- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Ten month English Labrador Retriever for three children?

April 12th, 2006, 10:43 AM
Hi all, I am still researching a dog for our family. We have a 9yo, 7yo and 4.5 yo, and after postponing getting a dog for 12 years are finally ready to make the plunge. Every time I wanted a dog and postponed it (waited for the children to get older), I would read another stack of dog books, so I have a semi-ok base to look at dog breeds.

There is a local English Labrador Retriever breeder near us, and I am going to see one of her dogs tomorrow. As far as I can tell she is a reputable breeder, seems very concerned mostly about breeding for good temprement and breed standards. When I go to see her dog I will bring the breeder checklist and ask her the right questions.

On the plus side she seems to have a good rep, she has been in business for thirty years, takes care to pick the right dog for the right family, breeds seeing eye dogs and handicapped assistance dogs, as far as I can tell she breeds following the standards that a good breeder would follow, and she ships sperm around the country (does that mean she has acceptable lines that other breeders would like to continue?), she also is involved in showing her dogs and has quite a few champions.

I called her to tell her about my family and told her I would like to see her dogs and asked her assistance in finding a dog that would be a good fit. She asked some questions and said that she had a very nice temprement yellow lab that she thought would be good for us. This dog is a ten month old yellow, she was going to keep as a show dog and for breeding but the dog ended up being not as broad in the chest as she liked so now she is available for sale.

There are a few things that concern me, when I asked if she thought the dog would be good with children, she said that she bred for temprament, and that when children were with her dogs she worried about them being licked to death, but not aggression, and that a two year old could walk up to any of her dogs and the dogs would be gentle and docile. Is that realistic or too rosy for a breeder to say?

I am also concerned that the dog has not been around children and she said again much the same as the above. Is that a valid concern, can the dog learn to be with and enjoy being with the kids.

Also, she is selling the dog for 500 vs the regular 1000? Is this fishy, or is it just because everybody wants a cute puppy and she is being realistic? I for one am happy to get a potty trained dog, not such a pupppy dog, so I am very fine with the age.

I plan on enrolling in obedience class with the dog, and think it would be fun to train a dog to do all the fun things that retriever are known to do.

April 12th, 2006, 10:50 AM
is the dog spayed or neutered. I can tell you what my breeder does ( rottweiler) if she ever has a return ( very unlikely ) she will sell the dog for the amount it would cost her to have the dog spayed or neutered....If the dog has never been around kids, it has never been socialized with them, and yes the breeder was assuming, and rosing up the dog.
Not all labs are good with kids. But your kids also has to respect the boundries of the dog. respect the dog, not it as a toy. If they do that, I believe any dog can become accustom to children, not neccisarily become buddies, but accustom.
Why is the dog still there, are you sure it was not a return, if so why?
Does she does all health tests on her dogs. OFA elbows, cardiac....Ask for a referal from another breeder that she has delt with..
Do all your research thouroghly to make sure she is not just ridding her dog unto you.
Does she compete, if so her name can be googled, and you can find out more info... Good luck

Lucky Rescue
April 12th, 2006, 10:57 AM
In comparison to what else is out there, this sounds like a reputable breeder - shows her dogs, breeds for temp. and to the standard.

IF this dog has never been around children, I would want to know that he is good with them before bringing him home. I would hope that the breeder has socialized this dog very well to all kinds of people including kids.

Even if he is good with them, he's still a dog and supervision is necessary as well as teaching kids how to be gentle and respectful with a dog.

Agree that the dog should be neutered before you get him.

she ships sperm around the country (does that mean she has acceptable lines that other breeders would like to continue?)

It would mean she has outstanding, champion lines.

You sound like a good candidate to get a dog and are doing all your homework!:thumbs up

April 12th, 2006, 11:25 AM
Since having a dog that is child-friendly is a necessity for your family, maybe you could ask if your kids can spend some time w/ the dog at the breeder's house? Then you will be able to see the interaction first hand, and you'll have a better idea if this is the right dog for your family or not. When my mom got her dog (from breeder) the breeder actually insisted the whole family come and spend a day w/ the dog, at her house, before purchase.

as for the price, it doesn't sound fishy, but I'd be questioning the spaying aspect... did the breeder lower the price because she expects YOU to get the dog spayed? or is the dog to be spayed before you get her?

all in all, it sounds like you're on the right track!

April 12th, 2006, 11:41 AM
I am not sure about the spayed part yet. I am not worried about the cost because even if she is not, the county where I live subsidizes it so it comes out to about fifty dollars. It is not a return, she had just decided in the last couple of weeks not to breed her

If I goggle her name I do find her lines all over the country (how do you get sperm from a dog, or is that something that I don't want to know?:) ). I am heartened that she breeds assistance dogs, because I know the buyers of those dogs would be very picky.

We are going out to see the dog with all the kids, and we will spend a good part of the day. I will also go out one day alone, so I can see the dog without distractions.

I just wish that the dog had been around children more, that is the only thing I am not sure of, and the thing that made me think about getting a puppy. I myself prefer an older dog.

April 12th, 2006, 11:46 AM
A $1000 pup is likely to be one with a potential show prospect, but this one has proven not to be, so therefore lowering the price to sell as a pet only with non breeding rights would be normal.

April 12th, 2006, 01:13 PM
have you looked into adoption? it seems kind of silly to purchase a lab when they're the most common homeless breed.

a good site is

and you'll be able to get one that's already neutered and vetted for less than $250 (depending on the rescue group).

if you purchase a puppy you'll be looking at $200 at least to get it neutered and vaccinated.

i'd suggest to get an adult dog who's being fostered in a home with children.


April 12th, 2006, 01:24 PM
I have thought at length about adopting from rescue. I have to admit though that ever since I can remember I have been facinated by the breeding of dogs, and the work that goes into perfecting a bloodline. I like the beauty and discipline. My 9yo son has been very interested in dogs since he was 5 (not a passing phase he is very involved with the neighbors dogs), and I think he would enjoy participating in the AKC childrens events. I don't mind spending the 1000, because I think spread over the years it is a pretty small amount of money.

April 12th, 2006, 01:27 PM
what a great attitude you have, and Does that mean you will be showing her. If so, the responsibilities for owning a bitch in season is great...I would never do it, a male yes a female no....I think that would be awesome if you and your son can start handling classes together, and he can show in junior handling....Once she has perfected OB first/...Keep up with the great spirit

Lucky Rescue
April 12th, 2006, 01:42 PM
The dog you are looking at is obviously not breeding quality, so should be spayed. But there are lots of events that spayed/neutered dogs can compete in - agility, obedience etc.

I don't mind spending the 1000, because I think spread over the years it is a pretty small amount of money.

The 1000$ is a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of extensive health testing, training, showing (transportation and accomodations), hiring a handler, paying stud fees etc etc etc.

April 12th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Like the others have said, I would do acouple of visits, bringing a 10month old into the family shouldn't be that big of a deal, it's not like you have toddlers that don't understand, you need to teach you children to be respectful of the dog and her space, supervise and look for warning signs. $500 is a normal price for a pet only home because not only returned but retired can go for this, find out what her return policy is if things don't work out, but don't forget to give yourself time to adjust to having a pet and the pet to having a new family, the(honeymoon stage) we also did alot of research into a breeder/rescues in MI and one in ON for two completely different breeds, and decided to bring a 3yr old giant breed into a family with toddlers when she had never been around them, my children have been taught to respect all animals and their space, and Libby is the best dog ever, at first she was afraid of them, so every time she came up to them they would give her special treats that she'd only get from them, now she thinks they are the best things ever, I'd involve your children in obedience training as well as they are the perfect age. Sounds like you've done alot of homework and research best of luck:fingerscr with your visit, and if this isn't the dog for you, another will come along:pawprint:

April 12th, 2006, 01:54 PM
No, no, no breeding dogs for me. I am not at all interested in that. I just think it is a facinating topic. No showing either, too much work. I can however see my son being very interested in AKC events, and what a good hobby for a child too. It's funny since he was two he was an animal lover (as was I, and I grew up to become a biologist!) so I can see that it is something that a child can find very fulfilling. I thought we could start at basic obedience, and then move on the canine good citizen test, and go on if he end up having a real interest. He has read all the dog books at the library, talks and thinks about dogs incessantly and so on for the last two years. Even if he end up not being so interested I will still enjoy it, I just love animals.

Lucky Rescue
April 12th, 2006, 05:26 PM
IF you don't want to breed or show, you really should consider a rescue.

Petfinder alone lists over 13,000 Labs and many are purebred and young.

Seems a shame to buy a dog when so many will never find a home.:(

April 12th, 2006, 11:25 PM
There are a few things that concern me, when I asked if she thought the dog would be good with children, she said that she bred for temprament, and that when children were with her dogs she worried about them being licked to death, but not aggression, and that a two year old could walk up to any of her dogs and the dogs would be gentle and docile. Is that realistic or too rosy for a breeder to say?It is possible for her dogs to be that nice to kids, but that doesn't mean your dog will be. Socialization is a life-long thing. If your kids hurt the dog or mistreat the dog, chances are even if she's the nicest dog in the world, she will hate your kids and come to hate kids in general.:)

As for the breed... The only issue I have with English Labs is they usually end up WAYYYYY too fat. People say part of the breed (the whole "English" part) is being chubbier than other labs, and that's a load of bull. A fat dog is just a fat dog, regardless of breed. It will be very hard work to keep this dog thin (labs have huge appetites), but absolutely necessary for its long term health.

April 13th, 2006, 08:00 AM
I agree with Lucky. There are sooo many dogs out there that need homes now. A lot of these dogs are currently placed in foster homes, which would really be your best bet. A foster parent can tell you for certain whether or not the dog you're interested in is good with kids/other dogs/cats, what their quirky personality traits are, etc... There are dogs of all shapes and sizes, some are purebred so you'd still be able to get your son involved in AKC events. Even if you wind up falling in love with a mixed-breed, there are still events that your son can participate in - flyball and agility come to mind, both are loads of fun for the handler and the dog (way more fun for a youngster than the show ring). Check out Petfinder (, the main site, not the classifieds. Check out the menu at the top of the page - you can search for rescues in your area. Or, use the menu on the left to search for dog by breed, age, size, gender and location.

Best of luck in your search. :pawprint: