Tricymoedd Fox Red Labrador Puppies coming up trumps!

Guide dogs for the blind play an incredibly important role in society, performing life saving tasks that gift their humans freedom, independance, confidence and companionship.

Dogs suited to this role do not happen along by chance. Breeding dogs with the right qualities takes careful consideration, attention to detail, and meticulous planning.

I’d like to share my story with you, about a recent litter I bred who are going to be little lifechangers. And how following progressive breeding practices made it all happen.

Every dog breeder should have an intention and a mission that leads their mating decisions, and the pairing of Yrpes and Keale was no different.

Myself and Ypres’s owner Rebecca Walters of Pupstarts Breeders had decided to breed a litter of working labradors. We knew our combined experience would produce something special, so we set to considering which two dogs would make the perfect choice to produce a cracking litter of working dogs.

The two dogs in question were Ypres and Keale, both fox red Labradors from working lines.

The two have very different personalities, but a very intentional mating delivered a joyful surprise.

Selective -dog breeding, looking beyond colour

We all know that health testing is imperative. Before matching any dogs, we must look at the health scores of each individual and consider what combining the two dogs may herald.

Ensuring that they are not closely related is also a factor, this can lead to health and behaviour issues for the resulting puppies. Breeding dogs is a jigsaw puzzle, and you need to gather all of the pieces before making a decision to breed.

Temperament is as important as health, although slightly harder to quantify or measure!

We use the dog’s past experience, what they excel at, what they struggle with, and take a deep look into them, as individuals to help us select which dogs to mate together.

We take an objective view on the type of progeny that will be created as a result of the selected mating pair, and only move forwards when we’re confident that we’ve made a stellar decision based on intensive research and consideration.

We did all of this before deciding to pair Yrpes and Keale to produce the litter. And boy did their firstborns deliver!

Meet the parents

Yrpes is a fox red Labrador, from working labrador lines. She is healthy, biddable, gentle, trainable and possesses a serenely calm disposition.

Keale is a fox red Labrador, also from working labrador lines. He’s a workaholic who proudly takes his place in my team working at Three Valleys and Llanforda shoot 6 days a week. He’s bright, fast, diligent and incredibly visually aware. He hunts boldly and is a real character.

We were certain their combined temperaments, genetics, and health would deliver a phenomenal litter… But we had no clue just how good the pairing would be.

And so the fun began…..

When the litter arrived, we followed all of the puppy socialisation protocols required to ensure they were resilient and robust puppies.

Here’s a high level overview of what that involves:

  • Weeks 0-2: Daily handling and exposure to scents
  • Weeks 2- 4: ENS and ESI Puppy Stimulation Exercises  
  • Week 4: Coming out of the whelping box, exploring different textures under their paws, new sights, smells and sensory experiences.
  • Week 5: Introduction to new people  
  • Week 6: Socialisation with people and vaccinated dogs
  • Week 7: Crate and travel, grooming bath/time alone depending on temperament
  • Week 8: Vet preparation, vaccinations and microchipping
  • Week 9: Settle down and final checks before new homes.

I have been breeding and raising puppies for over forty years, and if I have learnt one thing, it is that you never stop learning! Especially not with dogs. I imagine a fair few of my peers would raise an eyebrow at some of the ways in which we socialise our litters here at Tricymoedd, but the proof is in the pudding, and if Guide Dogs are happy then so am I…!

As I undertook the puppy socialisation program with Ypres and Keale’s litter, I was amazed at how robust, resilient, and empathetic they all were.

Empathy isn’t something you can plan for, it’s not a tangible thing. But their mother has a very calm and empathetic nature, and I suspect this has carried down to her puppies.

What makes a good working dog?

Any working dog needs to be highly trainable, obedient, attentive and to be very aware of their environment. Especially a guide dog. They are their human’s eyes in the world, and this is where Keale’s keen visual awareness came into its own.

Remember, Keale is a high drive working Lab. As most of you will know part of a gundog’s job is to sit by its handler and watch where the birds fall before retrieving them. They have to have impeccable self control to be patient until they are asked to retrieve. During this period of time they will watch the birds and “mark” where they fall. They then recall that information when they are required to retrieve them.  

One of the tests a guide dog has to undertake is to be able to identify low hanging branches that could be a hazard to their human. Completely out of their standard line of vision, they are trained to scan the horizon and alert their handler and guide them around any hazards.

Keale’s keen working abilities combined perfectly with Ypres gentle and empathetic nature to produce puppies that we hope that with the professional training program they will work through with the Guide Dogs will blossom into incredible assistance dogs.

Guide Dogs For The Blind

When the team from Guide Dogs came out to meet the litter they were just as excited about our babies as we were, and quickly decided they wanted 4 puppies to raise as future guide dogs for the blind.

The remaining two puppies will be raised to continue breeding healthy, traininable working dogs.

Ultimately in one way or another, all dogs destined for pet or working homes need to be bred to similar standards as guide dogs. Pet and working homes want robust, resilient, and attentive dogs that have stable temperaments.

To achieve this, puppies need to be bred with intent for purpose, well socialised from the get go, and to be observed and matched with their best fit homes, whether that is a pet home, or a working home.

If you are interested in a Tricymoedd Puppy, then pop over here to get in touch:

Puppy Availability – Tricymoedd Labradors

You can donate to Guide Dogs UK and sponsor a puppy here – helping this fabulous charity to train more wonderful puppies to support people with sight loss.

You’ll get regular pupdates, access to their private Facebook group and a cute puppy magnet too!

3 thoughts on “Tricymoedd Fox Red Labrador Puppies coming up trumps!”

  1. Pingback: Fox Red Labradors: A Breed Well Worth Knowing & Loving

  2. Pingback: 12 things you should know BEFORE you get a Labrador

  3. Pingback: Meet your Labrador Breeder | Tricymoedd Labradors

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *