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Questions to ask breeder?

(18 Posts)
Genieinalamp Sun 12-Jan-14 20:22:14

We are going to meet a breeder at the weekend who has a pregnant Labrador bitch. What questions should we ask? TIA

Genieinalamp Sun 12-Jan-14 20:22:55

Forgot to include:

What should we be looking out for?

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Sun 12-Jan-14 20:25:18

Has the Sire and Dam been tested for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Hip Dysplasia and if so, what are the scores?

daisydotandgertie Sun 12-Jan-14 21:59:25

Labs should be elbow and hip scored, eyes should be checked and clear and the dog should also have a clear DNA test for GPRA. The hip and elbow scores are done once in a dogs lifetime, but the eye test is like an MOT and the certificate must be dated within the year.

Scores should all be verified on the KC website. Do not take the breeders word for the results.

Mine are also genetically tested for EIC.

With regard to the bitch, look at where she is kept, how she reacts to you, what care the breeder is putting into her and her pregnancy - is she giving any supplements and ask how she plans to socialise the puppies when they are born - will they be in the house?

Ask about the father - where is he, why did they chose him as the sire - what were they hoping he would bring to their line.

Ask on here if you are concerned about anything.

needastrongone Mon 13-Jan-14 09:37:37

See the paperwork for all the KC element and for all the health tests.

All the things daisy said well.

The breeder should be will to give you lifetime advice, be willing to be responsible for the pup should you be unable to keep it, for whatever reason.

You might want to ask why they are breeding? Essentially, it should be because they wish to retain a puppy for themselves and be for temperament and breed conformity. Not so much this if working lines, differing reasons. Our breeder of the pup we pick up on Saturday works his dogs, so he wanted a pup from this bitch as she is excellent in the field, not sure he's so fussed about her looks smile

You might ask about visiting the pups often, maybe photo updates and videos, not essential but nice anyway.

Little things can be nice too - our springer goes to his breeder if we go away without him, so he visits his mum and gran smile Again, not essential, but it shows she cares.

needastrongone Mon 13-Jan-14 09:41:30

Oh - both of our pups were micro-chipped in the breeders name, which links in to lifetime responsibility, but I don't think this is essential, just a sign of taking the job seriously.

Genieinalamp Mon 13-Jan-14 12:41:13

Thank you very much for your replies, they are very helpful.

I'm a bit concerned as I've checked out the hip score for the dam and it's 25/36=61. There are also no eye scores on the kennel club website.

As far as I'm aware the breeder is very reputable & was recommended through a friend of a friend. They breed show dogs - we want a healthy family dog with an excellent temperament, not a show dog! I can't understand why you would breed with those hip scores??? Also, I can't find any scores for the Sire. He is from the USA and I was told he was chosen because they wanted fresh blood in the line. I'm new to this & quite confused. Please can anyone help?

middleclassonbursary Mon 13-Jan-14 14:00:12

The breeder of our puppy asked us hundreds of question including completing a questionnaire and insisted on photos of my house and garden (she was 400 miles away so a home visit wasn't realistic). I felt that initially she was not falling over herself to sell me one until she was absolutely convinced we were genuine and could offer the dog a good home. We were then asked to drive yo her house to meet mum and the puppy when he was 6 weeks old where more questions were asked, she very proudly showed me all the health screens on the parents that should be done for the breed and carefully explained what it meant, also photos and show record of dad (who she didn't own) and mum who she obviously did own grand parents great grand parents etc show records. Only then were we approved and we paid a returnable deposit. The puppy had been checked over twice by a vet before we brought him home.
Most importantly she and I signed a contract if for any reason I can't keep him she will take him back no questions asked, I mustn't re home he any other way and she offers a life time of back up and support.
The breeder is a prominent member of the UK breed club who on their website details their prime ambition is to obviously breed good examples of the breed but they must also be happy healthy dogs who make outstanding family pets.
It suppose it seems a lot of agro in a way but he's currently stretched out on our sofa he is all he is meant to be.

Genieinalamp Mon 13-Jan-14 14:23:45

Middleclass - that's obviously a very good sign! Can I ask you the name of your breeder please? Maybe you could send me a private message?

The breeder we are looking at wants to meet us too before she'll consider if we're suitable for one of her pups. We absolutely want to make sure we find the right breeder/dog and don't mind travelling.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 13-Jan-14 17:08:13

A hip score of 61 is huge for a Labrador. Off the top of my head the Labrador mean score is 10 and it is only recommended to breed from dogs with a score lower than this.

daisydotandgertie Mon 13-Jan-14 19:38:40

Holy shit. That hip score is enormously high and certainly she shouldn't be bred from. If you like you can PM me the name of dam and sire and I will do a bit of research; or either of them.

What sort of labrador are you looking for? Happy, confident, healthy family pet? Do you have a colour preference or do you love all colours?

I can definitely point you in the direction of a number of fabulous labrador breeders with litters planned, if you like.

Genieinalamp Mon 13-Jan-14 21:04:03

Thanks Daisy & Lonecat. Looks like this isn't the litter for us then hmm.

I have sent you a PM Daisy. Thank you.

LadyTurmoil Tue 14-Jan-14 21:15:47

Would you consider a Lab rescue puppy? There are loads of them in rescues around the UK and abroad. Puppies, slighter old, all colours, many in foster so you can get a good assessment of their behaviour etc.

eightytwenty Wed 15-Jan-14 11:19:15

Marking place as we've had it in mind to get a grandchild from the nicest dog we know (lab bitch). Owners are about to breed so good to know some of the questions to ask.

Do you get the hip and eye score from both the sire and bitch and the puppy too? Know the female line and have no concerns but guess we need to check the male line.

Out of interest how many weeks have the puppies been when you got them?

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 15-Jan-14 13:12:53

Eighty you should be get eye, hip and ideally elbow scores from both parents. The puppy won't have them yet as they are too young.

eightytwenty Wed 15-Jan-14 14:02:52

Thanks lone.

daisydotandgertie Wed 15-Jan-14 16:57:05

I would also want to know that both parents are not carriers of EIC, CNM or CPRA.

Eye tests are all very well, but while they are an excellent tool for proving whether a dog is affected by eye disease, they do not indicate whether or not a dog is a carrier of eye disease.

Eye tests are either affected or unaffected and must be repeated annually - much like an MOT certificate. Do not accept an out of date certificate.

For a puppy to be affected by any of these genetic problems, both parents need to be either affected or an unaffected carrier of a defective gene. So, in my view one of the parents needs to be genetically tested clear for each condition.

The ideal time to take a puppy from its parents is at 8 weeks old.

eightytwenty Wed 15-Jan-14 18:51:58

Thanks daisy. Great advice and much appreciated.

Timing may be a little later due to family holiday and heat timing. But so want one of these puppies as opposed to any lab. Fate was sealed when the grandmother flushed out the family pet rabbit from dense bushes and carried her out alive with her soft mouth. So lovely.

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