Posh Dogs with Lynette Irwin logo A group of 3 black Retrievers A group of 3 girls each with their black Retriever

At Posh Dogs with Lynette Irwin, a professional dog groomer, you can get a Retriever that Lynette has bred. Lynette has bred 12 litters, worked as a veterinary nurse and currently as a dog groomer. She also runs classes for puppy socialisation and gundog training.

Lynette Irwin has worked with dogs since 1979, over 30 years. She has owned Labradors and Flatcoated Retrievers, has shown them, trained them for agility and obedience and competed in gundog tests and trials, also working as a picker-up on 3 shoots.

You can bring your puppy or dog for training and grooming to us in: Midhurst, Chichester, Petersfield, Haslemere and in Billingshurst.

The column below is her opinion on dogs and how to live with them.

 

"You are buying a dog for a life of ten to fifteen years; put a little research into what you are getting.

 

Any dog can have a pedigree! If wanting a pure bred dog you will need evidence of a Kennel Club registration number. This can be applied for when the litter are born so by the time the litter are viewed at 4 weeks the papers should be back or at least evidence of the application. This number is needed if you wish to compete; show or breed from your dog in the future.

 

On the Kennel Club website there is information on each breed to inform you what health tests the sire and dam of your puppy should have. Breed Society websites will have further information on health problems within the breed and further tests that are available. Some of these are DNA tests which will show the dogs to be either clear, a carrier or affected by the health problem. So long as one parent is clear it is OK to breed from a carrier but not OK to breed from an affected dog. If you have the registration number of the parents you can look up all their health tests on the Kennel Club site.

 

If the sire and dam have passed all health tests you will expect to pay a good price for the puppy but you are hopefully going to have a healthy dog. The way the pup is reared is still extremely important; a responsible breeder will give you very clear instruction on exercise and feeding. Some examples of health problems are elbow dysplasia and luxating patella, operations to repair these painful conditions cost upwards of £3,000.

 

Buying from a responsible breeder, you should get precise information on the characteristics your dog will have and the care required for exercise, training and grooming.  

 

If you are looking to buy a cross breed it is not correct that they will be less likely to get these conditions. Labradors and Poodles both suffer from hip dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, a condition where they can go blind. Both parents should therefore still be tested and have certificates of low scores for hips and be clear from eye defects. Poodles and Terriers can both get luxating patella. Labradoodles are not a breed, they are a rip off to get you to pay pure bred price for a cross breed.

 

Selective cross breeding or breeding out to unregistered dogs may be necessary for some breeds who have become over-exaggerated in appearance or have developed a health problem which is in every one of the registered dogs or have got a dangerously small gene pool.

 

Cancer seems to be a modern problem in dogs, possibly due to breeding dogs too closely but this is not yet proven and a DNA test is not yet available. It may also be due to modern feeding and additives in foods or environment. Again cancer is also found in cross breeds. On the Kennel Club website it is possible to see the inbreeding co-efficient of each parent and indeed the litter; this should be compared to the average for that breed.

 

Rescue centres offer a cheap alternative; many re-homing's of older dogs are very successful. If the dog is over a year old you pretty much get what you see, lameness and skin conditions should be evident and a vet should check eyesight, although some eye conditions don’t show until later in life. There may be a number of behavioural problems which don’t really show themselves until they have found their feet at your home. Taking on a puppy when you don’t know either parent is a real lottery.

 

There is absolutely no excuse for buying a dog from a free ad publication or a puppy farm.

 

There is every chance that the dog itself or the dam of the puppy has been stolen and has suffered living in horrific conditions. Some bitches rescued from puppy farms have had up to six litters; this is not a natural thing in a domestic pet. Ideally a bitch should not have a litter until she is rising 3, although in tiny breeds it is acceptable younger. I don’t believe it is necessary for any bitch to have more than two litters. I once did take 3 litters from a lovely bitch I owned and she had eclampsia and I nearly lost her. It takes a lot out of them and they take a good 18 months to recover fully. It is likely that puppy farms do not use a vet as they are mostly illegal breeders so if a bitch did get ill she would be allowed to die. The puppies can have numerous inherited health problems plus diseases caused by the living conditions.

 

When buying from a Kennel Club registered bitch it is possible to see how many litters she has had and at what age, although some unscrupulous breeders are taking a couple of unregistered or cross bred litters from them to make money.

Please ensure that you are not keeping puppy farms in business, helping the increase in dog theft or funding unscrupulous breeders."

Flatcoated Retrievers with Posh Dogs

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