This is the fun part! You are an active participant and hold the final decision as to which puppy you want. Through the use of descriptions and photos, we will help you with your selection.
Here’s how it works:
During your communications with us, we take detailed notes as to what you desire in a pup. We are with the pups every day, and can easily use your notes to narrow the search. We then e-mail you the photos and speak with you about the temperament of individual pups. Once your selection is made, if you are local, you can either take your puppy or if you need to wait, we can look after your pup until you are ready to take him/her. For those families that are long distance, we would take the appropriate steps to send the puppy to you.
Example of how to choose
You will find that professional breeders have a keen eye regarding each and every pup. The enormous amount of time spent with them will outweigh any benefit you may have of seeing them in person, though you are always welcome to do so. Even if you spent all day with them, you would not have a true picture of temperament. Don’t rely on the books that promote puppy testing as the way to go. (Some books recommend flipping the pup on its back, or holding it down, to see if this is the correct pup). These methods fail miserably, unless in search of a field trial dog, and performed on numerous occasions by professionals. In the event a pup is not desirable, (that has never happened) we will be glad to float your deposit to any other litter. We want you to end up with the pup that will make you happy. Keep in mind that many environmental issues will influence the attitude of your pup. We will be glad to work with you regarding the best methods for producing a mentally healthy Labrador Retriever.
Seeing the parents
Photos of the parents can be found under the current Litter page and on the Dams (Our Girls) and Sires (Our Boys). You will see a pictures and the parent name. You can also come for our Open House, held every six months, to meet the parents. You can rest assured that if the Sire and Dam did not meet our strict criteria for health, temperament, and looks, we would not have them as parents.
Your New Puppy
So, what will your first days with your new pup be like?
Crying – As they will miss their kennel mates for the first few nights, you have two choices. Sleep with them, or endure five or six nights of them crying themselves to sleep. If you take the latter route, I don’t recommend responding to their howling, or they will have you trained! One night soon, they will figure out that the howling is keeping them awake, and quit.
Call of Nature – As far as housebreaking, I often have new owners ask me how we managed to train them at such an early age. We don’t. They will naturally want to go on something organic (like grass or straw). Place a patch of straw outside where you want them to go, and get them familiar with the location. Then it will be up to the humans to read the proper signals! You will not want to punish accidents just reward good behavior.
Digestion system – Puppies have an extremely sensitive stomach. Switching too fast or slamming to another food can cause diarrhea (in some cases with blood) vomiting, and in extreme cases, death. If a puppy gets a hold of bark, leaves, paper towels, etc.. They can have an upset stomach (when a puppy digests a foreign object, they could develop diarrhea, and in some cases you may see a little blood in the stool (At least this is an all natural material). This is normally caused by the foreign material (the bowel of a puppy will bleed very easily (the saying is “trash mouths (meaning they will eat anything) and baby stomachs (meaning very sensitive) “, unlike humans the severity of this is low. Should this occur, don’t be alarmed.
Diet – I highly recommend spending the extra money, and using a super premium. You will either spend the money in a good food now, or in vet bills later. We believe strongly in quality nutrition. The convince factor is excellent. Most foods (yes, even some of those highly advertised brands) use the cheapest ingredients and fillers. They are also notorious for advertising high protein. What they usually fail to mention is the lack of digestible protein. After all, your dog can’t tell you. We recommend Diamond Pet Food.
Toys – Everyone loves to shop for their new puppy! Some things you have to watch out for are buying “contaminated-products”. The leading pet supply warehouses that allow pet in the building, can lead to the spread of the deadly puppy virus known as Parvo. If you would like to purchase your puppy chew toys and pet paraphernalia, you can go a couple of different ways.
…Purchase from an online store or a retailer that does not allow pets in the building.
…You can sterilize the products you already purchased with a 15% bleach solution. (Note: This increases the risk of your puppy catching a virus ).
Disposition – Labs are known for their love of humans, and thus make great family dogs. They are chewers by nature, but with some gentle guidance will learn what is OK to chew. The worst thing you could do is to punish them for this act. They will need attention, such as walking, or swimming. They traditionally show a love of water and retrieving. You and a tennis ball will be their best friends. As they have a need for space and exercise, they are not ideal apartment dogs. To put one in an airline kennel while going to work is unthinkable.
Obedience Training – There are a couple of routes to take here. You can send them to obedience school, or train them yourselves. You can train them as a gun dog for serious hunting, or as a family pet with a few simple commands. You can customize your own program. We recommend the Family Dog book or DVD check out the Resource page.
Inside or Outside? Of course, your dog will almost always want to be with his/her human family. The ideal situation is for them to have a choice. As they have thick coats, they can cope with fairly cold weather, as long as you will provide them with a draft free place. For summer, a child’s pool will earn you doggie licks!