Temperment Question
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Thread: Temperment Question

  1. #1
    canUdigIt is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultTemperment Question

    I see a lot of breeders who have websites say that they breed for type and temperment etc...

    I know someone who owns a nasty girl, who I passed coming out of a ring once who was just behaving badly, snarling and snapping for no reason as we walked by. I know she has more then one dog from different lines that behave the same way, she has a boy that snapped at and almost bit a puppy. The girl is going to be bred soon.

    Another person, new to the breed who I consider a long distance friend, never lets Ruby say hello to her girl, because she seems to always be 'In season,' 'just out of season' 'coming in to season' etc, as though that is an excuse for poor behaviour. I also know that this girl has bit another dog in the past. She is going to be bred in the spring.

    I have also seen some often used stud dogs so hard wired that the owner can't control the dog ringside, bouncing off the walls.

    So what is it? Breed for temperment or not? I certainly would not consider these temperments to be at all Labrador-like.

    How much does one give and take when it comes to temperment? Personally, I won't give much, but where do you draw the line? How do you decide to breed a dog with problems, no matter how gorgeous he or she is?

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  3. #2
    nwlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    I don't care how drop dead gorgeous a dog is...if that Lab temperament is not there...I won't go there.

    Bouncing off the walls?* Skye gives me bouncy poodle jumps ringside.* I don't mind that.* She is a happy girl and knows she is gonna get to go in the ring.* Depends on what limits a person puts on the dog.* She can go from poodle hugs with me to sitting and melting into a 5 yo kid ringside who wants to pet her.* You have to look at the whole picture.* *

  4. #3
    imported_Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Temperment Question


    Temperament is supposed to be the "hallmark" of the Labrador Retriever. I wouldn't give an inch if there was an issue I wasn't happy with. If one really cared about the breed they would be putting temperament foremost, not just breeding for looks. If you lose the Lab temperament in my opinion you've lost it all. I don't believe there should be any leeway on this.

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  6. #4
    WigWag Guest

    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    This is a huge issue for me. It's really frightening to see so many dogs with bad temperaments and new people have no idea.

    I too have seen particular breeders who have dogs that are consistently strung up as they go in and out of the ring and always have an excuse like "boys will be boys" and "oh he doesn't like dogs in his face", etc and yes the ones that are bouncing off the walls with no focus or are flipping like fish on the end of the lead and dragging on their belly because they are so timid are not much better.

    Just because they win they are bred and kennel dogs are allowed to have these temperaments because their owner/breeder doesn't know them very well. There are particular studs that pass bad temperaments along and many newcomers have no idea and see their pretty get and breed to them. This is not an excuse in my book. It means you didn't do your homework. I blame the stud's owner/breeder as well and it's a real shame. I think a lot of people stick their head in the sand.

    My experience is that I have an adult intact male that has been used as a stud. He is amiable and friendly and outgoing. He never quarrels and is quiet and in control and obedient. He allows puppies to crawl all over him and runs in a group of strange dogs at the beach. I won't except anything less.

    My personal opinion is that I will only breed to and get a puppy out of dogs that I either know very well or are known by someone I completely trust.

  7. #5
    WigWag Guest

    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    Oh I forgot to mention that I know of a very well known dog who was used quite a bit that has a bad temperament. He is not from this part of the country and someone I know was out judging and saw him acting up outside the ring at one of his first shows. He was a terror - growling and lunging and barely could get through the dogs to get into the ring. He calmed down and was more obedient as he was shown more and more and he subsequently finished. Fast forward a year and another person I know was talking to the person leasing him and she was raving about his wonderful temperament and how he's so laid back and great with all other dogs.

  8. #6
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    As an average person who does not have access to the information Sharon and other breeders have, this sort of thing really frightens me. How else are you going to know this other than going to shows everywhere and, for lack of a better word, gossiping? It's not as thought anyone wants to trumpet bad news. When I was looking for the dog who turned out to be Theo, it worried me that I wouldn't be able to see the stud. It was somewhat reassuring when Theo's breeder told me that the stud's owner had all of her boys living together and tolerated no bad behavior or jockeying for position. But how, really, would I have known if that was true?

    It's amazing how much of a dark mystery breeding seems to those of us who are not deeply inside the breed.

  9. #7
    nwlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by WigWag
    This is a huge issue for me.* It's really frightening to see so many dogs with bad temperaments and new people have no idea.*
    I could not agree more!! I have walked into Bred by exhibitor dog classes at specialties and have had other dogs lunge snarling at my dog. Yikes! That is NOT acceptable to me.

    Its not just the boys either. Some bitch owners need to take their heads out of the sand and take a good long look at their girls' temperaments. The whole she is in season, out of season, coming into season thing doesn't fly with me. Having seen a bitch be a nasty thing and then see the same type of temperament from her kids is a no brainer to me. Spay that bitch and take her out of the breeding program. Without that nice rock solid Labrador temperament...you have a generic retriever. JMHO.

    I think there is a difference between snarly maniac ringside and over the top Labbie bliss at being at a show. My intact male can be a *happy* guy at shows, just a total goofball. He also can run with strange dogs when we let 10-12 dogs out to burn off steam after a show. Many people can't do this with their Labs. I also can let my intact male out with puppies...young ones....and he is nothing but gentle with them. He is the puppy nanny at my house. I don't expect anything less..nor would I accept less than that.


  10. #8
    Djc1249 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by theoconbrio
    As an average person who does not have access to the information Sharon and other breeders have, this sort of thing really frightens me. How else are you going to know this other than going to shows everywhere and, for lack of a better word, gossiping? It's not as thought anyone wants to trumpet bad news. When I was looking for the dog who turned out to be Theo, it worried me that I wouldn't be able to see the stud. It was somewhat reassuring when Theo's breeder told me that the stud's owner had all of her boys living together and tolerated no bad behavior or jockeying for position. But how, really, would I have known if that was true?

    It's amazing how much of a dark mystery breeding seems to those of us who are not deeply inside the breed.
    My feelings exactly.* I've posted about this before...how does the general public know?* We don't.* We try to do the things people are supposed to do in looking for a dog, and hope that breeders do the things they're supposed to do.* Temperament was and is the #1 thing with me.* When we went to look at Tucker, the dam was so calm and laid back; but I still asked the breeder if she's ever had an aggressive dog. I think that's a fair question to ask....and of course, a breeder could say anything in response.

    If I'd gotten him, and as time went on and he had a bad temperament, he'd have gone back to the breeder.* No ifs, ands, or buts about it.* A bad temperament would have been from breeding...it wouldn't have been from environment, meaning the way we handled and taught him.* To me, lab standard means not just conformation, but temperament too.*
    <br />Did you say TREAT ?!?<br /><br />Tucker, 3 yrs. --- Tipper, 10 mos.<br />http://www.dogster.com/dogs/284460<br />http://www.dogster.com/dogs/715680

  11. #9
    nwlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Djc1249

    My feelings exactly.* I've posted about this before...how does the general public know?* We don't.* We try to do the things people are supposed to do in looking for a dog, and hope that breeders do the things they're supposed to do.* Temperament was and is the #1 thing with me.* When we went to look at Tucker, the dam was so calm and laid back; but I still asked the breeder if she's ever had an aggressive dog.* I think that's a fair question to ask....and of course, a breeder could say anything in response.*
    If you don't trust the breeder you are getting a pup from....don't buy from them. That is easy enough. I know that when I am having a litter, I am doing it for me first, so of course I want a confident, smart, biddable pup. My puppy people also get that gene pool. It is a good thing.

    Its a two way street. We do everything we are supposed to do and we have to trust our puppy buyers to do right by our pups.

    I always encourage people to shop for a breeder...not a pup. Find someone you like, feel you can talk to and whose breeding goals match what you are looking for in a pup. Meet their dogs. Talk to people who have their dogs. Then wait for the right pup from that breeder.

    Often people are in too much of a hurry and make a hasty decision. Shoot...I had two phone messages last night (after 8:00 PM) from people looking for a pup. I called them when I got home this afternoon and they were on their way to pick up a pup....thats right...not even 24 hours later. Its crazy....but I s'pose that is a whole nuther can of worms.

  12. #10
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Temperment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by nwlabs

    If you don't trust the breeder you are getting a pup from....don't buy from them. That is easy enough. I know that when I am having a litter, I am doing it for me first, so of course I want a confident, smart, biddable pup. My puppy people also get that gene pool. It is a good thing.

    Its a two way street. We do everything we are supposed to do and we have to trust our puppy buyers to do right by our pups.
    Yup, I understand that completely. Of course, the wonderful thing about this forum is that now I have a better understanding about how you and several of the other great breeders here think about your dogs, and the immense care you put into the choices you make. I would like to think that Theo's breeder and we did a pretty good job of checking each other out before we went in together, but it still felt like a big mystery to me. Since then I've become more knowledgable about the breed, and people here have confirmed what Theo's breeder said about Kendall Herr's boys. But the average dog buyer is not an obsessive nag like I am, and really goes on very little information in making a decision.

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