Hi folks. This is my first post. I have the opportunity to adopt a 7 year old black lab from a very reputible breeder here in the St Louis area. She had her last liter a few months ago and they are letting me take her for nothing. Is 7 a little too old to be starting out with a new pal? I see some of you on here have 14 year old's. That's amazing. I figured around 10-12 would be their average life span. Anyway, they are charging $1200 for the pups and $600 for the 6-7 month old's so I am fairly confident that these folks are breeding quality animals. My question is what should look for when I go and meet these folks? Is there any tell tale sign of trouble other than basic walking..running and looking @ the hind quarters and an overall examination. They sent me a few pictures and there is some grey in her muzzle and minor grey streaks in her coat. Is that common for a 7 year old? is there any way to tell if they have "overbred" this animal. They did mention that her belly skin is still a little elastic from her last liter, although it doesn't really show up in any of the photo's. Also, how long does it take for their "breast nipples" to receed once they stop feeding? Thanks for any advice.
Hello and welcome! Firstly, I don't think any age is too old to adopt a pup that needs a good home. We took Gin in when she was 10 years old and she is now 14 and still going strong (although a bit slower). Although you are getting her from, what you think is, a reputable breeder, I would still make a vet visit for a thorough wellness exam. The vet would be the best person to tell you if you should be concerned about anything. At 7, she may be experiencing a bit of arthritis, but that can be easily managed. As for the greying of her muzzle - that is very common. My Aila is only 2 years old and she is starting to get very tiny grey hairs on her muzzle and chin which I find very sad as i still think of her as my 'baby'.
Anyway, I don't have much advice, but I hope you decide to take this 'old' girl and post lots of pics of her when you do.
seven is not old at all. white at that age is normal, my boy is 7 and I can show you pics of his grey hairs
however, what makes this breeder reputable? Why are they charging half price for dogs that are 6 months? Price doesn't usually drop like that.
Questions I would ask: where are the dogs kept? (kennel, indoors?), is she house trained, etc.
do the dogs have all the clearances&
how often was she bred?
what training has she had?
what is her temperament?
will she be spayed prior to getting her?
I think adopting a 7 year old is a wonderful thing to do. It is sad that she is losing the only home she has ever known. When my breeder retires a female, she keeps them. She doesn't just get rid of them when they are done making money for her. The poor girl. .. I hope you do take her, it seems to me that the "reputable" breeder has no more use for her. I am sorry if I sound negative, but the situation makes me sad for the poor girl. As far as age....our last girl lived to 12. She died suddenly of an aneurysm, but was healthy up till then. She was still chasing the neighbor's cat right up to the end. We still miss her like crazy...
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
Thanks for all of the replies/advice. Sounds like 7 is not too old. We are meeting them Sat. Supposedly, this girl is house broken, has has some basic training, sit, stay, walks well on a leash... calm temperment. This is our first "adult" dog adoption. My question is that will this girl learn to listen to my/our commands after being raised by completely different people? What about a name change @ this point? You know the old saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? How long do you think it will take her to adjust to her new surroundings. I want to make sure she does o.k. Any advice during the "break in" period would be great. The kennel suggest we crate her for a week or so until she gets used to the surroundings.
I am sorry I sounded harsh. I really don't mean to. I realize we don't know anything about this breeder...its just that I wonder with the cut rate puppies at six months and now giving away the mother....it just sounds sad to me. Our breeder keeps the retired females. Maybe that is why I felt like they were just getting rid of her now that she was no longer useful. I was thinking that she had spent 7 years with these people, had litters and did her job, and now that its time to relax they give her away. I have no doubt that the OP will be a good parent to this old girl. I just felt sad for her.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
Yeah I wonder about the cut rates too. I am not 100% on THIS particular breeder (but we don't know enough to judge) but not all breeders who rehome their dogs are bad and heartless. Some prefer for their retired dogs to be in a home that can properly spoil them (fewer dogs and all that). I am not saying I fully agree nor that all breeders do this but...it isn't a terrible thing either.
I think if you give this new girl a loving home she will learn to recognize you and your family as hers. Like I mentioned earlier, we took Gin in at 10 years and we feel as if we raised her from puppyhood. No one that comes into contact with us would ever know that she wasn't ours from a baby - dogs are resilient and they adapt very easily to new surroundings (from what I have seen). I don't know if I would change her name - we didn't. If you really want to change it, maybe change it to a different form of the name she has already.
As for teaching an old dog new tricks, I believe this can be done as well. We got Gin, she really didn't have any routine or rules where she lived before us. We quickly got her into a routine for walks, relieving herself, meal times and we were even able to teach her a few things like going to her pillow for a treat. We taught her how to walk backwards so she could back herself out of corners, etc. We were surprised that this doesn't come naturally to all dogs. I definately wouldn't worry about the little stuff so much - it seems like she already has the basics.
Thanks again for the response/advice. I am a little nervous about everything working out o.k. I don't want to make her sad by removing her from all of her mates. I would imagine there are @ least 25-50 dogs/pups running around this place @ any given time.