Intend on Breeding

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Intend on Breeding

Postby TooheyBirdie14 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:52 am

Hey All,

Not sure if I'm just asking a general question or if I'm offering anything at this point but here it goes. I have a 2.5 yr old yellow lab that.... A) I would eventually like to own one of his sons B) I am being hounded my hunting buddies on when I'm going to breed him and when they can get one of his pups.

So Toohey is a 2.5 yr old Yellow Lab. I actually bought him from a show breeder because I could not find any local hunting clubs in the area (I live in South Florida) and I wanted a quality pup where I didn't have to worry about issues that arise with "backyard breeders." I never planned on showing Toohey and I've trained him on my own since I got him when he was 8 weeks old. I trained him using several books, online videos, and suggestions from this forum and though I'm sure there are many errors I've made as a rookie dog trainer, I'm super stoked with the gains I've seen Toohey make. Last season, his major downfall was blind retrieves. If he didn't see if fall he wasn't sure where to go. This off season, I've worked my way up to basic casting with pretty good results... Again, with my experience, I'm giving most of the credit to Toohey. He can be sent to one training dummy, called to a halt, then heeled or directed to another dummy. I'm not sure how practical these drills for the field but I basically developed these drills to see how well he responds to direction as well as for his safety should I need to bring him back if I see something I don't like in the water. So that's where he sits with his training.

I am not part of a gun dog club as the closest one to me is in the treasure coast, about a 3 hr drive for me, so Toohey doesn't have any letters in front of nor behind his name. He's extremely friendly (sometimes annoyingly so), eager to please, and insanely smart. He's cleared his PennHip as well as his elbows and has always shown a healthy heart.

I would like to breed Toohey to a quality bitch at some point with hopes of eventually getting one of his sons as my own as well as giving some of my buddies the opportunity to purchase them from the owner of the bitch. Considering his lack in blue ribbons and abbreviations, I'm not really looking for a stud fee, but would like a pup from one of the litters. I'm not really expecting offers from this post but would appreciate any advice any of you might have on how to go about breeding my little buddy.

Thanks for reading... didn't intend on writing that much....
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby hunt-chessies » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:00 pm

What's he going to offer to the breed ?? What's his hip, elbow, and eye scores?? Is he EIC clear??

Breeding because your buddies want a dog is a poor excuse. Kinda like having kids because the sex is fun. Being responsible is having a job, partner, plan and ability to be a parent as well as caring for the kids from start to finish. With a dog being responsible is having all the tests and health clearances and breeding to better the breed in talent, ability, temperament, health, and looks!!!
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby TooheyBirdie14 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:23 pm

Chessies,

I definitely appreciate where you're coming from on the responsibility stand-point. I even understand/appreciate the tone of your response. However, the main intent of my post was to see what additional steps I should take before I realistically consider breeding Toohey.

As I vaguely stated before, I've had his hips and elbows checked. His PennHip score for his left is 0.41 and 0.36 for his right.. tighter than 70% of labs tested. His elbows tested negative for dysplasia per OFA. He was tested right at 2 yrs of age. When speaking with the vet, he suggested waiting until Toohey was paired for breeding before having his eyes tested as it's a test that should be performed within a month or two from when he's bred. If this sounds off to you, please let me know.

You mentioning EIC is actually the first I've heard of it. Sounds like a blood test for a specific gene that causes the condition so I would definitely have this done prior letting him reproduce. I'm glad you mentioned it because like I said, the purpose of my first post was to figure out what additional questions needed to be answered.

Thanks for your opinion and honesty.
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby dogyak » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:10 pm

you are on the right path with having the health clearances :thumbsup: . Never want to pass a defective gene ! The dog looks good , really fit . Does not look like a show dog standard ! LOL !
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby QuacknStrut » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:27 am

This is a very common question and, other than field trialing, you are taking all the steps you can.

Most folks with males don't want the real answer. The real answer is not kind. It can even be insulting. It is not meant to be, but some take it that way, so like Hunt-chessies did, it is done very diplomatically. The simple answer is, that just like in humans, the female controls it all. If you had a well bred female and wanted to breed, what would you look for? Of course, all the OFA, EIC, eye cerf, etc. But once all that is done, they are all the same on paper. Then you would look for championships (you yourself mentioned that he was a bench dog lineage). If you had a hunting dog, you would look for hunting letters after the name. For bench, you would like for show points. Why take a dog with a good line, but no titles when you can pick a dog with a good line AND titles?

What often happens (not saying you, just saying what I see and I am sure Hunt-chessies will concur, although it happens less in his breed since they are not as popular as Labs) is that you marry your dog down. Folks breed to a less than stellar female and take their chances so they can get pups. To each his own, there is no law against it. Of course, a real breed purist would argue that is how all the negative traits wound up in the breed in the first place. I am not that hardline (but I have not dedicated my life to getting a line of dogs to be proud of - those people are judgemental, and maybe with a little bit of correctness).

I tell people if you want to get in to breeding dogs, get a female with good bloodlines and either show or hunt test her or field trial her. Then find a male that is as good or better. If you have the male, all you can do is hunt test or field trial and see if an offer happens because of that activity. I would suggest doing it because it is fun, not to breed the male, because you may be disappointed. You may consider NAHRA as a start.

http://www.nahra.org/?template=clublist_entry

I am sure there are tests in your area. A really jam up gun dog should do well enough in these to make it fun for both of you. I don't have any experience in trialing or showing. I have trained my own dogs and have had some blue bloods and some that were less than impressive on paper. Loved all of them and each one was unique. My best bred dog (bench champ/Sr Hunter dam and Master Hunter Sire) was a bilateral cryptorchid and could never be bred. Made a heck of a hunting dog though. If you put every bird he ever picked up in a boat, it would sink a mighty big boat.
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby whaknstak » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:36 pm

This is why I love this place. Jeremy and QS, thanks for the lesson. You can never have too much knowledge
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby TooheyBirdie14 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:30 pm

Thanks Quack,

Really helpful information. Looking at NAHRA's site, it doesn't look like they have a presence in FL. I'll do a little more searching for field trial clubs though. Thanks.
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby dogyak » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:05 pm

TooheyBirdie14 wrote:Thanks Quack,

Really helpful information. Looking at NAHRA's site, it doesn't look like they have a presence in FL. I'll do a little more searching for field trial clubs though. Thanks.

There is no NAHRA in florida . Don't know where you are in south florida , but I think treasure coast is closer to you unless you are north of Okeechobee , then Central florida hunting retriever club is going to be your best bet . I would really work on getting your dog title to a season dog level . That way you have something to offer . The dog must be able to mark a double on land and water , with a walk-up and a diversion . Must retrieved to hand and run a blind to at least 60 yds on water and land . Line manners should be good and dog must not maul bird . In AKC , will have shot flyer (live duck) , both AKC and UKC use dead ducks . Both clubs listed above run both AKC and UKC(HRC) . You should have your dog doing finished work before running a season level , trained for the hard stuff , and the lower level will be a breeze . I wouldn't fool with started level work with a meat dog IMO . Good luck ! :clapping:
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Re: Intend on Breeding

Postby hunt-chessies » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:37 am

As was said it would be easy to take my answer as a slam and get P.O about it, sounds like you took it like I hope you would!! I guess I missed that you did those tests already, that's awesome!! At least you care about your breed big props for that.

The don't marry down thing is the best I've ever seen it put. Perfect wording. Titles are pieces of paper to show off its not a %100 representation of a good dog but it's the best system we have. If you can find the female match to your dog that is HONESTLYall that and a bag of chips like your dog but don't have titles then fine. Two great dogs are two great dogs. But just careful because that's not as easy as it sounds I think your on the right track and again I applaud you for it
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