The Labrador Retriever, Chocolate, Black and Yellow – what a choice!
I mainly breed chocolate Labradors, I currently have two yellow Labradors, and two Blacks The Labrador is from the same group of dogs as the Golden Retriever, they are field dogs, able to be trained up to retrieve birds whilst hunting, swim whilst doing so etc. I haven’t plunged into the world of Field Trials as yet, but next year is coming… we have plans to include a new Field Trial puppy and hopefully we find the time to dedicate to all of his training.
Labradors, are generally more susceptible to putting on weight than a Golden Retreiver, this is usually as they are food driven, and less active. This must be kept in mind when buying a puppy, that excercise is needed, whether it be walks in the parks/beaches, jogging (after 18 months initial growing stages are past-for joint safety), they love to swim, dams,rivers, ocean. They love to participate in ALL your family’s sports and goings on. They’ll quite happily swim, braai, suntan and hangout with you all day.
Theres nothing better for a Labrador puppy than non stop kids, a Lab is happiest being palyed with, spoken to, cried to I usually recommend Labs to busy kids, sporty kids, u can rarely tire a Labrador out All puppies playbite when they are babies, Labradors need taught that it hurts, and to stop it, even if its just given other chewy toys/rawhides/squeaky soft toys/marrow bones etc. Remembering that this is generally a short phase, and its all a show of their unconditional love for you.
Labradors are born swimmers (95%) love water sprinklers, Koi ponds, pools, dams, the ocean, this also needs to be thought of when buying a puppy, a Koi pond is a play-pool for a Labradors… they know no better, unless very patiently trained, as they love water soooo much.
Training, Labradors are just as easy as Golden retrievers, always willing to please. The Top field Trials dog this year was a Labrador; that’s no mean feat.
Guarding the family, I would say the Labrador gets a few more points than the Golden in general, they are a little more off putting to the stranger, and they tend to have a little more “i’ll show you’ in them than a Golden Retriever.
Grooming; Labs have short, thick coats, very easy to maintain, require brushing perhaps once a week to remove the dead undercoat, and keep them looking shiny and feeling good. Slicker brushes are best, or Rakes for removing underlying old coat, this makes your dog look and feel sooo much better. Washing ; try not to wash them as often as youd like. You are washing away the natural oils and goodness from their coats and skin, that could cause bigger problems in the long run. I recommend every 6-8 weeks max if u have to.
I do sell all brushes needed for Labradors, as well as the shampoos I use and recommend. I also sell flea/tick control, dewormers needed, leads & collars and a few beds, to keep in mind when purchasing a puppy from me. I am part of the Royal Canin breeders club, all puppies raised on Royal Canin, and Royal Canin give u a start pack with each puppy, of the breed specific food, measuring cup, a couple of vouchers, and an information booklet.
On selling of a puppy, they leave me at 7 weeks of age, I believe this is the best age, as a week after receiving the first vaccine, it has taken effect, and the pup can leave its ‘safe haven’ of immunity to enter the big world. This vaccine only gives the puppy 60% immunity of the big world, it must be followed up by two more puppy vacs, between two to four weeks of each other. I recommend training/socialising is kept to a minimum until at least the second vaccine has been administered, but Id prefer three to be given. They say the puppy learns the most from eight weeks of age, I feel the puppy should learn from the new family, all the nice things to learn, the ocean, fishing, dam visits, car rides etc, and why should the new family miss out on the early times of their puppy.
Puppies are microchipped at 6 weeks of age, KUSA laws, they are then registered with this number, it appears on your KUSA certificate that you will receive within a month of taking your puppy home. This certificate should be completed (on the rear side) and return posted to KUSA, to change the puppy into your own name, this is free.
I feed my puppys from +-2.5 weeks of age on Royal Canin Maxi Starter Mother and Baby dog, made sloshy, twice a day. Slowly they need mothers’ milk less and less, by the age of 7 weeks, I have taken mummy away for a nite or two, and a few hours of the day a couple of times, to let the pups not be so dependant, and to let them explore different areas of the farm, including my office/garden. They are widely exposed to many noises/weird things, being tractors,cars, motorbikes, horses,cows,sprinklers.
House training, the mum and her pups are housed in ‘whelping houses’ along side our own house, they are mini houses, with underfloor heating and infrared lights, windows, verandah, paving, and a garden – under the trees. Puppies learn during their 7 weeks, to wee/pooh on the grass. In the first few weeks, mum cleans up constantly, but that does slowly stop, and the pups learn to come out of their house/off of their carpet, walk past the paved area, and do their business on the grass. Most of my clients do comment, they can’t believe how house trained the puppies are! Not alllllll…… but most.
Showing; I show my Labradors extensively currently, shows are nationwide if u are chasing certain things, we travel to away shows monthly with the show dogs. If u are interested in getting into the show world, www.dogworld.co.za and www.showdogs.co.za are good places to check out the show calendar and either go and see how they work, or TAKE ur dog/s to. Dogs must be registered to participate in Championship shows, and be show trained a tad. All very simple, and I’d be happy to assist if interested.
I hope that’s answered some questions, but please don’t hesitate to ask more. Sharron@dogsdogs.co.za or 082-830-7291 (call/sms/whatsapp) Facebook : Conkasha Labradors and Lanseria Boarding Kennels.