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Chocolate Labradors!!

(18 Posts)
Enchanted Tue 25-Mar-03 21:45:25

Anyone know where I can find a breeder of Chocolate Labradors we would like to get one to join our family. DS age 2.5, anyone know anything about their temprement etc?

Chiccadum Tue 25-Mar-03 21:53:36

I'll make enquiries for you but my friend has got one and he is very very soft and loveable,he is very mild mannered

Gilli Tue 25-Mar-03 22:11:26

Oh dear - I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but there are a LOT of them in Kent where I walk my dog. Most have first class temperaments, and are brilliant family dogs, BUT are boisterous, very very lively and can be very stubborn. They need lots of excercise, a very well fenced garden (or freedom fencing)and firm handling. If you have toddlers you may find the work involved too much. I know of two choc labs recently who have been rehomed. Down here there is a charity called Labrador Rescue who will fill you in on the problems people encounter - usually when the dog is between 12 and 18 months old.

The Kennel Club's website has a lot of information on each breed, including the amount of grooming, excercise and feeding each dog needs. I found it useful when researching our needs in a dog.

JaneyT Wed 26-Mar-03 09:18:18

Enchanted

I had a choc lab - who is now 11, and spends a lot of time since we had the children at my mum and dads !

When she was a lot younger she had quite an unusual temperament for a labrador - if anyone came to stroke her she would bark at them, and it really was getting quite a problem.

Now she is older she doesn't do this, but she was always a very 'spirited' dog, who you would still think was 2/3 years old.

She is also very tolerant of our children (aged 2 and 3).

Someone told me once that choc labs do have a more feisty personality - that may well be rubbish but was true for us.

A word of warning - chewing !! Most labradors will ruin your kitchen - eat skirting board, architrave, cupboards, cloths, shoes, anything really - and they do need a lot of exercise, and vaccinations, worming, de-fleaing etc.

To be honest it is quite a relief that since dd2 was born, that Hattie spends more time at my parents......oh and did I mention blocking the hoover with all the hairs !!

Hope I haven't totally put you off, but dogs are quite a handful, BTW I got her from a breeder in Derbyshire.

oxocube Wed 26-Mar-03 09:42:43

I was interested to see this thread as our children have been asking for a dog for a few years now. For the last 15 years we have had cats, but as ds will soon be 8 and is very responsible, we *may* consider getting a dog in about a year's time. We would probably not look for a puppy but the dog would obviously have to be good with children and tolerate cats (if our old dears are still alive by then!).

Dh and I both love dogs too, but have relatively little experience of owning one. Does anyone have any ideas on which breeds would be worth considering or which are best avoided given our circumstances? Would a 'Heinz 57' be a good option? We would prefer to buy a dog from a charity or rescue. We are moving soon and our new house has a small garden and is close to parks and lots of suitable walks for dogs, but I wouldn't want to spend 3 hours a day exercising one!!. Any dog experts out there?

Alibubbles Wed 26-Mar-03 10:17:19

My family - DS and DD then 13 and 14 thought we wanted a dog. DH was not too sure.

I saw an advert in out local paper for puppy walkers for the GDBA and this seemed like a good idea (at the time) We would be fully supported through the first year, help with discipline etc and then we would find out if we really wanted a dog after a year when we had to give her up.

We felt as though we would also be contributing top the community in a little way. They also pay for all vaccinations, food etc. They also board them when you have hols and when the dog is in season.

We took delivery of a 7 week old golden lab, she was gorgeous, we taught her to poo and wee on command by 16 weeks old and could take her anywhere with out risking a whoopsie. I could also take her everywhere, shopping, library, doctors dentist, because of her yellow flash.

She was lovely, she ate the dresser, my shoes, DH's flying glasses, the remote control, cd's, her basket, the cats' basket and rug, the chair legs, the wall, you name it, she ate it!

It was extremely hard work, but vey enjoyable, but a tremendous committment because at the time I was looking after a 4 year old and a 6 year old, so with young children ait is even harder.

The dog has to learn it's place in the hirarchy, so you have to be the main teacher and this is a great responsibility.

It was hard giving her up, but we knew that she was going into training to help somebody and be their eyes and fulfill their life.

I know that I don't want a dog for laife, my twom now 15 and 16 keep asking but they will be off to Uni and DH and I will be left with the dog.

I would puppy walk again, DD and Ds would have one tomorrow, DH takes more convincing and my 3 burmese cats are unanimous about it - NO!!

A freind of mine swept up in the romance of it all decided to have a chocolate lab, ( also from Deryshire) she has three children 3 5 and 7, sadly she had to have him rehomed. He was just too much, she found that when friends came round with children she was constantly having to shut him in the laundry room as other peoples kids freaked out if he appeared. She has a huge house, masses of room and an acre garden but it all became very small when the dog was around.

I think if you have grown up with dogs, it is probably easier to cope with, but a s first generation owner, it was an eye opener.

I would certainly recommend the GDBA puppy walking scheme, it is a good way of finding out if you can cope, because if you can't the dog can be reassigned very quickly, and don't worry they don't seem to be bothered by it ( the dog) , several puppy walkers I met in training had boarded other peoples puppies quite happily.

Think carefully and good luck!

NQWWW Wed 26-Mar-03 10:20:58

Oxocube - personally I'd always go for a Heinz 57 as I believe they generally have better temperaments and less health problems than many "breeds", and there are so many recue dogs out there in need of good homes. I would also go for a bitch over a dog every time, and get her neutered immediately.

We got a lovely bitch from Battersea Dogs Home, and they neutered her for us before we took her home - they don't do it as the dogs come in as most of them get put down as there are not enough homes for them to go to. When we went they had a huge variety of dogs to choose from, and they are very helpful in advising you on dogs to suit your requirements. Where possible they have a description of each dog's background, telling you whether the dog is used to children etc.

slug Wed 26-Mar-03 10:22:05

Sorry, saw the thread title and had mental visions of a solid chocolate dog. Damn diet!

janh Wed 26-Mar-03 10:34:27

Know what you mean, slug - to misquote W C Fields - "I love chocolate labs - couldn't eat a whole one though"!

Meid Wed 26-Mar-03 10:43:07

Me too Slug, I had a look at this thread because I was wondering why chocolate labradors? I'd eat any breed of dog if it was in chocolate!

Rosiemum Sun 30-Mar-03 19:35:02

I have a Chocolate Labrador and a Border Terrier - the lab is absolutely brilliant with our children (now 12 and 14, the dog is 5 years old). I agree that owning any type of dog is a huge commitment and I wouldn't recommend taking on a puppy with babies in the house, but you couldn't ask for a better house dog than our lab. Taking on a puppy is just like having a baby, you have to take the responsibility for looking after them just as seriously!

Our lab is from the Jimjoy line, bred by Anne Coley in Kidderminster. She breeds all colours of lab.

The Border Terrier is 2 years old, and is an equally delightful house dog, if a little more demanding of our attention than the lab. He's an ideal size for a smaller home, but don't be fooled that smaller dogs require less walking - at least an hour a day is required to keep them happy.

We had a bad experience with a rescue dog - a wonderful lurcher named Max who had to be put to sleep at 2 years old because he started becoming aggressive towards children. I would never have another rescue animal, nor would I have another crossbreed. My personal view, and not shared by many, I know.

SamboM Wed 09-Apr-03 14:59:28

We have a 2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback who has been an angel since day 1, she has never chewed anything, never pooed or weed in the house, she has a fantastic temprement and adores our 7 month old baby. And on top of that she needs only about 1hr a day walk (though we often give her much more) and she is very quiet round the house. I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone, but do your research well and get them from somewhere where they have been bred for temprement and have grown up with a family. If anyone's interested I can give you the name of her breeder.

sykes Wed 09-Apr-03 15:28:49

I've always had rescue dogs. One from a puppy and two as dogs. Two male one female. One cross breed, one goodness knows what and a lurcher. found out alot about their background before taking on and all have been brilliant. The lurcher is now 14 and my two dds (3.5 and 17 months) have grown up with her - not sure how it would work if you suddenly introduced a dog to young children and I'd be really wary of getting a puppy. She is SO kind with them and all other children etc - wouldn't have worked if younger as lurchers need masses of exercise (well ours used to) now she's content with two 15 mins every day. Rescue centres are, in my experience, incredibly helpful in finding the right dog for you.

Jaybee Thu 10-Apr-03 13:03:02

Rosiemum - I was going to recommend a Border Terrier to Oxocube as we used to have one - a always describe them as a big dog trapped in a little dog's body.

Rosiemum Mon 21-Apr-03 18:40:42

Border Terriers take a *lot* of beating as house dogs, as long as you realise they need a huge amount of company and a significant commitment to exercise.

Re rescue dogs - I did take a huge amount of advice before taking on my beloved Max, got him through the RSPCA, was home-visited prior to adopting him, and my own kids were 9 and 11 when he joined the family. He never became agressive towards our dd's, but our vet told me I had no option - I agreed. We don't know what the cause of his problem was but the vet suspected a brain tumor. Poor duck had a horrible start in life, but at least he had 18 months of really good quality, happy time with us.

NQWWW Tue 22-Apr-03 15:27:26

Rosiemum - I don't think you should be beating your house-dogs......

Rosiemum Tue 22-Apr-03 17:40:26

Darn it - I knew I was doing something wrong! <grin>

IDismyname Tue 22-Apr-03 23:15:41

We got a Border terrier last Autumn. He's great, and hasn't chewed anything of great value.... a bit off the architrave, a new zip needed for ds's coat. He's a very good dog, and we're happy.
We got him from a breeder who had young children herself, so I knew that the puppies had been exposed to "manhandling" from an early age.
Morally, I would have had a rescue dog, and probably our next one will be, but I wasn't prepared to take a risk with young ones around.
I would say that terriers need quite a bit of training - we've done 2 terms of dog training, and we fail at some things whereas the lab owners seem to communicate with their labs through telepathy.
Getting a dog certanily has made me fitter. I'd agree with at least an hour a day for walks, but during the holidays, it can be hard work with children in tow - we normally manage 20-30 minutes at a snails pace!

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