Just Labradors banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I did some researching online and I found a breed of dog that I would really like to get, when we get our second dog (wayyyy in the future). Now this dog will be Sam's dog, so its really HIS choice whether or not he gets this dog or a Rottie. I really like rotties, but I dunno if I want to have to deal with the stigma attached to them (and them being on the black list). I already get enough crap for having ferrets (ewww they are vicious! They stink! They're rats! They'll eat your babies toes! They bite! They'll chew through the wall!) so I dunno if I am able to deal with that when we have a second dog, as well. So here is the dog I was thinking of:

http://www.gsmdca.org/intro.php

I really like swissys. Been looking at them for a while. They are big and kinda look like rotties, but they aren't on any black lists and they are EXCELLENT with kids and small animals. We found a breeder in CO (where we will be living when we get our next dog). But I wanted some help. I have NO CLUE how to evaluate a breeder website to see if it is a good breeder. Here is the site below. Can you guys help me figure out if this is a responsible breeder worth buying from or just some irresponsible puppy mill. thanks:

http://www.ccgsmd.com/index.htm

Like I said, this won't be happening for a while, we still have to buy our own home first. But I wanted to take this 1.5-2 years that I have before we buy our home to research a bunch of breeds to see what would fit in with us, our animals, and apollo. This will be Sam's dog, and he doesn't want another lab, so I'm tryin to find the breed that will fit best with our family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
There is no way you can judge a breeder by their website. I would email, call and ask all sorts of questions. If they get tired of your questions or try to push a pup on you I would walk away. You want to be sure they are there for the long haul. My first show pup was from a flashy website and once the breeder had my money he didn't want to concern himself with my little questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I have never dealt with a breeder before. I want to know what to look for, what to ask when the time comes in 1.5-2 years to deal with them.

anyone have a list of questions I should be asking the breeder? Or a list of red flags that I should watch for? That would help TREMENDOUSLY!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,793 Posts
Hello!

I visited the site (we just went through the "evaluating breeders" thingie to find our new lab pup, so I thought maybe I could help!)

It looks like the site is under construction (disclaimer at bottom) but they do mention being involved in aspects of the breed, and that's always a good sign!

Having said that, as someone who has visited many a website and then visited the actual breeding facilities afterwards, there really is not that much that you can tell from a website! I remember one facility in particular, the website was extremely well done, up to date, lots of info, etc. and when I visited the actual breeder it was bad enough to make me reconsider even getting a lab! (this was actually the first breeder I visited)

Her dogs were completely wild and out of control (actually snarling/biting at each other, and not in a playful way at all!), she had waaay too many, and although she touted the puppies as home-raised, she was a very heavy smoker, and consistently smoked in the same room as the puppies. (ironically, in the office, where there were like, three full ashtrays from her apparently sitting and working on her fantastic website!)

The breeder that we eventually went with was the polar opposite, still had a great website, everything in order, etc. But what really did it for me was my rapport with her, we got along great and her dogs were just fantastic, all even tempered, sweet and loving, like how I've heard that labs are supposed to be!

So ultimately what I'm trying to say is that regardless of the quality of website, you really can't get a good idea until you visit the facilities in person, meet the breeder and the dogs, etc.

as an add-on, one thing that I have heard about swiss mountain dogs is that they can sometimes have a tendency towards dominance, so I'd watch for that, but then again so do rotties, so either way it's something to keep in mind!

whew long one, yeesh! best of luck, and remember to have fun! (visiting breeders = playing with puppies!!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,913 Posts
They are beautiful dogs but I don't know if they would suit someone who is relatively new to dogs. Apollo is your first dog, right?

I think a while back someone posted a thread about our 'other' favorite breeds and I know the Greater Swiss came up a lot. While I can't say for sure, I can imagine that most people who listed the Greater Swiss were basing that on looks and not temperament especially as they are a relatively uncommon breed. Bare in mind that most Swiss Mountain dogs will hit the 100-150lbs mark when they reach adulthood. Also, in terms of personailties, they are not much like Labs. Much more independent and aloof.

I'm sure you haven't but don't forget about rescues. There are plenty of Rottie/Mastiff type crosses who might fit your requirements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,793 Posts
Me again!

Dani posted a really great "to breed or not to breed" thread on the top of the lab chat page, and I found this link on it which I think sums up the difference between quality breeders and the "backyard" variety really well!

http://st15.startlogic.com/~justonel/breeder.html

I think if you form your questions around those points you'll be just fine!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Trickster said:
They are beautiful dogs but I don't know if they would suit someone who is relatively new to dogs. Apollo is your first dog, right?

I think a while back someone posted a thread about our 'other' favorite breeds and I know the Greater Swiss came up a lot. While I can't say for sure, I can imagine that most people who listed the Greater Swiss were basing that on looks and not temperament especially as they are a relatively uncommon breed. Bare in mind that most Swiss Mountain dogs will hit the 100-150lbs mark when they reach adulthood. Also, in terms of personailties, they are not much like Labs. Much more independent and aloof.

I'm sure you haven't but don't forget about rescues. There are plenty of Rottie/Mastiff type crosses who might fit your requirements.
Hey Trick. Yes, Apollo is my first dog, but even before I got apollo i'd been doing alot of research on swissys. Ironically I wanted to get a swissy because of their temperment and not cuz of their looks. Swissy are a larger breed, and as with ANY large breed you have to make sure they are well trained and well socialized. What I like about swissys is their independant nature, the fact that they are great with children, and the fact that they are althetic. Apollo doesn't have much of a lab temperment. He's freakishly calm, never barks, hates water and retrieves. He's gentle and good with kids, but thats about as "lab like" as he gets. So the next dog we are looking for is not one with a lab personality.

Sigh. Looked into rescues for rotties and rottie mixes. EVERY rescue I looked at on petfinder said not good with cats, kids, etc. I would want a puppy simplyl because with dogs like Rotts who often fall into the hands of irresponsible owners, it can be hard to "train out" some of their traits. Rotties were a new breed that same and I started thinking of, but Swissys have been on our minds for over a year. I know they don't count for squat, but every "what dog breed is for you" test that I took either matched me with a swissy or their cousin, the berenese mountain dog.

Like I said, still plenty of time to learn about the breed and its individual needs. We've got another 2 years before we are ready. Just looking for info on what to ask breeders in the future. Thanks to you and everyone for your input. I really appreciate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
looked into rescues for rotties and rottie mixes. EVERY rescue I looked at on petfinder said not good with cats, kids, etc
That is sad, I had quite a few rescued rotties come through my home that were great with kids, cats and maybe ferrets. Since you have small pets I would definitely look at adding a puppy or a rescue that has been living in a foster home similiar to yours. I have 3 kids and a cat so I was able to know for sure what foster was good with this type of family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
We know we want a puppy. What breed is another question. This will be Sam's dog, so he decides. We don't know if it will be a rottie, border collie, or swissy, or a pound puppy. Either way the main requirements are 1. it MUST be good with kids and 2. it MUST be good with small animals.

I'd love to rescue a pound animal. All but one of my animals are resuces. When the time comes we will see whats available. I called a rottie rescue in CO and they have a wait list and no puppies hardly ever available. If we do get a pound pup we will definitly look into one that has been fostered in a home with cats, kids, etc regardless of breed. Thanks for the tip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,913 Posts
Personally I think a Berner is much better choice. We have two beauties in my village and they are lovely dogs. One of them is a families first time dog.

Apollo doesn't have much of a lab temperament. He's freakishly calm, never barks, hates water and retrieves.
Hey, well #1 and #2 are Lab qualities. ;) A Lab shouldn't be hyperactive and, providing they are well exercised, they should be calm. Also, because they are a working gundog/hunting breed, they should rarely bark. A vocal Lab would make a useless hunting dog.

Sigh. Looked into rescues for rotties and rottie mixes. EVERY rescue I looked at on petfinder said not good with cats, kids, etc.
Fair enough. I totally understand where you are coming from. One thing I will say is that rescues will often say the dog is not good with kids, etc., just to cover themselves. Most rescues can't risk 'testing' a dog with a real child due to liability purposes.

Anyway, whatever route you choose to go down it is great that you are doing your research well in advance. I bet in the next few years you will throw many breeds out into the woodworks until you find the perfect one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Sam and I wanted a berener so desperately. But the fact that they die around the age of 8 (or even younger!) is what made us look into their cousin, the swissy. Berners USED to live 10+ years but now the breed is dying freakishly young, even dogs bred by some of the best breeders, its really unfourunate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Here is some info from wikipedia that elaborates on the problems i was talking about:

The breed’s genetic base is somewhat narrow, so hereditary diseases and inbreeding depression are major issues. Several kinds of cancer (malignant histiocytosis, mastocytoma, lymphosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, osteosarcoma) commonly affect Berners; hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteoarthritis, aortic stenosis plus autoimmune and kidney problems are other major health issues for the breed. Many litters contain stillborn young, a major indicator of inbreeding depression.

Although slow to mature, the Bernese do not live particularly long. The Swiss saying, "three years a young dog, three years a good dog and three years an old dog" originally referred not to their longevity, but rather to the tractability and demeanor of the breed through its life stages. Nevertheless, today even nine years may be slightly optimistic as surveys around the world show that the average lifespan of a Bernese is seven years, primarily as a result of the prevalent occurrence of cancers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,913 Posts
7 years?? geez...I didn't know that. That alone would put me off. I think they are beautiful dogs but I am not sure I could handle my dog dying at such a young age. How terribly sad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
yeah, thats why sam and I started researching their cousins. We were just so in love with Berenese Mountain Dogs that we were desperate to find some kind of mix/mutt or a relative of theirs. That is what lead us to Swissys, they are prone to bloat and hip displasia, but they are pretty sturdy, healthy dogs. Great with kids, good watch dogs, gentle by nature, yet independant thinkers. I really liked that. And I also liked that they had short coats, unlike the berenese.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
that's sad they don't live long. If you get a great dog you want it to live forever. at 3 years I would think it was just beginning to be its best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
yeah, its horrible. Sam and I just couldn't bear to get a dog that we knew would die so young. Luckily their cousin, the Swissy appealed to us almost as much as the berenese.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
Since you have so much time till you get a puppy I would consider joining a breed club even though you don't already have one. Breed clubs are great resources and usually have the heads up on good breeders. I know I would have done alot better getting a pup if I had joined the local lab club first. Really good breeders are active with their dogs and often belong to and are ACTIVE with one or more breed club and or sporting clubs of that breed. I will never again get a pup unless the breeder is active in showing or competing or better yet both. Typically it only costs 20 -30 dollars to join a club for a year and often breeders/club members will help you with finding a good pup for you. You will also get the opportunity to go to shows and such and visit with or even better help out with the dogs.. its a great way to get to know the breed and get alot of good info.

Kelly and Amber
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top