HELP FINDING A
WELL BRED PUPPY
mills can now put a pretty face on their breeding
practices thanks to the Internet.
It can be hard to know if you are working
with a responsible Breeder.
ARE ADORABLE - EVEN BADLY BRED ONES*
Meet the Breeder before the puppies arrive. Pay attention to
the adults as they are a good
indication of what your puppy will become.
*FIND YOUR BREEDER - CLOSE YOUR EYES AND TAKE A DOG*
That adage was in the first book I read on the Labrador. It
was written by James Lamb Free
and I've never forgotten it. While it seems a little drastic -
it really is true. When you go looking for a yellow this or a
chocolate that, it's usually what you find. The Breeder is
*WHAT GOOD BREEDERS
* Obtain all relevant health clearances on a breeding and
provide copies to you.
* Belong to an AKC Labrador Club or All Breed Club.
* Compete in some area of the sport of dogs.
* Put pedigrees on their website or provide one to you upon request.
* Screen their buyers and NEVER sell through third parties.
* Educate you on the care and needs of the breed.
* Take a puppy back throughout its life and/or help re-home if
* Keep their property clean, well maintained and safe for their
* Produce puppies with generations of health cleared and champion
* Produce puppies with good structure and
* Produce puppies with kind and willing temperaments.
* Produce puppies that are easily housebroken from being kept clean.
* Socialize their puppies so they will quickly adapt to your home
*AKC REGISTRATION OF ITSELF DOES
NOT IMPLY QUALITY*
Puppy Mills use AKC registration
and so do Backyard Breeders. Look for AKC Champion
Breeders which means they a have produced Show or
*AMERICAN OR ENGLISH*
These household words were coined by Puppy
Mills and Backyard Breeders in an attempt to say,
"We have the same dogs as show breeders." They do not and
calling them 'English' doesn't
change that. Dogs born in the US and registered to the
'American' Kennel Club are
'American' bred. 'English' Labradors are born and registered
in the UK. Show Champions - no
matter where they were born - are typical Labradors and many earn
their championships here and in Europe. There is ONLY ONE
Labrador Retriever and they should all look similar
and instantly recognizable. Labradors are
either well bred or they are not.
JUST WANT A PET*
Why should I care if my puppy comes from a Champion breeder?
Championships are award by virtue of a dog's structure and type and
those traits translate into a healthier dog. A Labradors that
is built right, bends and flexes and exercises with much less effort
than a poorly structured one which are more prone to suffer ligament
tears and soft tissue damage which results in long term treatment
for arthritis. Everything from the coat, the shape of a Lab's head
to his eye color, when bred correctly prevents problems for a
Labrador. Dog show are not just about pretty faces.
Obtaining one is expensive and
difficult and indicates that the dog has been
measured against a
Standard. It indicates the Breeder is committed to producing
proper type and good structure. AKC Champion titles are written
before a dog's name and the more a puppy has behind him the better.
Non-competitive Performance Titles are
written after a dog's name.
*READ THE PEDIGREE*
To learn more about what the LETTERS in a pedigree stand for,
*KNOW WHAT DISEASE
CLEARANCES ARE AVAILABLE*
For information on Labrador medical problems visit the Canine Health
*COST OF A PUPPY*
You can expect to pay $2,500.00 or more for a puppy from a good
They have invested thousands measuring their dog's merits with
outside opinions so that
a 'yard stick' has been applied to the dogs they choose to breed.
They invest in
diagnostic screening, fund research through their dog clubs and use
practices that are safer for both the sire and dam but have added
to the production of a litter.
I have estimated that the cost of producing a litter and raising it
until it goes home to
be equal to 2 puppies. A well bred puppy has cost the Breeder
thousands to produce.
Breeders who do none of the above charge nearly the same and get it
because they have
have a cash and carry pup ready when you are. If
you do not want, or cannot afford to
invest in a well bred puppy,
Purchasing from puppy mills and backyard
irresponsible breeding and
ultimately harms the dogs we
Well bred puppies are spoken for when they
are 'in the oven' or very soon after birth.
*THE WRONG DOG IN THE RIGHT
COLOR IS STILL THE WRONG DOG*
Labradors, although an ideal family pet, vary in dominance, prey
drive and pack drive.
A puppy should fit your lifestyle and your ability to train - it is
what creates the bond.
The color and sex of your puppy is second to all other
Trust your breeder to match you with the ideal puppy.
*BOTH DOGS ON
This is a red flag for me. It's a
phrase typically used by Backyard Breeders trying to assure
buyers they will be getting a 'known' product. Actually 62 dogs send
genetic material to a puppy.
It is why pedigrees are so important. The primary duty of the
American Kennel Club is to be the
guardian of those pedigrees. So while good breeders occasionally use
their own males as sires,
'Both dogs on premise' can mean that the same two dogs are bred over and over again at
to the Breeder. Quality Breeders most often go
to a non-owned stud dog at
considerable cost for genetic diversity.
Labradors come in three colors only, Black, Yellow or
Information on Silver Labradors can be found on the
Labrador Retriever Club website. These Breeders' claims
that the color is naturally produced in Labradors is being proven
false as Champion breeders test for the 'silver' gene and prove our
pedigrees DO NOT contain the Weimaraner dilute.
Labradors have been crossed with other breeds by service
organizations hoping to improve the percentage of puppies who go on
to serve people with varying disabilities. The Labradoodle was
a result of that experiment and the crossbreeding was eventually
stopped because neither health nor performance was improved.
The mixed breeds' traits could not be relied upon and the percentage
of puppies becoming successful service dogs went down.
This is a decision you will live with for the next 12-16
years. Take your time and don't settle.
the harder you work at it the luckier you will be!