Highhouse Labradors

The dogs above High House

The dogs above High House

photo by: High House Labradors

Dom's trainee search dog finds someone up a tree.

Dom's trainee search dog finds someone up a tree.

photo by: High House Labradors

Search Dog Boris resting, Great Gable behind.

Search Dog Boris resting, Great Gable behind.

photo by: High House Labradors

We are both retired Lake District mountain rescue search dog handlers, and Dom was an instructor and assessor.

We breed working labradors, with a strong emphasis on health, athleticism, temperament and willingness to learn. We have been Kennel Club Accredited (now Assured) Breeders since 2005. The report of our routine re-inspection is available to view on our own website. The "required and suggested improvements" report makes very brief reading, and can be summarised by the word "none"!!!

We know of the high number of top class dogs carrying certain genetic diseases, and the resulting spread of those diseases in the labrador population. We also know that many of the owners of those dogs are faced with the prospect of losing their valuable bloodlines for fear of spreading the problem further. We help an increasing number of breeders to avoid this.

We have been breeding those diseases out of lines we know are suspect, using DNA testing of puppies that could be carriers and of all newcomers. We therefore have a pack of dogs, all of known status for all of the genetic diseases we can test for, and almost all of them N/N clear across the board.

All of our litters are bred with this as one of the purposes. Puppies we do not keep are sold with full written details of the diseases we know they are N/N clear of, and of any they could be carrying. None of our puppies can ever be affected by any of the genetic diseases that we can test for at the time of the mating that conceives them. Advances in dog genetics mean that new tests are under development, and we will add those tests once they are proven and available.

There are some eye conditions that are not picked up by the prcd PRA gene test, and that do not appear until later in life. For this reason we have our dogs and bitches tested annually under the BVA scheme, including after they have done their short stint in the breeding programme.

As we get older ourselves, there will come a time when we do not want the commitment and sheer hard work of raising puppies and supporting their new owners. Almost all of the puppies we now keep are dogs, with a view to them being stud dogs in their spare time. This will allow us to keep improving the health of the breed while getting some sleep ourselves.

We have now almost finished our breeding programme, and have a number of dogs all with excellent hip, elbow and eye test results, and N/N clear of the genetic diseases prcd PRA, EIC, CNM and narcolepsy. Those dogs are now available at stud to other breeders. As ours come from a variety of lines, there is no need to be concerned about having to breed your bitch too closely in order to find the right clear dog.

The N/N clear status of our stud dogs also means that none of their puppies can be affected by any of the genetic diseases we test for, including puppies from "visiting" bitches. This allows those breeders to give the same lifetime guarantee against those diseases as we do for our puppies, with obvious benefits in value and marketability as well as peace of mind!

We also have a number of puppies heading towards their BVA scoring, again all N/N clear across the board. We will choose the ones to keep permanently to join the stud list once we have their hip, elbow and eye test results. This year's litters will be "insurance" against those puppies' scores not being good enough - and "very good" is not good enough!

Our latest stud addition is the result of a change here over 10 years ago. Jasper the rat catching cat was joined by several felines when a new neighbour moved in, and the bird population crashed. Jasper has died at 19 years old, and his successor is not a cat, to allow the birds to recover.

We now have Loki - Auldtoby's Mustard - a working Parson Russell Terrier. Fast, fit and enthusiastic, he has the health profile you would expect of a dog here. Now he has matured, and passed his first annual BVA eye test, he is available at stud.

Dom and Jan Atkinson
Kendal
Cumbria
England
01539821019
mail@arabianhorse.co.uk
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Breeders of:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Parson Russell Terrier

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