How important is it for your dog to have "papers?"
I don't mean your opinion of what everyone else should do, just you and your own dog, why does your dog need or not need papers? Do you show, breed, try, compare.. rescue, adopt, befriend, hunt?
And after you tell us about your own dog, if your friend asked you, "Why get papers, Snookums is going to be our neutered family pet...?" how would you respond to them?
Magnum and Ruger are my spayed and neutered pets, but I have papers because I show them in AKC Obedience and Agility. Papers are important for anyone who wishes to compete.
Molly is spayed & Abby will be too when she is old enough but they have papers because they do hunt tests. We don't breed & all of our dogs are always spayed.
We have had dogs when our boys were young & they did not have papers & they were great dogs.
It depends a bit on your definition of "papers". In order to compete in conformation events, a dog needs "regular" papers, and the parents to be registered. To compete in performance events, a dog needs at least LP/ILP "papers" which means they physically resemble a "lab" and have a "number" obtained from the AKC (or UKC, or CKC (Canada, not Continental Kennel club).
If you have no interest in competition, but love your dog, papers don't mean much. Your dedication and love to the dog is, absolutely, the most important thing. Neutering for 99% of the dog world is also one of the most important things to be done in order to make the dog (and owners) happy.
Personally, I compete in all events and breed on a VERY small scale (1 or 2 litters per dog in it's lifetime), so "papers" and the "stuff" behind them are important to me. That being said, performance titles are more important to me than a conformation title.
That's ONE (but never a sufficient) indication of the integrity of the breeder.
Many BYBs can get AKC papers but never compete with their dogs in AKC conformation, performance or HT&FT events so just "having papers" is never sufficient.
BUT those breeders w/o AKC registration are those who NEVER proof test their Labs against competition.
It's NOT that other Labs are w/o value, worth, or undeserving of love and care BUT, when I take on a Lab, I'd far prefer that all the signs point to quality and the breeder who optimizes genetic heritage.
So, if they're not AKC, I'm not interested in buying.
But when they ARE AKC, the next question is, is there a sufficently high level of participation by the breeder in competitive Lab events -- in other words, is this a breeder dedicated to improving the Lab breed?
AKC (for me) is necessary but certainly never enough.
(BTW, my Labs have been spayed and I do not show, hunt, or compete.)
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Well, that's an interesting question...
Both of mine are rescues from the shelter, so they have no papers. And it doesn't bother me a bit that they don't. Angus will compete with an ILP. It bums me out a little sometimes that Simon is not a registerable breed, and so will never be able to step into an obedience ring. But I am planning to work in therapy with him one day, so he will have a "job" too. That's all that is important to me...that we can do things together and have a good time.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
If there are UKC shows near you, you can compete with Simon. Mixed breeds are considered "AMBOR" (American Mixed Breed...something 'er other). UKC shows are a blast, and the people are VERY friendly.Originally Posted by AngusFangus
I like what Bob said about "papers." I am also training with Scotty for Obedience and possibly Hunt Tests in the future. Papers will be needed to enter him in those events. In addition, I have been fascinated with learning all I can about the breed and where my dog came from. I love spending time online researching his lines, trying to find photos of his ancestors, their achievements, etc.
As far as telling a friend about "papers," I would tell my friends either to rescue (and don't worry about papers) or get the dog with the "papers" but absolutely look beyond the four corners.
The majority of my labs are rescues (one actually came with papers as an owner turn in) ... so "registration papers" are not important to me. My heart is with helping the dog find a new and good home. They are definitely labs, if I wanted to compete, I could get ILP's for them, but basically, I just want them to have a happy home. All depends in what your goals are.
Registration papers are only important to me when I get a high quality show quality pup...as I will be looking to get into the conformation ring with my next dog.
Rider is ConKC registered (from a BYB) and I have his UKC and AKC ILP so that he can compete in Rally, hunt tests, and agility.
AKC is only as good as the breeder and the line. Most AKC registered dogs should never be bred and unfortunately, many people think that because it's AKC, it must be a superior dog, even if it's a 130 lb lab (which is out of standard)
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003