Buyer's Guide

Buying a puppy is an important decision. Before filling out our puppy application, please read our PUPPY BUYING GUIDE.

Buyer's Guide

Be an educated buyer!
So, you have decided you want to purchase a Labrador Retriever puppy. Please read the following before you go any further.

Labradors come in three colors: Yellow, Black and Chocolate (Silver is not an acceptable color). Color does not make the dog. Genes make the color, and how the dog sees the world. Environment, treatment, and training are the major contributors to the temperament of the dog. The Labrador is capable of doing great things, but it takes alot of time and training. If you get a well-bred pup, you need to do the training to reach it's greatest potential.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHILE CONSIDERING A PUPPY PURCHASE:
Be prepared to spend at least $1200.00 to $2,550.00 maybe more for a well-bred pup. The purchase price for that puppy is just the beginning, are you prepared to:

Take full responsibility for the dog's needs, his training, keeping him safe, and healthy.

Continue to accept responsibility for the dog when life changes (new babies, kids leaving, retirement, moving or returning to work).

Live with shedding, retrieving and all other activities. Being willing to care for the older dog, until death do you part.

RESIST IMPULSE BUYING; go to a responsible breeder, even if you have to wait. Ask potential breeders questions about everything you can think of ie hips,elbows,eyes,hot spots etc. NEVER NEVER buy from a puppy mill or pet store because you feel sorry for the pup. (The store will only replace it with another puppy)

Proper feeding and exercise of your dog is paramount to the health of your dog. Not over feeding or excessive exercise. Balance in all that is done to and with the dog is necessary.

IF ALL OF THE ABOVE IS POSSIBLE, AND IF YOU ARE WILLING TO MAKE THIS TYPE OF COMMITMENT FOR THE NEXT 12 OR SO YEARS, YOU ARE READY TO CONTACT BREEDERS. REMEMBER THAT THE RIGHT PUPPY IS WORTH WAITING FOR.

Questions to ask potential breeders:
1. Are the parents on site? Can you meet them? Look them over and handle them.
2. Do both parents have  eye clearances, CERF or ACVO, genetic testing for PRA, PRCD
3. Do both parents have OFA certifications for both hip and elbow, cardiac. EIC, grandparents etc.
4. Do they have trouble with hot spots, allergies. any other skin problems?
5. Will puppies have their first shots, be vet checked, stool sample checked by the time they go to their new homes?
6. How was the stud dog chosen? Make sure sufficient thought was put into breeding.
7. Will the breeder take the dog back at any time, for any reason, if you cannot keep it? Or at least help find another home. This is the hallmark of a responsible breeder.
8. Will the breeder be available to answer any questions you might have for the life of the dog? Is this someone you would feel comfortable asking any type of question?
9. Does the breeder know the breed? Are the puppies home raised, with proper socialization?
10. Does breeder provide a 3-5 generation pedigree, copies of all clearances (information would be shown on AKC registration papers), health records, feeding schedule, materials to help with training and housebreaking?
11. Does the breeder help guide purchaser to the correct puppy to fit their lifestyle?
12. Does the breeder belong to the Labrador Retriever Club, or local All-Breed Club?
13. How many breeds of dogs do they have? You want a breeder who takes the time to really know their breed of dog.
14. Showing of a dog in competition is a wonderful asset on a pedigree. Having a Champion of Record in Conformation, Obedience, Hunting or Agility in the first three generations of a pedigree helps confirm the justification for breeding of these animals. It also provides bragging rights to the dog owner. It takes a lot of time, patience, training and money to compete for these titles.
15. Does the breeder keep puppies until they are 7-8 weeks of age?
16. If it is near the Christmas Holidays, is the breeder going to let you take the puppy home? This is the worst possible time of the year to bring a puppy home. The puppy should join you when your home life is as routine as possible. Routine helps with training.
17. Does the breeder limit registration of the puppies? Ask why. Or do they have a spay/neuter contract. These are methods breeders take to make sure the best dogs are being used for breeding. Also, this helps them to make sure all clearances for heredity defects are obtained if the dog is to be used for breeding. Or to make sure animals that should be spayed or neutered are taken care of.
18. Last but not least, do you feel comfortable with this breeder? If you feel intimidated or pressured, keep looking!

This information is provided to help a puppy purchaser make the right choice. Before you fall in love, ask questions, look around then make an educated choice. Find what you are looking for, what would suit your needs. The better informed you are, the better choices will be made.

Please remember, most responsible breeders have a waiting list ranging from a few months to a couple of years. The right puppy is well worth waiting for!
A responsible breeder will do all they can to avoid health problems. We research pedigrees, screen parents for inherited problems and make sure temperaments are exceptional before breeding.

Your comments or questions are always welcome! Please feel free to contact us at (810) 367-6816, or email us at dnrlabret@mail.com

Sincerely,
Diane E. Jezewski
DNR Labrador Retrievers