If you are looking to add a furry companion to your family, there is no shortage of available Labrador puppies for sale.
Labradors are at the top of the list when choosing which breed of dog to add to your family. With numerous sellers to choose from, how do you guarantee you are going to find the perfect Lab puppy?
Before you contact the first advertiser you find, it is important to furnish a list of questions to ask the seller. Knowing vital pieces of information will direct you to find your perfect Lab puppy.
1. Health Over Price
While it is practical to find an affordable puppy, the puppy’s health is more important than the price. In order to get an idea of your puppy’s definitive quality of life, you need to know the health condition of the puppy’s parents.
The puppy’s parents will have received health certifications indicating various health screenings and tests have been passed. Some of the most common health issues among Labradors are hip dysplasia, CNM (Centronuclear myopathy), retinal dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.
A Labrador puppy with parents that have cleared these screenings will help reduce the risk of your puppy developing these health issues later in life.
The purchase price of these puppies may be more expensive up front, but the risk of spending a large amount of veterinary care will be greatly lowered. Furthermore, you will rest assured knowing you have purchased a healthy, happy pup.
2. Meet the Parents
A dog’s personality can hereditarily be passed down from parent to puppy. When contacting a seller, ask to see the pup’s mother and father.
The puppies should already be with their mother. Observe the pup’s parents determine the type of personality they have.
Are they friendly? Do they seem shy or aggressive? Is the mother caring for her litter?
The temperament of the grown Labradors can be an indicator of the natural temperament instilled in the pup. While puppies can learn behavior from their owners, there may be inherited characteristics that make the puppy more aggressive, friendly, or shy.
Knowing your puppy’s predisposed nature will help you successfully train your puppy to be the friendly, loyal companion you are worthy of.
3. Work or Show Dog?
Labradors are classified into one of two categories: working dog or show dog.
If you are purchasing a Labrador puppy to train as a hunting dog, you will want to choose a breeder who is selling a working litter of Labrador puppies. One or both of the Lab puppy’s parents may be a field trial champion or field trial winner in their lineage.
If you seek a Labrador puppy for dog show purposes, then the puppy you choose should come from a show dog lineage. The parents of the Lab puppy may be a show champion, and the dog may have a certificate to confirm.
4. Pick a Color – Yellow, Chocolate, or Black?
Black Labs are the most common color of Labrador because black is the breed’s original color. Like people, pigmentation in the body causes the color of Labs to change.
A normal amount of pigmentation, called eumelanin, will cause the Labrador to be the typical black color. If the eumelanin pigmentation is less than typical, the dog’s color will be chocolate.
The coloring of a Yellow Lab is a little more precise. Rather than the presence or absence of eumelanin pigmentation, there is a presence of E gene that masks the black or brown color. When there are two masking E genes present, the Labrador’s color will be yellow.
The B gene will determine the exact shade of yellow. Yellow labs can range from a whitish-yellow to a reddish yellow, depending on its type of B gene.
The choice is yours! If you are searching for a working Lab puppy or a show Lab puppy, the color you choose should have no effect on the dog’s ability to execute the task it is trained to perform.
5. Male or Female?
Whether you personally choose the gender of your puppy, or there was only one gender available, it is important to know the behavior and health attributes of the gender.
Unless you plan to breed your Lab, it is important to spay or neuter your puppy. A female puppy that has not been spayed will go into a heat period by the time she is one year old.
These heat periods are approximately every six months throughout the remainder of the dog’s life. A female dog in heat will attempt to find a mate and may run away while doing so. In order to reduce overpopulation, it is extremely important to spay or neuter your new puppy.
Depending on the age of the puppy, a breeder may have already spayed or neutered the available puppies, as well as treating them with their first round of vaccinations.
Whether your new Lab puppy is male or female, both genders are exceptionally smart, loyal, and friendly.
6. The Perfect Lab Puppy
It’s one thing to find the perfect Lab puppy, but what about maintaining the perfect Lab puppy?
One of the best online resources available is The Beginner’s Guide to Training Your Labrador Retriever Puppy. Your puppy will need you to teach him or her the necessary fundamentals to become your best friend.
Potty training, basic commands, leash training, and socialization are just a few of the basics that are covered in this book. It is just as important for you to know how to train your puppy as it is for your puppy to learn what you are teaching!
To find the perfect Lab puppy, you need to start with a breeder or seller you trust and make the seller answer the necessary questions. If something in your gut does not feel right, do not proceed with the transaction.
Observing the puppy’s parents is an evident indicator of the core personality given to the puppy. A breeder who has a good relationship with the dogs and their litter will be apparent through the dogs’ behavior.
Ask for health certifications and registration paperwork to validate any seller’s claims of clear health and breed authentication. A seller who has nothing to hide will hide nothing.
After finding a seller who has produced all the required information you seek to obtain, choose your Lab puppy and read all about how to train your Labrador retriever puppy!