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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The deal is I'm talking to a hobby breeder and everything about him, the way he raised and took care of his litter, the way he handled the probing questions I asked him were all superb. Since he lives quite far away from me I've only seen the male yellow pup he bred through pictures he sent along with pictures of the dam (the sire was a stud) and we've only talked over the phone. The pup looks perfect, is beautiful and I'm very inclined to get him but he falls short of my ideal pup that looks more like the ones I see around this message board. Should I get this one and eventually get the chubby looking pup after a couple of years or should I still wait it out in hopes that that pup I've been idealizing in my head would eventually come?

You've all been helpful with my first dilemma and I hope you'd be able to help me with this one. How did you know that the pup or dog you have now was the one you were looking for despite the fact you had something else in mind? :-X
 

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I did a lot of research before choosing my breeder. She also came recommended from other breeders who were not expecting a litter when I had wanted.

1. parents - clearances, championships, THIER LOOKS, kennel conditions
2. breeders reputation.
3. thier morals, values - the fact that thier was a puppy questionnaire and that she cared about where her dogs were going.
4. written health guarantee and above documents
5. Canadian Kennel Club registered
6. The fact that the breeder was a registered member in good standing with the CKC
7. microchipping, tatooing, dew claw removal
 

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I am not expert and others will give you good advise. I think it depends on what you are looking for as far as looks go. Obviously if you are looking to show or breed the look will make a big difference.
If it is to be a pet then if it has slight faults such as a spot on its chest, or slightly wavy streak on the back as Kassa did, then as long it has been well bred and the breeders look after their dogs well that is fine.

If this is your first dog then wait until you get the puppy you want. You will know it. If you settle for 2nd best you will always want more.

For me my family wanted a black Lab. I didn't. No black dog and not a big dog. No. We asked the kennel club (for registered breeders only) for names of breeders in my area.
I went to look. A little black puppy came up to us and $700.00 later I was at home with a beautiful black Lab. She had no food, no bed, nothing, but I fell in love. We all fell in love with her from the moment we saw her.

Ernie is her littermate. I adopted him 2 years ago after Kassy died. He wasn't my ideal dog, but being part of my beloved Kassa I couldn't sleep at night not knowing what happened to him. He has serious H.D.

I understand where you are coming from. I have been looking for another pup fopr over a year, but have doubts so have left it. One was perfect and I really wanted her. but for me Ernie came first.

Sorry to ramble, but hope I have helped. Don't rush into it. I did, but was lucky it was a good breeder.

 

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Rider was bought on a whim. Back Yard Breeder. Great dog....love him like there is no tomorrow. He has slight hip displaysia. Doesn't matter. Rookie comes from a good breeder who does health clearances on her dogs, competes actively and breeds to wonderful stud dogs. I have been looking for over a year when I came upon Rookie's litter. I am going to show, but if you want a good dog then you have to do your research.
 

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For us, temperament was the #1 thing in looking for a puppy. It had to meet the standard for lab temperament. When we went to see puppies, we spent a lot of time first with the mom, and the grandmother of the puppies (they met us at the front door, tails wagging). They had wonderful temperaments, both of them. They were good-looking labs, too, which was great, but that was secondary.

The owner of the stud came while we were there, and talked to us about him, too (we had read about him previously on their website). Even though he's a bench type instead of a field type, he has his SH, and a few other titles/certificates.

With all of that, we were convinced a puppy would have very good temperament, which he does. :)
 

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After going through the trauma and horrific ordeal we did with our first lab, my number 1 consideration by far was health clearances. So I got all the names of the reputable breeders in the area and started calling. I could tell within the first 2 minutes of the conversation if they were the kind of breeder I was looking for. There was a certain attitude in their voice.....the dogs were absolutely #1 to them.....a very subjective factor, but important none the less.

So healthy pups and reputable breeder were what I was looking for. If you have a good breeder that puts the dogs' best interersts first, then all the other factors take care of themselves. YOu can trust whatever your breeder says. It's a confidence factor. All you have to do is wait for like you said, your "perfect puppy," the right color, sex, size, temperament. You'll know when you find the puppy....it will click. Tell the breeder what you want in a dog....companion, show, hunting, etc.....and that will help tremendously.

Meeting the parents is also helpful, but since you live a distance away, that is probably not possible. Just get as much info on the parents as you can.

But, in my opinion, if you're researching and putting that much work into finding a puppy, I wouldn't get one until that "click" happened....until you were able to say without reservation, "THAT'S what I'm looking for!"

Good luck. ;D
 

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I'm Gabby's dad :)

1. Vet recommendation
2. Other puppy buyers recommendation
3. Trainer's recommendation
4. Other breeder's recommendation
5. Breeder's experience
6. His program- in general
7. the parents
8. health certs
9. What I saw his dogs doing at local obedience and hunt trials.
10. The way I saw his dogs behaving around his grandchildren
11. The lab club recommendation
12. His interview
13. His knowledge/familiarity with his dogs

These are not in order- just off the top of my head.
 

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We had just moved to Syracuse and got the name of our breeder from a breeder back home who she trades dogs with. I was obvious that she cared very much about her dogs. The stud was from Kentucky so we never met him just pictures, but we did meet Babs, Oona's mother. We told the breeder what our lifestyle was like, no children or other animals, and based on that information she chose Oona for us. At first I thought that was odd, but after I thought about it, it made perfect sense. The breeder had been around the puppies for 2 months, I had seen them for 5 minutes, and my choice would have been based completely on looks. The breeder did a personality test on the puppies when they were about 6 weeks old. She said that Oona was a little hesitant and shy and in a house where she would get all of the attention she would come out of her shyness. That is exactly what has happened, she is a confident, happy dog. She is more than I could have ever hoped for.
Olie
 

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My first Lab, my beloved Bess came from a show kennel and was AKC but pet quality rather than show because she was the runt of her litter (as an adult she was about 1/2" short on recommended minimum height at the withers plus her hind end was slightly higher than her shoulders). But she was fantastically smart and easy to train.

For my next Lab (Puff), I decided I wanted a yellow instead of black (because of the fierce Kansas summer sun) and also wanted to try a field line rather than a bench line under my mistaken belief that field line Labs were smarter and easier to train.

So I searched for a responsible, actively competing field line breeder and found one about 200 miles away who was/is the president of his region's HT & FT Lab Association. I was inclined to keep looking because his Labs mature at about 80-90 lbs and I wanted a smaller one. Then I saw Puff -- the runt of her litter and only half the weight of her littermates (6 lbs. vs. 12 @ 9 weeks). Her size and the parellel with Bess made the decision for me.

Perhaps the conditions producing less weight also affected Puff's intelligence?

After experience training the two, Bess and Puff, I'd rank Bess's "IQ" as about 135-140 and Puff's at about 95. I think Puff was significantly more hyper and needed more daily exercise than Bess did during their first several years.
 

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You have been given some good advice.

In the breeder I would look for:

--- Good general knowledge on the breed. They should be able to answer ALL of your questions. Make sure you ask plenty.

-- Experience. How much experience does/he she have? what are their breeding practices? how many litters have they bred? do they own a stud dog or go elsewhere? do they provide a contract/full registration/pedigree certificate?

-- Achievements. Are the dogs titled/proved in any way?

-- Health clearances. Essential. I would run a mile from a breeder who did not provide clearances.

-- Clean surroundings. Where are the dogs housed? indoors? outdoors? are the living areas in excellent condition? what are the dogs fed on? how are they exercised?

-- The breeders dogs. Are they friendly? good examples of the breed temperament wise? do they come up and greet you? are they in top condition?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks! Thanks for all the tips!

I'm slowly learning to ask the right questions, one of which was patient enough to answer. He's the breeder I mentioned in my post above. He's been patiently answering all my questions which turn out to be mostly good but I'm asking for more pictures of the sire, dam, and pup so I could a lot more details than the one he sent me plus some health certificate from the pup's vet, which I told him is different from the vaccination records (sellers here usually think they're one and the same since a lot of prospective pet quality buyers don't ask for one).
 

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dweck said:
We put 1,000% effort into choosing the right breeder and then let her pick the pup for us.
Same here!
 

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Did you get clearances for hips, elbows and eyes? To me, that is the most important thing if you're going to buy a puppy. I'm speaking from personal experience having to watch my 4 year old female suffer with elbow dysplasia - having spent well over $2000 now on her arthroscopic surgery. We got hips and eyes but not elbows. Temperament was also very important to me. If you're not getting these clearances, then I would go to the local shelter or rescue group and save a puppy from them.
 

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Well I wanted a Lab after my Cocker Spaniel died, I wanted a dedicated companion who I could Hunt with, fish with, travel with, hike with, go to the beach with, wrestle with, play ball with, throw a frizzbee with, swim with, walk with, run with, teach to(my kids are outa here!!!!!)someone to go to work with, and so on, and so on, I wanted a Lab because I felt the breed would really fit my life style, I was going 2 go to a shelter and try and save oneWell the day after Father's day last year I received my wish......An eight week old black Lab mix we call Jagermeister, the kicker here is, my daughter just up and went to someones house and picked him out without my consent,(she knew I was lonely) she told me her deciding factor was one thing........he's the first one that ran up to her saying "pick me!!pick Me!!!"

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I didn't go through a kennel, in fact it was the guys first litter. But the dog had amazing blood lines and he knew everything about them. The other factor that was important to me was that he had young kids who constantly played with the pups, she is only 9 weeks, but loves kids. If she has to choose between me or neighborhood kids there is no comparison, and I love a dog that has the desire to be loved by everyone. She also has a great pedigree so it was a no brainer and I couldn't be happier. Get to know the guy, keep calling, if he gets annoyed I'd say he isn't interested in finding a GREAT home for his pups, but if you keep hearing the right things go for it. The "perfect" pup may not exist, and if you can find a good dog from good stock, that has been well cared for and socialized what else can you ask, the rest is up to you.
 

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Everyone here has already given the advice I would give. I got my first dog at fifteen: I'd been reading up on picking the right pup along with everything else to do with dog ownership for a year, as my dad granted the long dreamed of puppy with one condition: that I would learn to sew. So while that dress was coming along I was dreaming and planning of my perfect pup. We went over the "don't make any hasty decisions" right up to arriving. But when I saw those pups finally, all good intentions flew out the window. Honey came home with us that night. Now I got lucky. If you asked me now I'd say I don't for one minute regret choosing Honey. She was the best first dog anybody could ask for. She suffered all the mistakes of my first experience with training but is remarkably well-behaved. My biggest regret is encouraging the seller -a back yard breeder essentially, where the pups were not well socialized; I remember she had lots of fleas and the pups were cooped up in a relatively small kennel. Due largely, I believe, to miminal early socialization, she has never been outgoing as I dreamt of in a dog but as a pup was fearful agressive - barking at everyone. With age she has grown tolerant of people she recognizes but still barks at everyone else. I suppose this "watchdog" quality might be a looked for trait in some instances, but it caused a lot of disappointment and worry when she was a pup. So definitely, don't make spur of the moment decisions when what you choose now will affect you for years to come.
 
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