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Thread: Recommend a retriever breeder

  1. #1
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    Default Recommend a retriever breeder

    Hopefully a few waterfowl enthusiasts are still looking at this forum lately. I need your advice, the decision has been made to get my first lab.

    For those of you who have gotten puppies in the Anchorage/Valley area, which breeder would you recommend, and why?

    If you are a breeder I would like to hear from you too.

    PM if you want, appreciate the help, this is a big step as I am totally new to training and dog owning and want to do this right. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member bluesmom's Avatar
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    Are you looking for a Labrador or a Chesapeake or some other type of retriever?

  3. #3
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    From what I have learned by reading and talking to those who know dogs, it sounds like a Labrador is what I want. Perhaps on the smaller side, as I do hunt out of a canoe quite a bit.

  4. #4

    Default Do your homework !!

    Don't fall victim to sales pitches or buy on impulse because they are so cute.
    There is a huge difference from one litter of pups to the next. Get to know the parents of each litter. See how they act in the field, how they are trained, how they move and general personality. Then ask for health clearances for the litter that peaks your interest from the above. Hips, elbows, eyes, EIC, CNM and etc. If the breeder has no clue what you are talking about.... GO ELSEWHERE and in a hurry. I am extremely biased about this and have reason. I use to operate a Lab Rescue and have seen what local breeders(those that didn't do clearances) have produced. I also train gundogs and competition retrievers. I have seen and had diagnosed way too many cases of hip and elbow dysplacia pop up in dogs in training. I have also seen three cases of EIC. It sucks to have to call an owner and tell them that their prize pup can't stay in training any longer. They then have to call my vet to get an explanation of why.
    In my opinion, you want to put forth the best effort into your future companion on performing for you for many years without genetic health issues.
    Get with one of your local retriever clubs. There are groups of folks that train all the time. Some are show oriented, other hunt test and then field trials. Each of these are different in ability. So knowing the difference between the three lines and seeing them being worked is also helpful. As an example: A strictly field trial bred dog may be too much dog for the average hunter to train ...not alone live with. So with this field trial bred dog the average hunter may be over dogged.
    Also the folks in the retriever clubs are pretty vigilant on the quality of pups they produce and may be a better resource for you.

  5. #5
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    If you hunt from the canoe you will want more than a small dog, but a dog that is extremely calm.
    I bought a "backyard" puppy that was small and extremely calm at 6 to 7 weeks. However, at 8 weeks the calmness vanished and at 8 months the only thing small about her was the height up to her spine. At 60 pounds she is still light enough for me to lift up into the boat, but I would never have her in a canoe.

    At 2 and a half she is getting calmer, but that is only due to attrition through training. However, her crazy level of energy is also what makes her a decent retriever by giving her a lot of drive. The big BUT is that there is a big difference between a calm dog that is paying attention and is trainable, and a dog that has "lots of drive" due to her lack of self control.

    My next dog will be from a reliable local breader.

  6. #6
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    Baron said a lot really well, like always. There are good breeders in state, you'll just have to look hard to find them. Don't be afraid to shop outside. My last pup was bought out of MN. At 2 1/2 she is a really wonderful animal. She comes from a field trial line and should actually be a tougher dog than she is, which is what I wanted. She turned out a bit smaller than we thought she would which works out well too.
    Each line does have some traits. It is up to the owner to decide what is, and what is not acceptable behavior and work on that. There is a lot an owner can do with a high powered animal to get them to check down, relax, and behave.
    I don't know any breeders now in the state I would recommend, but could pass on my contact in MN if interested. All in all I was happy with his performance during my last purchase.
    ARR

  7. #7

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    rat,
    whats the name of the kennel in Mn.

  8. #8
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    I've been very happy with our smaller lab from www.greenmeadowsretrievers.com on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border. Smaller black lab - calm and easy to live with and always ready to perform in the field. He's been calm in a canoe and other boats and getting better in a kayak (I need to separate 'play time' from kayak time!). I've spent a fair amount of time around the kennel and gotten to know their labs (and goldens - but that is another story!) and multiple litters...consistently smaller sized and more mellow than many labs I've been around with plenty of field drive when you want it.

    Good luck in your search! Hope you find a good fit for your family.
    CW

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the responses so far folks. Very helpful.

    River Rat, PM sent.

  10. #10
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    Hooked, email sent.

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