Labrador puppies are one of the top chosen dog breeds to add to your family because of their friendly, loyal, and gentle personality. Adding this faithful companion to your family should be an honest and transparent process between you and the breeder.
Asking the right questions and having the right information will make certain you are receiving a genuine, healthy Labrador. There are several imperative questions you must ask when determining how to vet your breeder.
How Many Litters?
One of the first pieces of information you should obtain from your breeder is how many litters the mother has produced.
In order to keep the mother happy and healthy, a female Labrador should only produce a total of three litters in her lifetime. In addition to total litters, a female Labrador should not birth more than one litter within a twelve-month period.
A breeder whose female Labrador has produced more than three total litters or has birthed its litter less than twelve months from the last litter should raise caution. A breeder who puts the female Labrador’s interests first will have a healthy female Labrador with three or less total litters and a minimum of twelve months since the last produced litter.
Observe the Conditions
When you arrive at the breeder’s location, ask to see the mother with her litter. Observing the mother with her litter will show you the condition the mother is in. A healthy Labrador mother will be involved with her litter, and the Labrador puppies should be with their mother when they are shown to you.
You should also notice the location the mother and puppies are in when they are shown to you. A female Labrador and her pups should be indoors with the breeder. This will ensure the breeder you have selected has a personal relationship with the mother while prioritizing her needs.
If the mother and puppies are in an outside kennel, ask the breeder how often she and the puppies are visited and brought indoors. A mother and her litter should interact with the breeder several times throughout the day.
Testing the Parents
Like humans, dogs can have hereditary conditions passed down from parent to litter. Asking your breeder about the health of the mother or father is essential to determine if your puppy is predisposed to a potential mortal health condition.
The most common health issues for Labradors are retinal dysplasia, Centronuclear myopathy (CNM), and hip dysplasia.
These tests should have been performed on the parents, and certificates should be readily available upon request. A good breeder will welcome the meticulous questions and concerns. A litter from healthy parents will lessen the risk of your puppy being predisposed to untimely mortality due to an underlying health issue.
Does the Breeder Own Additional Dogs?
Knowing if the breeder owns additional dogs will give you an idea of the relationship the breeder has with the animals.
A breeder with a small number of dogs is an indication that the breeder cares more about the animal and less about the financial gain. Additionally, a breeder who only breeds one set of dogs at a time at a healthy rate implies the dogs’ wellbeing is first.
If the breeder you visit has several dogs used for breeding, ask the breeder how often they are bred. If the dogs are bred at a rapid rate, this is a good indication of the breeder putting his or her financial interests above the dogs’ wellbeing.
Am I Receiving a Certified Labrador Puppy?
In order to know if the puppy you are receiving is a purebred registered Labrador, you need to request the proper paperwork and certifications from your breeder.
If your breeder presents you with your puppy’s AKC (American Kennel Club) registration certification, then your puppy has been recognized as a descendant of its AKC-registered ancestors. A portion of the document will need to be completed and returned to the AKC in order for the ownership to be transferred to you.
While puppies registered with the AKC ensure they come from a lineage of certified ancestors, this does not guarantee the puppy will have a clean bill of health. The registration paperwork and certificates guarantee that your puppy is a recognized purebred, allowing the puppy to enlist in AKC-provided activities and events. If your puppy is not registered with the AKC, the puppy can be denied from participating in these events.
If you are receiving an AKC-registered Labrador puppy, there are many educational resources available to successfully train, feed, and care for your certified puppy. Meet the Puppy is an educational book about Labradors available online and as a paperback. This book will give you all the necessary tools to provide your Labrador with a lifetime of happiness and health.
If you are looking to recognize your puppy’s monthly milestones, the Month by Month Labrador Puppy Edition book will prepare you for each stage of your puppy’s life. Knowing your puppy’s current milestone will help you give your pup the necessary care it requires.
Finding the right breeder is imperative in assuring you are receiving a healthy Labrador puppy. If you see an advertisement for Labradors for sale, take an inventory of necessary information. Ask the breeder about the pup’s parents, living conditions, health history, and certification.
Do not be afraid to ask the breeder necessary questions. A good breeder will welcome questions. It will show the breeder that you are serious about the condition and care of the pup you are purchasing.
If a breeder is hesitant in answering questions, there may be more than meets the eye. A breeder who is hesitant to answer questions or who seems frustrated with the questions being asked may be withholding information in order to make a purchase.
If you do not feel comfortable purchasing a Labrador puppy from the breeder, politely thank the breeder for their time and tell them you will be in touch. Adding a Labrador puppy to your family needs to be a vetted process that results in the right fit for both you and your pup.