Any thoughts on Broadleaf Gundogs (Labrador breeders)?

(24 Posts)
FirstTimeDogParent Thu 15-Aug-19 15:55:35

After much reading and planning, we’re getting a lab puppy. We’ve got a first choice breeder in the bag but need a couple of back ups in case the litters don’t turn up or it falls through for whatever reason; either the dams miss their season,or the litters are too small (first come, first served, so we miss the boat because we were 5th on the list but there were only 3 pups), or there were no boys (we want a dog) etc.

I’m looking at Broadleaf gundogs. Their studs look good in terms of health testing, good hips and elbows and genetic issues. Temperament is discussed along with trainability. Ours would be a family pet which they mention on the site, so they aren’t just providing 100% working dogs.

Has anyone got any experience or opinions of these breeders, good or bad?

(I’m also on Champdogs waitlist alerts and have Wylanbriar & Drakeshead puppy lists saved in my favourites)

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babyblackbird Fri 16-Aug-19 08:04:29

We got our lab pup from there 5 years ago and he's been an absolute dream. Slept through from the first night and settled in really well. They do quite a bit of socialisation with them before they go off to their families. He's always been in perfect health.

I know someone else by complete coincidence who also got their lab from them and they have been similarly happy.

babyblackbird Fri 16-Aug-19 08:07:20

Ps amazing temperament too. V calm and steady. He has just been for a week with a new dog sitter who absolutely adored him and has already asked to have him back as soon as possible.

FirstTimeDogParent Fri 16-Aug-19 12:08:21

Thanks babyblackbird

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GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 16-Aug-19 16:57:54

I'm not being arsey here, I'm just asking if you understand the difference between a show-line Labrador and a working-line one. The workers are much more full on and can run riot if not given enough training and enough to. There is one where I often walk my dogs who is frankly a pain in the butt - a lovely dog but manic and out of control.

If you know this, than all is good and good luck!

FirstTimeDogParent Fri 16-Aug-19 17:04:00

Thanks Grumpy, we are aware of the character differences between the two types.

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babyblackbird Fri 16-Aug-19 17:34:30

Ha ha ha yes ours from Broadleaf is a working lab and we always joke that it was a good job he didn't work as he is sooooo lazy. The breeders kept one from our litter to add to their working pack and I think they would have been v disappointed with ours ! So not all "working" dogs are necessarily hard work and it is how you bring them up aswell.


Wolfiefan Fri 16-Aug-19 17:37:45

They look the type of set up I would want to avoid. They sell off ex breeding bitches. I would expect all dogs to be kept in kennels. Bitches exist just to make them money. A business one better than a puppy farmer.
I would only consider a breeder who was breeding for reasons other than cold, hard cash.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 16-Aug-19 18:23:38

we are aware of the character differences
Cool, good! I didn't want you blundering in and getting a turbo-charged handful when you'd expected a loyal, amiable, plodder (not saying all show-line labs are like that, but a lot of them are).

If kennels have FB pages, it's worth checking them out. That can give you an idea of what they do with their dogs and how they handle them. I checked out our breeder's personal page and saw him meeting up with earlier puppies and their owners for a day in the field.

Fucksandflowers Sat 17-Aug-19 11:01:44

I would always go working over show bred. Always.

You can very easily have an award winning show dog with spot on confirmation and horrible, horrible temperament but it's not so easy to find an outstanding working dog with horrible temperament.

Especially in a working Labrador which is expected to be working alongside large groups of dogs and people.
They have to have a good temperament in order to be a good working dog.

(Properly) bred working dogs might be high energy in that they have lots of stamina and can go forever but I find them far more stable dogs overall.

And wolfiefan although I dislike the idea of keeping dogs in kennels, you'll find that the overwhelming majority of working gun dog breeders, security dog breeders and quite a few working sheepdog farmers keep their dogs outside in kennels.
It's not necessarily a sign of a bad breeder.

Fucksandflowers Sat 17-Aug-19 11:05:43

when you'd expected a loyal, amiable, plodder (not saying all show-line labs are like that, but a lot of them are)

And I have yet to meet a healthy show bred Labrador that isn't batshit crazy bouncing around all over the shop.
The only amiable, plodder along types I've seen have been either mega obese or mega old.
All the aggressive labs I've met I've been show type as well.

Medievalist Sat 17-Aug-19 11:05:45

If you want a family pet, we've had two dogs from here and they are absolutely wonderful -

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 17-Aug-19 12:39:52

@Fucksandflowers, SIL had a show lab that was a plodder from the off. My dogs also encounter a young show-line lab out walking and while he does bounce about a bit, he cannot keep up the pace for more than about 20 mins and soon goes back to plodding. But others we see are more energetic.

Show-line labs are just not bred to go all day the way the workers are, IME.

Browniebronze Sat 17-Aug-19 12:42:38

I have a show lab and much prefer him to the working types. Seen too many sly, crazy ones. Mine's most definitely a loyal amiable plodder!

Having said that i wouldnt get another lab, purely because of the shedding!

Browniebronze Sat 17-Aug-19 12:44:15

He's very fit, runs around the countryside for hours but is as happy with a short walk. He's got the nicest personality of any dog I've ever met. My friends working labs are not nice dogs.

FirstTimeDogParent Mon 19-Aug-19 16:06:31

Thanks all for your inputs. Food for thought.

My first choice breeder is very much the opposite to Broadleaf. She only breeds when she wants to continue the line for her own purposes (wants another dog to compete/work), rather than for commercial purposes. She doesn’t have ‘kennels’, the dogs are reared in a home environment and the bitches are kept after they have outlived their breeding usefulness, as they are primarily much loved family pets. She is active and well known in the dog world as a judge and a board member (right term?!) of her regional breed club. She adores her own dogs and really cares about the future of the breed as a whole. I’ve been to the house and met all of her girls (she has 3 bitches - field & show), had a very long chat (grilling!) and feel happy that she is a good choice. The only problem is that her planned litter (which will be dual purpose - mum is 100% field) isn’t going to be ready until late spring 2020 (all being well) and I am not top of the waitlist, so I need a plan B.

Taking into account what I’ve read here and more reading around and speaking to breeders, I think I’ll skip Broadleaf. I’m sure they produce excellent dogs but I’m not sure they’re right for us. Perhaps they are a little far off the ethos of my 1st choice breeder for me to be truly comfortable.

I have shortlisted another breeder who fits the ethos much more, keeps her retired dams, home reared puppies, very dog focused, transparent in terms of information and encourages visits, doesn’t breed every year, doesn’t overbreed her bitches (3 litters maximum over her lifetime), chooses sires carefully, considering health, conformation and temperament compatibility.

Believe me, I have obsessed and tied myself in knots trying to find the right breeder and right litter. It is not easy. The more you read, the less you know!

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Wolfiefan Mon 19-Aug-19 16:28:06

It’s a complete minefield. Keep fingers crosssd for a pup from your first choice. Sounds perfect.

FirstTimeDogParent Mon 19-Aug-19 16:37:08

Thanks Wolfie, you’re not wrong. I’m content that I have first choice and second choice in the bag now. They are v similar in terms of ethos and so I’d be very happy to take a puppy from either. Fingers crossed 🤞

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Wolfiefan Mon 19-Aug-19 18:28:24

I will keep it all crossed for you. I’m on a list too. Hoping for another dog next year. blush

FirstTimeDogParent Mon 19-Aug-19 18:58:57

Fingers crossed for both of us. I may seek you out for puppy advice in the near future grin

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Wolfiefan Mon 19-Aug-19 21:20:37

My dog is my first puppy. It was a VERY steep learning curve. grin
There’s a fab group called dog training advice and support that has files on bringing a pup home and toilet training and recall etc. They’re fab. All force free and reward based.

FirstTimeDogParent Mon 19-Aug-19 21:24:12

Sounds good, where can I find that? Is it a Facebook thing, so many of these things seem to be?

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Wolfiefan Tue 20-Aug-19 08:30:54

I’m a twit. I meant to say it was. blush

KatinAus Mon 05-Oct-20 11:08:01

Would you be able to share the breeders you found? I am looking for a breeder for a lab at the moment and the ethos you describe here is exactly what I’m looking for too. Thank you 🙏

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