My wife and I have recently made the decision of adding a dog to our family. I am trying to buy an English Labrador with small/ medium built and blocky/ stocky features. I have written to more than 60 breeders in and around New Jersey and got a quote ranging from $1300 to $3000. While I totally understand and appreciate the hard work and effort required to selectively breed a healthy lab I am still looking for a breeder with reasonable price, probably below $1000.
I do not want lab for field or show, but definitely want a healthy baby. Please let me know if you have a owner/breeder that can be my angel. I am just out of college and starting a new life with my wife. We are totally committed to expenses, exercises, upkeep and health of our lab, but we would want our budget for upfront cost to be limited to the above mentioned amount.
Thanks a lot for help!
I live in NJ - I'm sorry but you are really not going to find a Lab from a reputable breeder for under $1000-. Without writing a book here, there are numerous expenses associated with responsible breeding and most breeders who do it right area barely breaking even when they charge what they charge.
Maybe you should consider looking outside of the area (like south or the midwest) or going to a rescue?
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
There is a member on this board named Snowco, maybe you can send her a PM...Snowco Labrador Retrievers
I think your price range is unreasonable for a lab from a reputable breeder in the tri-state area. Here in CT, $1,500 is the average, maybe you can contact breeders up here.
English Labs are born in England. I think you are actually looking for what is referred to as a bench/show bred Lab. And if you are looking for a certain look, health and temperament to meet the standards, you will find most reputable breeders charge $1500 and up. But you can find many wonderful dogs in rescue. Most are there through no fault of theirs.
If you can not afford to spend in the area of 1500+ right now getting a rescue is a wonderful option. You would be surprised at the number of Labs looking for forever homes in rescues. In the mean time it would give you the time to save the amount of money necessary to buy a properly bred Lab from a reputable breeder. Buying from a back yard breeder that does not do the proper clearances on the parents is asking for heartbreak and possibly spending many more $1000's in medical bills. Unfortunately Labs are overbred, a great many by people that have no clue or don't care and these wonderful dogs are plagued with numerous health issues because of this irresponsibility.
When you are ready to buy from a responsible and reputable breeder I would highly recommend Rambo Run Labradors in York, PA. Jeff's dogs are absolutely beautiful, he does the proper clearances and is very active in showing his dogs.
I just hope you do not make the same mistake I did buying from a BYB, I lost my dog at the age of 8 after spending close to $4000 in vet bills in less than a month. I didn't even care about the money, I would have done anything in my power to save him. It was heartbreaking and something I wouldn't wish for anyone.
Good luck in your search, if you do find a breeder please come back and ask questions. There are many knowledgeable members here that can assist you.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
I agree with what has been said so far. I understand that $1,500 is a lot of money, but you stated that you want a healthy puppy. The best way to stack the deck in your favor regarding health issues is to buy from a reputable breeder. It doesn't matter that you only want a pet and are not interested in showing or hunting. Good breeders breed for themselves first and usually keep a puppy from the litter. The rest are sold as pets. The pet puppies were raised no differently than the show potential puppies in the litter, why should they be sold for less? Think about it. And please understand that nothing in life is guaranteed. I bought my puppy from a very reputable show breeder. I won't say what I paid for her, but it was over $1,000. When she was 9 months old, she tore her cruciate ligament in her left knee and needed over $3,000 in surgery/treatment to repair it. This was NOT the breeder's fault at all. It was an accident. My point is that crap happens and you have to be prepared for things like this. If you couldn't afford something like that, you need to think through how you would handle it. Pet insurance is a great idea. I got a policy on Lily when I brought her home at 8 weeks and my out of pocket for her knee surgery was only $700. Still a good chunk of money, but better than $3,000+. The same goes for any dog you might get, whether you go breeder or rescue.
Thanks a lot for your inputs and for sharing your personal experiences. I definitely would not like my dog to suffer from health issues. I definitely do not have a problem in adopting a pup if they are:
1. 8-10 weeks old
2. color of my choice- yellow
3. known good health in its line
4. purebred!! and by purebred I mean really the blocky medium built english lab
As I said in me original post, I do understand the breeder's input and hard work, but I am still looking for a totally hobby based breeder whose objective is not to break even or earn. I am ready to travel in a radius of 300 miles from center NJ in any direction.
I am definitely looking into the lead for Swonco and Folklaur.
Thanks a lot!
Please understand - a reputable breeder is not in it to earn a living. The good ones are ALL hobby breeders and they breed primarily to improve their lines. But they are not charities and do need to recoup (some) of their expenses in producing the litter and doing all of the work they have invested in the bitch. Heck - the sperm from a titled, health cleared stud is a fortune alone! Add vet expenses and general food and caring of the puppies (who get vet checks and a round of vax before leaving the litter) and it is a lot of money to breed!
Well bred Labs do not make it into rescue. But - there are really awesome dogs available. I have seen a number of yellow Lab puppies in recent weeks in rescue in Texas. Will they grow up to look like a well bred bench type? Probably not. So, if you really need a dog with a certain look, you may have to travel out of the Northeast.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.