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I'm hoping to add my first non-rescue (from a breeder) dog to the family in the next 12-18 months, and am still trying to pick the right breeder.

Labrador Retriever, but am undecided on both sex and color so I haven't been able to "weed out" breeders quite as easily (whereas most people want x color and only choose from breeders that have that color.)

On the lab forum I'm a part of, it seems that many good breeders do not offer guarantees beyond the basic puppy parvo shots type thing- and they state that genetics is so hard to control that its difficult to offer a guarantee. All breeders I'm looking at (at a minimum) have OFA hips and elbows, eyes, EIC, and cardiac, so its not that they haven't tested- its that they cannot guarantee that every litter will be perfect.

I see where they're coming from, but that being said- I've been doing my homework for years now preparing for this puppy and would really like to be successful.

Would you ever buy a puppy without a guarantee (I'm thinking like 26months on hips and eyes but feel free to elaborate) or do you know of breeders that don't guarantee their puppies? I want opinions, even if they're not referring to the Lab breed.
 

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Yes, they should absolutely offer a guarantee. Ethical breeders do, if a breeder doesn't, they're unethical. And 26 months is bs in my opinion. Many genetic diseases don't show until later than that.

We have some lab people here. They can probably help you find a good breeder.
 

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Yes Breeders should offer some sort of guarantee. I do not however believe they should have to cover every possible genetic disorder for the life of the dog, it is simply not possible to test for every genetic disorder! A simple guarantee that covers the things that the breeder is testing for and breeding away from and a guarantee that covers health of the puppy at time of purchase are at least a must in my opinion. The breeder also has to weigh the cost of that guarantee with what they themselves are financially able to handle, and the costumer is going to have to decide whether that guarantee is acceptable for them.

There may for example be a guarantee against juvenile cataracts before the age of 5 years, in which the breeder offers to refund half the price of the puppy. As a breeder they should be testing for a cataract causing gene or know that all dogs in the puppy's broad family tree for many generations have never had a juvenile cataract. It has to be worth it to the breeder to offer a guarantee, if for instance you are going to by a dog from a bloodline that is publicly known to have a certain health problem and you as the buyer know that your pup will likely come down with this condition then I do not believe the breeder has to cover it. That type of situation is the buyers own risk.
 

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Ethical breeders do, if a breeder doesn't, they're unethical.
I guess we all have our ideas of what constitutes and ethical breeder and what doesn't. For the record, I don't agree with this quote.

I don't know if I feel guarantees are necessary on a pet. After 2+ years if your dog proves unwell physically, are you really going to give it back for a new puppy of equal or lesser value? (which is all of the guarantees I've seen.)

In a roundabout way I've do agree with Amaryllis that 26 months is not OK for the reason stated.
I guess I would rather have a really good guarantee or no guarantee than an insulting, half-baked one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
accepting all PM's about breeders!!!! feel free to post breeder names on the thread if allowed, though i dont think it is? I have a huge word spreadsheet with all the kennel names and websites.

Prefer a breeder in NC, SC, possibly VA. Possibly willing to travel if necessary.
 

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In a roundabout way I've do agree with Amaryllis that 26 months is not OK for the reason stated.
I guess I would rather have a really good guarantee or no guarantee than an insulting, half-baked one.
THIS. What should a guarantee really entail? I'm not returning a dog, so any guarantee that requires that is worthless to me.
 

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I know of show breeders who offer guarantees that say that if the dog ends up not being show quality, or ends up with some sort of genetic defect, causing it to not be breedable/showable, they will give you another puppy from a future litter, and not ask for your original dog back, because it already has a good home. And I know of breeders who sell their pet quality puppies with guarantees stating that if the dog ends up with a serious genetic defect in its first 2-3 years of life, they will reimburse you the price of your dog. I don't believe a good breeder would take a dog back who has a good home who will take care of the problems that may arise later.

I think good breeders like that really have to work hard to be confident in the quality of their animals, to be able to offer such guarantees.
 

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I know of show breeders who offer guarantees that say that if the dog ends up not being show quality, or ends up with some sort of genetic defect, causing it to not be breedable/showable, they will give you another puppy from a future litter, and not ask for your original dog back, because it already has a good home.
I still don't like this, what if the two dogs don't get along, what if the owner is already maxed out on the number of dogs they can have.

I do like the idea of refunding the price of the dog because I paid for purebred aiming for a genetically sound animal and if I don't get that I don't want another dog and I don't want to give this one back, but a refund would be nice at least to go towards the cost of treatment for the physical ailment of the dog.
 

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don't forget CMN on your list of clearances. (muscle disease and is usually seen at a couple months old)

Also make sure the breeder proves the breeding dogs (both males and females) in some venue (conformation, hunt, field).

It also depends on what the guarantee says. if all it states is that you have to return the puppy then who cares, most of us would never return a puppy. If it says you need to show proof of displasia before 1 year of age, again, that isn't enough. I'd prefer one that says they would refund you the cost of hte care up to the price of the puppy.

I wouldn't say if a breeder doesn't have a guarantee that makes them bad, not if they do all the clearances AND prove their dog in a venue and all the other stuff that makes them good. But I would talk to them (the breeder) and ask why don't have one (if they don't). I know a few got sick of it as people used them to say everything was "the breeder's fault" when food, environment and buyers all play a huge impact as well.
 

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http://www.dogforums.com/general-dog-forum/114953-purebreds-other-dogs-health.html this thread touches on this subject.
I am with KodiBarracuda on this. In my opinion offering another dog or puppy is silly. To me the most important thing is how they address it. (why, how, when, what, can we fix it), give you your money back, and if IT IS a defect caused by genetics, doesn't breed from that combination again. To me a good breeder, even though they might not offer a guarantee, shows genuine concern about the issue and how and why it could have happened. That's just me though.
All that aside they can test and show all they want, but s**t happens. Life style, nutrition all contribute to the overall health and condition of the dog.
I would never guarantee someone who fed their puppy pedigree just for examples sakes.
All you can really do is talk to the breeder and ask, sometimes they are prepared to offer one, but it all depends on the buyers circumstances. Say you fed a good diet and made sure the dog wasn't going to stress his joints etc before he was full grown then they might think about it.
People tend to put too much blame on the breeder when these things pop up. When really the testing and breeding is a preventative measure, you can't guarantee genetics.
That's my take on it anyway!
 

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. . . Would you ever buy a puppy without a guarantee (I'm thinking like 26months on hips and eyes but feel free to elaborate) or do you know of breeders that don't guarantee their puppies? I want opinions, even if they're not referring to the Lab breed.
I have known enough breeders and their guarantees now that IF I read a breeder that has a guarantee I automatically think of it as a sales tactic and a red flag. After I read the guarantee I search quickly for the 'health' page if they have a site . . . and see how much honesty is there. As often or not it is remiss.

I'd rather honesty . . . and that means a breeder that makes a point to educate BEFORE a sale and states openly that there are issues, what they generally are, and that they cannot guarantee against them but that they want to be informed of any issues and you will have their support . . . THAT statement means more important to me from a breeder than a guarantee.

As an example with regard to honesty about the breed: http://www.tibroke.com/available-puppies.html

Available Puppies

As someone that may be interested in acquiring a Tibetan Spaniel, be it a puppy or an adult, it may be of interest to you that though this breed is a healthy breed they do have a things you need to be aware of. It seems that I forget to tell people about these things because they are so much a part of the breed that I take it as nothing unusual.

1. THEY EAT POOP: Most of the time it is a puppy thing and grow out of it as they become an adult. But not always. A good quick lick on the tip of your nose and you know what they have been doing. If there were one thing I could change about the breed this would be it. But I guess other breeds do this too. I have found that when I changed to feeding raw that this behavior stopped. You might want to consider this feeding a raw/BARF diet.

2. THEY HAVE HERNIAS: It is part of the breed. Umbilical hernias are very common, inguinal hernias occur also. They can be large or small. In all my 20 year in Tibetan Spaniels I have only had a couple of them cause a problem. Not all dogs will have them, but there is a good chance they will. A hernia can be repaired when they are spayed or neutered, it is not an emergency procedure. Do not let your vet tell you otherwise.

3. A CHERRY EYE MAY APPEAR: Sometimes this will require that it be surgically removed or tacked down, when it will not return to normal. Other times it seems just to pop up and after a while return to normal. A cherry eye looks worse than it is. But if it doesn't return to normal in about 24 hours it will have to be removed or tacked down. This usually happens as a puppy so you might as well have them spayed/neutered at the same time.

I DO NOT GUARANTEE

THEY WILL NOT GET A CHERRY EYE OR NOT HAVE A HERNIA
So, I would buy a puppy without a guarantee. Absolutely.

SOB
 

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I am a breeder. I do not guarntee health. I offer A pedigree of dogs known to be free of health problems. I also offer OFA on hips, CERF on eyes, and will be doing thyroid and heart in the future. I do however, get the dog a health cert on my end, and encourage owners to do the same on thier end. Now, I deal in working dogs, which is very specialized market for the most part. People know what they are buying. And as for ethics.... Someone can go shop somewhere else if they do not like what I am selling. I provide, the best possible puppies from the best possible working stock I can find. I take more care and time in providing my pups with a healthy diet, enrichement mentally and the best genetics the most people do with thier children. I also am not in the buisness of buying dogs back either. Buying a dog is a serious, serious decision. I think offering a buy back policy gives owner who are not that commited an easy way out. When I sell a dog, it's thier dog. I sift through buyers to find the best possible I can... No buyer has ever offered me a guarntee they will provide the best possible home for the dog or my dog back. I will however, rehome a dog for someone that got in over thier head.
 

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The breeder we got Colby (and my parents' dog, Cooper) from offered a guarantee against CEA and hip/elbow displasia. In retrospect, she was pretty inexperienced and since we got her, Colby has had many other health problems like GI issues and she (and Cooper) developed demodecosis, which we found came from their mom. The breeder we got Ace from has over 20 years of experience, does tons of research (she talked to me for like 45 minutes about white factoring) and only breeds dogs without CEA and displasia. She is always available for any questions or concerns that come up and has always encouraged us to call if we have questions, even if we don't think it's a big deal. So far, he's been an extremely healthy little dude. When I asked if she offered a guarantee, she asked how anyone could guarantee the future, and based on my experience I tend to agree with her.
 

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I would want a guarantee that the parents have been health tested for common genetic problems known to that particular breed. In labs, for example, I'd want to know that the parents had clear hips, since hip dysplasia is so common. In boxers, I'd want a guarantee that the parents have had their hearts tested, since cardiomyopathy is so common, and I'd also want to know the percentage of cancer in both sets of parents pedigrees, for the same reason.

This isn't to say that I want an absolute guarantee that the puppy wouldn't develop any of these things, but healthy parents (and those in their line before them) increase the odds of a healthy puppy.
 

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Try: http://www.csclrc.com/ Coastal SC Lab Club ... I don't know anything about these folks.

I've never purchased a purebred, but from the postings, I've gathered that reputable hunting and show breeders have pride in their pups, and require that you sign a contract agreeing to contact the breeder with problems or if you intend to get rid of the pup. This sounds like they are serious about keeping the breed healthy and serious about their reputation. Given the nature of genetics and epigenetics, even with health-testing across multiple generations, I believe that's as good as you can get.
 

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I am a breeder. I do not guarntee health. I offer A pedigree of dogs known to be free of health problems. I also offer OFA on hips, CERF on eyes, and will be doing thyroid and heart in the future. I do however, get the dog a health cert on my end, and encourage owners to do the same on thier end. Now, I deal in working dogs, which is very specialized market for the most part. People know what they are buying. And as for ethics.... Someone can go shop somewhere else if they do not like what I am selling. I provide, the best possible puppies from the best possible working stock I can find. I take more care and time in providing my pups with a healthy diet, enrichement mentally and the best genetics the most people do with thier children. I also am not in the buisness of buying dogs back either. Buying a dog is a serious, serious decision. I think offering a buy back policy gives owner who are not that commited an easy way out. When I sell a dog, it's thier dog. I sift through buyers to find the best possible I can... No buyer has ever offered me a guarntee they will provide the best possible home for the dog or my dog back. I will however, rehome a dog for someone that got in over thier head.
Agree. I had a pup returned. The woman wanted a protection prospect. She researched the breed, had a trainer lined up, gained experience with the malinois, and two weeks later called. She couldn't handle him at 13 weeks. He didn't need to stay there, so yes he came back here.
Normally I offer an exchange if any pups are still available, or a choice from a future breeding. However in some circumstances, its not a fit for some people, and another breed would be best.

I do have a limited health warranty. If the dog isn't working out, I will take them back here, but it would be very limited on issues if money would be returned. If its a genetic issue yes, but just getting in over their heads no. Happens a lot with working dogs.
 

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Was not into breeding much at all 50 yrs maybe 10 to 12 litters and dogs were health guaranteed 5 yrs. I would replace with pup of equal breeding.
 

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I would want a guarantee that the parents have been health tested for common genetic problems known to that particular breed. In labs, for example, I'd want to know that the parents had clear hips, since hip dysplasia is so common. In boxers, I'd want a guarantee that the parents have had their hearts tested, since cardiomyopathy is so common, and I'd also want to know the percentage of cancer in both sets of parents pedigrees, for the same reason.

This isn't to say that I want an absolute guarantee that the puppy wouldn't develop any of these things, but healthy parents (and those in their line before them) increase the odds of a healthy puppy.
you have the right to more than a guarante, you have the right to SEE those clearances.
 

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The offer of a replacement pup does have some value to it. I know not many would even THINK about returning their beloved 1 year old dog just because he has developed a severe overbite. But if this dog was purchased with the intent to be a working animal and/or for breeding this would be a SERIOUS issue and I would want the exchange of the dog to be an option if I was in such a situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The offer of a replacement pup does have some value to it. I know not many would even THINK about returning their beloved 1 year old dog just because he has developed a severe overbite. But if this dog was purchased with the intent to be a working animal and/or for breeding this would be a SERIOUS issue and I would want the exchange of the dog to be an option if I was in such a situation.
I agree! It doesnt apply to me because I just want a pet that I can hopefully get into agility for fun with, but for a working or show dog I would want the option.

I'm currently emailing a breeder from my list that I've fallen in love with. She has a waiting list and I'm wondering if I'm good enough for one of her puppies....

but she refunds the purchase price or gives you another puppy if your dog develops any disease that she tests for.

:bounce::bounce:

fingers crossed!! it would still be another year or more before pup, but i'm hoping she deems me suitable.
 
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