Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ'S - Worth Reading !!!
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1) I only want a pet and these dogs are the American Bred Hunting Lines - will they make good pets?
I have no problem selling my puppies as pets as everyone deserves a genetically sound, intelligent - well bred member of the family - who will be super easy to train as they are bred to be super Intelligent!
2) I want a Hunting Dog - Should I get a puppy out of Field Trial Lines rather than one of my buddies 2 good "Hunting Dogs".
Just remember this ONE BIG tip - You can always take a little out of the pups enthusiasm but you cannot put the desire to retrieve in them - there is NO OTHER WAY TO SAY THIS....My pups are breaking their necks to retrieve birds I throw at 7 weeks and I build up every bit of enthusiasm when they are young... this does not mean they are going to be wild and uncontrollable - teach them what's acceptable with work and play - and keep the 2 separate... but the desire to retrieve begins with an awesome pedigree - again... look for titles - what these dogs have had to do to accomplish these titles requires an enormous amount of intelligence, train ability and drive.
3) PARVO VIRUS!!!!!!!! - Read this if your buying a puppy in the spring/summer!!!
Your young puppy gets vaccinations for this as well as a number of other diseases - but this one is the most common and deadly - VERY contagious too! Parvo is a highly infectious common DEADLY viral infection and usually strikes pups - even pups that have had vaccinations - It is spread by contact with an infected dogs blood, feces or vomit - an older dog can be infected with Parvo but they have the immunities - if this infected older dog comes in contact with a young pup - the puppy is at risk!!!!! SO PLEASE KEEP YOUNG PUPS away from all areas where a lot of other dogs have been - parks, community centers, lake areas where a lot of other dogs have been, dog walks at service stations, rest areas - and Be CAREFUL at the VET!!
If you are taking the puppy to the vet - I recommend making your appointment for first thing in the morning before the vet has touched/treated a lot of other dogs and DO NOT BE AFRAID to ask the technician when making the appt or prior to taking them ... does the clinic have any sick parvo pups at the time?? Ask your vet about parvo - I know he/she will agree!!!
Symptoms - dry, hacking cough, loss of appetite, depression, diarrhea, vomiting - THIS IS NOTHING TO BE CASUAL ABOUT - do not call me - TAKE YOUR PUPPY DIRECTLY TO THE VET!!!!
4) When do the pups go home? What does due date / whelped date mean?
I let the pups go at 7 weeks/ 49 days - The due date or whelped date is the date the pups are due to be born... so 7 weeks after the due date they can go home... the due date is 63 days from the first breeding - but the pups can be actually born 5 days before or after due date.
5) Is the pedigree important?
The pedigree is vitally important as all the titles in the pedigrees is where the intelligence and train ability comes from - so take a good look at all the titles in the pedigrees they should be in the first few generations as well as in the 3rd and 4th generations.
6) What are the titles - what do they stand for?
These are titles earned at Field Trials - a placement - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th / win or lose stake - these titles are in front of the dogs names:
- FC -Field Champion
- AFC- Amateur Field Champion
- NFC -National Field Champion ( only 1 of these titled each year at the national Open )
- NAFC- National Amateur Field Champion ( only 1 of these at National Amateur Stake )
- CFC -Canadian Field Champion
- CAFC- Canadian Amateur Field Champion
- CNFC -Canadian National Field Champion ( 1 of these in Canada each year )
- CNAFC- Canadian National Amateur Field Champion ( ditto)
These are AKC Hunt Test titles earned - dogs either pass or fail a series of tests to earn these titles - these titles will be at the end of a dogs name on the pedigrees:
- MH - Master Hunter
- SH- Senior Hunter
- JH -Junior Hunter
These are UKC ( United Kennel Club ) titles earned - similar to AKC Hunt Test only recognized by The United Kennel Club not AKC ...so you will not see a UKC dogs title on an AKC registration and vise versa - and these titles will be in front of the dogs names.
- SR -Started Retriever
- WR -Working Retriever
- MHR- Master Hunting Retriever
- HRCH- Hunting Retriever Champion
- GHRCH- Grand Hunting Retriever Champion
The Show Champion title - is CH - and is in front of the dogs names.
7) Are these dogs the American or English/British style labs?
Ashland pups are strictly the American bred labs - the taller more Athletic style - British labs are the "show" labs - shorter and thicker/stumpier style bred only for the look that wins in the "show" ring - my dogs are smarter than a lot of folks due to the outstanding breeding!!
8) What's the best training book to buy and where do I find them?
There is no one best or ONLY way to begin training a lab pup - what I do works for me
(And there are some articles on my web site under tips and articles about training )- I suggest reading as much and training with as many folks as you can and take what sounds good to you - the key is be consistent!!! There are some good links to places to buy training books on this web site).
9) What's the best food to buy and when should I switch pup to adult food?
I feed ONLY Puppy Pro-Plan Large Breed Formula and HIGHLY recommend this... what ever food you use.... buy a premium food - not cheap grocery store food... I switch to adult food at 6-7 months.
10) What size crate should I buy - metal or plastic?
Get the large 400 series crate if you buy the plastic - Walmart is the cheapest place to get them - a lot of folks ask about putting a partition when the pups are young - I do not practice this with my pups - again use what you think feels right to you! I have the metal and plastic crates - I prefer the metal in the house so they can see out and also have the plastic crates for traveling - In case they get in the lake and smell like a "dead fish" on the way home - the plastic crates are much easier to Clorox/clean up.
11) How do I stop the puppy from nipping/chewing?
NO needs to become a LARGE part of your vocabulary with a young pup - YOU ARE THE BOSS - if they are doing something that is unacceptable they do not know it ...until you tell them NO!! Not in a whimpy manner - let them know you mean business and IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE... as far as chewing goes...all puppies will chew and need things to chew on - I give the Very young pups up to about 10 weeks the rawhide chews but after that they can chew off big pieces and swallow them - you can give them cow hoofs or any other chew toy they cannot chew off pieces and swallow - they also love those rope tugs... these are good to start them retrieving.
TRAINING TIP WITH NEW PUP - Take pup to long hallway and close all the doors - them throw the rope tug or puppy bumper down the hallway - that way he has to come back to you and cannot run off with the toy.
12) At what age do I send my puppy for advanced gun dog training or obedience training?
I have VERY good reputable trainers I can refer for advanced training and they like to get the puppy at about 7-8 months old - for obedience I also have some good folks and they can start with this a lot sooner at about 4-5 months old.
13) At what age can I spay/neuter my dog?
Ask your vet and go by what they say if this is the route you choose to go - but I recommend waiting until the pup has had the series of puppy shots and they get their last shot at 18 weeks- then wait a month or so for the pups immunities to "kick in" - then have the spayed or neutered.
14) What treats should I buy?
Any treats will do fine - even little morsels of dog food can be given as incentive training treats!
15) How will my new puppy do with my dogs or cats?
Most of my puppies have seen and been around other "big dogs" but no cats - however I have not ever heard of a puppy having or causing trouble with a cat - or retrieving them ( yes, I have been asked that too! )... the pups are smart and once the cat shows him he is the boss... the pups are smart and will not bother them - with other dogs - you will have to be careful when they pups are very young as the older dogs may be trying to play with the pups and hurt them unintentionally.. so make the introductions short and always with your SUPERVISION! Use good common sense here!!!
16) How big will they get - males and females?
Labs come in all different shapes and sizes - My males are between 70-85 pounds and females between 55-65 pounds ... most of the time!
17) What shots will the puppies have and t\what other records will I be given when I pick up a puppy from Ashland Kennel?
I have a whole packet of information that I will go over including:
- Vaccination records ( with the label off the exact shot I have given to take to your vet )
- Worming records - dates and wormer used
- Hip & Eye Written Guarantee - on web site too!
- Certificate of Pedigree
- Feeding Instructions - see "New Puppy List" also on web site - Tips and Articles
- Book from Pro Plan with A LOT of super info to read on training, feeding, obedience, first 48 hours + more!!LOTS of Training Tips from Ashley - I cannot put all "my training secrets" on the web site but if you buy one of my pups I am happy to help!!!!
18) What about crate training? Does it work?
YES - IT WORKS ... see article on crate training on web site.
19) What about housebreaking?
House breaking is more you than the puppy anticipating when the puppy needs to go out... first few weeks are tough until they get their bladder control - see article on web site.
BE PATIENT - It will happen!
20) Why are the puppies in the newspaper ads so inexpensive - what's the difference?
It is simply one of those... " you get what you pay for" - this puppy will be a member of your family and enjoy many fantastic hunts with you - why not start with the best and most intelligent... most of the folks who have pups in the newspaper are not in the business of breeding pups and consequently do not know what they are doing - ask to see the pedigree on the pups ( most of the time they will not even know the dogs lineage ), ask if both parents have been OFA certified - hip dysplasia is 99% hereditary so if they have not had the dogs hips certified - you answer that question - its easy - run fast leaving skid marks!!! If they say - the pups are AKC registered - this means nothing it cost very little to have the pups registered - there is A LOT more to breeding than breeding 2 dogs who are AKC registered... go with a PRO you get a good feeling about!!
Even if you do not buy one of my pups ...I will help you find a puppy I would buy!!!!
21) Vet Visits - How do I find a good Veterinarian - How long does the puppy need vaccinations?
Ask your neighbors, co-workers, friends who they use for their vet and how long they have been going to the vet? You should get a good feeling about the vet and what he is doing to your puppy and CHARGING you too!! The puppy will need a series of vaccinations until they are 18 weeks old - then they get their final shot and rabies and are good to go for the year - the vet should also recommend heartworm medication & for fleas & ticks - Frontline works great.
ANOTHER Ashland Secret - Shhhhhh - I spray my young pups in the summer with Adams Flea Spray ( can buy it at Petsmart or in any of the On-Line Veterinary Links on my web site ) - Adams is fine for very young pups before they are old enough for Frontline and repels fleas and ticks - and smells GREAT!!