destroys homes, causes stress and is hell to break. my current dog has sep anx, and we are doing what we can to manage it. if i am not successful by the time my wife starts school. i am pulling the parachute cord and taking the fuzz back. enough! separation anxiety is the MAIN REASON dogs end up in shelters. you are seriously playing losing odds when you go to pick up a rescue. it works out for some, but usually not for me.
     
  20. Jul 6, 2011 at 1:41 PM
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    mak90

    mak90 Well-Known Member

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    As Far as the sep. anx. have you tried to crate train your dog. If you can crate train the dog you wont have to worry about you house being destroyed, also maybe work with you vet try anti sep. anx. meds. Did it with our lab rescue and now she does not need the crate she still wants to go in it but we dont have to close the door and has been off the meds for a little over a year. going thru the same with another dog we just got from the shelter. He is Cratye trained now so no worries. Hope maybe this might help.
     
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