This page has been set up to help answer those frequently asked questions to save you the time of having to ask them. If you need more info email us!
Frequently Asked Questions
This page was developed to help you out in searching for your puppy, whether that puppy is from us or another breeder. Some of the most important things about your puppy is its pedigree and health clearances. While many people can sell you “Champion Bloodlines” what does it all mean and why is it important to you. Here is our explanation:
Am Ch: American Champion, a title awarded through AKC for the dog competing for points awarded at dog shows. The dog must receive 15 pts and at least 6 of the 15 have to be majors (where you beat a certain number of dogs, male or female). In our area to get 3 points means beating 13 or more dogs or 19 or more females. The most points you can get is 5pts in one show. You also only get points if you are the best female or male in the classes. So only one male and one female get points per show. So even if you are reserve and have beat 40 dogs to get the reserve award, you didn’t be the Winners and get no points. This is a difficult title to receive.
Can Ch: Canadian Champion, a title awarded through the CKC (Canadian not continental) for the dog competing for points awarded. This is very similar to an AKC title but usually doesn’t require quite so many dogs.
U Ch: United Champion, a title awarded through the UKC for the dog competing for points awarded. This is similar to both above shows, but requires only one dog of each sex for competition. Once a dog gains this title it can then compete for the GRCH which is alot more difficult to get and more dogs are needed to beat
There are also likely some UK CH and SUCH, FINCH, ect on the pedigree of your dog. These are titles from different countries and similar to our title. However the difference in many of those countries is that they need to show some working ability or pass a working test (retrieving birds) to be able to show that title.
All of the above titles are for conformation. This shows that the dogs structure adheres to the standard (the written description of what a labs should look like, how they should move and that they are the correct coloring, basically its what makes a lab a lab and not a golden).
The following titles are working titles, in different venues:
WC-Working Certificate, awarded by a club and not a registry for a dog that completes the task of retrieving a duck on land and water, 2 times. This is to test for working ability of the dog.
WCX or AWC-The advanced working certificate, the dog must do a double retrieve or its a much more difficult back to back retrieve. The dog is expected to not break the line and must have better training and manners.
JH, SH, MH- Junior, Senior and Master Hunter- These are the 3 hunt test titles awarded through AKC and in different levels. Each one is building on the first and becomes much more difficult. The master title is the most difficult and highest level hunt test given by AKC. I’ve heard quotes of what percentage of labs get these titles but can’t find any statistics to back that up. But its not alot. An even rarer occurrence is a Champion/Master Hunter. There are only 43 labs in the history of the breed (from all the way back till now) that have that title.
FC, AFC-Field Champion or Amateur Field Champion, these are field trial titles that are awarded by the AKC. They are much different from the hunt tests and everyone has their opinions on them. We feel that they are phenomenal and love to watch the field dogs compete in these. The drive and focus as well as training that goes into one of these titles is awesome to watch. In the same sense we don’t compete in this because we don’t feel its realistic to us, our dogs or what we want out of them. We feel that the field titles have become more of a competition among the dogs than a test of the hunting ability of the dog. Having raised and bred field dogs before we were introduced to our first show dog, we thought the energy level and desire to retrieve was normal for a lab. Since then we have learned that a well bred show dog with working ability is much more suited to what we personally want to have and produce. We love a dog that will live in the house and be a great family companion, but will also enjoy to hunt with us. Our field dogs HAD to hunt and retrieve or they had too much pent up energy. Its just what we want, and we realize and respect that many out there are looking for a more athletic, energetic, high driven dog and that’s what a great field dog is.
CD, CDX -Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent. These are obedience titles. There is a set of exercises that you need to go through with your dog and get scored on. There are more titles beyond that with the ultimate title being a OTCH, which is an Obedience Trial Champion. This is great accomplishment. (Titles in order of difficulty, least to greatest: CD, CDX, UD, UDX, NOC, OTCH)
Rally-There a quite a few different rally titles. Rally is a fun new sport that many describe as a blend of obedience and agility. Its a bit more laid back the the obedience and alot more fun for both owner and dog. Titles, in order of difficulty, least to greatest: RN, RA, RE, RAE.
Agility-There are also alot of agility titles. Agility is the sport where the trainer takes the dog through an obstacle course in a certain pattern. The dog must follow the owners cues and try to do it as fast as it can without mistakes. The agility titles that can be earned are: NA, OA, AX, MX, NAJ, OAJ, AXJ, MXJ, NAP, OAP, NJP, OJP, MXP, MJP, and then the MACH (which is VERY difficult and takes LOTS of time and is a Master Agility Champion!!)
A few others:
VCD1 Versatile Companion Dog 1 (CD+TD+NA+NAJ)
VCD2 Versatile Companion Dog 2 (CDX+TD+OA+OAJ)
VCD3 Versatile Companion Dog 3 (UD+TDX+AX+AXJ)
VCD4 Versatile Companion Dog 4 (UDX+VST+MX+MXJ)
TD Tracking Dog
TDX Tracking Dog Excellent
CGC Canine Good Citizen-passes a required list of things.
TDI Therapy Dog International-similar to CGC but for certified
What does all this mean to you: Well the show titles show that the parents of your puppies, or grandparents are what a lab is suppose to be. They have the structure that a lab should have and also conform to the standard of what a lab should be like. The working titles in the field show what your pups ancestors could do. Its a way to prove what the dogs ability is without you having to see the dog work. The obedience, rally agility, tracking and other titles show the trainability of the dogs in your pups pedigree and that they were smart and trainable.
These titles should be very close up in the pedigree. Many people will try to sell a champion pedigree but that usually means one who has a champion or two in the way back of the pedigree. Your pups parents and for sure grandparents should have some titles or be working on them.
Besides titles, the other VERY important thing is health clearances. At the very least your puppy’s parents should have OFA (The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Hip and Elbow x-rays and a CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation). This should also be double checked on the web sites (links posted above). You can use the dogs name or registration number to look them up. Always ask the breeder if you don’t find it and give them a chance. As bad as it seems some breeders have forged some of these clearances. A few other clearances that are good, are Cardiac (for TVD), Optigen (PRA), EIC and CNM.
Feel free to call me or Email me if you have any questions or concerns or just need help sorting through all the information. Thanks and good luck in your search for you Labrador puppy!