[skip to main content]

Welcome to Shallowford Retrievers

Shallowford have owned Labrador and Golden Retrievers for over 30 years. We are a small, established, family run, non-commercial kennel that prides ourselves in our dogs. We have a keen interest in obedience training and Pets as Therapy work and have recently started to focus on breeding and initial training of puppies for children or adults with Autism, this also means our puppies are very well suited as family pets. Our dogs are our extended family and we spend many happy hours exercising them locally at nature reserves, fells and woodland.



Following the very sad loss of our beautiful Jack from AIHI which we feel very strongly was a result of a Leptospirosis vaccination booster in December 2012, we carried out lots of research with alarming findings. Very basically our advice is:

• Some manufacturers, including the market leader, advise boosters every three years NOT annually. Despite this, many boarding kennels and doggy day care centres ask for annual boosters as do some insurance companies. This means your dog is being over vaccinated and this could be detrimental to his health, potentially causing auto immune system and other difficulties. In addition many veterinary surgeons recommend annual boosters against manufacturer’s guidelines.

• Please check out a Facebook page called ‘Nobivac Lepto 4 – our experiences’, this site shows comments by breeders and families who have experienced puppies becoming ill and even dying following their vaccination.

• Lepto is NOT a core vaccine, if you are concerned at all, talk with your vet and don’t be pressured into vaccinating if you are uncomfortable to do so.

• If you are looking to home a puppy, you may wish discuss the ‘natural raising of puppies’ with your breeder.

Please check back soon for our document ‘The Natural Raising of a Puppy’ which will give further advice on avoiding over vaccination, titre testing, natural flea treatment alternatives and other topics.


Due to unforseen circumstances, we are retired from breeding puppies, because of this we are looking to rehome some of our younger dogs. Please contact us via our contact page or by email heyjune1@hotmail.com if you can offer a permanent loving home to a Labrador, Golden Retriever or Goldador giving as many details as possible of the home you can offer and any previous experience. Please also give details of what you are looking for in a dog.

Although our website is out of date, some of the information given does not change and it is hoped that some readers may find it helpful and also that we may one day manage to update it.

If you have a Shallowford dog, please do keep in touch.


A massive thank you to all of those who contributed in any way to our fundraising  in Steven's honour for The Royal British Legion and Sunday Sun's Never Forget Appeal. Together, we have exceeded our target. Funds raised stand at over a staggering £5,500. (£6,800 with Gift Aid)

You may have seen on the news the Tribute Garden came to to the North of England for the first time in November 2012. The moving field of remembrance in honour of soldiers from our area who lost their lives in battle. came to Saltwell park, Gateshead. Please click here for more details.

Funds raised also go to the continued work of the British Legion to help those returning from the front line.

Accurate totals raised to date can be seen on Steven's tribute pages

 British Legion Never Forget

 Just Giving Never Forget 

If you would like to make a small donation, please click the links above.

We hope to make our walk in Hamsterley Forest an annual event, please watch this space for details. It was lovely to see as many Shallowford dogs and puppies there but please note that all dogs and owners are welcome. If you would like to help in any way, please contact us on mission5k@hotmail.co.uk Mobile: 07921174597 or 07896560568

Inbreeding, the Health of Dogs and How YOU Can Check the Inbreeding Coefficient of Your New Puppy

When deciding whether to mate two dogs consideration must be given to temperament, breed type and characteristics, health screening and genetic diversity. The emphasis that different breeders place on these will vary according to what they are trying to achieve. Breeding for health should include testing potential parents for known inherited diseases (hip and elbow dysplacia, eye defects and so on) and also managing the genetic diversity of the breed in order to minimise the risk of future genetic problems arising.

Inbreeding is reproduction from the mating of two genetically related parents. As the inbreeding coefficient increases so does the chance that a puppy will inherit the same copy of a gene from both its mother and father. This is true for genes that have a beneficial impact, but also for genes which have a potentially deleterious and sometimes very serious impact.

The Kennel Club now provides a Mate Select service for breeders and new owners to check the inbreeding coefficient of puppies from a mating or a potential mating. It is recommended that any breeding results in puppies with an inbreeding coefficient less than the breed average, Mate Select can also be used to check the inbreeding coefficient of an individual dog.

The inbreeding coefficient of a dog is the probability that two copies of the same gene have been inherited from an ancestor shared by both parents. The lower the inbreeding coefficient, the lower the risk that this will happen.

An inbreeding coefficient of 12.5% means that there is a 1 in 8 chance that a dog will inherit the same version of gene from both parents.

At this time the breed average for a Golden Retriever is 9.5% and for a Labrador Retriever is 6.4%

Careful breeding will ensure the long term benefit of the breed as a whole. With consideration, breed defects like hip dysplacia could be greatly reduced and the overall health of a breed improved.

Please take the time to find out more about genetic diversity and its impact and question your breeder regarding the inbreeding coefficient of their dogs and puppies.

Click here for more information on the Mate Select Scheme

To use the Mate Select Tool to check the inbreeding coefficient of a litter or a hypothetical litter please click here 

Shallowford Golden Retriever at Stud

Shane, (Golden Deneside Zeus from Shallowford) is now available for stud. Hip scored at an excellent 3:3, elbow score 0, current clear eye certificate and with 25 champions in his pedigree. Shane has a wonderful, gentle, true to breed temperament and is a proven stud dog, producing strong healthy, pale coloured puppies. Please note that only bitches that are hip and elbow scored, have a current clear eye certificate, complimentary pedigree and excellent temperament will be considered. 

Microchipping Survey

Our online survey should only take a few moments of your time, we would welcome a response from anyone with an interest. Once data has been collected, comments will be passed to the Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association, both of whom are strongly advocating the compulsory microchipping of dogs. Here at Shallowford we firmly feel that implanting a chip into any animal should be a choice.
Please click here for our Microchipping Survey.

Many thanks to all of those who have completed our microchipping survey. Of the answers so far received (14 June 2011):
o  88.9% of owners said their dog/puppy was microchipped.
o 12.5% of owners say their puppy/dog has so far suffered an adverse side effect to microchipping
o 37.5% of owners would not have had their puppy/dog chipped had they been informed of possible side effects
o Only 25% of owners feel they were given full fair and balanced information about microchipping. 62.5% were not given any details at all of the possible side effects.  

Please click here for further information on microchipping

Pets As Therapy

Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983. It provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament tested dogs and cats.

Since its beginning, over 23,000 P.A.T. dogs have been registered into the scheme.  Today there are currently over 4,500 active P.A.T. visiting dogs and 108 P.A.T. cats at work in the UK. Every week these calm friendly P.A.T. dogs and cats give more than 130,000 people, both young and old, the pleasure and chance to cuddle and talk to them.

Sick patients often feel isolated and even the most withdrawn seem to open up and let the barriers down when their regular Pets As Therapy visiting dog is around. These dogs bring everyday life closer and with it all the happy associations for them of home comforts. The constant companionship of an undemanding animal, that gives unconditional love, is often one of the most missed aspects of their lives. Pets As Therapy was formed to help make this loss more bearable and speed recovery.

Research continues to validate the very real value of this daily work undertaken in the community by voluntary Pets As Therapy visitors and their dogs that work amongst those of us most in need of a little extra boost in addition to medical skills and nursing care.

If you have spare time and would like to learn more please click Pets As Therapy for further information.

Shallowford resigns from Accredited Breeder Scheme

Shallowford has resigned from the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme. Please click here to read why. Our dogs will, as previously be hip, elbow, eye and Optigen tested but results of hip and elbow tests will be assessed by an experienced, independent, qualified radiologist and not the BVA panel.

Puppy/Dog Insurance Survey

We would like to be able to advise new puppy owners about the best insurance available for pets but feel that you only really find out how good a policy is when you need to use it. We would welcome your comments about the insurance company you use for your pet. Please help by completing our short questionnaire.

Please click here to be taken to the survey.

To date one of the most recommended policies is MoreThan standard policy, with the PetPlan premium policy coming a close second. The cost of a MoreThan policy makes it extremely good value. If you have experience of any insurance policy or any comment regarding this statement, please do let us know by completing our questionnaire.

Health Survey of Labrador Retrievers Born after Jan 1st 2010

The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research at the University of Manchester, Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool and The Kennel Club are jointly running one of the biggest surveys into dog health ever seen in the UK.

The project aims to collect information about the lifestyle of dogs (such as exercise, feeding and general health care) using a website, www.dogslife.ac.uk, to enable the study of how these factors may influence the health of dogs.

Owners of Labrador Retriever puppies are being requested to enrol onto the project when they transfer their puppy's registration with the Kennel Club. Subsequently, owners will be asked to report information about their dog's health and lifestyle on a monthly basis for the first year of their dog's life, using the website. The data collected will be analysed during the project to identify lifestyle factors which are associated with an increase or decrease in the risk of disease. Ultimately, its is hoped that this information can be used to give advice to dog owners which will enable them to reduce the risk of their dog developing disease, simply by changing the way in which they are looked after.

The study has been funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and is recruiting Labrador Retrievers which have been registered with the Kennel Club and whom were born after 1st Jan 2010. Please visit www.dogslife.ac.uk to find out more.

Shallowford hopes you will support this project and is encouraging families homing one of our Labrador Retriever pups to take part.

Shallowford Blog

Recently started - Shallowford Blog (please click link to be taken to the blog.) Mainly more pictures of our dogs.

Follow Shallowford on Facebook

If you own a Shallowford dog or puppy, please post your favourite pictures on our Facebook page. You can also add a link to a website.

Excellent Advice Sites

Anyone new to the world of Labradors may wish to check out Labrador Forums or Lab Health for useful information from people passionate about their dogs.


We genuinely care about our dogs and their breeds. Our site is particularly aimed at prospective owners new to the Labrador or Golden Retriever breed and as such we have kept the given information basic. For more in depth research there are many informative internet sites. Please note that between breeders opinion does vary to a degree. If you spot any obvious mistakes or would like to make a comment about site content, please use our Contact Form.

© All content and images are protected by copyright law. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without the prior consent of Shallowford Retrievers (2006-2016)