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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. As mentioned in my recent, one of my few posts, I am probably one of the least qualified to be on this forum. I had one lab, lost her over 4 1/2 years ago, never even been to a test or trial, and just really started thinking about getting another lab after Miley. It broke my heart to give her up and at my age I thought I mine be done. I am hoping you all can give me some help.
I would love to get a started dog we could hunt with this year. I am now semi-retired and so I might get to hunt more this year, Good Lord willing, but it will be hard as Miley and now much worse yet, my Pop is no longer with us. But I am not sure I can afford a started dog. I would enjoy a pup tremendously, and would enjoy training one from the start. Miley was out of Watermark’s Texas Welcome and Bluegrass Troublesome Trace, a litter I talked to John Broucek and he recommended at the time (and what a nice guy, talking to me, a complete stranger). Another Howdy pup would be great, as Miley was all I could ask for in a dog; great personality, smart and loved working. I miss her every day. But Howdy pups seem to be few and far between, even his offspring’s pups are not common, and I would also like to find a dog of Miley’s size, around 70 lbs., which makes it harder yet. I am not trying to replace her, I can’t, and while I may compare them some, this new dog would be loved the same. But I don’t know what sires are really good and producing good pups, whether a Grady is better than a Willie, for instance, generally speaking or whatever the comparison might be. I have been looking at AFC or NFC sires, but money is not unlimited either. And I guess I am handling that wrong, as I have had about 2 out of 6 people respond when I email asking about the price to people on here or hunting pedigree forum. I don’t want to waste their time if the pup is too much money for me; and there are alot of other costs, such as a big bag of Pro Plan, vet visits, etc. So I am trying to find a dog that I will be the limiting factor, not her, one that I would like to get into hunt tests with, that will be a 4-legged family member, that will be very smart, have fire and will love to hunt. Any suggestions would be much appreciated on sires, but of course I will look at the lady’s pedigree as well. I do recognize the older, famous names in a pedigree, I just don’t know who is who now. It’s been over 15 years since I was looking for Miley. Thanks and may God bless for taking time to read this lengthy post requesting help. With your suggestions and His help, I hope to find another special female black lab that will steal a piece of my heart.
 

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Hi Fishn,

Generally the price for a started pup is going to be between 3k and 7k....a huge disparity, I know - and some of that relates to what the level of the 'started' dog is as well as who is selling the dog. Some of the 'bigger' trainers of hunting dogs draw from their 'being known' and they charge a lot more, whereas small hobby breeders may keep back a pup from each litter to train and sell, or keep for a potential breeding prospect down the road or just to get a hands on idea of how they like the pups attributes - these pups may sell for less than those from larger training operations. The other thing that you will see happening this fall is quite a few started dogs being sold due to the market having been flooded this summer and that may drive the prices down.

70lb is pretty big for a female lab, so it may be hard to get another of Miley's size, but I'd guess it not impossible. There are several places besides RTF you can go to find started dogs ---- gundog central, hunting lab pedigree, entry express, and facebook started labrador retrievers to name a few.

I'd warn you to be very careful about buying a started dog from just anybody. There are (and always will be) people looking to make an easy buck and the training on their dog will be less than stellar and quite frankly you may get a dog that has serious 'training skeletons' if its been trained by a less than skilled trainer...... If at all possible, go see the dog in person and the trainer. If at all possible get references from the person you are buying the pup. If they are interested in the well being of the dog, they will also be asking you quite a few questionsl --- they should want the very best situation for the dog they have most likely raised and trained - and would they will be willing to give you a try out period, with conditions/contract that the dog is 'yours' if something happens to it while in your care. (meaning you pay for the dog).

Good luck with your search.
 

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You mentioned that “money is not unlimited“, what is your budget for a puppy? a trained dog?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tobias, thanks for the tips and warnings. I appreciate the info. I will check some of the other places you mentioned as well. Doesn’t have to be 70 lbs., but hopefully close, I really liked Miley’s size and strength and she was still fast. Sure miss her a lot….

Ed, I was looking at the low end of what Tobias said for a started dog, $3k would be a lot for me but one I considered was that price,just was not exactly what I was looking for. By started I really just want one with basic obedience, force fetch and collar conditioned but maybe that is too much to ask for $3k, I have no idea. Definitely want a young one so I don’t miss out on more than I have to. For a pup, I would take one for less but thinking $1500-$2500. I would be hoping in the top of my range to get a pup from an afc dad x mh/hrch mom (I know that’s not the right terminology), but maybe that’s asking too much too.What do you think? Thank you too
 

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Tobias, thanks for the tips and warnings. I appreciate the info. I will check some of the other places you mentioned as well. Doesn’t have to be 70 lbs., but hopefully close, I really liked Miley’s size and strength and she was still fast. Sure miss her a lot….

Ed, I was looking at the low end of what Tobias said for a started dog, $3k would be a lot for me but one I considered was that price,just was not exactly what I was looking for. By started I really just want one with basic obedience, force fetch and collar conditioned but maybe that is too much to ask for $3k, I have no idea. Definitely want a young one so I don’t miss out on more than I have to. For a pup, I would take one for less but thinking $1500-$2500. I would be hoping in the top of my range to get a pup from an afc dad x mh/hrch mom (I know that’s not the right terminology), but maybe that’s asking too much too.What do you think? Thank you too
I PMd you. Take a look
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here’s another question, if EIC is not listed as clear (on the female), the site is clear, and the female’s parents are clear, is she clear by parentage or why would she not have been checked? I want good health clearances even if the pup won’t be bred. Oh, and any rough ideas on shipping if a dog is 1,000 miles away? Obviously I prefer one much, much closer to home where I can pick her up and see at least the mom if not both. The not unlimited funds comes in again…thanks
 

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3k would be the low end for what you are looking for from a pedigree and training standpoint. Not impossible, though. You have to consider that the cost of the pup $2000 and then basically 6 months of training (assuming the person actually spent time training the puppy and it didn't just sit in a kennel 24.7)

You might want to consider adopting a brood bitch that is retired -- or, a less likely possibility would be to be a guardian owner... You basically have the dog, but the breeder still owns her and breeds her once or twice (she goes to the breeder for basically about 3 months, the last 4 weeks of pregnancy and the whelping/raising of the pups), then she is yours free and clear. This is not as common with retrievers as it is with some other breeds, but it is not uncommon at all.
 

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Here’s another question, if EIC is not listed as clear (on the female), the site is clear, and the female’s parents are clear, is she clear by parentage or why would she not have been checked? I want good health clearances even if the pup won’t be bred. Oh, and any rough ideas on shipping if a dog is 1,000 miles away? Obviously I prefer one much, much closer to home where I can pick her up and see at least the mom if not both. The not unlimited funds comes in again…thanks
she would be clear by parentage. I wouldn't worry about it if you are planning only a pet home for the dog and the sire has been tested clear. The breeder of the litter is going by her parents testing clear (make sure to check to see if they've actually been tested clear) - even if she was a carrier, 50% liklihood the pups would be carriers... no affecteds. (and no affecteds if she just happened to be affected, but all pups would be carriers - again, as long as the sire had actual genetic testing done and came back clear....

Not sure on the shipping -- I'd guess $500-800
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tobias, thanks for all the info, and may God bless you guys for trying to help me. I really don’t want a dog over a couple years old, at the oldest, and could not let her be gone for months at a time either. We may just have to go without a dog on any hunts this year. I hate to lose the opportunity to hunt a lot Good Lord willing, with a dog that could get some experience, but I have myself in a small box as far as opportunities as far as what I can and can’t do regarding a started dog. And my arm was hurting so bad last night I could not hardly sleep, so my hunting may end up getting derailed if I have to have surgery or something on it (I need to get to a dr). If that’s the case, and for all the joy a pup is, I will just trust in the Lord, that sure worked with Miley. Thanks again guys.
 
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