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Thinking of getting a lab puppy...some questions!

(14 Posts)
Ninjamouse Tue 15-Jul-14 08:14:27

We're thinking and looking at the moment. I grew up with gundogs (golden and flat coats) so as a type I'm very used to them.
There are 2 litters we're looking at, one breeder is really emphasising that theres are working ones, they'd like them to go to a home where they will be worked even a little bit. No this is something we have discussed doing but neither of us has ever done it before, so there's a chance we could start, not go very often, or not like it, not be very good etc. Would this be a very bad idea? We're a very active family and are planning on doing a lot of walking, swimming etc, but would the possible lack of working it cause problems-boredom etc?
I'll think of other questions in a bit!

TheGoshawk Tue 15-Jul-14 11:31:59

Working labs in very active families are fine. They are very different to show types though, just make sure your tennis ball throwing is up to scratch!

Toooldtobearsed Tue 15-Jul-14 13:15:18

Mine has a working dad and a show mum. He is the spitting image of his dad, so definitely more a working type. At 8 months old, he is a ball of energy, but very easy to train and eager to please - so you should have no issuessmile

muttynutty Tue 15-Jul-14 13:21:29

Working dogs generally need to use their brain rather than just exercise. So if you can build that into your daily life you will not problem. You may go out for a 2 hour walk but a working breed can come back ready for more action - this would then need to be channelled into an activity that requires thinking.

It could be gundog work - which need not be on a formal meet but picking up and retrieving dummies , blind and seen for example

It may be agility, obedience, scent work or even trick training. The gundogs can be trained to do a lot around the house eg as an assistance dog and this could be added to the dogs training. Empty washing machines, fetched named items, open close internal doors etc.

A good working lab is up there with the most intelligent dogs and can be a dream to train - it makes an unhappy dog if that skill is not utilised.

muttynutty Tue 15-Jul-14 13:22:06

you will not problem = you will not have a problem (Sorry!)

ChittinIt Tue 15-Jul-14 13:23:19

I have a 12 week old lab pup. He's incredibly intelligent and gorgeous!

soddinghormones Tue 15-Jul-14 13:55:04

Working labs are absolutely gorgeous (much nicer than show types IMO - sorry if I've offended any show lab owners out there)

As long as you keep them busy mentally and physically you'll be fine

Dpup's breed is one which doesn't have a split between working and show lines so needs to have a 'job' to keep happy - his energy levels are much higher than those of the show-type labs we meet but tbh I prefer that - and knew to expect it

Toooldtobearsed Tue 15-Jul-14 15:07:44

Agree with keeping their brains active, we do a lot of hide and seek, retrieving 'lost' objects etc.,

I did get him the puzzle toys for dogs, but as he figured them all out within seconds, was a complete waste of money.

He is also very good a tidying up. Any clothing left in the bathroom is magically transported into the bedroom and arranged neatly (not), on the bedroom floor. Lost a shoe? It will have been lined up by the back door, and as for the cat? He will be exercised to within an inch of his life before being given a thorough 'grooming' which he loves.

He also patrols the chicken enclosure, keeps an eye on 'his' girls and assists the window cleaner by forcing his wash rags into his hands.

He dusts all surfaces with his tail and is particularly good at cleaning the kitchen floor at food prep time.

A very useful dog. If I could just train him to run the hoover around and do the ironing, he would be perfect grin

LadyTurmoil Tue 15-Jul-14 16:04:50

Have you considered a rescue pup rather than buying from a breeder? There are many about ... ok, you can't health test the parents etc but there are some cracking dogs around. Just look at Snoopy (and see if you can resist!)

Toooldtobearsed Tue 15-Jul-14 17:38:49

I volunteer at a dog rescue, nothing much, just dog walking Nd socialisation, so would highly recommend, IF it is right for you.
I have chickens and a cat to consider, so a puppy was the perfect fit for us, bullied by all the others from the start grin
In this area, we have very, very few puppies, they are usually young dogs, but tend to be lurchers, malumites, staffies. All nice dogs and perfect for someone, but not for me.

I am a huge supporter of getting a dog from rescue, if there is a good fit, but do not think anyone should feel guilty for using a reputable breeder.

daisydotandgertie Tue 15-Jul-14 22:54:03

It depends what 'working' type actually means.

It is entirely possible the breeder with working dogs who is keen to see them go to working homes is breeding down trial based lines. If she is, I don't think that litter would be the one to go to a mostly pet based home.

Do you know the names of sire and dam?

Lilcamper Tue 15-Jul-14 23:18:47

I am looking for a pup with FTCH in their pedigree to join my family home. Won't be a problem because we are active, I do clicker and trick training, agility and generally keep a dog suitably busy.

jahm123 Wed 16-Jul-14 09:03:04

Hi I don't really think it will be a problem taking a puppy that was from "working parents". I live in Scotland and have had plenty of exposure to working dogs and their owners who have bred them. I personally have black labs born to working parents. The key really is ensuring they have plenty of stimulation in their life and get plenty of opportunity to exercise which it sounds like you will be offering - rather like children they have tonnes of energy and need to to be knackered out each day. In terms of actually working the dog depending on where you live if you did decide this was something you want to pursue and depending on what your views are there would be opportunities to "pick up " at local shoots. Possibly this would provide a happy medium.

The other key think is decent training when they are a puppy will also really help the dog fit into the home and ensure that you remain in control. There is a great one called The Experts Guide To Puppy Training on Kindle which is worth a look.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Ninjamouse Wed 16-Jul-14 10:28:34

Thank you so much for all your replies, our decision was really made for us as we wanted a bitch and the last one from the breeder who really emphasised the need of a working home was reserved whilst we were debating. But we have decided to go with the pup from the other breeder (still has working lines in her) and we pick her up on Sunday! We are very excited! Please impart all your important lab knowledge to me smile especially regarding training and ways to reduce any possible separation anxiety (not that we'll be leaving her for any length of time-I'm at home nearly all the time!)
And also name suggestions please!

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