Q. What do the abbreviations on the site mean?
A. C.D. means Companion Dog Obedience Degree C.D.X. means Companion Dog Excellent Obedience Degree. U.D. means Utility Dog Obedience Degree O.T.Ch. means Obedience Trial Champion Ch. means Show Champion H.I.T. means High in Trial W.C. means Working Certificate for water fowl retrieving W.C.I. means Working Certificate Intermediate for water fowl retrieving W.C.X. means Working Certificate Excellent for water fowl retrieving Am. C.D.X. means American Companion Dog Excellent Obedience degree
Q. Is there any difference between getting a male or female as a pet? A. It is often believed that females are more calm and gentle but, in fact, you can have a high powered super active rambunctious female and you can have a calm, laid back, low energy level male. The only differences are physical, the male is taller and weighs a little more so if he does happened to be high energy he might more easily knock over a child. Q. Is there any difference in temperament between yellows and blacks? A. No, except that the field trial lines happen to have more high energy dogs and there are more blacks come from field lines. But, some field trial kennels do breed yellows, so their yellows also tend to be more high energy. Usually your show lines, tend to have more yellows and calmer dogs. Q. Should I spay or castrate my puppy? A. If a female is not going to be bred she should have her reproductive organs removed because the canine reproductive system triggers into a pregnant state whether she is bred or not and therefore if her reproductive organs aren't growing puppies they may instead grow bacteria [pyometra] or cancer. I personally don't like to see males castrated but this is a personal philosophy. Most vets will encourage neutering for the purpose of behaviour control and population control. My feeling is that behaviours such as scent marking indoors and fighting should be controlled by training and roaming for indiscriminate reproduction should be controlled by proper housing in a fenced yard and a dog kennel out doors. I feel if you need population control because you have unneutered females in your home, a male should be vasectomized, and can then introduce maiden bitches to sex in their own home at an appropriate young age before they get their clearances. I feel that bitches don't look different when neutered but sometimes males do, they lack hard masculine musculature. Q. If I plan to neuter, at what age? A. I like to have all the sexual characteristics of my male well developed before cutting off the supply of testosterone, so would prefer the later the better for castration but after six months for vasectomization and spaying. Q. How big should an outdoor dog run, or kennel, be? A. It should be 15 to 20 feet long for a Labrador to exercise properly. Only needs to be about 6 feet wide, long and narrow is better for exercise. Chicken wire should be put on the ground and brought up along side the chain link so the dog can't dig out. 3/4 inch cleaned limestone should be put 3 to 4 inches deep so that, being cleaned limestone, it doesn't form concrete underneath to hold the urine smell in and you can then just hose the urine through into the ground and the limestone acts as a natural filtration system. 3/4 inch is big enough that the dogs feet stay high and tight like a cats and it is also big enough that when you pick up the faeces you don't take a lot of rock with you.
Dog house builder - Rudy, Steinbach, phone 204-470 8033
Fencing - Mike Harras, Pioneer Fence, phone 204-694 6009 Q. Where should the dog kennel (or run) be placed? A. Always place the run as close to the house as possible so that children can't throw things over into it from a neighbour's yard or back lane and neither can poison be thrown in. If at all possible it should be placed along the south side of a structure (house, fence, or shed) to protect the dog from the cold north wind. The closer to the house the run is, the more inclined you will be to use it, rather than allow him to run free in the yard. If you can use a fence or existing structure for one side and perhaps one end, it is cheaper to build. Panels of chain link can be purchased at Revy, Home Depot, and Lumber companies. Remember, come summer time, some kind of tarp will need to be put over one end of the run for shade. Q. What kind of dog house should my dog have outdoors? A. A small one, just big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down, about the size of a crate. Then his body heat will stay close to him and keep him warm. If the dog house is too high, or too large, his body heat will rise away from him. In Canada, walls and floor should both be insulated. If insulated and small, his body heat heats it enough. No straw or bedding is required, which he may chew up or be allergic to. For a door covering, don't use carpet or anything else the dog can chew up. Use mud flaps, like those used on semi-trailers. Heavy industrial rubber must taste awful as they don't chew it up. It is heavy and falls flat against the door of the dog house to keep the body heat in. Cut a lower corner off so the dog can learn to put his nose in that lower corner and flip the mud flap up to get into his house. Put the dog house on the outside of the dog run. Inside it takes away some exercise room and can be used to go over the top. Put door flush against chain link. Staple chain link to dog house around door, then cut the chain link out that covers the door and put the mud flap on. Q. Why should I get a crate for my puppy? A. Because he has a right to his own den. His safe place. His own place. A baby has his own places, his crib, his walker, his play pen, etc. He is safe in there and he feels safe in there. Safe from visitors who let him jump on them. Safe from children who harass him. Safe from visitors who feed him near your dining room table. Safe from making house soiling errors, for which he gets punished. A puppy in a crate will sleep, they need lots and lots of sleep. If he doesn't get enough sleep because he is roaming and pacing in an area much to big for him to handle, like a kitchen, he will be over tired and hyperactive. If one allowed a two year old child or a four year old child to sleep where he wanted, i.e. in front of the T.V., that child would learn inappropriately that he was in control of things. That he had no authority figure to depend on. No rules he could understand. No schedules to follow. This would lead to a very insecure child or puppy. Schedules, rules, and authority figures, they provide security. The puppy's crate provides for a schedule, a three hour nap from 9 to noon, a three hour name from 2 to 5, (even on weekends). The puppy's crate provides rules, when the door bell rings, you go in your crate, you don't charge the guests. When we go in our bed, you go in your crate. The puppy's crate provides a sense of authority, when the boss says to go in your crate you have to go or they make you and you have to be quiet or there is a bad consequence like a water pistol. Schedules, rules, authority, they give a puppy and a child both a sense of security. I crate also keeps a puppy from getting in trouble for things he doesn't know he shouldn't do, like jumping on guests, house soiling, destructive chewing and digging. It controls his behaviours until he is old enough to learn to think before he acts because there are bad consequences to things like digging holes, i.e. a can flying through the air, and piddling in the house, i.e. a good scruff shake with lots of yelling. His crate is used to teach him what dog chewables are, i.e. kongs, real bones that are specially treated, and nylon or gumabone products. This way he doesn't get in trouble for chewing up the kids toys before he understands the difference between dog chewables and non chewables. His crate also protects him from house soiling errors because he doesn't move around and stimulate his bowel and bladder so he doesn't need to urinate and defecate. He is biologically programmed to keep the den clean so predators aren't attracted to it, so he will try not to pee or poop in there, without even knowing why. This way, he really needs to go when he comes out so his folks know when he needs to go outside. Crates sure do help a puppy avoid trouble! Q. What size crate should I get for my puppy? A. This is a difficult question, small puppy needs small crate so he doesn't move about and stimulate his bowel and bladder and so he can't pee and poop in one corner and sleep in a different corner. But, if you get the correct size for a puppy, then it will be too small for an adult. Therefore, it is suggested you get a Vari 500 size for an adult male Lab and a Vari 400 size for an adult female Lab and you put a cooler or a piece of plywood in the back to make it smaller when he needs it smaller as a puppy. Q. Should my puppy have a blanket in his crate? A. Yes, when he hasn't soiled in his crate for three weeks. A blanket will soak up urine and he can bury faeces under a blanket. Either way, he doesn't have to live with consequences of his ways and learn it isn't pleasant. Q. Should my puppy have access to food and water at all times? A. No. Water should be provided at breakfast, lunch, supper, and 2 hours before bedtime (1 cup) until there are no more house soiling accidents. Food should never be left accessible, as this makes a dog a very picky eater and teaches him a lie, that he is the great successful hunter in the territory when he gets hungry and finds the left over food. Then he thinks he is the all powerful one and it is his house. You'd rather that when he gets hungry he thinks, "wish the boss would come home, sure would be nice if the boss came home, sure am hungry, wish the boss would get home". That increases his bonding to you as the provider. Q. What should I look for when I go to look at a litter of puppies? A. The character of the parents. Are they friendly. Often the father won't be available but there is no excuse, in my opinion, for a Labrador bitch with babies to be snarling and growling and defensive if they are more than three days old. That is not typical laid back Labrador temperament, but some breeders may accept it as the norm in their line. Mum should be glad to have visitors come to see her and her babies and the babies should be happy to come seen visitors if they are much beyond 3 weeks. Puppies reluctant to approach stranger are not, in my opinion, exhibiting typical Labrador behaviour. The whelping box and the puppies should be clean and the puppies should look fat all over, not just have fat little tummies on skinny bodies, as that could be an indication of worms. If they are over five weeks they should have been wormed, if they are over 7 weeks they should have been tattooed and immunized. Pictures of the parents, the family tree [pedigree], and copies of their hip and eye clearances should be readily available to view on request and the sales agreement should be fully explained, i.e. are their any warranties and could you ever breed this dog and under what conditions could you breed the dog. Most ethical breeders sell on non breeding agreement and have stipulations for lifting the non breeding agreement, like having a show championship and hip and eye clearances. Some will ask for more money for the right to breed but I believe this is frowned on by the CKC, which developed the non breeding agreement to protect against indiscriminate breeding of dog of non reproductive quality, not so that people could be charged more for raising a dog of quality. If a person has entered shows and got a championship and got clearances, they have paid out good money to prove the dog is of reproductive quality so, in my opinion, they should not be penalized for doing a good job of raising the dog by being charged for the right to breed their own dog. Many breeders would disagree with me here. Q. What is the difference between pet quality and show quality? A. That will vary with each breeder. I always say if I could tell which would make the best pet, i.e. the dog with the best temperament and the healthiest, with the greatest longevity, I would charge $1000 for the best pet quality. Many breeders charge less for pet quality, assuming that a pet is of less value than a show and breeding dog. Therefore, many will charge more for the pup that has show potential, i.e. a wider head, more bone, more turn of stifle, better shoulder angles, etc. The problem with this, in my opinion, is that those things don't make the dog more valuable to the average pet owner and in my own experience, the one I pick as the best possible for potential show and breeding homes often doesn't turn out to be the best as an adult. The ugly duck syndrome is not unknown in purebred dogs. So, I personally sell all my dogs for one price and give people breeding rights free of charge if they get a championship and the genetic clearances. I don't believe you can pick pet quality as puppies and to do so is to write off your own puppies as being less valuable (unless like me you consider pet quality to be of much greater value). Q. Do you guarantee show quality pups? A. No. To guarantee show quality is to agree to replace a dog that has a few crooked teeth or where one testicle doesn't come down, or an eyelid turns in and needs a stitch for a week to keep it out. I don't want my puppies going to "show people" who would return a puppy because it wasn't perfect enough for the show ring or who would be willing to place it in someone else's home as a pet and then get a replacement from me. I want my puppies to go to homes where they receive unconditional love and are settled in as members of the family, whether they turn out physically perfect or not. Therefore, I don't sell to show homes and don't guarantee show quality. Q. Should I get two puppies so they keep each other company when we go to work? A. I definitely feel that you should not do so and as a breeder would never sell people two litter mates. Two puppies will bond on each other as their pack instead of on your family as their pack. They will ignore you all in favour of play and interaction with each other, get in double the trouble and be twice as difficult to train. They will not bond on family members as pack leaders. Instead, one of them will become the leader of their little pack. That will make the leader more dominant and harder to train and the follower more submissive and fearful. If you think you pup needs company. Get him/her their own kitten. They will become fast friends. Q. What age should my first dog be when I introduce another dog? A. Around 6 to 8 years of age is good as your dog is still young enough to enjoy the pup but too old for the two of them to play constantly and bond on each other. Therefore, the younger dog will look to you for companionship and leadership. Once your original dog is over 10, it becomes too difficult for an old dog to tolerate a youngster, and they may be unfriendly with the pup. This of course is only my opinion and others might suggest otherwise.
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