I have been looking for a lab puppy for about 4 months and have looked at many adverts and contacted a few breeders. I finally chose and breeder and went to visit puppies with many questions i wanted to ask. I walked in the door and melted when i saw the gorgeous dogs and only asked a few questions, before paying deposit. :
I came home and remembered the questions i had not asked were the hip scores and vet checks.
I emailed breeder and yes the puppies will be vet checked before they go to new homes but the Dam has not been scored and she thinks Sire has, but his owners do not have the paperwork.
I think i remeber reading somewhere that if the parents are KC registered, that i can get scores from them? Does anyone know if this is true?
I obviously know that i could be taking a big risk, in buying a puppy from unscored parents, but if both parents have been vet checked and are in good health i should be ok shouldn't i? :-\
Would be grateful for any advice, esp if i can get scores of sire from kc.
I'm going to go ahead and ask if you found the "breeder" in a newspaper. If so...and they are not registered with a kennel club (I'm assuming that you are from another county based on your post), the likelihood of them having any hips, elbows, cardiac, eyes or optigen testing are not really even a possibility. I have found that people who haven't taken the time to register their dogs, don't usually have the responsibility to have them tested properly, let alone have them being proper working dogs to prove that they should be bred in the first place.
Yeah, you *could* luck out and have a healthy puppy in the long run...but the chances of something happening to unscored parents is greater than with parents who were scored.
Rider came from such a breeder...neither parent should have been bred (heck his pedigree is filled with dogs that shouldn't have been bred) and he has been diagnosed with hip displaysia.
So...from my experience I think you didn't do enough research and will be taking a big risk on these gorgeous puppies....which, I will admit is hard to resist when you are caught in th moment.
Good luck with your decision.
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
If you know the parent's registered names and you are in the U.S., the best place to look for that info is at www.offa.org. Type in the name or registration number in the box, top right corner... it's that simple. IMO, if they are not cert'd, I'd forfeit my deposit. Chalk that up to your education fund. Hip and elbow dysplasia can run into the $1000's for treatment. Cardiac issues can leave you w/ a young, dead dog. Eye issues, though not fatal, can be a financial and personal hardship as well. Then there are the other things we can't test for but can research pedigrees for--- epilepsy, allergies, and temperament issues come first to mind. How do you find a good breeder? Start with your regional Lab club if there is one near you. Ours in the US are linked from the parent club (LRC, Inc) and AKC sites.
Though a puppy well check is a good thing, it is very limited in what can be found. HD and elbow issues are growth related so won't be obvious for several months if present. The only insurance you can "buy" against that is a multiple generation pedigree chock full of all the appropriate ratings. Same with eye issues. I actually do check eyes (CERF) on my puppies, as do many other breeders, and so this would help reduce your exposure there too. Do your homework... there are several very good sites about finding a responsible breeder--- I have a few articles linked on my Nursery page of my website if you are interested (www.windycanyonlabs.com). Where are you located? I'm sure someone could help direct you to a reputable breeder. -Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
I would forfeit the deposit. My first dog had hip dysplasia and it cost us thousands of dollars.
We went through a hip scare with Gabby this year and just x-rays from the regular vet, a second orthopedic opinion, and pain medication cost me upwards of 450 dollars.
It's cheaper to lose the deposit and go to a better breeder.
I have to echo those same opinions. I have a dog with hip dysplasia, in part because I wasn't aware of all the things to look for when I got him 5 years ago and I did a poor job researching. I've spend hundreds if not over a thousand dollars on vet visits, ortho vet specialists, and supplements. That's not even counting the thousands of dollars I'll have to spend should he require surgery some time in the future.Originally Posted by gabbys mom
I think I'd forfeit the deposit as well and go with a breeder that has tested the dogs and the lineage is full of tested dogs.
Lab owners love their Labs.
Unfortunately, Labs tend to be bred by a lot of puppy mills and BYB (back yard breeders) who do not adequately check the health of the breeding pair. As a result, Labs have very high rates of joint, eye, seizure, etc., problems -- I think as high as 1 out of every 3.
Once you commit to a pup, it's hard not to give them everything they need to be healthy.
As others suggest, best to forfeit the deposit and locate a responsible breeder who competes with his/her Lab in events and who has made sure all the breeding stock has proper certification. While that won't guarantee your Lab will not ever have a serious health problem, that will take you out of the 1 in 3 category and give you much better odds.
PS You might read this:
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":
Just wanted to add that just because a dog's hips pass does NOT guarantee that the puppies will have good hips. It's a crap shot called life.
Rugers mom and dad both had good/excellent hip ratings, but his hips are not the greatest. They aren't "bad" but they aren't good either. We have him on daily glucosamine/chondroitin supplements. He is a highly active performace dog.
If you like the puppies, and you felt good about the breeder, then go ahead and get your puppy. All dogs need a good home, regardless of their breeding
This is totally your call, I just want to add my $0.02.
I think the issue for me would be my anxiety level while raising the pup. If I knew that Baloo came from unscored parents, then I would constantly be analyzing his gait, watching him like a hawk at all times looking for the slightest "off" movement.. :-\
Because Baloo's parents and grandparents were scored (probably more generations were as well, I only asked about those two) I can relax more. I know that the fact that they were scored does not guarantee anything, but it allows me to relax and enjoy my puppy, and if he ends up having HD, I can cross that bridge when we get there. BUT, I'll know that there was nothing more that anyone could have done to prevent it.
If he ended up with HD and I knew his parents weren't scored, I'd be royally kicking myself, and furious with the breeder. >
So that's the way I see it. But ultimately, it is your call, and only you really know what's best for you, and I wish you luck.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Honestly I know nothing about getting a puppy from a breeder. I adopted Mambo from a shelter at 6 weeks. I know it isn't the same. People go to Breeders wanting a healthy puppy. But just because you go to the breeder doesn't always mean the pup will be healthy. I think if you already feel in love with the puppy. And you are OK with knowing later on there may be health issues to deal with than I think you should keep the puppy. Nobody can guarantee an animals health. They will work with you if things pop up. But to me after day one I am already in love and would do anything I can to make the puppy feel healthy. Mambo was sick on and off for awhile after I adopted him. I never thought twice about doing what was needed to get him healthy. The vet said I should sign him back over and look for another puppy. Man if I would have listened to him I wouldn't have this great Guy Mambo to share my life with. Of course it's just my opinion. Good luck with what ever choice you make.
I posted the OFA site earlier here. IMO (and experience), the DEEPER the pedigree in clearances, both hips and elbows, the better. Take it one step further, and look at the siblings and offspring listed on the "vertical pedigree" option. I'm not impressed w/ the 1 generation, no offspring, type records.. they tell you some, but not the whole story. But if the pedigree is deep (and Baloo--- you can look your info up there too), chances are pretty darned good that the gene pool is better than average, particularly if you are looking at moderately sized labs. I wouldn't be nearly as confident w/ the "miniature horse" sized lines, however, as fast growth is a detriment to joint health. -Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014