Common ailments and diseases:
Labradors are susceptible to many complaints suffered by humans. These include hay-fever, allergies, cancer
Heart conditions, diabetes and arthritis. They are also susceptible to inherited and environmental conditions such as Hip Dysplasia (HD) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). All possible care has been taken with our breeding programme to ensure that these conditions are not evident, however, because of the random nature of the genes no one can guarantee puppies free from inherited disorders even if the immediate parental stock used is clear.
Regular treatment is required for puppies and adults. The most common worm infestation is round worm. However, a general all-purpose worm preparation is recommended. Your puppy has been wormed, several times, and should be wormed again at 9 weeks. Cases of Heartworm have been detected in our area and many parts of South Australia. We recommend that you discuss worming, in particular heartworm protection, with your veterinarian at the time of immunisation booster.
Fleas and Parasites:
Check with regular combing and brushing for coat problems. Fleas can be a problem in sandy areas or in bedding or matting that cannot be washed. Check ears for ear mites or odour. There are many good products available for flea control some of which can simply be added to food. Citronella, which is available from health food shops or garlic are good for the control of fleas. Skin applications and flea collars can also be affective. Check carefully the manufacturers instructions. We do not recommend strong chemical products of any kind for young puppies.
Your puppy has been vaccinated and will require further shots set out on the vaccination card. It is important that these dates are noted and adhered to within one or two days provided the puppy is fit and well. Until the course is completed, earlier vaccines do not continuously protect your puppy. Annual boosters are required according to veterinary advice.
We do not recommend de-sexing for your Labrador (male or female). It will not significantly affect the dog’s behaviour or change its personality in any way. (Females) If after the first season you decide that your bitch is unsuitable for breeding, and consider de-sexing as the final solution we strongly recommend that de-sexing take place just prior to the second season. This ensures your Labrador is fully developed and matures physically and psychologically before interfering with her hormones.
De-sexing will probably cause a weight problem for you and your dog.
Should you wish to breed from your Labrador we would be happy to provide you with advice or assistance.
Not much is required to maintain the Labrador. A slip collar, large water bowl, a metal food dish which can be easily cleaned , a warm bed and a place of their own are the main things. Baby Labradors should have a cloth slip collar that can be washed. You need a good walking lead, which is fairly wide and soft on your hands (woven nylon or leather with a large clip). A longer lead for exercising and a shorter one for training are suggested.
We recommend obedience lessons for the whole family
DO NOT OVER EXERCISE!! A few minutes practice on the lead every day or two five to ten minutes of play several times per day is all that is required until about 16 to 18 weeks. Gradually increasing exercise by 8 months to a 20-minute walk.
Labradors are a moderately heavy boned dog and can be subject to repetitive strain and stress. Long runs, running up and down steps, slippery floors and excessive play or play with larger dogs is not recommended until fully grown. Too much exercise can cause lameness and may lead to shoulder and hip joint problems such as osteochondrosis and hip dysplasia.
As environmental factors such as injury, strain, overexercise and diet may play a part in the development of HD & OCD, it is essential that we are notified immediately any joint disease is suspected so that we may be involved in any consultative process concerning the future of the puppy. If not involved in any decision-making we will also not consider ourselves to have any further responsibility in the matter.
We have at all times endeavoured to breed from animals with no inherited abnormalities. There is, however, a breed incidence that cannot be for-seen.
All of our puppies receive a veterinarian examination and immunisation before sale and are considered to be in good physical condition.
CARING FOR A LABRADOR
A Labrador puppy is a delightful bundle of black, yellow or chocolate energy. Eight weeks old puppies will exercise and play in spurts. Because they have lots of energy they will find something on their own to do that could be destructive if this energy is not channelled correctly. They will have lots of steam and then need to nap like a toddler.
They are very intelligent, have a willingness to please and a sturdy constitution. They like to be busy but their exercise needs to be stimulating without being repetitive or excessive. It is important to establish yourself as the dominant figure from day one. If a Lab gets the idea, even for one minute that they are in charge, you will be in for years of unpleasant experiences. Just as children cannot grow up to be well-adjusted, solid citizens without the help, love and guidance of caring parents, Labradors cannot raise themselves. They are very resourceful and will find ways to entertain themselves. Some of their entertainment can be very annoying, frustrating and dangerous. A Labrador must be taught, socialized and loved.
Labradors are active, smart and fast learners. They can be stubborn but can be easily persuaded to see things your way with encouragement and praise
REMEMBER the Labrador Retriever you buy will be part of your family for many years. The more informed you are before making your final decision, the happier you will be when you bring your new puppy home. Look in dog magazines, go to dog shows to watch the Labrador Retrievers compete and talk to their owners. This way, you will be able to make an educated choice when picking your puppy.
WHAT TO GET – MALE OR FEMALE
Breeders are often asked, “What would make a better family pet, a male or a female?” The sex of the puppy should not be the determining factor. Labradors of both sexes make wonderful companions. People tend to think that males more than females are inclined to roam. This is not true.
Curious puppies and inquisitive dogs get into trouble not because they are bad, but because they want to investigate the world around them. It is our job to protect them from harmful substances like the following:Cleaners, especially pine oil perfume, colognes, aftershaves, medications, vitamins, office, craft supplies, electric cords, chicken, turkey or chop bones, some house plants like ivy, oleander and poinsettia. Snail and slug bait, mouse and rat poisons, fertilizers.
RECOMMENDED PUPPY DIET
Three Times Daily3oz (90 grams) of dry food (can be ½ weetbix and ½ Supercoat puppy) soaked in a small quantity of hot water.
6oz (180 grams) of fresh minced meat (1/2 kangaroo mince and ½ chicken mince)
N.B. If only feeding roo meat you must add fat or suet (40-60 gm)
Mix these quantities together
Gradually increase the amount every few days making sure that your puppy is neither too fat or too thin. By 6 months the puppy should be eating about 4oz (120 grams) of dry food and 6oz (180 grams) of meat PLUS fat or suet of 2oz (60 grams). Once our dogs are full grown we recommend that they be fed morning and night with a balanced diet.
¼ of a 500mg Vitamin “C” daily added to food (increase to ½ at 6 months and continue)
1 Cod Liver Oil Capsule 3 times / week
Glocosamine – Chrondroitin Powder (available at health food shops cheaper than most Vets) ½ level teaspoon twice daily until 4 months old and the one level teaspoon twice daily until 12 months old.
In the event that your puppy experience any lameness or joint symptoms please feel free to contact us for advice.
Last but not least we hope you enjoy many years of love and companionship with your new family member. A Labrador is very much a loving and faithful friend who is happy to be by your side always.