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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to start showing my 9 month old male lab in the spring and I wanted any advice from those of you who have been in the ring before. Anything in particular that I will need to know?

I was told to use a snake chain and a nylon or leather lead for specialty and all-breed shows. Should I??? I don't want to look like a total amature when I get in the ring! LOL :embarassed:

Thanks for any help I can get!!!
 

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See my response to the other post. You really need to find a mentor.
I see that you breed, and if so, wonder why haven't you already joined a kennel club or lab club? Maybe those breeders you've bought pups from would be of some help. This isn't the kind of thing that can be taught on the internet, imo. I've taken a few handling classes and will probably always look like an amatuer in the show ring! ;) Anne
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Anne!

The reason I havn't joined a club yet is because the closest one is a little over 2 hours away and we will be moving to North Carolina soon.
 

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We have a number of club members who live 2+ hours from meetings...you make it happen. I couldn't find any pedigrees on your site, are your dogs show bred? Couldn't find anything on OFA either.

Anywhoo...go to shows and watch the labradors in the ring. Talk to the handlers afterward. Labradors are shown a tad differently than other breeds- often free baited, moved a bit slower (no flying trot here), we want them happy! The average handling class teaches a generic all-breed type of handling, which will definitely get the job done, but I'd hook up with labrador people. I use a snake chain/3ft lead for all-breed shows with all-round judges, but I use a 4ft slip lead for breeder judges and specialties. See if you can find matches or even UKC shows in your area, great for practice!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We are working on getting our dogs pedigrees to veiw on our website, our website is in construction.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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We are working on getting our dogs pedigrees to veiw on our website, our website is in construction.
Not to be an ass, but it's interesting that you were able to get information about your current litter up, but not a simple "Kennelname superstud x Kennelname broodbitch" underneath a picture, or clearance information, which potential buyers should be VERY interested in.
 

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Some words of advice for when you update your website....

1. clearances under each dog.
2. do not list # of champions in the pedigree. That means jack-squat. Only BYB's do that. I don't care how many champions are in a pedigree way back, I care about what you are doing with your dogs. They need something on them...and I know you are new, so that's why the advice. CGC's, OB titles, rally titles, hunting, UKC titles...things YOUR dogs have done.
3. typically, not always, but a good portion of the time, better breeders do not use their own boys. When you breed you are looking to better the breed. You have the whole USA (Canada and Europe if you are feeling ambitious) to choose the best stud that will suit your girl. 9 times out of 10, that is NOT your boy that you have at home. Put titles on him, get all his clearances (ALL the extras like heart, EIC, CNM) and make him available to others. But YOU should pick studs from other kennels if you want to build on the dogs you have and look like you know what you are doing.
 

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What Jen said. Plus, by using outside studs, it'll allow you to have somewhere to go to down the road. You always need to try to stay one step ahead of the game-- know where you are headed w/ your next generation and keep the gene pool diverse enough to give you some options.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice. Right know we're kinda in a bad sopt as we're moving to North Carolina and are looking at breeders out there. Does anyone know of any in NC or Virginia? Thanks again.
 

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Once you move, join the kennel club in your area and the lab club, and even if it's 2 hr aways, do what you need to do to join. Our local club is an hour away and meetings are at night so obviously with working, I just don't have the ability to go. But I was able to get in the club, attend the events I can, help out when I can, support the shows with entries/raffle donations/etc. You'll meet other breeders that way.
 

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Thanks for the advice. Right know we're kinda in a bad sopt as we're moving to North Carolina and are looking at breeders out there. Does anyone know of any in NC or Virginia? Thanks again.
Here you go--- do a search right here for Lab clubs. I'm sure a Google will bring up all breed kennel clubs too. Regional Club Directory - The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.

I'd not limit myself to local breeders personally. When you breed, you should use the best dog you can to compliment your girl (based on structure, pedigree, health clearances, trainability, etc).
 

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I'd not limit myself to local breeders personally. When you breed, you should use the best dog you can to compliment your girl (based on structure, pedigree, health clearances, trainability, etc).
Good point. I wasn't sure if the OP meant local breeders for friends/mentors or for breeding. I was hoping she meant as a support system vs finding local dogs to breed to....because with the whole country available for stud choice, one should not limit themselves just on proximity. AI is very easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks agian for all the great advice! Do you know of any kennels who have great Males available for stud?
 

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Sure! But it depends on what you consider "great" and how "great" your bitches are that you'd like to bring to them. Join your local lab club when you get there, get involved with your dogs and you'll have plenty of resources to do your own homework.
 

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Ok, so now we are TOTALLY redoing our website. Is there any suggestions? I found a few kennels with some really good males that I think would compliment our girls well. What are some main things to look for in a potentioal male, if you can't go and meet him? The few breeders I found were Cannanland Labradors, Beulah Land Labradors, MT Meadows Labradors, Sunnybrook Labradors, and Van Dalen Kennels. Let me know what you think, as I want to do things right this time. :eek:)
 

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Nothing about your website needs to be totally redone, you simply need to add important information mentioned above. Clearly you don't do clearances on your dogs and that's going to be a MUST before even beginning to think someone is going to let you use their boy.

Join your local lab club when you get there, get involved with your dogs and you'll have plenty of resources to do your own homework.
It's really as simple as that.
 

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I'm not a breeder nor an exhibitor, but I know that the cornerstone of any successful breeding programme is to know the strengths and weaknesses of your bitches, and then find a male that compliments strong points and/or corrects flaws... ie - your girl has a weak rear but a lovely coat? Look for a male with a good strong hindquarter, even if he happens to have a slightly thinner coat than you'd like. etc, etc. That might be a popular stud, or it might be the relatively unknown male just recently introduced to the show scene.

I do believe there are illustrated standards available on line, and that is a good place to start comparing and critiquing your present dogs.
 

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As you start to show more, you'll get to know what weaknesses your girl possesses and you'll start seeing dogs at shows that you like. Are the photos on your site of the youngsters showing your kids? Do they do Juniors?

Once you get more involved with the clubs, and maybe start reading some books on Labradors and breeding, you start seeing things a bit in a different light. It's not just about finding some good lab breeders with nice boys, which is definitely a great way to start. But you should be trying to define your goals...is having puppies just a money maker for you or is it a way for you to have control over who your next show dog is. It's about the dogs you kept for showing and breeding and honestly seeing what about them carried over from mom or from dad. It's doing a breeding to a different stud with a different pedigree and evaluating if what you are getting is better or worse than last time, and noting the differences that you get with each successive litter.

It's like with us, all the bitches in our first litter weren't worth keeping for showing or breeding. A couple did OK in UKC but would not be competitive in AKC. Very cute pets. Took a year or 2 to be able to see that before I could make a decision that I didn't like what I saw. We'll try one more breeding with our ***** to a totally different pedigree and see if this gives us anything different. If I don't like what I see, the next girl in our house will have to be a purchase from someone else.
 

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It's been over a week but I'm not seeing any additions of info on the site.
Do people really pay $950 for puppies w/ parents w/ no registered name listed and no clearances (listed) in your area? I'm surprised...
The impression I was getting from all our rescue email in the SE is that the economy is pretty rough.
 
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