Need help selecting a lab pup...

Description of your first forum.

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Eric Peters » Sat, 01 Dec 1990 03:56:36



          My wife and I are in the market for a Lab pup, we thought we were
        ready to get one until I saw some of the postings regarding the
        "high-strung lab" problems.  All the lab's I've ever met have been
        relatively calm, extremely friendly dogs; even the dog books don't
        seem to mention this trait in labs.

          We'd like to have a dog (or probably two) mostly for companionship
        and a watchdog; I'll probably want to do some hunting with him, too.  
        How does one detect (and/or avoid) the nervous/antsy labs that
        have been mentioned?  Any other lab buying tips are also appreciated,
        of course.

Thanks for any advice,
Eric
--
Eric Peterson    WB6PYK    
Locus Computing Corporation    (213) 337-5153

{oblio,gryphon,turnkey,attunix}!lcc!eric

 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Martha Bur » Sun, 02 Dec 1990 06:01:39


Some Labrador Retrievers are hyperactive and some are not.  We've
had experience with both types.  The hyper ones are not as easy to
live with.  Lots of daily exercise helps. Obedience training is
especially important and should be completed when the dog is fairly
young.  Neutering (if a male) often helps to calm the dog down.

How does one select a calmer Lab?  No guarantee, but here are a few
suggestions:

1.  If the puppy you are considering has pedigree charts, check the
ancestry carefully.  If it includes dogs who have been field trial
champions, remember that they tend to have a higher energy level.
They have been bred for enthusiasm and endurance.  Choose a dog from
obedience lines if you want a family pet and companion.  They are
usually calmer.

2.  Select the breeder carefully.  You want to be certain that they
are competent, that their dogs are free from health problems
(especially hip problems), but also find out what type of Labs
they specialize in.  I found a local breeder who specializes in
calmer Labs from obedience lines.  These Labs are also stockier in
build than field trial Labs, and have broader skulls with a shorter
muzzle--they look less like a hound.

3.  Try to see both of the puppie's "parents".  Sometimes (not always)
this will be a clue as to the puppy's temperament.

Sometimes it's advantageous to buy an older puppy or young *** dog
because you can't easily tell what a 7 or 8 week old puppy is going to
be like.

Hyper or not, I think Labradors (especially Yellow ones) are great dogs.
(Note to Eric Peterson:  feel free to E-mail me if you'd like more info
or suggestions).  

 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Laura To » Sun, 02 Dec 1990 22:04:10


Quote:

>      My wife and I are in the market for a Lab pup, we thought we were
>    ready to get one until I saw some of the postings regarding the
>    "high-strung lab" problems.  All the lab's I've ever met have been
>    relatively calm, extremely friendly dogs; even the dog books don't
>    seem to mention this trait in labs.

What you met is the norm.  Hyper Labradors are generally the result of
backyard breeding or breeding field trial stock.  It's a shame some
people insist that Labs are high strung dogs, because it generally just
isn't so!  I suspect they met dogs purchased at pet stores or from
people who didn't know what they were doing.  (Someone at work bragged
to me 6 months ago that they bought THEIR Lab for $200 and didn't HAVE
to pay an exorbitant price like I charge.  Several other people have
told me this dog is so hyper they have to leave her in the ba***t
when they have company.)

Quote:

>      We'd like to have a dog (or probably two) mostly for companionship
>    and a watchdog; I'll probably want to do some hunting with him, too.  
>    How does one detect (and/or avoid) the nervous/antsy labs that
>    have been mentioned?  Any other lab buying tips are also appreciated,
>    of course.

Go to a reputable breeder who breeds for health, temperament, and
conformation.  Stay AWAY from the field trial lines.  IMHO also stay
away from the American ***lines, and I've always observed they were
much more energetic than I like.  That may be true partly because the
American line of which I speak was bred for dual purposes, field trial
and conformation.  And then ASK the breeder, make it really clear that
you want a very laid-back pet.  Some breeders like to breed dogs that
are more "up" because they are easy to show.  If you hear something
like that, go elsewhere.

Meet the parents if possible.  If both are calm animals, so should the
pups be.  Since you're in California, I'd suggest you contact Vicki
Blodgett who knows the breeders and the ***lines on the east coast -

Best of luck with your search for a puppy, and THANK you for not condemning
the breed on the basis of a few poorly bred dogs that people posted about.
--
====================================================================
= Laura Toms and Moraine Labradors                    Dublin, Ohio =

====================================================================

 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by A.S. Chamo » Tue, 04 Dec 1990 09:55:09


I had an Alsatian years ago that had to be killed because of hip problems
(aged 5).  
As I educate myself on this network, I am discovering that many breeds
suffer from hip problems.

Why are so many breeds subject to this particular problem?  I don't mean
Is it the fault of man? but rather what is it about our selection
procedures or about dogs that leads to that particular problem. YOu dont
hear about hip displasia in canaries or goldfish or horses or cats.

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Arnold Chamove
Massey University Psychology
Palmerston North, New Zealand

 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Ken Konec » Thu, 06 Dec 1990 23:06:54


Quote:

>Why are so many breeds subject to [ hip dysplasia ]?  I don't mean
>Is it the fault of man? but rather what is it about our selection
>procedures or about dogs that leads to that particular problem. YOu dont
>hear about hip displasia in canaries or goldfish or horses or cats.

Hip dysplasia is primarily found in the larger breeds of dogs, but that is
not to say it smaller dogs are immune. Although it is generally regarded
as a genetic disorder, there is one school of thought that says of a lot
of the hip dysplasia can be prevented through better prenatal nutrition.

In any case, it is primarily man's fault that hip dysplasia flourishes,
although efforts are being made to curtail it.  Man desired larger
animals, but did not stop to ponder the consequences of what the
inbreeding used to yield larger animals would be. Nor did he stop to
consider whether the bone structure of a dog would be able to support a
larger frame. Natural selection probably would have prevented the animals
prone to hip dysplasia from reproducing, but nobody can say for sure.

Cheers,
    -Ken K
--
Ken Konecki
"Eat well, stay fit, and die anyway"

 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Debbie Fore » Fri, 07 Dec 1990 04:40:40


Quote:


>Hip dysplasia is primarily found in the larger breeds of dogs, but that is
>not to say it smaller dogs are immune.

smaller breeds get it as well.  it is just morpe likely to be EVIDENT in
larger breeds.  the smaller dogs can often make up the missing stability
with muscle function.  x-rays may show a little dog that is walking fine to
be much more dysplastic than a large dog that is limping.  
cats likewise are subject to dysplasia.  like the small dog though, cats
usually mask it with muscle function.

Quote:
>In any case, it is primarily man's fault that hip dysplasia flourishes,

yes.  by breeding afflicted animals.

Quote:
>Man desired larger
>animals, but did not stop to ponder the consequences of what the
>inbreeding used to yield larger animals would be.

ken takes a leap of logic...

Quote:
>Nor did he stop to
>consider whether the bone structure of a dog would be able to support a
>larger frame.

ken... the large animals ARE the natural ones.  the tiny ones are the ones
created by much inbreeding.  notice that the wild dogs (wolves, coyotes,
and assorted breeds of pariahs) are all large.  you're gonna say that labs
(around 70 pounds) are dysplastic because they were bred UP from wolves?!?
(> 100 pounds)  
if you were talking ONLY about the giant breeds your arguments might make
sense.  but talking about animals smaller than their ancestors you really
fall short.
 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Michael Thomps » Mon, 10 Dec 1990 16:28:52


Quote:

>      My wife and I are in the market for a Lab pup, we thought we were
>    ready to get one until I saw some of the postings regarding the
>    "high-strung lab" problems.  All the lab's I've ever met have been
>    relatively calm, extremely friendly dogs; even the dog books don't
>    seem to mention this trait in labs.

>      We'd like to have a dog (or probably two) mostly for companionship
>    and a watchdog; I'll probably want to do some hunting with him, too.  
>    How does one detect (and/or avoid) the nervous/antsy labs that
>    have been mentioned?  Any other lab buying tips are also appreciated,
>    of course.

> Thanks for any advice,
> Eric
> --
> Eric Peterson    WB6PYK    
> Locus Computing Corporation    (213) 337-5153

> {oblio,gryphon,turnkey,attunix}!lcc!eric

Eric, my husband and I are lab breeders, and are extremely concerned that
individuals choose well-bred dogs.

In many cases, people refer to labs as "high strung" dogs, when actually they
mean energetic.  Labrador retrievers are bred to endure hours of hunting, retrieving, and swimming (for example, in duck hunting).  Therefore, the dogs
are in need of tremendous amounts of stamina and energy.  When choosing
a puppy, be sure you have the oportunity to examine both parents, and both
parents pedigrees.  When reviewing a pedigree make sure that there is no
inbreeding (father bred to daughter, grandfather to granddaughter).  
A lab pup should be active, alert, and friendly.  The parents should not be
shy or stand-offish.  Labs are very dedicated, gentle, easy-going dogs,
and should have tails waving in the air with enthusiasm.

The breed is a fabulous companion dog.  When you mention "watch dog",
you need to know that a lab will bark, but a well-bred dog won't bite.
One of the things that is very common among "sporting dogs", is their
fondness for chewing.  This is a very natural trait, and it helps if you
remove the object that the puppy should not chew on and replace it with a
rawhide bone.  I always advise all of my customers to keep a good supply
of rawhides on hand because "labs will chew."

The breed is a fabulous breed, and great with children, other pets,
and super companions.  Go for it!

Yolanda Thompson
P. O. Box 7403
Las Cruces, NM   88006

 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Michael Thomps » Mon, 10 Dec 1990 18:16:51


Quote:

> I had an Alsatian years ago that had to be killed because of hip problems
> (aged 5).  
> As I educate myself on this network, I am discovering that many breeds
> suffer from hip problems.

> Why are so many breeds subject to this particular problem?  I don't mean
> Is it the fault of man? but rather what is it about our selection
> procedures or about dogs that leads to that particular problem. YOu dont
> hear about hip displasia in canaries or goldfish or horses or cats.

> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Arnold Chamove
> Massey University Psychology
> Palmerston North, New Zealand

Hi!  I was extremely dissatisfied with the responses you received
to your questions about hip dysplasia.  Let me begin by saying that
we don't know the exact cause of dysplasia.  I have researched the
issue in depth, and the veterinarians with whom I have spoken have
told me that they have seen dogs whose hips were formed perfectly,
and yet the dog couldn't walk.  Then they've seen dogs whose hips
showed all signs of not being able to walk, and they walked fine.
However, for the most part hip dysplasia is when the femur head
does not fit correctly into the hip socket.  

Man has increased the level of hip dysplasia we are seeing because
of inbreeding.  Many "breeders" will breed father to daughter and
grandfather to granddaughter because they want to pass on some
strong traits the dogs have; however, when they do this they also
pass along weak traits.  Due to this inbreeding we are seeing a
great amount of hip dysplasia.  

Cats have hip trouble and horses have hip trouble, but there is a
lower number of people breeding cats, and the horse associations
keep a fairly tight reign on horse breeding.  However, with dogs a
guy has a buddy who has the same breed of dog, and they think it is
profitable to breed, so "let's have a litter." This produces
puppies that whose backgrounds were not well researched and
planned, who might have just an occasional problem with a few
things but not real serious.  Then that dog is bed to another dog
whose background is not well researched and that dog also has an
occasional problem, then those two dogs are bred , and the owner
likes the way one of the male pups looks so he keeps it and breeds
it to mom, and we've deteriorated the breed further.  

I am not trying to say that a good breeder doesn't have a rare
dysplastic dog in his litter, but the key word is "rare."  When you
are choosing a puppy, find out if the breeder has ever had a
dysplastic pup before, find out if any of the dam's litter, or any
of the sire's litter has had hip problems.  Look at the dog's
pedigree, and if you see signs of inbreeding, look for a different
breeder. Once you obtain a pup, "do not overfeed it."

I was once given a Rottweiler *** that was on medication because
of "hip dysplasia."  The dog was approximately twenty pounds over
weight, and when her weight was reduced, she didn't have any hip
problems at all.  Feed quality food.  Do not buy the cheapest dog
food on the market and expect your dog to develop well.  Choose a
dog food, which your veterinarian recommends.  In the previous
responses the people discussed larger dogs having hip problems, but
very often this is due to the fact that the animals were not
provided with a quality dog food during their developing months.  

My sister-in-law purchased a German Shepard pup, and knowing that
they have weak hips I asked her what she was feeding.  When she
told me the name brand I told her that if she wanted that pup to be
able to walk when it was older to change to a quality food.  She
did, and the pup is doing beautifully a year later.  
     Be cautious of calling a dog dysplastic before it is two years
of age.  Al dogs grow in stages:  first their front, and then their
hind quarters.  During these stages it is difficult for a dog to
learn to use its added growth, and it may be uncoordinated and
spastic until the front end catches up.

Good luck with future dogs; I'm sorry about the one you had to have
"put down."

Yolanda Thompson
P. O. Box 7403
Las Cruces, NM   88006

 
 
 

Need help selecting a lab pup...

Post by Ken Konec » Wed, 12 Dec 1990 21:50:13


Quote:

>ken takes a leap of logic...

>>Nor did he stop to
>>consider whether the bone structure of a dog would be able to support a
>>larger frame.

>ken... the large animals ARE the natural ones.

No, no leap of logic involved. My comments were based on some information
I had recently read in a book on dog genetics and breeding that said that
dogs larger than the orignal size dog were more prone to hip dysplasia.
--
Ken Konecki
"Eat well, stay fit, and die anyway"