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Discussion Starter #1
Even after ALL of the advice you guys have given me - we were so close to bringing one home.  Of course I've been talking to a bunch of my lab-owning friends and one in particular kept mentioning this one breeder that was close to us but she couldn't remember the name.  But she kept talking about how she would meet a bunch of people with nice-looking labs and they all got them from her.  She finally found it yesterday morning and I called this breeder and my friend and her husband (who is a Lab "expert" as well) and their kids came with us.  My husband's friend did a lot of legwork when they got their lab and he visited a lot of breeders and he commented this this one by far was the best.  He also helped me in choosing the puppy and checking out her temperament and looks so we of course fell in love. 

I put in a deposit for $100 to hold her until Monday.  As I writing the check, she was "bragging" about the pup's sire who belonged to the kennel next door (another breeder apparently) - Brueggers Kennels. 

So when I got home later yesterday, I did a search for Brueggers - oh my gosh - OBVIOUS PUPPY MILL!  The advertise they have pups "All year round" and bunch of online classified ads popped up.  Their website has a pic of him surrounded by like 20+ puppies.

So even though HER kennel didn't appear to be a puppy mill, she's partned WITH a puppy mill and that scared me.  AND THEN, I talked to a neighbor who's lab died 4 years ago at the age of 6 because of CANCER - she said when her dog died a bunch of others died of cancer too around the same time.  AND THEN, I heard that a bunch of his PUPPIES died recently due to PARVO!

YIKES YIKES YIKES 

Although she seemed to represent herself well and her kennel looked nice and clean, I think she's just full of crap.  In my conversations with her she kept dropping names (I sold Arnold Schwarzenneger 2 of his dogs and Ashton Kucher came out for his dog) and she has a signed autograph pic of Kevin Costner with his dog!  Ugh. 

So I'm back to the drawing board...thank you so much for all of your help with this.  It's because of you that I called her this morning and told her we were not moving forward.  She did say she would tear up my check but I should probably put a stop payment on it just in case.

I haven't told my kids yet...I know my daughter will be heartbroken...  :-[  But better she be heartbroken now for just a little while as we find the right breeder than be devasted with a sick / dying dog in a few years.

Here's the little cutie we were going to bring home.  My daughter is holding her.  (Admittedly, I'm still very sad as I write this...) 

 

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Well it sounds as though you did your research thoroughly. I'm sorry you had to walk away from that little fellow. But you did the right thing. The only way byb will cease to exist is if people stop buying from them. Sadly, some do enough to fly under the radar where legalitoes are concerned, but that doesn't make them good breeders. Good luck in your search.
 

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Ok, I'm curious...you've been pointed towards the clubs in your area whose members are reputable breeders who do something with their dogs...why all the posts about online puppymills and bybs your visiting?? Check out the breeders that were recommended ;)
 

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One thing I've found out is that some of my so called "lab expert" friends often really didn't do the research that I've learned to do from learning from this site. I'm so glad you went with your instinct and will continue looking. I sent you a PM with the person I would highly recommend. This dog will be part of your family hopefully for a very long time so taking some time to find the right one will really be worth the wait. Good Luck, you did good.
 
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Kaydles - I have been reading all of your posts.  May I make a suggestion?  Slow way down.  I know that it's hard when you are excited about getting a puppy.  But make the investment in information now to avoid realizing you made a huge mistake later.  Research the breed.  Research what it takes for a breeder to be considered responsible.  Ask a zillion questions of the breeders, and expect at least that many in return.  Don't take what they say at face value -- verify their information. 

Once we decided on a breed, it was 10 months until we got a puppy.  I spent at least 2 months contacting and interviewing breeders.  And then once I selected a breeder, I waited nearly 8 months to get a puppy because the breeder was still months away from even breeding her *****.

I certainly don't think that all puppy purchases should take that long.  But in my case, I waited for what I wanted.  A dog should never be an impulse purchase.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone..I'm very busy e-mailing all of the references and recommendations right now.

Jacks and Labs - since I'm still learning as much as I can about this as the dogs I've ever owned were not purebred - either from the shelter or from a friend who's dog had a litter, all of this info about pedrigree, bloodlines, show dog, etc. is still so very new to me. As a first time buyer of a pure-bred I'm having such a hard time distinguishing byb's vs. reputable vs. puppymills who disguise themslves as reputable breeders. I'm definitely learning more each day. Which is why this board has been invaluable to me.

My research in the past few days have been from this board, from visiting breeder sites, from reading books, and of course from talking to lab-owning friends. So as well as looking at your recommendations, I've looked at my friends' recommendations. The kennel I visited yesterday was based on a friend's recommendation and since it was close to me, we visited it. Everything looked great, she had all the certifications, I had my "lab expert" accompany me but it wasn't until I did more digging about who her business associates are that I started to get the red flags.

Anyway, hopefully my next post will be a happy post about a breeder that is reputable.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
 

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Kaydles~

I know how exciting it is to FINALLY make the decision to get a puppy, just to discover that then you have to WAIT for her!  Good job on walking away from this situation.  I understand completely how much you wanted to bring a dog home soon, and this breeder seemed like a great sollution.  I'm sure that you are going to endure much whining and conjoling (sp?) from your daughter!  I guess my best advice is to think about it like having a (human) baby.  For many people at least, it is a very difficult desision to start a family, and then you have to wait and wait and wait for the baby to finally come.  Do what you probabably did to pass the time when you were waiting for your daughter: read everything and buy really cute accessories (people on here will give you some great links to cool dog stuff).  Post on the internet looking for other lab-lovers (i.e. US!).  Obsessivly follow around anyone walking a dog and dream about how yours will be cuter and better behaved.  Pick out names, and doodle them when you are bored or on the phone.  Go to dog shows and get to know the breed and what is considered desireable in breeding.  Enjoy the anticipation! :D
 

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That's My Girl -

You're so right. I do need to slow down. I know the biggest reason I'm so gung ho right now is because I don't want to have to wait that long for a puppy - hence the temptation to go to these bad breeders...but I do need to take it slow and I know it will pay off as it did for you.

Thanks.
 

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ThatsMyGirl said:
Kaydles - I have been reading all of your posts.  May I make a suggestion?  Slow way down.  I know that it's hard when you are excited about getting a puppy.  But make the investment in information now to avoid realizing you made a huge mistake later.  Research the breed.  Research what it takes to for a breeder to be considered responsible.  Ask a zillion questions of the breeders, and expect at least that many in return.  Don't take what they say at face value -- verify their information. 

Once we decided on a breed, it was 10 months until we got a puppy.  I spent at least 2 months contacting and interviewing breeders.  And then once I selected a breeder, I waited nearly 8 months to get a puppy because the breeder was still months away from even breeding her *****.

I certainly don't think that all puppy purchases should take that long.  But in my case, I waited for what I wanted.  A dog should never be an impulse purchase.

Good luck!
I have to agree here too. I had to wait a long time before I got my pups. I am sure in your research you are finding out that most reputable breeders you will have to wait for a pup.

Good luck in your search.
 

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I third (or fourth?) the motion to slow down ;)

I know it's hard. But it will pay off if you do your homework. And that takes soooo much time. I learned so much the first year I was here. I really wish I'd had the knowledge I do now before I took the leap.

I'm not saying you have to wait a year. Just give it some more time to do the research, which can be a lot of fun in and of itself! ;D
 

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Just realize this...Who is going to take care of that cute puppy you passed up? They deserve to have a great family and it isn't the puppy's fault that they were bred by people connected to a BYB.

While I see the importance of reputable breeders, we know someone who paid $900 for a lab from a very reputable breeder and that lab did at 6 years of age from cancer. You just never know. You might be able to lower your risk but a $25 mixed breed might be healthier than a $900 purebred, you just don't know.

I will say that we had a perfect lab, back when we got her we didn't know anything about labs or breeders and we got her from a family who's dogs had puppies....for $50, and she lived 13 healthy amazing years and was the best dog ever. You just never know but all dogs need good homes.

Just my thoughts, good luck and take care.
 

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labloverus said:
Just realize this...Who is going to take care of that cute puppy you passed up? They deserve to have a great family and it isn't the puppy's fault that they were bred by people connected to a BYB.
All true.. but continuing to support financially this particular breeder will only help in MORE puppies resulting from poor breeding being born and sold.

And it is also very true that the highest standard of breeding doesn't guarantee your dog will have ZERO health issues... you just happen to be loading the dice in your favor when you seek out and find an excellent breeder with excellent dogs.
 

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labloverus said:
Just realize this...Who is going to take care of that cute puppy you passed up? They deserve to have a great family and it isn't the puppy's fault that they were bred by people connected to a BYB.
No, it isn't fair to the cute little puppy. But people are trying to take a stand against BYB by refusing to support them. If no one purchased a dog from them, they wouldn't have the financial incentive to breed so voraciously. This issue is particularly important for Lab owners, because Labs are (or were, last time I checked), the #1 breed dog in the US. They are being over breed, and not breed to standard. The living conditions of the bitches that live in puppy farms is often extremely horrible.

The argument that well-breed labs can get ill and poorly breed dogs can have a long life is really of little relivance. The point, IMO, is to stop the over-breeding of labradors by not contributing to it.
 

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If ever a reason not to purchase a puppy mill puppy is the potential loss and heartbreak that you and your family will suffer due to severe medical problems and death. I had a puppy mill puppy that I actually adopted from another family who could no longer care for her. She developed Addison's disease and perished before she was 2 years old. Not only did I spend about $20,000 on her care, but suffered a great loss emotionally. It took years to even THINK of bringing another dog into my life, and when it was finally time, I rescued Jaida. Still, anytime she gets sick I panic...thinking I might lose her too.

Trust me...it is not worth the potential pain and anguish. :'(
 

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labloverus said:
Just realize this...Who is going to take care of that cute puppy you passed up? They deserve to have a great family and it isn't the puppy's fault that they were bred by people connected to a BYB.

While I see the importance of reputable breeders, we know someone who paid $900 for a lab from a very reputable breeder and that lab did at 6 years of age from cancer. You just never know. You might be able to lower your risk but a $25 mixed breed might be healthier than a $900 purebred, you just don't know.

I will say that we had a perfect lab, back when we got her we didn't know anything about labs or breeders and we got her from a family who's dogs had puppies....for $50, and she lived 13 healthy amazing years and was the best dog ever. You just never know but all dogs need good homes.

Just my thoughts, good luck and take care.
thank you thank you for saying what I was getting ready to say......I think all dogs irreguardless of their breeding deserve a chance at a good life!
 

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Yeah, but where does the cycle end? If you continue to support BYBers they will continue to produce dogs.
 

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thank you thank you for saying what I was getting ready to say......I think all dogs irreguardless of their breeding deserve a chance at a good life!
This is SO true, but you are missing the bigger picture. What about the female that gets left behind, living in poor conditions, being continually bred every cycle. Doesn't she or any other future female deserve a good life? It's not going to happen if people keep supporting these puppy mills.
 

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labloverus said:
Just realize this...Who is going to take care of that cute puppy you passed up? They deserve to have a great family and it isn't the puppy's fault that they were bred by people connected to a BYB.
That's the exact viewpoint byb's and puppymillers want you to have ::) You should never feel like you're "rescueing" a puppy from a breeder. If you do, run. If you want to be a Knight in Shining Armor, contact a reputable rescue in your area.
 

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JacksAndLabs said:
labloverus said:
Just realize this...Who is going to take care of that cute puppy you passed up? They deserve to have a great family and it isn't the puppy's fault that they were bred by people connected to a BYB.
That's the exact viewpoint byb's and puppymillers want you to have  ::) You should never feel like you're "rescueing" a puppy from a breeder. If you do, run. If you want to be a Knight in Shining Armor, contact a reputable rescue in your area.
my thoughts exactly
 

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I went out of this thread because I wasn't going to contribute to the controversy apparently about to brew up and over, but I just have to say something.

Let me preface this by saying that we just spent $1200 on our puppy for all the reasons that those on the side of not supporting BYB and puppy mills are supporting - the breed standard, the possibility of a heathier, longer living member of our family etc., so I totally am on your side....but,

I just want to state that it bothers me that BYB's are being lumped in with puppy mills, for all the same reasons that racist statements bother me. Not all BYB's are greedy and in it for the money - puppy mills on the other hand are obviously in it for the money; all one needs to do is walk onto their property and see the state of the runs and the physical affects on the bitches bred over and over again, to see this money hunger.

BYB's may be ignorant; they may be breeding without health certifications or without studying the genetics and bloodlines - i.o.w - breeding with Joe's male down the street because he is just gorgeous - but there is a world of difference between one who breeds for that reason & the one who breeds the 30 - 40 dogs in his "kennels" putting out 30 or more litters a year.

But, I disagree with lumping all BYB's into the category of ignorant breeding as well. I guess what I'm saying is two part:

1) yes, do your research and if you find an ad in the paper for a litter from a BYB - don't automatically assume that they are of the ignorant portion of the group - your research could reveal that they have done the genetic and health testing neccessary and are working with a reputable breeder to learn the ropes - or you could find that they did in fact breed with Joe's male down the street!

2) I would like to see a distinction made between BYB's and puppy mills and not have them so often lumped in together. I know all the reasons against BYB's (ignorance of bloodlines and health testing etc.) but it just isn't fair in my mind to lump those who made an uneducated choice to breed their ***** with the ones who choose to do it purely for the numbers and the money that can be made from each puppy sold.

We too ended up in a puppy mill on our search for Callie.....this owner was one who followed the bare minimums of legal regulations for his property....we walked away...heartbroken for the puppies we just visited....and this kennel was name dropping just as the one you visited.....several professional football players owned this kennel's puppies.......Our patience did in the end reward us with the daughter of a Eukanuba Champion....so your patience in the end will pay off!

Anyway, I don't want to start an argument, I just thought I'd put in my thoughts on BYB's being categorized with puppy mills.....cuz everytime I read it, I get a knot in my stomach at the genralization.

Should I duck and run now?
 
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