So I am an avid labrador lover and just got my girl about 7 months ago (she is 9 months now).
We have been under continuous training for basic obedience and public manners as I will be making her a therapy dog once she is old enough and we will visit both wounded warrior and one day children in the hospital (hopefully).
I am planning on breeding her, most likely around 2.5 to three years old with another Ladrador, with at least a MH title, if everything goes as planned with her.
I will be getting all health testing done and I currently know that she is CNM clear and an EIC carrier, and her parents passed all health testing themselves.
Both of her parents are MH, and are still currently participating in field competitions, there are also a number of other MH titles, as well as NFC and AFC titles in the pedigree.
I feel that therapy dog work is an important aspect to numerous peoples lives as I have personally seen the difference they make in family friends who have their own difficulties.
I am mainly curious as to what other people think about breeding a dog because of therapy work.
I know I am going to get flack already but curiosity has gotten the better of me.
I also have a number of people waiting for her litter, even though they know there is a possibility she won't be bred if health testing and therapy dog certification does not come through.
My personal opinion is that therapy work can be done by a mix breed, so while certainly a bonus, it's not a green light to breed a dog. To breed a labrador, the dog should fit the standard (and shown to prove it) and be able to work (and worked in the field to prove it). On top of clearances and a stellar pedigree of course.
FYI... nine times out of ten, a number of people wanting a puppy disappear by the time puppies are actually on the ground. You breed because YOU want something to continue your breeding program.
I am not a fan of the current look of the show labradors that are seen in the USA and therefore I stick strictly to field bred. This means that she is out of standard look wise anyways and I prefer her look much more.
I also feel that mixed breeds are also able to be taught to hunt if given the time. As well as not all pups produced in a litter will have the drive, but that is just my opinion.
These people have passed on multiple other litters that have been offered to them, including a free pup that was offered due to certain circumstances with the breeder.
They are former clients of my parents who bred around 20 years ago and therefore I have a lot of faith that they will stick.
Either way I have about 2 years to plan for a waiting list and interviewing those people accordingly.
Thanks for your opinion though!!
But I do know a lot about breeding and I would be choosing the male carefully and producing litters in which I would take a puppy myself. I am planning on going into search and rescue, and possibly get into cadaver training depending if the right puppy comes along, and although these can also be done by mixed breed dogs, they are extremely important jobs.
As I get more into breeding I plan on partnering with the wounded warriors in my area and work with a program that trains puppies for warriors with PTSD and such. I would donate at least one puppy from each litter from that point on.
Just curious to know what other people see as good breeding stock
personally i would not be interested i a "field bred" litter were the mom has not proven in hunt/field.
those are some very patient potential buyers. its two years off and she hasnt passed all her clearances yet and has only done some therapy work (as noble as that may be). i dont see actually passing on litters because if a potential breeding of a still bery young dog unless they were not really looking for a puppy any time soon anyway.
to me therapy visits is something any lab of proper temperment can do. so it also depends what you mean by therapy work. like visits to hospitals/kids or actually a working therapy dog on duty or an actual working dog like a seeing eye dog
but there are tons of different buyers looking for different things.
just not sure what a litter would look like with a mom more apt for therapy and a dad that is a titled field champion. merging two...not opposites but different traits. pups could range from one parent to the other...
I don't think "therapy" is enough to prove a dog is worth breeding. Clearances alone are not worth breeding a dog. You need a whole package.
So, in other words, you don't truly want opinions as you've already set your mind on breeding this dog.
Why not start training your girl in Tracking at least? I start my pups as early as 8 wks here and now have 2 pups out there who are w/ SAR handlers and both are using AKC Tracking as training titles. One of my 10 mo olds (who I started here at 8 wks) earned his TD yesterday but had his first human "find" in SAR/ evidence/ cadaver training (a baby in a simulated kidnapping situation) at a mere 5mos w/ his handler/owner. I've never personally done SAR but I have certified a couple in tracking over the years and am working on a few more currently. SAR training is extremely time consuming and costly, so it's best you find good contacts now to help you prove your dog's abilities.
I will say, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing your breeding program can offer so much value to the general public, so if you are truly motivated, I say go for it, but as others are indicating, don't be surprised if it doesn't take a few generations to establish your lines and reputation. Best of luck! Anne
PS, I too feel therapy is wonderful, but I'd not base a breeding line on it. I also used to do nursing home therapy w/ nothing more than CGC type training at the time.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Wait. Did you just say you know she's an EIC carrier? As someone who had a lab who had EIC, I would beg you not to breed yours. Ever. For any reason. It's not fair to the dog who may get EIC or the owner. Not at all.
Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.