Why buy a Montegrino Puppy?
You may be wondering which breeder to approach after making your decision to have your first flatcoated retriever, or perhaps you are looking for another flatcoated retriever after losing a dear friend, maybe you want an additional pet or indeed it is the first dog ever in your life…
So why buy a puppy from me?
First of all – I would encourage you to do your research. If you are new to the breed, first find out what they are like, this is so important and I can’t stress it enough. Find out about me and the dogs I have produced. Speak to people who have bought my dogs and I can put you in touch with a number of people. Look at my website for dogs that have been bred here.
I am a Kennel Club Assured Breeder and therefore must agree to abide by the conditions stated by the Kennel Club, although that is just a very small part of my pledge as a breeder. My passion for dogs, especially flatcoated retrievers and my commitment to ensuring that I produce the best of the breed is deep-rooted.
I breed litters infrequently. The pups are reared at home with our family, and my daughter Rachael who is a Vet is on hand to assist where needed.
There is much thought put into choosing the Sire for my bitches. How will the dog compliment the bitch and how well are they suited to each other? What score is given to the parents for their Co-efficiency of Inbreeding? This is considered to try to reduce the health problems associated with the breed, which for those who do not know include a high incidence of Cancer. Is there any known Cancer or other health problem in the generations behind the parents? Are we likely to keep well within the “breed standard” with this mating and their progeny?
Both the Dam (Mother) and the Sire (Father) will have had their hips x-rayed and the scores checked to ensure they can be bred from in the first place, and the average score for the breed is 9. In addition I am now starting to check elbows for dysplasia too which is not essential but worth checking. Both the Dam and Sire will have had their eye tests to check for any inherited disease including Glaucoma. The Kennel Club also stipulate that the general eye test is repeated each year so that is an additional assurance. The personality/nature of the parents is taken into account too to ensure that the pups will have the best chance of a sound temperament. I like to use dogs that have a natural working ability where possible to try and keep them fit for purpose – they were bred to be gundogs and that is what they enjoy. Even if bought as a pet, it is fun to keep their retrieving instinct alive with a tennis ball!
Once the mating has taken place, and I usually do 3 matings at the time when the bitch is most receptive, the waiting game begins. Extra care is taken with the bitch to make sure she has the right amount of food and exercise to keep her in top condition for whelping (giving birth). The bitch is de-wormed at Vet’s advice throughout her pregnancy to reduce the risk of them being passed onto her puppies.
When the puppies have arrived, and the Dam is a natural Mother then usually she will do most of the work for the first 3 - 4 weeks. As I have discovered with one of my bitches, there is much more to do if the Mother is not very experienced or indeed not very interested! The pups are born in the house in a whelping box especially designed for the job. New, soft vet-bed is used for them to lie on which is changed regularly. They are kept warm and dry and I am at home with them all the time. There is a lot of work to do keeping these high standards so I couldn’t consider doing this if I was out working.
We wean (feed solids) the pups onto a premium quality large breed puppy food. A bag of food is given to each new owner for their puppy.
The pups are wormed every two weeks, they are health checked by a Vet for any congenital heart murmurs, umbilical or inguinal hernias or any other problems.
The pups soon get used to the sights, sounds and smells of the house, so they quickly become accustomed to the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, the dishwasher, the radio and many different new human beings in their new lives. We are careful about hand-washing and reducing the risk of any infection being passed onto the puppies but they are still handled from a young age.
If a litter is born during the summer months, we have found moving them outside to an outdoor run when they are running about is good for their well-being as they like to have room to run and play in the sunshine.
A Montegrino pup is sold for the going price at the time and is ready to leave us at 8 weeks old. They come with a puppy pack from the Kennel Club which includes, the 5 generation pedigree, the registration document, advice on diet, vaccinations, worming, socialising, & training your puppy. Your pup will be micro-chipped and will come with four week’s insurance from the Kennel Club. The vaccination course will start at 8 weeks usually so this is not routinely carried out by us, unless we keep the puppy longer than 8 weeks or as is the case in our most recent litter we do a 3 vaccination course for extra protection because the Dam may not have provided this naturally through the colostrum in her milk due to feeding so many pups. In this case we will pay for the additional earlier vaccination at 6 weeks old.
The pups are sold with a Warranty and a Disclaimer which states that you may return them with a full refund if after a Veterinary Health Check within the first 2 weeks any health problems are identified. I will also ask that if for any reason and at any stage in the dog’s life you need to rehome him/her that the dog is returned to me only and is not passed on to a third party. The Disclaimer will aso highlight the fact that we cannot guarantee "show or working" potential of any pup and we also cannot guarantee the long term health of the dog even though every attempt is made to minimise any health risk.
I place two endorsements on my dogs when they are sold. One is "progeny are not eligible for registration" meaning that their offspring cannot be registered with the Kennel Club. This is for their protection and to ensure that without current health tests the dogs cannot be bred and sold as registered pedigrees. The other endorsement is that they are "not for export" – and therefore cannot be exported to another country.
Finally, apart from all of the above, the most important point is I am here for you and your Montegrino dog whenever you need help. It’s not about a sale and goodbye – I will always be interested in how your dog/you are doing, or what problems you need to overcome and I will always give the best advice I can to you. We have first birthday parties for the puppies which is always very popular and gives me a chance to see them all again after the first year. I write Christmas newsletters with photos, help you with training, showing and grooming your dog along with any other aspect of their care. What is important to me is that you are happy with your new dog, and the dog is happy in a loving forever home.