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Labrador dog question

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by struggle, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    During this past week we got a Humane Society dog and it did not work out as the dog was very protective after the first night in our home and the vet the next day when we took he there for inspection suggested it would be hard to rid her of this attitude as he seemed very concerned about the way the dog reacted to him and over a couple of days the reaction was even worse when someone came over to our house. So I took the dog back.......No it has compleletly broken my wife heart that we have gone through this and in my defense I would have to be the main person caring for the dog during the days on walks etc so I felt we were in no position to have a dog with this mannerism...

    So now seeing how much my wife liked the idea of having a dog I am considering tomorrow buying a registered yellow lab that is almost 7 weeks old and has been weened from the mother at 5 weeks. The dog is registerd but the papres are not sent in and all shots are current, will need a booster in the next week, and dewclaws removed.

    Am I getting in over my head by getting this dog? The person with the dog rasies them for selling and I talked to the person a great length on the phone tonight about the dogs. Since I am after a yellow one she has to males left. Lady seemed very knowlegeable about the dogs but I have only had a dog for 3 days the one I took back from Tuesday to Friday.

    If I go through with this lab it will be for keeps no matter what. The idea of getting another Humane dog just seems to risky after our first experince as my wife is super animal sensitive in that I could not put her through this again. If another older dog showed aggressive traits from there it would be awfull to go through returing one again. It was hard telling my 4 and 6 year old kids that I took it back due to how it responded to other people.

    Reasons for the choosing a lab is loving, trainable and easy going with other people. We have freinds that have labs and they all seem to be great. One thing that concerns though which is an unknow is the issues that come with labs as in hip problems. I am unsure of how one can detremine this.

    The lady said in the dads line there is a champion dog in his side. Both dogs were registered. BUt that to me means nothing as it will be neutred when it can be.

    Let me know your thoughts or concerns on this choice of a lab.

    Cost of this one will be $150

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  2. sedanman

    sedanman New Member

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    Labs are one of the best choices for a family dog. They love people. I personally have a Golden Reteiver and friends have Labs. Both of these breeds seem to exist to please their humans.
  3. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    We have two labs. Both registered and pure bred.The older has a pedigree that goes and goes and goes!!!!!! Breeder quality dog. His Dam was hand selected and brought back to the States from Scotland. :cheese: I know a thing or two about Labs, but I am no expert Ask if the sire and dam have had their hips tested and certified. A reputable breeder will have the certifications on hand. There are also certs for front knees and eyes. Sounds like some hard research and soul searching is in order. Training a dog is a full time position, and it is for the life of the dog. Labs are big dogs and properly trained can be, in my mind, one of the best breeds for a family dog. If the dog isn't trained properly they are big enough to cause some real damage to property and people for that matter. These are big powerful dogs! I love having Labs and other animals as well, but every one of our animals properly trained how to behave, and are socially acceptable. I can put either of our labs on down stay and they will stay until released, regardless of the distractions. (Important if you have people over to your house, or answer the door.) However, proper training of a dog takes allot of time and dedication. Take some time and make sure your family is ready for that kind of commitment.

    If you are going to buy a registered dog, from a reputable breeder, expect to pay at least $300-$500. That has been my experience, and consistent with my research. There are allot of people out there breeding their dogs and playing at being a breeder,resulting with the problems with hips, knees, temperament, etc.... A reputable breeder will only breed when it will better the breed as a whole, and their vet is heavily involved also. As well as complete pedigree research on both sides to carefully avoid genetic problems etc... There is allot of before hand work before a sire is ever even considered for breeding, In my opinion, stay away from the guy selling dogs at the 'Mart parking lot. He/she may not have the dogs best interest at heart. (there are allot of people out there just trying to make a buck. I have had people ask if they could breed their lab with one of ours. The answer is no. I'm not a breeder, and I know the guy down the street isn't. I could get several hundred in stud fees, but it just isn't what is best for the breed, or the pups)

    I am not one to tell one what to do, but I think you owe it to yourself, your family, and the dog, to really take your time. Did I say do a bunch of research on all aspects of rearing and taking care of Labs, and only buy from a reputable breeder?

    Good luck,

    I Love my Labs!!! They are part of our family, as well as great bird dogs:)

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  4. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for that input. I am going to pass on this one as I did find a forum that I did some lite searching on and I know see there is a lot to learn and from what I gathered already this person I called is nothing more than a back yard breeder. I am almost certian if I asked her she would say she has no idea of the hip conditions of the dogs as the girl dog she said was only 1 1/2 years old and she sold the male dog to a hunter so some red flags have come up about this person. I really doubt they are OFA which I have no ideal what that means but see it coming up a lot on that forum.

    Clearly an uniformed person in this manner could end up with a lot problems just buying one of these dogs un researched

    Any more info you have feel free to share it or web sites.
  5. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    I have two labbies myself, both registered and purebred.
    Take your time and do your research on both the breed and reputable
    breeders before committing.
    Never purchase a pup online. When you do find a breeder, be sure to ask
    questions and visit the the pups to check out the atmosphere they live in.

    Labs are great family dogs and learn fast, but like all dogs they can be
    destructive when young if not trained properly.

    If you have any questions about training and such, I would also be
    glad to help out. Good luck in your search

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  6. pcampbell

    pcampbell Member

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    It is a moot point now but out of curiosity what do you mean by protective and how old was the dog? You cannot expect any dog to be perfect 1 night or 1 week or even 1 month in a new home. I can understand your concerns if you have children.... I am not a Cesar Millan follower but I do believe you need to be the top dog. Maybe you should consider another rescue dog though... there are thousands of dogs out there that need a loving home that will be killed if not taken home.
  7. jtb51b

    jtb51b Feeling the Heat

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    We have a lab ourselves, I"ll pass on a bit of truth the vet gave me: If the lab will stay indoors-- "If you can get up in the middle of the night and not trip at least 3 times on dog toys, she doesn't have enough to play with!".. This is VERY true, these dogs are very active and love to chew stuff. They are very smart animals and are easy to train as they want to please. Be ready, a lab can range in size from 75 lbs to 150! A 150lb lab is quite a lot of dog-- but I don't think I've ever met a purebred lab that was anything but easy going.

    Jason
  8. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    Puppies are a lot of work. Maybe you could get a differant shelter dog that needs a home. There are a lot of poor soles at the SPCA just waiting to be a good dog.
  9. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage Member

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    My guys, Bear & Buckshot are shelter dogs. I had visited my local shelter a few times looking for a lab pup. I left my name & #. I get a call at 7 am one morning & it's the shelter. They say "We came in this morning & someone left a litter of 12 pups. They were in a cage with a note that read "Black Labs, 5 weeks old" Someone dropped them at the door sometime during the night. They're 10 years old now, Buckshot's health is fine, but Bear has bad hips. From the first time I saw him walk, I could tell. He seemed to walk Pigeon Toed. We took him because we have the means to give him the best care. I had him x-rayed on his first trip to the vet. Vet agreed that they're bad, but don't be aggressive taking corrective action (surgery) He still walks pigeon towed, and he tires a little quicker than his brother, but, like I said, he's 10. Also, He had a triple shot of Rocky Mountain Spotter Fever, Lyme, & K9 Ehrlichiosis all at the same time about 5 years ago. This really played on his arthritis. He still runs, hunts, swims, geocaches, etc. He gets Gloucosamine supplements daily & an occasional Ascriptin aspirin when I see he's hurting.

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  10. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Arent many dogs with the demeanor of a Lab, good dogs with a soft mouth if an "accident" happens.
  11. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    The dog was very submissive to us until someone came near us then we could not control it at all. It was if a switch had been flipped and then dog just would go mad at a person snarling and barking. When I had the last neighbor come over to the house the dog charged the person. That was the last straw for me.

    Could we have turned it around yeah possibly and that was the basis that my wife wanted to go under. I saw it a little more cut and dry as I have no tolerance for dogs that charge people. There is just some things I am not willing to deal with and this dog made it clear how it felt about being around someone else then us in our home.

    Since I am a stay at home dad and spend a great deal outside my house in our little town I will not have a dog that acts in that manner. That defeats all the reasons for having one as we also have two small children that have freinds over from time to time and I am not about to put anyones child in a position to posssibly get harmed.

    I realize there are many dogs that get put sown at the shelters and that is really a bad deal. But there are somethings that will be out of our reach when it comes to that. We are all bummed and saddened that this dog did not work out. I just am not willing to chance getting another dog and possibly go through this again with a pound dog. We have four cats that all have come from animal shelters and they were good pets and one still is alive in our home now. It is clear though that when you get a dog it can carry a lot of baggage from its past and that I am not ready for. Be it wrong or right in some peoples eyes.

    Our household is very sensitive to animals and our children are being brought up to respect them as well. It bothered me to take the dog back as I do not want to show my kids it is easy to give up on things like that but after there have been several dog bites in our small town and many dog issues in general I was not going there.

    Chances are that maybe the next one from there will be great and I let someone else get that one.

    I am on the fence on getting puppy. The thought if we got one from a well known breader would give some assurance that its background is more complete (tempermant)and we will have a better grasp of how things can turn out with positve training and be able to mostly rule out other genetic problems from poor breading. It seems vey clear that reputable breeders take this very seriously. I have called a few people in the newspaper and they all seem to be in it for just money and nothing more than that so I am not going to support that. We are a going to keep researching this and and make the best choice for our family and community that this animal will be a part of.
  12. reaperman

    reaperman Member

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    Just my opinion. Labs are good dogs overall. Very loyal, friendly, and active for the first few years. They tend to chew a bit more than other breeds for some reason. My first lab, chewed everything in the house, including her muzzle I used, so she wouldnt chew. But she was a very loyal pet.

    That was years ago. Currently, my wife owns/operates a boarding kennel which is located on our property. It keeps her (us) very busy 365. With all of the different breeds that come through our doors, the lab is most popular. Also the breed that is wearing on my wifes patience. To put it simple, "they can be nuts". I believe most of this is due to the fact that the owners dont take the time needed to put into the dogs needs. They are breed to be active, and need exercise, and lots of it. I mean, walked a few miles every day, or let run in open areas with other dogs to blow off steam. Or taken to a lake to swim, they love water. If left alone like a porch dog, they get bored, and will "find" something to do. They also become overweight when their needs are not met. We see more overweight labs, than any other breed. As far as hips go, I can only remember only one lab with hip troubles. So I haven't seen hips being a issue in labs. And I know I see well over a hundred different labs in a year. Again this is just what I have noticed.

    If you are stuck on a lab, please make sure you will be able to give it the full attention it needs. If you live in town, where walking can be a issue. There are many breeds of dogs which may be a better choice. One breed that seems to stick out to me is the Golden Ret, they seem so much more calm overall, and gentle with children. They listen well, look good, and overall seem happy and content. My breed of choice and current dog is the St. Bernard. You couldnt ask for a more loyal dog, with a better temperament. But thats another topic. Just remember all dogs make great pets, they become a family member, regardless of breed. They do take some time and effort, plus expense. The purchase price of a dog is just the tip of a iceberg, but its money well spent.
  13. 90 Degree Elbow

    90 Degree Elbow New Member

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    We have 1 Yellow Female right now and she is a fire cracker, she is just now starting to calm down. I love the breed and would never have another type of dog.
    We have had 3 or 4 Labs over the years,I have found that you have to really check there back grounds. Our current female has a Brown father and a yellow mother,I am no breeder but the Brown labs seem to have the most energy.
    Our vet says that a brown lab calms down at age 6-8 while yellows take 3-5 and blacks 2-4 years.
    What ever dog you get I hope you like playing Fetch!!!
  14. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    I am favoring the lab due to my wife who runs several miles a day. I understand as stated that labs and other dogs as well need the exercise or they will find a way to get the energy out. Were an active family outside. The only issue may be keeping the dog very active in the winter months as we really do not have a way to fence in our back yard due to the layout of trees and landscape which I will not ruin. But we do like taking walks in the winter and often.

    Our neighbors lab is very overweight now but they never take it on walks. It does go in the lawn as it is on some type of collar shock thing but it also an old lab at 10+ year I am guessing. They had a two year old one that they gave away as well and it seems to me that was just not getting the required play/exercise time in so behavior problems showed up.

    It has been my understanding you get out of a lab what you put into it for time. Seems to me a lot of people get them thinking they will kind of take care of themselves which appears to be very wrong.

    I am against lap dogs as I would like to take this future pet out with me while cutting/splitting wood and be able to let it run free at my watch.
  15. pcampbell

    pcampbell Member

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    How old was that rescue dog you took home? I think that with an older dog maybe it is more difficult to change, but I don't know.

    Fences are unnecessary I think.... but I would not leave my dog outside unattended. But I don't think I'd really want to do this if I had a fence either... unless she had another dog to play with.

    You might want to check out Paul Loeb's books. "Smarter than you think" is a book I read. I have not read more recent book "Heart of the Matter". His methods are ATYPICAL. There is no choke chain or crate in this book. In 4 months of having our dog in the family and only 4 months as a pet owner we are to the point where I do not use the leash ever unless I have to by law and then I normally don't either. And she would just pull when we got her. It would have been sooner but the first few months I wasted my time watching Cesar Millan and going to obedience school. Cesar Millan is entertaining but I don't agree with him entirely, but again I have not dealt with aggressive dogs. We play in the back yard and there is a 1 foot high retaining wall and she knows not to go in the neighbors yard. And of course when I call her, she comes :) We walk as much as I can, 3 miles 5 days a week minimum but I prefer more. If I had time I'd walk all day!



    Anyway, get a dog, the children will enjoy him or her!!!

    Chloe dog (too big to paste)
  16. ctlovell

    ctlovell New Member

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    Phenomenal dogs!! My 7 year old Yellow Lab is by far the most docile, loveable dog I have ever had or seen. Great with the kids, from toddlers on up. I didn't have an infant to test him on. :) Got him as a pup from a registered breeder, who breeds from her home. He is certified eyes and hips good, and to this date I have not had any issues. Ask around, check out different breeders, get references on the breeders, talk to local vets who can recommend breeders, talk to or email the Labrador Retriever breeders groups in your state get their input. Be prepared to spend some money, good things don't generally come cheap, but by all means don't be afraid of getting a Lab. A perfect family dog!!!
  17. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    I love labs, I had nothing but labs growing up Yellow and Black, the Yellow was purebreed and papered the black was mixed with a doberman talk about protective, never harmed us kids but if he didnt like you, you didnt step foot in the house. The only thing about labs that I can remember remotely bad is as pup's they like to chew so have alot of chew toys around. I currently am a proud own of two ankle biters a mini shnauzer and a silky terrier. Not real intimidating. :)
  18. dlpz

    dlpz New Member

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    Unfortunately we just had to just put down our Lab/Shepard mix. Best dog I have ever owned, after eleven great healthy years she passed in five days from cancer. Although I feel I am the toughest SOB on the planet I cried like a baby!

    We got her from the SPCA, my wife was graduating from SUNY Delhi as a Vet Tech and the dog was 5 months old that they did the spay and etc. on. I adopted her, not my wife, the dog, and she provide many great years of fun and companionship( again not my wife, the dog!). She was protective of her property, she'd bark like crazy if someone came to the door only wanting nothing more than knock them over and lick them to death. I never had a doubt of her acting badly toward my son as a baby and as he got older they were best buds. I would again get a dog from the SPCA, but i think only a puppy of the same type of mixed breed, lab mixed with something.

    As for getting a purebred, make sure the parents are on premises, breeder shouldn't let the pups go at less than 8 weeks and get references from people who have bought puppies from them.

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  19. Bugboy

    Bugboy New Member

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    I've had Labs in the past and both developed hip problems (1 a backyard breeder 1 from a reputable breeder). I currently have a German Wirehair Pointer.

    Before getting a dog you need to determine what the dog's job will be. Dogs need to have a job. Labs were developed for hunting/retreiving. If it cannot do it's job it may develop behavior problems.

    If you are looking for a companion animal I would suggest one of the smaller breeds developed for that purpose. If you hunt then get a hunting breed. If you want guarding/protection look into those breeds.

    No fenced yard is going to make things harder. A female may be the way to go as they may tend to roam a little less.

    There are a lot of great Labs out there,,,, but there are a lot of psycho and/or physical wrecks out there too. They have been the #1 dog in registrations for years. Anything popular quickly gets ruined in our society.
  20. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've had a few Labs.
    They need to run, often, every day, until they are tired, which will take a while.

    Females are usually a little calmer, but not always.
    I had one female that would not let anyone in the house if any one of the girls was home alone. Two girls home or any of the boys and she might not even get up to investigate.

    Most of mine were rescues and not purebreds, I think a little mix makes for some interesting character.

    I would keep visiting the rescue places.
    I'm not a supporter of puppy mills nor people having 'just one litter'.


    An excelent quick read book : Marley and Me by John Grogan for anyone who has ever owned and /or cared for a Lab. You'll laugh and you'll cry. http://www.marleyandme.com/



    If you have not worked with dogs a lot, bringing that other one back may have been best for both of you.
    You probably could have controlled its instinct(s), but you both probably would have spent a bit of time in behavioral classes.
    Behavioral classes for highle recommended for first time dog owners, problem dogs often need to get the other end of the leash fixed. :)
  21. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Lab here too. A shelter dog. Wouldn't trade her for the world but labs are not for everyone. As has already been said they are a pretty active breed and are quick to develop bad behaviors if they don't receive enough exercise.

    I hate to see you give up on shelter dogs because of one bad experience. Since you are first time dog owners I think the ideal dog for you would be an older one that already has some training. With the older of the baby boomers reaching that age there's a growing population of adult dogs in shelters because their owners can't take them into retirement communities or nursing homes. Good dogs who have a known history as far as behavior and health issues are concerned but who have a far greater chance of being put down simply because they aren't cute puppies. You've got a chance here to get yourself a good dog, ease someones mind about the fate of their pet, and save a dogs life. Seems like a perfect solution.

    If you are interested there are several ways to go about this. You might start by searching www.petfinder.com for dogs in your area. (Not knowing where you live I did a search for labs in the Sioux City area and found a bunch.) You could contact local shelters & rescue groups with a request for the kind of dog you are interested in. Local vets often try to help clients in these situations place pets so that's an option. If you have any kind of groups in your area that offer assistance to the elderly you might want to give them a call as well.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
  22. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    We also had a bad experience with an aggressive Weimaraner that we had attempted to adopt from a rescue group. After 4 weeks of headaches we had to give up - the dog was seriously damaged by a woman who had kept it as an excessively close companion while her husband traveled. She allowed to sleep in her bed, shower with her, "dance" which meant he was used to getting up on his hind legs - very aggressive... etc. She had called us at one point to let us know how to take care of him. It was a disturbing discussion that made it clear that this was going to be beyond our capability to correct. Oddly, the only helpful tip was that I learned I could use ice as a treat to motivate him. That was about the only control I had over him.

    After more reading, we decided to try a greyhound adoption - that was night and day better. They are the most gentle quiet big dogs I've ever known, and contrary to popular belief, they do not need to run. They are quite content to lay around the house since they are often at the end of their running career. They won't object to going for a mile or two run. He eventually passed away and if we did anything different, we'd get two as they are less anxious with companions. They are probably the dumbest big dogs I've known as well, which makes them endearing in a strange sort of way as they are simple, affectionate and easily contented!

    -Colin
  23. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    We/ I am still on the fence on what to do. We do live near Sioux City and I did look up some dogs on pet finder near us. I am bacning away from it for right now but it is far from over as to what might happen. I found a breeder that I called and was very pleased with the conversation (pro breeder it seemd with all the right credentials) but I am not ready to shell out $900 at this time.

    I am going to keep my eyes and ears open and see what happens.

    We were at a friends house tonight for a super bowl get together and they have a lab (6 years old) and it was the most wonderful and calm dog I have ever seen.
  24. loneeagle15

    loneeagle15 New Member

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    I have to laugh about the hips debate now both of my labs have been screened by the OFA and have good hips the reason I have to laugh is if you read on their site smaller dogs have a greater risk of hip problems than larger dogs now don't get me wrong I do all I can to make sure my dogs are healthy and too reduce the risk of injury but we make such a big deal out of it and the people in a greater risk category don't think their dogs are at risk because of the size
    also before you buy a lab if not worked with they (actually all dog breeds) they become bored with a lot of pent up energy and won't see you as the leader of the pack and take charge to the point of aggression
  25. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    Unless you are planning to make a buck selling puppies, why bother having a registered dog? Big waste of money to me.
    I have had German Sheps all my life. None have been registered. Do I care if I can't show them? I don't breed them.

    Save yourself hundreds of dollars and just find a dog you like....


    my .02
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