If a puppy is looking hale and hearty, does it really matter who the breeder is? Yes, it does. Unbelievably, even the most adorable looking puppies can grow into ferocious or ill-in-health or just taken in by premature death simply because the breeder either lacked knowledge, or is only doing it for money.
With so many places to buy from – a pet shop, a vet clinic, an online site, finding a reputable Labrador Retriever breeder isn’t easy, but we can help you choose the right one.
Extra Mile Benefit
Just because the pet shop is near your home, or the news ad is offering a puppy at a very competitive price, doesn’t mean it is the right choice for you. Go the extra mile, if you have to. It’s more about finding a reputable breeder than a puppy.
If possible reject the idea of purchasing your lab from a pet store, as majority of them may acquire their puppies from what is called as puppy mills. Meaning, more danger of diseases in a pup or even genetic abnormalities.
Meeting the parents
Seeing is believing, no matter how much the breeder or the seller coax you into buying one. It’s important that you meet at least one of the parents, to confirm that Lab puppy is not from a puppy mill or a puppy farm. This is to also ensure the puppy is well-bred.
Move beyond color and size; and check for positive genetic traits in a puppy. You can spend your time observing the bud for a calm temperament, love of water, intelligence, tractability. Ideally, an AKC certified pedigree is a must for a healthy dog. A professional breeder will be able to share information about the pedigree of the puppy – how healthy are the parents, what behavior they have, and more.
Role of Titles
Titles are no doubt impressive, but there is no guarantee that puppy from a pedigree of titles will also excel the same way. The goal of a breeder is to produce healthy, well-bred puppies. If any breeder boasts of titles, don’t pay much attention.
Check for health clearances and health guarantee. Is the puppy cleared for CERF (for eyes), NARC, EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse), and OFA (for hips and elbows)? Some breeders avoid getting these tests done to bring down the cost of selling the puppy.
A reputable breeder is selective and knowledgeable in breeding. You can test the breeder, by asking some questions, like:
– Are you a member of any reputed organization?
– What’s unique about your way of breeding?
– What type of Retriever traits are you looking for?
Beyond the Call of Duty
Good breeders do much more than just breeding.
– Giving puppies to families only after understanding their taste and background.
– Offering follow-up and support services to the puppies
– Taking interest and participating in events and activities related to Labrador Retrievers.
Professional breeders are known to have a credible reputation! you will find them in exhibitions, dog shows, dog-lover-communities and clubs. A professional breeder is not much concerned about the money, but works to ensure higher standards, by taking into account:
– All necessary tests are done on both male and female before breeding.
– Both the mother and her pups are given the highest quality diet.
– Maintain top quality breeding stock.
– Care and facilities for newborns.
Make sure you are getting a Labrador Retriever puppy from a professional breeder. Also, find out about their support services, contract, and return policy. This way, you will be assured that the puppy you get home will be someone you are proud to have.