Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions
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Thread: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

  1. #1
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    DefaultBreeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    hi everybody, lab-lovers, dog-lovers alike...first time poster here...

    i was at a reputable labrador breeder roughly 2 months ago. "reputable" meaning, several studs, bitches, big huge farm area with livestock, dedicated website, successful business, ya know...all that stuff. we were looking at getting our 4th labrador since our loyal pals buddy and molly passed last year and our 3 year old lab samson (who we bought from this same breeder in 05) is looking for a playmate.

    when we bought samson here in 2005, the breeder was more than happy to help us out when we were making the purchase. very helpful, very responsible, overall we had a good vibe leaving. when we went down this time, we brought samson just for kicks and to reunite him with his biological parents (and see how he'd help us possibly pick out a puppy). upon our arrival, the breeder seemed a little bit aloof and rather disinterested in reuniting samson with her folks (who were there on the premises). we thought it would be great to see how they would react, if any differently than seeing any other dog. you know, to see if some sort of instinct that told them they were related would kick in. however, the breeder kept all the dogs in the kennel, like a museum, and they all had raspy barks because apparently they had to have their vocal chords cut out to keep down the barking. there had to be 40 labs in there barking away. do they just live in that kennel 365 days of the year? any reason why he would avoid bringing sammie's folks out? or even his siblings? shockingly, the breeder never even PET sammie, but was more than happy to offer up some new puppies for us to potentially purchase. we didn't get one.

    the reason i visited this forum is to get opinions on breeder behavior and kennel conditions. i am ignorant to breeding dogs so i just wanted to speak with some more informed folks on the nature of the business. am i crazy for wanting my dog to meet his biological parents and brothers? is he crazy for not even bothering to release the dogs after several social cues to do so? we just stood there, my brother and i, watching samson try and figure out why 40+ plus black, brown, and yellow labradors were jumping up and down behind the chain link confinement of kennel runs. i wanted sammie's fam out to play, but didn't want to push the issue, and figured the breeder had his reasons for not releasing the dogs.

    i was just concerned about the breeder's apathetic nature towards a previously purchased dog that he sort of raised for the first 2 months of his life, and also, that fact that he did not even take out the relatives for a romp really irked us. are there too many labs on site? am i just another customer?

    sorry for the multiple questions, but a little birdy told me if i had a lab question, THIS was the only place it should be asked! i should have asked the breeder, but didn't want to put him on the defensive too much.

    sincerely,
    davis and sammie

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    If there were 40 dogs and they cut vocal cords, you got Sammie from a puppy mill.

    I understand them not wanting to 'reunite' your dog with its parents, they don't know your dog. While you may know how he normally acts, do you know how he acts with an intact stud dog and a bitch present, in a strange surrounding full of dogs?

    Buy a dog from somewhere else, make sure they have clearances and the dogs are housed appropriately.

    Get to know the breeder.

  4. #3
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    That many dogs living in kennels 24/7 is bad enough, but to think they had their vocal chords cut is too much. I'm sorry, but that is a puppy mill. That doesn't mean that Sammie isn't a wonderful dog, it just means that it's probably not best to reward these people with more of your money.

    Here is a wonderful article that can help you figure out how to choose a breeder:
    http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/checklist.html

    Also, have you considered Lab rescue? There are many wonderful older dogs who need new homes.

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  6. #4
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    labby is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    If the only time they're willing to help you is when you want to purchase then those red flags should be hitting you alongside the head.

    I wouldn't let a strange dog out with mine either. I don't know where you've been or what your dog is like around strange dogs. Don't judge by that, but everything else you said would have me running away from that place.



    Laura





  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by luvmydogz2much
    If there were 40 dogs and they cut vocal cords, you got Sammie from a puppy mill.

    I understand them not wanting to 'reunite' your dog with its parents, they don't know your dog. While you may know how he normally acts, do you know how he acts with an intact stud dog and a bitch present, in a strange surrounding full of dogs?

    Buy a dog from somewhere else, make sure they have clearances and the dogs are housed appropriately.

    Get to know the breeder.
    sorry, i said first time poster, not first time dog-owner. sammie is very socialized, plays with tons of dogs on a daily basis, and has been around intact males, intact females, vicious dogs, happy dogs, all kinds...and i explained to her that sammie was as good natured a lab as any. i guess you have a point though, if he feared the unknown with my dog. you can't trust any jerk off the street, which i might have appeared as.

    oh and, sammie has all his papers and stuff, it says he is from a champion line and all that good stuff. sammie is good natured and in great shape. not sure if you could call the place a "puppy mill."

    how many dogs equals a puppy mill? what is "housed appropriately?" like living in an actual house? or a barn or what?

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    Any breeder who has 40 dogs and has vocal cords cut and always has pups to offer, is a puppy mill.

    Ditto if she said he comes from 'champion lines'. Were the parents champions, titled or otherwise worthwhile to breed? Champion lines means nothing. Nor does papers.

    Does Sammie's parents have their hips, elbows and eyes cleared? Do all the dogs in that kennel have their clearances?

    How many litters of puppies did they have?

    And I never said Sammie was a bad dog, just that I wouldn't let just anyone let their dogs loose around mine either.

    And to answer your question, his parents would not have acted any differently and they wouldn't have recognized him.

  9. #7
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    georgie is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    I don't breed labs. But I just wanted to say, your lab sounds like a sweet lab.
    Now about that breeder. The red flags for me would be 40+ dogs & their vocal cords cut. What do they do with that many dogs...besides breed & make many. I don't want this to sound cruel but there were many things that would have made me turn & run away FAST. You had already purchased a pup from them so you were no stranger. Not even wanting to interact with your lab which was purchased from them makes me wonder. They cannot possibly do much with that many dogs.

    I can see why a breeder would not want a strange dog around their dogs but that is the only thing I thought was okay.

    My breeders keep tabs on their pups. I have gone back to Abby's breeder with both Molly & Abby & we train with her & her labs.

    That seems to be an awful lot of dogs. Even though Sammie is a wonderful lab....I would look for a different breeder. Go with your instinct.

  10. #8
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    amazongold is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    Red flags! That is definitely a puppy mill, stay as far away from there as you can!
    Jackie, Champ, and Buddy

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    You sound like you have a wonderful lab and that is very much because of the things you have done to train and socialize your dog. I don't blame the breeder for not letting her parents out, they probably would not recognize her anyway.

    But...the mere thought of cutting vocal cords, creeps me out. Looks like it's all about the money.

    Put this in your memory bank and find a caring reputable breeder.

    Good luck I'm sure you will find what you are looking for!
    Patti

  12. #10
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Breeder Behavior / Kennel Conditions

    Welcome to the board and congrats on the puppy search - it's an exiting time I imagine Furthermore - congrats on wanting to know more before choosing a breeder. It's a big decision and can be confusing. Asking questions is a great step in the right direction.

    When searching for a reputable breeder, you must look at how they treat their dogs and how they go about choosing which bitch and stud to use.

    First off, any dog they breed must have the necessary genetic testing done. Hips, Elbows, Eyes, Heart are the minimum. Both parents must pass these clearances before it is CONSIDERED for breeding.
    They must then prove their dog worthy of breeding. By participating in activities such as conformation, field/hunt test, obedience, agility. not a champion "in their bloodlines" but they themselves must be titled.
    The breeder should ask you about you and your lifestyle. They want to ensure the puppy goes to the right place. If they do not ask any questions about you turn away.
    They should also be able to tell you WHY they are having a litter> generally speaking, reputable breeders have a litter as they intend to keep a puppy. If they have no intentions of keep any puppy (at all) they are breeding for money.
    Finally - they should be able to tell you why they chose to breed those two dogs. Reputable breeders seek out a mate that will bring out the best in their own dog (who has strenghts where their dog is weak).

    Having a good website, lots of dogs and a farm has nothing to do with being a good breeder - makes them a good business person. Personally, it turns me off when they have too many dogs ESPECIALLY if they don't live in the home (I know some people can handle many dogs but over 15 who are all "breeding stock" is a tad much and smells of puppy mill).

    A puppy mill isn't all about how many dogs they have though. It's about how many litters they churn out but more importantly what their goal is. It's a question of the goal behind the litter and what led to the decision to breed those two dogs.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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