Questions to ask a breeder

Maxy24

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#1
I'm sure this has been asked before but when I try to search the newest thing I can find is from 2007 so I must be using the wrong search terms. My aunt and uncle are on the list to get a Lab puppy from a litter that will be born in December. They have not had a puppy in a LONG time. They have two children in second grade. I had sent them a list of breeders and this was one of them, the website doesn't have a ton of information. They have all of their dogs listed with titles and health testing and on the nursery page say which breedings are coming up. They have pretty much no info on policy/contract, breeding philosophy, how they raise their pups, breed info or anything like that. I also can't find anything about them on the internet as far as people mentioning them on forums or anything.


So what questions do you think they should ask the breeder? I mean I told them a lot of it is up to them, what do they want to know? But I'm sure there are some things I should suggest they ask to be sure they're not going to a sketchy breeder. The only things I can think of so far are:

1. What health tests do you do on your dogs before breeding them? (do you ask for copies of the results or just take their word for it?)

-I have looked up the parents and can find hips/elbows for both. Dad has eyes, PRA, and cardiac as well. I'm assuming mom has had eyes done since all other dogs on the site have but we'll need to know for sure. Most dogs don't appear to have had the exercise induced collapse test, I'm not sure if I should be bothered by that or not (it's a CHIC requirement but only as of June 2013 so many of her dogs have a CHIC number despite not having the EIC test). Opinions? Is it okay to ask the breeder why she doesn't do certain tests? (they don't appear to do centronuclear myopathy either which many breeders I looked at did do).

2. Where are the puppies raised? (inside or in kennels, if inside where in the house)

3. How do you socialize your puppies?

4. What are your goals when breeding a litter?

5. What is your idea of an ideal Lab?

6. Do you choose the puppy or do we choose the puppy? (I think my aunt and uncle still believe they're picking the puppy themselves, I told them most breeders pick the pup for you).

7. Can we have referrals to previous puppy buyers?


We'll want to know about contract stuff too but I have no experience with this stuff so don't know what to look for.

So help? I don't want to give them an enormous list of questions, I don't want to give them questions that they don't care about the answers to or don't understand why we're asking. So are these questions good, what would you add? Keep in mind this is for s typical pet home.
 

Barb04

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#2
How often do they breed their female? How old is she? When was her last litter?
 

Kat09Tails

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#3
A labs sire and dam should have an offa record. Minimum would be hips elbows cardiac eyes. Eic would be a plus. Also I wouldn't take their word on it.

I also typically ask why they bred those particular two dogs together.

I also would ask to see a copy of a contract and any guarantees they offer.
 

Elrohwen

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#4
I think your questions are good. I would want to know where and how the puppies are raised, who picks the puppy, and what the breeder is trying to produce with this breeding. I would find out how often the female is bred and how many litters they have per year (basically, are they churning out litters once a month or something).

For health testing, it sounds like they have the basic tests. You can look at OFA to confirm, no need to have them send you anything. You an ask about the additional tests, but I would be pretty comfortable with the information you've given. I would be more concerned with checking the parents and siblings of the sire and dam for HD and other health concerns (which you can do on OFA). Excellent hip dogs from a crappy line will probably not produce more excellent hips in most of the puppies. I would just want to see some consistency in getting dogs tested and in the results.

Then I would ask for a copy of the contract. As long as the dog will be outright owned by your aunt and uncle, and the guarantees are good, it should be fine. For the most part I'm not overly concerned with the specifics of the health guarantees, as long as there is something reasonable in the contract. I mean, if I find out my dog has HD at 2 years old, I'm not going to return him, and I'm not going to expect the breeder to pay for care if she's done everything in her power to breed dogs with good hips.
 

Maxy24

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#5
Thank you for the suggestions guys! Their website does say they only have 1-2 litters per year. The mom is still young at this point, their website is a bit out of date and she's still on the "youngsters" page but the photo and show winning info on the page is from 2011 (puppy class) so I'm guessing she's 3, maybe 4 and this is probably her first litter, but we can always ask that in conversation.

For health testing, it sounds like they have the basic tests. You can look at OFA to confirm, no need to have them send you anything.
The reason I thought maybe we should see the results on paper is because not everyone sends the results into OFA. Right now OFA doesn't say the mom has had an eye exam which is concerning so I'm hoping she's had them done but the results haven't been sent in. All their other dogs have had those tests. Normally I'd just go with whatever the website says but the mom doesn't have her own page like the other dogs because it's out of date, so they don't mention her health testing.

I would be more concerned with checking the parents and siblings of the sire and dam for HD and other health concerns (which you can do on OFA). Excellent hip dogs from a crappy line will probably not produce more excellent hips in most of the puppies. I would just want to see some consistency in getting dogs tested and in the results.
I have a 5 generation pedigree but haven't gone through it completely yet, so I'll have to do that. I'll look on OFA for siblings too.


So do people not think EIC is super important to test for? I usually go by the CHIC requirements but I know EIC is a new one for them. The Labrador Club of America does not list it as one of their recommendations. I don't really know the details of the breed so I have to rely on some organization to tell me what tests are important.
 

Lyzelle

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#6
I don't know anything about the health tests you are asking about...

But I can tell you that OFA does not require that poor test results be sent in for record keeping.

Personally, I think it should be mandatory for all breeders who test to make poor and excellent records public. But then we are getting into politics....:rolleyes:

Another thought, try to not **** a breeder too much for the timing of their litter, particularly if they do not breed often. I know that oftentimes people will say, "Ooooh, Christmas litter is a red flag!" but keep in mind that breeders are at the mercy of the bitch heat.
 

Elrohwen

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#7
Yes, I would ask about whether she has had the female's eyes tested. It seems unlikely that she forgot to send the paperwork in (after paying $100+ for the eye exam, who would skip the $12 fee to send in the paperwork?), so maybe it hasn't been done or she was failing and the breeder chose not to report the info.

Eye exams have to be done yearly, so it's also very possible that she has had the dam's eyes tested and they were fine, but she didn't repeat the testing this year.

For the pedigree, OFA should give you links to parents and siblings that you can easily check.

I really don't know anything about EIC. I would talk to the breeder and see what she says.
 
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