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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks for taking the time to read my questions. I have never owned a lab, or a dog for that matter. My family has decided to acquire a labrador to become a new addition to our family. I've been looking at pictures of labs recently, and I have some questions regarding the breed. I think I may have some misconceptions, so bare with me.

My sister owned a lab several years ago that was just amazing. She looked like this:


A friend of mine owns what I thought were labradors, and for the most part they look like the picture above. However, they are absolutely humungous compared to my sister's dog. Whereas my sister's dog probably weighed 50 lbs tops, these dogs weigh 90lbs and stand about 3-4 feet tall. Is this the same breed?

Also, comparing the picture above to the following picture, what is the difference as far as breed?



As for our preference for the family pet, we are looking for a reddish-brown colored (fox) lab with the longer hair, as in the second picture. When talking to breeders, what do we need to ask for?

Also, this would be our first time going through a breeder, does anyone have any tips?

I appreciate any feedback.
 

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The dog in the 2nd picture looks like a golden retriever, not a lab.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Like I said, misconceptions! :) Is there a difference between the golden retriever and lab as far as temperment?
 

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Well bred labs and goldens have similar temperment. They both tend to be loyal, smart dogs that like to please. Bauer's best friend is a golden :). Both breeds are energetic and need lots of exercise. Good luck with your research.
 

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As someone else mentioned, the second dog is a Golden Retriever and not a Lab.

The differences you have noticed within the Lab breed are a result of a breed 'split' between pet, show and working types. Dogs bred for working generally have less bone, are slighter in body weight and are leaner. Show bred dogs generally carry more substance and are overall heavier set than working bred dogs. Dogs that are pet bred can have characteristics of either type. Confused? you should be! this linnk should help explain it easier:

http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/english-american.html

The picture you posted looks more like a bench bred *****, so if that is the type of dog you like perhaps you should focus your search for a puppy on breeders of moderate type bench bred dogs.
 

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One more thing, if you find a breeder, try not to worry too much about the colour of the pup. Temperament of the pup should priority. A reputable breeder will suggest and match you with pups that best suit your personality and lifestyle, so don't be too disappointed if the pup they suggest isn't the colour you wanted.
 

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Agree with the above, first photo is a lab, second photo is a golden.

Very generally: I have seen labs be more silly/goofy/energetic than goldens (very generally and speaking only of personal experience). But both are sporting breeds and both will require daily exercise (more than just a walk for most dogs of these breeds). I want to say golden may, on average, need abit less but that may be false.

Please do abit more reading on both:
golden:
http://www.grca.org/index.html

the lab
http://www.thelabradorclub.com/

If you DO go with the labrador, please keep your color choice abit more open, OR be ready to wait awhile. fox red is a beautiful color and part of the standard but there are much fewer of them, making it harder to find one. Temperament should be of higher importance (right match) than color.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your help everyone. After doing some research, I think I will end up going with the Lab. Based on my experiences with my sister's dog, and from what I've read these dogs are absolutely awesome.

You're right about color, it should not be as important as temperment. Especially since I have a 5 year old daughter. I'm looking forward to finding the right one. How can I tell a lab is well bred?

Thanks again for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
San Bernardino County, but willing to travel San Diego or Orange County. I'm also pretty patient. I'm still getting my yard together, so a future litter is definitely what i'm looking for.
 

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I am sure you will get some good responses from folks in your area about breeders. But I just wanted to say, when researching breeders check to see if they do health clearences, like eyes, hips, elbows, CNA etc. Check on the temperments of the parents. Also, what do the breeders do with their labs, show, hunt/field tests, obedience, agility?
Check the breeding area....how many litters do they usually have in a year.
Since you mentioned you have a 5 year old...I would say temperment is a must. Labs are great with kids, so just make sure you can possibly see the parents & judge for yourself. References from past buyers of their labs also helps.

This is an exciting time...good luck. :)
 

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Boy do you have some good timing, the Southern California Labrador Retriever Club is holding their Spring Hunt Test this weekend (April 4th and 5th) in Chino Ca. You can come watch labs doing what they were bred to do and talk to some of the breeders in the area.
If you would like to avoid watching a Hunt Test our Labrador Specialty Show (This is where all the breeders and owners gather to get their dogs judged against the breed standard) will be held on April 24th (Friday) and April 25th (Saturday) at Featherly Park in Anaheim (Just off the 91 freeway and the 241 toll road). I encourage you to come to both events to really learn more about labs and the different "Types". I will be at both events and can talk to you a bit and help answer questions or point you to a person who can answer your question. Send me an E-mail at [email protected] and I will give you directions and such if you are interested.

Kelly Greenwood
Chino Ca
Greenwoods Amber Wave CD RA OA NAJ OF WC CGC (Amber)
 

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One indication of a good breeder would be health certifications. Labs are subject to several genetic health problems that can and should be screened for by the breeder so the genes are not sent forward. Those health problems can cost you eventually.
Ask any breeder about health screenings. Some of the breeders here can give you more specifics.
Another recommendation is to walk away from any breeder willing to give you a puppy younger than 8 weeks old.
 

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IAlso, what do the breeders do with their labs, show, hunt/field tests, obedience, agility?
I agree with this as well. When we were looking for a lab, there were so many "breeders" that had puppies from "Champion Lines." When we looked at pedigrees, the champion was generations back (and some couldn't even explain where the champion was). The breeder should actively show or compete with their dogs. The breeder should also be willing to take the dog back (at any time) if you can no longer keep it.
 
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